On September 23, 2010, UN delegates gathered to call for an end to human rights violations directed againg LGBT people. According to this article, LGBT people may still face criminal sanctions in nearly 80 countries.
In honor of Human Rights Day, take a moment to view this video of Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
Considering that I am a sociologist and feminist, you might be surprised when I say a human rights approach to women’s, gender and sexual rights is important because it adds a spiritual component to our global social justice work. We have theoretically and practically moved into an era in which what is means to be a man or a woman have become blurry. A vast body of research has deconstructed the social notion of the male/female dichotomy, demonstrating that there is not enough biological evidence to draw a clear line between the sexes. A variety of transgender and genderqueer experiences as well as fluid sexualities increasingly enrich our societies. Regardless of how we identify or who we are attracted to, we all benefit from expanding recognition of gender and sexual diversity.
In less than 48 hours, NCRW staff and interns have participated in not one but two conference calls from the National Women’s Law Center, each chock full of information we couldn’t wait to share! Yesterday, NWLC highlighted facts on women, insurance, and health reform. While the Affordable Care Act might not be a game changer, it is a big step forward. Judy Waxman, Vice President of Health and Reproductive Rights at NWLC, presented data on how women get health insurance now, what options to obtain health insurance have been created by the new legislation, and what those new health care plans are required to cover.
Last week in her Washington Post column, "The Color of Money," Michelle Singletary recommended Dr. Mariko's book Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It. Dr. Chang recently shared her findings and insights during our webinar, "Women and Economic Recovery: A Path Forward." As Chang discussed, women often do not have access to factors that contribute to wealth, such as fringe benefits. Women are overrepresented in part-time and low-wage jobs that do not offer fringe benefits such as health insurance and sick leave.
In July 2010, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I’d like to encourage activists, advocates, academics and public policymakers to ensure that people with disabilities are included in all debates about issues impacting women and girls. This means that disability issues get meaningful discussion time in all policy, human/civil rights and gender debates, as well as line items in budgets and written policies in resulting documentation. It also means that individuals with disabilities have a seat at the table and a voice in such conversations.
This afternoon I joined a webinar discussion on the Applied Research Center’s report, Better Together: Research Findings on the Relationship between Racial Justice and LGBT Communities. This report details the work being done at the intersection of sexuality, gender identity, and racial justice. Make no mistake—this work is happening, even if it is not discussed in mainstream media or non-profit discourse. ARC surveyed 41 racial justice groups and 40 LGBT organizations of color. They found four elements of success in working at the intersections of LGBT and racial justice:
Women's Media Center, "AIDS Breakthrough for Women" Scientists, policy makers and activists alike celebrated the unveiling of a new antiretroviral gel at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna. Read more.
As many of us set out to stuff ourselves silly tomorrow, Women Thrive Wolrdwide reminds us of the more than a billion people who lve in less than $1 a day. Ritu Sharma, President of Women Thrive, travelled to Burkina Faso to interview women farmers. Here is one of the videos she brought back:
In case you missed, the Women's Media Center featured an excellent article on the forthcoming documentary on late-term abortion, Trust Women. Here's an excerpt to whet your reading appetite:
An unknown number of doctors across the country perform late abortions, but unlike most, Dr. LeRoy Carhart and Dr. Warren Hern do so publicly. Shane and Wilson hope to humanize the doctors—revealing more about their personal lives than Dr. Tiller ever made public—and to avoid propaganda. “You can judge for yourself,” said Wilson, “but if you get to know them for all their complications, what you basically see is that they’re fundamentally really good people.”