Saturday, March 31, 2012

Posted by: Anna Gedal

My best friend and I wrote a response to the hate speak that was published in the comment section of an anonymous blog at Columbia University upon hearing the news that President Obama is coming to speak at Barnard College's commencement this year.

Check it out!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Action Alert: Please Sign for Native American Women

Please sign this very important petition calling for access to emergency contraception for Native American women.  Native Americans must use the Indian Health Service (IHS) for their health care and many IHS facilities on reservations are denying them access to Plan B.  This work is being spearheaded by one of our Native American Women's Task Force members, Charon Asetoyer.

Thanks to Pat Reuss (long-time NOW activist at the heart of passing VAWA, and still working hard to include minorities in VAWA), who has also been using her networks asking people to sign.

I signed this petition and hope you will join me.  Native women deserve over
the counter EC like everyone else. 

http://www.change.org/petitions/ihs-stop-blocking-native-women-s-access-to-e
mergency-contraception


From Kathy Sloan, NOW Native American Women's Task Force and National NOW Board member:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can Sharia/Muslim laws be feminist?

The following statement from Women Living Under Muslim Laws explains how Islamic laws can be feminist, instead of the way the name of Islam is used to justify many patriarchal and un-Islamic laws such as FGM (female genital mutilation) - which is nowhere to be found in The Qur'an. 
http://www.wluml.org/action/women-living-under-muslim-laws-statement-libya

Some of my favorite statements:
"WLUML knows from its own research* that laws said to be Islamic, which laws are said to derive from Islamic jurisprudence or 'fiqh' (often wrongly referred to as 'sharia'), or considered in conformity with Islam vary enormously from country to country - hence proving laws and the jurisprudence (fiqh) they are said to have been derived from are man-made rather than God-given. Furthermore they include elements from culture and traditions that have nothing to do with religion, as well as colonial laws when these best suit the interests of local patriarchy. This is how local traditions such as muta'a marriage or FGM (female genital mutilation) are adopted as part and parcel of 'religion.' This is also how the newly independent Algeria in the 1960s deprived its women citizens of any access to contraception and abortion, using a long abandoned French law dating from 1922."

"From the religious point of view alone, the Qur'an itself can be read and interpreted in different ways. Diversity (iktilaf) is an accepted tradition in Islam. Tunisia took the historic decision in 1956 to forbid polygyny (aka polygamy), as legislators pointed out that the Qur'an clearly indicated both that equal treatment between wives is required and that it was not possible for a man to treat several women perfectly equally; conversely Algeria in 1962 used the same verse to allow a man to have 4 wives and legitimize polygamy. Which of these contradictory interpretations conforms with 'sharia'?"

For feminism,
Jerin

Say NO to safeguarding "traditional values" at the expense of women's human rights

http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=118e22b87fa01f36b66ad923d&id=a137b67d47&e=224fad1e57
 
STATEMENT OF FEMINIST & WOMEN'S ORGANISATIONS ON THE VERY LIMITED & CONCERNING RESULTS OF CSW 56
Deadline: 5 April 2012
 

 
This month the UN Commission on the Status of Women failed to adopt agreed conclusions at its 56th session on the basis of safeguarding "traditional values" at the expense of human rights and fundamental freedoms of women.
 
Together with our partner feminist and women's rights organisations, we say NO to any re-opening of negotiations on the already established international agreements on women's human rights and call on all governments to demonstrate their commitments to promote, protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms of women. 
 
We have outlined our concerns in the statement below, which will be submitted to UN Member States, CSW and other relevant UN human rights and development entities.
 
Thank you for your support.
 
