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Posts Tagged ‘Women’s rights’

I chose, instead of my regular profile pic on Facebook, to use a black dot for half a day on Sunday, 9/30/18. I did this as a display of solidarity with my sisters, a few of whom asked this of me and many of whom made the same choice.

Here is an example of the original message.

Longtime friends from the 2008 campaign sent this to me. I chose to participate.  On Facebook, profile pics are not rectangular, so we all had

  • black dots next to our names.

Nowhere was silence requested or even implied. It was strictly a visual display. Like many of my friends, I blacked out my profile pic for half a day and went on posting as usual.

Wow! OMG!

Let me say up front, I have #MeToo stories.  I might never share them for reasons that are mine. But I lived them. They are plural. They were scary, humiliating, and the men, I am convinced, thought they were doing nothing but taking advantage of a moment. Of a situation. It was all in fun. Their fun.

It did not make any sense to me when women were railing at me.

“I will never be silenced!”  – – – #MeNeither:  I am not silent now. Not today. Not ever. I just have a black profile pic today. No one asked me to be silent. I am not silent!

“I will never block my image.”  – – – Actually, your image is not a picture of you. It is a symbol, just like my black dot. So, yes, you have blocked your image, and that’s OK! Just please don’t act like my dot is somehow less eloquent than your logo is or is somehow suppressive. It is as much an expression as yours. Normally my profile pic shows my actual face.

“I am a domestic abuse survivor.” – – – So am I. And?

“It’s spam.”  – – –  Yes. All chain messages are spam, including the many forwarded to me telling me what a great _____ (fill in the blank) I am and please send this to 5 -10 great _____s, and “I hope I get one back.”  I never forward those, and I did not forward this one, but they make some people feel good.  Spam is spam. It is not an invasion by an enemy force. One woman’s spam is another woman’s adorable kitty video or bouquet of flowers.

When you say “I would never,” you don’t really know. You can say “I don’t think I would ever.” But you do not know for certain what you would or would not do in a variety of situations. You can say “I will not today.” That’s fine.  You did not, and I did. The choice does not make you better than me. My choice does not make me the enemy, impaired, less than. I’m not a spring chicken. I have been around.

I chose to go along with my black dot given the friends who sent the messages. I never expected to be raked across the coals. Apparently, I took the road less traveled by since most profile pics I saw on Sunday were not black dots. The ones that were, however, were among my oldest, strongest, fiercest, and most active campaign friends from all the way back in 2008.

Not one of them was silent for the day. That was not part of the program, and it is silly to think it was. You cannot display your profile pic by being silent. You must speak out. We did. So you saw something like this on Facebook.

  • I think X
  • I don’t. I think Y.
  • But look at this (link).
  • Oh, yes I see, but what about this? (link)
  • I don’t know. I have to check that out.

The social experiment did not fail. It showed that many do not trust social experiments introduced as this one was. I trusted the senders. Clearly, more context was necessary. I had the sense that this might have been started by some young activists who have yet to learn how to do this kind of social research. I decided to go along with it. They will continue to learn how to do this given the result.

I love social researchers. It was a nice try. I do not believe this was meant to divide although it appears that there is division. I like to encourage young people in attempts like this.

To the women so angered,  I understand your grievances. I am so sorry. Here is a story I can tell.

On my penultimate day of student teaching, my lovely, bright, hard-working students (ninth graders who had successfully trudged through Lord of the Flies and A Separate Peace – and LOVED them) got a contagious case of giggles while I was writing something on the board. They told me to come out from behind the desk, and I did. There was an adorable, tiny, gray tabby kitten sitting in the middle of the aisle. “He’s for YOU!” I continued teaching with the kitten in one hand. (That happened to me once more, accidentally,  later in my career. It’s oddly easy to deliver lessons while holding a tiny kitten.)

I took the kitten home. I was getting married in a few days. My future husband said absolutely not and my mom would not take it. I had to return the kitten to the kids. I was heartbroken.

I hope that adorable little kitten found a loving home. If he had stayed with me I am pretty sure my husband would have thrown him against the wall. To hurt me. Just as he ultimately threw me. Or down the stairs, as he also did when my paycheck was late.

There is more to the story, of course.

