la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Bogota appoints first transgender public official.

The department in which she is taking up her position is described as responsible for the development and implementation of social policies which guarantee citizens of Bogota "the ability to exercise their rights, in conditions of equality."

[...]

In the interview Piñero -- who has 13 years experience of managing public resources at district and national levels -- also outlined her priorities as newly-appointed director. They include addressing the needs of children and the elderly in the city, and setting up control points within the department to prevent corruption.
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Yemen women burn face veils to protest attacks

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Hundreds of Yemeni women have set fire to a pile of female face and body veils on a main street in Sanaa to protest the government's brutal crackdown against the country's popular uprising.

The act of women burning their clothing is a symbolic Bedouin tribal gesture signifying an appeal for help to tribesmen.

Wednesday's protest comes as clashes intensify between forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and renegade fighters who have sided with the opposition in demands that the president step down.

Medical and local officials say up to 25 civilians, tribal fighters and government soldiers died overnight in Sanaa and the city of Taiz despite Saleh's ceasefire announcement late Tuesday.

Saleh has clung to power in the face of more than nine months of massive protests against his rule.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's president on Tuesday called in the U.S. ambassador and told him he would sign a deal to step down, a U.S. official said. The embattled leader, who has made that pledge several times before, spoke as violence shook his capital.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh informed Ambassador Gerald Feierstein of a new cease-fire, but clashes on the streets threw that into doubt. Activists said seven protesters were killed and 10 wounded.MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
'Ditch the witch': How the Murdoch press is using misogyny to wage war on Australian PM Julia Gillard

A year ago, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had won her first election, silencing grumbles from some corners that she hadn’t properly won the leadership of the Australian Labor Party from previous leader Kevin Rudd. The ALP win was a close thing. Gillard had to scramble to negotiate with three independents and the Australian Greens in order to form a coalition – in part because her party lost a lot of votes on its left flank to the increasingly popular Greens. Not only was Gillard remarkable for the close shave, or for being Australia’s first female Prime Minister, but she was also an unmarried atheist without children and with a reputation for progressive thinking. In Australia’s fairly conservative political landscape, in which it seemed unlikely that we’d have a Prime Minister who wasn’t a very wealthy married Christian father any time soon, this was unbelievable.

A year on, the left is just slightly confused about Gillard’s swing to the right – see for instance, our esteemed editor on the “Malaysian solution.” One might then wonder why, just a year out from the election in which they backed Gillard, Rupert Murdoch’s conservative media is baying for her blood.

What’s going on exactly? The big news story in Australia over the last few months has been a proposed carbon tax. Should it go ahead, only 0.02 per cent of Australian businesses will be taxed under this scheme, and 90 per cent of households will receive compensation for the increase in expenses they will undergo as we change over to clean energy. So far, so good – except barely anyone in the country knows those facts. Whoever is running the media show over at the ALP is floundering. Pushed hard by opposition leader Tony Abbott and Murdoch’s News Limited, the only message that is getting through is that the carbon tax is outrageous. Given that News Limited has control of about three quarters of metropolitan daily newspaper circulation in Australia, that’s quite a push. Read more... )

the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
2008 Part 7: Women in India Form Their Own Political Party

DELHI, India (WOMENSENEWS)--It is a mellow December morning in Delhi. Soft sunlight filters through the trees that line the boulevards of the city's stately Krishna Menon Marg neighborhood.

Suman Krishan Kant, however, is oblivious to the tranquillity outside the windows of her well-appointed bungalow.

The prominent social activist is reviewing and paying bills while files wait on the table for her attention. The elegant waiting room outside is beginning to fill in with men and women hoping to meet with her and enlist her advocacy with government agencies on their behalf. One of them, for instance, is a widow who hopes Kant will help her application for an increase in her pension.

It is the beginning of another working day for the president of the country's all-women's political party.

In October, Kant, the widow of former vice president Krishan Kumar Kant, joined with other influential women to launch the United Women's Front to address issues such as women's illiteracy, early marriage and tokenism in parliament, where women hold just 8 percent of seats. To qualify for official party status, the group had to muster at least 100 members and pay about $300 in registration fees.

Read more... )
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Q&A
'Men Have Failed Zambia, Now Is the Time for a Woman' Ephraim Nsingo interviews Zambia’s female presidential candidate EDITH NAWAKWI



LUSAKA, Aug 10, 2011 (IPS) - In Zambia’s highly patriarchal society Edith Nawakwi, 52, has broken a few records on the political scene over the last two decades. And she broke another one on Sunday by being the only female candidate to file for nomination to run for president in Zambia’s upcoming elections.

All candidates are required to file nomination papers with the country’s Supreme Court to get legal confirmation that they are standing as a presidential candidate. Come election day on Sept. 20, about 17 candidates will battle it out to lead the country. Nawakwi is well-known in Zambian politics. In 1997 she became the first woman in southern Africa to be appointed as a minister of finance. The former member of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) left it in 2001 when she and other officials opposed then President Fredrick Chiluba’s bid for a third term.

They formed the Forum for Democratic Development (FDD) and Nawakwi was elected as the party’s first vice president. In 2005 she became the first Zambian woman to lead a political party when she was elected president of the FDD.