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)
International Women's Heath Coalition (IWHC)
International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW ASIA PACIFIC)
Women Living under Muslim Laws/ Violence is not our Culture Campaign




STATEMENT OF FEMINIST AND WOMEN'S ORGANISATIONS ON THE VERY LIMITED AND CONCERNING RESULTS
OF THE 56TH SESSION OF THE UN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN 
 
We, the undersigned organisations and individuals across the globe, are alarmed and disappointed that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) failed to adopt agreed conclusions at its 56th session. This failure has diminished the considerable work, energy, time and costs that women all over the world invested on the 56th session of the CSW.  The advancement of women's human rights should not be put on hold because of political battles between states.  We say NO to any re-opening of negotiations on the already established international agreements on women's human rights and call on all governments to demonstrate their commitments to promote, protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms of women. 
 
We  are particularly concerned to learn that our governments failed to reach a consensus on the basis of safeguarding "traditional values" at the expense of human rights and fundamental freedoms of women. We remind governments that all Member States of the United Nations (UN) have accepted that "the human rights of women and of the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and individual part of universal human rights" as adopted by the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna.   Governments must not condone any tradition, cultural or religious arguments which deny human rights and fundamental freedoms of any person.  After more than 60 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was embraced and adopted by the UN, the relationship between traditional values and human rights remains highly contested.  We affirm the UDHR as not only 'a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations' but a common standard of assessment for all traditional values.  The UDHR is an embodiment of positive traditional values that are universally held by this community of nations and are consistent with the inherent dignity of all human beings.  We remind governments that under the Charter of the United Nations, gender equality has been proclaimed as a fundamental human right.  States cannot contravene the UN Charter by enacting or enforcing discriminatory laws directly or through religious courts nor can allow any other private actors or groups imposing their religious fundamentalist agenda in violation of the UN Charter.  
 
"No one may invoke cultural diversity to infringe upon human rights guaranteed by international law, nor limit their scope.  Not all cultural practices accord with international human rights law and, although it is not always easy to identify exactly which cultural practices may be contrary to human rights, the endeavour always must be to modify and/or discard all practices pursued in the name of culture that impede the enjoyment of human rights by any individual." (Statement by Ms. Farida Shaheed, the Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, to the Human Rights Council at its 14th session 31 May 2010)
 
Amongst other things, it is alarming that some governments have evoked so-called "moral" values to deny women's sexual and reproductive health and rights. Sexual and reproductive rights are a crucial and fundamental part of women's full enjoyment of all rights as well as integral to gender equality, development and social justice.  Social and religious morals and patriarchal values have  been employed to justify violations against women. Violence against women, coercion and deprivation of legal and other protections of women, marital rape, honour crimes, son preference, female genital mutilation, 'dowry' or 'bride price', forced and early marriages and 'corrective rapes' of lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and inter-sexed persons have all been justified by reference to 'traditional values'. 
 
We remind governments that the CSW is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women with the sole aim of promoting women's rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields.  Its mandate is to ensure the full implementation of existing international agreements on women's human rights and gender equality as enshrined in the Convention on  the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action as well as other international humanitarian and human rights law.  
 
We strongly demand all governments and the international community to reject any attempt to invoke traditional values or morals to infringe upon human rights guaranteed by international law, nor to limit their scope.  Customs, tradition or religious considerations must not be tolerated to justify discrimination and violence against women and girls whether committed by State authorities or by non-state actors.  In particular, we urge governments to ensure that the health and human rights of girls and women are secured and reaffirmed at the coming Commission on Population and Development and the International Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).  Any future international negotiations must move forward implementation of policies and programmes that secure the human rights of girls and women.     
 
We call upon the member states of the UN and the various UN human rights and development entities to recognise and support the important role of women's groups and organisations working at the forefront of challenging traditional values and practices that are intolerant to fundamental human rights norms, standards and principles.  
 
