LETTER: Feminist in all but name

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From Ms Cecilia Giussani

Sir: Polly Toynbee is right to point out that there is variety within the women's movement ("A day but not an era for women", 8 March). What she refers to as "alternative crankiness" is merely hundreds of thousands of individual women celebrating International Women's Day in ways which reflect their diversity.

If younger women feel alienated from the gender politics of the women's movement, it is because the theory and values, if not the practice, of women's equality have permeated society and are now too widespread to be anchored in one single "women's movement". Younger women in the Demos survey (18-34 year-olds), take equality for granted in principle and negotiate their relationships on this basis, but realise that theory and values will not always necessarily translate into practice, especially once they have children.

Women now believe in changing from inside the structures that are currently failing to meet their needs, and this is why we are present in increasing numbers in politics, law and throughout the workplace. Most women might no longer call themselves feminist, but a feminist agenda is firmly at the front of their minds, whatever they might choose to call it. Yours sincerely

CECILIA GIUSSANI

The Fawcett Society

London, SE11

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