Yesterday, three fabulous NCRW interns* and I journeyed down to the concrete maze that is the United Nations to participate in a commemorative event celebrating CEDAW’s 30th birthday. The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, often referred to as the international bill of women’s human rights, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979. The Convention defines discrimination as
Originally posted By Gloria Feldt* on November 12, 2009 as a WMC Exclusive
Democratic leaders have said that the turn-around on abortion contained in the House health-reform bill will not appear in the final version. The author, a Women’s Media Center board member and former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, explains here why voters who value women’s health cannot sit back and accept such assurances.
Last Saturday, the House passed the historic Affordable Health Care Act (HR 3962), but it came at a steep price for women's reproductive rights, as the Stupak-Pitts Amendment was tacked on -- greatly restricting health insurance options for women.
Today, August 26, marks the anniversary of the end of the 72-year fight for women’s right to vote. That’s right – our forebears faced 72 years of ridicule, ostracism, abuse, imprisonment … and also hope, determination, courage, and eventually, victory.
When I was in graduate school in London, one of my professors told a cute story about his daughter, born during the Thatcher era, who as a small child had asked him whether a man could be Prime Minister. The point that my professor was trying to make was that having more women in positions of power does make a difference in how women’s roles are perceived by society at large.
One need only look to the Declaration of Sentiments adopted by the women in attendance at the Seneca Falls Convention in August 1848 to begin to appreciate how far women in the United States still are from reaching equality in a host of arenas, many of which are dependent on political or legal equality. Although women were granted the franchise in 1920 after decades of struggle, it is only in the past few decades that women have become a political force – at least at the ballot box. Women not only vote more than men, but unmarried women and women of color are much more likely to vote for Democratic candidates. In fact, women were key voters in the successful elections of Presidents Clinton and Obama.
Linda Basch: From your perspective, what is the unfinished work of women’s political equality?
Tonni Brodber: In the English-speaking Caribbean women’s participation in political leadership ranges from a high of 13% in Jamaica to a low of 0% in Belize, with many countries like St. Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia hovering at 6.7% and at 5.6% respectively. In the face of such paltry numbers, it almost pains me to say that it is my belief that the unfuinished work of women’s political equality is the lack of quality and diversity.
May 27, 2009 posted by Linda Basch After nearly a month of anticipation, President Obama has finally announced his nomination for Supreme Court justice—and what a nomination! The President tapped Sonia Sotomayor, a New York federal appeals justice born to Puerto Rican parents and raised in housing projects in the South Bronx. In a world where most Latinas are far less likely to go on to college than any other group of women, only 2.9 % of Latina Women hold advanced graduate degrees, 10% of all Latina women are unemployed, and the number of female Hispanic Federal Court Judges can be counted on one hand, Sotomayor has risen above those odds to become the first ever Hispanic woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court. Her ascent from humble beginnings mirrors President Obama’s personal narrative; both overcame incredible obstacles to become role models for generations. For those in the Hispanic Community, her appointment is a glimmer of hope that the often silenced voice of the Hispanic, female minority has a better chance of being represented in public debates and decision-making.