G20 Gender Equality News

The Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) was at the G20 meeting this month and sends us a lot of good news from around the world.

G20 g20-gender-equality news from WEDO women environment and development organization

Women cover themselves as they make their way through the banks of the river Ganges during a dust storm in Allahabad, India, June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash

“All G20 countries have committed to promote gender equality through adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Meaningful climate action needs to tackle gender inequality and contribute to promoting, respecting and fulfilling all human rights. Women must play a critical role in addressing climate change, and barriers to unequal engagement and opportunities be overcome, through collaborative efforts of men and women.” CARE International on G20 and Climate Resilience

In many countries, there tends to be a disparity between sexes: women’s roles are often carers and providers of food and water, and they have a lack of access to resources and decision-making power, making them particularly at risk. In both the U.N. Development Program Gender Equality Index and the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index, there are no G20 countries among the top five most gender equal.

With regard to the countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions – which outline each country’s contribution to the Paris Agreement – only Mexico devotes a specific section on gender and climate change, with Brazil, India and Indonesia at least mentioning gender. The other G20 countries fail to address gender in their National Data Collections. Thus, there is definitely more work ahead.

G20 gender equality news from WEDOWEDO is a global advocacy organization established in 1991 by former U.S. Congresswoman Bella Abzug (1920-1998) and feminist activist and journalist Mim Kelber (1922-2004). It grew out of an extraordinary group of women, including Bella and Gloria Steinem, who started Women USA in 1979, and became the organization it is today through the vision of WEDO pioneers, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva, Thais Corral, and many others. In 2011, WEDO celebrated its official 20th anniversary!

G20 gender equality news from WEDODon’t Believe in Climate Change? Take a Trip to Vanuatu – This series of photos shows you how climate change is impacting many in the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, and why women, who are closer to the affects of climate change should participate in developing solutions for their community to cope with climate change.

With a Touch of Paint, Women Slum Dwellers Battle Extreme Heat – India’s women slum dwellers  used  to suffer from summer heat. Now with a program that paints slum dwellers’ roofs with reflective white paint and trains women with other techniques that reduce reliance on firewood, women slum dwellers are equipped with the knowledge to cope with climate change and its impacts.

G20 gender equality news from WEDOSolar Energy Powers Clean Water, Business Opportunities for Refugees – Practical and affordablez solar energy is being deployed on a growing scale to provide essential services for refugee camps in Africa and the Middle East.

Namibia: Rural Women Want Better Govt Service – Lack of access to potable water and proper healthcare are just two of the major issues rural women face in Namibia. At this year’s session of the fifth rural women’s parliament with men held under the theme ‘Parliament gives a voice to rural women and men on the Sustainable Development Goals’, the report demands more government support for rural women is sent to the National Council.

G20 gender equality news from WEDOEducation, a Building Block for Sustainable Peace  – Two-thirds of all illiterate adults in the world are women, and more than 260 million children and young people are out of school. Access to education often has a trickle-down effect, helping boost food, health, economic  security, and gender equality, all of which are also essential Sustainable Development Goals.

Indigenous Knowledge Crucial to Tackling Climate Change – Traditional skills and knowledge should be seen as a complement, not a barrier, to scientific knowledge and climate adaptation efforts.

G20 gender equality news from WEDOAll-Girls Teen Engineering Team Creates a Solar-powered Tent for Homeless People – Wonderful news! An all-girls science club from San Fernando Senior High School near Los Angeles has designed a solar-powered tent meant to help homeless and displaced people to have temporary proper shelters.

How Solar Energy Has Empowered Communities in Rural Assam – The advent of solar energy in three villages has had a transformative impact on primary healthcare and other daily activities of rural Assamese communities.

G20 gender equality news from WEDO

Shahida Khatun at the solar-powered primary health centre in Birsing char in Assam. Credit: PARI/Ratna Bharali Talukdar

Women and girls from every region of the world
are creating a mass movement for climate justice.

The Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice is a global campaign organized collectively by a group of regionally diverse women’s rights and feminist organizations brought together by the urgent need for just action on climate change.

G20 gender equality news from WEDO

Launched on July 14th 2015, the campaign aims to encourage actions from women’s groups, feminist initiatives and allied organizations in all regions, countries, cities and communities around the world as well as coordinated actions. WEDO has played a central role in organizing and facilitating the campaign as both a partner organization and member of the coordinating committee.

DONATE TO WEDO HERE

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Feminist Scholars on the U.S. Presidency

feminist-stmt-on-trump-headline

Just so we all know we are not acting alone in our coming efforts to maintain a peaceful world and functioning democracy, you will be strengthened by reading this all-encompassing public statement by scholarly women of grit:

Summary of Statement:

  • We must protect the right to protest and dissent.
  • We must insist that the media be allowed to do its job.
  • We must reject compromise.
  • Our number 1 priority is to Resist.
  • We must denounce militarization at home & abroad.
  • We must resist climate change denial.
  • We must resist autocracy.
  • We must push ourselves into more precise, radical analytical frameworks.
  • We must find creative solutions to address the immediate needs of those who will be acutely affected within the first 100 days.

