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(Austin Statesman) Steinem, speaking in Austin, says women's progress has also brought backlash


Asked if the women's rights movement is in a period of retrenchment, Gloria Steinem says she prefers to describe it as a time of dangerous repercussions in Texas and across the nation.

Though advocates have made headway in their fight to bring issues like domestic violence to the forefront, it is precisely because of that progress that the country finds itself in a period of backlash, the celebrated writer and activist told reporters Wednesday before her keynote address at the Texas Council on Family Violence's state conference.

"We have the majority support on all the issues we care about," she later told a packed room at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the University of Texas campus. "Things are changing profoundly, and that is the source of the backlash."

Her words come during an intense political climate for women during which state lawmakers have cut funding for women's health and reproductive rights activists say politicians are waging a "war on women" in the national arena.

Conference organizers said there was no one better to share insights on the struggles of the past than Steinem, who paved the way for women's rights and embodies the movement.


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