Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Jamie Lynn Spears Generation

By Cristina Page

The Spears family can't be shocked by much these days, not with Britney in every tabloid. Still the recent news seemed to unsettle them. Their 16-year-old daughter Jamie Lynn is pregnant. And while no bad news is unprofitable for the Spears (it is rumored Jamie Lynn, a TV star in her own right, was paid one million dollars to break the news in OK! Magazine), this particular note of fame does appear to have taken the family aback. ("I was in shock. I mean, this is my 16-year-old baby," her mother told OK!) It seems that no matter how well-to-do, (or bizarre) the family, it's always a tragedy to have one's child's adolescence taken away by pregnancy. While Jamie Lynn Spears is not your average teen, her situation is becoming a more common experience for many girls of her generation: premature parenthood.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Activist Rally for a Better Media... Video Footage

Following up on Liisa’s recent post on the October 31st Free Press Rally outside the FCC Building in Washington, DC about media consolidation here is a video that features clips and key points made by guest speakers at the rally that I filmed and edited. While the FCC held hearings in the boardroom activists poured their hearts out, raising up their voices against monopolization of media.

First up in this video we have a clip of the Prometheus Radio Project “FCC Cheerleaders.” Dressed in blue and white uniforms with FCC stitched across their chests and armed with pom-poms the cheerleaders pumped the crowd up with a cheer about the FCC, finishing with a tough looking pyramid.

The rally also featured many powerful speakers who all had a say about how “big media” is damaging the diversity within the media.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Protecting Older Women Against Cervical Cancer

By Susan Scanlan

Much discussion recently has focused on a new vaccine that helps protect girls and young women against cervical cancer. The vaccine wards off the virus – the human papillomavirus, or HPV – that causes the disease. This medical breakthrough, however, does not protect against all cancer-causing HPV types and is only FDA-approved for girls and women aged 9-26. Therefore, it certainly won’t help women aged 65 and older, who account for nearly 20 percent of all new cervical cancer cases in the United States and more than 35 percent of all deaths from the disease.

Another technology -- a DNA test for HPV -- can better protect these women. And now, a proposal before Congress will ensure that older women get access to this test by requiring Medicare to pay for it.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Keep local media alive!
Activists rally to protest FCC’s corporate tilt

Outside the headquarters of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C., a group of 200 people gathered on Wednesday morning, in an effort to bring public awareness and persuade the FCC to change its direction on media ownership. The rally, sponsored by Free Press, Inc., a non-profit that works to limit media consolidation, was held in conjunction with a public hearing – announced by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin just five days ahead of the hearing date -- on how media consolidation affects local markets. Free Press organizing materials suggested that the short notice was an attempt to lock the public out of the debate.

The Washington Post described the media ownership issue this way:

FCC rules govern how many radio and television stations a company can own in a city and how many radio stations a company can own nationally. They also prevent one company from owning both a newspaper and a TV station in the same city, a rule likely to be lifted during the current review.

Monday, October 29, 2007

No Exceptions: Give Rape Victims Emergency Contraception

By Wendy Wolf and Cathy Raphael

A victim of a violent assault arrives in an emergency room. Once the patient’s condition is assessed, it is determined that the patient has, on file with the hospital, an order called an “advance directive” – instructions by the patient on what measures the hospital should take to prolong the patient’s life in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury.

Most Americans agree that all of us deserve the opportunity to make such decisions, within the bounds of the law, without interference from meddling politicians or hospital administrators. Dictates of someone else’s religion or conscience should have no bearing, most agree, on whether or not our wishes are carried out about such end-of-life measures as respirators and resuscitation.

Now imagine that patient, that victim of assault, as a woman who has been raped. By law, the hospital has to honor her wishes on how she would wish to die. But what about how she may wish to live? Should that same hospital be permitted to so meddle in her personal and moral life as to withhold from her the means by which she could prevent the pregnancy that might result from her assault?


Friday, October 26, 2007

Look Who’s Cheering Now

There’s always that one person at work or in class who can tell you everything you could ever want to know about sports. They know how many homeruns San Diego Padres left fielder Barry Bonds hit this season, the number of strikeouts thrown by Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and that Ricky Henderson holds the career stolen bases record. And by the way, these are your female colleagues. That’s right, we’re taking over. From Wrigley Field to Dodger Stadium, female baseball fans can be found cheering and jeering along with the best of ‘em. Make-up has given way to face paint and jerseys have become fashion statements. It’s not just about how cute Cleveland Indians centerfielder Grady Sizemore is -- although it doesn’t hurt -- or how Yankee short stop Derek Jeter looks in his uniform. These are serious fans who know the game and the players. With the 2007 World Series underway, baseball season is at its peak.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

What Girls Say ABout Self-Esteem

Last Wednesday I attended a presentation called “What Girls Say,” about self esteem, body image and holistic health. Sponsored by Girl Scouts of the USA and Women’s Policy, Inc., it had representatives, researchers, and a panel of girls explain the increasing pressure on young girls today and what the public and legislature can do to alleviate it.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fixing Cocaine Sentencing Laws

By Kara Gotsch

This month the Supreme Court heard a case which touched on a 20-year-old controversy involving justice and crack cocaine. The court will rule early next year in Kimbrough v. United States whether a federal district judge’s more lenient sentencing decision, based on his disagreement with policy that punishes crimes involving crack cocaine more harshly than those involving powder cocaine, is reasonable. The case will help judges determine their ability to sentence below an advisory guideline range. Unfortunately, the outcome will leave in place the excessive mandatory penalties that the Kimbrough judge found unjust.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Profiles in Cowardice

By Joan Suarez

The failed attempt by the U.S. Senate to address immigration reform dealt a huge blow to a country that has waited over two decades for solutions to one of our most pressing national issues.

Of greatest concern is that 53 Senators, including our own Senators, chose to ignore the vast majority of Americans who support a comprehensive solution and instead gave up too soon on the legislative process.

Immigration is an emotionally-charged and complex issue—taking it on requires leadership, courage and putting aside partisan politics. And there was a courageous bipartisan group of Senators that tried to craft legislation to bring both parties to the table. The Senate bill was far from perfect, but legislators knew the bill had to go through the House of Representatives and a Conference Committee, where outstanding issues could still be ironed out.

