Earlier this month, the Women's Media Center featured an excellent "exclusive" written by Kenyan feminist and scholar Achola O. Pala. Presenting a perspective too often unheard within women's activist communities, Pala argues that feminists from formerly colonized countries should look to their own cultural heritage for guideposts in creating greater justice in their communities. Here are two gems to whet your appetite:
This week, New York moved one step closer to becoming the first state to enact a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Here's what the Ms. Foundation has to say about it:
The bill, which would guarantee domestic workers basic workplace rights like paid vacation and sick days, overtime pay, and at least one day off per week, was passed by the New York State Senate by a vote of 33-28. Though the legislation still has to be reconciled with an earlier version that was passed by the Assembly last year, and then signed into law by Governor Paterson, yesterday's vote in the bill's favor was a historic achievement, setting the stage for the passage of similar bills in states like California and Colorado.
Every year, LGBT folk around the world come together to celebrate their queerness for Pride month--June. Along with the parties, festivals, parades, and even an occasional social justice march, Pride offers our community an opportunity to reevaluate where we are headed as movement (or even question whether there is one movement or several). Late last week, President Obama issued his annual Proclamation for LGBT Pride month. In it he says,
I have to admit, when I was a kid, I was convinced that I would be the first woman President of the United States. Eventually, I abandoned that career goal but to this day am still a bit of a politics nerd. Well, it's nice to see that the next generation of girl leaders are getting a jumpstart on civic engagement thanks to Girls Inc. Earlier this month, four Girls Inc National Scholars met with the First Lady's staff to discuss barriers to physical activities for girls across the U.S. Click here to view videos of the girls talking about this amazing experience.
A Mother’s Day Delegation of feminists and labor activists from around the country convened in Arizona a few weeks ago to document the impact of the recently-passed SB 1070 legislation and existing policies, such as 287(g) on women and children. In a climate already steeped with anti-immigrant sentiment, these pieces of legislation authorize violence against women and children, ruthlessly separating family members and criminalizing mothers who came to the United States simply to support their children.
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.”