 
ASIA PACIFIC FORUM ON WOMEN, LAW AND DEVELOPMENT (APWLD)
ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN DEVELOPMENT (AWID)
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S HEALTH COALITION (IWHC)
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTION WATCH ASIA PACIFIC (IWRAW ASIA PACIFIC)
WOMEN LIVING UNDER MUSLIM LAWS (WLUML) / VIOLENCE IS NOT OUR CULTURE CAMPAIGN



Download the full statement here
  
Please  endorse our statement here.
Deadline: 5 April 2012 

If you have any questions, or would like further information, please contact Misun Woo: misun@apwld.org.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Iraqi woman beaten & killed in CA, with note "go back to your country"

This is only one example of the increased number of hate crimes Muslims face in America.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/24/shaima-alawadi-dead_n_1377724.html
The chief of police said: "A hate crime is one of the possibilities, and we will be looking at that..we don't want to focus on only one issue and miss something else."
A commenter wrote: "this police chief must be drinking his looony pops! Of course it is a HATE crime! "


We all know what makes crimes like these (including the death of Trayvor Martin) possible.  It's the same mentality used to victimize women - by making us less than human.  Here is a thoughtful explanation of how racism is like rape:
http://www.uncfsp.org/projects/userfiles/File/DCE-STOP_NOW/Racism_and_Rape.pdf

In Solidarity,
N. Jerin Arifa

New pro-choice clinic in Jamaica

I am so excited about the following.  Would any of you want to do clinic defense with me?

If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online.               
                       
                                                                                       
                                                               
                                                       
                                                                                               
Choices Women's Medical Center 29-28 41st Avenue | Long Island City, NY 11101 (718) 391-0023 | www.ChoicesMedical.com
                                                                       
                

Does the NYPD have a file on you for your religious & political activities?

From NYCLU - New York Civil Liberties Union

Is the NYPD watching you?

In recent weeks, we've read about NYPD surveillance of Muslim student groups, community-based organizations and even small businesses. Press accounts show that the Police Department has spied on people up and down the Eastern Seaboard, not because they're engaged in wrongdoing, but because of their religion, national origin and their political activism.

Just today, the Associated Press reported that undercover NYPD officers have infiltrated progressive political groups nationwide and compiled files on people engaged in political advocacy. The NYPD conducted similar spying in the run-up to the 2004 Republican National Convention in Manhattan. We challenged that spying in federal court. The lawsuit has helped uncover the scope of the NYPD's intelligence program, but the Department has continued spying on political activists.

Find out if the NYPD is watching you. File a Freedom of Information request today.

New York has a long, proud history of robust political dissent. The NYCLU has often used Freedom of Information requests to shed light on government abuse of surveillance. Since the days of the Red Squads, when police intelligence units infiltrated political groups solely for being critical of the government, the NYCLU has defended the right to dissent by exposing police surveillance practices and police dossiers on political activists. Today, these requests should once again force the NYPD and other law-enforcement agencies to turn over their records on New Yorkers.

The NYPD has been watching countless New Yorkers for far too long. Now it's our turn to watch them. Find out if you are under government surveillance for your religious and political activities. Visit www.nyclu.org/SpyFiles and learn how to file a Freedom of Information request today.

www.nyclu.org | info@nyclu.org | P: 212-607-3300
125 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004

US SENATE JOINS HOUSE TO LAUNCH E R A PASSAGE

MEDIA RELEASE—immediate  3/26/2012                                              

            

Contact: Lauren Hallahan,     727 643-9063                                                          

 ERA Unites Against the War on Women

 

 

NATIONAL EQUAL RIGHTS  AMENDMENT ALLIANCE Announces

 

SURPRISE  EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT (ERA) BILL BEFORE U. S. SENATE JOINS HOUSE TO LAUNCH  PASSAGE 

 

St. Petersburg FL- Equal Rights Amendment proponents in the Russell U. S. Senate building cheered the filing of the unique new U.S. Senate ERA bill on March 22, 2012 by Maryland Senator Ben Cardin.  Introduced in conjunction with the first anniversary of its companion U.S. House bill, HJRes 47 by Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, both are predicted to speed ERA passage.

 

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that barely missed passing by three states' ratification vote is declared "still viable and contemporaneous" by several constitutional lawyer sources.