That is the most alarming aspect of the immigration debate—the politics of fear and hate. Groups at the local level working with immigrant communities are all too familiar with it. They have received hate mail and threats, seen swastikas sprayed on windows, and experienced the backlash that renders whole communities suspect and obscures the path to sound policy-making.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fighting to Save SCHIP Funding

By Ericka Thoms

President Bush kept his promise and rejected the will of the Congress and the demands of Americans to insure 10 million children. With his veto he saddled states with millions of dollars of debt as they try to keep up their end of the promise to working families and the children who are counting on the grown-ups to get it right.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Blogging the Women Legislators' Lobby Conference

She has arrived

How do you ingratiate yourself with the House leadership if you're a freshman congresswoman with two weeks in your seat? If you're Laura Richardson (D-Calif.), you don't. Richardson, who won her seat representing California's diverse 37th district via special election, announced her arrival in the nation's capitol by taking her sweet time deciding how to vote on the S-CHIP legislation for children's health insurance -- not a maneuver to be undertaken by the faint of heart. (Leaders of both parties tend to expect the automatic fealty of newbies in Congress.)


Thursday, September 27, 2007

How Verizon Explains What Net Neutrality Means

If you haven’t already heard, Verizon Wireless executives first decided to reject NARAL Pro-Choice America’s request to use their mobile network for a text-messaging, and then within hours reversed themselves.

The company's reasoning for first rejecting NARAL was that they had an internal policy to block "controversial or unsavory" text messages, which its spokesman explained, laughably, that someone had just forgotten to update by the time of NARAL’s request.


Ending a Modern Form of the Poll Tax

By Kathleen Taylor

Consider two people who are convicted of felonies. Both go to prison and serve their time. But one is able to vote upon release from custody, while the other will not be able to vote for many years after release, perhaps ever.

What makes the difference — seriousness of the offense? Length of sentence? Personal history?


Monday, September 24, 2007

Saudi Women Organize For The Right To Drive

Looking overseas, feminists activists in Saudi Arabia are organizing for the right to drive. Technology, from e-mail to text messaging, now makes it possible for them to coordinate and communicate their efforts in a way it never way before.


Friday, September 21, 2007

College Kids Paying The Price For Birth Control

As a young woman in college, I have had first hand experience with the rising costs concerning birth control pills. In the past year, the specific brand of birth control pills I use have gone up almost an extra $10 a month, from $40 to $50. Without coverage, my prescription runs $600 a year. Although I’m fortunate to have an insurance company that covers a nice percentage of my costs, meaning I only pay $20 a month, not everyone is as lucky as I am.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Aurora, IL Planned Parenthood Clinic Opening Stalled

Apparently even when offering legal, constitutionally protected services, cities like Aurora will become gun-shy when anti-choice protestors become involved. Planned Parenthood of Chicago is going to federal court to try to force the city of Aurora to allow their new clinic to open as planned on September 18.
Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area is in federal court today seeking an injunction to allow its new health center in Aurora to open as scheduled on September 18, saying the City of Aurora has no legal basis for blocking the opening and that its revocation of a temporary operating permit is motivated solely by political opposition to the constitutionally protected right to abortion services.
The issue was over Planned Parenthood’s attempts to protect its new clinic from being targeted by anti-choice activists before it even opened.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Anita Roddick's Legacy

Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, died on September 10 of a brain hemorrhage. Looking over the empire she built is pretty incredible. Even if her business has its flaws (and which ones don’t?), it’s hard to deny that for many non-activists, The Body Shop was their first introduction to environmental and third-world development issues. I like this quote from Time.
"She made shopping a political act," says her friend Josephine Fairley, co-founder of organic chocolate company Green & Black's. "She was the first person to do that. She made cosmetics fun, sexy and affordable, and there was always a message. But instead of 'Buy this mascara, it will change your life,' her message was, 'Buy this mascara, it could change someone else's life.'"

Abortion Stakes Are Personal For Reporter

By Allison Stevens

I'm a lucky woman. Today I hold in my arms my newborn son, born in good health - both his and mine. As the Washington bureau chief for a news site that covers issues important to women, I often cover the ideological warfare over reproductive rights.

A frightening moment at the beginning of my pregnancy gave me an almost visceral perspective on the most recent Supreme Court battle over abortion, one that has already inspired lawmakers in a number of states to enact or contemplate action to further limit a woman's right to make decisions about her reproductive life based on the best medical option for her particular circumstances.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Ticking Clock On Pay Discrimination

By Barbara Arnwine

Look around your office. Do you know what your co-workers are really being paid? Probably not. A recent survey found that only 10 percent of companies have pay openness policies. And if you were paid less by your employer simply because you are female how long do you think it would take to find out? Probably not until you’ve been working there a long time, maybe years.

That is exactly what happened to Lilly Ledbetter. Her employer, Goodyear, kept compensation information confidential and it wasn’t until decades after the fact she found out that she was being paid less. By the time of her retirement, she was paid $3,727 monthly, while the lowest paid male doing the same job was paid $4,286. Taking her employer to court, a jury found that she received raises less frequently than her male colleagues because of her gender. The jury awarded her damages for this intentional discrimination, but on appeal to the Supreme Court earlier this year, a majority tossed out the award because Ms. Ledbetter failed to file her claim within 180 days of her employer’s discriminatory decisions – decisions she didn’t have reason to suspect until long after they were made.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Putting Women Back in the Debate

By Martha Burk

August 26 is Women’s Equality Day. Most Americans don’t even know what it is, and aside from commemorations by a few female leaders on Capitol Hill, it is hardly noticed. But it marks one of the most important days of the last century for women -- the day the final state ratified the 19th Amendment in 1920 -- and women were granted the vote.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Women Don't Make The Cover

Apparently news and business magazines aren't for the ladies. At least not the covers.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

How Gender And Race Affect Media Coverage

One of today's banner stories on is actually a pretty good article that compares which missing persons cases receive media coverage (white women, especially those who are young and attractive) with those that don't (men, women of color of any age or level of attractiveness, and everyone else).

The article compares the stories of Stepha Henry, a 22-year-old black woman who disappeared while on vacation in Florida in May, and the well-covered case of Jessie Marie Davis, a 26-year-old pregnant white woman who disappeared from her Canton, Ohio, home in mid-June.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Look Who’s Talking About Imus II

As posted earlier, since it looks like Don Imus has settled with CBS and (reportedly) will walk away with $20 million, this will likely spark another round of media scrutiny. We at the National Women’s Editorial Forum hope that this time the cable news networks will be actually talking to more than just the usual cast of white men about Imus and his original reasons for being fired. (Here is our original analysis of the breakdown of who was booked to talk about Imus the last time).

