Reproductive Health

Reproductive health problems remain a leading cause of illness and death for women, particularly in developing countries. A leading cause of maternal death is lack of access to health services and prenatal care. Health begins with accurate and comprehensive sex education during adolescence – education that needs to continue throughout adulthood. Researchers in our network are currently working to disseminate evidence-based information and increase access to the full range of reproductive health services so that women can lead healthy and productive lives. Studies have demonstrated the advantages of comprehensive sex education compared with abstinence-only or other programs in preventing teen pregnancy, raising the age of initial sexual activity and lowering rates of sexually transmitted disease. More effort is needed to address the health needs of marginalized populations, particularly immigrant women, who are less likely to seek pre-natal and preventive screenings and care.

Ms. Foundation for Women

Forty years ago, four visionary women established the Ms. Foundation for Women to elevate women's voices and create positive change. Today, we're a dynamic and powerful entity that is leading the charge on women's issues nationwide.
 
We start with the knowledge that our fight is not yet over. It's true that women have come a long way since the 1970s, but for every woman who has reached the "top" (and who still face discrimination, by the way), there are millions of women struggling to earn a living wage, gain access to basic health care, secure affordable child care and participate in the opportunities that should be available to every person in the U.S.
 
At the Ms. Foundation, we work to bring attention to the real challenges facing women, especially women of color and low-income women, living in poverty, working paycheck to paycheck or both.

Contact

12 MetroTech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Ph. 212/742-2300
Fx. 212/742-1653
http://forwomen.org/
info@ms.foundation.org


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Principal Staff

Anika Rahman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Deborah Jacobs, Vice President, Advocacy and Policy

Alesia Soltanpanah, Vice President, Development
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Projects & Campaigns

 
It's ridiculous and alarming that birth control and basic health services are still "controversial." We're leading the fight to protect women's reproductive rights, including abortion, access to contraception and health care, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color.
 
Equal Pay for Women

Forty years ago, a woman would earn only 56% of what a man would earn in an identical job. Today, the pay gap is stuck at 77%. We aren't satisfied, and we won't quit until women earn equal pay for equal work.
 
Affordable Child Care & Quality Child Care Jobs

Did you know that the full-time child care costs for an infant eat up 41% of the average single mother's income? Or that the very people we rely on to take care of our children earn some of the lowest wages in the country? Affordable child care and quality child care jobs are essential to the health and stability of U.S. families. We need policies that support working parents and providers and reflect real family values. 
 
 
Whether it's a colleague, friend or family member, it is likely that you know someone who has been affected by child sexual abuse. Each of us has a role to play in breaking the silence and supporting solutions. Preventing child sexual abuse is within our power, and we are working to provide information, education and resources to keep our children safe. 
 
Immigration Law that's Right for Women
 
The majority of immigrants are women – women who are often concentrated in low-wage jobs without access to health care and other benefits, women who have fewer protections from gender-based violence, and women who disproportionately suffer from failed immigration policies. We're advancing immigrants' rights in support of women.

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Reports & Resources

Click here for Ms. Foundation publications.


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Opportunities, Grants & Fellowships

Grants

We believe that women are the engine for change in their communities. By funding game changing organizations that are successfully addressing pivotal issues of reproductive health; affordable child care with living wage jobs; and ending child sexual abuse – we are having real impact on the lives of women, children, families and paving the road toward a nation of justice for all.
 
As a national grantmaker, we support organizations at all levels, from grassroots to state and national organizations. We believe that women most directly impacted by an issue are the real experts and we select groups that are of the community they work in.
We choose our grantees carefully, informed by decades of work in the field. Our goals is to connect with emerging and established groups poised to act when and where change is needed.

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The Feminist Majority Foundation

The name Feminist Majority Foundation is a consciousness-raiser, inspired by a Newsweek/Gallup public opinion poll that showed the majority of women (56%) in the United States self-identified as feminists. Most polls since then reveal that this majority continues with over two-thirds of young women self-identifying as feminists. Most men, especially young men, view themselves as supporters of the women's rights movement.

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which was founded in 1987, is a cutting edge organization dedicated to women's equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. In all spheres, FMF utilizes research and action to empower women economically, socially, and politically. Our organization believes that feminists - both women and men, girls and boys - are the majority, but this majority must be empowered.

