Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
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.
Help us spread the word to Emerging Leaders in Nonprofits:
NCRW is pleased to announce a new project focused on Building the Next Generation of Women Leaders in the Nonprofit Sector. Funded by the American Express Foundation, the program will encourage young women to enter the nonprofit arena, and provide training and sustained support to become leaders.
The founding president of the National Council for Research on Women, Mariam Chamberlain, just turned 92. Gwendolyn Beetham, a former NCRW staff member, posted a "tribute a gender studies godmother" on Feministing in Mariam's honor. Mariam's many contributions to the feminist and social justice movements include:
Women in cinema are still relishing Kathryn Bigelow's best director win at the Oscars, but, at a women's film festival in Paris this week, admitted the challenges they face in the film industry cross the gender boundaries.
"Film directing is like leading an army", Dorothee Van Den Berghe said, "which is not what women are used to". She said she works "spontaneously" and shows she has doubts, which does not always go down well.
Directing can be a very peripatetic and precarious job, said Van Den Berghe, and "women may find it less easy to live with this uncertainty".
In Belgium Van Den Berghe notes a "growing conservatism" over the last ten years in young people's attitudes, more centred now on marriage, family and the home.
Wherever women are vastly underrepresented--whether in churches, high finance, or the highest levels of science--the argument for opening male preserves to women should not be based in dubious notions of female ethical superiority.
The empowerment of women is, above all, a matter both of common sense and justice. It is wrong to deny people power and opportunity because of their sex. And it is simply stupid to underutilize women's capacities. As to whether more women in power would reform Wall Street or the Catholic Church, we would have to wait and see. I think there will be many more women heads of Fortune 500 companies before we see the Catholic Church agree to a female priesthood.