Reflections on the Recent Work of Sheila Rowbotham: Women's Movements and Building Bridges


  • Vinay Bahl



Sex, Inequality


Sheila Rowbotham is an active British socialist feminist as well as a political-historical writer. Growing up intellectually and politically in the Marxist tradition as shaped by Edward and Dorothy Thompson, growing and changing in struggles lost and won, Rowbotham continues to base her analyses in history. Her personal history and memory contribute significant details to the political analyses she offers, especially of grassroots movements. Rowbotham lives the life of a politically committed activist and an historical reporter, while a single mother actively engaged in her community. She has written fifteen books, innumerable articles, introductions, essays, poems, films, record jackets, reports, reviews, and interviews. Her first book, Women, Resistance and Revolution: A History of Women and Revolution in the Modern World (New York: Pantheon), created a major stir when first published in 1972. Her writing is a product of her own experience as a teacher of apprentices in continuing education (where she has taught hairdressers and typists), her efforts to organize night cleaners, of marching with coal miners and their wives, and of years of active engagement in the Trotskyist movement and in the world of left publications.

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