educating women a feminist agenda
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educating women a feminist agenda book
Many partlctpants in contemporary feminist movement are college-educated. It is easy to assume our educational status and privilege are common among women and as a consequence we have not stressed the need to make education, especially basic literacy, a feminist agenda. Although feminist activists have focused on strug gling against sexism in educational institutions and childhood social ization, they have not explored deeply the connection between sexist exploitation of women in this society and the degree of women's edu cation, including the lack of basic reading and writing skills. Femi nist activist and scholar Charlotte Bunch emphasizes the political importance of literacy in her essay "Feminism and Education":
Given the bourgeois class biases of many feminist activists, at tention has been given to women in higher education, both as stu dents and teachers, with little or no attention given to the need to educate women who lack basic skills. Time and money have been expended creating resources for women scholars and academics to pursue and promote their work. While this effort is important, it should not have greater priority than the struggle to ensure that all women read and write. Given the many financial cutbacks taking place on all levels in the United States, it is unlikely that women could rely on public funding to establish literacy programs. How ever, programs could be sponsored by financial contributions from women and men in academic institutions who are committed to rad ical political change. Even if funding were not available from any source, small literacy programs could begin in neighborhoods and communities where politically committed, skilled individuals could teach women reading and writing.