Women's Issues

BBC Demeans US Women with 1950s 'Dumb, Weak and Scared' Stereotype to Aid BlairBush
Women's Issues

According to this article from BBC (Bush Blair Coddlers), US women are the classic clueless idiots promoted by the rightwing's 1950s model: childish, uninformed, can't make up her mind, could change her mind any second, is scared and wimpy and just waiting to be rescued by big strong men with guns, etc.: "Opinion polls suggest 60% of the undecided voters in this election are women. And pollsters believe that they may not make up their mind until they enter the polling booth. The threat of terrorism is a major concern for women, but they come to different conclusions on which candidate would best keep them and their children safe." This insulting article goes on to sample "typical women" by going to a beauty parlor (talk about a 1950s stereotype!) in West Va. Hey, BBC, maybe that's the "ideal woman" according to the Bush-Blair model - but we KNOW better!

5 Online Films to Inspire Women Voters
Women's Issues

"This major Call to Action grassroot email campaign contains links to video clips on key issues at stake. They are a POWERFUL INSPIRATION FOR WOMEN TO VOTE.. Help us spread the word by sending this email out to your organization's members and friends. Let's create a revolution where every woman exercises the power of her voice, by using the power of her vote! 1. Women of Wisdom and Power 2. Stand Up and Vote 3. Religion and Government 4. One Vote Can Make A World Of Difference 5. Revolutionary Women "

Kerry Makes Huge Gains among Women Voters
Women's Issues

NY Times: "In early September, Bush led Kerry among women, 48-43% in the CBS News poll. As of Sunday, in The New York Times/CBS News poll, Kerry was leading among women who are registered voters, 50% to 40%. Other polls show Kerry with a smaller lead among women, but a lead nonetheless." Deconstructing this info, we make the following conclusion: CBS polls are blatantly pro-Bush and flagrantly "weighted". So, we suspect that Bush never actually had a lead among women (having a high regard for the intelligence of American women, we'd be stunned, to say the least, if he did!). Many different key indicators now point to a mammoth lead for Kerry among women of all age groups - even so-called "security moms" have waked up to the fact that Bush, by inspiring unprecedented global hatred of the US government, has made them and their loved ones FAR less safe than even before. Kerry's lead among single women under 30 is estimated to be as high as 3 or even 4 to 1.

Bush AWOL as 250 World Leaders Reaffirm Women's Rights
Women's Issues

Jim Lobe writes: "With the notable exception of George W. Bush more than 250 global leaders, including former President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair reaffirmed their commitment to a ten-year-old UN plan to ensure the rights of women around the world. In an unprecedented statement, the former and current leaders, including 85 heads of state and government, also called for the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adopted by the UN in 2000, that call for greater efforts to sharply reduce global poverty and achieve universal access to education and health by the year 2015." Since 2001, Bush has done more than any other world leader to undermine women's rights and health around the world. (see story details).

Bush Isn't Strong on Security
Women's Issues

Karen Ruecker writes: "I hate it when people (especially women) presume to speak for me. [Bush groupie Carole Taber] lumps all women together in the issues of terrorism and security. Bush has not addressed the concerns of women with strength and clarity. It was clear after the first presidential debate that Bush is neither strong nor clear on national security. What I took from the school hostage-taking and massacre in Beslan, Russia, was that some terrorists, inspired by perceived injustice caused by the US foreign policy in the Middle East, could easily buy an assault weapon, now that the administration has failed to continue the ban, and wreak havoc in one of our elementary schools. Taber wrote that women saw at the debate the two men for what they are. I agree with her up to that point. I believe John Kerry will make a better commander-in-chief."

Hollywood Stars to America's Single Women: GET OUT AND VOTE!
Women's Issues

Women's Voices, Women Vote: "22 million single women didn't vote in the 2000 elections and a broad array of female Hollywood women celebrities are helping Women's Voices, Women Vote (WVWV) make sure that doesn't happen again. Actresses Helen Hunt and Jennifer Aniston are featured in television PSAs. Other stars -- including Christina Applegate, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tyne Daly, Laura Dern, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jane Kazcmarek, Christine Lahti, Sarah Jessica Parker, Meg Ryan and Barbra Streisand -- have contributed to WVWV's efforts to register and turnout unmarried women by recording phone messages targeted to unmarried women in 16 states. Chris Desser, co-director of WVWV says, 'We've been frankly astounded by the response we've gotten. There are more celebrities calling us everyday, volunteering to lend their names and voice to this unprecedented effort to register and turn unmarried women out to vote. We just want to say thanks for the support and for adopting our cause.' "

Jennifer Aniston to America's Single Women: GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!
Women's Issues

US Newswire reports: "Actress Jennifer Aniston wants the 22 million single women who didn't vote in the 2000 elections to vote this year. A television public service announcement featuring the popular star urging women on their own -- women who have never been married, divorced, separated or widowed women -- to get out and vote...will premiere on Entertainment Tonight on Monday, October 4th. Co-director Chris Desser added, 'The fact that Jennifer Aniston is raising her voice will help others find theirs on Election Day, Nov. 2. We thank her and the production team who created this terrific spot. It sends a clear and powerful message to these women that come Election Day, November 2 their votes matter.' "

Equality Starts at Home: US Government STILL Treats Women as Second Class Citizens
Women's Issues

Cheryl Seal writes: "The patriarchal, in fact misogynistic, atmosphere in Washington - always there to an extent - has been dramatically amplified since Bush took office. If you listen to C-SPAN's Congressional hearings, you will notice a clear pattern: When women speak out in a forceful and independent way, they are berated, patronized, or cut off. hardly a model likely to lure strong, bright women into politics! While conservative white males in Congress are excused by their colleagues for outrageously insulting behavior - even obscenities - Nancy Pelosi (just one example) was pilloried by the Repugs for days for stating an unpleasant fact : namely that Bush is stupid. Meanwhile, milksop codependent behavior by women ilegislators is rewarded and promoted. Thus, the woman droning on in a pandering tone to her white conservative colleagues, singing the praises of G.W. Bush and his anti-woman policies is treated with deference."