I apologize for the late notice but Jennifer L. Pozner of WIMN’S Voices has said she’s been booked to appear on Fox News Live around 12:30 P.M. today to discuss the Imus situation. [UPDATE: Apparently the segment was bumped for breaking news.]

In other Imus-related news one of the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team members that he so causally maligned has filed a lawsuit against him.
Kia Vaughn, star center for the Rutgers Women's Basketball team, has filed a lawsuit against Imus for libel, slander and defamation -- the first civil suit to be filed against the former radio host. Vaughn is asking for monetary damages of an unspecified amount.

No excuse for Imus

With word arriving today of a settlement reached by disgraced radio host Don Imus with his former employer, CBS Radio, we offer this encore posting of a commentary by Maretta J. Short, president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), on the false analogy between Imus's actions and those of rappers. (Click on the bar below to hear Maretta.)

--Adele M. Stan

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Birmingham Blues And Birmingham Strength

Marcy Bloom at RH RealityCheck offers another account about Operation Save America's "Siege of Birmingham" and their attempts to shut down the same abortion clinic that was bombed in 1998 by the terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph.

In Marcy's account, Jeff Lyons, husband of Emily Lyons, one of the victims of Rudolph's bombing, recounts that terrible day:


Thursday, August 09, 2007

More on Mostly Male Netroots

There’s still a lot of talk in the wake of YearlyKos about the issue of white male bloggers being the loudest voices of the netroots movement.

In addition to my colleague Adele Stan’s take and Shireen Mitchell of Digital Sisters, Inc., now Boston Globe syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman has written about it, quoting Adele and NWEF Advisory Committee member Garance Franke-Ruta.


Preparing a New Generation for Self-Government

By Annette Boyd Pitts

Most Americans do not understand our most basic constitutional principles and are disengaging from civic and political life. Voter turnout, especially among young voters, continues to reflect an indifference to the importance of participation in American democracy.

In December 2005, the Florida Bar conducted a poll of Floridians to determine public knowledge of basic democratic principles. The results reinforced a national poll conducted by the American Bar Association. Fewer than 60 percent of adults could identify the three branches of government, even in a multiple choice test; and less than half understood the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Diversity at the Yearly Kos (Netroots) Convention

Guest blogger Shireen Mitchell looks long and hard at the demographics of the blogosphere.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--With the close of the 2007 Yearly Kos convention, a gathering of bloggers and Internet activists that took place last weekend in Chicago, a vigorous debate was sparked over the convention’s demographics, which, as reported in yesterday’s Washington Post, reveal a largely white, male population. Among the 1500 registered progressive participants in the conference, an estimated one percent was Latin American, about three percent was African American and Native Americans comprised about 0.2 percent.

In a more perfect world, the blogosphere would represent the diversity of the overall population in order to bring a variety of issues and voices to the attention of our country’s lawmakers. Unfortunately, due to various issues that include, but are not limited to, socio-economic class, education, culture, gender, sexual orientation and other issues that hang up communications in most societies, getting equal platforms to engage these other communities takes more work than many are willing to endure. As a result, you get a blogosphere that reflects the demographics -- predominantly white and male –- that characterize the political conversation in other media.


Shireen Mitchell is the executive director of Digital Sisters, Inc.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Blogging the Yearly Kos Convention - more Saturday

Prez Candidates Too Busy for Women Blogger Convention Make it to Male-Populated Conference

CHICAGO--Last weekend, as I wrote here, only two of all the presidential campaigns deigned to send representatives to the BlogHer conference, a non-partisan gathering of women bloggers whose organizers had invited all the presidential candidates to either appear before attendees, or send surrogates. The two campaigns whose leaders understood the significance of the gathering were those of Democrats John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, both of which sent surrogates. (Edwards sent his highest-powered representative: his wife, Elizabeth.)

What a difference less than a week makes. Or perhaps it's the gender of the participants. For here at the Yearly Kos conference -- a gathering of progressive bloggers whose white, male contingent appears to comprise the majority of attendees, all of the Democratic candidates appeared, together on a stage in a forum moderated by Matt Bai of the New York Times Magazine and Joan McCarter of Daily Kos.

For the record, when the candidates were asked, via e-mail, by blogger John Pontificator if, upon winning the election, they would appoint an official White House blogger, all except Mike Gravel* said they would. (Gravel said he would do his own blogging.) Clinton thought a few seconds before raising her hand, and said, "Why not?" Then Edwards announced: "I will have an official White House blogger, and her name is Elizabeth Edwards."

--Adele M. Stan

*Thanks to Cheyanne for fixing my spelling.

For more on how women bloggers get missed -- and dissed -- by candidates and media, check out Jennifer Pozner's piece at Women's Media Center.

Blogging the Yearly Kos Convention - Saturday

Blogging While Female

CHICAGO--This morning, Garance Franke-Ruta, who blogs at TAPPED and on her eponymous blog, The Garance, conducted a panel called "Blogging While Female," which featured Jessica Valenti of Feministing, Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Gina Cooper of The Daily Kos. Each of the women addressed the experience they've had with online "trolls" and stalkers, usually men who use the comments sections of blogs to attack women writers, usually in sexualized ways.

Following an appearance she made on the Web-based TV program, Blogging Heads, Franke-Ruta received, she said, some 57 comments on her blog concerning whether or not she should have worn a barrette in her hair.

On a far more ominous note...


Friday, August 03, 2007

Blogging the Yearly Kos Convention - Friday

Feminist Bloggers Poised to Combine Resources and Strength

CHICAGO--Here at the Yearly Kos conference, progressives of many stripes who normally convene in the blogosphere have gathered together in the physical space of the sprawling McCormick Place convention center to learn of the latest trends and create strategies for working together.

