Aleksandra Michajlovna Kollontaj : Mother Russia

The worker-mother must learn not to differentiate between yours and mine; she must learn that there are only our children, the children of Russia’s communist workers

Aleksandra Michajlovna Kollontaj was born in St. Petersburg in 1872 and died in Moscow in 1952.

She was a Russian revolutionary who after the Revolution of October 1917, when the Bolshevik party came to rule the country, served as minister. She was the first woman in the history oh humanity to be appointed to this position.

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In such a role she worked and succeeded in granting women the right to vote, in establishing kindergartens and systems for ensuring assistance during the maternity period. Kollontaj was one of the founder of the Zenotdel, an agency designed to promote the participation of women in public life. Thanks to her work Russian women gained the right to vote and to be elected the right to divorce and to abort.

Kollontaj was also married for a short period of time during her youth and was a mother. She was throughout her entire life author of books and pamphlets that promoted communism and equality between men and women.

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Marianne: Libertè Egualitė Fraternitė

“Kill the king not the man” Thomas Paine

Marianne is one of the most popular symbols of France. She represents the values of the Republic and mostly Liberty and Reason. The female figure was chosen as an icon of the Republic during the French Revolution (1789) in opposition to the male figure traditionally picked as icon of the monarchy. Marianne was depicted in various ways, sometimes aggressive, most of the times calm and statutory, according to the spirit of time and the purpose of the government. Overall Marianne’s prominent features are a Phrygian cap which emancipated Roman slaves used to wear, the tricolor cockarde and a spear. Generally she is depicted as standing. Today her image is combined with the French national motto Libertè Egualitė Fraternitė.

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Shami Chakrabarti: on Liberty

A dangerous woman” The Sun

Shami Chakrabarti is mostly known for being the director of Liberty, a British organization cross party-no party, that promotes the defense of human rights. Chakrabarti is at Liberty since 2001; ever since she has been declaring that human rights in western societies specifically in Britain are under heavy pressure; a growing hostile feeling is spreading everywhere as a consequence of mass immigration, not to mention the state of fear caused by the tragic events of 2001. Governments have tried to work around human rights and Liberty counteracted by guarding them through influencing the public debate, and raising awareness around them.
In this attempt Liberty under the guide of Chakrabarti intervened in parliamentary work and provided free legal advise and assistance. Chakrabarti made clear that human rights ( that are freedom from slavery, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, of speech, association and belief became object of the Law after WW2 in an answer to the horrors of the Holocaust. The mindset that made the Holocaust possible is still present and people can not afford to lose sight of the potential consequences. Fighting for human rights means fighting for values that apply to everybody, they are not for citizens but for human beings; more so considering that today the world is shrinking and interconnected. People have bashed the package of human rights but everyone believes in it when they need protection. It is necessary to resist political cynicism if one believes in freedom.
Chakrabarti thinks also that gender justice is a human right issue; she endorses women empowerment and thinks that women must be more confident and challenge sexism through sarcasm or formal complain.

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