The Global Citizen: Take Action
By a margin of 78-22, the Violence Against Women Act passed in the Senate. Last year—that’s 501 days ago to be exact—Congress let VAWA expire for the first time since it was introduced and passed in 1994. The President released a statement of gratitude:
Today the Senate passed a strong bipartisan bill to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. This important step shows what we can do when we come together across party lines to take up a just cause. The bill passed by the Senate will help reduce homicides that occur from domestic violence, improve the criminal justice response to rape and sexual assault, address the high rates of dating violence experienced by young women, and provide justice to the most vulnerable among us. I want to thank Senator Leahy and his colleagues from both sides of the aisle for the leadership they have shown on behalf of victims of abuse. It's now time for the House to follow suit and send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law.
When: Saturday, February 9, 2013 from 1-2pm EST
Register Here: http://www.globalsolutions.org/evaw
The headlines are heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. From India to Ohio and beyond, we see stories of women subjected to gender-based violence, rape, and abuse. As 1 in 3 women will be raped or attacked in her lifetime, how can we as global citizens rise up and solve this global crisis?
Join GlobalSolutions.org as we talk with Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority and women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke! We will discuss what is happening on Capitol Hill: will Congress finally Ratify CEDAW? Or the Violence Against Women Act? We will discuss what the United States is and should be doing to fight this global epidemic, and how to mobilize the youth to get involved and become the next generation of crusaders to fight violence against women. We will also talk about the One Billion Rising movement, and what you can do to get involved!
As my regular followers (that is, I am hoping to have ANY regular followers) you know I write about 99% of these posts about women rights. Here is an important one. And I want you to do EVERYTHING on the list below. Ready, set, read:
We've all seen the news. A young woman brutally attacked and killed by a gang of men in Delhi. Youth here in the US making callous comments that have since gone viral about the rape of a young woman in their town. One in three women will be raped or attacked in her lifetime. That is completely unacceptable.
This is an issue that affects us all. It's time to end this global epidemic. Each of us can make a difference. Whether you've got just a few minutes, or are eager to hit the streets, it's easy to get involved.
1. Rally with us on February 14! Rally with GlobalSolutions.org and One Billion Rising, a movement that is bringing hundreds of thousands of concerned global citizens all over the world to rally, dance and raise our voices to declare that we will not tolerate violence against women anymore. Join us at the DC rally or start one in your own community. We have signs you can print out, Global Citizen t-shirts, CEDAW petition forms, info on rally locations and more. Contact (ME!) Arielle Weaver, to find out more.
By some estimates, Indiana has been the hardest hit state by the 2012 drought, but you would not know it by listening Republican Richard Mourdock or Democrat Joe Donnelly.
They are the front runners to become the next Senator from Indiana. Unfortunately, both have been stunningly quiet when it comes to the causes and meaning of the 2012 drought, perhaps the worst natural disaster to ever threaten the state.
Rain during the last few weeks have allowed Indiana to go from being in an exceptional and extreme drought zone to merely a severe one, but the damage has been done. It was miserable this summer in the Hoosier state. Way too hot and way too dry, served up with dire warnings of "fireweather." Nearly every major Indiana City broke or tied records for the hottest day on record and Terre Haute set at an all-time state record at 108°F. July was the hottest month on record in Indiana and June was the driest. It gets worse. The Union of Concerned Scientists have painted an even bleaker picture for Indiana over the next century if nothing is done to combat greenhouse emissions. The 2012 drought might just be the beginning.
This morning the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing on The Next Ten Years in the Fight Against Human Trafficking: Attacking the Problem with the Right Tools. Holly Burkhalter of International Justice Mission, David Abramowitz of Humanity United, and Jada Pinket Smith of Don't Sell Bodies testified, citing the enormity of the issue on a global scale.
While keeping myself from diving over the row of chairs separating me from Will Smith and his daughter Willow, I was shocked to hear that worldwide, there are 27 million women, children, and men being held in modern-day slavery. I am already convinced on how urgent this issue of sex trafficking and forced prostitution is; for it is a topic I am passionate about. Yet to others, what could have been the most convincing element of the testimonies to bring greater awareness, action, and prevention of human slavery were the stories of three women that Ms. Pinkett Smith brought to sit in the hearing. These three women had been either abducted as children, abused by her own parents, or kicked out of foster care-and all had suffered as victims of sexual slavery.
Citizens for Global Solutions, along with fourteen other organizations, signed onto a letter to President Obama asking him to urge the Bahraini government to free imprisoned democracy and human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. The letter, which was written by the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) can be read here.
CGS has also created a petition urging the U.S. government to speak out and tell Bahrain to free Al-Khawaja, which has so far drawn nearly 18,000 signatures. Al-Khawaja has been on a hunger strike for over two months and his health is rapidly failing, making his release from prison a matter of great urgency. To sign CGS's petition for Al-Khawaja's release, click here.
Guest Post by Nicole Helmers, University of Indianapolis, freshman majoring in Psychology and Occupational Therapy.
While all my wild friends were getting spray-on tans and neon bikinis for Panama City Beach for Spring Break 2012, myself and a couple of my classmates from the University of Indianapolis met up with other students from other Indiana Universities and headed to Washington, D.C. in dress pants and heels. After an eleven-hour bus ride, we arrived in this beautiful city, with the cherry blossoms in full bloom, eager to attend the Citizens for Global Solutions' 2012 Annual Conference early the next morning.
After maneuvering through D.C.'s stressful traffic, we arrived and discovered that the conference was filled with people of every age, race, and religion, not just college students. It was refreshing and empowering to be part of such a great group!
After a long day of traveling and spending a few hours out on the town the day before, we were now on Capitol Hill ready to kick off the conference and start our day of lobbying. As a Cincinnati resident and Ohio voter, I split off from my Indiana friends and headed to the Russell Office Senate building to meet with Senator Rob Portman's office.
Last week Citizens for Global Solutions held its Annual Conference, which included a day of lobbying senators and representatives and a visit to the White House. Lobby day was filled with discussions of global problems, how to lobby your representative in government, and the role and the importance of social media in grassroots movements.
The most important message I got out of the Annual Conference is that no matter who you are, you have a voice. You can use that voice to talk to your government and advocate for global issues that you want to put on the national agenda. It is too often argued that because of the financial crisis in the United States, foreign relations should be put on the back burner of national policy. But after seeing the excitement at this conference and the many people who feel as strongly on global issues as CGS does, it is clear that the United States needs to stay present in the global scene.
If the United States loses its influence abroad and ceases to work with international organizations, then we will lose the respect of other nations. Whether you call up your senator, tweet an article about the violence in Syria, or attend a protest, just remember: you have a voice and you should always use it. Stay tuned for more information and reactions to CGS's Annual Conference. More blog posts and photos to come!
My task for the Syria Valentine project was to figure out how to get in touch with "the Syrian Revolution." Needless to say I was a little intimidated. Locating and connecting with activists, conveying the project's sentiments, and finding a way to get our words of support to people on the ground was challenging. A week and a half ago, I never would have dreamed we would be able to make such a human connection purely though the internet, social media and email. But just since Amanda's blog was posted yesterday, we have received even more feedback from Syrian activists about our Valentine! The words are so heartfelt that I just had to share it with you.
Last week, staff gathered around a table in our office and discussed the sad accounts of Syrian activists feeling disillusioned and abandoned after Russia and China vetoed a UN Resolution aimed at stopping the conflict.
We knew we had to do something for the Syrian activists, but what?
The international community was moving at a snail’s pace, so our political advocacy options were unclear. But we did know one thing – even if mostly symbolic, it was important to let the Syrian people standing up for their freedom know that U.S. citizens haven’t forgotten about them.
We sent Syria a Valentine.
After all, Valentine’s Day has come to be regarded as a day that celebrates all kinds of love and friendship. If cards are given to teachers, parents, children, siblings, friends and sweethearts, why not Syrian activists?
Would our community understand the gesture and participate? YES!!
- Arms Control (22)
- Become a Member (3)
- Become a Member (1)
- Capitol Hill (165)
- CGS Political Action Committee (PAC) (17)
- Chapters (4)
- Civilian Protection (133)
- Climate Change (94)
- Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) (2)
- Congressional Report Card (7)
- Current Campaigns (8)
- Election News & Analysis (101)
- Fellows (2)
- Gender Based Violence (26)
- Genocide Prevention (113)
- Get Involved (70)
- Home (12)
- Human Rights (223)
- Human Rights Council (31)
- International Criminal Court (167)
- International Criminal Justice (51)
- Law & Justice (211)
- Law of the Sea Treaty (55)
- Nuclear Disarmament (81)
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) (2)
- Other (33)
- PAC: 2010 Election Endorsements (3)
- Partners for Global Change (2)
- Peacekeeping (104)
- Prevent War (182)
- Rights of the Child Treaty (10)
- Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) (19)
- Support Us (15)
- Take Action (24)
- Tax Deductible Giving (2)
- UN Funding (71)
- UN Reform & Revitalization (43)
- United Nations (321)
- usaforicc.org (1)
- WFI (5)
- Women's Rights Treaty (CEDAW) (47)