Yesterday, May 17th, was the International Day against Homophobia. How did you commemorate it?
Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category
Clipped from Dipnote. The Annual World Food Day was on October 16th. Women are the key to food security:
Posted in 51 Percent, Congress, Economy, Election, ERA, Feminism, Feminist Majority, Great American Women, Human Rights, Politics, Women's Rights, tagged Ghandi, Obama, Politics, Romney, senate committee on foreign relations, STEM on October 19, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Let’s be clear, women in the US are still not equal citizens.
Regarding health care, the very fact that women were mentioned by line item in the Affordable Care Act so often shows that without these inclusions women would continue to receive a standard of care unequal to that of men. Because the Equal Rights Amendment is yet to be passed, there is no single standard of equality by which to judge and assure fair treatment.
Without the ERA, we chose instead to present the same face of discrimination to the world, as Iran, Somalia, and Afghanistan. Under Bush, even with Biden as Chair of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Obama, as a Committee member, CEDAW languished, as it has, since 1979.
Even under a Democratic presidency CEDAW still slumbers.
These two failures are that of Congress, because they have never made it to presidential signature. Nor have they ever come under judicial review.
Though it is hard to imagine any Democrat elected president would have vetoed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and many of us were upset that it was Obama, amid much fanfare, rather than Clinton, who was able to sign it, the fact is that the Bill was enacted.
The others, the Fair Pay Act, and Fairness Paycheck Act did not pass Congress. Again, since women are not equal citizens under a single standard, a multitude of bits of bills, each striving for a little slice of fairness, is currently the only way to achieve eventual parity.
As such, these are also failures of Congress. There is only one way to improve this condition. It entails an active defense and offence; but it first it requires an ownership of who we are.
Many of us are uneasy about the idea of defining ourselves. We may think it is too constricting or outdated. Some of us remember a time when using the term seemed a little too “whitebread” and did not correctly articulate the needs of women of color. I believe that Michelle Obama may have partly felt this way when asked if she was part of our group and she demurred. Some of us are still learning and believe that if we just try hard enough, wear the right clothes or behave, things will turn out all right.
Gaining equality is messy, sometimes dirty and smelly, often loud, frightening and even violent. Above all it is a process, rather than a one-time goal. It is a matter of choices. In the politics of women it is usually a matter of choosing the better of two, not so good choices. Pulling historical context forward to the present helps the process.
In the debate conducted on Oct. 16th President Obama said this:
“In my health care bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured, because this is not just a — a health issue; it’s an economic issue for women. It makes a difference. This is money out of that family’s pocket.
Governor Romney not only opposed it; he suggested that, in fact, employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage. That’s not the kind of advocacy that women need. When Governor Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for not just contraceptive care. They rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings. That’s a pocketbook issue for women and families all across the country.
And it makes a difference in terms of how well and effectively women are able to work. When we talk about child care and the credits that we’re providing, that makes a difference in terms of whether they can go out there and earn a living for their family. These are not just women’s issues. These are family issues. These are economic issues. And one of the things that makes us grow as an economy is when everybody participates and women are getting the same fair deal as men are.”
Now I don’t like the Affordable Care Act because I think it should have been a single payer system, rather than one based on the profits of insurance companies. Additionally, it has vulnerabilities for women because they are incorporated by line items that can be modified by a conservative Congress.
However, that does not take away from President Obama’s comments. The apparent groking of his SOS Clinton, (Women’s rights are human rights!) indicates the theme of Obama’s presidency toward women’s issues.
This is feminism.
Where the presidency has made successful inroads, to date, is outside of Congressional gridlock and misogyny. The Executive Branch has made a series of proclamations and Orders that advance the cause of women and girls, and therefore, humanity. For example, in 2009 he signed an Executive Order establishing the Council on Women and Girls.
A look the website for the Council shows that from that beginning has flowed a series of ideas, forums and actions that are enlarging the concept of women in government, including “The Equal Futures Partnership and United States Commitments to Expand Women’s Political and Economic Participation” (STEM) that was created this month.
This concerted Executive Branch effort has been seen elsewhere in our dealings internationally through the UN and the State Department.
These efforts unfortunately, are ephemeral. They could change with new players in the Executive Branch of a second Obama administration, or they could be actually snuffed by one of Romney’s construction.
What are WE going to do?
From the DOS:
International Day of the Girl: To Give Girls Everywhere What We Want for Our Own Daughters
The recent decision by Saudi Arabia to enforce an obsolete rule requiring that women under the age of 45 be accompanied by a man, is a very bad choice for a country that is allegedly trying to modernize. The new enforcement was conducted against a reported 1000 Nigerian women on Hajj, or Greater Pilgrimage, to Mecca this week. That and the additional insult against Nigerian people by deporting those couples, on Hajj, whose surnames did not match, have angered Nigerian Officials.
Countries have the right, no matter how backward, to dictate this kind of sexist repressive ruling on their own folks. This however, is a blatant attempt to dictate how Islam is to be conducted by other countries. 1000 Nigerian women don’t make that kind of arduous journey with insincere motives, or the idea that they may offend God. There is only one Mecca and that site embodies the beliefs of a wide and vast Islam.
The reported Wahhabist condoned destruction of precious historical buildings in the area and the failure to make Mecca a World Heritage site indicates how Saudi Arabia intends to keep control over a location that is not replicable. Saudi Arabia makes a pile of money every year on the Hajj pilgrimage and the lesser Umrah. As hosts, and as a purely commercial enterprise, the Saudi’s do a pretty fair job of crowd control, health services, housing and presentation.