Bush 'Pro-Women's Death' Policies (You can hardly Call it 'Pro-Life) Tantamount to Genocide
Women's Issues

Becca Rothschild writes: "Every minute, a woman somewhere in the world dies in childbirth, many leaving multiple orphans behind. In that same minute, another 20 women are injured or disabled giving birth. It's not that they need the right to abortion, although they should have it; it's that they need to know how to avoid getting pregnant. But the Bush administration's foreign policy message is clear: Fetuses -- and domestic politics -- are more important than women." Rothschild details Bush acts in the past three years - the systemmatic withdrawal of life-saving safeguards for women around the world - that, looked at collectively, represent a near-genocidal assault on the poor women of the world.

Bush Screwed Working Women - But Still Wants Their Votes
Women's Issues

Molly Ivins writes, "The Labor Department has refused to use tools at its disposal to identify violations of equal pay laws. Labor repealed regulations that allowed paid family leave to be made available through state unemployment funds. Now it's unpaid leave only. Labor has proposed new regulations that deprive millions of workers of the right to overtime pay -- and even gives tips to employers on how to avoid paying overtime when the law still requires it. The Department of Justice has weakened the enforcement of laws against job discrimination and abandoned pending sex discrimination cases. Among the Bush budget cuts affecting the lives of millions of women are cuts in Head Start and other early childhood education programs, after-school programs, K-12 education, housing subsidies, child care, career education, services for victims of domestic violence, the nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC) and Pell grants to help pay for college."

Senate Rubberstamps Rabidly Anti-Woman Extremist to Lifetime Federal Judgeship
Women's Issues

Common Dreams: "The Senate gave Bush's court-packing plan a big green light today. J. Leon Holmes is one of Bush's worst picks. He is anti-choice and anti-woman and now he has been appointed to the federal bench for life. His writings include statements such as 'the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband,' and comparing pro-choice advocates to 'Nazis.' He has also argued that '...concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.' In fact, studies estimate that between 25,000 and 32,000 women each year become pregnant as a result of rape in the US, and about 50% of these pregnancies end in abortion." If your senator voted FOR this despicable person and is up for reelection in 2004, send him/her a message in the voting booth!

Bush's Misogynistic Agenda Pushes Women's Rights Back Half a Century
Women's Issues

Jennifer Wells writes, "It was Richard Goldstein writing in The Village Voice who coined the catchphrase "stealth misogyny." The piece, published in the spring of 2003, was an examination of the covert workings of George W. Bush and crew to undo decades of advances in women's rights. In succeeding months, the presidential agenda morphed from covert to overt. For examples of the unspooling of women's rights advances, we can cite the so-called Partial Birth Abortion Act" and "the de-funding of programs that support women... The vast sums being thrown at abstinence education at the expense of AIDS programs is another. In the area of the sheerly delirious, this-can't-be-happening, let's look to Dr. David Hager. Dr. Hager, appointed to a key advisory committee within the FDA, is renowned for having denied contraception prescriptions to unmarried women. What can be said of Dr. Hager's advisory to women suffering from PMS or post-partum depression? Hager's advice: prayer."

Liberal Women Will Decide this Election.... If They Actually Register and Vote!
Women's Issues

"59% of women say they will absolutely vote in November, but 22% are either somewhat likely or unlikely to vote. 25% of these so- called 'low propensity' women voters say they won't vote because they're not registered Low propensity female voters are more likely to be younger, (18-34,) unmarried or single, have high school degrees and self-describe as 'liberal.' The issues that motivate them most are improving access to health care coverage (27%) then, improving public education and reducing wasteful government spending and lastly, winning the war on terror. These women disagree that fighting terrorism should be a top priority. This issue is the main source of their political disengagement. Conversely, among likely women voters who say they support Bush, 31% cite winning the war on terror as their top priority. Among ALL women, access to health care ranks first, with 22% citing this as the top priority."

Hundreds of Thousands Flood DC Streets to Protest Bush Anti-Woman Policies
Women's Issues

AFP: "Hundreds of thousands of women and a smattering of men from across the United States and dozens of other countries marched through the nation's most politically symbolic space in the largest women's rights protest in more than a decade. Older women in their Sunday best mingled with college students in T-shirts in a massive demonstration sparked largely by what they see as Bush's efforts to trim away women's right to an abortion. Organizers, who said this protest was larger than the 750,000 who attended the last abortion rights demonstration in 1992, said they were also calling for medically sound sex education, birth control, and better health care for women worldwide."

Single Women: the Awakening Lioness that Could Roar Loudest in 2004
Women's Issues

Says Women's Voices, Women's Votes, "Unmarried women (never married, divorced, widowed and separated) are the largest demographic group that under registers and under votes in this country. There were almost 22 million unmarried women who were eligible to vote in 2000 but did not." These women are "more likely to describe themselves as liberal and are more pro-choice; are aggressively seeking change in this country; and, by a dramatic margin compared to others in the electorate, believe the country is going in the wrong direction." Thanks to WVWV and the outrage Bush has inspired in women, single American women may be the Lioness that roars loudest in 2004!

Amnesty International Says Violence against Women a Rampant Form of Terrorism
Women's Issues

Independent: "Violence against girls and women should be added to the list of evils - guns, terrorism, discrimination and torture - that curtail freedom across the world, says Amnesty International. Launching one of its most ambitious campaigns, the human rights group said one in three women in the world has been beaten or coerced into sex in her lifetime and that, in Britain, one in four women experiences violence at the hands of her male partner." In the US, four women die every day from domestic violence. The systematic aggression against women varies from the mass sexual slavery and murder of women in war time (Kosovo, Rwanda, etc.), to spousal abuse ignored by law enforcement, to the glaring disparity that still exists between men and women in the US in salary and advancement.

