Women have always been involved with food: gathering food; growing food; processing food; cooking food; presenting food; feeding their families. This is something that is true across the world and throughout history. Yet in many societies, indeed most, women have tended to be poorly represented at higher-status activities associated with food. It is fascinating that, even in societies in which women are considered “liberated” from the restraints of traditional gender mores, and protected at work from the most egregious cases of gender discrimination, women are significantly under-represented as top chefs, and women’s writing about food has been typically relegated to the areas of domestic and family life. But we shouldn’t forget that first of all woman is a human. And she has rights as well as man do.
As the now-famous saying goes, “women’s rights are human rights.” That is to say, women are entitled to all of these rights. Yet almost everywhere around the world, women and girls are still denied them, often simply because of their gender.
Winning rights for women is about more than giving opportunities to any individual woman or girl; it is also about changing how countries and communities work. It involves changing laws and policies, winning hearts and minds, and investing in strong women’s organizations and movements.
The women’s movement began to develop in North America, mainly because women there were allowed to go to school earlier than in Europe – and women who can read and write, and who are encouraged to think for themselves, usually start to question how society works. The first activists travelled around North America and fought for the end of both slavery and women’s oppression. They organised the ‘First Women’s Rights Convention’ in 1848, and continued to campaign to improve the social position of all women. The movement also began in Europe with the same broad aims: activists collected signatures demanding that working women should receive their own wages and not their husbands’, that women should be able to own a house and have custody of their children.
This first wave of feminism activism included mass demonstrations, the publishing of newspapers, organised debates, and the establishment of international women’s organisations. By the 1920s, women had won the right to vote in most European countries and in North America. At around the same time, women became more active in communist, socialist and social democratic parties because increasing numbers of women began to work outside the home in factories and offices. Women were first allowed to go to university in the early 20th century, having both a career and a family. In certain countries, when fascist parties gained power the feminist movement was banned.
In Western Europe and the USA, the feminist movement was resurgent by the 1970s. Although this second wave of feminism aimed to achieve ‘women’s liberation’, different groups had different ideas about how this should be done. Liberal feminists wanted better equality laws and reform of institutions such as schools, churches and the media. Radical feminists argued that the root cause of women’s inequality is patriarchy: men, as a group, oppress women. They also focused on violence against women by men and started to talk about violence in the family, and rape. Socialist feminists argued that it is a combination of patriarchy and capitalism that causes women’s oppression.
The third wave of feminism mainly refers to the American movement in the 1990s, and was a reaction to the backlash of conservative media and politicians announcing the end of feminism or referring to ‘post-feminism’. The third wave of feminism can be characterised by an increased awareness of overlapping categories, such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation. More emphasis was also placed on racial issues, including the status of women in other parts of the world (global feminism).Third wave feminism actively uses media and pop culture to promote its ideas and to run activities, for example by publishing blogs or e-zines. It focuses on bringing feminism closer to the people’s daily lives. The main issues that third wave feminists are concerned about include: sexual harassment, domestic violence, the pay gap between men and women, eating disorders and body image, sexual and reproductive rights, honour crimes and female genital mutilation.
The term cyberfeminism is used to describe the work of feminists interested in theorising, critiquing, and making use of the Internet, cyberspace, and newmedia technologies in general.Cyberfeminism is considered to be a predecessor of ‘networked feminism’, which refers generally to feminism on the Internet: for example, mobilising people to take action against sexism, misogyny or gender-based violence against women. One example is the online movement #metoo in 2017, which was a response on social networks from women all over the world to the case of Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood producer who was accused of sexually harassing female staff in the movie industry.
Feminism in Armenia
Women’s equal rights have a long history in Armenia: Armenian ancient codes and legal regulations provide indirect evidence of the fact that in ancient times women were treated as equal members of society in issues of heritage, property and so on. For instances the code of Shahapivan (443 B.C.), provides “women a right to possess a family property in case the husband deserted his wife without any reason. It was mentioned also that a wife had right to bring a new husband home”. The Armenian famous public figure, writer and philosopher of 18th century Shahamir Shahamirian states: “Each human individual, whether Armenian or of another ethnicity, whether male or female, born in Armenia or moved to Armenia from other countries, will live in equality and will be free in all their occupations. No one will have the right to lord over another person, whereas their manual labor shall be remunerated according to any other work, as required by the Armenian Law” (Pitfalls of glory, Article 3).
It is important to mention, in this context, that the First Armenian Republic of 1918-1920 was one of the first to give women the right to vote and to be elected and 8 % of the members of its Parliament were women. It is also important to emphasize that the first female-ambassador in the world was Dr. Diana Abgar (Abgaryan) Ambassador of Armenia in Japan.
Meanwhile, in Armenia nowadays are still a bunch of problems that feminism should solve. Woman still perceived as someone who should only give birth and cook and listen and do whatever her husband says(not in general, but there still people who think like that). At the workplaces women still earn less than man who do the same thing. So we have to start to fight for our rights. I stand for woman, I stand for equality rights for everyone.