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, a sizeable minority of the U.S. electorate chose to send billionaire Donald Trump, an avowed sexist and an unrepentant racist, who has spent nearly forty years antagonizing vulnerable people, to the White House. Spewing hatred at women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and those with disabilities is Trump’s most consistent, and well-documented form of public engagement. Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women because, as he quipped, his celebrity made it easy for him to do so. We can only assume that the hostile climate and anxiety about what is to come were contributing factors. The political shift we are witnessing, including the appointment of open bigots to the president-elect’s cabinet, reaffirms the structural disposability and systemic disregard for every person who is not white, male, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, and middle or upper class.As a community of feminist scholars, activists and artists, we affirm that the time to act is now. We cannot endure four years of a Trump presidency without a plan. We must protect reproductive justice, fight for Black lives, defend the rights of LGBTQIA people, disrupt the displacement of indigenous people and the stealing of their resources, advocate and provide safe havens for the undocumented, stridently reject Islamophobia, and oppose the acceleration of neoliberal policies that divert resources to the top 1% and abandon those at the bottom of the economic hierarchy. We must also denounce militarization at home and abroad, and climate change denial that threatens to destroy the entire planet.

We must also reject calls to compromise, to understand, or to collaborate. We cannot and will not comply. Our number one priority is to resist. We must resist the instantiation of autocracy. We must resist this perversion of democracy. We must refuse spin and challenge any narratives that seek to call this moment “democracy at work.” This is not democracy; this is the rise of a 21st century U.S. version of fascism. We must name it, so we can both confront and defeat it. The most vulnerable, both here and abroad, cannot afford for us to equivocate or remain silent. The threats posed by settler colonialism and empire around the globe have never been more real, nor has our resolve to oppose these injustices ever been stronger. Concretely, within the U.S., we oppose the building of a wall along the U.S. – Mexico border, and the establishment of a registry for Muslim residents.

We owe this moment and the communities we fight for our very best thinking, teaching, and organizing. We must find creative solutions to address the immediate needs of those who will be acutely affected within the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. We must push ourselves into new, and more precise and radical analytical frameworks that can help us to articulate the stakes of this moment.

The most important thing we can do in this moment is to make an unqualified commitment to those on the margins through our actions, insist that the media be allowed to do its job; and protect the right to protest and dissent. We recognize clearly that our silence will not protect us. Silence, in the aftermath of 11/8 is not merely a lack of words; it is a profound inertia of liberatory thought and praxis. So – what are we waiting for? We are who we are waiting for. We pledge to stand and fight, with fierce resolve, for the values and principles we believe in and the people we love.

See all the signatories here. 

 

Mourning-After Political Organizing

Peace Dove jewelryPolitical Organizing for Peace and Freedom are great antidotes to grief, depression and a threatened Democracy. There are many ways we can continue this American journey in a good direction.

First, the Election Victories:

Pramila Jayapal (WA) 1st Indian-American Women Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kamala Harris (CA) 2nd African-American Woman & 1st Indian-American Woman Elected to the U.S. Senate.

Ilhan Omar (MN) 1st Somali-American Elected to a State Legislature.

Catherine Cortez Masto (NV) 1st Latina Elected to the U.S. Senate.

election-1Now, a few suggestions for Mourning-After Political Organizing:

1. Search Out Groups of Like-Minded Citizens: It’s always and all ways important to  be with people of like mind and heart. This is healing for each of us, and what’s good for every one of us is good for the whole, I believe this to be true.

​​​​​​​2. Monitor Congress on CSPAN. Then Call, Write & Email Legislators.  CSPAN is a TV channel with daily coverage of Senate and House of Representatives Hearings live and video taped here. You can also view Supreme Court Arguments and Business here.

3. March With Those Groups Attacked 1st — to Slow the Rise of Oppression: Pastor Martin Niemöller’s speech in 1946 about citizen responsibility and how the impact of oppression is carefully built up from the smallest, most distant group to the largest:

Ds. Martin Niemöller neemt deel aan oecumenische samenkomst in de Grote Kert te Den Haag. Vlnr [Vrnl in spiegelbeeld!] . Ds M.N. W. Smitvoors (van de Haagse Oecumenische Raad), ds. Niemöller en prof. P. Kaetske, predikant van de Duitse Evangelische gemeente in Den Haag *27 mei 1952“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

4. Read Books about Diverse Cultures here: People Called Women Bookstore (PCW) provides the best selection possible of multi-cultural feminist books from around the world. PCW, in Toledo, Ohio, is one of a handful of feminist bookstores remaining in the U.S. and Canada. We are proud to have them as our bookseller! Check out the selection here.
​​​​​​​
 Hope Into Practice: Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears by Penny Rosenwasser5. Explore Women’s Spirituality in all its forms and traditions here. Spirituality and world religions are important for us to understand our common humanity, our common needs, goals and oppressions. Explore these offerings and enrich your spirit here!

6. Donate to Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support. These organizations work on all our behalf, providing essential legal representation, education, and monitoring necessary for democratic participation, volunteerism, and donations so they can continue to work harder than ever. Here are just a few we suggest (not in order of importance, some are new to me and may be to you): 

OurRevolution.com. Campaigns End. Revolutions Endure. Our Revolution will revitalize American democracy by unifying the millions of people who got involved over the course of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in support of progressive causes. See issues here. Get involved here.

American Cilvil Liberties Union (ACLU) works to defend individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. constitution. The ACLU is currently monitoring statements made by the president elect. Donate here.

