February 4, 2008 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird [caption id="attachment_1043" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="With Robyn Ochs and a fellow NYC Bi activist"][/caption] I spent this weekend in Denver, CO at the 21st Annual National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Conference for LGBT Equality (aka “Creating Change”). As Kate Clinton warned, I am recovering from the shock of re-entry into the “real world” where, in fact, not everyone is queer—nor even an ally (bummer). This was the second year I was able to attend this fabulous conference where thousands of LGBT activists gather to network, build coalitions, and share tips on how to create change. And I gotta tell ya—I’m hooked! Since I skipped the day-long institutes, my first Creating Change event was Dolores Huerta: “We Have Arrived!” Dolores Huerta co-founded United Farm Workers of American with Cesar Chavez. She immediately caught my attention when she stated that the minimum wage should be no less than $25/hour. Now that’s what I call a living wage! Huerta further captured my heart when she said, “We need to educate ourselves about each other’s movements and organizations.”
Posted January 27, 2009 by admin The National Women’s Law Center spoke with Lilly Ledbetter after the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Check out their interview:
The Senate act, coupled with the Paycheck Fairness Act—passed earlier as a separate bill by the House—will now go up for a House vote as one Fair Pay Bill. See our economic security page for more facts on women and economic security.
January 9, 2009 posted by adminNew years, new administrations, change itself generally elicits a feeling of optimism in me--and I can’t repress that sense now. Here are my hopes and concerns. I feel glad to see President Bush and his team go: they wreaked such damage on our country and the world--and undermined our deepest values by riding roughshod over the constitution, thumbing their nose at the rule of law and torturing people. I hope that the country will take proper steps to hold them accountable for their actions even after they are out of office. The past Administration was also hostile to women, particularly to our right to birth control and choice, treating us as though we were children incapable of making critical decisions for our lives. Relieved that is over, but am still troubled by the efforts of too many to continue to control what in the end are deeply personal decisions for women, decisions that define our humanity. I hope that these efforts diminish in the years ahead. Americans face a ruined economy, and I am deeply afraid that women and children will be the biggest victims. With the safety net of welfare gone, what will happen to the poorest of the poor? Welfare was a concept that President Roosevelt adopted as one way to deal with the devastation of the Great Depression; while deeply flawed, it still reflected a national commitment to poor women and their children. I hope that in these dire economic times we don’t lose sight of the needs of this vulnerable group.
January 6, 2009 posted by Linda Basch As we start off with our New Year’s Resolutions for the nation, I begin with an inspiring conversation I recently had with Kavita Ramdas, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. We were musing about the future, particularly with regard to women’s human rights at this optimistic moment for the country, with a new administration about to take charge in Washington. But as Kavita pointed out, as we begin to look forward, we also need to be self reflective as a nation. We need to develop a sense of collective responsibility. A number of problems have grown up over the past several years that we can’t sweep away, that we must address as a country and hold ourselves accountable for. I couldn’t agree more. I love conversations that are as wide-ranging as this one was. We covered a lot of ground. Some highlights: As someone who works on global women's rights, Kavita hopes that the new administration will place a high priority on advancing women's rights worldwide. This can only be achieved by the US decreasing its emphasis on militarism and violence as the primary means to resolve conflict and re-focusing its efforts away from the so called "war on terror" towards efforts to eradicate global poverty, inequality, and injustice. Yet, she insisted, that much of the US's ability to achieve such results globally will depend on the choices it makes inside its own borders. So, I asked Kavita what she would like to see in terms of change right here at home….
An op-ed just came across our desk that we wanted to share, as part of this week's Violence Forum here at TRD. In a Boston Globe op-ed this week, Liv Ullmann, reminds us of the violence suffered by refugees in Darfur, Nepal, and Kenya. Writes Ullmann:
For thousands of these impoverished women and girls, gathering firewood is more than a vital chore - it is often a matter of life and death. By doing what many of us achieve by simply turning on a stove, refugee women and girls regularly fall victim to rape, assault, theft, exploitation, and even murder... It's high time we get "beyond firewood" and explore alternative fuels and cutting-edge energy technologies, such as clean-burning fuels, fuel-efficient stoves, and solar cookers, Ullmann says. We need to reduce women’s vulnerability to violence by investing in alternative sources of fuel that do not require women to travel long distances to collect firewood.
December 2, 2008 posted by admin While President-elect Obama called on Monday for "a new dawn of American leadership," his selection of Hillary Clinton as our country's next Secretary of State brings a well-known, and in many instances well-liked, face to the international scene. It is this mix of familiarity joined with fresh perspective that will allow Clinton to rebuild our nation's relationships with the world's leaders. According to The New York Times, the team assembled by Obama calls for a "sweeping foreign policy shift," geared to "strengthening the tools needed to deal with unconventional threats." A well-funded and active state department is indeed central to this goal. But building the opportunities to make this shift requires the mending of U.S.
December 2, 2008 posted by admin "Senator Clinton's accession to Secretary of State will be an unprecedented opportunity for women at long last to take their rightful place shoulder-to-shoulder in the international community as leaders, as peers, and as beings whose human rights are as important, valued and 'inalienable' as those of men. Too long the human rights community has dismissed women's rights as important, but not 'human rights' and therefore not important enough to be addressed by their gigantic and well-funded organizations.