Excerpts from the interview follow.

Q: You have just filed for nomination as a presidential candidate. What was going through your mind?

A: As I went to file my nomination, as I walked up to the Chief Justice, I asked myself ‘Why am I doing this?’ I was (asking) myself ‘am I equal to the task?’ But when I looked at my supporters and their excitement, it helped me appreciate the trust. I believe Zambia is ready for a woman to be president. Only a woman can bring about real change in this country. MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Honduras Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women’s Constitutional Assembly

Proposals to radically re-formulate the constitution of Honduras need to incorporate the experiences and perspectives of indigenous and Afro-Honduran women, declared Berta Cáceres, a longtime feminist indigenous activist and an organizer of the Constitutional Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women. The historic event, which is taking place July 10-14, 2011 in Copán Ruinas, will include indigenous and Afro women delegates from all over Honduras, said Cáceres, who is also coordinator of COPINH (Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations in Honduras).

Many of these women have been front and center in the popular resistance movement against the repression following the coup d’etat in their country in June, 2009, struggling against assaults on their lands, sovereignty, natural resources and cultures. Likewise, many have been specifically targeted as leaders in these struggles with aggressive and violent assaults and detentions by police and private security forces.

Along the northern coast of Honduras, there are 48 Garifuna communities “who are suffering an accelerated expulsion from our territories that we have inhabited for 214 years,” said Miriam Miranda of OFRANEH (National Fraternal Organization of Black Hondurans) in a public letter she released after being violently detained and assaulted by security forces in March, 2011 for her role as a leader in the resistance. Communal lands of the Garifuna have been subject to widespread privatization as part of massive development plans by the government and World Bank to create big tourist resorts and “model cities.” The Garifuna are matrilocal, meaning the land has been traditionally passed along matrilineal lines, so this massive assault on communal lands has hit women particularly hard (Vacanti Brondo, 2007).MORE



Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women: Autonomy and an End to Violence Against Us

Final Declaration of Constituent Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women

From the rhythmic beat of powerful drums and ancient spiritual songs that echoed through the sacred ruins of the Mayan Chortí in Copan in western Honduras, the three-day event ended with hundreds of indigenous and Afro- Honduran women demanding autonomy and an end to the colonization of their lands, their bodies, their lives, and ways of doing politics.

The
Final Declaration of Copán Galel of the Self-Organized Constituent Assembly of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran women denounced the “violence, repression and domination of women operating through capitalism, patriarchy and racism,” said Berta Caceres, coordinator the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in an interview with Escribana.

Caceres was also one of the organizers of the Assembly, which took place July 11 to 13, 2011 in Copan Ruinas, Honduras. The Assembly involved an intensive dialogue on the realities of life of the 300 participating women whose cultures, lands, natural resources and the country have been under siege that intensified since the military coup in June 2009.

Since then, the government, the powerful elites and transnational corporations have been using the “
Shock Doctrine” (Naomi Klein) to promote a rapid re-engineering of business, economic policies and all policies before people have opportunity to react. (Http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine).

For Honduras, this has meant immediate and aggressive plans for mass-tourism projects, mega-projects such as hydroelectric dams and the expansion of mining, agribusiness and forestry, all involving the confiscation of indigenous and Afro lands.
MORE





Israel Daphne Leef:How a woman in a tent became Israel's Top Story

Until recently nobody had heard of Daphni Leef. Now, everybody in Israel knows the 25-year-old's face and her cause. Just a few weeks ago, Leef was waiting tables. Now, her schedule has become such that she cannot help keeping people waiting. This interview was meant to take place at 11am but did not start until 5pm. Among things that might have distracted her was the small matter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu putting everything on hold to respond to her demands.

Even after the interview started, we were interrupted by well-wishers, delighted to see her in the flesh sitting outside a Tel Aviv café. A young man wanted a hug; a little old lady wanted to have her picture taken with Leef. And upon hearing her voice a blind woman halted her guide dog and chatted excitedly.

So what did Leef do to bring her such national attention? She got chucked out of her flat. And then wrote on Facebook. Just over a month ago she was told that she needed to leave her Tel Aviv apartment because the building was slated for redevelopment. She started looking for a new home, and was shocked to find how expensive rents had become.

"I called up a friend and said, 'I'm setting up a tent'," she recalls. "He said I should calm down." But she did not calm down - instead she opened a Facebook "event", inviting people to erect tents in central Tel Aviv to protest against high housing prices.MORE


Dude. They profiled the originator of a protest that has seen up to 300,000 people participate....in the lifestyle section. God. DAMN.


Tunisia Tunisian women fear the Algerian way

TUNIS, Aug 5, 2011 (IPS) - A women’s group begins campaigning near La Marsa beach in Tunis to convince more women to come up and register in the electoral lists, in time for the deadline now pushed back to Aug. 14. Most of the women watching the proceedings are veiled.

The veils present more a question than a suggestion at present. One survey among veiled women conduced by journalists here claims that four in five of these women will not vote for Ennahda, the Islamist party surging ahead in popularity ahead of elections for a constituent assembly due in October.

Veils in such numbers are an unusual sight in Tunisia where women visit the beach just as comfortably in a bikini as wearing a headscarf, and just as comfortable sipping wine as a soft drink, listening to rap or traditional music.