Contact

1600 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209
Ph. (703) 522-2214
Fx. (703) 522-2219
http://www.feminist.org
femmaj@feminist.org


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Principal Staff

Eleanor Smeal, President
E-mail: esmeal@feminist.org

Katherine Spillar, Executive Vice President and Secretary
Ph. (310) 556-2500 x 102
E-mail: kspillar@feminist.org

Ina Coleman, Managing Director
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Abortion

Abortion is a necessity for millions of women worldwide, for their health, for their wellbeing, for their dreams of a better tomorrow. The reality is that a woman will seek an abortion—legal or otherwise—almost instinctively and in self defense. A woman will do this when an unwanted pregnancy presents an excessive strain on her or her family’s physical, emotional or economic resources. Throughout the ages, courageous women have made it their right and indeed their responsibility. In a civilized society we owe women the legal right to make their decision safely.

Birth Control

Contraceptives—birth control methods—prevent pregnancy. All women and men have a right to safe, effective, affordable and accessible contraception. Contraception reduces the number of unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion; it’s an essential and basic preventive health service globally.

The more contraceptive options a society has, along with easy access and the education to use them, the less a society has to depend upon abortion. In the United States, however, there are fewer contraceptive options than in other developed nations, access is far more complicated, and cost is prohibitive for far too many. In developed countries like The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden—where effective contraceptive choices are easily accessible and inexpensive or free—women have lower abortion rates compared to the United States.

Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls

Campaign Objectives:
-Increase and monitor the provision of emergency and reconstruction assistance to women and girls
-Support Afghan women-led non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Afghan Ministry for Women's Affairs, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission
-Increase security and safety for Afghan people, especially women and girls
-Promote women's rights, healthcare, and education

Mifepristone & Cancer Research

The Feminist Majority Foundation played a critical and decisive role in helping assure mifepristone's U.S. approval for safe and effective early medical abortion. In addition to fighting to expand women's safe abortion option, for more than a decade, the FMF has also been advocating for non-abortion clinical trials using mifepristone to treat cancers and other life-threatening conditions that solely or disproportionately affect women.

Campus Activism

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) started the Campus Program to inform young feminists about the very real threats to abortion access, women’s rights, affirmative action, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights posed by right-wing extremists. FMF works with students on college campuses to effect change at the grassroots, national, and global levels. The Campus Program is built upon FMF’s philosophy that the most effective activism is informed activism, or study to action. Our program provides progressive students with opportunities to learn about timely feminist issues, develop their leadership and organizing skills, and connect with the larger pro-choice and feminist movements

Education Equality

Title IX is most well-known for increasing women's participation in sports. In 1971, only 294,015 girls participated in high school athletics. According to the U.S. Department of Education, today, over 2.7 million girls participate in high school athletics, an 847 percent increase. However, males are still the majority of high school and college athletes.

Girls Learn International

Girls Learn International (GLI) educates and energizes U.S. students in the global movement for girls’ access to education. GLI pairs Chapters in U.S. middle schools and high schools with Partner Schools in countries where girls still lag behind boys in access to education and where girls are far less likely than boys to stay in school past the primary grades. The GLI Program supports the empowerment of U.S. students as they discover that through their own creative initiatives, dedication, and passionate leadership, they can create real solutions that address the obstacles facing girls and women here around the world. Student-to-student, and student-to-parent, GLI is building a movement of informed advocates for universal girls’ education and a new generation of leaders and activists for social change.

Global Women's Rights

The Feminist Majority Foundation is committed to empowering women and girls around the world. Join us as we advocate for Afghan women and girls, women in Iran, increased funding for global sexual reproductive health and rights, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), known as The Women's Treaty, and the worldwide elimination of violence against women.

Ms. Magazine

Ms. was the first U.S. magazine to feature prominent American women demanding the repeal of laws that criminalized abortion, the first to explain and advocate for the ERA, to rate presidential candidates on women's issues, to put domestic violence and sexual harassment on the cover of a women's magazine, to feature feminist protest of pornography, to commission and feature a national study on date rape, and to blow the whistle on the undue influence of advertising on magazine journalism.

