Archive | February 2013

US House Passes VAWA 2013


The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) released the following statement regarding the House of Representatives passage (286-138) of S. 47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013:

“NCADV is overjoyed by the outcome of today’s House of Representatives decisive vote to pass an inclusive Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. After 500 days since VAWA expired, today victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and teen dating violence stand victorious–especially those who are LGBT, immigrant and Native.

The passage of the bipartisan S. 47 VAWA bill will finally protect all victims of intimate partner violence and hold all perpetrators accountable. We applaud the 286 Representatives for their courageous conviction to provide justice for all and stand with 78 Senators and more than 1,300 advocacy organizations who annually serve 1.3 million victims of domestic and sexual violence.

We look forward to seeing this bill sent to President Barack Obama for enactment.”

Source: NCADV

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2013

smiling mother and daughter
March 10th is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Office on Women’s Health, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) as National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Fortunately, HIV/AIDS is preventable. Nevertheless, each year, HIV/AIDS continues to destroy countless lives. HIV/AIDS takes the greatest toll among African-Americans, Latinos and MSM of all races. The rate of new infections among blacks is seven times the rate among whites. Among Hispanics, the rate of new HIV infections is three times as high as that among whites. And according to a recent CDC analysis, the HIV diagnosis rate among MSM is forty-four (44) times that of other men.

One out of four HIV cases in our nation are among women and girls, thirteen years of age and older; and two out of three of these women and girls are African-American. Given these grim statistics, this pressing public health issue challenges each of us to be “our sisters’ keepers.” This National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, you can choose to make a difference in the lives of others. Toward that end, take action in the fight against HIV and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls.

Get tested. Encourage every female within your sphere of influence to be tested for HIV/AIDS. Additionally, you can plan or support HIV prevention efforts in your community. Learn about the Take Charge Take the Test campaign to encourage African American women to get tested for HIV.

With an equal amount of conscience, mind, heart, and collective action, each of us can educate members of our community about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the importance of knowing your HIV status. For further information about HIV/AIDS, visit the following websites: Centers for Disease Control’s website at ; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Office on Women’s Health at

Source(s): Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), HIV Surveillance Report: Diagnoses of HIV infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2009.; Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI)

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 House Vote

woman with cellphone

This week, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Rules is scheduled to consider an amended version of S. 47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013. S. 47 originated in the Senate and passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support (78-12) on February 12, 2013.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the AAUW are strongly opposed to the United States House of Representatives version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 pending before the Rules Committee. “The House version of the bill rolls back current law and fails victims in a number of critical ways:
• Fails to include the protections for LGBT victims from the Senate bill;
• Provides non-tribal batterers with additional tools to manipulate the justice system, takes away existing protections for Native women by limiting existing tribal power to issue civil orders of protection against non-Native abusers, while weakening protections for Native women;
• Contains harsh administrative penalties and hurdles for small struggling domestic violence and sexual assault programs and an additional layer of bureaucracy through the office of the Attorney General;
• Drops the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SAVE) Act, which is included in the Senate bill, that improves the handling of sexual violence and intimate partner violence on college campuses;
• Drops important provisions in the Senate bill that work toward erasing the rape kit backlog;
• Weakens protections for victims in public housing; and
• Drops the inclusion of “stalking” among the list of crimes covered by the U visa (a critical law enforcement tool that encourages immigrant victims to assist with the investigation or prosecution of certain enumerated crimes)”

“The only VAWA bill that we can endorse is the original S.47, a bill that passed the Senate overwhelmingly with bipartisan support and aims to protect all victims as well as hold all perpetrators accountable– regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, immigrant status or sexual orientation.”

“NCADV stands in solidarity with more than 1,300 advocacy organizations, including the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, and urges the House to vote no on the VAWA measure pending before the Rules Committee.”

Act now and join advocacy organizations across the country in opposing the United States House of Representatives’ VAWA measure by contacting your House member. For additional information, see the NCADV website and the NTF Alert.

Sources: NCADV Action Alert. AAUW Action Alert

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

International Women’s Day 2013

Woman on Cellphone

International Women’s Day is fast approaching. Each year, March 8th is recognized as International Women’s Day. In some countries, International Women’s Day is an official holiday. Let these celebration ideas listed below — whether they involve cupcakes,lipstick or protest — inspire you about commemorate International Women’s Day.

