Blog RSS

Barbara Glickstein: A Woman Making History

March 26, 2010

In recognition of the 30th anniversary of Women’s History Month, Women’s Media Center is profiling 30 extraordinary women making history. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to support WMC Exclusives — every dollar raised will go directly toward hiring women writers to comment on major news stories and report topics often neglected by the mainstream media. Will you contribute $30? Click here to donate: or text WOMEN to 50555 to make a $10 donation. Barbara Glickstein: A Woman Making History by Rebekah Spicuglia Progressive Women's Voices alumna Barbara Glickstein is a force to be reckoned with, not just because of her vast medical knowledge as a registered nurse, but because of how she uses that experience working tirelessly to promote her progressive and feminist values. Barbara is unique not only in her expertise but her generosity with it. Last August she traveled to Kibera, Kenya - East Africa's largest slum - and reported back in a WMC Exclusive 'Imani' For Rape Survivors: A Nurse's Travels to Kenya with a perspective unique to someone with her feminist values and medical knowledge. "Sexual violence is widely considered to be the most underreported violent crime in Kenya," she wrote. "The nurses shared a story of a woman they treated for rape who returned to the clinic to tell them that the police officer handed back her paper work telling her there was insufficient evidence this was a rape. A nurse who tried to follow-up at the police station was no more successful." As a radio veteran – her WBAI show, Healthstyles, which provides information from front line health care workers and health advocates, has been running since 1986 – Barbara also provided essential support as Producer and Co-Host of WMC's pilot radio show. Barbara serves on the board of Project Kesher, a women’s advocacy organization working in 160 communities across Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Israel and the United States, and has done direct work in Russia and Africa. Her work on human trafficking includes not only shedding light on its proliferation, but providing invaluable information and advice to her fellow nurses. As she wrote in a 2008 piece for The American Journal of Nursing, "It's quite possible that in your community people are being held against their will as sex slaves, domestic servants, or laborers. If one of them came to you for treatment, would you know how to help?" Barbara's independence of mind is articulated in everything she writes, including the WMC Exclusive Breast Cancer Screening: Why I Support the New Guidelines from November, which, in the midst of nationwide bewilderment over mammograms, provided a much-needed clarification on the controversial guidelines from the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force. "I support the right to full disclosure of that each person has the freedom to make informed decisions over their own bodies, " Barbara wrote. "Decisions based on solid research—not sexist policies, corporate greed or political sell-out." This outspoken defense of progressive values in the face of public hysteria makes Barbara not just a wise woman, but a brave one.