Monday, May 23, 2011
We’re excited to have this new space for our campus feminist activist blog posts. We’ll be posting a lot this summer so come and visit us often – and if you’re fighting the feminist fight over the summer, let us know what you’re up to, we’d love to have you write a guest post!
Monday, May 9, 2011
President Carter signed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1980. Today, the United States (US) remains one of seven countries – alongside Iran, Nauru, Sudan, Somalia, Palau, and Tonga – that has yet to ratify the Convention. The failure of the US to ratify a UN treaty is not unprecedented. In fact the United States has a history of not ratifying the majority of UN treaties, including the nine core human rights tools of which CEDAW is one.
Such a failure, however, is no cause for complacency. CEDAW matters. The American ratification of CEDAW has been decades in waiting and in such time the global relevance and importance of CEDAW has increased. Reports, statistics, and news articles on CEDAW abound, and the overwhelming conclusion is positive. CEDAW is the single most comprehensive human rights tool that outlines the full spectrum of women’s equal rights. It has also proved practical, translating into concrete change, be it legal, political, social, or cultural, in countries all over the world.
The US has not forgotten CEDAW, as is has proven itself pivotal in bringing about landmark change for the betterment of women and girls all over the world. CEDAW passed through the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1994 and again in 2002, both times never making it to a vote in Senate Treaty No. 96-53. November 2010, marked the first time CEDAW had a Senate hearing scheduled in eight years. The witness testimony one can read online shows resounding American support for CEDAW. President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, and Senator Boxer, to name a few of the many CEDAW supporters in the Administration and Congress, have been public CEDAW advocates.
CEDAW matters in advancing the full recognition and protection of women’s and girls’ human rights. This has been recognized by the current Administration and select members of Congress, and so what about you?
Senator Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), has yet to schedule a SFRC hearing on CEDAW. The scheduling of a SFRC hearing would allow for CEDAW to come up for a vote in the SFRC, bringing it one step closer to ratification. We need an SFRC hearing on CEDAW now, as the longer CEDAW remains invisible without a hearing the less likely is its passage this congressional session.
What you can do as a belated Mother’s Day gift is to share CEDAW:
- SIGN THE PETITION calling for CEDAW to be ratified in the United States.
- Learn more about CEDAW at the CEDAW Taskforce website
- Don’t let this be the last time you think about CEDAW today. Read about it, talk about it, write about it, blog about it!
- If you are a student, visit “CEDAW: Students for U.S. Ratification,” on Facebook and learn about what other students are doing to raise awareness about CEDAW in their communities.
CEDAW matters and Mother’s Day is an occasion to remember that and to act on behalf of the all the women and girls in your life by calling for CEDAW ratification in the US!
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
With megaphone cries, righteous posters and strong companionship, a group of students in Boston is hoping to pull off their first Take Back the Night march this Saturday.
Take Back the Night is an evening of education and action in protest of sexual violence and assault. It is a rebellion against the fear that many experience when walking alone at night. They will walk for the survivors of sexual assault as well as anyone who has ever felt frightened just by being outside of their home at the “wrong” hour.
The Boston Take Back the Night Collective recognizes that sexual violence is harmful to people of all ages, genders, races and religions and welcomes all survivors and allies to bring their voice and presence. This Boston-wide Take Back the Night rally and march is a time to speak out against sexual assault as a community.
The rally will be taking place on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 5 pm. It will start out at the Boston Common bandstand, where two members of the Boston Take Back the Night Collective will make a speech regarding the importance of the event.
Participants will then break into smaller speak-outs led by trained facilitators. In these speak-outs, survivors and allies will be able to share their stories and opinions. At sundown, they will lead a march around the Common. Participants will be encouraged to carry a lit candle and shout chants, making sure that others are made aware of their presence and their goal. The march will be led by musicians from Bread and Puppet theater.
After the march, participants are invited to attend a cool down reception in Emerson College's Beard Room. Here, there will be music and information for survivors. For more information on this event, please visit the Facebook event.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Image via nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Viridiana Martinez is one of the "Georgia 7" and stated at the rally, "My community is under attack by legislation that strips people of their humanity, and our human right to education." Viridiana represents the thousands of young students who are undocumented and denied access to higher education because they lack a nine-digit number.
Support our sisters and brothers who are in this fight and be informed!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Since June of 2010, American University students and administrators have been working on a grant application that, if accepted by the Department of Justice, would provide $300,000 to go towards resources for preventing sexual assault and supporting survivors. Seventeen campus offices, three community organizers, and the entire undergraduate senate approved this grant and all of its provisions.
Part of the proposal provided for mandatory sexual assault prevention trainings for all new students. Students would have multiple opportunities throughout their first semester to complete the training. If they failed to complete the training by the end of this period, a stop would be placed on their registration until they fulfilled the requirement.
Although this enforcement is required by the DOJ for grant approval, Vice President of the Office of Campus Life, Dr. Gail Hanson took issue with mandating educational programming (because that’s not what college is all about, or anything), and refused to sign the grant. According to committee members and students Quinn Pregliasco and Leigh Ellis, Hanson had expressed concerns over the stops in October, but had given her approval and urged the committee to move forward. Her refusal to let the proposal go forward came just days before the application deadline (March 31st).
As an American University student and a survivor of sexual assault, this is a crushing blow. It seems as though Dr. Hanson is valuing the comfort of some students, those who do not wish to complete the training, over the safety of others.
I am encouraged by the support our community has demonstrated in the wake of this news. Last night, around 50 students met to discuss the situation. Hanson attended the event and continued to discourage students, stating that there was no way she would change her mind on the grant.
Our community refuses to let the administration sidestep the issue and avoid acknowledging what we all know: sexual assault is real, it happens frequently, and students need advocates. We have decided to continue pushing for resources and programming on sexual violence, regardless of whether this grant application goes through.
Tomorrow, at 11am, students will assemble for a rally on the main quad to demonstrate their frustration and solidarity. Students and D.C. residents are encouraged to attend wearing black and holding signs. You can find information about the event on our Facebook page.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The conference will be led by activists, educators, journalists, and media-makers, giving attendees some insight on why gender justice in the media is so crucial. With technology quickly changing and evolving, media in all its forms has become an important tool for activism, education, and entertainment. The conference will touch on important issues dealing with intersectional identities, body image, beauty, online media, and much much more. The conference will give a second look at the pervading messages media gives us and stress the importance of having a diverse, inclusive, and real representation of gender. Check out this video!
WAM! It Yourself is happening in Los Angeles this weekend at Santa Monica College and the West Coast Campus Team will be tabling at the event on Friday. On Saturday, our colleagues at Ms. magazine are hosting a workshop about feminist online media and giving their reflections on the first year of the Ms. magazine Blog.The conference will have video presentations, lectures, workshops, a poetry slam, discussions, presentations, and lots of information that will keep your feminist heart beating.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
When the Act’s full provisions take effect in 2014, it will make incredible headway in promoting gender equality in healthcare by ensuring that women can not be charged higher premiums, nor will they be denied coverage due to pregnancy or other gender-based discriminations often considered to be pre-existing conditions.