Gender Gap in Wages Growing
Women's Issues

"A November congressional study indicates that women are paid an average of 79.7 cents for every dollar paid to men, versus 80.4 cents in 1983. Meanwhile a study by the Nat'l Association for Female Executives found a gap in the salaries of men and women with identical jobs and experience, even in professions dominated by women such as teaching, nursing and public relations... NAFE's annual salary survey of 21 different professions indicated that men continue to earn an average $10,000 more than women... For the first time, the association looked at what would happen if a woman had that average $10,000 difference to invest over a 40-year career. Compounded at an interest rate of 10%, she could make over $4 million in 40 years... While 47% of men over 65 receive a pension, only 30% of women do. Women over 65 have an average annual income of $14,200 compared to men's $39,000. And single women over 50 are the most likely to be poor compared with single older men and married older couples."

Unseen and Unheard: The George Bush Ongoing Assault on Women
Women's Issues

From TV News Lies: "Believe it or not, there really is a bit of opposition to George Bush being broadcast on the media. If you listen closely, and look really hard, you might find discussions out there about some outrageous policy of George Bush. Somewhere, on off hours and primarily on public media, you might hear a lone economist challenge the Bush tax plan, a group of activists attack his disregard for the environment, or an angry senior argue the privatization prescription plans. If you listen even closer, somewhere, in the wee hours of the night, you might even hear the Bush War on Iraq bravely challenged. Well and good. But nowhere, at any hour, and only minimally among the democratic candidates, is there any outcry about one of this administration's most crucial and potentially disastrous policies: the George W. Bush ongoing assault on women!"

The 'March for Women's Lives' Building Momentum
Women's Issues

"Leading women's rights organizations today announced a new name for the April 25, 2004 national march: The March for Women's Lives. The name change reflects the urgency of the issue and the huge diversity of the groups co-sponsoring the march. The new name better represents the broad agenda of those who support women's reproductive health, justice, and freedom, as well as access to family planning and abortion. 'The March for Women's Lives' addresses the assaults on women's rights and lives, both nationally and globally, that restrict women's access to reproductive health services and limit women's ability to have a child or to end a pregnancy. March for Women's Lives is now one of the fastest growing sites on MeetUp.com [http://marchforwomen.meetup.com/]. Already over 570 organizations have signed on to co-sponsor the March for Women's Lives, and the list grows daily."

Bush Rep. to UN Women's Council: 'Women by Nature are Not Risk Takers'
Women's Issues

"The US Mission to the UN has proposed a draft resolution entitled 'Women and Political Participation' that does not include any reference to the International Women's Treaty, CEDAW. At an briefing today for NGOs, the US representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey...stated that a reference to CEDAW will be in the next draft of the resolution, though she did not state what the exact language of that reference would be. In addition, when discussing women's participation at the political level Sauerbrey asserted 'women by nature are not risk takers.' 174 countries have ratified CEDAW. The United States is one of only seventeen countries that have not ratified the CEDAW standing with countries like Iran and the Sudan. The Bush administration has not taken a position on CEDAW, but the United States continues to avoid ratifying the treaty. In addition, women make up only 14 percent of Congress and 22 percent of state legislatures."

First Muslim Woman Awarded Nobel Peace Prize
Women's Issues

"Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Human Rights for defending the rights of women and children as well as fighting for democracy in the Islamic world. She is the first Muslim woman and the first Iranian to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Ebadi was the first female judge in Iran. According to the Associated Press, Ebadi is admired by Iranians for her lifetime of work defending freedom of speech and political freedom for victims of attacks by Iran's hard-liners. Ebadi has also argued for a new interpretation of Islamic law that is in line with human rights and equality before the law, reports the Associated Press. She served as president of the city court of Tehran from 1975-79 and was then asked to step down after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Since then she has been an activist for democracy and the rights of refugees, children, and women."

Over Labor Day Weekend, Bush Tried to Sneak in an EXPANSION of the Global Gag Rule!
Women's Issues

"The Bush administration, over the Labor Day weekend, tried to quietly broaden the application of the odious Global Gag Rule policy. The existing policy has already resulted in the loss of funds and supplies to some of the most effective women's health are providers in Africa and Asia. The new policy will only magnify the serious health threats faced by women and children. More than half a million women die every year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Almost 4 million infant deaths every year are the result in inadequate maternal health care. And last week, the administration decided to end funding to a successful consortium providing reproductive health care to refugee women. The Bush administration has taken every opportunity to undermine contraceptive availability."

Global Women's Issues Scorecard Gives Bush an 'F'
Women's Issues

On Women's Equality Day, several prominent women's advocacy groups "issued a Global Women's Issues Scorecard [www.wglobalscorecard.org] on the Bush Administration, revealing a wide gap between rhetoric and reality on global women's rights issues including Afghanistan, Iraq, CEDAW, Int'l Family Planning, HIV/AIDS, Agricultural Subsidies and Millenium Challenge Account. The groups criticized the Administration for failing to follow through on its promises to restore the rights of Afghan women and girls and to rebuild the country. The Administration received a 'B' for its rhetoric on Afghanistan but an 'F' for reality because of its failure to provide sufficient reconstruction funding, to support expansion of international peace keeping forces beyond Kabul, and to give direct financial support to the Afghan government and Afghan women-led institutions. The groups urge the Administration to take immediate action to improve security and dramatically increase reconstruction in Afghanistan."

4-25-04 March for Freedom of Choice Could Be the Largest March in US History
Women's Issues

Avishay Artsy writes, "In what is expected to be the largest pro-choice march in 12 years, feminist leaders... announced a 'March for Freedom of Choice' that will take place on April 25, 2004. Four leading women's rights groups have joined together to co-sponsor the national march on Washington, D.C., including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Feminist Majority and the National Organization for Women (NOW). At a press conference on June 10, women's rights advocates blasted Bush for packing the courts with extreme right-wing judicial appointees; for the recent passage of a House bill banning late-term abortion; and for state-led attempts to curtail fundamental aspects of choice as guaranteed by the landmark Roe v. Wade decision 30 years ago... Organizers of the march are counting on a critical mass of supporters to flock to Washington, D.C., pointing to the growing support -- especially among young women -- of the values of the women's movement."

