Read a powerful response to Todd Akin’s rape remarks and later statements about having “misspoken” in today’s Huffington Post. Written by Eve Ensler, Tony award winning playwright, performer, and activist, it sums up the reactions of many women around the world.
A new study from the Economic Policy Institute found that women would make up more than half of the workers affected by a raise in the federal minimum wage. Additionally, 70 percent of those affected would be families that make less than $60,000 a year. Currently, the federal minimum wage stands at $7.25/hour.
Ten states have adopted voter identification laws that require voters to present a state-issued identification in order to receive a ballot in November. These voter ID laws may disproportionately prevent women from voting because women experience legal name changes more often due to marriage or divorce, which requires more frequent ID updates. Proponents of voter ID laws argue that citizens should already have qualifying IDs and requiring presentation of such IDs will help prevent voter fraud. However, there are very few, if any, recognized cases of voter fraud. Research indicates that voter ID laws are often intended to prevent eligible voters from voting rather than to combat infinitesimal voter fraud. Read how voter ID laws prevent women like 93-year old civil rights activist Viviette Applewhite from voting.
In a recent blog, banker, author, and businessman Sanjay Sanghoee argues that candidate’s positions on gay rights and women’s rights will be salient and crucial in the upcoming elections. Sanghoee predicts voters will analyze candidate’s positions on issues like gay marriage and the gender pay gap as both moral and economic considerations, since the legalization of gay marriage has generated a positive economic impact of $259 million in New York City in the last year alone, and the gender pay gap can cost families $383,000 on average. Read his entire editorial here.
A coalition of Latino organizations sent a letter to House offices urging passage of the Senate version of VAWA, which includes provisions protecting immigrant victims of violence. The letter urges House members to “move forward on a VAWA that protects all communities that are vulnerable to abuse. This includes immigrants, the LGBT community, American Indian women, and students on college campuses.” The House version of VAWA excluded provisions regarding the aforementioned populations, and the coalition letter reprimanded House members, stating that “the current impasse benefits no one”.
The Credit Suisse Research Institute has released a report that shows businesses with women on their boards outperformed comparably sized companies with all-male boards by 26 percent. The report found that gender-diverse boards performed better than their all-male counterparts specifically during times of economic volatility, while performing about the same during times of economic growth. Currently, 36 percent of U.S. companies have no women on their board of directors, and female CEOs make 69 cents for every dollar that a male CEO makes.
In two weeks, a grassroots organization called We Are Woman will bring thousands of women, men, and children from across the United States to Washington for a national rally in support of women’s rights, illustrating the power of women and their allies to fight back against what can only be described as a national war on women. The rally will take place on the West Lawn of the Capitol from 11am-4pm.
Beginning with just a few like-minded individuals, We Are Woman has grown in strength and number to receive support and participation from Planned Parenthood and NOW, as well as endorsements from CODEPINK, the National Council of Women’s Organizations and its ERA Task Force, the National ERA Alliance, Rock the Slut Vote, the Rainbow Push Coalition-Florida, Moms Rising, and many other groups and individuals. The organization’s most recent endorsement comes from the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
The list of prominent speakers recently expanded to include Bonnie Grabenhofer, the Executive Vice President of NOW and Laura Meyers, CEO of Planned Parenthood in Washington D.C. Previously confirmed speakers include Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Virginia’s 7th district congressional candidate Wayne Powell, and Virginia Senator George Barker. Roberta Francis of the ERA Task Force will be speaking with Bettina Hager of the National Women’s Political Caucus. Musical performances and comedy will round out the event, and additional artists and activists are signing on daily.
We Are Women’s co-founders met online earlier this year, bonding over shared disgust with the political establishment and the mistreatment of women by congressional representatives, state legislators, governors, and political pundits. Inspired by Erin Nanasi’s viral video, “We Are Warriors,” they began organizing immediately.
They explain, “This rally is our way of standing up to say, ‘No more!’ to the war on women. We are strong, powerful, loving, and brave. We are America. We are Woman.”
The rally will center around three prominent themes which include reproductive rights, equal pay, and the necessity of the Equal Rights Amendment to secure these freedoms for women now and in the future. Speakers from all walks of life will be providing education regarding current and proposed policies that disproportionately, negatively affect women. Informed voting is expected to be a hot topic given November’s critical presidential and congressional elections.
What started as a few women with an idea has quickly turned into a national movement. The co-founders have released a statement saying, “We will be heard. On August 18, we will stand together and tell the world that American women are a political force to be reckoned with.”
They add, “Come join us, if not for yourself, then for your mother, or your sister, or your daughter. For the future.”
For more information about the rally, visit http://www.wearewoman.us.
As of today, August 1, 2012, all new health plans must cover eight women’s preventive services, including birth control, without cost sharing. Preventive services are critical to a woman’s health, and cost has remained a burden for far too long. With the Department of Health and Human Services regulations going into effect on August 1, the following services will now be available without co-pays:
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling;
- Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence;
- Screening for gestational diabetes;
- DNA testing for high-risk strains of HPV;
- Counseling regarding sexually transmitted infections, including HIV;
- Screening for HIV;
- Contraceptive methods and counseling; and
- Well woman visits.