Welcome to the Rewind & TGIF

Fem2 Friday Rewind

Welcome to the Fem2pt0 Friday Rewind, where the Fem2 team bring you snips of this week’s feminist news to keep you informed of women’s movements across the world, perfectly timed for weekend opportunities to wow your friends, family and colleagues with your knowledge of feminism’s important topics.

We’ll also be sure to let you know of any upcoming women’s events, gatherings, organization launches, tweet chats or conferences in the “announcements” section following the weekly Rewind.

Welcome to the Rewind & TGIF,

The Fem2 Team

In Feminist News this Week (Saturday, September 5-Friday, September 11):

Many of us were able to enjoy a long weekend in honor of Labor Day this week.

G20 launches W20 grouping for gender inclusive economic growth: It’s an especially poignant time for reflection on women’s current space in the workforce, both at home in the US and abroad as the G20 Summit in Ankara, Turkey coincided with the holiday.  The world feminist agenda advances with the launch of the W20 at the G20, a group of women leaders from the world’s largest economies.

International Monetary Fund’s chief Christine Lagarde spoke at the launch.  In her remarks, she noted the positive impact 50-50 gender parity in the workforce could have on economies worldwide. Read more here.

We’re here to tell you that the Tampon Tax IS REAL.  Most people know that state governments in the US collect taxes on “non-essential” goods, but don’t collect taxes on essential items like food. What people likely don’t realize is that although the UN says the ability to exercise menstrual hygiene is a human right, menstrual products fall into the non-essential category in most states. This means that half the US population pays money in taxes that men will never have to spend. The kicker: many states DON’T tax candy and soda.  If this leaves you incredulous, it should: apparently it is a “service” to be allowed to buy menstrual products.  Want to help #AxeThePinkTax?  Check out this movement going on now in California. Side note: props to the five US states (Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Maryland) that exempt pads and tampons from sales tax and a shout-out to the entire country of Canada for doing away with the taxes on said items completely.

Our Twitter Biases: Kieran Snyder, co-founder and CEO of Textio, a machine-learning company that optimizes and removes bias from job listings and other critical business documents, decided to study different Twitter engagement patterns if she compared her tech colleagues and peers’ tweets by gender. Everyone in her sample tweeted both about technology and at least occasionally about social justice issues (diversity was most the popular topic).

She found:

  • Men tweet more often, and fewer of their tweets are about diversity.
  • Men’s tech tweets are five times more popular than women’s.
  • Twitter pays more attention when women talk about diversity than when they talk about tech.

Click here to read more about Kieran’s study.

#StandWithPP: A grand total of zero Planned Parenthood representatives were invited to the GOP-lead House Judiciary Committee congressional hearing called “Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider”.  Those who testified all represented anti-choice organizations, with the exception of Priscilla J. Smith, Director of The Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale Law. Smith testified that defunding Planned Parenthood, a place that is often the sole provider of reproductive healthcare in many communities, will lead to more unplanned pregnancies, and, in turn, more abortions. The same day, House Democrats released a statement to say that Congress’ Planned Parenthood Investigation Turned Up ‘no evidence’ the organization is faulty of any wrongdoing following the under-cover videos released by anti-choice groups.

Findings from a World Bank study of 173 countries on how domestic laws impede women’s ability participate in public life and earn a livelihood of her own are not very encouraging.

90 percent of the countries surveyed had at least one law that discriminated against women —creating consequences not only for women but their families and even their countries’ prospects (remember the reasoning for the launch of the W20 earlier this week).

Some stand-out findings from the research include:

  • Russia bars women completely from holding a variety of jobs, including mining rig operator and freight train conductor.
  • The US is one of four countries in the world with no national laws requiring paid parental leave for new mothers.
  • 18 countries, including Iran and Qatar, require a married woman to ask for her husband’s permission to go to work.

One positive finding reported was that 127 economies have specific legislation against domestic violence.  25 years ago, only a handful of countries had any such laws.

Working to end the rape kit backlog nationwide: Cyrus R. Vance Jr., Manhattan district attorney, is granting $38 million taken in civil forfeiture from international banks in New York to communities across the country to pay for the processing of 56,000 rape kits that have been collecting dust in police storage rooms for years.

“I am saying to all the women awaiting justice, you are not forgotten,” Vance said. “Every kit will be tested and every hit will be investigated.”

Vice President Joe Biden advocated for getting more kits processed, quickly: “For most survivors, seeing their rapists brought to justice, and knowing that they will not return, brings peace of mind and a sense of closure.” Read more about this story here.

Announcements:

The inaugural Seize the Conversation event at turner4D HQ is Wednesday, September 16 from 1:00-2:30 pm ET in Washington, DC on Creating a 21st Century Women’s Movement. Participation is free.  Light refreshments will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own lunch. RSVP soon, space is very limited. Follow the conversation by using #TurnerTalks.

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