 

The seven states now routinely filing ERA bills are said to welcome these bills as they propose removal of any time limit from the original ERA Proposing Clause so that when three states ratify ERA, it would pass directly into the United States Constitution.

 

Sandy Oestreich, President of the National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance and Chair, Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, who have spearheaded ratification legislation in Florida for the past twelve years propose that "ERA passage would derail the current national legislative 'War Against Women'."

 

While it supports all ERA bills, the National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance claims that these identical bills could be an effective, quicker-paced alternative to the Maloney-Menendez "start-all-over" Congressional ERA bills.

 

Oestreich says her organization is single-issue, nonpartisan, non-sexist, and non-profit. "Though the Equal Rights Amendment itself does not regulate same-sex or abortion, we are making a strong stand against the legislative 'War Against Women' now raging across the nation as a clear an example of hate speech and sex discrimination.  Nothing but an ERA makes that a violation of the U.S. Constitution":

 

'Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.'/gender."


Sandy Oestreich is Founder-President of National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance; former elected official; Professor Emerita, Adelphi Univ., NY; Co-author, internationally distributed pharmacology reference tests; Profiled in Feminists Who Changed America; Recipient, Martin County FL LWVoters Susan B. Anthony award, "Failure is Impossible". SandyO@PassERA.org     www.2PassERA.org

Women Were First Computer Programmers

From Women's eNews:

http://womensenews.org/story/books/120323/women-were-first-computer-programmers

Women Were First Computer Programmers

By Nathan Ensmenger

WeNews guest author

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In this excerpt from "The Computer Boys Take Over," historian Nathan Ensmenger explains that the first computer programmers were women because managers expected programming to be low-skill clerical work. They were wrong: The job required skill and ingenuity and these women persevered.

  (WOMENSENEWS)--The low priority given to programming was reflected in who was assigned to the task. Although the ENIAC (the first general-purpose electronic computer) was developed by academic researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering, it was commissioned and funded by the Ballistics Research Laboratory of the U.S. Army.

Located at the nearby Aberdeen Proving Grounds, the laboratory was responsible for the development of the complex firing tables required to accurately target long-range ballistic weaponry. Hundreds of these tables were required to account for the influence of highly variable atmospheric conditions (air density, temperature, etc.) on the trajectory of shells and bombs. Prior to the arrival of electronic computers, these tables were calculated and compiled by teams of human "computers" working eight-hour shifts, six days a week.

From 1943 onward, essentially all of these computers were women, as were their immediate supervisors. The more senior women (those with college-level mathematical training) were responsible for developing the elaborate "plans of computation" that were carried out by their fellow computers.

In June 1945, six of the best human computers at Aberdeen were hired by the leaders of the top secret "Project X " -- the U.S. Army's code name for the ENIAC project -- to set up the ENIAC machine to produce ballistics tables. Their names were Kathleen McNulty, Frances Bilas, Betty Jean Jennings, Elizabeth Snyder Holberton, Ruth Lichterman and Marlyn Wescoff. Collectively they were known as "the ENIAC girls." Today the "ENIAC girls" are often considered the first computer programmers. In the 1940s, they were simply called coders.

The use of the word coder in this context is significant. At this point in time the concept of a program, or of a programmer, had not yet been introduced into computing. Since electronic computing was then envisioned by the ENIAC developers as "nothing more than an automated form of hand computation," it seemed natural to assume that the primary role of the women of the ENIAC would be to develop the plans of computation that the electronic version of the human computer would follow. In other words, they would code into machine language the higher-level mathematics developed by male scientists and engineers.

Coding implied manual labor, and mechanical translation or rote transcription; coders were obviously low on the intellectual and professional status hierarchy. It was not until later that the now-commonplace title of programmer was widely adopted.

The verb "to program," with its military connotations of "to assemble" or "to organize," suggested a more thoughtful and system-oriented activity. Although by the mid-1950s the word programmer had become the preferred designation, for the next several decades programmers would struggle to distance themselves from the status (and gender) connotations suggested by coder.