Yesterday, a gathering of feminist bloggers, in a discussion moderated by Tracy Van Slyke of Media Consortium and Jessica Clark of American University, took on the matter of how organizations that advocate for women in media are often unaware of each others' projects and wind up duplicating each others' efforts. Coming on the heels of last week's BlogHer conference, what I'm seeing is an ever-widening circle of women bloggers, reporters and media-reform advocates who gave begun to connect and inter-connect their efforts. When this happens, the ability to coordinate with each other as we strive together to crack the commentary continuum could truly leverage the impact of women in media, both mainstream and not.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Newsweek, YouTube and An Abortion Mini-Doc

Anna Quindlen’s column for Newsweek, How Much Jail Time?, spotlights a pretty cool little mini-documentary about abortion protestors in Libertyville, Illinois.
Buried among prairie dogs and amateur animation shorts on YouTube is a curious little mini-documentary shot in front of an abortion clinic in Libertyville, Ill. The man behind the camera is asking demonstrators who want abortion criminalized what the penalty should be for a woman who has one nonetheless. You have rarely seen people look more gobsmacked. It's as though the guy has asked them to solve quadratic equations. Here are a range of responses: "I've never really thought about it." "I don't have an answer for that." "I don't know." "Just pray for them."

You have to hand it to the questioner; he struggles manfully. "Usually when things are illegal there's a penalty attached," he explains patiently. But he can't get a single person to be decisive about the crux of a matter they have been approaching with absolute certainty.

Now Quindlen’s column is focused on abortion (and I urge people to read it), but I found it baffling that the online version of her column didn’t even include a link to the featured clip! In this day and age there’s no excuse for that bit of oversight. (Update: They have added the link.)

Fortunately Real Women, Real Voices has tracked down the clip. I agree with Quindlen, it’s a pretty fascinating mini-documentary running six and half minutes.

Ending the Housing Crisis for People With Disabilities

By Lisa LaBrecque

In 1971, the U.S. Congress created the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The noble goal of the program was to provide financial support for people who can’t work because of a significant, long-term disability.

Unfortunately, our country has failed to meet that goal. According to a report recently released by the Technical Assistance Collaborative called Priced Out in 2006, national average rents for both one-bedroom and efficiency apartments were more than the entire monthly income of an individual relying solely on SSI. About 3.5 million people in the U.S. rely on SSI as their sole source of income.

Here in New Mexico, the average SSI payment is $603 a month. That means an individual in New Mexico who relies solely on SSI has to spend 77 percent of his income on an efficiency apartment or 88 percent of his income on a one bedroom apartment. That leaves only about $100 a month to pay for food, medical care, clothing, transportation and utilities.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Getting Blogged at the BlogHer Conference

Candidates to women bloggers:
Wish we could be there; have a nice conference

CHICAGO--You would think that all of the presidential candidates, Republican and Democrat, would be interested in talking to a gathering of women bloggers from across the U.S. After all, it's said the women's votes will ultimately decide who the next president will be. Lisa Stone, BlogHer's CEO, said that all the candidates were invited to either appear or send surrogates. But as far as anyone could tell, only Hillary Clinton and John Edwards sent surrogates. Clinton sent Dana Singiser, her women's outreach coordinator, while Edwards sent campaign blogger Tracy Russo along with a real powerhouse of a surrogate, his wife, Elizabeth, who happens to be a longtime blogger.

Among the more interesting sessions I attended at BlogHer was the one titled: Patriots Act: How to Turn Your Blog into a GOtV (Get Out the Vote) Machine. There Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), was joined Liza Sabater of Culture Kitchen, Sarah Simmons of the John McCain campaign, and Zephyr Teachout, who had served in the 2004 election as Howard Dean's director of online organizing discussed ways of motivating your particular online community to turn out at the polls.

One way: add a "badge" or button to your blog that links directly to voter registration forms or info.

More politics coverage later.

--Adele M. Stan

Friday, July 27, 2007

Getting Blogged at the BlogHer Conference

What do you stand for?

CHICAGO--Here at the BlogHer conference, one of the operative words is "brand." While policy-based and mainstream political media have been notoriously slow to welcome women into their commentary continuum*, the masterminds of corporate brands see the dollar potential of the greater female blogosphere -- the part that includes the self-described "mommy bloggers," make-up bloggers, sex bloggers, as well as feminist bloggers, political bloggers and business bloggers. If it's specific to women, there's money in it, since women make more day-to-day purchasing decisions than men. Among the sponsors of the BlogHer conference are General Motors, AOL, Butterball turkeys, Dove cosmetics, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's Windows Live (a sort of social networking software package).

But the brands aren't just corporate. In fact, brands are people, too. Women, to be specific -- women bloggers, that is. And they packed to overflow what appeared to be the most popular opening break-out session: The Business of You: Self-branding and Self-promotion. Moderated by Penelope Trunk of The Brazen Careerist, who was joined by panelists Nina Burokas, a digital branding expert, and Stephanie Cockerl, entrepreneur of a successful Web-design site, the session was jammed with women who blog on everything from knitting to radical feminism (sometimes in the same blog).


The Digital Divide: Getting Access To The Debate

Now that some of the dust has cleared from the CNN/YouTube debate there have been some thoughtful reactions to CNN’s staging of the debate. Jennifer L. Pozner’s WIMN’s Voices has an extremely interesting reflection video by independent media producer Stephanie Mackley, better recognized as the woman who asked about energy consumption in her bathroom.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Not All Issues Are Colored In Pink

Ruth Marcus’ column in today’s Washington Post epitomizes the need for efforts such as those undertaken by the National Women’s Editorial Forum. Women as a whole really lose out when there aren’t female voices in the editorial pages…or on the campaign trail.

Marcus’ column is on Hilary Clinton, Pretty Formidable in Pink, but I think her take on even writing about candidate Clinton speaks to why sometimes a dearth of women’s editorial voices means that if there’s only one woman on an editorial board it can mean, by default, you get to write the “women issues” while men get to write about everything else.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

YouTube Debate: Men Ask the Questions

Last night, the Democratic presidential candidates faced off in a forum that featured questions submitted by regular folks, in video format, via YouTube.

A few days ago we urged women to submit questions to YouTube for the debate because the numbers of women-submitted questions was pitifully low. (If you missed the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate last night it can be found here on YouTube.)

I don't know whether YouTube received a last-minute rush of submissions by women, nor do I have a count of the final tally of the submitted videos broken down by the ratio of men versus women.

But I do have the number of videos CNN picked that featured women: eleven. Out of the 39 viewer-submitted questions aired by CNN, 30 featured men speaking and only 12 featured women. (One question, #33 showed four clips, two women and two men.)


