MWL has finally launched a full website. As it has WordPress blog capabilities, we will be doing our future blogging from there. Please go to www.mtwomenslobby.org and choose the WHAT’S NEW page to see our posts.
Thank you for following us for the past two years. We hope you will continue to follow us at our new location.
Still undecided about LR-120? Read a great blog by Lynsey Bourke, of the Blue Mountain Clinic Family Practice in Missoula, about LR-120. The comments following the blog are also worth reading.
In an article in today’s Huffington Post, economist Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, estimates that the stimulus effect of closing the gender pay would grow the U.S. economy by at least three to four percentage points. The $800 billion economic stimulus package that Congress passed in 2009 to bail banks out of the recession, by contrast, is estimated to have grown the GDP by less than 1.5 percent overall. Read the whole article …
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on Thursday, ruling the law as unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. DOMA defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages even in states where they are legal. The court of appeals ruled that the government directly discriminates against gay Americans by denying federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples. Thursday’s decision was the second from a federal appeals court striking down DOMA. Several DOMA cases now wait before the Supreme Court, which could take up one of the cases this term.
The Institute for College Access and Success released a report Thursday showing that two-thirds of 2011 college graduates finished college with student loan debt and the average debt per student was $26,000, up 5 percent from the average debt level for the class of 2010. Even though 2011 college graduates encountered an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, they still fared better in finding jobs than those without a college degree.
Today’s fact from Face the Facts USA discusses the “retirement gap” in benefits. Of course, this is no surprise to those of us who have been fighting for pay equity, but it’s still worth a read.
The Mansfield Center will present Women’s Leadership Conference: Making Connections on Shared Priorities from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 on the University Center third floor. The conference brings together women from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and western Montana to share approaches to empowering women around the world.
Session topics include Empowering Women and Young Girls, Community Health Education, Violence Against Women and Identity and Social Justice.
“Violence against women and girls is a global issue that reaches across ethnic, racial and socioeconomic lines,” said Elizabeth Harrison, YWCA Missoula communications and development associate and a speaker at the conference. “The more we can build community and coalition across group and international lines the stronger our programs and the safer our communities will be.”
The conference is sponsored by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, Women’s Foundation of Montana, YWCA Missoula, and AAUW-Missoula. For conference details and to register, visit http://www.umt.edu/mansfield or call 406-243-2988. The conference is free, but space is limited to 90 registrants.
This is our chance! If enough of us submit questions about core issues that matter deeply to women—who make up a majority of the electorate—there’s a real chance one or more will make it into the debate. The deadline for questions is TONIGHT at 11:59 PM ET, so get your question in right away. Whether it’s reproductive freedom, equal pay, domestic violence, or birth control, your question deserves to be answered. Getting these questions into the debate will come down to whether enough of us weigh in and in big enough numbers to make a real impression. Even if you don’t have a specific question in mind, you can vote on questions that others have submitted, and as the site has a search engine, you can search for questions on specific issues. Submit and/or vote on a presidential question today.
Last Monday, the White House announced the launch of Equal Futures, a partnership between the United States and 12 countries to help empower and advance women and girls. Each country has made its own commitments to achieve this goal. The United States has pledged to expand opportunities for women in business, leadership, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and to promote economic security for domestic violence survivors. Partners will share updates and progress at the World Bank Spring Meetings in April 2013.