Southern Poverty Law Center fights hate groups and bigotry using education, litigation, and advocacy. Donate here.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) was founded in 1915 out of an International Women’s Congress against World War. WILPF works to bring together women of different political views and philosophical and religious backgrounds to work for a permanent peace, and to oppose oppression and exploitation. WILPF has national sections in 37 countries, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and maintains a United Nations office in New York City. Get involved here.

National Organization for Women (NOW) is an activist organization, foundation and PAC that advocates for equal rights for women. Donate here, and look for volunteer programs at your local chapter’s page.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) promotes the civil rights of people of color to eliminate race-based discrimination. Donate here, and find your local chapter for more ways to get involved here.

National Women’s Law Center has worked for over 40 years to enact policies and laws on behalf of women and families. Donate here.

National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) is a pro-choice, multicultural, intergenerational, and multi-issue grassroots organization dedicated to increasing women’s participation in the political process and creating a true women’s political power base to achieve equality for all women. NWPC recruits, trains and supports pro-choice women candidates for elected and appointed offices at all levels of government regardless of party affiliation. Find your state chapter here.

350.ORG is building a global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice. Join Email List here.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, it fights against anti-semitism and bigotry as one of the largest civil rights organizations in the country. Find your local affiliate here.

Lakota People’s Law Project is on the front lines at Standing Rock protecting water for all of us. You can watch a video of Phyllis Young, long time water rights expert for the Lakota Nation. speaking to Water Protectors. I have worked with at the U.N. Phyllis has six children and packed the youngest child with her to Geneva in the l970s. Donate here.

Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights works to protect the best interests of children who come to the U.S. on their own. Donate here.

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) is a national civil rights law and policy organization dedicated to advancing the rights of people with disabilities through advocacy, training, education, and public policy. Donate here.

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) works to challenge the global proliferation of pesticides, defend basic rights to health and environmental quality, and work to ensure the transition to a just and viable food system. PAN works with those on the frontlines to tackle the pesticide problem — and reclaim the future of food and farming. Fighting GMOs in the U.S. and around the world.

Campaign Zero advocates for policy solutions to end police violence in America. Fill out this survey to learn how to get involved.

Center for Reproductive Rights is the world’s foremost legal advocate for securing women’s access to quality reproductive health care. Donate here.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the country’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization. Donate here or find your local chapter here.

Lambda Legal is a national legal organization dedicated to fighting for the civil rights of LGBT population and people with HIV through litigation, education, and policy work. Donate here.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is a political advocacy group focused on fighting for women’s reproductive rights and freedom. Click here to donate and here to volunteer.

NextGen Climate Action works politically “to prevent climate disaster.” Click here to donate and click here to volunteer.

PEN America works to protect free and open expression in the United States and across the world through literature and writing. Donate here.

Planned Parenthood is the country’s leading sexual and reproductive healthcare provider. Click here for nationwide volunteer opportunities (including as a clinic escort) and click here to donate.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, which operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE; online.rainn.org; rainn.org/es) and programs to help victims of sexual violence. Click here for information about how to volunteer for the hotline or in your community, and here to donate.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers legal resources, support and advocacy to reporters to protect the First Amendment and freedom of information rights. Donate here.

Reproductive Health Access Project is a non-profit that trains clinicians to make quality reproductive healthcare more accessible. Click here to donate.

Running Start is another organization dedicated to educating young women and girls about the importance of politics, through the Young Women’s Political Leadership Program and various other fellowships and internships. Donate here.

She Should Run is a non-profit that aims to get more women into elected leadership roles. You can donate here.

Union of Concerned Scientists works to create solutions to the planet’s most pressing scientific problems through research, advocacy, and policy. Donate here.

 

Maternal Death Rates & U.S. Health Disparities

pregnant-bellyIn the news this week: Why is the U.S. maternal mortality rate going up?


The U.S. has the only rising maternal mortality rate in the developed world. Rita Henley Jensen broke this story in Women’s eNews! The emphasis now is on keeping premature and low birth weight babies alive vs. maternal care to increase the birth weight of their babies. The reasons women die are embolisms, infections, hemorrhaging and Pre-eclampsia — which is 50% avoidable!

Carolyn Gage interviewed Rita Henley Jensen
for our Feminism Telesummit.

carolyn gage and rita henley jensen on maternal mortality

(You can listen to the free interview here.)

Here is What We Learned: Maternal Death Rates & U.S. Health Disparities

U.S. hospitals are not prepared or equipped to deal with obstetric emergencies!

Women’s mortality rates indicate the effectiveness of a nation’s healthcare system. There is no consistency in state’s reporting of maternal death due to their refusal to add this reason for death on Death Certificates.

African American women die 3 to 4 times more often of pregnancy than white women.

The World Health Organization (WHO) U.S.  Maternal Death Rate statistics are higher than the CDC’s.

African American women experience racism by Medicaid when in pain.
Women need a partner or advocate in delivery! “Every pregnancy needs a Midwife and a Doula,” says Rita.

100 Anti-Abortion Laws were introduced in the first two months of 2015!

What becomes news and what becomes the national conversation is determined by money and polls. Women journalists are widely unreported advocates of women’s stories. Rita Henley Jensen has a tremendous love for basic fairness. She founded Women’s eNews and is impassioned to “change journalism.” Women’s eNews has a focus on optimism, and the push-back by women toward solutions and advocacy to make things happen.

