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Creating Equitable Progress for Michigan Women

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016   

LANSING, Mich. - March is Women's History Month and, for over a century, women in the U.S. have fought for equality.

But despite their advances, persistent struggles within the feminist movement could hinder future progress. That's the view of activist and entrepreneur Mira Krishnan, co-founder and CEO of preQuelist of Grand Rapids.

She explains the first wave of feminism was divided by racial struggles and the priority of abolition over voting rights.

Now, she says differences in race, socioeconomic status and sexual identity all threaten the solidarity of the modern-day women's movement.

"We replicate a lot of the same kinds of toxicities that all women have been subjected to in misogyny," says Krishnan. "We all live in class-based oppression, we all live in race-based oppression, and we all live in a broader oppression of people who are different in a variety of ways."

She contends women must learn about their differences and advocate for equitable progress for everyone.

All females struggle with authenticity, says Krishnan, a battle she sees as especially difficult for transgender women.

And while winning such rights as marriage equality has improved the lives of LGBT people, she says it can't be ignored that transgender women, are women.

"When you look at what's happened with ethnic minorities, when you look at the poisoning of Flint, when you look at assaults on reproductive freedoms and other core women's issues, while the situation of LGBT people is getting better, in many ways the situation for women is getting worse," says Krishnan.

However, she notes that as women continue to struggle for equal rights, they have become more empowered. She adds there is a tremendous opportunity to nurture a future wave of feminists.

"What you see today is women waking up, and being visible and speaking their truths," she says. "And being advocates for women and girls in a way that is really wonderful to see and inspiring."

Krishnan is the keynote speaker at the 2016 Michigan NOW conference, coming up Apr. 9.



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