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Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

This story is evolving. Women are coming forth with their stories of encounters with Donald in which they were the objects of unsolicited and unwanted sexual aggression, and he was the agent.

Donald Trump has been a deeply flawed candidate from the beginning.  He is a power-mad, thin-skinned bully at every level of interaction in society.  Stories that have come to the fore in the wake of the videotape Friday night assert that his “locker room talk” was more than talk.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign released this statement not long ago.

HFA Response to Tonight’s Troubling Revelations about Donald Trump

HFA Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri offered the following statement in response to the new allegations about Donald Trump’s actions:

“This disturbing story sadly fits everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women. These reports suggest that he lied on the debate  stage and that the disgusting behavior he bragged about in the tape are more than just words.”

Perhaps this is Donald Trump’s actual contribution to society.  If enough decent men turn against the tawdry, dissolute, perverted “model” he represents for young men in this country, maybe he will have performed a service – his first ever – for the nation and society at large.

He should never be president.  His behavior disqualifies him.  His cavalier attitude toward violating women’s privacy and personal boundaries fall far below the bar.  He is, on so many levels, a horrendous choice for the position and the job.  He lies. He invents fiction about his opponent (which his supporters believe even though none of it is true or validated).  His business practices are predatory and dishonest. He knows nothing and does not seek to learn. He holds dangerous positions regarding foreign policy.  I could go on.  I will not. his attitude toward women is sufficient.

Vote.  I will not tell you how to vote, but you should know on which side your bread is buttered.

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noceilings_eventpage

Why Education Matters

The kidnapping of over 300 teenage girls at Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria has captivated attention and headlines across the world, inspiring outrage, compassion, and calls to action.  The girls were taken by Boko Haram, whose very name declares that education is sinful.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the girls, their families and those working to bring them home safely.

These devastating acts reflect a much larger problem – girls are being targeted and threatened with violence, kidnapping and more just for seeking an education.

That’s why the global community must stay committed to helping protect and promote girls’ education around the world so that every girl has the opportunity to live up to her full potential.

The numbers tell a hopeful story about progress in girls’ access to education over the past two decades.   Here are some important facts and statistics about girls’ education in Nigeria and across the globe, and why protecting schools like Chibok is vital to girls, women, and the world.

FACTS: Why Education Matters

  1. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2013 shows that where the gender gap is closest to being closed in a range of areas—including access to education, health survivability, economic participation, and political participation—countries and economies are more competitive and prosperous.
  2. Half of the reductions of child mortality between 1970 and 1990 can be attributed to increased education for women of reproductive age.*
  3. A 2011 World Bank report found that investing in girls’ education and opportunities in Nigeria and 13 other developing nations could increase a country’s gross domestic product by 1.2% in a single year.
  4. A 2002 study on the effect of education on average wages estimates that primary school education increases girls’ earnings by 5 to 15 % over their lifetimes.

FACTS: The Gaps that Remain 

  1. Girls and women continue to make up the largest share of the world’s illiterate population (61.3%), and literacy rates in Nigeria hover around 50 to 60%.
  2. Gender gaps are especially wide in places like Sub-Saharan Africa, where 40.1 % of girls and 33.1 % of boys are not enrolled in secondary schools like Chibok. This translates into 11.8 million girls in the region not accessing the education they need to attend university, find work, achieve financial independence, and contribute to a growing economy.**
  3. Girls also face early marriage as barrier to education, and should the girls from Chibok be sold into slavery or forced marriages, their chances of achieving their dreams will be all but dashed. In a study conducted in Kenya, researchers found that a marriage partner is associated with a 78 % increased risk of termination of secondary schooling.
  4. Globally, there are 37.4 million girls not enrolled in lower secondary school compared to 34.2 million boys, a gap of 3.2 million.***

​ It’s an unfortunate reality that it takes an act of courage to seek an education in places like Nigeria. But the girls at Chibok, despite the threats, pursued an education because they and their families understood just how valuable it is. Their resolve will set an example for generations to come and exemplifies the importance of working for the advancement of girls and women across the world so that every girl has a chance to go to school, fulfill her dreams, and break the ceilings and barriers she encounters.

This Mother’s Day, let’s remember the mothers who are missing their daughters, in Nigeria and around the world.

* Emmanuela Gakidou et al., “Increased Educational Attainment and Its Effect on Child Mortality in 175 Countries between 1970 and 2009: A Systematic Analysis,” The Lancet 376, no. 9745 (September 2010): 959–74. Although economic growth was also significantly associated with reductions in child mortality, the magnitude of the association was much smaller than that of increased education. 21 regions, approximately 4 million out of the 8 million children whose lives were saved can be attributed to education for women.
** Shelley Clark and Rohini Mathur, “Dating, Sex, and Schooling in Urban Kenya,” Studies in Family Planning 43, no. 3 (September 2012): 161–74.
*** UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Global Education Digest 2011: Comparing Education Statistics across the World (Montreal, Quebec: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2011).

