Health, Reproductive Rights & Sexuality

Full equality for women and girls can be attained only when they have the information and services they need to lead healthy lives and make informed and independent decisions about their health, reproductive health and sexuality. Health for women depends on many factors, including access to safe water and nutritious food; affordable care and insurance; disease prevention and access to comprehensive reproductive and maternal health services; and awareness and support for women with HIV/AIDS and other diseases and disabilities. Health is not limited to physical well-being but extends to sexuality, mental health and body image as well. Explore the resources listed below, including Related Categories links, or use the Keyword Search for more information.

LGBT Activism: Past, Present, Future

May 13, 2009 posted by admin

With the legalization of same-sex marriage spreading like wildfire in the Northeast  and exciting progress on hate crime protections (legislation passed the House AND Angie Zapata got justice),  what better time to discuss the past, present, and future of LGBT activism? 


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Health Scare Underlines Need to Repair Safety Nets

May 1, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar The recent health alert on swine flu has serious implications for those surviving at the margins of society without health care, paid sick leave, or other benefits. Women working in low-skill jobs are particularly vulnerable. Judith Warner's piece in the NYT brings much-needed attention to this issue: how to provide economic security for millions of women, particularly those who are single heads of households, working part-time jobs that are tenuously held at best.


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FAST FACT: New York and Missouri have at least one thing in common…

April 30, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird …they are the only two states where without an advance directive, your doctor is not legally allowed to consult anyone before they make major medical decisions for you (such as whether or not you receive chemotherapy if you've had a stroke and have cancer). An advance directive is your power of attorney and living will combined, stating your wishes for medical care and who you designate to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated.  According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 86% of New Yorkers visited a medical provider at least once in 2007.


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FAST FACT: Don’t Forget About Health in the Economic Storm

March 12, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird This week is http://www.lgbthealth.net/awarenessweek09/ ">National LGBT Health Awareness week.  In honor of this important week, I wanted to share with you a stat I found from the Big Five Research: 50 percent of uninsured women have dependent children and half of them (54 percent) are employed. Even as much of our energy has been focused these past few months on the economy, I think it is vital we don’t forget about the importance of health!  Which is why the Council features both economic security and health as part of our Big Five Campaign.


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New Film—Not Yet Rain—Tells the Stories of Women Who Have Sought Abortion Care

March 11, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird Yesterday, the fantastic international reproductive rights organization, IPAS contacted the Council, announcing the launch of an important new film: Not Yet Rain.  Here’s the scoop:


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FAST FACT: LGBT Students of Color Face Alarming Rates of Harassment and Violence in School

February 28, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network reported the experiences of 2,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) middle and high school students of color who were African American or Black, Latino/a, Asian or Pacific Islander, Native American, and multiracial as part of their National School Climate Survey.  The report found that


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THE GLOBAL TRACK: India--Land of Malls and Ragpickers

February 11, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar

 
 

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="298" caption="Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury"]Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury[/caption]

I was recently in Calcutta, India, my place of birth, home to where my mother, a sibling, old friends, and sweet memories still reside. This is my other “home” where I try to get to every year to renew and regenerate myself, and recharge from the stresses of a running a two working parents’ nuclear household in frenetic New York City. My trip last month came after a two year gap; I felt the familiar overwhelming desire to be there, to be a part of the sights and sounds of an India that were at once familiar and yet distant to me. Having left almost 23 years ago to move to the US, I have a unique insider-outsider vantage point. I was born and brought up there; I know things instinctively – all the cultural puzzles, contradictions, nuances of language, wordplay and verbal cues, body language, subtle things - that only a native-born can ever know. But, having been away long enough, and trained in and working in a field where critical inquiry is required, I can no longer accept without questioning the status and daily conditions of millions of people living in absolute poverty, what Collier refers to as The Bottom Billion. Even as India’s economy grows steadily at about 8% a year, there are entire communities of people, some 300 million of them, who live under a $1 a day without regular access to food, water, housing, livelihoods, reproductive healthcare or education. Malnutrition in children under five is at a staggering 45%.

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GIRLS FORUM: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

February 10, 2009 posted by admin My first memory in life is of my mom holding me up as a human shield to try get my dad to stop beating her—possibly to stop from killing her. I was 2-years-old at the time. My book for young women, RESPECT: A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GETTING RESPECT AND DEALING WHEN YOUR LINE IS CROSSED (Free Spirit Publishing, 2005), was born out of a life riddled with disrespect. Like many girls and women I’ve met, I grew up in this home where domestic violence, addictions, incarceration, near poverty and "-isms" from racism to sexism were diminishing my family. But I was one of the lucky ones who discovered the many keys to breaking this cycle. Through following my passions, discovering my mission in life and getting help--among other Steps to Respect--I learned that respect is always within reach because true respect starts on the inside.  Now as I travel the country coaching girls and women, I hear a lot of stories just like mine. And as part of this work, I share with them an amazing video made by Jennifer Uribe, our 19-year-old program assistant at Respect Rx (a venture I founded last year). Jen's video includes powerful stats  that some girls have heard and some haven't, like: 


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Queers Descend Upon Denver to Create Change

February 4, 2008 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird [caption id="attachment_1043" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="With Robyn Ochs and a fellow NYC Bi activist"][/caption] I spent this weekend in Denver, CO at the 21st Annual National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Conference for LGBT Equality (aka “Creating Change”).  As Kate Clinton warned, I am recovering from the shock of re-entry into the “real world” where, in fact, not everyone is queer—nor even an ally (bummer).  This was the second year I was able to attend this fabulous conference where thousands of LGBT activists gather to network, build coalitions, and share tips on how to create change.  And I gotta tell ya—I’m hooked! Since I skipped the day-long institutes, my first Creating Change event was Dolores Huerta: “We Have Arrived!”  Dolores Huerta co-founded United Farm Workers of American with Cesar Chavez.  She immediately caught my attention when she stated that the minimum wage should be no less than $25/hour.  Now that’s what I call a living wage!  Huerta further captured my heart when she said, “We need to educate ourselves about each other’s movements and organizations.”


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GIRLS FORUM: Navigating Girlhood to Womanhood from New Moon’s Nancy Gruver

February 5, 2009 posted by admin We asked activists and scholars in the girl’s rights movement to draft a letter to President Obama, outlining their Girls Agenda for 2009.  Here’s what Nancy Gruver, founder and CEO of New Moon Magazine had to say: Dear President Obama: As Malia and Sasha’s proud father I don’t need to tell you how having daughters can give you new eyes on the world.  My daughters, Mavis and Nia, are adults now.  But it feels like just last week that they were ten years old and I was worrying about how to help them navigate the treacherous journey from girlhood to womanhood.  We started New Moon Girls magazine together to give girls a place to express themselves and make the world better. I believe you agree that growing up should mean increasing opportunities as well as responsibilities for our daughters.  It should mean increasing respect and rewards for their intelligence, creativity, and skills.  It should mean they have access to equal education and healthcare, including effective pregnancy prevention.  It should mean they have the freedom to walk down the street or go on a date without worrying they might be attacked just because they are female.


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