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Archive for March 1st, 2021

International Women’s Day is Monday, March 8, and the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain has put out a call that draws attention to the current plight of working women and connects it to Virginia Woolf’s feminist polemic A Room of One’s Own (1929).

With women’s employment taking a huge hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the VWSGB is asking us to share a photograph of a room of our own — if we are lucky enough to have one.

Women, work, and the pandemic

The pandemic has affected women’s work lives in drastic ways. The BBC is calling it a “shecession” and cites these facts:

  • Globally, women’s job losses due to Covid-19 are 1.8 times greater than men’s.
  • In the U.S., unemployment has intensified the most for those employed in personal care and food service jobs, where women predominate.
  • One in four women surveyed said they were thinking about reducing or leaving paid work due to the pandemic.
  • Those disproportionately affected in the U.S. include black women and Latinas.
  • Some subgroups are squeezed even more, like mothers of young children and mothers without partners or relatives.

In addition, recent projections estimate that employment for women may not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024—two full years after a recovery for men, according to Fortune.

The pertinence of A Room of One’s Own

So the British society has turned its attention to Virginia Woolf’s eternally pertinent feminist manifesto, A Room of One’s Own, a text the society writes, Now more than ever . . . is acutely relevant given that women’s work is being so squeezed and undervalued, and space is at a premium in family homes and elsewhere during life under lockdown, with working and schooling taking place in the home.”

Share your room of your own or your thoughts about the essay

So here’s the charge: Share photos of your own Room of One’s Own, if you are lucky enough to have one, or your reflections on Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own and what it means to you. The society will share contributions on its social media pages.

Email your contribution to marielleoneill88@hotmail.com

And on March 8, check the VWSGB social media accounts:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/VWSGB
Instagram: @virginiawoolfsociety
Twitter: @VirginiaWoolfGB

 

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

 

Virginia Woolf’s desk in her writing lodge at Monk’s House, 2019

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