Minimum Wage Raise Is No Worry For Business
By Lya Sorano

In Georgia, one of the reddest of the "Red States," one might expect an almost universal denouncement of the raise in the minimum wage. In fact, the opposite is true.

Business owners and managers I've spoken with aren't concerned. They're glad the minimum wage is going up because workers deserve it, and they believe it will help our local economy.

The $5.15 minimum wage has been in effect for a decade -- the longest period without a raise since the minimum was established in 1938. Georgians covered by the federal minimum wage saw their hourly pay rise to $5.85, on July 24, 2007. It will increase to $6.55 on July 24, 2008 and $7.25 on July 24, 2009.

Those increases are lower than they seem. The minimum wage has lagged so far behind inflation that even at $7.25 the minimum wage will still be lower than it was in 1956 when it was $7.65 in today's dollars.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Abortion Protest Leader Arrested In Birmingham

Continuing coverage of the weeklong siege of Birmingham by anti-choice protestors, I just got off the phone with Nancy Kohsin-Kintigh, field director for Feminist Majority’s National Access Project. I got a tip that there had been some arrests of anti-abortion protestors this morning.

Nancy was inside the New Woman, All Women clinic when we spoke, having worked all week with the clinic staff as they dealt with the protestors. She confirmed that Flip Benham, director of Operation Save America (formerly known as Operation Rescue), was arrested between 9:30 and 10 a.m. this morning. She hasn't yet learned, she told me, exactly why he was arrested, or whether Benham's arrest involved a 12-year-old injunction governing activities outside the clinic.

Since 1995, even before the clinic was bombed by Eric Robert Rudolph, Nancy explained, a federal injunction specific to the New Woman location has been in effect requiring protestors to stay behind a 25-foot buffer around the clinic. The injunction also includes a provision against noise reaching certain levels, she asserted. Nancy said she and the clinic staff have been encouraging the Birmingham police to enforce the noise violations of the federal injunction and today they seemed to have done so.

Benham and his group had previously been warned by the police that they were too loud. Yet today the anti-choice protest organizer had turned up his sound amplifier—even louder than it had been before, she related—so that that his "preaching" was could be heard inside the clinic.

After Benham's arrest, Nancy said, all the protestors from his group left to join him at the courthouse.

“For the moment, it’s very quiet here,” she told me. She said that she and the other 50-some pro-choice supporters were waiting to see if Benham and his OSA supporters were going to return. As of 2:30 p.m. they still hadn't returned.

I’ll post news reports and updates as I get them.

---Rachel Joy Larris

Thursday, July 19, 2007

First-Hand Account Of Clinic Protest in Tuscaloosa

As part of Operation Save America’s siege of Birmingham, as I reported yesterday, the group moved their camp to a Tuscaloosa clinic, West Alabama Women’s Center. The group was crowing about the arrest of the Center's director Gloria Gray on their Web site, and since news accounts about Tuesday’s protest in Tuscaloosa didn’t really explain why it was the director who got arrested, I called the Center myself in order to figure out what happened.

I spoke to the Center's registered nurse, Lorrie Foss-McGaha. She said that Tuscaloosa police had told the clinic staff earlier that the anti-abortion group had applied for a permit to demonstrate, but that the permit was for Wednesday, July 18.

“We were excited about that because we’re closed on Wednesdays,” Lorrie explained. But, she said, the Center started getting a bunch of calls from women needing appointments that, according to the callers, could only be on Wednesday. “That’s how the protestors found out we were closed on Wednesdays,” she said.

The clinic opens at 8 a.m. and by 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 17, Lorrie said, the protestors showed up and "swarmed" all over the property, including the parking lot, which is on private property. Clinic staff, Lorrie asserted, have dozens of pictures of the antichoice protestors on the private property, as close as 12 feet from the front door, despite news coverage saying they were only standing on the “right of way.” (A "right of way" is generally treated as public property by a court of law.)

Protestors, said Lorrie, actually came inside the clinic, as well.

"Two young females [protestors] came inside looking like patients," Lorrie asserted. "And one of receptionists notified us that they walked in. They just asked for a price list and sat down, but they also handed out pamphlets to a patient and they gave one to me. Myself and a policeman escorted them out."

Lorrie described the protestors as having taken over most of the parking lot so that the patients of other health care facilities same complex—a dentist's and an ophthalmologist’s office—couldn’t park, and couldn't avoid looking at the group’s gruesome photos, which they typically carry on oversized signs.

By the time the police arrived, "my director [Gloria Gray] had given them the warning that they were trespassing," Lorrie said. She continued: "We called the police when they first arrived and at first a policewoman arrived. She was very nice, but [the protestors] completely ignored her."

Shortly thereafter, according to Lorrie, more police came but, she said, they were mostly focused on keeping the peace. She said the police didn't seem concerned with the fact the protestors were on private property and lacked a permit.

David Lackey, an Operation Save America official and an organizer of the Tuscaloosa protest, was talking to the officers, Lorrie related, when Gloria Gray, executive director of the clinic, walked over to the where the police and Lackey were talking to explain the situation. That's when Gloria Gray, according to Lorrie, called Lackey a “liar.”

"And then the one cop said to her 'Ma’am, I’m telling you to back off or I’m going to arrest you,'" Lorrie said. Gray then replied, according to Lorrie, "That’s bullshit." At that point, Lorrie explained, the police officer arrested Gray, charging her with disorderly conduct.

Despite the fact that Gray was physically compromised by a medical test she was undergoing (she had a tube inserted into her nose) the officer handcuffed her. Clinic staffers stood nearby, Lorrie said, holding cups of water for Gray to drink because she was getting dry-mouth from the tube.

After being taken to the police department and booked, Gray was released on a signature bond. Lorrie said when she and Gray returned from the station, which was roughly 10:30 a.m., the protestors had moved off the private property. But she relates they also had printed up pamphlets featuring a picture of the doctor at the Center saying: "BEWARE of this [person]; he murders children in your neighborhood" and they had put them on every car in the lot.

The protestors left around noon, Lorrie said, even though the clinic was open until 5 p.m.

The Center normally enjoys good relations with the police department, Lorrie said. She confirmed what Tuscaloosa News reported that the West Alabama Women’s Center is looking into possible legal action against the protesters.