You have to stay informed to make change.” Rita Henley Jensen

More articles:

Jane Crow: Black Maternal Health
To Curb Maternal Death, U.S. Hospitals Urged to Weigh Bleeding Pads
California Project Quietly Battles Maternity Risks
Doctors Open Window on U.S. Maternal Care Crisis
NYC Reports Black Moms’ Risks 12 Times Above Whites
Hospitals Train to Track, React to Maternal Bleeding
Healthy Births, Healthy Moms: Black Maternal Health in America
In Detroit Hospital, Black Babies Are Latching On
Simple Language Helps Catch a Killer: Preeclampsia
National Initiative Tackles Rising U.S. Maternal Deaths
U.S. Hospitals Hinder Black Women’s Breastfeeding
New Twitter Storm Is About Public Breastfeeding

 

Wise Women’s Retirement Planning

The Women’s InstituteWomen's Retirement Planning Women's Institute For A Secure Retirement Improving the long-term financial security of all women through education and advocacy. For A Secure Retirement (WISER) provides women’s retirement planning education and resources, improving the long-term financial security of all women.

Women are two times more likely to be poor in retirement than men. We make financial decisions every day, and there are lots of opportunities to make positive changes for long-term financial security. WISER gives hope to women who need basic financial and retirement education to improve their lives. What a wonderful help for women!

“Start small and make a Big difference! Women earn less and live longer. Plan for it! Know your numbers, how much will you need in retirement? Make your own personal retirement plan to allow for financial security during the 3 to 10 years many of us live alone as we age.” Lara Hinz, Director of Programs at WISER (Our FREE Interview with Lara Here)

Women’s Retirement Planning Tips:

A One-Stop Gateway for Retirement Planning: The National Resource Center On Women And Retirement Planning. The Center’s goal is to assist the Aging Network in educating women of all ages about planning for their future financial, health and long-term care needs. The core of the Center’s work is the direct impact we have on women in communities across the country. Every year, WISER reaches tens of thousands of women with our workshops, trainings, print and electronic materials, and website.

Women's Retirement Planning - WISERA Simple Guide to What Everyone Needs to Know About Money & Retirement: This guide will provide you with the basic information you need to know to start making decisions about your retirement. Make sure you are getting the most you can from your employer-sponsored pension plan. If you don’t have a retirement strategy yet, it’s time you started! Use this guide to develop a strategy for your retirement. It’s never too late or too early! This publication is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, and Vietnamese here.

Researched and detailed answers to questions. WISER partners with other organizations to produce research on issues surrounding financial security, retirement, aging, and related topics. They provide free researched published that focus on these important issues related to women and retirement here.

Women's Retirement Planning -Financial Steps for Caregivers: What You Need to Know About Protecting Your Money and Retirement Financial Steps for Caregivers: What You Need to Know about Protecting Your Money and Retirement is designed to help you identify financial decisions you may face as a caregiver. These decisions can affect both your short-term and long-term financial security, including your own retirement.

Financial Elder Abuse Resources: In an effort to combat elder financial abuse and educate all women about this devastating problem, WISER compiled a list of helpful resources here.

WISER’s Newsletter: WISER’s latest newsletter includes a feature on reverse mortgages and reverse mortgage scams, offers tips for choosing between a monthly payment or lump sum pension payout, and highlights recent research on caregivers. You can also learn more about new resources available including the Administration for Community Living’s new campaign focused on brain health, and the Department of Health & Human Services new site, www.aging.gov.

Women's Retirement Planning -Nurses' Investor Education Project WISER Report Highlights Effective Financial Education Project for NursesNurses’ Investor Education Project: WISER’s Report Highlights Effective Financial Education Project for Nurses- A multi-year financial education initiative aiming to improve nurses’ financial security using educational tools, resources, and peer-to-peer training and workshops. “Changing Investment and Savings Behavior of Nurses” helps identify nurses’ specific financial information needs and provide them with tools to help them successfully manage and build their wealth into retirement. Read the report here.

Women's Retirement Planning - A New Way to Save with myRA Do you know about MyRA (my Retirement Account), a government-backed retirement plan launched nationwide that provides a savings option for the tens of millions of U.S. workers whose employers don’t offer a retirement savings plan. The MyRA accounts are open to anyone earning an annual salary of less than $131,000, or $193,000 if they are married and file taxes jointly. There is no minimum or fee to open an account. Payments can go into the plan automatically, either directly from a checking or savings account, or from an employer’s payroll system, via direct deposit. Learn more at myra.gov.

WISER helps women retire with dignity and security by educating us to avoid poverty in old age with many helpful resources: Publications, website, blog, workshops, trainings, research, rural grassroots education, and press.

WISER gives hope to women who need basic financial and retirement education to improve their lives.

“I feel empowered to make the right and good decisions for retirement security.”

Women's Retirement Planning -Women's Institute For A Secure Retirement Improving the long-term financial security of all women through education and advocacy.We interviewed Lara Hinz, Director of Programs at WISER. Listen to her free interview here. 

Lara says, “Start small and make a Big difference! Women earn less and live longer. Plan for it! Know your numbers, how much will you need in retirement? Make your own personal retirement plan to allow for financial security during the 3 to 10 years many of us live alone as we age.”

Women and Money Telesummit In this Telesummit, you'll learn financial strategies that fit your lifestyle.