That is the story I can tell. I have others I cannot tell quite yet – or maybe never.

Yes, I am a survivor, and yes, I have been assaulted, and yes, and yes, and YES!

I was never and will not be silent. And YES. For one half day this was my Facebook profile pic.

I did not intend to hurt anyone with it. I meant it in solidarity. I am sorry if you misunderstood.

 

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Just in case you were under the impression that we were doing, pretty well, this is worth a read.

3 Foreign Women Visited The U.S. To Assess Gender Equality. They Were Horrified.

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post

Laura Bassett 8 hrs ago

Eleonora Zielinska, left, Alda Facio and Frances Raday. Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr

© Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr Eleonora Zielinska, left, Alda Facio and Frances Raday. Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr

A delegation of human rights experts from Poland, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica spent 10 days this month touring the United States so they can prepare a report on the nation’s overall treatment of women. The three women, who lead a United Nations working group on discrimination against women, visited Alabama, Texas and Oregon to evaluate a wide range of U.S. policies and attitudes, as well as school, health and prison systems.The delegates were appalled by the lack of gender equality in America. They found the U.S. to be lagging far behind international human rights standards in a number of areas, including its 23 percent gender pay gap, maternity leave, affordable child care and the treatment of female migrants in detention centers.

SNIP

The women discovered during their visit that women in the United States have “missing rights” compared to the rest of the world. For instance, the U.S. is one of three countries in the world that does not guarantee women paid maternity leave. The U.N. suggests that countries guarantee at least 14 weeks of paid parental leave. Some countries go further — Iceland requires five months paid leave for each parent, and an additional two months to be shared between them.

SNIP

While the delegates were shocked by many things they saw in the U.S., perhaps the biggest surprise of their trip, they said, was learning that women in the country don’t seem to know what they’re missing.

“So many people really believe that U.S. women are way better off with respect to rights than any woman in the world,” Raday said. “They would say, ‘Prove it! What do you mean other people have paid maternity leave?'”

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They could not drive themselves to the polls, and the women who were running were not allowed to campaign by speaking directly to men, yet voting and running in their first election ever, Saudi women scored wins.  Women candidates circumvented strict rules preventing all-in campaign rallies by tapping social media to get their platforms noticed.  Women voters, not permitted to drive, took advantage of Uber to get to the polls.

As Sir Paul says, it’s getting better.

 

Middle East

In Milestone, Saudis Elect First Women to Councils

By BEN HUBBARD DEC. 13, 2015

Saudi women cast their votes at a polling station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in municipal elections on Saturday. Credit Ahmed Yosri/European Pressphoto Agency

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — In elections that allowed Saudi women to vote and run for office for the first time, more than a dozen women won seats on local councils in different parts of the country, officials said on Sunday.While the move was hailed by some as a new step into the public sphere by women in this religious and conservative monarchy, the local councils have limited powers and the new female members will make up less than 1 percent of the elected council members nationwide.

The participation of women in the vote was a milestone in a very gradual social shift for a country that deprives women of many basic rights, barring them from driving and from making many important decisions without the approval of a male relative.

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At least 20 Saudi women emerged victorious in Saturday’s historic local elections in which females in this religiously conservative kingdom were allowed to cast votes and run for office for the first time.

With seats on 284 municipal councils up for grabs and about 1,000 women and 7,000 men competing, females won only a small fraction of the races, according to early results. Still, local and international rights activists praised the tally as a victory for women in a fundamentalist Muslim country where they face many restrictions.

Voter turnout among women was exceptionally high.

Nearly 81% of 130,000 female registered voters cast ballots, said General Election Commission spokesman Hamad Al-Omar.

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First Female Politicians Elected In Saudi Arabia

Women candidates won in both big cities and small villages.

12/13/2015 10:04 am ET |

FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi voters elected 20 women for local government seats, according to results released to The Associated Press on Sunday, a day after women voted and ran in elections for the first time in the country’s history.

The women who won hail from vastly different parts of the country, ranging from Saudi Arabia’s largest city to a small village near Islam’s holiest site.

