This week, I got the opportunity to meet several inspiring women. Dr. Nancy Folbre, professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and member of the International Association For Feminist Economists, came to Reed on Tuesday to give a lecture called "The Qualities and Inequalities of Care." I am a student volunteer on the committee that brings public policy speakers to campus, so I was able to go out to dinner with Dr. Folbre, two other Reed students, and three feminist Reed professors on Tuesday night.
Anyway, the focus of Folbre's work is care work--both paid and unpaid--and how women disproportionately suffer as a result of entering into caregiving relationships. She argues that the US government needs to provide better protection for people (who tend to be women) entering into care relationships for dependents, like children and the elderly. I'm probably not summarizing her work eloquently at all, so here is the link to her new blog:
where you can read about her work directly.
Also, in honor of Women's Day, one of the student groups on campus hosted a celebratory dinner and discussion with Diane Rosenbaum, the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Oregon House of Representatives. Rosenbaum has worked to pass legislation that protects women's access to contraceptives, family planning, and health care. It was quite inspiring to hear her talk about the successes that she and her team have achieved in the Oregon legislature and certainly renewed my sense of hope about the future for women's rights.
Next week Lewis & Clark, a college near my own, is hosting its annual Gender Studies Symposium with many events and many more wonderful speakers, including the lovely Maria Jett. So many exciting things happening all at once!