Inside Agitators: Australian Femocrats and the State
Allen & Unwin
Hester Eisenstein (Professor, American Studies Department, State University of New York, Buffalo, US...
Publication Date :
1 Jan 1996
Over twenty years ago, Australian women set out to create a woman-friendly state. Rather than battling from the margins, they decided to reform the bureaucracy from within. They took jobs in the public sector, set up support networks, and lobbied and manoeuvered. They put women's issues like child care and domestic violence on the mainstream political agenda, and generated major legislative reforms. A former 'femocrat' herself, Hester Eisenstein tells the story of these inside agitators. Drawing on first hand accounts, she shows how women used state power as an instrument for social change. She analyses the unique achievements of Australian feminists, as well as the obstacles they faced. Bringing the account up to the present, Eisenstein also asks how these reforms have fared in recent years in the face of widespread conservative backlash. Inside Agitators is an engaging account of the power of determined grass roots activists to achieve wide-reaching reform. The book conveys a vivid picture of life in the bureaucracy as women confronted issues of sexuality, racism and conflicting loyalties. It is compelling reading for anyone interested in politics, women's is
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