--Rachel Joy Larris

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Women’s Voices Needed For YouTube Debate;
Lifetime Networks to Launch ’08 Campaign

Via BlogHer and Women’s Voices For Change

We know women care about who becomes our next president. But you wouldn’t know it by the number of questions submitted by women for the next round of presidential debates, which are sponsored by YouTube and CNN. Until July 22, anyone can submit a video question via YouTube for the July 23 Democratic debate and until mid-September for the Republican debate on September 17. However, out of the first 200 submissions, according to Nancy McDonald of BlogHer, only 34 were from women!

At Lifetime Television, the women in charge know how much the voices of women matter in presidential elections. (It’s often said that women will decide who wins the presidency in 2008.) That’s why they’re planning to expand their nonpartisan Every Woman Counts campaign, begun in 2000 “to encourage women to get more engaged in the political process as voters and future candidates.” At the Nest Room in Washington, D.C.’s sumptuous Willard Hotel yesterday, Lifetime Networks introduced its new CEO, Andrea Wong, to the leaders of women’s organizations, asking for ideas on how to enlarge the scope of the campaign.

This is an opportunity for your perspective to be heard in the presidential debates. CNN is looking for serious questions that will be televised. Since many of the video questions submitted to date are more humorous than serious, you still have a chance to have your videotaped question used by CNN. And since all the submissions will be posted by YouTube, your video will be viewed by many people on the internet, which could change the public discussion of issues.

Upload your video to, comment below, and post the link to the video in our “comments” section once your video is up. I’ll be linking to posters' YouTube questions.

--- Rachel Joy Larris

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

From Birmingham to Tuscaloosa

As my colleague, Rachel Joy Larris, mentioned below, Operation Rescue, a.k.a., Operation Save America (OSA), is reporting that a woman named Gloria (but referred to as "Jezebel" by the Operation Rescue blogger), who is described as the director of a woman's health clinic in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was arrested today when she confronted the anti-choice group's protestors as they convened outside the West Alabama Women's Center clinic. Now comes confirmation, via an Associated Press dispatch in the Tuscaloosa Times Daily, that a clinic worker (not described as the director), one Gloria Gray, was indeed arrested during the course of the protest:

Police Capt. Greg Kosloff said Gray was outside the clinic during a demonstration when an argument began. Gray disobeyed officers who told her to go back inside and was arrested, he said.
The question that remains to be answered is whether Gray's First Amendment right of free speech was abridged by the arrest. Gray, according to the AP, was released on $500 bond.

--Adele M. Stan

Dispatches From The Birmingham Protests

In light of Gloria Feldt’s excellent column detailing the ongoing Operation Rescue/Operation Save America weeklong protest in Birmingham, Alabama, I wanted to post some first-person blogger reportage of the scene. So far the local paper, The Birmingham News, only offers a few, very dry dispatches. Today’s headline “Abortion protest trouble-free.”

Various reproductive rights groups are in the area counter-protesting (or as I like to think of it, making sure the women in Alabama are allowed to figure out their own lives without judgmental, violent protestors harassing them every step of the way.) The National Abortion Federation has a staffer in the field, but that’s about all I could find so far for scene coverage. I’m happy to post links to any bloggers covering the protest.

This is from the Birmingham News.

Kim Adams, coordinator of the Alabama Reproductive Freedom Summer counter-protest and president of the Greater Birmingham National Organization for Women.

The clinics were open, with more than a dozen supporters standing guard, she said.

"There was no engagement between the two sides," Adams said. "We consider it a bust. They haven't had that many people out today."

I spoke to Larry Rodick, president/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Alabama. He told me the protestors have been divided between the local Planned Parenthood clinic and the New Woman All Women Health Care site, with latter getting most of them.

But so far his impression is that Operation Rescue didn’t get nearly the numbers of protestors reported by The Birmingham News. For example, Rodick says there were roughly 20 protestors outside the Planned Parenthood site, all of whom then left when it started raining.

But there’s also a breaking development today in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The group is reporting they managed to stir up some trouble for West Alabama's Women’s Center, which seems to have been ambushed by the group. I’ll post news coverage as it become available.

---Rachel Joy Larris

Monday, July 16, 2007

Turning Down The Heat On Abortion Clinic Protests
By Gloria Feldt

It’s the sweltering heat of summer. We can count on seeing ads for escapes to the beach, reminders to wear sunscreen, and the extreme anti-reproductive rights, homophobic Operation Save America's annual attempt to turn up the political heat by mounting a media-circus demonstration at a high-profile women's health center that provides abortions. This summer from July 14 to 22, the target-of-choice is the New Woman, Every Woman Healthcare Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama.

If the location and clinic name ring a bell, there’s good reason. In 1998, Eric Robert Rudolf detonated a firebomb of dynamite and nails at the clinic’s front door, killing police officer Robert “Sandy” Sanderson on his beat and seriously wounding clinic nurse Emily Lyons. In addition to sustaining first, second, and third degree burns covering the front of her body, Lyons lost her left eye and her right was seriously damaged. A hole the size of a fist was blown in her abdomen and her left leg was shattered—just for starters.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Supreme Court Decision Jeopardizes Pay Equality

By Lisa Grafstein

You get your first paycheck at a new job and, not one to be shy, you ask the coworker in the next cubicle how much he makes. It turns out you are making fifty cents less per hour doing the same work. Do you literally make a federal case out of it? Under the Supreme Court’s decision this term in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire, maybe you should. If you don’t, you may be forever barred from claiming pay discrimination, no matter how much you may have lost in wages over time.


Saturday, June 30, 2007

No excuse for Imus

A National Women's Editorial Forum podcast commentary: New Jersey NOW President Maretta J. Short takes on the false analogy between Imus's actions and those of rappers.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Look Who's Watching Now
By: Kathleen Taylor

A couple went into an exercise equipment store to buy a treadmill. They found one they liked, and applied for financing. The bank representative told them—in front of other customers—that because the husband’s name is Hussein, they would have to wait 72 hours for an extra identity check “because of Saddam Hussein.”

A case of unlawful discrimination based on ethnic or national origin? Not these days! Not only was this incident legal; it was encouraged by the federal government.