The first clear articulation of what a programmer was and should be was provided in the late 1940s by Goldstine and von Neumann in a series of volumes titled "Planning and Coding of Problems for an Electronic Computing Instrument." These volumes, which served as the principal (and perhaps only) textbooks available on the programming process at least until the early 1950s, outlined a clear division of labor in the programming process that seems to have been based on the practices used in programming the ENIAC.

Goldstine and von Neumann spelled out a six-step programming process: (1) conceptualize the problem mathematically and physically, (2) select a numerical algorithm, (3) do a numerical analysis to determine the precision requirements and evaluate potential problems with approximation errors, (4) determine scale factors so that the mathematical expressions stay within the fixed range of the computer throughout the computation, (5) do the dynamic analysis to understand how the machine will execute jumps and substitutions during the course of a computation, and (6) do the static coding.

The first five of these tasks were to be done by the "planner," who was typically the scientific user and overwhelmingly was frequently male; the sixth task was to be carried out by coders.

Coding was regarded as a "static" process by Goldstine and von Neumann -- one that involved writing out the steps of a computation in a form that could be read by the machine, such as punching cards, or in the case of the ENIAC, plugging in cables and setting up switches. Thus, there was a division of labor envisioned that gave the highest-skilled work to the high-status male scientists and the lowest-skilled work to the low-status female coders.

As the ENIAC managers and coders soon realized, however, controlling the operation of an automatic computer was nothing like the process of hand computation, and the Moore School women were therefore responsible for defining the first state-of-the-art methods of programming practice.

Programming was an imperfectly understood activity in these early days, and much more of the work devolved on the coders than anticipated. To complete their coding, the coders would often have to revisit the underlying numerical analysis, and with their growing skills, some scientific users left many or all six of the programming stages to the coders. In order to debug their programs and distinguish hardware glitches from software errors, they developed an intimate knowledge of the ENIAC machinery.

"Since we knew both the application and the machine," claimed ENIAC programmer Betty Jean Jennings, "as a result we could diagnose troubles almost down to the individual vacuum tube. Since we knew both the application and the machine, we learned to diagnose troubles as well as, if not better than, the engineers." In a few cases, the local craft knowledge that these female programmers accumulated significantly affected the design of the ENIAC and subsequent computers.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Violence Against Women Act Needs Your Voice Now!


NOW Action Alert

Violence Against Women Act Needs Your Voice NOW!

 
Tell your senators...
take action

After taking action,
please support our work!
 

March 23, 2012

Take Action: Thanks to all of your advocacy efforts, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 (VAWA - S.1925) appears to be moving again. There is a good chance that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may bring VAWA to a floor vote soon. Let's get VAWA a few more co-sponsors to make sure it sails through the Senate! Please call AND email your senators and urge them to co-sponsor, if they are not already on the bill, and to support a "clean" VAWA, with no harmful amendments. Republican senators who have joined as co-sponsors also need positive reinforcement (see list below). Use our formatted message or write one of your own, but please contact your senators ASAP.

BACKGROUND:

VAWA is Successful - The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 1925), sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Michael D. Crapo (R-Ida.) and Paul Kirk (R-Ill.) maintains core services of providing protection and support to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. VAWA programs are administered by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. Through grants and direct services, resources are provided to law enforcement, prosecutors and judges that enable them to hold offenders accountable while protecting survivors and their families. VAWA is one of the most successful federal laws ever adopted: the rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence against women has decreased by 63 percent since the law's original passage in 1994 and many tens of billions of dollars in net averted social costs have been realized.

Unmet Needs Addressed - More than two years of research and review by activists and program administrators has produced the current reauthorization bill. Programs have been streamlined so that VAWA services are cost-effective, while holding the overall funding level steady. The bill emphasizes transparency and accountability in program administration to assure that survivors of violence are receiving needed services such as shelter, counseling, legal services, medical care, or employment assistance. Advocates assessed where services are currently needed but not being met and included additional provisions to assure help for certain under-served populations.