Looks may be deceptive, one way or another. "Look around," says Khadija, an activist with the Modernist Democratic Front - a coalition of local Tunisian democratic parties - on another beachfront near the fashionable La Goulette. "Can you see these people living under Islamic law? Tunisia is not Algeria. I am sure it will never happen here."

...


Women have had successes they want to hold on to: half the candidates in the electoral lists must now be women. A strong presence of women in the constituent assembly could be crucial to women’s rights.

Women also want to consolidate the position taken by the High Commission charged to verify that the goals of the revolution are respected - namely that religion and politics will be kept separate. Ennahda has opposed this move in the transitional period. It has also opposed the transitional government’s decision that parties cannot receive funds from outside.

On another front women are fighting the undemocratic influence of former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in institutions such as the media. The media gives little space to women, even though they are politically active, and many will be candidates. MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes


U.S. Key Committee Slashes Foreign Aid, Warns Palestinians



WASHINGTON, Jul 27, 2011 (IPS) - Amidst growing fears of a new fiscal crisis sparked by a possible U.S. debt default next week, a key Republican-led Congressional committee Wednesday approved deep cuts in foreign aid and contributions to the United Nations and other multilateral institutions next year.

While leaving some eight billion dollars in President Barack Obama's requests for non-military aid to Iraq and Afghanistan relatively untouched, the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House of Representatives cut bilateral economic and development assistance to the rest of the developing world by an average of around 25 percent.

It also made major cuts in U.S. contributions to multilateral agencies, including the U.N. and some of its specialised agencies, and some international financial institutions (IFIs).

It sliced a total of 600 million dollars from the administration's 3.5-billion-dollar request for the U.N. and its peacekeeping operations, for example.

It also halved Washington's 143-million-dollar 2012 pledge to the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), and zeroed out U.S. contributions to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, and rejected proposed capital increases for IFIs that are providing support for developing countries still struggling with the fallout of the 2008-9 financial crisis.

It cut the operating budgets for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) by 35 percent, essentially reversing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's efforts to build up the ranks of both agencies.

Moreover, it made significant cuts to major programmes designed to help some of the world's most vulnerable people.

It cut 18 percent – to just over seven billion dollars – from Obama's request for global health projects, which had been one of former President George W. Bush's signal foreign-policy achievements.

It cut Obama's requested family-planning programmes worldwide by 40 percent, from 770 million dollars to 461 million dollars, and reinstated the highly contentious "Gag Rule" that bans U.S. aid to clinics or groups in developing countries that perform or even provide information about abortion services.

And it cut development assistance by 12 percent, from 863 million dollars this year to 758 million dollars in 2012, and emergency refugee and migration assistance by 36 percent, from 50 million dollars to 32 million dollars. ...

On the Middle East, the bill calls for 1.3 billion dollars in aid to Egypt, provided that the secretary of state can certify that its government is adhering fully to the 1979 Camp David peace treaty with Israel and that no part of its government is controlled by a "Foreign Terrorist Organisation".

The latter condition also applies to Lebanon, Libya and Yemen, while any Palestinian government that forms an agreement with Hamas would not be eligible to receive U.S. aid. Lowey, the ranking Democrat, indicated support for the Middle East provisions of the bill. Earlier this month, she co-signed a letter with Granger to PA President Mahmoud Abbas warning him that his pursuit of recognition for Palestine at the U.N. would likely cost him all of the nearly 500 million dollars Washington provides to the PA. MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
UN Women releases first report: Progress of the World’s Women

The newly created organization within the UN, UN Women, led by former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, (Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director) dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women which was established to accelerate progress on meeting the rights of girls and women worldwide, has released their first report yesterday, Progress of the World’s Women.
The report can be downloaded here (link goes to PDF file) and the facts sheets (also in PDF format) are available here.
In the interest of brevity for this post (and you will notice that brevity has not been achieved given the amount of data I went through), I have specifically gone through the fact sheets and not focused on the overall report. I might collate the data in the report itself (which deals with specific cases and studies in each region) for a future post.

Read more... )
the_future_modernes: (purple sky)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
may 26 NEPAL: Women Battle for New Constitution


KATHMANDU, May 26, 2011 (IPS) - With the May 28 target for a new constitution approaching and Nepal’s coalition government admitting it would not make the deadline, women are pushing for rights they want enshrined in the document.

The campaign made them bear the brunt of a government ban on demonstrations around parliament announced on Tuesday, ahead of a critical ballot battle between Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal and the opposition parties with the beleaguered premier seeking one more year to draft the new constitution.

Even before the ban became public knowledge, riot police swung into action, beginning an assault on the women coming from almost 70 of Nepal’s 75 districts who have been holding peaceful meetings in front of parliament, asking for the protection of their rights.

Police said they had arrested 32 women demonstrators, including some of Nepal’s best-known rights activists like Tulasalata Amatya, president of Shanti Malika, a network of nine organisations working for women’s empowerment.

Others arrested were Rita Thapa, founder of Tewa, a non-government organisation working for the economic self-sufficiency of women’s groups in villages, and Stella Tamang, founder of Bikalpa Gyan Tatha Bikash Kendra Ashram, a school for children from her Tamang community, who are the worst victims of human trafficking.

