Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
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Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
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Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More