Category Archives: World News

When Women are Leaders

By: Cassandra Hedrick

Women are not typically found in leadership roles, especially in the workplace. In fact, only a quarter of chief executives are women and most of that is because of women who own their own businesses. This is because of two main reasons: men tend to be favored for management positions and are given the experience that leads to them, while women get stuck in a cycle of bias. Because women are unable to prove their ability in management positions, they are not given management positions, causing them to not be able to prove their ability.

In this study from the American Psychological Association, men and women in leadership positions were observed. While women tend to use mentor style leading and men tend to use commander style leading, it was found that they are in fact equally effective in leadership positions. Actually, Alice Eagly, PhD noted that in some ways, women are actually more effective in leader ships positions.

There is no reason for women not to have leadership positions. They are equally effective as men, if not more, but because they have not had a chance to prove themselves, they are not given the chance. One organization working to give them a change is the Institute for Women’s Leadership. They provide training programs for businesses that help them get more women into leadership positions. It is important for women to demand and strive for leadership positions in the workplace, because they can and will do great things. You can do this by starting to apply for higher positions in any organization you are involved in, like clubs or teams at school. So, girls, get out there and show the world who’s boss.

Marriage before the Age of Consent

By: Nicole Mclaren

Childhood marriage is something that usually we do not think of happening in the U.S. but the definition of a childhood marriage is any marriage in which the parties are under 18. In almost every state this is legal but the requirements to get the marriage certificate changes between states.
The national average is about 5 out of 1000 underage people are married. The two states that have the highest average are Texas and West Virginia both averaging around 7 out of 1000 15-17 year olds being married. Still other states have outdated laws that allow 12 year old girls and 14 year old boys to marry with parental consent. in 2014 there were over 57,000 15-17 year olds married in the US, 55% of them were women.


According to Human Rights Watch, one out of four girls in the world will marry before the age of 18. There are over 7 million women and over 1 million men in the world who are in a childhood marriage. The over representation of girls in childhood marriages in the US and around the world is alarming. It is because of the rights of women and girls being an afterthought in cultures across the globe. Childhood marriage is an outdated system and we should be working to address it in the US and around the world.
Currently there is a bill being proposed in the New York state legislature that seeks to end child marriage by changing the age of marriage from 14 to 17. In the first decade of the 21st century over 3000 children were married in New York. Human Rights Watch has started an email to legislators in the state to push them to pass this bill. The organizations and politicians that support this bill are seeking to help protect the rights of these children, mostly girls married to adult men. Click the link to put your voice in!

 

https://www.hrw.org/EndChildMarriage

The Real Price of Cheap Clothes

By: Nicole Mclaren

In the U.S. we are lucky to have somewhat reasonable and protective labor laws. While there is room for improvement we have more protections as workers than people in other parts of the world. In the textile/cloth making industry, there has been a long fight for safe working conditions. Many of these textile factories are in developing countries like Bangladesh. In 2013 a factory collapsed and killed over 1000 factory workers. The factory was used to make clothing for Western companies including Walmart. This coupled with Bangladesh having some of the worst minimum wage laws in the world creates an unsafe and unsustainable work environment. This directly impacts many women in Bangladesh because they are the ones who hold these jobs.

The Fair Labor Association found that the wages that Bangladeshi factory workers make is below the world poverty line. In recentmonths workers have been organizing themselves and from December 11th to the 19th of 2016 they went on strike forhigher wages. The strike took place in 20 factories that produce clothing for global brands. The government immediately cracked down on labor organizers and activists in the country as a way to silence the factory workers. The companies that exploit this labor to produce clothes include H&M, Gap and other international brands. After the government crackdown against activists there has been a push from these companies to the government to address the low wages. While this seems like a step in the right direction it is also the responsibility of the companies to pay their workers a fair wage and to understand what their workers need.

As consumers we are also in a place of power to influence the companies and governments that make these decisions that impact people’s lives even across the globe. The market for cheap clothes is both out of necessity, because our wages do not allow us to make a different choice but also are value system. Being a more conscious consumer is an obligation we have to our fellow women and men. Pushing these companies and/or governments to respect the rights of these humans is easier said than done but there are ways to get involved. One organization to look into is United Students against Sweatshops http://usas.org/. You can become a member, start a chapter in your community or join a chapter near you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything You Should Know About Roe v. Wade in 2017

By: Jillian James

OVERVIEW

Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court Case that changed the face of women’s health in America. The case stated that a woman had the constitutional right to privacy under the 14th amendment if she decided to have an abortion, and that she had the right to have an abortion without interference from politicians.

