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Activism, Maternal

  • By: Kim Miller
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Historically, women have found that they could take up a public political role—one often traditionally denied to them through the prevailing political process—by advocating for causes that had a social currency. Although such women did not take on causes merely to aid their own fight for equality, their voices became heard more strongly than ever in mainstream political discourse. In the case of mothers, this public role has been a particularly obvious one. The increasing delineation of gender roles during the 19th century—with males belonging to the public world of work while females inhabited the domestic world of the home—made it necessary for women to use their motherhood both as a tool to establish their rights, and as a way of bringing about the ...

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