Hootie and the Klan
Women's Issues

Phil Sheridan writes, "The KKK did Martha Burk a remarkable favor this week by applying for a permit to demonstrate in support of Augusta National, the private golf club that hosts the annual Masters tournament. The Klan did more to embarrass Augusta president Hootie Johnson and inflame passion about this issue than Burk could with a million letters to corporate sponsors, TV networks and Augusta members. So maybe Burk should send a fresh batch of white sheets to wear when the Klansmen arrive at Augusta next month... The Klan makes no apologies for its racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-everything-else ideology. The Klan is proud of that. Heck, that's what the Klan is. Johnson, on the other hand, has had to engage in all manner of doublespeak in order to state his case... Hootie is stuck with his sheeted bedfellows now. Sorry, Mr. Johnson, but that's life in the hood."

ABC's UpClose Features Feminist Leader Martha Burk
Women's Issues

ABC News UpClose writes, "She calls herself a rabble-rouser. And once you meet her this evening, you'll appreciate how Martha Burk has shaken up the sports world. Her letter last June to Hootie Johnson, chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club - home of the Masters Golf Tournament - ignited a national conversation about the right of an all-male private club to cling to tradition... But if you hadn't heard of Martha Burk and the NCWO, which represents seven million members of more than 150 organizations, before the Augusta dust-up, Burk says it's not her fault. On tonight's UpClose she tells Michel Martin that the council cares deeply about welfare laws, health issues and social security, but 'it's just that the press doesn't give a darn. You have never called me about social security and said 'Let's sit down for an hour and talk about it.'" You GO, Martha!

Bush Places Millions of Women at Risk by Launching Assault on International Population Program
Women's Issues

"The United States is attempting to block reaffirmation of a landmark agreement on population and development [the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), first proposed in 1994]. Most disturbing in all this is the fact that all this is being done to satisfy the narrow conservative domestic political base to which Bush is beholden - and with the potential for significant harm to women's health and lives. Women's lives are the issue; women's lives are at stake; and the U.S. here is putting more women's lives in peril. Just a few weeks ago, the State Department went on record as supporting many of the goals of the 1994 conference. It is now increasingly clear that the Bush Administration's definition of 'support' differs significantly from the definition used by every other delegation at this conference. Indeed, it would be more accurate to say that the delegation here is intent on dismantling ICPD."

Bush's FDA Chief David Hager Will Endanger Women and Blur Line between Church and State
Women's Issues

Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling says the appointment of rightwing religious affiliate Dr. W. David Hager to head the Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee of the FDA would deal a serious blow to women's health care and should be withdrawn. "We are troubled by the increasing use of sectarian religious beliefs as a barrier to the religious freedom of individuals seeking basic health care in this country. Once again, the Bush administration is putting its religious ideology ahead of the public interest and compromising the conscience of individual doctors and their patients. Equally troubling is that once again, the line between church and state is becoming blurred."

Best States for Women Voted for Gore, Worst States for Women Voted for Bush
Women's Issues

According to the 2002 Status of Women in the States report, women still have not achieved equality with men, while disparities among the states in women's status persist. The Report ranks and grades the best and worst states for women, ranking each state for women's overall status in five areas: political participation, employment and earnings, social and economic autonomy, reproductive rights, and health and well-being. Compare the results of this report with the following Election 2000 map: http://www.multied.com/elections/2000map.html You will find that 5 out of the 5 overall best 5 states for women voted for GORE, while 5 out of 5 overall worst states for women voted for BUSH. Conclusion: Where Bush wins, women lose.

Make A Difference in a Child's LIfe
Women's Issues

A Nigerian woman was recently sentenced to death - for having a child out of wedlock. Amina Lawal has been sentenced to death by STONING - she is to be buried up to her neck in the ground, after which her punishers will surround her and throw rocks at her head until her skull is crushed and she dies a painful and horrible death. The judge ruled that 30-year-old Amina Lawal will be executed once she has weaned her eight-month-old daughter. The Funtua court granted defence lawyers 30 days to appeal, which they have said they will do. Amina Lawal was escorted away in tears by her lawyers who have promised to challenge the decision all the way to the Supreme court. Over a million global citizens have signed a letter to the President of Nigeria asking for mercy, sponsored by Amnesty International. Will you join them?

Bush Policies Devastate Third-World Women: Family Planning, Human Rights, AIDS, Sex Trade
Women's Issues

"...Bush cut off all $34 million in funds for the UN Population Fund, in all 142 countries (where) it operates...the Bush administration is busy devastating third-world women in other ways...trying to block a landmark international treaty on the rights of women...though the State Department initially backed it...also undercutting international efforts...for rural health care for poor women...Bush has also walloped international family planning efforts by banning the use of American aid to...provide any information about abortions. And while (promising) $500 million for the global AIDS fund, his administration is making such onerous demands...none of the money can be used anytime soon...(in) the battle against sexual trafficking, it is conservative Christians who have taken the lead in fighting on behalf of third-world women. So on this one issue has Mr. Bush shown any mettle? No...the administration record 'is one of passive acceptance of the world trafficking status quo.'"

Inviting 34 Million Friends to a Fun Gesture in an Outraged Democracy
Women's Issues

In July, Bush decided to defund $34 million in congressional appropriations to the UN Population Fund because of a photograph of a UNFPS desk adjacent to a desk of the Chinese Office of Family Planning, implying to Bush that UNFPA tacitly supports China's one-child policy just by operating in China. UNFPA estimates the cut would have prevented 2 million unwanted pregnancies and 77,000 infant and child deaths. "When I see friends around town I've been handing them a little paper on which is written, 'Because Mr. Bush is denying the $34 million approved by both Houses of Congress for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which works for contraception, family planning, safe births, against the spread of HIV and against female genital cutting among the world's poorest people, I and others are asking 34 million individual Americans to send $1 to the UNFPA. The address is 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017."