1. Take the day off.
In countries where the day is a public holiday, workers get the day off to celebrate the accomplishments of women. Armenia, Burkina Faso, Mongolia and Kazakhstan are a few of the countries where International Women’s Day is a national holiday. In the afore-referenced countries, workers are given the day off. In some countries, such as China, only women get the day off.

2. Give flowers to women.
Flowers are a symbol of International Women’s Day, and many countries celebrate by decorating with flowers, or giving them to women as presents. In Italy, yellow mimosas are popular. Russians give a variety of flowers, including red roses. In Hanoi, Vietnam, it’s not just boyfriends and husbands giving flowers to the women in their lives, but also bosses and colleagues.

3. Donate money to women’s causes.
In the United States, in 2012, micro-lending non-profits such as Kiva launched a campaign to remind women to help women around the world by investing in their futures. will connect you to women who need loans.

4. Protest.
International Women’s Day was born of activism — the holiday was founded in 1910, when a German woman named Clara Zetkin proposed that every country devote a day to the needs and political demands of women. While in many countries, the holiday has taken on the sentimental status of days like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, women around the world use March 8 as an opportunity to fight for political freedom, equal pay and working rights, among other causes. The day was marked by protests in Turkey, Sri Lanka, and Palestine, among other countries.

5. Wear red lipstick.
In 2012, a marketing agency encouraged women across America to wear red lipstick in honor of International Women’s Day.

6. Stand on a bridge.
“Join Me on the Bridge” is a campaign for women’s equality that started with Rwandan and Congolese women, who met on a bridge joining their two countries as a demonstration that women could build bridges of peace. The first “Join me on the Bridge” events were held in 2010 when the Country Directors of Women for Women’s programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo had an idea that became the impetus for this global campaign. In its first year over 20,000 people took part with 119 events in 19 countries.

This year’s third global “Join me on the Bridge” campaign marked the 101th anniversary of International Women’s Day and thousands of women, men and children joined together on bridges across the world. On average, there are 464 events in 70 different countries, which is a staggering show of strength and solidarity with our sisters in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other war-torn countries.

7. Check out some art.
In Washington D.C., it would be a good day to patronize the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

8. Eat a cupcake.
In 2012, free cupcakes for women were available at select bars and restaurants in the U.S. and England. Some assert that the eat a cupcake campaign was great but not all women did not view this campaign in a positive light.

9. Defeat sexual harassment.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron signed a Council of Europe convention promising necessary legislative measures” against anyone committing “verbal, non-verbal or physical sexual harassment” in honor of International Women’ Day, Yahoo reports. The bill means that women can walk to work without having to worry about street harassment, which could range from stalking to wolf-whistling.

10. Look back — and forward about the progress of women.
Some assert that we have come a long way since the first International Women’s Day more than 100 years ago, when women in America did not yet have the right to vote. But events of the last year — as politics and women’s concerns about violence against women and reproductive health— prove that there is still work to be done. That’s just in America. Around the world, women’s needs are even greater. International Women’s Day will show you how to help.

Sources: Wikipedia. The Washington Post Style Blog, March 8, 2012.

Passport to Progress

Indian Girl

Event:Passports to Progress

Passports to Progress Join the International Center for Research on Women on the eve of International Women’s Day for its first Passports to Progress event in support of its new campaign, Turning Point: Changing the Course for Adolescent Girls Worldwide. A diverse panel of leading experts in the fields of gender, rights and development will discuss the many ways in which violence against women – especially young women and girls – in non-conflict settings has become a global epidemic.

Andrea Mitchell NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and host of MSNBC’S “Andrea Mitchell Reports”

Michael Elliott, President/CEO of ONE
Christy Turlington Burns, Founder of Every Mother Counts and Director/Producer of “No Woman, No Cry”
Stella Mukasa, Director of Gender Violence and Rights at ICRW
Ravi Verma, Regional Director, Asia at ICRW
With a special video presentation by Kavita Ramdas, Ford Foundation’s Regional Representative in New Delhi.
When: Thursday, March 7, 2013 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045
This event is free to attend, but registration is required.