The demonstrations started on the Nepalese New Year on Apr. 14. Over 40 women’s organisations from across the country gathered on the pavement opposite parliament to sing, dance and address passersby for six hours a day. It was intended to remind the nearly 600 MPs that women existed and that they expected the constitution to be finished by May 28, guaranteeing their rights.

On May 15, when it was clear that work on the constitution was not making any progress, they lengthened the vigil to 12 hours.

"The constitution of 1990 said during elections, political parties would have to field at least five percent women," says Sharada Pokharel, a former MP and president of Women’s Security Pressure Group. "But the last census, conducted in 2001, showed women accounted for 51 percent of the population. So we want the new constitution to give us 50 percent representation in all state institutions." MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
We didn't have our sons and daughters for war:Indigenous Peoples From Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and Mexico Meet in Cauca, Colombia

North Cauca, Colombia, June 24, 2011: The first meeting of indigenous women in resistance for the survival and autonomy of their peoples concluded on Friday, after taking place at a shelter in Huellas Caloto in the Bodega Alta district in the Cauca department of Colombia. For four days, women and men from northern Cauca, joined with around 26 national and international organizations, discussed “weaving a memory with words,” and finished the event with a march to the town of Santander de Quilichao.

At the meeting, attendees discussed the need for autonomy with their food, and resistance from women. Seeds and traditional agricultural products were exchanged to reflect truth, justice, reparation and law for both indigenous women and a peace proposal. They also denounced and discussed the armed conflict that the country is living in.


In 1971, indigenous people from northern Cauca formed the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, which was made up of nine chapters. Currently there are 19 chapters. They fight for their land, food, education, work opportunities and to live in harmony with mother earth. Nelson Lemus Consejero de Paz, with the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN in Spanish initials), said that “the multinational corporations want to dispossess us of our land through war.”

The people have organized cooperatives, including a trout hatchery, yogurt business, crafts market, and more. They are nonviolent, but for many years they have lived with harassment from soldiers. On May 28, 2001, they decided to organize and create what they call the Indigenous Guard, or, Kiwe Thegnas in the Nasa Yuwe indigenous language. The three goals of the group are to “care for, protect, and defend the people,” said Don Germán Valencia and Luis Alberto Mensa, coordinators with the Guard. MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
THAILAND Rural Folk Pave Way for First Female PM’s Landmark Win

BAAN FANG, Thailand, Jul 4, 2011 (IPS) - Across villages, towns, and cities in northeast Thailand, a mood of political empowerment is bursting to the surface, with people gathering in groups since Sunday evening to celebrate political history. After all, they helped put Yingluck Shinawatra on the road to becoming the country’s first female prime minister.

Under a starlit sky on Jul. 3, election night, a group of villagers sat on mats outside a house in this village on the outskirts of this plateau’s main city, Khon Kaen, basking in the victory of a candidate who "has given a lot of attention to the grassroots people," as one of them, Paitoon Pohnang, described it.

As they listened to news reports that Yingluck’s opposition Phue Thai (For Thais) party was gaining seats, the group broke into whoops and applause, drowning out the chorus of crickets chirping from the darkened trees on the edge of the garden.

"I believe that a woman can be a prime minister in Thailand," said an excited Sukunthai Buthawong, a 61-year-old rice farmer. "We have to try something new, not only voting for men to lead the country. I voted feeling this way. I want change. I want to make history."

It was a sentiment echoed by the nearly 30 people gathered around her, men and women who were also part of the same community of rice farmers. "Women are good with details and work carefully," added another farmer who was wearing a red shirt, the colour worn by Phue Thai supporters.

Celebrations were more vivid on Monday in the downtown market selling fresh produce in Khon Kaen, 24 km from Baan Fang. Women wearing red shirts, some wearing red bows on their heads, were dancing to the blare of local music in their stalls of vegetables and meats. "I am happy and crazy. It feels better than winning a lottery," yelled a vegetable vendor who only gave her first name, Ratree.

"Rural people got involved with politics more than before," said a calmer Phrapapai Pongpan, a fish vendor. "They were pushed out of home to go and vote after seeing the injustice in the last few years."

And the final tally from the 20 provinces in the northeast, a large vote bank of over 15 million voters of the registered 47.3 million across the country, confirmed this. Phue Thai secured a thumping 104 seats out of the 126 contested in this rural heartland.MORE


Pheu Thai gears toward amnesty: Moves are already afoot to bring back Thaksin Thaksin is her older brother who was a PM 2001-2006, but who was deposed in a military coup on corruption charges.

Read more... )


Army in neutral: 'accepts' election result

Read more... )



Priorities for a Yingluck govt Bangkok Post Editorial

Yingluck Must Keep Promises Opinion

I hope she and her party do not fuck up the trust that the poor have put in her.
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
U.N. Women's Agency Being 'Strangled at Birth'


UNITED NATIONS, Jun 30, 2011 (IPS) - When the United Nations inaugurated a landmark special agency for women last January, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set an initial target of 500 million dollars as the proposed annual budget for the new gender-empowered body.

But nearly six months later, the voluntary funding for U.N. Women (UNW) from the 192 member states has remained painfully slow.

Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, expressed disappointment over the funding shortfall.

Nearly six months after its operationalisation, the actual contributions and pledges received are modest and only around 80 million dollars, he said.

"This is not commensurate with the aspiration and ambition assigned to U.N. Women," he complained.

Addressing the first regular meeting of the 41-member executive board of UNW early this week, he said: "We must not be oblivious of the fact that activities enumerated in the Strategic Plan need resources."

The Strategic Plan envisages financial requirement of nearly 1.2 billion dollars in 2011-13.

"If we have to ensure that U.N. Women stands for action, the donor community has to make generous contributions to U.N. Women," said Ambassador Puri.
MORE
the_future_modernes: (fields of gold)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Liberia tackles sexual violence head on

MONROVIA, Liberia (WOMENSENEWS)--Korlu, a young mother of two, lives on the outskirts of Monrovia, the capital here.

A high school dropout, Korlu, who declined to give her last name for safety reasons, says when she was a teen, she became pregnant.

"My parents put me out of their house because they couldn't bear the shame of me getting pregnant," she says.
She says when she was 17 she moved in with the baby's father and he began to beat her. Korlu says she accepted the beatings until she heard women talking on the radio one day about how sexual and gender-based violence was not acceptable.

"It was tough," Korlu says. "They were speaking directly about me."

The women on the radio were from the Liberia Women Media Action Committee, which promotes women's rights through the media. She says the radio program encouraged her to report domestic violence to the police.

"Before my husband would beat me and I would accept it," she says. "But nowadays, I report my husband to the police when he beats on me or tries to beat me because I know it is domestic violence. He doesn't beat me anymore," she says with a smile.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female president, has been proactive about fighting sexual and gender-based violence. The Liberian government and the United Nations jointly committed to reducing gender-based violence by 30 percent by the end of 2011.

The Ministry of Gender and Development also has a special unit dedicated to tackling sexual and gender-based violence, the Gender-Based Violence Task Force, which aims to coordinate violence prevention and response.MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
via: [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political

No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias


STOCKHOLM – At the "Egalia" preschool, staff avoid using words like "him" or "her" and address the 33 kids as "friends" rather than girls and boys.

From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don't fall into gender stereotypes.

"Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing," says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher. "Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be."

The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden's efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward.

Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.

To even things out, many preschools have hired "gender pedagogues" to help staff identify language and behavior that risk reinforcing stereotypes.

Some parents worry things have gone too far. An obsession with obliterating gender roles, they say, could make the children confused and ill-prepared to face the world outside kindergarten.MORE



[my note: So FIX the world outside of kindergarten!!! I am SO TIRED of these ridiculous arguments against change! ZOMG if we try to change the status quo we will be challenged!!! Well of course we will be challenged! Stand up to challenge and change society so that the shit we are trying chaneg will be fixed!]

At Egalia — the title connotes "equality" — boys and girls play together with a toy kitchen, waving plastic utensils and pretending to cook. One boy hides inside the toy stove, his head popping out through a hole.

Lego bricks and other building blocks are intentionally placed next to the kitchen, to make sure the children draw no mental barriers between cooking and construction.

Director Lotta Rajalin notes that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. From a bookcase, she pulls out a story about two male giraffes who are sad to be childless — until they come across an abandoned crocodile egg.

Nearly all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no "Snow White," "Cinderella" or other classic fairy tales seen as cementing stereotypes.
Rajalin, 52, says the staff also try to help the children discover new ideas when they play.
"A concrete example could be when they're playing 'house' and the role of the mom already is taken and they start to squabble," she says. "Then we suggest two moms or three moms and so on."
Egalia's methods are controversial; some say they amount to mind control. Rajalin says the staff have received threats from racists apparently upset about the preschool's use of black dolls.MORE


I like that they are trying to fix the problem. 4 for you, Sweden!
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Women gain power in Brazil's Planalto palace

Brazil's first woman president now has ten women in her cabinet, two short of her 30 per cent target.

By appointing women to two key ministries this month, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has nearly met her goal of having a cabinet comprising at least 30 per cent women, with women in predominant roles at the Planalto Palace, the seat of government.

Rose Marie Muraro, a writer and pioneer of Brazil's feminist movement in the 1970s who, like Rousseff herself, inspired many of the women in politics today, is enthusiastic.

"The hard core of power is in the hands of women, and that is very important," said Muraro, who was declared by law a "National Patron of Feminism" by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010).

Muraro is also a role model for women such as Gleisi Hoffmann, who was appointed chief of staff on June 7.

A lawyer and former senator, Hoffmann is nicknamed "the tractor" in the capital's political circles because of her hard work and ability to get things done. She replaced Antonio Palocci, forced to resign over questions about the sudden 20-fold expansion of his personal fortune.

Although there is no proof of illicit enrichment, Palocci's position as Rousseff's "right-hand man" became politically untenable for the governing Workers' Party (PT) and its allied political forces.

The president, who on July 1 will complete her first six months at the head of a moderate left-wing government, surprised politicians again on June 10 by transferring Ideli Salvatti, one of the most combative PT leaders, from the Fisheries Ministry to the key Institutional Relations Ministry where she will serve as Rousseff's chief liaison with Congress.

