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Committee of women in history - Essay Example

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This is an edited book,edited by Chaudhury and Boris,and is a collection of personal narratives by various former officials of Coordinating Council for Women in History.They have taken different routes to become women historians and had faced hard decisions of a family life,professional and of political activists…
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Committee of women in history

Download file to see previous pages... This is an edited book, edited by Chaudhury and Boris, and is a collection of personal narratives by various former officials of Coordinating Council for Women in History. They have taken different routes to become women historians and had faced hard decisions of a family life, professional and of political activists in the earlier part of twentieth century. 20 women, who had been connected with this institution, Coordinating Committee of Women in History, came together to find many similar facts and interconnections in their lives. The social and cultural background of these historians had been totally different from one another, but the problems and difficulties they faced were almost identical and were threads of the same social fabric. The intention of the organization had been to encourage women to enter into the profession of historians and fight any kind of gender, social and cultural inequalities through political or social activities. This organization takes many steps to ensure that women are encouraged to become historians.These 20 historians, who have given autobiographical sketches, are the organizers and initiators of this organization, who had fought through discrimination and various battles in their private, professional and social lives.There are explanations how they launched into a career of professional historians. Most of the contributors are from middle class white society, but there are colored and working class women contributors too. These women pursued a career in a dogged way, breaking centuries of paradigm.


They have a common ground other than their professional interest. They are hard working, noted and dedicated scholars. They have the strength and determination to rise above difficulties. They were persistent and braved all stormy weathers. They are slightly aggressive and show a healthy amount of pride and self-gratification. They are the intellectuals that any society would be proud of. They have struggled "to change the profession of history, to change historical scholarship, and to change the direction of our own history," (xiii). They had been working for social causes, women's liberations, and human rights, against racism, for peace etc. throughout, along with their professional careers. Determination to have a married life had its own implications on their intellectual lives. Some of them were raising their families while being dominated by men. The society as well as the profession were male dominated.


The autobiographies offer throughout their narrative, many important details and reflective arguments about how they preserved their identities and dealt intelligently with many of them; how they continued playing their female roles of daughter, wife, mother, partner and the at the same time, continued their social role of political activists. Simultaneously, they also marched forward in their own chosen professional careers of teachers and researchers. They did not allow themselves to be marginalized or edged out of the race. They did not allow their creativity to dwindle in any way.


They continued their resistance and fight throughout their working lives. The organization to which they belonged also gave them support and it remained their anchor through their struggle. There are diverse accounts about male dominated working places and organizations and the supporting role played by CCWH and other supporting institutions. It is more of a sisterly bonding, trying to understand each other's problems while going through more or less identical problems in life. Some of them talk about international cooperation they have received in the process.



In a way these are the tales of triumph of emerging feminism in United States. Even though Western countries are far more advanced in gender equality, it is always not very easy to make much headway in an entirely male dominated society, not to mention profession. These voices are personal, political and professional and at the same time, feminine. The coherence they have achieved is praiseworthy. At ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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