A Week of Important News for Women

Jessica Mack at Gender Across Borders wrote an article explaining the why the public health bill is a violations of women’s human rights. Take a look:

This is not just a public health scandal; it reflects widespread violations of women’s human rights. Patterns of marginalization and exclusion in this society are exacerbated by a discriminatory and dysfunctional health system.
- Alicia Ely Yamin at Amnesty International’s blog
Here is a conundrum: the US has one of the worst rates of maternal mortality in the developed world, and it has now officially become more dangerous to give birth in California than it is in Bosnia or Kuwait. Unlike pitiful maternal death rates in other parts of the world, which might be due to child marriage, female genital cutting, or a lack of trained personnel, the maternal death rate in the US is largely due to really crappy health care access.  If you don’t have health care, you’re probably not going to go to all your prenatal check-ups, get expensive genetic tests, do a hospital walk through and be able to pay for fancy doctors if something goes wrong.
At Abortion Gang, there is a real story that explains why all women should have the ability to determine their own reproductive destiny through supportive legislation and opportunities and access in communities.
I started working in the pro-choice movement my first year in college as an Access Counselor at the Women’s Medical Fund, an abortion access fund that helps women pay for the cost of their abortions through no-interest loans. I was on their hotline 8 to 10 hours a week, giving women these loans and other basic referrals to clinics in the Philadelphia-area. I became more and more pro-choice as I heard stories of women who couldn’t afford to care for another child, who were raped by boyfriends, whose birth control failed, whose pregnancies were not viable. I left work feeling confident that I was doing meaningful, compassionate work, that I was connecting the dots from my women’s studies classes to reality. And then I talked to Tasha.* 
An article from Newsweek contends that we are still far from being equal, both inside and outside the newsroom, even if we have made progress. We need to fight for what we deserve. Also, check out this response to the story from Latoya and Thea on Racialicious - a fantastic read and a necessary perspective.
In 1970, 46 women filed a landmark gender-discrimination case. Their employer was NEWSWEEK. Forty years later, their contemporary counterparts question how much has actually changed.
They were an archetype: independent, determined young graduates of Seven Sisters colleges, fresh-faced, new to the big city, full of aspiration. Privately, they burned with the kind of ambition that New York encourages so well. Yet they were told in job interviews that women could never get to the top, or even the middle. They accepted positions anyway—sorting mail, collecting newspaper clippings, delivering coffee. 
Feministing.com featured a tragic story in Aghanistan about women and self-immolation.
The Whitney Biennial has an unprecedented gender balance this year, an exciting new development. It comes as no surprise, then, that subject matter like this is part of this year's show. American photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair has a devastating documentary photography series titled "Self-Immolation in Afghanistan: A Cry for Help." Since 2005, over 700 women have set themselves on fire in Afghanistan. According to Planet, most incidents were caused by repeated abuse, fear of their husbands and petty household dispute.
Suzanne Reisman at BlogHer wrote an article explaining that only when both genders express themselves clearly will we be able to see how we can play our roles.
I love Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, I really do. As the first female president of Liberia, she has done amazing and wonderful things to heal her country from the violent civil war that destroyed so many lives in the most brutal, animalistic ways possible. I couldn't help but cringe, though, when I read a New York Times article about female peacekeepers in Liberia. President Sirleaf Johnson explained that female peacekeepers bring important qualities to their work:
What a woman brings to the task is extra sensitivity, more caring... I think that these are the characteristics that come from being a mother, taking care of a family, being concerned about children, managing the home.
Want more feminist links? Becky CK  at Gender Across Borders gives us a list about what other global feminists were up to this past week with Global Feminist Link Love, March 22 – 28.
Have a link you'd like us to share? Leave it in the comments or email us!

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  • http://patriarchaldisorder.blogspot.com MadamaAmbi

    Stephanie Sinclair is an amazing documentary photographer…she had a photo essay in the NY Times Magazine a few years ago about the transfer of genital cutting ritual to the U.S. where immigrant populations of aunts and mothers are continuing to supervise this “rite of passage” among their young girls…it was ALL photos and if you knew anything about the context, you needed nothing else to rip your heart out and make you wonder how you can ever explain internalized misogyny to women living in such a culture…I mean, I can’t even explain to very intelligent young women living in major urban centers here in the U.S. why wearing stiletto heels is one of the stupidest things you DON”T have to do to yourself…so how are WE gonna explain to women in Islamic countries what they are doing to themselves?…well, looks like they have horrible suicides, horrible suicide rates…should we cite those?…surely when they see the suffering it will matter…won’t it?…think again, sisters. THINK AGAIN.