Born in Belgium in 1930, feminist, philosopher and psychoanalyst, Luce Irigaray earned Ph.D.’s in philosophy and linguistics, as well as studying psychology at the university of Paris. She trained as a psychoanalyst under well-known theorist and analyst Jacques Lacan. In the 1960s she began to work at the Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifiques, where she became director. Irigaray played a significant role in the women’s movement (MLF) in the 1970s, being a leading figure in “Third Wave” feminism. The central theme of her work is the struggle to create an authentic understanding of femaleness. Ideas of gender, she says, are socially constructed around a system of binary relations, and these revolve around a male “norm” which is based in “gendered” languagew. An Ethics of Sexual Difference puts forward the idea that all thought and language is gendered, there being no purely neutral thought.
From Luce Irigaray, An Ethics of Sexual Difference. Trans. Carolyn Burke and Gillian C. Gill. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993, pp. 111–5.
World Economic Forum
The Global Gender Gap Report was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to analyze disparities between genders in a worldwide context. It assesses national gender gaps in political, economic, health, and education-related areas and ranks countries according to data, allowing comparisons across regions, time, and income groups. According to the report’s introduction, these rankings “are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them.” This excerpt looks at women’s impact on economic growth through increased education, participation in the labor force, and women’s role as consumers, or the “power of the purse.”
From “The Global Gender Gap,” World Economic Forum, 2010. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2010.pdf (downloaded November 20, 2012).