This and other disturbing anecdotes were documented in a recent report by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. The report focused on the unintended effects of the Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) list maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Contraception and Health Insurance: The Bush Judiciary and Democracy
By Sylvia A. Law

Whatever happens in the 2008 elections, the federal judiciary will be a lasting legacy of George W. Bush. While the implications of his nominees to the federal bench are still being watched, Bush’s judiciary changes will not be limited to the Supreme Court or simply abortion. On March 15, a divided panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Title’s VII’s prohibition against gender discrimination does not protect women’s access to contraception.

Is it sex discrimination if a company provides coverage for the most common prescription drugs, but excludes prescriptions women need to prevent pregnancy? In the 1990s, coverage of birth control through insurance plans was spotty—some plans failed to cover any contraceptives under the guise of not paying for “preventive care.” Other insurers treated birth control as medically unnecessary “cosmetic,” like skin cream.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Immigration And Corn
By Sally Kohn

Thankfully, immigration reform is progressing in Congress. There are 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States who have made invaluable contributions to our culture and economy and deserve the basic rights and dignity that citizenship provides.

Yet some nasty provisions stand out in the recent immigration reform proposal in Congress. The proposal would prioritize highly-skilled English speaking immigrants over the working-class immigrants and people of color whose families are already here. In addition those who would apply for the proposed “guestworker” vistas are actually denied the opportunity to gain citizenship. The plan would merely continue the two-tiered system of discrimination and exploitation that currently exists. Yet if we examined the root causes of migration, we might actually help—rather than punish—immigrants.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More Money Needed for Foster Care Services
By Vanessa Jones

There are more than 500,000 children living in foster care at any given time. For 12 years I was one of these children.

When I was 8 years old, I was removed from my biological family due to domestic violence and alcohol abuse. Although I was never adopted, I was placed with a foster mom in Austin who wholeheartedly embraced me. Her home became my permanent home and the place I go back to today. She still celebrates my birthday every year and is even helping me pay for my upcoming wedding. She truly is my family.

I was one of the lucky ones.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Who's Talking About Imus

When CBS radio talk show host Don Imus uttered his now infamous misogynist and racist remarks about the players of the Rutgers women's basketball team -- a remarkable team, we might add, that came close to winning an NCAA championship with a roster of very young players -- he sparked a heated media debate about race, sex and proprietary linguistics. As the debate grew, we at the National Women's Editorial Forum expected that keeping track of the analysts discussing the issue on notable news programs could prove to be revealing.

In that light, below are lists of the analysts featured on select cable news programs from Friday, April 6; Monday, April 9; and Tuesday, April 10; on segments devoted to the controversy surrounding Imus' comments about the women of the Rutgers basketball team. (Since we began counting, MSNBC, which had simulcast Imus' program, has dropped the show.) The shows listed below were selected because they are major news talk programs on the three most notable cable news channels.

--Rachel Joy Larris

Repeated names denote repeat appearances.
(* denotes person of color)
Program guests who are part of the story are listed separately at the bottom of a guest list.



*Eugene Robinson
columnist, Washington Post

Mike Barnicle
columnist and radio host

Howard Fineman
chief political correspondent, senior editor and deputy Washington Bureau chief, Newsweek

*Jesse Jackson (by phone)
civil rights activist, former presidential candidate (Democrat)

*Armstrong Williams
radio talk show host

Tony Blankley
Washington Times editorial page editor

*Clarence Page
columnist, Chicago Tribune

Craig Crawford
columnist, Congressional Quarterly

*Al Sharpton
civil rights activist, former presidential candidate (Democrat)

*Sabiyha Prince
anthropology professor at American University

Jonathan Alter
senior editor, Newsweek

Scarborough Country

*John Ridley
screenwriter and commentator, National Public Radio

Michael Smerconish
radio talk show host

Steve Adubato
MSNBC media analyst, professor at Rutgers University

Paul Waldman
senior fellow, Media Matters for America

John Fund
columnist, Wall Street Journal

Bill Maher
host, HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher

Steve Adubato
MSNBC media analyst, professor at Rutgers

*Al Sharpton
civil rights activist, former presidential candidate (Democrat)

*John Ridley
screenwriter and commentator, National Public Radio

Craig Crawford
columnist, Congressional Quarterly

Joe Klein
columnist, Time

Pat Buchanan
MSNBC analyist, former Republican presidential candidate


*Reverend Deforest Soaries
moderating a meeting between players and Imus


Lou Dobbs Tonight

*Jesse Jackson
civil rights activist, former presidential candidate (Democrat)

*Clarence Page
columnist, Chicago Tribune

*Michael Eric Dyson
author, professor at the University of Pennsylvania

Kim Gandy
president of the National Organization for Women

*Bryan Monroe
president of the National Association of Black Journalists

*Carol Swain
professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University

Charles Goyette
radio talk show host, KFNX

Laura Flanders
radio talk show host, Air America

*Joe Madison
radio talk show host, WOL

The Situation Room

William Cohen
CNN world affairs analyst, former Sec. of Defense (Clinton administration)

James Carville
Democratic strategist

Terry Jeffrey
editor, Human Events

*Al Sharpton
civil rights activist, former presidential candidate (Democrat)


*Vivian Stringer
coach of Rutgers women's basketball team

Anderson Cooper 360

*Roland Martin
radio talk show host, CNN contributor

*Al Sharpton (taped interview)
civil rights activist

*Amy Holmes
Republican strategist, former speechwriter for Sen. Bill Frist

Stephen A. Smith
ESPN host and The Philadelphia Inquirer columnist

Glenn Beck
CNN host

*Amy Holmes
Republican strategist, former speechwriter for Sen. Bill Frist

*Robert George
columnist, New York Post

*Roland Martin
radio talk show host, CNN contributor

*Whoopi Goldberg (taped interview)


*Essence Carson and Vivian Stringer (taped interview)
coach and team captain of Rutgers women's basketball team

Larry King Live

*Al Sharpton
civil rights activist, former presidential candidate (Democrat)

James Carville
Democratic strategist

*Tamika Ray
correspondent,Extra host


*Essence Carson and Vivian Stringer
coach and team captain of Rutger's women's basketball team

Glenn Beck

*Jesse Jackson (by phone)
civil rights activist, former presidential candidate (Democrat)

Michael Smerconish
radio talk show host

*Al Sharpton (taped interview)
civil rights activist, former presidential candidate (Democrat)