Activism and Scholarship: A Conference Honoring Amy Swerdlow and Gerda Lerner

Smiling Student
Activism and Scholarship: A Conference Honoring Amy Swerdlow and Gerda Lerner
15th Annual Women’s History Conference at Sarah Lawrence College

DATE: March 1-2, 2013
FEE: Free and Open to the Public
LOCATION: Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

March is Women’s History Month. This March, Sarah Lawrence College will be hosting the 15th annual Women’s History Conference entitled “Activism and Scholarship: A Conference Honoring Amy Swerdlow and Gerda Lerner”. Save the Date.

Featuring: The keynote Address by Women’s Historian Alice Kessler Harris, distinguished professor at Columbia University and Author of A Difficult Woman The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman

Round table discussion about the life and work of Amy Swerdlow and Gerda Lerner moderated by Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of The Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt Volumes 1 and 2.

Amy Swerdlow (1923-2012), graduate and former director of the women’s history graduate program at Sarah Lawrence College was a scholar, activist, teacher, mentor and mother. She was a founding member and a significant force in Women Strike for Peace, a grassroots movement that greatly influenced the end of above ground nuclear weapons testing, especially emphasizing the effect this had on children’s health. The organization went on to protest the Vietnam War. Amy Swerdlow sat on the national board of the antiwar group known as Clergy and Laity Concerned, chaired the steering committees of two antiwar coalitions of women’s groups, the Jeannette Rankin Brigade and the Women’s Emergency Coalition, and was a member of the New York State coordinating council of the National Women’s Political Caucus. Amy Swerdlow was the quintessential activist scholar.

Gerda Lerner (1920-2013) was co-founder of the women’s history graduate program at Sarah Lawrence and a pioneer in the field of women’s history. It was out of the 1979 Summer Institute at Sarah Lawrence organized by Gerda and the Women’s Action Alliance that Women’s History Week, later Women’s History Month, was born. Gerda Lerner leaves a prestigious legacy of scholarship. She was committed to making visible the ignored and debased, debunking the mythology of the unimportance and inaction of the underrepresented. Her groundbreaking Black Women in White America: A Documentary History, for example, forever shattered elite ideas of who makes history and whose history matters.

The Fifteenth Annual Women’s History Conference at Sarah Lawrence College honors Gerda Lerner and Amy Swerdow’s life and work as committed and indomitable activist/scholars by making issues of peace and justice its central theme.

We still face unending war, economic injustice, potential environmental catastrophe, militarism, institutionalized racism, hunger, homophobia and sexism among other issues. By taking a multi-disciplinary approach, we will explore issues of global peace and justice from a variety of perspectives. We seek to understand the ways in which activists have organized around these issues now and in the past and ask the following questions: What are the issues activists have faced in the past and how might we learn from previous movements? How do current issues intersect and interact and how can activists combine forces to confront these problems and work for social change? With the spirit of Amy Swerdlow and Gerda Lerner as our legacy, can we find the energy and focus to move forward together?

Panel Discussions Include:
Uses of Space: Women’s Global and Local Resistance
Women’s Educational Activism
Transnational Peace Activism
Women’s Efforts for Peace in the U.S. and Great Britain
Women’s LGBT Activism
Women Power for Peace: Linkages in Domestic and International Anti-War and Anti-Imperialist Activism During the Vietnam Era
For more information contact: Tara Elise James,

Source(s): National Women’s History Project Blog
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination

Doctor with Patient

Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination:
Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

March is National Women’s History Month. Each year, in honor of National Women’s History Month, March is filled with workshops and conferences that highlight the accomplishments of women in various facets of life such as science, literature, government, and medicine.
The 2013 National Women’s History Month theme, Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination, honors generations of women who throughout American history have used their intelligence, imagination, sense of wonder, and tenacity to make extraordinary contributions to the STEM fields.

The National Women’s History Project (NWHP) sets the theme and coordinates the observance activities for National Women’s History Month throughout our nation. Often, women of color are overlooked in mainstream approaches to our nation’s history. The National Women’s History Project champions their accomplishments and leads the effort to write women back into history. It has been reported that the Women’s History Month programs and events often have had wide-ranging effects not simply on individuals but also on our nation as whole.

With an emphasis on positive role models and the importance of women from all backgrounds, the NWHP has developed a nationwide constituency of individuals and organizations that understand the critical link between knowing about historical women and making a positive difference in today’s world. It is believed by many researchers and others that recognition of the accomplishments of women has a notable impact on the development of self-esteem for girls and young women.

For further information about National Women’s History Month related activities or the National Women’s History Project, please see NWHP’s web site,
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art