Sign up for the entire Women & Money Telesummit here! It’s Free!!

 

5 Candidates for Woman Secretary General of the UN

UN woman secretary general campaign 2016

Wolman Secretary General of the UN

How important it is for U.S. women to know about and be involved in international affairs. Our media does not cover global politics in a way that helps us understand the strength and importance of women’s participation in political affairs around the world.

This campaign to nominate 5 Candidates for Woman Secretary General of the UN is an opportunity for all of us to become involved by educating ourselves and with our donations. I invite you to do both as you read about these women’s leadership and work on all our behalf, and listen to the candidates in their own words in the very short videos linked below.

Shazia Rafi feminism telesummitWe learned about this Campaign when Carolyn Gage interviewed Shazia Rafi for our Feminism and Sustainability Telesummit. You can listen to Shazia’s interview here.

Here is how this Campaign began: In February 2015, a group of like-minded women came together to launch this campaign to elect a woman as Secretary-General of the United Nations when Ban Ki-moon steps down at the end of 2016.

These like-minded women from academia and civil society with a long record of engagement with the United Nations formed a core planning group to enact a plan of action. They welcome others to join the campaign, both men and women, individuals and organizations alike. It’s time!

Here are the 5 Candidates for Woman Secretary General of the UN
(Read more on each Candidate here)

 

UNSG-IrinaBokovaIrina Bokova, Nominated by the Government of Bulgaria February 11, 2016

“Uniting all for peace, sustainability and dignity – this is my vision of the United Nations.”

Currently serving as Director-General of UNESCO ( United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) where she is actively engaged in international efforts to advance quality education for all, gender equality, cultural dialogue and scientific cooperation for sustainable development and is leading UNESCO as a global advocate for safety of journalists and freedom of expression.

“When I was elected for the first time as Director”‘General of UNESCO in 2009, I presented a vision statement entitled “UNESCO in the 21st Centuryl A New Humanism in a Globalized World”. Today, seven years later, I am more convinced than ever that the world, and the United Nations at its service, need a new humanistic approach to tackle a horizon of pressing challenges and threats.” You can read Irina’s entire Vision Statement here.

Listen to Irina in her own words here. 

UNSG candidate Helen ClarkHelen Clark, Nominated by New Zealand April 4, 2016

Helen Clark is currently serving as the first woman Administrator of UNDP (United Nations Development Program). She also chairs the UN Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all development-related UN funds, programs and departments.

Helen Clark was the first woman in New Zealand to serve as Deputy Prime Minister from 1989 to 1990, the first woman appointed to New Zealand’s Privy Council in 1990, the first woman to be elected as head of a major party, the Labour Party, in 1993.

As Prime Minister of New Zealand for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008, she served as a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.

Helen Clark in her own words here.

UNSG-NataliaGhermanNatalia Gherman, Nominated by the Republic of Moldova February 19, 2016

“Human rights are indivisible; therefore, economic, social and cultural rights should be pursued with equal determination. Women’s and girls’ rights are central to this effort. They have displayed courage and commitment to peace, sustainable development and human dignity. Efforts shall be redoubled to empower their contribution and participation as well as protect their rights and ensure their representation. No tangible progress can be achieved and no sustainable peace can be attained, if women and girls, over half of the world’s population, are left behind.”

Natalia Gherman is a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova. She is a career diplomat holding the diplomatic rank of Ambassador.

Natalia Gherman in her own words here on the military build up on the Ukrainian Russia Border.

UNSG-SusanaMalcorraSusana Mulcorra, Nominated by the Government of Argentina, May 23, 2016

International public servant Susana Malcorra was appointed Minister of Foreign Relations by Argentine President Macri in November 2015. In assuming the role, Ms. Malcorra resigned her position as Chef de Cabinet for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In March 2008 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Ms. Malcorra as Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, which provides dedicated support to all U.N. peacekeeping field missions and political field missions, leading staff of more than 120,000 military, civilian, and police personnel deployed around the world.

Ms. Malcorra served as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) from 2004 to 2008, overseeing daily emergency and humanitarian operations in more than 80 countries,

Prior to entering the international civil service, Ms. Malcorra worked for twenty-five years in the private sector, advancing to leadership positions both at IBM and Telecom Argentina, where she served as that organization’s first female Chief Executive Officer.

Susana Malcorra in her own words here, speaks about the importance of UN peacekeeping operations, and the global impact of the UN.

UNSG-VesnaPusicVesna Pusic, Nominated by the Government of Croatia, January 14, 2016

Dr. Vesna Pusić is the former First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia.

In 1978, Dr. Pusić and seven other women formed the first feminist organization in SFR Yugoslavia, Žena i društvo. She was also a founder and director of the nongovernmental organization, Erasmus Guild (1993-1998), which promoted cultural democracy in post-conflict transition Croatia and the Balkans.
She is an accomplished sociologist and politician, graduating in 1976 with a degree in philosophy from the University of Zagreb. Her research covers theories of industrial democracy and the sociology of politics. Dr. Pusić has also lectured at the University of Chicago, Cornell University, American University in Washington DC and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

She is a founding member of the Croatian People’s Party in 1990, and later served as president of the party from 2000 and 2008, and again in 2013. In 2000, she was elected to the Croatian Parliament and served as the Deputy Speaker from 2003 to 2007.