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I doubt that the kidnappers will get this or care.  That speaks of their alienation from our time and vision.   They fail to see the present as an arc to the future.

How Boko Haram imperils Nigeria’s future

By Melinda Gates
May 8, 2014 –

Editor’s note: Melinda Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

(CNN) — I think of myself as an “impatient optimist.” There are times, however, when it’s harder to muster the optimism, and the impatience takes over. That’s how I felt when I read about the hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram to be married off or sold into slavery.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the worst aspect of this atrocity. And it’s pitiful that this is nothing new. Treating women as spoils or weapons of war has been a common practice for thousands of years.

SNIP

… perhaps the most awful part of the story is that Boko Haram stands against a better future for ordinary Nigerians.

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real-men

Neither do real men steal and sell girls.  Neither do real men laugh about it.

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Since this blog is about homegirls (and boys) and security,  I think it is appropriate to share here a brilliant analysis  by Karen Finney at The Hill exposing costs of war that fall through the cracks in budget proposals.

This is the real cost, and it is incumbent upon all of us to consider deeply how secure continued operations and deployments keep us and whether current levels are worth these  costs .   Equally important is our encouragement to legislators to be certain these costs are covered in current and future budgets.  Not worth merely a read, worth sharing every way you know how.  Homegirl Karen hit a home run with this one!

By Karen Finney
– 03/19/12 06:14 PM ET

We may never know all of the factors that led an American soldier to allegedly murder 16 people in Afghanistan. The more we do learn, the more it seems there were signs of the toll that repeated deployments, an injury and the stress of his situation back home were taking. None of that excuses what the soldier reportedly did. However, given the number of Americans who have served or are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who could be facing similar stressors, we have a responsibility to better understand and factor in these human costs in any conversations about the way forward — particularly for the benefit of the 40 percent of U.S. citizens who still believe the war is worth the costs.

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Edited to add:

This is  more than an op-ed in a column.  In a comment in the thread below I called it a treatise.  Karen Finney may well be the 21st century Thomas Paine for women and others.  Looking at this text again, I see it as the basis of a doctrine,  the Finney Budgetary Doctrine.  This is very important information that Karen has compiled, and the implications are enormous and look far down the road.   That is where we all should be looking.

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In order to avoid offending  Homegirls and Homeboys here,  I will refrain from posting a picture of the perpetrator.  We all know what she looks like.  Back in 2009, this Op-Ed  was posted on HuffPo quoting  Sarah Palin’s claim that what is now known as “Obamacare” would result in “death panels” that somehow would have decided   ordered that her son Trig should be aborted.

Palin: Obama’s “Death Panel” Could Kill My Down Syndrome Baby

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 09/07/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:50 PM ET

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has laid pretty low since resigning. But on her Facebook page, Palin suggested Friday that President Obama’s health care plan might kill her child.

Via Talking Points Memo:

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I wonder why I do not hear allusive arguments today to Palin’s claims then.  Given the now infamous “panel of men”  assembled to decide exactly what kind and how much, if any, health care women should receive, I wonder where Palin is and all her followers who were crying “foul” in 2009?

There is plenty wrong with “Obamacare.”  No one will deny that.  The biggest fault, in my book, was the withdrawal of the single-payer option which would have obviated the conflict with religious institutions we all witnessed last week.  What we did not get with Obamacare are “death panels.”

The Republicans, across the board, are bent on repealing Obamacare.   Where do they attack first?  Coverage of prescriptions and procedures known to be vital to women’s well-being and therefore family health and welfare.  But I hear no voices harking back to Palin’s  prognostication as this panel of men assembles to decide whether women  live in pain and life-threatening conditions or receive the medications and procedures that mitigate these conditions.

Anyone who has lost a mother at a young age,  Madonna and Rosie O”Donnell are two who come to mind, can attest to the devastation that brings to a family.  There are ways, now, to prevent such losses to young families that were not available to mothers of their generation.  My own mother lost her mom in childbirth when she was only six.  That might have been prevented today.  But Republicans think men, some of whom are educated in theology rather than medicine,  should be the voices to be heeded.

Among the Republicans, and specifically among those running for President, there is one who seems to believe essentially what Palin did about “death panels” and all that horror.

I ran across this article in Jezebel today, and there is an opposing argument.   The absolutely beautiful and healthy little baby,  if pictures are worth a thousand words, is testament to the value of pre-natal testing and monitoring.  This story is a must read.

Why Rick Santorum Would Have Killed My Daughter

Next month, my daughter Ella will turn 11 years old. She’s a beautiful girl, with blond hair and green eyes. She’s an amazing artist, a brilliant writer, and she can do the splits without even warming up.

And if I hadn’t had an amniocentesis, she would have died the day she was born.