Fox NewsChannel

The O’Reilly Factor

*Michelle Malkin
columnist, Washington Times

Kirsten Powers
Democratic strategist; Fox News commentator

Bernie Goldberg
author, political commentator

Jane Hall
Fox News commentator, Fox News Watch; assistant professor, School of Communication at American University

Hannity & Colmes

*Dr. Marc Lamont-Hill
professor of Urban Education and American Studies at Temple University

*Armstrong Williams
radio talk show host

*Patrice O’Neal
comic, actor

Laura Ingraham
radio talk show host, writer

*Larry Elder
radio talk show host

screen capture from MediaMatters for America

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Women and the Politics of Morality
by Amy Caiazza

Some are calling this the "new year of the woman." We have already seen one woman, for the first time, occupy the Speaker's chair during a State of the Union address and another emerge as the frontrunner for her party's presidential nomination. Indeed, for women leaders in U.S. politics, things have been looking up in the last decade. We've seen an increase in the number of women governors and the second woman to serve as secretary of state.

Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice have given us new inspiration to think about what the world might be if women were in charge. In large part, this debate has focused on what women's leadership might mean for policy: Would we have universal child care? Higher quality education and universal health care? Paid family leave? If women were really in charge -- that is, if women's leadership, lives, and concerns were fully included in politics from the local to the national level -- we could see even more earth-shattering change. We might see our country pursue a set of values that would shift the focus of political debate altogether. Women have the potential to push America to embrace values of mutuality, shared responsibility, and concern for the weakest and most disadvantaged.


Caiazza, Ph.D., is director of Democracy and Society at the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Unbought and Unbossed: Following Shirley Chisholm's Path
by E. Faye Williams

As we celebrate Women's History this month, countless references will no doubt be made to the historic strides made by America's women politicians this year, when we saw, for the first time, the gavel of the Speaker of the House wielded by a woman, and a woman candidate emerge as the frontrunner for her party's presidential nomination. And it looks to be an historic year in Black political history, as well, as an African-American senator is touted as a serious contender for the same nomination. Indeed, these are historic precedents in all of American history.

But more than 30 years ago, one person embodied two "firsts," when Rep. Shirley Chisholm of New York threw her hat into the ring of presidential politics when she announced her 1972 run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Her slogan spoke to neither her race nor her gender, but to the state of U.S. politics in her time (and ours): "Unbought and Unbossed."


Williams is the national chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Women's History - Still Being Written
by Martha Burk

As we approach International Women's Day, advocates of women's rights have a lot to celebrate. Here and abroad, women are making strides on terrain both old and new.

This March, leaders of the nation's women's organizations concurred that the month dedicated to history made by women needs a name that reflects not just the landmarks of the past, but the ongoing achievements of women as we advance toward equality. This year, we celebrate the third month of the year not as simply "Women's History Month," but "Women Making History Month."



Burk is Director of the Corporate Accountability Project for the National Council of Women's Organizations.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Moms Making History - and Policy
by Valerie Young

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz carries crayons in her purse. She also coordinates the pick-ups and drop-offs of her children's after-school activities. Nothing remarkable in this; certainly, millions of mothers do this every day. But this mother of three, a Florida Democrat, happens to be a member of the United States House of Representatives. And that makes it pretty remarkable indeed.

Not so long ago, mothers in the labor force were advised not to keep family photos on their desks, or the kindergarten art project tacked up over the file cabinet. Almost overnight, it seems, motherhood has emerged as an important employment asset, at least in the political arena. That's because most households in which children are being raised are run by a working mom; today 70 percent of households with children have all resident adults employed outside the home.



Young is the advocacy coordinator at the National Association of Mothers' Centers.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Equal Rights Amendment Redux
by Idella Moore

When Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, in order to get around powerful North Carolina Sen. Sam Ervin's opposition, it added a seven-year time limit on ratification. Even after Congress bowed to public pressure to extend the deadline, proponents were given only an additional three years to finish ratification.

Throughout the 10 years of the ERA campaign, national polls consistently showed the majority of Americans were in favor of the amendment. But state legislators who believed (or purported to believe) the anti-ERA claims that the ERA would destroy families, legalize gay marriage, subject women to the military draft, and mandate unisex toilets, were successful in preventing the ERA from being ratified in 15 state legislatures. By June 30, 1982 the deadline came with the ERA lacking just three of the 38 states needed for ratification. The ERA was defeated. Or was it?



Moore is the executive officer for

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Economic Status of Arizona Women
by Jodi Beckley Liggett

Women have made tremendous economic gains over the last several decades. While women fare much better in some states than others, nowhere do women fare as well economically as men.

So go the findings of the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) in their report, "The Best and Worst State Economies for Women." IWPR is a think tank that tracks women's well being across the states. Arizonans will be pleasantly surprised to learn that Arizona does not vie for dead last on these particular rankings. Yet, all the states have far to go in achieving economic equality for women, and Arizona is no exception.



Liggett is director of programs and policy research at the Arizona Foundation for Women.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Legislature Attacks Reproductive Rights Again

by Ann O'Hanlon

RICHMOND, VA.--Here we go again. Extremist state legislators are taking the issue of abortion and using it to distract us as they quietly impose their alarming, turn-back-the-clock agenda on women's issues.

So far, by one or two votes, most of their radical proposals have failed to make it to the governor's desk and because of this do not receive much media or other public attention. But no one who cares about family privacy or the rights of women should be complacent. Right now, one Senate committee -- a committee whose members believe that the most intimate personal decisions should be made without intrusion from government -- is all that prevents these proposals from becoming law.


O'Hanlon is the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

  Posted by Picasa
Embracing Reproductive Justice
by Loretta Ross

ATLANTA, GA.--If Georgia's lawmakers are smart, they'll take a lesson from the people of South Dakota, who having voted on a ballot measure in last month's election, rejected their legislature's abortion ban. Legislators would do well instead to embrace the cause of reproductive justice, which amounts to nothing less than basic human rights for all the people of our state.

Believe it or not, a majority of Georgia's voters are pro-choice. But that hasn't stopped one legislator from proposing one of the most sweeping anti-choice laws ever written -- one that would outlaw virtually all abortions, even those performed to save the life of the pregnant woman, and including those performed in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape and incest.


Loretta J. Ross is national coordinator for the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Rights Health Collective.