However, this Saudi action indicates that the site of Mecca may now be lost to some, that it’s fundamental meaning is evolving, and that this year’s Hajj will proclaim sexist rather than Islamic solidarity.
These are worth reading. It was a fine eulogy for Chris Stevens, and a good inspirational speech tolling human commonalities.
I had to wonder about some of the the meanings of this part, however:
[...At a time of economic challenge, the world has come together to broaden prosperity. Through the G20, we have partnered with emerging countries to keep the world on the path of recovery. America has pursued a development agenda that fuels growth and breaks dependency, and worked with African leaders to help them feed their nations. New partnerships have been forged to combat corruption and promote government that is open and transparent, and new commitments have been made through the Equal Futures Partnership to ensure that women and girls can fully participate in politics and pursue opportunity. And later today, I will discuss our efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking....]
At least mentioned was the “Equal Futures Partnership“. Started last year, the United States with 12 other partners, businesses, and NPO’s the Partnership intends to promote women. A fact sheet HERE, describes what actions the US intends to take to promote equal partnership for women in this country.
This could be important stuff.
[Police arrested 17 women and 14 men at a march outside of the Virginia Capitol while officers in riot gear held the hundreds of demonstrators back with shields. The crowd was protesting the Virginia General Assembly’s approval of a controversial bill on Thursday to require women to receive ultrasounds before abortions. The 31 people arrested [...]/p
Posted in 51 Percent, Congress, ERA, Feminism, Health Care, Human Rights, Justice, Politics, Women's Rights, tagged 17 women, Blunt, Boxer, Contraception, Fluke, Maine, Misogyny, S.1467, Senate, Snowe on March 1, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Senator Boxer issued a press release on the defeat of the Blunt Bomb to day:
[Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2012
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
Boxer Statement on Senate Defeat of Blunt Amendment
Republican Measure Threatened Vital Health Services for Millions of American Women and Families
Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today issued the following statement after the Senate defeated an amendment by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would have allowed any employer or health insurance company to deny critical health care services to anyone:
³Today¹s vote is a victory for the millions of American women and families who were in danger of losing access to vital health services. It is clear that the Republican attacks on women¹s health are having ripple effects all across this country, and the fact that nearly every Republican voted for this amendment will not soon be forgotten.²
Thank you, Senator Boxer, for your efforts. Yea, a lot of reds and a few blues voted for this mess. Maine’s Senator Snowe was the only Republican Senator to vote against it. I don’t wonder she wants to retire. As an actual Republican, it can’t have been easy for her the last four years either.
Sure enough, she just put out a statement to that effect:
There are currently 17 women in the Senate-obviously nowhere near 51% of the possible 50 seats. Snowe’s seat MUST go to a woman if only to retain the status quo. I know it’s Maine, but a little diversity wouldn’t hurt either.
Posted in 51 Percent, Communications, Congress, Election, Feminism, Finance, Human Rights, Men's Rights, Politics, Women's Rights, tagged Bain Capital, Clear Channel, Fluke, Limbaugh, Misogyny, Paternalism, Pelosi, S.1467, Thomas H. Lee Partners on March 1, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
If you were out chopping wood to heat your house, after the weather we have had, you might have missed the tie-in of the Sandra Fluke story leading up to today’s vote to table the Blunt Bomb otherwise known as S.1467 – Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011². Last night, while trying to fall asleep, I came upon Nancy Pelosi’s pronouncement condemning Rush Limbaugh’s demented misogyny directed toward Ms. Fluke. I sure hope college student Fluke sues the gizzard out of Limbaugh and Clear Channel Vision and all those 600 stations and Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
Keep in mind though, Limbaugh is just the potty-mouth lap dog for those other paternalists who wouldn’t even let her speak at their hearing. I loved that the Pelosi site linked to this Think Progress page posted by Alex Seitz-Wald:
…[ While it¹s probably not even worth engaging with Limbaugh on the facts, Fluke¹s testimony was about a friend who is a lesbian and needed birth control for non-sexual medical reasons, so he¹s only wrong about three times over, and offensive many more times over than that....]
Clear Channel is to be blamed for this tripe. This kind of free speech does not deserve a 400 million dollar reward. That’s 50 million a year, and since his 8 year contract runs till 2016 we are going to be subjected to it for a while, unless we do something. COMPLAIN!!! BOYCOTT THE SERVICE!!
Clear Channel is owned by two groups. The first is Bain Capital which over the years has leveraged buy-outs on a lot of big name companies.
Founders for Bain Capital include:
T. Coleman Andrews III
Clear Channel’s other group is Thomas H. Lee Partners,(THL) which among other numerous assets, recently bought Warner Music Group. They also leverage big buy-outs.
The top three people for THL are:
Vice Chairman and Managing Director David Harkins
Vice Chairman Scott Schoen
Co-President Scott Sperling
Sex is for two. Contraception is for humans. If there weren’t any men, women wouldn’t need it.
By the way, I hope you noticed who was at the top of the Bain list. No wonder he wasn’t sure how to answer.
UPI and alJazeera are reporting that Syria has begun an all out ground assault on it’s Hom District. The UN Envoy was not allowed into the country, and UN’s Kofi Annan is calling for resolution and an end to the fighting.
The VOA has reported that a bomb exploded in Instanbul, Turkey, near the ruling party’s headquarters. Several police officers were injured.
AlJazeera has an interesting perspective on the situation HERE.