From 2006 to 2012, she was the vice-president of the European Liberal Democratic and Reform Party and from 2008 to 2012 she was the Chairperson of the National Committee for Monitoring the Accession Negotiations between Croatia and the European Union. Dr. Pusić ran as the HNS-LD party candidate for president of Croatia during the 2009-2010 election, and served in 2013 as the party’s president.

Vesna Pusic in her own words here. 

CAMPAIGN GOALS:

  • Advocate for a woman as the next Secretary-General and make the selection of a woman inevitable
  • Support the selection process by contributing to the identification of the best possible female candidates
  • Support all qualified women candidates
  • Promote transparency in the selection process
  • Involve governments and civil society in the search and selection

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN HERE!

As the campaign and selection process advance through the summer and into the fall, Member States will continue attuning themselves to civil society’s voice, grown loud of late. If you have been considering making a Donation in support of the first woman UN Secretary General, we urge you to do so in this critical “home stretch.”

Your support goes towards funding efforts to make sure that a woman is elected the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Feminism & Civilization with Dr. Bonnie Morris

Earth Day Feminism with Professor Bonnie Morris - Women’s Role in Sustaining CivilizationWomen’s Role in Sustaining Civilization with Professor Bonnie Morris.

Carolyn Gage interviewed Bonnie Morris for our Feminism and Sustainability Telesummit where Bonnie shared her experiences as a Women’s Studies Professor: international students and events, the next generation of students, and women’s longevity.

“The sustainability success story is that Feminists have succeeded in making it mainstream to take Women’s Studies because it’s offered in thousands of  schools and in forty or more countries around the world.”  Dr. Bonnie Morris

Case Studies shared in our interview with Bonnie Morris:

– The education of women and girls as a tool for empowering entire communities.
– Mainstreaming women’s history as heritage everyone should know.
– How learning about their foremothers empowers young women and teaches men to respect women.

In our interview with Bonnie Morris she shared stories about Gerda Lerner, Islandic Vagina Monologues, Kay Gardner, Ubaka Hill, MichFest, the Women’s Music Movement, Fidel Castro, Chris Williamson’s lullaby at the Temple of Diana, the Golden Age of Lesbianism, and the “Treasure Hunts” of the past to recover women’s history.

Earth Day Feminism with Bonnie Morris

At the Temple of Diana in Kusadasi as guest lecturer for Olivia Cruises in 2007.

Bonnie Morris is a Professor, Award Winning Author, Poet and Performer. She is the author of eleven books, including “Revenge of the Women’s Studies Professor,” and “Eden Built by Eves,” and “Women’s History for Beginners.”

Bonnie was the first graduate to complete American University’s then, new minor in Women’s Studies. After earning her PhD, she taught one of the first-ever graduate seminars on Jewish women’s history at Harvard.

Feminism and Sustainability TelesummitProfessor Morris joined the women’s studies faculty at George Washington University in 1994, and at Georgetown in 1996. She teaches Women and Western Civilization, Gender and Athletics, Women and War, and Introduction to Women’s Studies.

We invite you to listen to Carolyn Gage’s interview with Bonnie Morris here,

Sign up to hear all the interviews here.  

And learn more about Carolyn Gage Here. 

International Women’s Day 1910 – 2016

Clara-Zetkin-founder-womens-dayIn 1910, the 2nd International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. Clara Zetkin, leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, proposed the idea of an International Women’s Day.

Clara proposed that every year, in every country, there should be a celebration of Women’s Day on the same day to press for women’s demands. The Conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Carla’s suggestion with unanimous approval — and International Women’s Day was born!

Worldwide, women continue to contribute to economic, social, cultural, and political achievements. We have much to celebrate today, but progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places around the world.

International Women's Day 2016

The 2014 World Economic Forum predicted that it would take until 2095 to achieve gender parity globally. In 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133. We have urgent work to do. So, how do we want to celebrate International Women’s Day in 2016?

International Women’s Day 1910 – 2016. Are you ready to accelerate gender parity?

This year, we can all pledge to take concrete steps to help achieve gender parity more quickly in many different ways. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence.

Globally, with men and women joining forces, and with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action, we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realize the limitless potential they offer economies and cultures the world over. Commit to take the Pledge to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity on International Women’s Day 2016 and beyond.

International Women's Day

Make a Pledge to:

  • help women and girls achieve their ambitions
  • challenge conscious and unconscious bias
  • call for gender-balanced leadership
  • value women and men’s contributions equally
  • create inclusive, flexible cultures

 

Shop Woman Made to support female entrepreneurs on and for International Women’s Day 2016! Here are a few books on the subject of Women’s contributions: (and more here)

 

Woman Secretary General of the UN

woman secretary general of the unWouldn’t it be wonderful if the United Nations were grounded in the InterConnectedness of Women-Identified Sustainability? We have had 8 males, but never a Woman Secretary General of the UN — even though women represent half the world’s population. OUR 9TH SHOULD BE A WOMAN!

So, in 2015, a group of like-minded women came together to launch a campaign to elect a Woman Secretary General of the UN when Ban Ki-moon steps down at the end of 2016.

CAMPAIGN TO ELECT A WOMAN UN SECRETARY-GENERAL – This group represents women from academia and civil society with a long record of engagement with the United Nations. Through an initial series of discussions, they decided that the time had come for a woman to lead the Organization and formed a core planning group to enact a plan of action. It’s time!