Brazil's first woman president now has ten women in her cabinet of 38 ministers, so she needs two more to meet her self-imposed target of 30 per cent. MORE
the_future_modernes: (WTF)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
The Word on Women - Emotions high over Reproductive Health bill in the Philippines


BANGKOK (TrustLaw) – Two female presidents have governed the Philippines, an achievement its neighbours have yet to match. The country also has high-profile female politicians, activists and entertainers who have made names around the world.

Yet these powerful women who run countries and companies successfully have not been allowed to access family planning policies according at will. They cannot go through procedures like tubal ligation without their husbands’ consent or take contraceptive pills without being reminded it is, as the Catholic Church termed it, “intrinsically evil.”

Or, like an outspoken commentator said, “The absurdity is that Filipinas are free to vote, be doctors, lawyers and soldiers, run a business, a political party or the whole country, but cannot even take the Pill. Or we can, but we’re told we’ll go to hell for it.”

This could all change, if Noynoy, as the current president Benigno Aquino III, son of democracy heroine Corazon Aquino, is better known, gets his way in getting the Reproductive Health (RH) bill approved in Philippines’ parliament.

But first he has to get past the country’s most powerful institution, the Catholic Church, which has threatened civil disobedience and likened him to ousted dictator Marcos for warning against such actions.

The bill is currently in second reading and the heated debate over it will continue when Congress resumes in late July.

“SEX BILL”

Around 80 percent of Filipinos are Catholic. A poll last year showed seven out of 10 would support an RH bill that does not decriminalize abortion. The Church however opposes access to and information about contraception methods,

One Archbishop called the proposed RH bill a “Sex Bill” where the end products “are promiscuity, insensibility, amorality.”

MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
World Economy: Women Weigh in on Poverty, Work and Debt


The International Museum of Women's online exhibit on women and the economy, features slideshows, podcasts, videos and essays on women from countries such as Sudan, Denmark, Philippines, USA, Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina and how they view issues such as poverty, business, family, rights, money and much more.

Economica, IMOW's online interactive exhibit sets out to explore women's contribution in the global economy. Picturing Power and Potential, was a juried photography exhibit showing different ways in which women participate in the economy and are agents of change.

For example, the exhibit's Community Choice Award winner was Brenda Paik Suno, a third generation Korean-American who took pictures of a Jeju Granny of the Sea, a woman who is part of the tradition of female divers of the Jeju Islands who have harvested the sea for generations:


MORE



White House Communications Director Dodgey When Asked about War on Women


Daily Kos Associate Editor Kalli Joy Gray: I'd like to ask you about a different kind of war, and this is a war that I am particularly concerned about.

White House Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer: Okay.

Gray: The war on women. [Audience applause.] We're seeing an unprecedented number of attacks on women at the state and federal level—everything from contraception to health care to food stamps, um, drug-testing of women receiving welfare in Florida. Women in Congress, including Nancy Pelosi, are talking openly about a war on women. So, I want to know if the president agrees with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and our new DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz: Is there a war on women?

Pfeiffer: Well, what I can say is that there is no question that there is a sustained effort from Republicans at the federal and state level to, uh, undo a lot of the progress we've done. I think the most, uh, prominent example was the effort to defund Planned Parenthood, uh, during the government funding battle a few months ago, which the president, uh, at that point told the House Republicans that if they wanted to defund Planned Parenthood, that they were going to have to shut down the government over it. We see this in Indiana, where, uh, Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law an effort that would, uh, illegally defund Planned Parenthood, and the federal government is involved in a lawsuit to stop that. And so he, the president, is very concerned about all of these efforts, uh, and the ones on the federal level that we can play an active role to stop, including the use of the veto pen, uh, the president will do that.

[Note from Liss: Notice that Gray asked him a yes or no question: Does the president agree that there is a war on women? And instead of straightforwardly answering her question, Pfeiffer mansplains the problem to her, as if she and her audience are stupid and/or unaware of the issues affecting women. The thing is, he implicitly answers yes just by his reflexive defensiveness; there's no need to defend the president's record if you don't agree that there's a war on women—but he won't say it, because openly acknowledging there is a war on women is to then admit that the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act ain't fucking enough. Gray, fortunately, zeroes in and does not let him off the hook.]

Gray: Yes, but we also saw during the healthcare debate that, when it comes down to it, women's issues take a back seat for the "larger" issues, so, for example, the president said that accepting the Hyde Amendment, which punishes poor women in this country, was an acceptable status quo and that we needed to put that aside for the bigger picture. So, I'll ask again: Is there a war on women?

Pfeiffer: [pause] Let's talk about healthcare for a second, which is— [Gray laughs mirthlessly at his obvious evasiveness; the audience laughs; Pfeiffer holds up his finger, gesturing to her to hold on and listen.] The, the, the Hyde Amendment— ["Just say yes!" someone shouts from the audience] The Hyde Amendment was, uh, was the law of the land, and so—

Gray: It's renewed every year. It is not the law of the land. It is renewed every year. [Audience applause.]

Pfeiffer: Right, and, and if we tried to repeal it in health reform, there would be no health reform. And that, that was, that was the choice. It was a very simple choice, and so—

Gray: It was a simple choice?

