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.

Quick Links on the 36th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

January 22, 2009 posted by admin [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="165" caption="2004 March for Women's Lives in DC (photo via NOW)"][/caption] Today marks the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  As we look back to commemorate this historic court decision, we must also look forward to renewing, restoring, and securing reproductive and sexual health for all women.  Gloria Feldt recently reminded us of the importance of recognizing reproductive rights as human rights.  In order to restore reproductive rights, Caryl Rivers at Women’s eNews urges us to start now.


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NEW YEAR'S FORUM: Elizabeth Holtzman Demands We Not Forget About Women

January 9, 2009 posted by admin New years, new administrations, change itself generally elicits a feeling of optimism in me--and I can’t repress that sense now.  Here are my hopes and concerns. I feel glad to see President Bush and his team go: they wreaked such damage on our country and the world--and undermined our deepest values by riding roughshod over the constitution, thumbing their nose at the rule of law and torturing people.  I hope that the country will take proper steps to hold them accountable for their actions even after they are out of office.  The past Administration was also hostile to women, particularly to our right to birth control and choice, treating us as though we were children incapable of making critical decisions for our lives.  Relieved that is over, but am still troubled by the efforts of too many to continue to control what in the end are deeply personal decisions for women, decisions that define our humanity. I hope that these efforts diminish in the years ahead. Americans face a ruined economy, and I am deeply afraid that women and children will be the biggest victims.  With the safety net of welfare gone, what will happen to the poorest of the poor?  Welfare was a concept that President Roosevelt adopted as one way to deal with the devastation of the Great Depression; while deeply flawed, it still reflected a national commitment to poor women and their children.  I hope that in these dire economic times we don’t lose sight of the needs of this vulnerable group.


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NEW YEAR'S FORUM: A Conversation with Kavita

January 6, 2009 posted by  Linda Basch As we start off with our New Year’s Resolutions for the nation, I begin with an inspiring conversation I recently had with Kavita Ramdas, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. We were musing about the future, particularly with regard to women’s human rights at this optimistic moment for the country, with a new administration about to take charge in Washington. But as Kavita pointed out, as we begin to look forward, we also need to be self reflective as a nation. We need to develop a sense of collective responsibility. A number of problems have grown up over the past several years that we can’t sweep away, that we must address as a country and hold ourselves accountable for. I couldn’t agree more. I love conversations that are as wide-ranging as this one was.  We covered a lot of ground.  Some highlights:  As someone who works on global women's rights, Kavita hopes that the new administration will place a high priority on advancing women's rights worldwide. This can only be achieved by the US decreasing its emphasis on militarism and violence as the primary means to resolve conflict and re-focusing its efforts away from the so called "war on terror" towards efforts to eradicate global poverty, inequality, and injustice. Yet, she insisted, that much of the US's ability to achieve such results globally will depend on the choices it makes inside its own borders. So, I asked Kavita what she would like to see in terms of change right here at home….


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Highlights of 2008 on The Real Deal

January 2, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird The Real Deal blog at NCRW has only been live for three months. However, the posts people have shared have been so rich we thought we’d take a moment to highlight 2008 at The Real Deal for those coming to us for the first time.  During the election, we highlighted voices from Idaho, Michigan, and Ohion in our Views from the Swing States forum.


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Abortion Rights are Human Rights

December 19, 2008 posted by Linda Basch Gloria Feldt recently reviewed the book Our Bodies, Our Crimes for the journal Democracy.  Her article, however, is much more than a book review.  It is an historical overview of the reproductive rights movement, an analysis of current political trends, and, most of all, a call to action. Needless to say, we had to share!  Criticizing current pop culture depictions of unplanned pregnancies, Feldt writes, “if the realities of abortion are often overlooked, its potency as a political weapon for the Right remains strong.”  This election season, two states voted on ballot initiatives that would have limited women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care.  In Colorado, Amendment 48 would have granted full legal rights to fetuses and South Dakota once again faced an outright ban on abortion services.  Even though both initiatives were soundly defeated, Feldt states, “Like water on porous stone, the Right has slowly eroded the vulnerable legal protections of Griswold and Roe.” Feldt continues,


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TRANSITION FORUM--Women’s eNews Founder and Editor-in-Chief Calls for Office of Maternal Health, Title IX Task Force, and More

November 7, 2008 Posted by Rita Henley Jensen, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Women’s eNews As The Memo: A Status Report on U.S. Women produced this summer by Women's eNews documents, we’ve seen a decline in U.S. women's wellbeing during the last decade: Our labor force participation is down; the wage gap is persistent, women's health indicators are falling, violence against women is likely to increase during the recession and lesbian or suspected lesbians who are in the military are most likely to be discharged under the Ask Don't Tell policy.  Bias against women is systematic and needs to be addressed in a systematic way. To move women and the issues women care about most from the margins to the center in this new administration, President Obama should hold a joint monthly with the women's caucuses of the House and Senate.   He should also consider the suggestions outlined below. New Appointments, Task Forces, and Advisory Positions I have two strong candidates for the Secretary of Treasury Post and both are brilliant and neither has made public statements insulting women's abilities in math and science, as has Lawrence Summers, who is currently under consideration.  They are: 1. Brooksley E. Born is now chair of the board of the National Women's Law Center. From 1996 to 1999 she was chair of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission the federal government agency that oversees the futures and commodity option markets and futures professionals.  While at the CFTC, Born served as a member of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets and the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions. She was fired from her post because she dared to urge tighter regulation of trading in derivatives.  She was given her pink slip by none other than, yes indeed, , Mr. Shortlist for Treasury Secretary himself, best know for challenging the existence of gender bias and for his statement that "innate differences" between men and women might explain why fewer women succeed in those careers.


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Feminist Town Hall November 5, 2008 Live @ 7 PM ET

November 5, 2008 posted by Vivienne Heston-Demirel Apologies for audio problems. It is 7:30 and we are going LIVE.

7:27pm

Michelle Goldberg - journalist/author, specialized in ideology and politics - said she was optimistic but that there were a few dark clouds, namely, anti-gay ballot initiatives that passed in California, Florida, Arizona (anti-gay marriage), and Arkansas (anti-gay adoption). All of the anti-choice initiatives failed. There is a potential for extreme right-wing terrorism, including attacks on abortion providers.

7:45pm

Andrea Batista Schlesinger - Executive Director, Drum Major Institute for Public Policy - just concluded her opening statements.

7:48pm


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SWING STATE FORUM--The View from Ohio

November 1, posted by Linda Basch 


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SWING STATE FORUM--The View from Michigan

October 31, 2008 Posted by Linda Basch

Below is my exchange with Susan W. Kaufmann, Associate Director for Advocacy at the University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women, where she addresses issues important to women through research and action.  She holds an MS in environmental advocacy from the University of Michigan.

Linda Basch: What are the key issues facing women in your state?


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SWING STATE FORUM--The View from Idaho

October 31, 2008 Posted by Linda Basch 

Below is my exchange with Lisa McClain, Director of Gender Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Boise State University. In addition to her teaching and authoring of books and articles, Lisa is active on issues regarding women and religion, women and disability, violence against women and women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

 

Linda Basch: What are the key issues facing women in your state as they get ready to hit the polls?


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