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Society

France’s Sexist School Textbooks: Only 11 Women History Makers

It's not surprising that women don't play as large a role as men in the telling of history. But a new study in France shows just how small: less than four percent of the figures given their own biographies in French history books are wom

France’s Sexist School Textbooks: Only 11 Women History Makers

*NEWSBITES

A new study has quantified just how under-represented woman are in France's public teaching of history. Out of 339 figures from around the world and across the centuries whose biographies are included in French high schools' new history books, only 11 are women, according to the study conducted by Hubertine Auclert, a feminist research center.

Moreover, the study criticized the portraits for being simplistic and stereotypical: Marie-Antoinette is described as a carefree and whimsical queen; others, like Germany's Angela Merkel or France's Segolène Royal are only represented photographs -- sans captions.

Typically, women are depicted as mothers, daughters or wives, and their role is often limited to biological and educational purposes. They are very rarely shown as actively taking part in the making of history.

Crucial issues -- like women's suffrage, or the fact that women were not eligible for Athenian citizenship -- are well documented, but women remain insufficiently and inadequatly represented in these new manuals.

Read the full story in French by Marie-Estelle Pech

Photo – brx0

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Ideas

Why The Fate Of Iran (Like Ukraine!) Is About Something Much Bigger

Just as Ukrainians are defending the sovereignty of Europe's borders and the right to democracy, the Iranians risking their lives to protest are fighting a bigger battle for peace across the Middle East.

Photo of members of the Iranian paramilitary volunteer forces (Basij)

Members of Iranian paramilitary volunteer forces (Basij) during a meeting with Iranian Supreme leader

Kayhan-London

-OpEd-

Tumult has been a constant in human societies, alternating between periods of war and peace. Iran, my country, has had more than its fair share of turmoil.

It is universal to be hopeful that the peaceful periods would be prolonged by increased freedom in society brought about by scientific, economic and legal progress.

And it has, but mostly in the West and in countries in south-east Asia. There, they have used the force of economic development to assure their citizens a measure of peace and security, with or without democracy. This certainly is not the case in the Middle East, in many African countries and even in Latin American states run by the "anti-imperialist" Left.

Many of these places have, among other troubles affecting them, become the den of that violent and vicious ideology, Islamism.

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