Rural Communities, Housing Aid Included - S. 1925 addresses the special barriers faced by victims in rural communities, elderly victims, and those with disabilities. The current bill strengthens housing protections for victims by applying existing housing protections to nine additional federal housing programs.

Protecting Immigrant Women from Violence - VAWA would increase the availability of support to abused immigrant women by allowing them to apply for legal immigration status for themselves and their children without the knowledge or permission of their abuser. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, about 60 percent of married and 50 percent of unmarried immigrant women have experienced physical or sexual abuse.

LGBTQ Services Improved - The bill would also improve funding and services for LGBTQ victims and eliminate discrimination. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 85 percent of service providers have worked with domestic violence victims who have been denied service on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Indian Country Jurisdiction Clarified - VAWA 2011 improves responses to the high rate of violence against women in tribal communities by strengthening concurrent tribal criminal jurisdiction over perpetrators who assault Indian spouses and dating partners in Indian country. The tribal provisions in Section 904 of VAWA are critical to ensure the safety of Native women and their access to safety and equal justice. (Senators from Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, Idaho and Nebraska need to hear that message.)

Oppose Harmful Amendments - We know that amendments to S. 1925 will be offered during floor debate and we want to urge senators to support a "clean" bill, with no harmful amendments. Rumors are circulating that conservative senators will not only vote against cloture (to prevent a final vote on VAWA), but may offer amendments that promote wider availability of guns, restore gun ownership rights to individuals formerly denied gun possession because of a DV conviction, delete provisions in S. 1925 relating to visas for immigrant victims of violence and banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, race or ethnicity. Please urge your senators to oppose such amendments and to support a "clean" S. 1925.

Senators Who Need to Hear From You - Republicans on the bill need your positive reinforcement: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Paul Kirk (Ill.), Mike Crapo (Ida.), Scott Brown (Mass.) and both Maine Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Republican senators that should be asked to sign on as co-sponsors: Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Tex.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Rob Portman (Oh.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), among others. Please call them and tell them you appreciate their support of such an important bill that will save lives and help families put their lives back together following domestic violence.

To see if your senators are co-sponsors go to http://4vawa.org/pages/vawa-senate-supporters; the switchboard for Congress is 202-224 3121 and ask for your senator's office by name. For additional information on the legislation, go to http://4vawa.org/pages/mobilize-with-the-vawa-tool-kit-82885 and details about tribal provisions can be found at http://4vawa.org/pages/vawa-fact-sheets

take action and then donate

NOW Calls for Justice in Trayvon Martin Case: Fire the Chief, Arrest the Shooter, and Repeal 'Stand Your Ground' Laws


For Immediate Release
Contact: Latoya Veal, 202-628-8669, ext. 116

NOW Calls for Justice in Trayvon Martin Case: Fire the Chief,
Arrest the Shooter, and Repeal 'Stand Your Ground' Laws
Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill

March 23, 2012

The National Organization for Women is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the African-American teenager shot and killed while walking home from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida. Unarmed, Trayvon was carrying a bag of candy and an iced tea when he was gunned down near his father's home by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman in a gated community.

We are appalled by how poorly this case has been handled by local authorities in Sanford. It has now been almost four weeks since Martin's death, and the shooter, George Zimmerman, is still walking free. Police Chief Bill Lee's self-imposed temporary leave of absence is not enough. The authorities in Sanford need to fire the chief and arrest and prosecute the shooter.

NOW stands with Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton, his father, Tracy Martin, and other family and supporters in calling for justice in this senseless crime. We also join our Florida NOW chapter and the organization's National Combating Racism Committee in urging every law enforcement agency involved, including the Justice Department, to conduct a complete and fair investigation of an incident that bears all the hallmarks of a hate crime.

NOW also calls for repeal of the controversial 'Stand Your Ground Laws' before another life is taken in the name of vigilantism. Enacted in 2005, the Florida law allows individuals to use deadly force anywhere against anyone they believe is a 'threat' to their life. Some 20 other states in the U.S. have similarly broad laws that are, essentially, a license to kill.