Pfeiffer: It was, well, it's, you have two options—it's simple in the fact that you have two options; it's not an easy choice! [He says this like Gray is being a jerk.] You have two choi—you have two options: And it was no health reform and make that attempt, which would've failed and would most certainly not have passed the United States Senate, so that's the choice you have to make.

[He says this in this really matter-of-fact way, as if anyone would question the decision is an asshole, and when he says "the choice you have to make," I wonder who that "you" is supposed to be, really, because it's definitely not the women who are left without any choice because of the Hyde Amendment.]
MORE
I... didn't know that the Hyde Amendment was renewed every year. Are we for real??? Instead  of  making progress so that the damn thing LAPSES, we keep passing it like its no big thing????
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Another Push for Reproductive Rights

WASHINGTON, Jun 17, 2011 (IPS) - By 2015, women demanding family planning products and services in the developing world will likely reach 933 million, a terrific increase from the current 818 million women demanding access to these basic reproductive commodities.

In addition, according to the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC), the number of family planning users will soar from 603 million to 709 million - an increase of 64 million users across 66 developing countries, and 42 million spanning 89 middle-income countries - by the middle of the decade.

The increased cost associated with this skyrocketing demand is an estimated 5.7 billion dollars per annum for both low- and middle-income countries - including the expenses of procuring more contraceptive commodities, securing transportation for the products, expanding communication capabilities to educate the public, and stepping up training for health providers to distribute reproductive products and services.

"Today, there are over 200 million women in the developing world who want to prevent or delay pregnancy, but are not using any means of modern contraception," John Skibiak, director of the RHSC, wrote earlier this month. "This is, without a doubt, a horrifying figure. But the greatest tragedy for us - those of us who have dedicated our professional lives to ensuring global access to family planning - is that this figure has not budged in nearly two decades… Each step forward is more than matched by comparable increases in demand in new users, [so] despite our best efforts, we are caught in a deadlock."MORE
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
A Revolution of Equals

Women are very visible in Tunisian society. They mix freely with men, are highly educated and career-minded, and have enjoyed some of the most egalitarian legal rights in the Arab world, enshrined in the Personal Status Code (PSC) of 1957. The PSC was drawn up by Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia’s first president, directly after independence from France and even before the national constitution was written. It improved women’s rights, particularly in family law, by removing some of the more patriarchal aspects of shari’a: polygamy was abolished, the consent of both parties was now required for marriage and judicial procedures for divorce were established. Bourguiba was ousted in 1987 by Ben Ali, who extended the pro-women policies. One of the most interesting aspects of the Tunisian Revolution from a feminist perspective is that many of the women who participated in the protests that brought down Ben Ali are now campaigning to defend the rights they’ve already been enjoying for some time, fearing that the post-revolutionary period might bring a surge in popularity for the Islamist party, Al Nahda (‘the Renaissance’), and a swing towards traditionalist ideas about women.

Read more... )


Tunisia: Will Democracy Be Good For Women's Rights?

Falling tyrants and rising freedoms have been a recurrent theme of the Arab Spring. Invariably, in every discussion of democratisation in the Middle East, the question of women crops up. The key conundrum: will democracy be good for women’s rights?

 


While the social and political movements gaining momentum in the Middle East and North Africa appear to be opening the door for democracy, initially progressive revolutions do not often result in sustained improvements for women’s rights. While Arab women have been crucial in the revolutions that have shattered the status quo, their role in the future development of their own countries remains unclear. In Tunisia, for example, the fear is that women will be sucked into an ideological and religious tug-of-war over their rights, reducing the complexities of democratisation into a binary secular/non-secular battle.

 

In contrast to vivifying images of flag-waving female protesters taking over Avenue Habib Bourguiba and Tahrir Square in January and February, women are barely present in the interim governments: two in Tunisia and one in Egypt. Valentine Moghadam, an expert in social change in the Middle East and North Africa, describes the first months of post-revolution Tunisia as a "democracy paradox" - a post-protest period of democratic freedom that simultaneously witnessed the disappearance of women’s representation. The lack of female voices in Tunisia’s transitional government seemed an early warning sign of such a trend of exclusion. “Unless women are visible during the negotiations,” Moghadam argues, “a nation's new sense of freedom may not be shared by all”. Many women involved with Ben Ali’s party, the Rally for Constitutional Democracy (RCD), were excluded from the transition processes, and massive structural impediments hindered the political mobilisation of others. In the first weeks of independence, despite the high hopes for nationwide democracy, optimism for women’s rights slipped away.MORE

 



 


via: Muslimah Media
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
from [personal profile] jae The Ballad of Ruth Ellen Brosseau

I play politician during elections, but in my heart of hearts, I’m much more of a storyteller. I am such a sucker for a good political story. And man, is the story of Ruth Ellen Brosseau ever a good one.