NOW Launches TheTruthAboutGeorge.com
Women's Issues

The National Organization for Women (NOW) writes, "The Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore appointed George W. Bush to the presidency of the United States on Dec. 12, 2000, and he was sworn in as the 43rd president on Jan. 20, 2001. Since then, the United States has taken a significant turn for the worse. Do you know how the actions of the Bush administration are affecting your rights? This website is where you can come to get the whole picture of the Bush juggernaut and find out what happened to the 'compassionate conservatism,' 'bipartisanship' and 'fairness' he promised when he wanted your vote. Find out what he's done—and what his cronies are advocating—on the issues you care most about." Topics include women's rights, appointments, domestic policy, and foreign policy. Check it out!

Senate Democrats Near Passage of Treaty on Women's Rights
Women's Issues

"Senate Democrats sent a U.N. treaty on women's rights drafted 23 years ago and already approved by 170 countries to the full Senate for a ratification vote, rejecting appeals from the Bush administration that the treaty needed more review. Signed by former President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the convention has been sidelined ever since by conservatives who said it could be used to promote abortion and to undermine concepts of traditional families. The United States is the only industrialized nation among 21 countries, including Iran, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Monaco and the United Arab Emirates, that has not ratified the treaty... Committee Chairman Joseph Biden (D-Del.) said prospects were 'fair to good' the Senate would ratify it, and said he thought it had enough votes to break procedural hurdles and to get the two-thirds majority -- or 67 votes -- for approval." Call your Republican Senators and demand passage of CEDAW!

With Bush's 'Penis Politics,' Women Get Screwed
Women's Issues

Marisol Novak writes, "The same day the bears busted the market down below 8,000, the White House informed the UN's Population Fund (UNFPA) that they were going to withhold the promised - and Congress allocated - $34 million that made up 18% of their budget... This is yet another way for Bush to prevent women from the basic human right of education and health care for their own bodies, a marker for a developed and potent society. [While there is absolutely no evidence UNFPA funds coercive abortions in China], Bush approved millions in foreign aid to Peru, whose government forced 215,000 women to be sterilized in the last six years. Seems a little inhumane to me. [And as for judicial nominee Priscilla Owen], much like Pappy Bush, Baby Bush has an uncanny knack of finding the perfect Uncle Tom to put on the bench. Justice Owen has ... exclusively ruled against reproductive rights of women and consistently dissented in sexual harassment cases brought by women."

Bush and Ashcroft Join the Axis of Evil Nations in Conspiring to Keep Women Barefoot and Pregnant
Women's Issues

Salon's Michelle Goldberg writes, "A few months ago, after more than two decades of inaction and delay, it seemed that the United States was about to join the 169 nations that have ratified the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. [Then John Ashcroft stepped in.] For the religious right, the anti-discrimination treaty is like the Equal Rights Amendment gone global, says Paul Bonicelli, a Bush delegate to last month's U.N. summit on children and dean of... a conservative Virginia school that teaches creationism. [Rep. Lynn Woolsey] can't fathom the Christian right's objection. 'They must prefer women to be barefoot, pregnant and at home,' she says... Yet while it won't affect domestic policy, Woolsey believes it's crucial that the U.S. ratifies the treaty."

Ashcroft Blocks Global Women's Rights
Women's Issues

An international women's treaty banning discrimination has been ratified by 169 countries so far (without emasculating men in any of them!), yet it has languished in the US Senate ever since President Carter sent it there for ratification in 1980, thanks to objections from Republican misogynists like Jesse Helms, past chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. This month the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - now under Democrat Joe Biden - held hearings on it, but the Bush administration, after shyly supporting it at first, now is finding its courage faltering. The support came from Colin Powell's State Department, but then John Ashcroft's Justice Department found out about the treaty — and seems to be trying to defend America from the terrifying threat of global women's rights. Where is Laura Bush, the feminist champion of Afghanistan? Back baking pies in Stepford...er...Crawford?

Why Are the Whistleblowers Women? Why Are The Men Keeping Quiet About Enron and 911?
Women's Issues

Anita Hill asks, "Is it a coincidence that the whistle-blowers in what may turn out to be the most significant examples of government incompetence and corporate wrongdoing in our time are women? I don't think so. I think the increase in the number of women in positions of prominence, coupled with the tension that can develop between insider status and outsider values, brings us to this point... Like those who have had to challenge workplace bias, Ms. Rowley and Ms. Watkins differed from their superiors in their notions of appropriate institutional conduct. Similarly, Ms. Rowley and Ms. Watkins ultimately found that their chances for bringing change to their workplaces existed only outside those workplaces. Coincidence or not, the fact is that in the public and private sectors the number of women in positions of authority is growing. As their numbers increase, so will their opportunities, not only to be whistle-blowers but, more important, to shape institutional standards from the top."

Conservative 'Social Engineering' Fails, As Welfare-to-Work Moms Spurn Marriage
Women's Issues

"Just as President [sic] Bush is seeking welfare legislation with more stringent work requirements and more support for marriage, an unexpected contradiction is emerging. New research findings in [CT and IA] show that the stricter work requirements of contemporary welfare policy significantly reduce the chances that a single mother will wed... Neither critics nor champions of the nation's 1996 welfare overhaul contemplated the possibility that replacing welfare with work would discourage marriage. But that is what researchers have found... Like middle-class married women whose divorce rates spiked when jobs and rising wages made them more self-reliant, some women who moved from welfare to work may have become less willing to settle for the wrong man. [And] strict work requirements and low wages may have left some mothers with less time, energy and income to attract a partner or nourish a relationship. 'Tough love, less romance,' summarized Bruce Fuller, a social scientist."