HISTORY

Roe v. Wade was a case that challenged a Texas statute that stated that it was illegal for a woman to receive an abortion (unless the woman’s life was at stake). A woman named Norma McCorvey, who used the name “Jane Roe” to protect her identity, filed the case. McCorvey was a woman who lived in poverty and had a ninth grade education. After she found herself pregnant with her third child, she decided to fight for the right to have a safe, legal abortion.  She won her case, which was argued by lawyer Sarah Weddington, who was only 26 at the time.  The ruling make restricting access to abortion by making it illegal unconstitutional. McCorvey recently died this month. She had famously conflicting views about abortion, being the face of the abortion rights movement and then the anti-abortion movement later in life, but the legacy of the court case that defined her continues to live on.

ROE V. WADE- Before and After

Before Roe v. Wade, up to one-sixth of all childbirth related deaths were caused by illegal abortions. Now it is one of the safest medical procedures in the U.S. and has a safety record of over 99%.  Abortion is legal in all fifty states and women have access to medically safe abortions performed by trained doctors.

CALL TO ACTION

Tell your friends and family members about the importance of Roe v. Wade and its impact on women’s health. Share your voice let others know that you stand with the Roe v. Wade decision and that every woman should have the right to choose.

For more about abortion and abortion services, contact your local Planned Parenthood location to get information from professionals or visit Planned Parenthood on the web at plannedparenthood.org

SOURCES:

https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion/roe-v-wade

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/3013/9611/5870/Abortion_Roe_History.pdf

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/02/18/jane-roe-made-abortion-legal-then-a-minister-made-her-repent/?utm_term=.86a0b7541a26

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/legacy-of-roe-v-wade-endures-after-death-of-woman-who-sued/2017/02/18/6ea7d444-f615-11e6-9fb1-2d8f3fc9c0ed_story.html?utm_term=.5c405c91e416

Breaking down G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board

By: Nicole Mclaren

The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) plays a very important role but it does not receive very much attention even though their rulings have a much further reach and lasting impact than any political party or administration. In the past year since the passing of Justice Scalia Americans have been paying slightly more attention to it because we are interested in who will fill that seat. Here though I would like to take time to address a timely and important case that SCOTUS will be hearing in a month. That is the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. The ruling could determine whether or not transgender students are allowed to use the bathroom of their choosing.

The case began in Virginia when a school board demanded that the student who brought the case, Gavin Grimm, use a single stall bathroom because the school board did not want him using the boys’ facility. Two courts have seen the case, the first ruling was in favor of the school board while the second was in favor of Gavin and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who are representing Gavin. The school board has now appealed to the Supreme Court whose decision is ultimately final.

This ruling could have direct implications on the rights of folks in the transgender community and a less direct but still hurtful impact on student communities in general. We must combat the idea that allowing folks to use their bathroom or other public facility of choice is somehow a hindrance on other people’s rights. This is not the only attempt to hinder the rights of transgender folks in our country. Multiple state legislatures have tried to pass laws that make it mandatory for people to use the bathroom of their gender at birth. As the next generation of power we need to stand up for the communities whose rights are being attacked. One way we can do that is by educating people about their rights so that they have the knowledge and power to defend themselves. The ACLU provides many educational tools to do this, so if you want to know your own rights or help other people learn about their own click this link and use the free tools that are provided for us to stand up for ourselves and each other. https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights

Sexual Assault or Harassment at School & Title IX

By: Cassandra Hedrick

What Title IX is and How it Works

Title IX is one of the 1972 Education Amendments. It requires schools to receive federal funding for fighting sex discrimination. This includes not being able to participate in an activity because of your sex, being denied benefits from your school because of your sex, and being sexually assaulted on campus or by someone you know from school. Title IX protects students, faculty, and those of any gender identity. This means those who identify outside the gender binary are protected as well This means they must have protocols for stopping any sort of sex discrimination in classrooms, sports, and clubs. If you cannot find these protocols, you can file a complaint here.