The most frequently used excuse for not selecting women for top positions is that there are not enough qualified women to choose from:  No More Excuses!

WOMEN SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UN“Women have long breached the glass ceiling in international organizations – it’s no longer competence vs gender vs geography.” Shazia Rafi, former Secretary-General, Parliamentarians for Global Action 1996-2013. The first woman to serve in this office.

Outstanding Women from Around the World  – A list o women A to Z of candidates for Woman Secretary General of the UN. Before the election of a new UN Secretary-General at the end of 2016, this campaign will roll out a series of biographies of outstanding women to demonstrate the depth and richness of talented and experienced women in high-level positions from all regions of the globe. Follow this link to peer into the list as it grows, and search by region.

woman secretary general of the un Ameerah HaqWoman of the Week: Ameerah Haq is an expert on U.N. Peace Keeping. She is originally from E. Pakistan, now Bangladesh. She has worked with the UN for 4 decades.

Ms. Haq currently serves as the Vice Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace. She is the Former Under-Secretary General for Field Support, and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan 2004 to 2007, and Sudan from 2007 to 2009. Emeerah Haq’s “Woman of the Week” profile here.

Please get to know Ameerah Haq in her own words on U.N. Peace Keeping.

The UN is 70 years old — This is a lifetime. Let us make sure that in the next lifetime of the UN, its leadership includes women of merit and nerve, significantly gifted to make the UN work:

 Join the Campaign Here               Donate Here           YouTube Here

 
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We interviewed Feminists on this and other subjects. 
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COP21 Highlights – Women and Action

Cop21 HighlightsWorld leaders and global activists have met to finalize a climate agreement at the Paris Climate Summit COP21. This is a pivotal point for environmental politics and  how individuals and communities can take action to support the planet. Here are some COP21 Highlights:

Women and Gender Constituency – Over the past several years of international climate change negotiations, it has been established and agreed by governments across the world, who are Parties toCOP21, that gender equality and ensuring women’s human rights are necessary to effectively act on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Women were active at COP21 both inside the meetings and outside in the streets and many organizing meetings that brought global activists together in protest and negotiations.

North Dakota indigenous leader Kandi Mossett: “We are sacrifice zones” – Man camps are where thousands of men live in hovels. They’re FEMA trailers or RV parks or wherever they can find space. Man camps are in what used to be wheat fields or a sunflower fields that are now oil-fracking operations. As a result, we’ve seen an great increase in crime, violence, and drug abuse. I have buried two young girls, my friends, this last year, who got addicted to the heroin, because we now have organized crime. As far as the environmental toxins, we won’t even feel the effects for 20 years. And I’m so worried that at this COP21 my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter won’t have a say, but she will be experiencing the worst impacts. And it just doesn’t make any sense to me that this is the 21st COP and we are considered sacrifice zones in my community.

COP21 HighlightsClimate Justice Movement “Extremely Disappointed” in COP21 Draft’s “Failure to Set Up” – Chee Yoke Ling, legal adviser to the Third World Network, based in Beijing: “There’s no agreement, actually, because the question is: How do we share? How do we share the responsibility of doing the actions that will bring us to 1.5? Many vulnerable countries, small island states, and even some of the bigger developing countries want strong action. But the 1.5 has to be in the context of actions that are fair, so that the rich and those who can do more should do their share, and then the poor should be helped to actually do their share. So what we see here, to get to the 1.5, where everybody is treated the same, where we see the rich countries, like the United States and the European countries or Japan, saying that they will try to do their best, on a voluntary basis, and they’re backing off from what they agreed to do 20 years ago. They are not cutting emissions at home, in Europe or North America. They are not going to give money to help other countries do it. So, 1.5 is a nice number, but how do you get to 1.5 in terms of real actions?”

Young Feminist Day at the Women and Gender Caucus: Alina Saba – Thailand, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law & Development: “Living with climate change is a reality, it keeps us awake at night. Climate Change is further pushing us into a cycle of inequality. We are trading away our life.” Report from WEDO *Women, Environment & Development Organization begun by Bella Abzug): The room was filled with engaged participants eager to hear the voices of young feminists who participated and hope to continue the conversation and establish a young feminist working group in order to ensure that all generations are included in climate change negotiations, international policies, and advocacy spaces.

Cop21 Highlights naomi kleinNaomi Klein Decries Climate Deal as Extraordinarily Dangerous – “We know, from the paltry levels of financing that wealthy governments have brought to the table, that COP21 is going to steamroll over equity red lines, which means that wealthy countries that have been emitting fossil fuels on an industrial scale for a couple hundred years will continue to fail to do our fair share of emission reductions, or pay our fair share for the impacts of that, for loss and damage caused by climate change, and also the resources that are badly needed so that poorer countries can leapfrog over fossil fuels and the car culture, and go directly to renewable energy, community-controlled renewable energy, energy democracy. It takes resources and technology transfers to happen. We also know that it’s going to steamroll over our legal red lines, because the U.S. has come to these negotiations announcing that the deal cannot be legally binding. Any talk of penalties was off the table before it even began.

Which is why on December 12th many activists will be in the streets of Paris peacefully demonstrating against the violation of these red lines. We will also be mourning the lives already lost to climate disruption…”   Check out Naomi’s newest book here: Capitalism vs. Climate.