No mother should have to lose a child, especially to such horrible violence. NOW will continue to work with allied organizations to change police practices, politically-motivated laws and social attitudes that put too many African-American teens at risk for the "crime" of walking while young and black.

###


NOW.org | Press Room | Read This Email Online | Support NOW's Work

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DC activists: Stand Up for Healthcare Next Tuesday

NOW Action Alert

Stand Up for Health Care Next Tuesday

On Tuesday, March 27, gather with women's rights advocates and allies outside the Supreme Court to support the Affordable Care Act! Oral arguments will take place Monday, March 26, through Wednesday, March 28.

Details

What: Press Conference and Rally for the Affordable Care Act
 
Who: National Organization for Women, National Action Network,
National Women's Law Center and Allies
 
Where: Supreme Court, First St. NE, Washington, D.C.
between East Capitol Street and Maryland Ave
 
When: Tuesday, March 27
Press Conference begins at 8:30 a.m.
Rally begins at 10 a.m.

That's not all!

We will also be rallying outside the Supreme Court on Monday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 28.

If you can, join with NOW and other women's rights advocates Monday-Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. until noon to stand up for the Affordable Care Act. Come for 30 minutes, an hour, whatever you can do to show your support. We'll be there!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

National Organization for Women News: VAWA, Olga Vives, UN Panel, 2012 Conference



NOW News and Action Summary

National Organization for Women:
News & Action Summary

MARCH 20, 2012

IN THIS ISSUE:


Violence Against Women Act Needs Your Voice Now!

[images - Stop Violence Against Women!]

Take action today by calling AND emailing your senators and urging them to co-sponsor, if they are not already on the bill, and to support a "clean" VAWA, with no harmful amendments. Republican senators who have joined as co-sponsors also need positive reinforcement. Take action NOW



NOW Foundation Presents Panel on Indigenous Women at UN Event

On March 8, the NOW Foundation sponsored a panel addressing "Issues Confronting Indigenous Women in Rural USA." The panel was part of the parallel events of the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which took place in New York City, Feb. 27-March 9, 2012. NOW Foundation's participation was made possible with a grant from the Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights. Read more.


In Memoriam: Olga Vives; Former National Officer "Wasn't Through Yet"

[photo - Olga Vives]

NOW and the women's movement lost a valiant champion on March 16. Olga Vives served as NOW's executive vice president from 2005 to 2009, and NOW's action vice president from 2001 to 2005. Read more.


2012 National NOW Conference

2012 National NOW Conference

Energize! Organize!
Stop the War on Women

Baltimore, Maryland

Conference Registration is Open! Visit the recently updated conference website to register, arrange your stay, and sign up for conference email updates.

2012 is also a region conference year! Learn more »


Submit a Workshop Proposal for our Conference

Maybe YOU could be part of the conference program! We are currently accepting workshop proposals. Don't delay -- the April 2 submission deadline is fast approaching! Learn more.


2012 Conference Promotional Opportunities

NOW also invites you to take advantage of our promotional opportunities - become a sponsor, exhibitor, and/or program book advertiser. More information »


Catholic Bishops Still Morally Challenged in Sex Abuse Cases

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is at it again. In addition to playing a major role in the right-wing war on women, the all-male hierarchy of the Catholic Church is trying to silence an organization dedicated to helping women and men who have been victimized by clergy. Read more.

Grassroot Spotlight

Maryland NOW

[photo]

[photo]

Maryland NOW participated in Harriet Tubman Testimony Day in Annapolis.



Grassroot Spotlight

Fayetteville, NC NOW

[photo]
Photo Credit: Frank Maness

[photo]
Photo Credit: Frank Maness

Fayetteville NOW demonstrated at the Market House on March 15, to Stop the War on Women. There were about 50 men and women -- ages 15 to 83 -- in attendance!



Join or Give

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