Beyond just making sure kids of any gender are treated equally, Title IX primarily deals with sexual assault. If you have been sexually assaulted at your school or by someone who goes to your school, you can file a Title IX report. Your school should have the instructions on how to do this in an easily accessible place, such as the school website or in your school handbook. They should also have a Title IX director who you can contact. If they do not have these things, you should file a complaint.

Beyond this, Title IX provides a “bill of rights” for victims of sexual assault. This includes providing the victim with any resources available to keep them in classes, clubs, and sports, such as providing security, allowing them to change classes, or anything else to prevent them from dealing with their attacker.  The Title IX office is also required to tell the victim of their options to report the attack (to the school, police, or both) and counseling resources.

Once you do report, your Title IX director is required to investigate and give you and the attacker the opportunity to make statements and give witnesses. You also have the right to know what happens during every step. This gives victims peace of mind; by letting them know what is happening during the process, they are not left wondering what is happening. Once the investigation is over, you must be notified of the outcome.

Title IX is there to protect both students and faculty from any kind of sex discrimination, including sexual assault. Every schools’ Title IX procedure should be “well advertised,” but if you can’t find it, you should file a complaint. You should have a Title IX director that will walk you through every step in the process and keep you informed at every step. These procedures are put in place to protect and give peace of mind to victims of sexual assault.

Women’s Reproductive Health Around the World

By: Jillian James

States, the issue of women’s access to healthcare is a topic that has received considerable attention lately and is something that women are fighting everyday for. However, in other countries the circumstances are sometimes dire, and women lack the basic medical care that they need.

According to the World Health Organization, every day in 2010 about 800 women died due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. These complications can include severe bleeding, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortions. Out of those 800 daily deaths however, only five of them occurred in high-income countries. 440 of them occurred in Africa and 230 occurred in southern Asia.

If a woman is born in an economically developing country then the odds are immediately stacked against her and the prospect of a pregnancy can be a terrifying one. If a woman who lives in a developing country gets pregnant, she is twenty five times more likely to die from a pregnancy related cause compared to women who become pregnant and live in developed countries, according to the World Health Organization.

When one looks at maternal morality there is a very clear and saddening distunction between those who are rich or poor and those who live in countries that have advanced healthcare systems in place.

When women don’t have access to healthcare, it’s devastating for the entire population. Partners in Health states that the lack of access contraception in the developing world lead 63.2[(million maybe?) or something]estimated unintended pregnancies in 2012, and that over 100,000 women could be saved from maternal deaths by simply having access to contraception.

Women face health inequities simply because they are women, and there is still a stigma that exists about women’s healthcare worldwide. Women in developing countries also sometimes lack opportunities to create their own source of income, which gives them no way to pay for their healthcare. All the factors that that contribute to gender inequality like limited access to education, legal systems that favor men and do little to protect women, and gender based violence are magnified by poverty and a lack of knowledge and understanding about women’s health.

In order to help, do your own individual research about organizations that help increase access to women’s health globally and support them. Educate yourself and others about the issues and raise awareness of this issue on your social media.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.pih.org/blog/women-still-face-big-gaps-in-access-to-health-care

http://www.who.int/gho/women_and_health/en/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2492587/

Are Women Worth Only 80% of What a Man is Worth? : A Closer Look at the Pay Gap in America

 

By: Jillian James

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Women are dominating in the workforce. Currently there are more congresswomen and female CEOs than ever before, and women are equal or main breadwinners in four out of ten families.

However, women’s wages do not reflect their achievements and contributions to the workforce. In 2015, women made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. That’s a wage gap of 20%.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, it will take 42 years, or until 2059, for women to finally achieve equal pay for equal work.

Newsweek magazine states that women complete college at higher rates than men. Women are more likely to have higher GPAs and earned 47% of all law and medical degrees in 2014.

According to Newsweek magazine the average male surgeon in earns 37.76% more than an average female surgeon. This means that a female surgeon loses $756 in potential earnings a week, leading to a yearly loss of almost $40,000.

The pay gap is a real issue that affects real women. Lilly Ledbetter worked at Goodyear for over a year before shockingly learning that she was being paid less than her male counterparts. She ended up suing the company in 1988 for paying her far less than her male counterparts even though she was performing the same work. Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times, also was paid less than her male colleagues for performing the same duties.

Some argue that the pay gap is simply a myth made up by feminists. Others argue that women are paid less because they choose to cut down on their hours after having children or that they can afford to be paid less because they usually aren’t the breadwinners in a family. These harmful workplace stereotypes are simply untrue.

