Book Review: The Next Feminist Agenda by Madeline Kunin
The first female governor of Vermont and former ambassador to Switzerland under Bill Clinton, Madeline Kunin, has written a new book entitled "The New Feminist Agenda : Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family."
Examining the accomplishments of the women's liberation movement of the 1970's, Kunin looks forward to the road that women, families, and society as a whole need to travel. The "new feminist agenda" that she speaks of centers on the argument that work/family policies are what will complete the liberation not only of women, but of families as well.
Kunin is amazed that after 40 years of watching women reach their highest potential in the United States we are the only one of the world's 21 wealthiest nations in which paid sick days are not required by law. She points to the lack of paid maternity/paternity leave, the lack of childcare, the lack of tolerance for breast feeding moms, and the lack of equal pay in most workplaces as issues that must be addressed to keep our nation moving forward. Raising the consciousness of boys and men in order to build a coalition for family/work advocacy is fundamental to the economic growth of the country.
As Kunin looks back she is "amazed" at the slow rate of progress -- only 17% of Congress is made up of females, only 3% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women, and the number of women on corporate boards is stuck at 16%. While she admits we have made great strides, she argues that what we need to become truly equal is a movement led by women AND men to face the battle of the work/family agenda together. This is the necessary revolution for today.