National Cetner for Women and Policing

A program of the Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Center for Women & Policing (NCWP), promotes increasing the numbers of women at all ranks of law enforcement as a strategy to improve police response to violence against women, reduce police brutality and excessive force, and strengthen community policing reforms.

National Clinic Access Project

The National Clinic Access Project (NCAP) assists independent clinics and physicians as well as affiliated clinics, both non-profit clinics as well as for-profit. NCAP began as the National Clinic Defense Project in 1989 by mobilizing 10,000 pro-choice volunteers in response to Operation Rescue's threat to turn Los Angeles into the first "abortion-free city."

Rock for Choice

Rock for Choice was founded by L7 in the fall of 1991 to mobilize the music community to protect abortion rights and women's health clinics. After meeting with the Feminist Majority, which heads the largest clinic access Project in the country, L7 organized the first Rock for Choice concert at the Palace in Los Angeles on October 21, 1991. This historic concert featured Nirvana, Hole and Sister Double Happiness.

Feminists Against Sweatshops

Women make up 90 percent of sweatshop laborers. The majority of these women are between the ages of 15 and 22. Companies that use sweatshop labor to increase their own profit margins are taking advantage of predominantly young women.

Violence Against Women

Change the FBI definition of rape. Find out how you can encourage your community leaders to test the backlog of rape evidence kits. Watch a video about rape kits and order the action toolkit.


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Reports & Resources

 
The Feminist Chronicles,written by Toni Carabillo, Judith Meuli, and June Bundy Csida, provides the most thorough history to date of the women's movement and the advancements women have made in the U.S. from 1953 to 1993.
 
 
This Teacher's Guide, provided on FM's website in 1995, gives a sample approach to teaching women's history, including topic breakdowns and bibliography.
 
 
Get comprehensive data on women and policing, from gender-balance statistics in nationwide police departments to stats on women in leadership positions within law enforcement.
 
 
Including comprehensive statistics and analysis on clinic violence nationwide, the Annual Clinic Violence survey is the foremost source on threats and violence against reproductive health clinics, and law enforcement response.
 
 
In order to further clinics’ and communities’ ability to provide safe abortion access, the Feminist Majority Foundation and NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund have updated this booklet, first published in 1996.
 

Overview of research providing compelling evidence that increasing the number of female officers improves police response to violence against women and reduces police use of excessive force.
 
 
The creation of this 2007 Handbook has been a major activity of General Handbook Editor, Dr. Sue Klein, Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation Education Equity Program. This Handbook is especially valuable to the increased numbers of researchers, educators and educational activists interested in gender equity and their equity allies at all educational levels. In addition to schools of education, it is a valuable reference book for journalists, women's and gender studies faculty and students, and for professional organizations concerned with educational equity
 
 
Feminist Majority Foundation research confirmed widespread non-compliance with Title IX and the U.S. Constitution protections against sex discrimination in all but four states which instituted deliberate single-sex education in over 1,000 public K-12 schools during 2007-10. Key recommendations include rescinding the 2006 ED Title IX regulations which weakened safeguards against sex discriminatory sex segregation and empowering Title IX coordinators to identify and help stop this increased sex discrimination.
 
 
Feminist Majority's in-depth analysis of the gender gap and how it affected the controversial 2000 presidential election, as well as key races and feminist victories in Congress and statewide elections.
 
 
A variety of archived chats featuring well-known feminist leaders, as well as lesser-known women doing amazing work. Chat topics include emergency contraception, AIDS, clinic violence, and the courts.
 
 
FMF led the successful 12-year campaign for the approval of mifepristone in the United States. Learn about the campaign, the history of the struggle for mifepristone access, and current campaigns to ensure broad access to this early abortion pill.
 
Empowering Women Reports, 1995

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Philanthropy

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Medicine


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Center News

Wellesley Centers for Women

At the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW), Wellesley College, we believe that disciplined, relevant research and theory paired with innovative training and action programs are key building blocks for social progress.
 
Since 1974, WCW has conducted interdisciplinary studies on issues such as: gender equity in education, sexual harassment in schools, child care, adolescent development, gender violence, and women’s leadership—studies that have influenced private practices and public policy.
 