Jane Goodall at COP21: “I’m Here to Save the Rainforests” COP21 Highlights– “Our misuse of fossil fuels, the emissions—from agriculture, from industry, from households—the vast impact that’s being made by this intensive farming of animals. And in order to feed the billions and billions of cows and pigs and chickens, even if you don’t care about the cruelty, even if you refuse to admit that these are individuals with feelings, who feel pain and have emotions, even if you don’t admit that, you have to admit huge areas of forest are cut down to grow grain to feed them. Intensive cattle grazing is turning forests to woodland, to scrubland. And food in one end, gas out both ends, that’s methane. And that’s an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. It’s about 36 percent of all methane emissions come from this intensive farming.”

Greenland Glaciologist Says, Voluntary Pledges Aren’t Enough 
“What we need to be talking about is the atmospheric carbon level that we can tolerate. And unfortunately, it’s too high now, so the conversation, the missing conversation, is also about atmospheric drawdown of carbon. And that’s why I bring up trees and grasslands and restoring growing parts of our planet. We’ve lost one-third of arable land on our planet in the last 50 years. We need to start reversing that. And we can bring humidification back to the Mediterranean. The Roman Empire began deforesting the Mediterranean long ago, and that desertification trend is behind the drought. And we can actually begin reversing that. And it actually—besides bringing moisture back to some of these places and sequestering carbon, it also gives people hope. And it can be a gesture of peace that we can offer around the world.”

COP21 HighlightsGreenpeace commissioned 80 activists from Germany, France and Belgium to paint a large, yellow sun on Paris’ Etoile — the roundabout that encircles the Arc de Triomphe. They used washable paint that isn’t environmentally harmful.

Today, 12/12/15, climate activists are protesting in the streets of Paris, calling all of us to action.

Paris isn’t the end of the story, but a conclusion of a particular chapter. Now, it’s up to us to strengthen these promises, make sure they are kept, and then accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and toward 100% renewable energy. Videos from Paris here.

International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit

AsokaBandarageHuffingtonPostDr. Asoka Bandarage spoke recently as part of our Lean Into Green Online Education Series.  She also writes for the Huffington Post, and has authored a new book, “Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy” is available on her website here. In a recent Huffington Post article, Asoka Bandarage writes that Climate Change is a woman’s issue, and reports on an important event that just took place: The First International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit.

What I enjoy most about Asoka’s work is that she brings the environmental, cultural, social and spiritual aspects of our life together into one whole reality. This makes it much more possible for women, in our relational thinking, in this relational era, to wrap our head around the problems and come up with relational solutions. I am sharing here some of Asoka’s recent Huffington Post article on the First International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit held in Suffern, N.Y., on Sept. 20-23, 2013. This Summit drew women leaders from 35 countries to bring attention to the climate emergency. An excerpt from their Declaration states (read the entire document here):

“We are the mothers and the grandmothers, sisters and daughters, nieces and aunts, who stand together to care for all generations across our professions, affiliations and national identities. . .We are gathering to raise our voices to advocate for an Earth-respecting cultural narrative, one of “restore, respect, replenish” and to replace the narrative of “domination, depletion and destruction” of nature. We are committed to a transition from a future of peril to a future of promise, to rally the women around the world to join together in action at all levels until the climate crisis is solved.

The science is clear. There is no more debate. The time for action is NOW. We will answer humanity’s increased vulnerability with our increased commitment. We know that while women are among the most negatively impacted by climate disruption, we are also key to creating climate solutions…

ChipkoWomenHuggingTree“Women have often spearheaded environmental movements in their countries and regions. The Chipko Movement against deforestation in India, the Green Belt movement for tree planting in Kenya, and the movement against nuclear testing and toxic dumping in Micronesia are just a few examples.”

“Climate-related disasters have different impacts on different social groups; poor communities in the Global South and women face the most severe deprivation. Worldwide an estimated 80 percent of climate refugees, people displaced by environmental disasters, are women. .In the Bangladesh cyclone of 1991, almost five times more women died than men because women could not swim, wore restricting clothing, or were forced to place themselves in extreme danger because they had to wait for a male to accompany them. Men who had access to public spaces were able to warn each of the danger but did not always inform their families left at home.”

“The feminization of poverty has led to a sharp gender disparity in poverty levels. Thus, women on average have a smaller carbon footprint than men. Yet poor women around the world are more vulnerable to climate change, destruction of biodiversity, and loss of livelihood than groups with higher levels of consumption and pollution…Unpredictable temperatures, drought, and flooding pose enormous challenges for women who, as the primary and often sole caregivers for their families. They are responsible for providing food and water, and oftentimes firewood for their families. With reduced access to water and crops, the time spent on obtaining necessities increases, and women’s lives get harder.”

“Climate change may negatively impact female farmers more than male farmers by increasing burdens placed on women…” Read Dr. Asoka Bandarage’s entire article here. Asoka’s new book, “Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy” is available on her website here. 

Join us at Lean Into Green for Asoka’s free Green Talk. Sign up today and Discover How to live more simply and more sustainably, while you increase Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Important information for you and your family. It’s free, and it’s powerful! 

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May your life be enriched, your host, Genny LaMorgan
Owner, GreenWomanStore.com where you shop fair trade, green, and woman made!