Violence

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that is a human rights and public health issue as well as a major cause of death and disability. The prevalence of violence transcends boundaries of race, class, culture, social status and religion. UNIFEM estimates that six out of every ten women will experience some form of physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Violations can occur at home, in the workplace or in public. Of rising concern is the systematic use of rape and sexual assault as weapons of armed conflict, terror and intimidation. One of the most common forms of violence against women is intimate partner violence. There are also variations in the types of violence against women which include but are not limited to: human trafficking, dating violence, sexual assault, emotional and verbal abuse, and customary practices such as female genital mutilation and so-called “honor killings” and other forms of femicide. Re:Gender and its network members are working along with international partners to raise awareness about efforts to reduce and eliminate the scourge of violence.

Impact of War and Militarization on Women

May 24, 2009 posted by admin

Last year’s UN Security Council Resolution 1820 recognized sexual violence as a war crime. Its passage is often cited as a milestone.  Given so many conflicts around the globe, however, what was this resolution’s real impact? If your heart drops every time you think about the continuing rape in the Congo, you are not alone! For NCRW’s upcoming Annual Conference we have assembled a special panel featuring experts on women, war and security. 


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LGBT Activism: Past, Present, Future

May 13, 2009 posted by admin

With the legalization of same-sex marriage spreading like wildfire in the Northeast  and exciting progress on hate crime protections (legislation passed the House AND Angie Zapata got justice),  what better time to discuss the past, present, and future of LGBT activism? 


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FAST FACT: For Young Black Girls in NYC, Safety is of Prime Concern

April 24, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird 60% of young black girls in New York City surveyed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research indicated they worry about their personal safety.  89% attributed their concern to frequent fights at school. Despite this and other harsh realities, the study reveals the strength and resilience girls embody.  Produced by IWPR and The Black Women for Black Girls Giving Circle, Black Girls in New York City: Untold Strength and Resilience documents the lives of girls living in New York City.  The report discusses the daily challenges girls face as well as their modes of survival.  To read the whole report, click here.


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The Impact of the Global Recession

April 17, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar The Gender Policy Group at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs organized a lively panel discussion on “Gender, Jobs and This Recession” on Monday, April 13, 2009. I was invited to speak on the panel along with Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Melinda Wolfe, Subha Barry and Heidi Brown. Here are the main points that I addressed: The current economic crisis is unprecedented in terms of its global reach and impact; here’s what the current economic crisis looks like within the United States.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that current unemployment stands at 13.2 million.
  • 5.1 million jobs have been lost since December 2007.
  • The subprime lending crisis has particularly hit hard women and people of color because of predatory lending practices. NCRW’s research has shown that African American and Latina women borrowers are most likely to receive sub-prime loans at every income level. Women are 32% more likely than men to receive subprime mortgages.
  • In the financial sector, men’s unemployment in Feb was 6.9% while for women it was 6.6%
  • There have been increased reports of women who were secondary breadwinners in their households having to now become primary wage earner because of layoffs.

At the international level, the picture remains pretty grim as well:


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Keeping Women on the Economic Agenda

Last night I attended a dynamic panel hosted by Legal Momentum on Women’s Economic Equality: The Next Frontier in Women’s Rights.  The brilliant panelists duked it out, discussing the current economic situation, its impact on women, and in what directions we should be heading. 


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FAST FACT: LGBT Students of Color Face Alarming Rates of Harassment and Violence in School

February 28, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network reported the experiences of 2,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) middle and high school students of color who were African American or Black, Latino/a, Asian or Pacific Islander, Native American, and multiracial as part of their National School Climate Survey.  The report found that


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FAST FACT: New Trends Exposed in Modern Day Slavery

February 19, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird According to the U.S. State Department, 800,000 people were trafficked across national borders in 2006. This figure escalates into the millions when including victims trafficked within national borders.   A recently released report by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime delves deeper into this troubling phenomenon:

Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (data from 155 countries)

--Most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation (79%) followed by forced labor (18%)


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ADVOCACY CORNER: International Violence Against Women Act Coalition

February 17, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird Last week, I participated in a very interesting conference call with the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) Coalition. The Coalition is comprised of over 65 organizations, whose foci range from a human rights advocacy standpoint to a research-centered agenda.  Violence against women , both in the U.S.


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GIRLS FORUM: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

February 10, 2009 posted by admin My first memory in life is of my mom holding me up as a human shield to try get my dad to stop beating her—possibly to stop from killing her. I was 2-years-old at the time. My book for young women, RESPECT: A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GETTING RESPECT AND DEALING WHEN YOUR LINE IS CROSSED (Free Spirit Publishing, 2005), was born out of a life riddled with disrespect. Like many girls and women I’ve met, I grew up in this home where domestic violence, addictions, incarceration, near poverty and "-isms" from racism to sexism were diminishing my family. But I was one of the lucky ones who discovered the many keys to breaking this cycle. Through following my passions, discovering my mission in life and getting help--among other Steps to Respect--I learned that respect is always within reach because true respect starts on the inside.  Now as I travel the country coaching girls and women, I hear a lot of stories just like mine. And as part of this work, I share with them an amazing video made by Jennifer Uribe, our 19-year-old program assistant at Respect Rx (a venture I founded last year). Jen's video includes powerful stats  that some girls have heard and some haven't, like: 


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GIRLS FORUM: Navigating Girlhood to Womanhood from New Moon’s Nancy Gruver

February 5, 2009 posted by admin We asked activists and scholars in the girl’s rights movement to draft a letter to President Obama, outlining their Girls Agenda for 2009.  Here’s what Nancy Gruver, founder and CEO of New Moon Magazine had to say: Dear President Obama: As Malia and Sasha’s proud father I don’t need to tell you how having daughters can give you new eyes on the world.  My daughters, Mavis and Nia, are adults now.  But it feels like just last week that they were ten years old and I was worrying about how to help them navigate the treacherous journey from girlhood to womanhood.  We started New Moon Girls magazine together to give girls a place to express themselves and make the world better. I believe you agree that growing up should mean increasing opportunities as well as responsibilities for our daughters.  It should mean increasing respect and rewards for their intelligence, creativity, and skills.  It should mean they have access to equal education and healthcare, including effective pregnancy prevention.  It should mean they have the freedom to walk down the street or go on a date without worrying they might be attacked just because they are female.


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