On Mother's Day, Let's Honor our Feminist Foremothers
Women's Issues

"It used to be common parlance, but in these politically correct times it's just not politic to use the "f" word in public. The "f" word? Feminism. Arguably the defining political movement of the 20th century - more potent and world-altering than Marxism or Maoism - feminism is being forced from the political landscape and popular lexicon, its enemies not men, but women. Unlike the "M" movements, feminism is neither oppressive nor outmoded; far from it. A cursory glance at compelling books such as Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich, Sex & Power by Susan Estrich or My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban: A Young Woman's Story by Latifah, all of which detail the stunning lack of advancement women have made despite decades of feminist struggle, makes it obvious that feminism is more necessary than ever." So writes Victoria A. Brownworth in the Baltimore Sun.

Bush Hides his Misogyny behind 'Compassionate Conservatism'
Women's Issues

Joe Conason writes in the NY Observer, "Aside from her rigid control of the meager, saccharine diet of information doled out to those same admiring journalists, the greatest service Ms. Hughes has performed for Mr. Bush was to soften the edges of his right-wing agenda. A moderate by contrast with his other advisers, she was among the chief promoters of 'compassionate conservatism,' a theme to which he returned this week. Her very presence at his side blurred the pious Texan's attraction to the misogynist and patriarchal ideology of the religious right, and to advisers such as Marvin Olasky, who extol the Biblical 'submission' of women to their husbands... For most American women, however -- whose interests are hardly identical with those of the Republican right -- the Bush record hasn't been improved by Karen Hughes and won't be affected by her departure. Another woman may be named to take her place, but that would make about as much difference as Karl Rove putting on a dress."

Help Put Rapists in Jail - Sign the Petition!
Women's Issues

"Approximately 150,000 to 500,000 rapes have gone unpunished because the evidence is sitting on shelves, waiting to be analyzed. And most emergency rooms don't have staff members who are properly trained to examine rape victims and collect DNA (genetic) evidence in the first place. On average, it takes a year and a half to process DNA evidence and identify the rapist after a rape has been committed. That means the rapist has 18 more months during which to assault more women; the average rapist commits eight to 12 assaults. Senator Maria Cantwell and Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Mark Green have introduced the bipartisan Debbie Smith Act to: provide training for hospital examiners who deal with victims of sexual assault; introduce standardized evidence-collection kits to speed up the processing of DNA evidence; and require states to complete all DNA evidence testing within 10 days of receipt." Sign the petition!

Domestic Violence, As Chronicled in 'Hitting Home', Shows the Insanity of Bush's Plan to Tie Marriage to Welfare
Women's Issues

Frederick Wiseman's new film on domestic violence, "Hitting Home," is described in American Prospect: "A woman with a darkening black eye smokes cigarettes through the spaces of her missing front teeth and tells the police how her boyfriend slapped and bit her because he didn't like her grandchildren. Still another can't speak at all, her moans incoherent as she's wheeled out of her house on a stretcher covered in blood, her cheek slashed into two loose flaps from the corner of her mouth." For many women, the welfare system is the only window of escape from an abusive partner. It is a safety net that enables some to repair their battered lives and slowly climb toward a functional lifestyle. For Bush to tie welfare to marriage will doom many women - and their children - to unbelievable suffering and often even violent death, as Wiseman's film so graphically details.

GOP Official in Michigan Reveals What Repugnicants Really Think of Women
Women's Issues

Republican national committeeman Chuck Yob of Michigan is facing pressure from fellow party members to resign after claiming that women in state office are best suited to the position of Secretary "because they like that kind of work." Yob has come under fire from fellow Repugnicants - they claim that Yob's comments belie the stellar record the Repugnicant Party has on women's rights (that's so absurdly funny that it could make Shrub choke on another pretzel from laughing so hard.) Yob and other Repugnicants wonder what the big deal is. "I think 80% of men slip into that kind of talk, but that doesn't mean we don't support women's issues," Repugnicant gubernatorial candidate Ed Hamilton commented. You're right, Hamilton - we didn't need Yob's offhand remark to prove that you guys don't care about women's issues. Your party's miserable platform and record on women's rights does a good enough job of that!

Has the Corporate Propaganda Machine Succeeded in Disempowering the American Woman?
Women's Issues

The American woman believes she is now a power player in the workplace because she's won some executive titles and can wear a nifty suit and carry a briefcase. But she is merely a token in the male board room; the only right she has won is the right to act like a white man — while receiving less pay. According to a recent congressional study, "Female managers are not only making less money than men in many industries, but the wage gap also deepened during the economic boom years of 1995 to 2000." One of the big reasons women have backed off in pursuit of justice — and, apparently, character — is the success of the anti-feminist campaign waged against them by the corporate propagandists. Just as these propagandists have tried to dismiss all environmentalists as "leftwing wackos", they have sought to characterize all activist women as "femi-Nazis." Why? Because a dysfunctional American woman obsessed with pleasing males is good business." - Cheryl Seal, Unknown News.

On International Women's Day, Bush Is Murdering Women by Blocking Family Planning Funds
Women's Issues

Bu$h has made the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) "a political target. It is withholding $34 million in congressionally authorized funds on the basis of allegations - unproved after several independent investigations - that the UN population fund participates in forced abortion and sterilization in China... [A Senate] panel heard testimony from Josephine Guy, who said she was an investigator for something called the Population Research Institute, a small anti-abortion group based in Virginia... Guy testified that a desk allegedly owned by UNFPA was found at a regional Chinese government family-planning office. 'We photographed the UNFPA office desk which faces - in fact touches - a desk of the Chinese Office of Family Planning,' Guy said. There you have it. The smoking desk. This is the basis for withholding American money from an international aid organization that is, at the moment [and] rebuilding Afghanistan's only maternity hospitals." So writes Newsday's Marie Cocco.