She was a 27-year-old single mom who’d gotten pregnant at sixteen, dropped out of trade school, and now worked in a pub. When the the political party she supported asked her to be a name on the ballot on one of the ridings (electoral districts) in French-speaking Quebec that they didn’t have a chance in hell of ever winning (I mean, we’re talking the level of U.S. Republican chances in Brooklyn or Democratic chances in rural Utah), she said sure. She’d never been to the riding and didn’t plan to ever go, and her French wasn’t all that great, but sure, she’d go through the motions to make sure there wasn’t a big blank on the ballot where her party’s candidate should be.MORE
the_future_modernes: (winding path)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes

UPDATED: Page fired after protest during Speech from the Throne

“I was in shock, I’ve never seen that,” said Senator Mobina Jaffer, who watched as the young page stood behind six Supreme Court Justices, the Governor-General and Prime Minister and staged her protest. “Pages, they’re sort of part of our group, we see them as our own normally.”{ed. note: lady? You are DAMN lucky that this is all that you have to be SHOCKED by! privileged asshole!}

Ms. Jaffer, a Liberal, said she knew Ms. DePape as “a pleasant person. I’ve had nothing but nice chats with her.”

Even as she was in custody, Ms. DePape immediately issued a press release, referring to herself as Brigette Marcelle, in which she said she had realized that working in Parliament wouldn’t help her “stop Harper’s agenda.”

“This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring,” she wrote, “a flowering of popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people, when we act together in our streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces.”

In a brief phone interview with the National Post after she was released from Hill security, Ms. DePape said she planned the protest because “I think that youth need to engage in creative acts of civil disobedience.” She said she objected to the Conservative government’s policies and that Canada needs “green jobs and a transition to a green economy.”

Ms. DePape was one of 15 university students who worked in the Senate page program, a year-long internship that mainly involves delivering bills and order papers and fetching senators a glass of water. The positions are highly competitive and usually reserved for accomplished and bilingual university students as a stepping stone to a career in politics or government.MORE



Senate page fired for anti-Harper protest


A 21-year-old page lost her job Friday after walking onto the Senate floor during the speech from the throne to protest against Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Brigette DePape, a recent University of Ottawa graduate, carried a sign reading "Stop Harper" and walked out in front of Gov. Gen. David Johnston as he read the afternoon speech.

Senate pages are hired for one to two years to work in the upper chamber, providing basic support to the senators during sittings and in committee meetings, which generally means fetching water, photocopying documents and passing messages. They tend to be politically engaged, but this type of protest is unprecedented.

DePape went as far as to prepare a news release, which a friend distributed after she was removed from the Senate chamber by security. The release identified her as Brigette Marcelle, but the Senate website and her email address identify her as Brigette DePape.

"Harper's agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation," DePape said in the release. "We have to stop him from wasting billions on fighter jets, military bases, and corporate tax cuts while cutting social programs and destroying the climate. Most people in this country know what we need are green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy environment for future generations."Gorgeous pic at the link





Via an anon.





here she is at TED X YouthOttawa:
Performing from her self-penned, critically acclaimed play, She Rules with Iron Stix, Brigette DePape asks whether art is an escape from real world problems or part of their solution. A playwright since the age of 15, and a third year international development student who has contributed to sustainable development projects in Senegal and Bosnia, DePape explores the possibility of new worlds: changing our actual world through activism vs. creating new worlds through fiction. She attempts to reconcile responsibility and creativity, suggesting that plays can be a powerful tool for cultural change. Presented at TEDxYouthOttawa on March 4, 2010 at Ashbury College in Ottawa, Canada
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
The 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize for Europe: Ursula Sladek



In response to Germany’s expanded reliance on nuclear energy, Ursula Sladek created her country’s first cooperatively-owned renewable power company.

Nuclear Energy in Europe
Twenty-five years ago, the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in the Soviet Union produced a radioactive cloud that quickly spread across Europe. As news of the event rippled through the continent, questions arose about toxic fallout and its implications for communities thousands of miles from Chernobyl.

At the time, West Germany relied almost exclusively on nuclear and coal energy to power its growing economy. A small handful of companies held a monopoly on the energy market, controlling most of the local grids. An anti-nuclear movement had been active throughout the 1980s and had gained some popular support, but German power companies did not provide opportunities for consumers to opt out of using nuclear-derived power.

Motivation
For Ursula Sladek, a mother of five from the tiny community of Schönau in Germany’s Black Forest region, the Chernobyl disaster served as a serious wake-up call about the dangers of nuclear energy. She and her neighbors were alarmed by reports about radioactive residue detected on playgrounds, backyard gardens, and farmland in Schönau. Suddenly, it was unsafe for Sladek to go about her normal routine of eating locally grown foods and sending her children outside to play.

In response, Sladek, her husband, and a small group of parents began researching the energy industry in Germany to see if there was a way to limit their community’s dependence on nuclear power. They found that power companies were not allowing citizens to have a say in energy production decisions. Chernobyl proved that though nuclear energy could be called “green” by some standards, the safety risks associated with it were cause for deep concern. Sladek also knew that nuclear energy was not the only option. Thus, the group began what would become a 10 year project to take over the local grid, and in a second step, allow people all over Germany to choose safe, reliable, sustainably-produced energy. This project would transform Sladek from a small-town parent trained to be a schoolteacher into the founder and president of one of Europe’s first cooperatively-owned green energy companiesMORE


Audio Interview with See Jane Do

Profile

Discussion of All Things Political

January 2013

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728 293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags