The Global Citizen: Women's Rights Treaty (CEDAW)
A guest blog post by Tony Fleming as posted on the Global Memo:
Yesterday was the deadline for nominations for Executive Director of UN Women. The candidates will succeed the organization's first head, Michele Bachelet, who resigned suddenly in March to return home and stand for election to Chile's presidency.
At least six candidates are rumored to be under consideration.
I decided I will start off this gushy, loving article on Mother's Day with a depressing statistic (sorry): around the world, every two minutes a woman dies from preventable causes related to pregnancy. The real kicker? These deaths are 100% preventable.
There are several factors that play into this astonishing statistic. In some parts of the world, maternal health simply is not a priority. In Save the Children's mother index, you can see which countries are the best and worst places to be a mother. Can you guess how the United States ranks? The US came in 30th. 30th place. Wow.
The report explains that several factors are at play when it comes to a mother's health, including economic status, education level, and women's political status (to name a few). The Democratic Republic of Congo came in last place - the worst place to be a mother. Cultural practices play a role as well. For example, women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) are twice as likely to die during childbirth and are more likely to give birth to a stillborn child than other women.
Today is my favorite holiday. I learned about it in Italian class. In Italian, the holiday is called, La Festa della Donna, in English we call it International Women's Day. La Festa della Donna is my favorite holiday because in Italy, women are given mimosa flowers, a mimosa cake and are told to take the day off. It's like the Italian Valentine's Day for every woman.
In honor of La Festa della Donna I am taking the United Nation's International Women's Day theme of A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence against Wome.
Project Mimosa is my own personal motto to create awareness of women's issues. This is the year for ending violence against women. The United States Congress recently passed the Violence Against Women Act and with the same commitment to ending violence against women, the US Senate should ratify the Convention of the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Here are my reasons why:
This morning the Violence Against Women Act passed in the House of Representatives. This is exciting news for women all around the country, as this bill protects survivors of sexual and domestic violence and gives them various resources and services to prosecute their attackers. Since it's passing in 1994, this landmark legislation has reduced domestic violence by 64%, saved taxpayers billions in averted social costs, and was the first bill to make domestic violence a federal crime.
Human rights advocates breathed a sigh of relief, previously unsure of how the VAWA would get through the often-deadlocked House of Representatives. Since the bill has indeed passed and is on its way to President Obama's desk, it is a sure sign that maybe, just maybe, congress can put petty partisan fights aside and protect those who most need it.
Barbie is an iconic doll, who has been around since the 1950s. I had numerous Barbies (most of who were decapitated by my younger brother). I had Baywatch Barbie, Texas Longhorn cheerleader Barbie, teacher Barbie, wedding Barbie (with Ken) and all the Barbie books to match. I can thank my aunt for signing me up for the Barbie book club, in which Barbie, and her siblings/friends, went on all kinds of adventures. Barbie had numerous jobs in these books, to match her doll personalities. She was a vet, a doctor, nurse, pre-school teacher and a fashion designer.
Although it is encouraging to show girls that Barbie can have a variety of careers, there was never a real-world Barbie. Barbie is distorting the way girls think about themselves because Barbie is not representing issues that girls are going through. Barbie never shows real world problems--she's never been abused, drank too much, or been sexually assaulted. Barbie never ages, doesn't gain weight, doesn't commit crime and doesn't fall into depression. Barbie has never had an eating disorder, depression, or anxiety. She's perfect--and not realistic. Recently, a woman spent $80,000 on plastic surgery to look like Barbie and she's absolutely terrifying. Isn't it time that Barbie begins to look more like the rest of the world's female population?
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.
“They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!,” said Michael Nodianos, during a leaked video of drunk high school athletes verbally harassing a passed-out 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio. A dark cloud is hovering over the small town of Steubenville, where two proclaimed football athletes have been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl while unconscious.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, India, a 23-year-old student named Jyoti Sign Pandey was gang-raped and beaten by six men on a New Delhi public bus. And even as Pandey was thrown out of the bus completely naked, local residents and bystanders failed to help or clothe her as she bled from her severe injuries.
"I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
--Indiana GOP U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock in Tuesday's televised debate, in response to a question regarding the candidates' position on abortion.
In a society that is plagued with rape culture, this is a dangerous and horrifying statement, to say the least. Sure, we have seen backlash from the media, but just as in Todd Akin's case, this man will continue to run for Senate under the guise of "family values."
Now that both the Democrats and the Republicans have released their official party platforms for 2012, they can be compared side-by-side. We've done all of the legwork for you and have summarized their main stances on a number of issues. Hyperlinks are included and they will take you to the pertinent section of that party's platform if you want to read the actual text.
Update September 6: Changes made on the floor of the Democratic Convention have resulted in the platform stating that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the status of Jerusalem as an Israeli holding is a condition for any peace talks.
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