Washington Post's Sexist Editors Send Judy Mann Packing, But Her Suitcase is Full of Cash
Women's Issues

In 1978, Judy Mann became the first feminist writer at the Washington Post. But her views were never welcome at this male chauvinist bastion, and in the 1980's her column was exiled to the "funny" pages. Considering how many powerful women there have been in DC since the "second wave" of the women's movement in the 1960s - including WashPost owner Katherine Graham! - it is shocking that the Post has been so hostile to feminists. MCP's like Ben Bradlee and Leonard Downie bear most of the blame, but were helped by powerful anti- feminists like Lally Weymouth and Meg Greenfield. Mann joined a class action lawsuit for pay equity in 1988; 14 years later, the Post has finally settled with her, for a sum in the 6 figures. Feminists are hosting a special tribute to Mann on International Women's Day, March 8, from 5:30-7:30 pm. (E-mail JudyMannTribute@ccmc.org or call 202-326-8726) Better yet, demand the Post add a feminist columnist! E-mail ombudsman@washpost.com

Northern Alliance Soldiers Rape Pashtun Women and Girls, But Bu$h is Silent About US-Backed EVIL
Women's Issues

"The ouster of the Taliban by the US-backed Northern Alliance did not stop the use of rape as a way to demoralize and dominate. But what has changed since the fall is the identity of the victims, now mostly Pashtun families and displaced people living in camps, the losers following the defeat of the Pashtun-dominated Taliban. The crime is perpetrated, say victims and aid workers, by the men who answer to warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, a Northern Alliance commander whose 3,000-man army, Junbish-e-Millie, now rules much of the country's north. Most women are too afraid and ashamed to talk about being raped. But, Nazu, a Pashtun mother of 10, was willing to describe what happened to her, and to her girls." Dostum has long been known for his gross abuse of human rights, but under the Bush/Russert doctrine, our government stands behind him 1000%. What happened to Bush's fight for Afghan women's rights? Where is Laura Bush? Their silence is more confirmation that the war was really about OIL.

Bush Lies About 'Respect for Women'
Women's Issues

"Bush said in his State of the Union address that 'America will always stand firm for the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity,' including 'respect for women.' So far this is gibberish, since Bush has not yet released $34 million in family planning funds approved by Congress for the United Nations Population Fund. Bush has held up the funds because some antiabortion extremists in Congress, with no facts, are trying to link the fund to forced abortions in China [in a bizarre irony, Pat Robertson has expressed sympathy for this practice – no doubt to ingratiate himself with the leadership of China -- where he has major business holdings!]. His response is a reminder of how negotiable women's issues actually are to him. One of Bush's first major policy moves as president [sic] was to reinstate the gag rule that denies US funds to family planning groups that mention abortion." So writes Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson.

Come to Washington DC for the Women's Equality Summit on April 8-9
Women's Issues

The National Council of Women's Organizations represents the nation's 150 largest progressive women's groups. NCWO is holding its second "Women's Equality Summit and Congressional Action Day" on April 8-9 in Washington DC. The agenda is to: 1) advance international women’s rights 2) defend reproductive freedom 3) stop assaults on Social Security, and 4) fight for REAL economic security. Participants will lobby their Representatives on Capitol Hill, and discuss mobilizing women voters in 2002. Speakers include Eleanor Smeal, Patricia Schroeder, Kendra Fox-Davis, and Linda Chavez Thompson. This should be an outstanding event!

It Took Bush Just One Month to Betray the Women of Afghanistan
Women's Issues

Do you remember a few weeks ago when Bush condemned the Taliban's "barbaric ... indefensible ... brutality toward women" and pledged "educational and medical assistance to Afghan women"? Unfortunately, Bush only keeps his promises to oil companies - and the religious right. "Last week, Bush decided to withhold the $45 million that both houses of Congress had agreed to give to the United Nations Population Fund... The president's [sic] sudden decision - a political sop to the extremist right wing of his party - is already having a dramatic impact on programs to help women around the world, but the impact will be especially 'barbaric, indefensible and brutal' in Afghanistan... How many of those poster girls for the war on terrorism will now bleed to death, terrified and in pain, while giving birth? How many will die of raging infections, leaving another family of motherless children to the harsh mercies of that ravaged country?" So writes Toronto Star columnist Michele Landsberg.

Bush Bashes Women Again
Women's Issues

From a Madison Capital Times editorial: "It's good to know that even in the midst of waging war on terrorism, George Bush is able to consider the nation's women. Unfortunately he's considering shrinking - if not eliminating - some of the federal agencies that are charged with protecting women's interests, according to a recent story in the New York Times. Those under fire include the 10 regional offices of the Labor Department's Women's Bureau. The bureau was created in the 1920s after women obtained the right to vote. Meanwhile, the panels that advise the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs on women's issues - like mammograms and sexual trauma - have been stalled because the White House has not named new members. Nor has the administration named new members to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services."

Bush v. Women: Transparent Play for Women's Votes Exposes Oppression of Women by US Allies
Women's Issues

Writes Maureen Dowd: "Bush aides say the campaign will try to influence the Northern Alliance to restore women's rights and press for women in the Afghan government. Of course, they also want to impress U.S. women, who preferred Gore to Bush by 11 points. It's a freebie, an easy way to please feminists who got mad when the administration ended financing for international family- planning groups that support abortion. This belated promotion of women as a moderating, modernizing force in the Islamic world sounds hollow. Bush senior went to war to liberate Kuwait, yet America has not made a fuss over the fact that Kuwaiti women still can't vote or initiate divorce proceedings. We also turn a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's treating women like chattel. There are 5,000 Saudi princes, but where are the princesses?" Why doesn't Laura Bush decry the Saudi's oppression of women, too? Answer: "The Bushes love that royal family and its oil."