The 20 female candidates represent just one percent of the roughly 2,100 municipal council seats up for grabs, but even limited gains are seen as a step forward for women who had previously been completely shut out of elections. Women are still not allowed to drive and are governed by guardianship laws that give men final say over aspects of their lives like marriage, travel and higher education.

 

AMER HILABI/AFP/Getty Images
Lama Suleiman, pictured with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2010, won a seat in Saudi Arabia’s second largest city.

Though there are no quotas for female council members, an additional 1,050 seats are appointed with approval by the king who could use his powers to ensure more women are represented.

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Women’s Suffrage

When and Where >>>>

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You have to ask yourself why God would have instituted love at all and incorporated it in the human makeup (and possibly – probably –  also that of other animals).  We could have been created devoid any emotions at all.  Why give us love?  Why did God do that to us?

Since we have it, why does man do this,  especially to a family member, a daughter,  who should be loved instead of being seen as chattel?  Why to an unborn, innocent, loved and wanted child?

There is a human right to love.  God gave us the capacity.  It was intentional and is a mystery.  That right to love, whomever, must be respected and protected.  No one and no government or religion should ever stand against anyone’s God-given right to love.

Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death by family

Associated Press

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A pregnant woman was stoned to death Tuesday by her own family outside a courthouse in the Pakistani city of Lahore for marrying the man she loved.

The woman was killed while on her way to court to contest an abduction case her family had filed against her husband. Her father was promptly arrested on murder charges, police investigator Rana Mujahid said, adding that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in this “heinous crime.”

Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, and hundreds of women are murdered every year in so-called honor killings carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behavior.

Read more >>>>>   There is also a video.  Be warned.

There is also this case about which Hillary Clinton tweeted.

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Meriam Yahya Ibrahim’s death sentence is abhorrent. Sudan should stop threatening religious freedom and fundamental human rights.

Related headlines

…and just when you thought it could not get worse.

UPDATE:

 

Apostasy woman in Sudan sentenced to death forced to give birth ‘with her legs chained’

Meriam Ibrahim was shackled while she gave birth to a baby girl in the Omdurman Women’s Prison on Tuesday.

Read more  >>>>

 

 

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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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While everyone is paying attention to Greece and Spain, Italy is teetering  on the brink.  Some pundits say that the real  fate of the Eurozone lies in Italy’s ability to weather the current economic winds. It occurred to me that I did not know whether the Vatican was part of the EU.  It is not, but, oddly, its currency is the Vatican Euro which is made in Rome.

With brand names like Prada, Ferrari, and Armani continuing to do well, Italy may come through just fine.  That is not why I raised the subject.  It is pretty clear to anyone who knows anything about the Vatican why that sovereign state would eschew EU membership.  Legendary accumulated wealth and perennially resurfacing Vatican Bank scandals hint at roiling financial and economic storms beneath the serene surface.  A two thousand year history of borderline incestuous relations with European royalty may have established much of the Vatican’s wealth, but a side effect might be the belief that the tiny city-state gets to dictate what happens politically in other countries.  When Vatican officials tried to bitch-slap American nuns recently, the nuns not only stood their ground, but, in an all-American huff, decided to take their message on the road.

Nuns, Rebuked by Rome, Plan Road Trip to Spotlight Social Issues

By
Published: June 5, 2012

In a spirited retort to the Vatican, a group of Roman Catholic nuns is planning a bus trip across nine states this month, stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Sister Simone Campbell is organizing a bus tour to draw attention to nuns’ work with the poor and to protest planned aid cuts.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

The bus’s decal.

The bus tour is a response to a blistering critique of American nuns released in April by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, which included the accusation that the nuns are outspoken on issues of social justice, but silent on other issues the church considers crucial: abortion and gay marriage.

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I am reminded of this incident.

5 Nuns in New Jersey Break Away Over Break With Tradition

By ROBERT HANLEY, Special to the New York Times
Published: October 08, 1988

Five cloistered nuns are protesting at their monastery here over the relaxation of rigid monastic lifestyles rooted in the 16th century.

Since Tuesday, the five have secluded themselves in the monastery’s second-floor infirmary, fearful they face eviction from the monastery because of their opposition to the recent introduction of a television, classical music and brighter lighting in the prayer chapel.

