Women's Leadership

NEXT GENERATION FORUM--Big Dreams for Michelle Obama

December 5, 2008 posted by admin Michelle wakes up in the morning, takes a long satisfied stretch, and reaches for her blackberry resting on the nightstand. (Barack has already gotten the girls breakfast and taken them to school.) She’s got a lot of exciting issues to tackle today in her role as Partner-to-the-President: more family-friendly work policy, the reform and revitalization of public education, and the expansion of benefits and support for veterans and their families. Her calendar is chockfull of meetings with thought leaders and feminist politicians, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who she has come to consider a close friend and colleague and a group of community organizers—Adrienne Marie Brown, Majora Carter, Maria Teresa Petersen, Jehmu Greene etc.—that she is mentoring and bringing into the White House for personal meetings with the President and his team.


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The Next Generation of Women Leaders Speak Out

Posted December 5, 2008 by Kyla Bender-Baird In this year’s historic election, young voters played a decisive role in determining our new President.  According to exit polls, 68% of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted for Obama compared to 45% of voters 65 and up.  In California, it has been speculated that if only younger voters cast their ballots, Proposition 8—the initiative which stripped same-sex couples of their right to marry—would never have passed.  And yet, this is a generation often accused of political apathy.  What galvanized young voters this year to push past cynicism and turn out on voting day?


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SECRETARY OF STATE FORUM--Marie Wilson Urges HRC to Make A Lot of Phone Calls

December 2, 2008 posted by admin While President-elect Obama called on Monday for "a new dawn of American leadership," his selection of Hillary Clinton as our country's next Secretary of State brings a well-known, and in many instances well-liked, face to the international scene.  It is this mix of familiarity joined with fresh perspective that will allow Clinton to rebuild our nation's relationships with the world's leaders. According to The New York Times, the team assembled by Obama calls for a "sweeping foreign policy shift," geared to "strengthening the tools needed to deal with unconventional threats."  A well-funded and active state department is indeed central to this goal.  But building the opportunities to make this shift requires the mending of U.S.


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SECRETARY OF STATE FORUM--Abigail Disney on HRC’s Projected Ascent

December 2, 2008 posted by admin "Senator Clinton's accession to Secretary of State will be an unprecedented opportunity for women at long last to take their rightful place shoulder-to-shoulder in the  international community as leaders, as peers, and as beings whose human rights are as important, valued and 'inalienable' as those of men.  Too long the human rights community has dismissed women's rights as important, but not  'human rights' and therefore not important enough to be addressed by their gigantic and well-funded organizations.


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SECRETARY OF STATE FORUM--Women Leaders from Media and Academia Salute HRC

December 2, 2008 posted by admin

“As Barack Obama introduced Hillary Clinton as his nominee for Secretary of State on Monday, the wish of many during the heated presidential primaries came true: that there would be an opportunity to use the immense skills of both to tackle the enormous problems we face. There is no question that both realize they are being handed the most delicate of assignments. With Clinton's history of working for the rights of women, we expect that she will fold into her portfolio the fate of the women of the world—those targeted by acid in Pakistan, rape in the Congo, and hunger everywhere. Until these issues of personal security are resolved, it is unlikely that so-called high-level treaties will hold.”

--Carol Jenkins, President, Women’s Media Center


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TREASURY SECRETARY FORUM--Ms. Foundation President Sara Gould Advises Geithner to Bail Out Responsibly

Posted November 24, 2008 by Linda Basch

Linda Basch: What three recommendations do you have for Timothy Geithner, our next Treasury Secretary?

Sara Gould: First, we must strongly urge that the next Secretary ensure that the $700 billion bailout and other actions designed to address the economic crisis prioritize getting relief to communities that need it most. It’s not enough to rely on support for large banks to trickle down to middle and low-income people who are disproportionately affected by the plummeting economy—particularly when the banks’ share of the bailout came with few regulations and the conditions it did come with are being defied (see Naomi Klein’s article in The Nation).  Instead, the next Treasury Secretary should require that financial institutions use the bailout money for lending to consumers—instead of to boost the value of its shares. In addition to accountability and comprehensive regulations that apply to bailed-out banks and beyond, s/he should insist upon transparency and reveal exactly where the money is going and how it is being used. It is especially critical that the bailout money be used to help people who are facing or already in foreclosure—the majority of whom are likely women and people of color, as they were most likely to receive sub-prime loans in the first place. One promising option is to support FDIC chairperson Sheila Bair’s proposal to use $25 billion of the bailout to provide mortgage relief to homeowners. Her proposal would offer incentives to loan servicers to restructure mortgages, making payments more affordable. Second, an economic stimulus should be passed quickly. It should include immediate relief such as the extension of unemployment benefits as well as programs like job creation and training that will ensure economic stability for low- and middle-income people over the long-term. Any economic stimulus package should be sure to address the urgent needs of those who have been most impacted by the crisis, especially low-income women, women of color and their families. Recent statistics show that women are losing jobs at twice the rate of men. Third, we must return to a system of progressive taxation in which people with high incomes and net worth provide a larger share of tax revenues. New revenue should go towards domestic stimulus programs such as job training and infrastructure rebuilding as well as for key social and economic supports that have been eroded over the last two decades.


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TREASURY SECRETARY FORUM--Jacki Zehner Urges Geithner to Give Us Truth

Posted November 24, 2008

To Timothy Geithner:


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TRANSITION FORUM—Says Women’s Media Center President Carol Jenkins, “Our Work Has Just Begun”

November 7, 2008 posted by Linda Basch Linda Basch: What is your vision for an Obama administration?  Who are your ideal Cabinet picks?  What new offices, government departments, or agencies would you like to see set up?(We invite your biggest-sky thinking here, far out of the box!)  Carol Jenkins: Wouldn’t it be wonderful, given that women determined this victory, that all of the photo-ops we are beginning to see included as many women as men—as many people of color as non. The early signals about an Obama administration are crucial. This is not the time to reflexively turn to the “old hands” of previous administrations. New ideas are needed, fresh thinking is needed. The “old hands” have brought us to the brink of economic collapse.


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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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