Our cultural mindset needs to change to reflect the economic and academic reality in our country. Women are now a vital and fundamental part of the workforce, and they put their time and energy into their jobs everyday. Men are no longer the sole economic providers for American families, and women are choosing to have children later on in their lives or not at all.

It is also important to note that women of color have it especially hard and typically get paid less than white women. Minority women must be equally valued in the workplace and their contributions cannot be overlooked.

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In order to fight for equal pay, we must elect representatives who vow to fight for equal pay and not be afraid to negotiate our wages. Equal pay for equal work is the next big step towards gender equality, and we can’t stop until we receive the pay we deserve.

SOURCES:

http://www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and-discrimination

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

http://www.newsweek.com/hard-facts-about-pay-gap-between-men-and-women-322623

Women’s Participation in Education and the Workforce

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1350163/women_education_workforce.pdf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/no-the-gender-pay-gap-isnt-a-myth-and-heres-why_us_5703cb8de4b0a06d5806e03f

https://www.theguardian.com/money/us-money-blog/2014/aug/13/women-equal-pay-gender-gap-stories-work

Women’s March 2017 Recap

By: Nicole Mclaren

 

The Women’s March on Washington and the sister marches were grassroots events that grew organically out of the current climate of our politics here in the US. The inauguration of Donald Trump, our 45th president, took place only one day before the event. There was also a historical moment that the march was celebrating, the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This march was able to combine both resistance to the political rhetoric surrounding women’s rights today and honor the fight for women’s rights in the past.

What is truly remarkable about this “movement” is that the importance of inclusivity is at the forefront. It is a reflection of our times and the modern feminists movements to address the fact that not all women have the same experiences and face the same troubles. There are factors like race, social and economic status, education, gender and sexual identity, language and cultural differences that have an impact on how we experience being a woman. It is important to address and celebrate these differences among the people involved in this movement as it gains momentum, we must also understand the connectivity of the various issues that affect us. We must  bear in mind the connection of immigration rights, civil rights, environmental justice, disability and worker’s rights to the empowerment of women across the world.

Planned Parenthood is one of the many organizations that is a partner to the Women’s March on Washington. The Florida chapter is becoming an official non-profit movement on February 11th and the group will host their first meeting in Orlando on the same day. Women of all ages are welcome to the meeting and it is important for young folks to be involved in this movement. The address is 134 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32801-1234, United States and here is a link to the facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/104697503381796/.

An Update on the Human Trafficking Epidemic in America

By: Nicole Mclaren

 

According to the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report the definition of human trafficking as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion” and “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services”. This may seem like an issue that does not have an effect on our lives in the United States, we have to keep in mind there are thousands of cases in the US each year.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported that in 2016 there were 26,727 calls and over 7,000 human trafficking cases in the US. The state with the highest concentration of cases was California with over 1000, followed by Texas and Florida which each had over 500. Over 70% of these cases were sex trafficking and women were the majority of the victims in these cases. It is important for community members to understand the risk, know how to identify victims of human trafficking and know how to act in the situation if it arises.

The Trafficking in Persons Report labels countries as Tier 1 through Tier 3. Tier 1 is the highest rating that a country can receive, the US falls under Tier 1, which means they are meeting the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards. The TVPA was passed by the US government in 2000. While this is good news there is still much work to be done to free the victims of this modern day slavery.

The tactics set forth in TVPA to protect and support victims of human trafficking are somewhat vague. Victims of human trafficking can face criminal charges for actions that are a direct result of being human trafficking victims. This lack of understanding as to what human trafficking looks like needs to be addressed by every community.  Another way to improve prevention and treatment of victims is to engage local and state governments more directly in these areas and making sure they understand what human trafficking is and that it is not a crime to be a victim of it.

Coercion does not always have to be physical and can manifest as a relationship between drug supplier and drug user. Runaway and homeless youth are particularly vulnerable as well as foreign nationals, it is important that these communities know how to prevent sex trafficking as well as deal with the consequences of it.

There are signs that we can use to help identify victims of human trafficking, they range from owing a large debt, high security at work, inability to give address, etc. Click here for signs to recognize. If you or anyone you know might be a victim of human trafficking you should call, 1-888-373-7888.

 

Sources: