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Nevertheless, She Persisted

This year, the National Women’s History Project has chosen the theme of “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” for National Women’s History Month, which begins March 1.

Congress first designated March as the month to recall women’s history in 1987. This year’s theme refers to an incident in February 7, 2017, in which a colleague silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during a confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions’ nomination as Attorney General. Warren quoted former Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy’s statement calling Sessions a “disgrace” to the Justice Department and attempted to read a letter written by Coretta Scott King in 1986 objecting to Sessions’ nomination to be a federal judge. First, the committee chair interrupted her, asserting that she was violating a rule against impugning the character of another Senator, as Sessions was at the time. As she continued, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., cut her off, citing the rule.

Later, McConnell explained: “She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Women seized on the last phrase, using it in memes, tweets and hashtags across social media, on T-shirts and posters, to protest the attempt to silence a woman in the Senate and efforts to silence women in general. Many women stood in solidarity with Warren to demonstrate that they would not be silenced. This year, we honor women throughout the world who insist on being heard.

A number of books available at document the lives and work of women globally. Among them are:

Progress of the World’s Women 2002, Volume One, by Elisabeth Rehn and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, $22.46 (List price: $24.95), Kumarian Press, ISBN

9780912917665, pp. 164.

This book describes the effects of conflict on women and their efforts to restore peace and to bring about reconciliation. It is based on interviews with women’s organizations, the media, religious organizations, and those directly involved in armed conflict and peace processes. The book also recommends action to increase protection for women and support their inclusion in peace negotiations.


Development, Women, and War, by Haleh Afshar and Deborah Eade, $26.96 (List Price: $29.95), Kumarian Press, ISBN: 9780855984878, pp. 256.

This book surveys feminist approaches and policy for peacebuilding and conflict resolution in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Policy makers, practitioners, and academics highlight women’s experiences and examine their potential to contribute both to war and to peace. The essays reflect the need to understand gendered power relations and the dynamics of social change.


African Women and Feminism:  Reflecting on the Politics of Sisterhood, by Oyeronke Oyewumi, $26.96 (List Price: $29.95) Africa World Press, Inc., ISBN: 0865436282, pp. 282.

This collection of papers reflects on the scope of feminism as it relates to African women, including the frequent portrayal of them as victims in their own cultures. The book raises questions about whether female identity can trump differences of culture, class, national identity, and religion to achieve solidarity among women. The book presents one of the first collections of papers by African women who were born and raised in Africa but who teach in the United States. The editor of this volume is a Nigerian-born associate professor of sociology at State University of New York at Stony Brook.


African Women and Globalization — Dawn of the 21st Century, by Jepkorir Rose Chepyator-Thomson, $26.96 (List price: $29.95) Africa World Press, Inc. ISBN: 1592213545, pp. 292.

This book explores African women’s lives in connection to globalization, highlighting such issues as the education of girls in Kenya, as well as women’s roles in agriculture, music, sports and resource management. The editor is associate professor and director of Kenya Studies Abroad Program at the University of Georgia, Athens.


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