In today's WMC Exclusive, "An Architect of Feminist Human Rights Law," human rights leader and feminist foremother Charlotte Bunch offers a tribute to Rhonda Copelon, who had a profound impact femininst human rights law. Says Bunch,
Feminist and human rights lawyer Rhonda Copelon often worked behind the scenes, but her finger prints, or perhaps I should say brain waves, are all over many of the most important breakthroughs in progressive feminist advances both in the United States and globally...Feminist scholar Ros Petchesky called Rhonda her “model of a life fully realized.” Even more than her brilliance, Ros cited her friend’s “practice of a truly feminist humanity in the everyday—her devotion to younger generations, her fierce and loving presence for her many friends; and her passionate embrace of both politics and fun.”
From National Public Radio: Mary Kay Henry is the first female president of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Graduating from college in 1979, she worked for SEIU organizing hospital employees in California and served for 6 years an international executive vice president of the union. Her most immediate concerns are healing rifts left by her predecessor, and increasing the organization's union organizing and political clout.
On May 4, 2010 I sat in a packed room of women (and a few men) coming together to raise awareness of women and girls efforts in the reconstruction of Haiti after the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake and its aftershocks. While Haiti has subsided from the headlines of most mainstream media, this assembly of women, which included women from all parts of the African Diaspora, proves Haiti is still on our minds and in our hearts. But the major recurring question of the evening was, now what? What does this room, packed to capacity, full of progressively minded individuals do when we leave here? The forum, with its panel and audience sought to answer that.
Like many other Americans, I was unfamiliar with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) until recently. CEDAW (also known as the Women’s Treaty) is an international agreement on basic human rights for women. So how had this escaped my attention? Is it because the US has supported human rights for decades so there is little talk of this particular treaty? No. Is it because it is a new treaty that we have just not heard of yet? No. CEDAW was introduced to the UN back during the Carter Administration and our Senate has been sitting on it ever since! Is it because we have achieved equal rights for women as a nation and help all other nations reach that same goal? Certainly not.