Category Archives: Women

#metoo

We all know that #metoo is a global movement going on right now, and it has to deal with personal experiences of sexual assault. It’s giving woman the platform they need to speak out on men who have abused them and taken their innocence from. But since this is mostly girls speaking out, what about the men? In an article I read, men are now reflecting more on the movement and how it is important to them. The results among men ranging ages from 18-34 was 23%  since the movement started have watched what they do, and tried to change their behavior while the 77% did not change. The news and all the stories have made ALL men think though and make them wonder if they have pushed their partner too far, and made them feel uncomfortable. Men are very oblivious to such things like the women who are in the metoo movement and don’t think they have ever witnessed sexual harassment.

Women in Politics: The Better Option?

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180615094850.htm

 

Studies have found less corruption in countries that have more women in government positions. A study conducted across 125 countries has proven that there is less corruption in government policy when more women are in positions of parliament. In the United States, only 19% of the representatives in the House of Representatives are women, and less than a quarter of women members in Senate. Women who are given a greater sense of equality through governmental representation have been linked to the lack of corruption within local, state, and national government.

While this does not mean that women cannot be corrupt, the study points out that there is a need to promote gender equality, which has been found to lessen the corruption. More presence of women in politics has also been associated with a better education and health outcome within the community. The researchers Jha and Sarangi also found it important to cross analyze the presence of women in other career positions to find corruption correlations on a lower level. “This research underscores the importance of women empowerment, their presence in leadership roles and their representation in government, said Sarangi, an economics professor and department head at Virginia Tech.”

Aftermath of abuse: When is it okay to share another’s story?

This particular article posted in the Guest column by News24, is about the aftermath of abuse. The headline asks, “when is it okay to share another’s story?” This is an interesting article to read because we always try to encourage the victims of abuse to speak out, but we never concern ourselves about it being okay to share someone else’s story.

For those victims who are lucky enough to escape their situation or even for those who were not it is important that everyone come together to we lead lives of those who bare a substantive amount of fear. Because as women, we never know whether we are even safe from being taken under the raft of an abuser or a rapist, we must stand together. For those who cannot speak, someone has to speak for them because we cannot continue to hide if we want to see a change.

So, my question to you guys is, when is it okay to speak out? When will enough be enough?

City Press. News24. Aftermath of abuse: When is it okay to share another’s story?. May 27, 2018. <https://www.news24.com/Columnists/GuestColumn/aftermath-of-abuse-when-is-it-okay-to-share-anothers-story-20180527>. June 14, 2018.

Valedictorian asked to not speak of sexual assault

Lulabel Seitz said that she was told by her administrators to not speak about her or other students sexual assault experiences in high school. Almost scared away she decided to still speak on sexual assault during her valedictorian speech. Her microphone was then cut off because the school said that her speech, “wouldn’t help”. When her sexual assault happened the school did nothing and would not comment on cutting off her microphone.

Article: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/10/us/california-valedictorian-speech-cut-off/index.html

 

What do you think was the school’s motive for not wanting her to talk about sexual assault in her speech?

Nearly 20 years after peace pact, Guatemala’s women relive violence

https://www.cnn.com/2015/04/02/world/iyw-guatemala-gender-violence/index.html

According to this article submitted to CNN news by Julie Guinan, in 1996 there was an agreement that was reached between the insurgents and the government. But after that agreement came a terrorizing backlash of immunity and discrimination. Many of men in the military began to commit cruel and unusual crimes against these women and returned to society without any form of regret or punishment.

From then until today many of those who remain in power still have not changed the way they view and treat women. Because Guatemala is a patriarchal society these women are forced to suffer a continuing cycle of violence. Most of these cases never even make it to court and also according to this article, 20 years from 1996 the rates of violent crimes like these are higher in Guatemala than before.

Why is it fair to these men that they continue to kill, rape torture and humiliate these women who are vulnerable because of war? Why aren’t there any establishments being set up to support these women?

Guinan, Julie. CNN. Guatemala: Gender-based violence at epidemic levels. Cables News Network. April 08, 2015. <https://www.cnn.com/2015/04/02/world/iyw-guatemala-gender-violence/index.html>. June 11, 2018.

Risk of assault at the border

Article: https://blog.ecu.edu/sites/genderpoliticsculture/wp-admin/post-new.php

Overview: Every year many migrants will attempt to cross the Mexico-American border coming from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala etc. Many face the risk of sexual assault and rape because they are out numbered by men on the journey. Many take this journey because of fear of violence back home. Many women do not report these cases because of fear of deportation.

Questions: Why does this violence against women at the border go unnoticed? Why is this not a bigger recognized issue ?