WCW staff members provide professional development for educators, child caregivers, and youth workers that encourage children’s social-emotional development and enhance learning environments and safety.
 
Other WCW scholars have dedicated themselves to the prevention of psychological problems, the enhancement of psychological well-being, and the search for a more comprehensive understanding of human deve

Contact

106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203
Ph. 781-283-2500
Fx. 781-283-2504
http://www.wcwonline.org
newswcw@wellesley.edu


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Child and Adolescent Development

Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women have conducted research studies and evaluations on issues related to child and adolescent development, including issues around race, ethnicity, immigrant status, and identity; the effects of early child care; the value of physical activity; preventing depression; examining unique family dynamics; and exploring sexuality and evaluating sex-education programming.

Childcare

Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women have studied the ability of public schools to prepare young children for lifelong learning and have shaped local, state, and federal policies. Our groundbreaking research, policy development, and training programs set the standards for out-of-school time, and continue to inform the field in new areas, including physical activity programming.

 
Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) have conducted research on a range of educational issues, including quality early education; equitable opportunities in STEM fields and literacy; and bullying prevention and sex-education programming. Scholars and trainers from WCW have also developed curricula and facilitated programs that promote equity and diversity and social-emotional learning in educational settings. Our research has raised public consciousness about serious education issues and has informed public policy.
 
 
Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women have conducted numerous research studies on issues related to gender violence, including bullying- and sexual harassment-prevention programs in schools, and patterns of and interventions for intimate partner violence, including family violence and teen dating violence.
 
 
Work by scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women led to Relational-Cultural Theory, an understanding that has dramatically changed counseling and psychotherapy practices. Through training institutes, this work continues to be developed and implemented. Researchers committed to the prevention of depression in at-risk youth have undertaken studies to identify effective intervention programming for adolescents and families. Trainers and educators at the Centers develop curricula and facilitate training to promote social-emotional learning in elementary schools.
 
 
Scholars are the Wellesley Centers for Women have conducted research on economic implications of public policy; undertaken studies and audits; facilitated network building; and produced valuable resources for advocates, policy makers, and legal professionals in the U.S. and abroad. This work covers a broad range of issues related to the social and economic development of women, children, and persons with disabilities.
 
 
Scholars at the Wellesley Centers undertake research initiatives that explore issues affecting work/life balance, including child care, work-leave policies, and gender roles. Research and action programs that address women’s leadership inform business practice and policy in the U.S. and within our global-network-partner communities. The Women’s Review of Books, a special publication of the Centers, puts women’s perspectives and voices at the center of literary contributions.

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Reports & Resources

For all publications, click here.


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Center News

Did You Know? Health and Reproductive Rights Edition

May 20, 2009 posted by admin

Did you know that…

“In 2002, only 62% of sexually experienced female teens had received instruction about contraception before they first had sex, compared with 72% in 1995.” (from the Guttmacher Institute 

Or...

That over 23% of Latinas do not receive prenatal care in their first trimester? (from the National Latina Institute for Reprodutive Health)

How about…


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FAST FACT: Motherhood by the Numbers

May 7, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird In honor of Mother’s Day, the Census Bureau released a handy-dandy fact sheet on motherhood.  Here are some of the stats they compiled:


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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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ECONOMIC STIMULUS FORUM: The Bitter with the Sweet

February 25, 2009 posted by admin Overall, the economic stimulus plan that Congress passed and President Obama signed is a strong package.  We fervently hope it will provide the help that struggling families urgently need, and begin putting the nation on the road to lasting economy recovery.  We’ve never needed that more. There were victories, large and small, for those of us working for equal opportunity, 21st Century benefits, and quality, affordable health care.  The relief for working families and the expansion of unemployment benefits are significant, as is the lower threshold for the child tax credit and increased funding for child care. Not as well known, but extremely important, is the health information technology (HIT) provisions that we fought to maintain.  They withstood an attack from pharmaceutical manufacturers, health plans and drug store chains intent on putting profits ahead of privacy.  With protections against inappropriate disclosures of health information, electronic medical records can do a tremendous amount to reduce medical errors, coordinate and streamline care, and reduce costs.  This was a real step forward.


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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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