Women’s studies is an interdisciplinary academic field devoted to topics concerning women, feminism, gender, and politics. It often includes feminist theory, women’s history and social history, women’s fiction, women’s health, feminist psychoanalysis and the feminist and gender studies-influenced practice of most of the humanities and social sciences.
Feminist campaigns are generally considered to be a main force behind major historical societal changes for women’s rights, particularly in the West, where they are near-universally credited with achieving women’s suffrage, gender neutrality in English, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property. Although feminist advocacy is, and has been, mainly focused on women’s rights, some feminists, including bell hooks, argue for the inclusion of men’s liberation within its aims because they believe that men are also harmed by traditional gender roles. Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women’s social roles and lived experience; it has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues concerning gender.
Author: W P A Heshani