Big 5

GIRLS FORUM: Twelve-year Old Calls for Better Educational Opportunities for Girls

February 5, 2009 posted by admin Dear Mr. Obama,   I realize that you have two daughters and you love them very much! I work on a magazine called New Moon Girls.  I am on the GEB or the Girls Editorial Board.


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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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GIRLS FORUM: Deborah Tolman on Enhancing the Resiliency of Girls

February 3, 2009 posted by admin We asked advocates and scholars working on issues affecting girls’ lives to address the national conversation on girl’s needs, desires, and rights. What would they like to see changed?  Below is the first response in this week’s forum: Health is not just the absence of disease or risk.  It is the ability to live in a healthy body, with a healthy mind and spirit.   Girls need more than the elimination of risks and dangers in their lives, environments, schools, neighborhoods, homes. They need the encouragement and information that can enable them to live in the positive.   Most government funded research focuses on what, how and sometimes why negative practices, forces, impacts can be eradicated.   How about some effort, energy and resources getting behind what works for diverse girls?  What girls need to enhance their resilience not just to minimize their risks?


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FAST FACTS: Rights of Transgender Immigrants

January 29, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird FACT: “A growing number of people who have been persecuted for being transgender or transsexual have received asylum in the past few years, under the rubric of persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender… However, neither Citizenship and Immigration Services nor the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has expressly recognized transgender people as “a particular social group” for the purposes of asylum.” I was thrilled to receive an announcement yesterday by the American Immigration Lawyers Association about their newly-released practice manual for lawyers representing transgender clients. 

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DIVERSITY WRIT LARGE: Telling the Full Story of a Capitol Built by Those Who Were Enslaved

January 28, 2009 posted by Delores M. Walters Last week we all watched as the First Family moved into a mansion built partially by enslaved people. The inauguration of the country’s first Black president has prompted historians to fill in the void in public knowledge about the contributions of African Americans to the making of American society more generally.


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EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK!!! Justice for Lilly Ledbetter?

Posted January 27, 2009 by admin The National Women’s Law Center spoke with Lilly Ledbetter after the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Check out their interview:

The Senate act, coupled with the Paycheck Fairness Act—passed earlier as a separate bill by the House—will now go up for a House vote as one Fair Pay Bill.  See our economic security page for more facts on women and economic security.


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FAST FACTS: Disturbing Poverty Disparities

January 23, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird A few weeks ago, I received a newsletter from the Institute on Community Integration .  The entire issue focused on employment and women with disabilities.  Given the Council's dedication to women and economic security, my interest was instantly peaked.  Check out these stats:


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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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Post-Inauguration Reflections from the Council Staff

January 21, 2009 posted by Delores M. Walters [caption id="attachment_947" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Council Staff at Caroline's (Photo cred Deborah Siegel)"][/caption] On Inauguration Day, the Council staff gathered to watch the historic ceremony at Caroline’s, a club on Broadway in the Theater District of Manhattan.  The White House Project kindly hosted us.  I asked for everyone’s reflections.    Our reactions are a mirror of the hope, inspiration and goodwill stimulated by the inauguration of the nation’s first African American president. Multiple tasks lie ahead. We at the Council intend to continue in our process of growth and change. 1) What did today mean to you as a woman, a feminist, a US citizen, etc? 2) What moment stands out in your mind as most poignant from today's inaugural; did anything you heard or saw give you chills or goose bumps? 3) If you could make one wish for the Obama administration, what would it be? As a feminist who cares about equality, I am proud to be part of a nation that has evolved, from our history, to the point where race is no longer a key defining factor of who can be elected to lead our nation. And I'm excited to feel that I've played a small part in the contestations that have led to this moment. As a citizen, I'm thrilled that this historic happening, and the president we have elected, has captured the imagination of much of the world -- a world that seems willing to once again view us as a country of possibility, where change can happen. And I'm hopeful that we now have a leadership that can appreciate and leverage this renewed global trust and good will, and that will act, with humility, as a member of a world community of nations. 2 moments gave me goose bumps:

  • When I looked out over the Washington Mall to see the millions gathered -- people as far as we could see - to mark and share in this watershed moment in our history.
  • When Obama commented in his speech that we have elected a man president who 60 years ago may not have been able to get a seat at a lunch counter.

My wish is that Obama and his team will now turn their gaze to the many ways that women and girls are still disadvantaged and exploited, many of which we as an organization will bring to their attention!

--Linda Basch, President


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