To the five sisters, these 20th-century society elements are distractions to their dedication to solitude, silence and daily contemplative prayer, and the abandonment of the reclusive principles of their order, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns, founded in 1562.

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A brilliant friend, mentor, and colleague of mine, a naturalized American able to see our culture through eyes more objective than our own and trained in anthropology,  and I were driving past that cloister a few years later.  “I wish I could have spoken to the Pope during that stand-off,” she said.  “He didn’t realize he was dealing with protestant nuns.”  Her larger thesis was that all Americans, regardless of the religious tradition in which we are raised, are essentially protestants.  It’s what we do.  We protest.  Our nation was born in protest and the founders enshrined that right in the very first amendment to our constitution.  That is the importance they lent to the role of protest in our infant culture.

Sister Simone Campbell and her bus mates along with Sister Margaret Farley (whom the Vatican officials appear to regard as a ring leader in all of this disruption to their traditional message of vilification for the practices of birth control and gay marital union) stand with the grand majority of Roman Catholic American nuns who have not missed the connections between these practices and the economic health of the greater society.  Gay marriage more than affords equal rights to gay couples.  It permits medical coverage,  pension and social security benefits to dependents of those marriages – benefits that parties to straight marriage accept without the blink of an eye – to which, in fact, they feel entitled.  Birth control permits reproductive responsibility in families that calculate their fiscal ability to support a family at $235,000 per child per year 0 – 17 years (not including post secondary education).

The nuns are very much part of the fabric of American life.  Their long tradition of working on the ground with children and families allows them insights that men isolated in Vatican enclaves cannot possibly appreciate.  The Nuns on the Bus are out to educate Americans – voting citizens (which Vatican officials are not) – as to the dangers inherent in the proposed Ryan budget.  Les eminences grises could learn a thing or two from them as well.  American nuns have been educating Americans for more than two hundred years.  We applaud this effort by our all-American protestant Catholic nuns.  Go Sisters!!!!!!

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Cross-posted  from Uppity Woman  per her request.

 March 27, 2012 by Anita Finlay (“Ani”)

In her WaPo article, Twenty Years On, ‘Year of the Woman’ Fades, Karen Tumulty offers many reasons why women have not attained anything approaching parity in political representation, after female membership in the House and Senate doubled in 1992:

“…They made their presence felt beyond Capitol Hill, with the passage of legislation that made the workplace more family-friendly, that directed more medical research to women’s health issues and that made the criminal justice system more responsive to domestic violence.”

Women now represent 16.8% of Congress.  We have now hit a plateau, Tumulty says.  Another way of putting it is stagnation.  The treatment received by Hillary Clinton, who won more votes than any candidate in Primary history, and Sarah Palin, only the second woman to get on a presidential ticket, served as horrifying cautionary tales rather than encouragement.  Why would more qualified women run for higher office when a misogynist gauntlet awaits them?  What I witnessed in 2008 made the bile rise in my throat from such a deep place that I had to get off the sidelines and take action.  The sum total of that action follows:

Ms. Tumulty notes Democrats have declared that Republicans are waging a “war on women.” But the current “war” is being confined once again to a cynical and controlled narrative designed to benefit the President’s re-election bid rather than addressing the underbelly of woman-hate that still seems to permeate all levels of society.

Dirty Words On Clean Skin is a shocking exposé about the real war on women….who’s buying, who’s selling – and why they get away with it.

That war is waged daily by mainstream media, party backstabbers, opposing politicians, advertisers and lowbrow comedians of high powered television shows – all of whom miss no opportunity to degrade and marginalize; reducing women to body parts, wardrobe choices and vocal tics.

The quality and preparedness of Hillary Clinton was continually obscured by the bread and circuses of distraction and character assassination.  To a greater or lesser degree, these are tactics with which all females running for office have become acquainted.  We say the sky’s the limit for women in this country, but the reality was quite different when we were presented with a test case.

I am so proud to share my work with all of you and will be doing a pre-launch of Dirty Words on Clean Skin for all my kind blogger buddies and readers.  The book will be available on Amazon as of April 3rd…The book’s main launch will be April 24th and it will also be available on Kindle at that time.

Your encouragement has both fed me, and taught me to think critically, to make an argument, to stand my ground.

I am grateful to you all.

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