I have become fascinated with studying how social change happens. Over the past few years we have been given incredible opportunities to study how an event can occur that suddenly catapults an issue area forward. The power of media and new social technologies allows more people to both take a stand and take action. Communities are able to quickly connect and organize speeding the pace of movement building for collective action. This is exciting.
Scanning my feminist news brief this morning courtesy of the Women’s Funding Network I read this article in the Guardian about the effect of the arrest of IMF Chief and Presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Khan on alleged rape charges is having in France. France is not exactly known for being a leader in gender equality, but perhaps this incident will serve to reignite the movement. Change happens when an issue, in this case what is considered accepted sexual behavior by a powerful French male, is brought in to the public for debate and engagement. What is accepted becomes challenged and re framed, leading to a possible change in beliefs, which leads to a change in behavior, that change becomes institutionalized and there you have it. Will this happen overnight? Of course not. Without challenge? Of course not. But, the French people may one day look back and say the incident that ignited a wave of advancement on gender equality in their country was this arrest.
To get the news brief from the Women’s Funding Network subscribe here. It is an incredible, daily news link summary of the best articles relating to women and girls around the world. Thank you WFN for this incredible service.