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She is a beautiful little baby girl, and she has the whole world in front of her.  Who knows what she might become?

Full disclosure here:  My sister and I were both Rh+ born to an Rh- mother.  We were both born blue.  We both developed jaundice,  and this was in the late 1940s,  so we never knew how we survived.  We do know that our mom had at least two miscarriages, perhaps for this reason, one before I was born and one between the two of us.

I am glad for the procedures, monitoring, and insurance coverage that allowed this beautiful girl-child to survive and thrive.

So WHERE are those “death panels?”

(more…)

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The goal is 50,000 signatures.  I think we can do even better than that!

Still4Hill–

We almost couldn’t believe it.  Today, at a House Oversight Committee hearing, House Republicans convened a panel on denying access to birth control converge with five men and no women.  As my colleague Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked, where are the women?

Join me in our call to Speaker Boehner, Eric Cantor, Chairman Issa and all House Republicans to demand that women be brought to the table when discussing women’s health issues. Help us gather 50,000 signatures before Congress heads home tomorrow.

Sign the petition >>

Thank you for standing up for what’s right and joining our fight.

Best,
Nancy Pelosi

After you sign you can share on Facebook, Tweet, and you get an email that you can send to your contacts. Let’s share this! Let’s get 100,000! They can’t DO this!  We can STOP them!

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A  few days ago I posted this because I see her as an important emerging leader,  and  I was astonished at how many of my readers did not know who she was: Meet Karen Finney.  In the post there was a link to a story Karen originally published in U.S. News & World Report where she mentions a Supreme Court Case.

Thankfully for our country, in the case of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court saw beyond the fear and bigotry of the moment and ruled that antimiscegenation laws violated fundamental American values of Due Process and Equal Protection Under the Law as guaranteed to every American by our constitution.

Tonight at 9 EST HBO will present the documentary story of the Lovings.  What an appropriate way to celebrate this holiday!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! ♥

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I do not really feel like arguing on this last Sunday of the year, but given the mission of the Department of Homegirl Security,  I feel I must respond to the editorial in today’s Washington Post, Redefining human rights,  addressing  Secretary Clinton’s seminal address on the issue of human rights and the Obama Administration’s agenda for the 21st century,  delivered at Georgetown University on December 14.  (All emphasis below is mine.)

…she did not limit herself to past principles. She offered an innovation: The Obama administration, she said, would “see human rights in a broad context,” in which “oppression of want — want of food, want of health, want of education, and want of equality in law and in fact” — would be addressed alongside the oppression of tyranny and torture. “That is why,” Ms. Clinton said, “the cornerstones of our 21st-century human rights agenda” would be “supporting democracy” and “fostering development.”

Without meaning to insert a chicken/egg question here, I wonder to what degree democracy can emerge and thrive without development. I appreciated her use of the word “supporting” above since it indicates a clear division from eight years of Bush-Cheney democracy building a secondary or tertiary excuse upon which we were in Iraq. I believe Secretary Clinton was saying that we will not impose by force our system upon others, but we will encourage democratic principles where we see them practiced. If the argument we have heard so often post 9/11, that others hate us for our wealth, has any credibility, an effort to aid in development should be a welcome about-face from our cold, hard imposition of our principles by force.

Ms. Clinton said that in adding “human development” to human rights and democracy, “we have to tackle all three simultaneously.” But there are two dangers in her approach. One is that non-democratic regimes will seize on the economic aspect of her policy as an substitute for political reform — as dictators have been doing for decades. Another is that the Obama administration will itself, in working with friendly but unfree countries, choose the easy route of focusing on development, while downplaying democracy.

Change carries risk. This country voted for change, I understand.  I doubt that we will see this administration downplaying democracy. That is a pretty strong word. We probably will see focus on development. No matter what you think of our Afghanistan policy,  that the Afghan troops need all kinds of development is undeniable. It is bad enough that women and girls in that country are prevented from attaining an education in Taliban-controlled regions, but even military recruits are woefully undereducated. Many are illiterate, and those in command have cited that as a primary reason why these troops fail at carrying out their missions. I fail to see how supporting education, or getting one while nourished and healthy,  short-changes anybody in the developing world.  (And before anybody says it, of course this implies that our own youngsters have access to the same advantages).

Judging from Ms. Clinton’s own rhetoric, that is the approach the State Department is headed toward in the Arab Middle East. In a major speech last month in Morocco, she said that U.S. engagement with Islamic countries would henceforth focus on education, science and technology, and “entrepreneurship” — all foundations of “development.” She made no mention of democracy. If the Obama administration believes that liberty is urgently needed in the homelands of al-Qaeda, Ms. Clinton still has offered no sign of it.

If these are not the 21st century tools that can greatly assist in establishing democratic ideals, I would like to know what are. I personally think the Secretary of State made a measured, balanced, wise speech that day.

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