Bush Bars Women in Armed Forces from Access to Abortions - Even if they Pay for It Themselves
Women's Issues

Thanks to Bush's misogynistic henchmen on the House Armed Services Committee, women serving in the U.S. military overseas and their dependents are barred from having abortions at military facilities - even if they pay for the procedure with their own money. The committee rejected a bill proposed by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), which would have allowed servicewomen to use military facilities for abortions. Because many women are stationed in countries where high-quality medical care may not be readily available anywhere but at a military facility, the committee's action reduces American women abroad to "Third World" status, and places their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being at great risk.

Mothers Day in Bushworld: Women Low on List of Shrub Priorities All Year Round
Women's Issues

This Mother's Day, nearly 6 million American moms with kids under age 19 will mark yet another year without health insurance. Nine in 10 of these ladies work and are thus ineligible for Medicaid, yet cannot afford commerical coverage. So, while Shrub wastes week after precious week kissing the rosy behinds of his corporate pals, he's done absolutely nothing to address the health care needs of children and the mothers who must struggle to care for them, all the while praying they never have an accident or fall ill.

Taliban Bans Women - Even Foreign Aid Workers - from Driving
Women's Issues

The Taliban has ordered all female aid workers not to drive because female drivers are "against Afghan traditions and negatively impact society." The Taliban also bars women from working and from receiving more than a rudimentary education. This is fundamentalism in action, folks - and we are now living under a fundamentalist regime ourselves, one that recently showered a $43-million show of support on its fundamentalist counterparts in the Taliban. Call your Senators and Congressmen and call for a complete investigation of Bush's donation.

Bush Blocks Justice for Japanese Sex Slaves
Women's Issues

The Bush administration is seeking the dismissal of a class-action lawsuit filed against Japan last year on behalf of hundreds of Asian women who said they were forced into serving as sex slaves during World War II. "I don't use this term or characterization lightly, but this is one of the most outrageous positions I've ever seen the United States take on issues involving fundamental human rights," said Michael D. Hausfeld, the women's lawyer. The Japanese government has not paid reparations to any of the estimated 200,000 women, most of whom came from Korea. Although the women are not U.S. citizens, they turned to the courts here under the Alien Tort Claims Act, a 212-year-old federal law that gives foreigners the right to file federal lawsuits for crimes committed in violation of international law.

Shrub's Social Security Scheme will Drive Millions of Elderly Women into Poverty
Women's Issues

Archie Bunker was a chauvinist, but at least he was funny and harmless. Shrub is a chauvinist from the same obnoxious, arrogant 1950s mold, but he is neither funny nor harmless. In fact, American women are in for a long, uphill slog as long as this predator stays in office. Just as women won one victory through this week's overturn of Shrub's despotic "global gag rule," a new report by the National Women's Law Center reveals that Shrub's scheme to privatize social security may drive millions of women over 65 into poverty. With each new day, Shrub offers new proof that he does indeed have a "disciplined agenda" - and it has nothing to do with the well-being of his fellow Americans.

Tell Congress to Declare April as 'National Sexual Assault Awareness Month'
Women's Issues

Every day, in this country, nearly 1000 people are sexually assaulted or raped - over 350,000 people every year. Half of these victims are children. One in six women, and one in twenty men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. And, contrary to popular belief, most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows - for children, the assailant is most often a member of their own family. For several years, activists have asked our government to recognize this hidden national tragedy by declaring April as "National Sexual Assault Awareness Month." ACT NOW to send a message to your Senators, urging them to declare April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The Anti-Woman Administration
Women's Issues

"The closing of the [White House Women’s] office may appear small to some, but it is very symbolic. The decision for women, along with the reversal of important executive orders and policies, will be quite significant over the next four years It could take years for women to restore the progress that was made during the Clinton administration…The White House Women's Office of Initiatives and Outreach allowed all women, regardless of party affiliation, religion, color, or to participate in government would have been a tremendous asset. It is a shame that when the president could have benefited so much from the inclusion of women's voices, he has chosen to take an important chair away from the table."

Bush: Women Should Be Seen But Not Heard
Women's Issues

Bush believes that allowing women to attend Yale ruined the place. It looks like he feels the same way about the White House. Bush hadn't even been sworn in when he eliminated the White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach. Clinton created the Outreach office as a way to give women more direct input into policy that impacts them. Cowardly to the core, Shrub informed no one of the January 19, 2001 move and let an answering machine tell astonished callers the news. Now outraged women nationwide are demanding answers. In response, Ari Fliescher has merely lied and acted dumb--the two things this White House does best!

Bush Closes White House Women's Office
Women's Issues

"President Bush has quietly closed the White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach, shutting a small but symbolic office in one of many indications that his administration intends to reshape the government's approach to women's issues." Audrey Haynes, who once was a director of the office, says that women’s rights advocates "don’t know who to call" in the White House without that office. Bush spokeswomen Claire Buchan still pays lip service to Bush giving women’s issues priority. Yeah, right – like when Bush re-instated the Global Gag Rule, or with appointments like patriarchist Wade Horn as assistant secretary of family support and others from Coors and Scaife-funded think tanks. Bush’s policies are drawing cheers from the likes of the Scaife-financed "Independent Women’s Forum" – the orwellian named anti-feminist organization.

Do Ask, Do Tell, Do Something About It
Women's Issues

According to CBS Reports, domestic violence within the military is five times higher than in the civilian population -- and those are just the reported numbers. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is being called upon to get tough and issue a zero tolerance policy with strict enforcement and serious consequences. As Marine Lt. General Jack W. Klimp says, "Being a good Marine does not involve thumping on your wife."

French Election Features 50-50 Gender Balance
Women's Issues

When French voters turned out on Sunday to elect mayors and local council members, the list of candidates had a gender balance very unusual for a country of male-dominated politics: 50 percent of the candidates were women. A law passed last year requires parties to field an equal number of male and female candidates. We could sure use a law like that in the US, where women hold only 20% of offices.

Why Would Any Woman Vote for George W. Bush?
Women's Issues

Any woman who thinks she might give George W. Bush the benefit of the doubt and vote for his so-called compassionate conservatism, should consider how much compassion he showed Betty Lou Beets.