Texas School Shooting

We are probably all aware of the tragedy that happened this past week, with the school shooting in Sante Fe, Texas. The high school mourned 8 students and 2 teachers, while wounding 13 others. Innocent lives that were taken for a reason the whole world may be unclear about. But about a day ago a mother spoke out about her daughter that was murdered. She said that her daughter was being harassed by the shooter. Shana, the victim told her mom the Pagourtzis (the shooter) had been asking her to date him for 4 months. Shana had enough and about a week ago told Pagourtzis that she wouldn’t go out with him. The police are unclear with the motive, and this is still an ongoing investigation but this raise a huge issue. I have read and seen many stories about women who have ignored and turned down men and end up beat up or dead. Many women are already seen as an object to some men, but knowing we aren’t allowed to decline politely without fearing for our lives. Shana was only 16 years old, and had her whole life to live and if this was the motive, then a pure life was taken because a boy couldn’t handle rejection. http://https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/19/us/texas-school-shooting/index.html

Population and forcible birthcontrol

In 2013 it was reported that Israel’s African female refugee population was given no option but to take the depo shot as a form of birth control. The idea was to forcibly keep the population in control. The article in from 2018 brings up the murmurings that from the U.S. recent involvement with Israel the refugee’s may be forced to leave the country.

This article brought up a long argument that I have had with my doctor and my friends have had with theirs, how in control are we as women over reproduction? Either through lack of education, lack of resources, or my favorite argument “you’ll change your mind and want kids later.” These women had their control taken from them and it is unclear if they even understood all the ramifications of taking that particular form of birth control.

My question is do you believe they should have given the refugees an educated choice to take the birth control(which is every 12weeks and can take up to a year to fully exit the system) or brought up safe sex practices to let women have the choice to have a family when they want?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/eliseknutsen/2013/01/28/israel-foribly-injected-african-immigrant-women-with-birth-control/#4b5f6ca967b8

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/01/israels-treatment-of-african-refugees-should-be-an-international-scandal

New York Times editorial on the Equal Rights Amendment

We marched for this in the 70s and 80s. North Carolina was 1 of 3 potential states to ratify it. Memory tells me that it lost by one vote in the General Assembly. Do you think it would have a chance in today’s NC GA? One of the commenters asks whether the language needs to be updated to remove the assumption of a gender binary. What do you think? Here is the text:

 

The Equal Rights Amendment

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification

Lack of Access to Feminine Hygiene Products: A Global Issue for Women

                       Rosalinda Kowalczewski       

            Imagine that time of month coming around, but you do not have any hygiene products to use. Females across the world are shunned and stigmatized about a monthly visit that they cannot control. Imagine young girls budding into puberty who are afraid to go school due to embarrassment. The 250 million girls lacking access to safe menstrual products and the hygienic tools necessary to manage their periods are at risk of losing their futures. Not being able to afford these items should not hinder their ability to study or make a living. Most of us living in Western cultures can go out and easily buy needed products, but in other parts of the world, these products are simply not available or are priced to high to be affordable to any but the rich. This leads many girls to rely on dirty rags or old newspapers which is not sanitary.

In many countries around the world, sanitary items are seen as “luxury items” and not as necessities. For example, girls cannot easily obtain feminine products in the African country of Uganda. Paul Montgomery, a professor at Oxford University, decided to bring reusable pads and feminine education to Uganda to see which would cause a bigger impact in the area. The reusable pads were called AFRIpads. According to Crofts, these were made from polycotton blend fabric and impermeable materials, and because their manufacture does not rely on electricity, workshops could be located in rural settings. An Afripads menstrual kit is designed to last for a year. Montgomery took more than 1,100 girls from ages 10 to 13 in rural Uganda from eight different schools and divided them into groups. Over the next two years the attendance rate of these girls was followed. School attendance improved for the girls who had received pads or education or both while a drop in attendance was recorded for those who received neither. Montgomery concluded that that having access to feminine products does cause a positive change in girls’ lives. Accessible hygien products can be the difference between getting an education and being homebound.

A lack of access to menstrual products is also an issue for some women in the US, particularly the homelss and those in prison. Some shelters do not provide products due to cost or lack of donations. These homeless women, who lack resources, risk infection and health problems. Another American demographic of women with limited access is prisoners. Fettig, for example, reports that for too many incarcerated women, a basic human function has been turned into a monthly violation of basic human rights. In many prisons women are coded for being out of dress and this includes stains. Without products they bleed onto their clothes. When they get punished for these marks they may lose privileges to buy at the commissary, which is where they buy feminine products. This is unfair to many. These different situations are some of the ones menstruating women in America face. They lack the means to get the products they need and suffer from it.

It may seem like this problem is too complicated to solve, but there are some simple steps anyone can take to help. For example, L Menstrual Products,, founded by Talia Frenkel, a photojournalist who worked for the Red Cross and UN, donates a pack of pads to developing nations for every pack purchased by a customer. Their program has grown and spread into stores across the country; they have also included condoms. The organization Freedom4Girls (https://freedom4girls.wordpress.com) provides products and education for girls in Kenya. Alternatively, PATH-Sanitary Pads (http://www.path.org/projects/sanitary-pads.php) is working to develop new, lower cost hygiene products made from local materials.

There are also feminine product outreaches in America that help the homeless. Fulfilling Destiny (https://www.fulfillingdestiny.org) is an outreach in San Diego, California, that takes donations and volunteers to help the homeless in America. Another way to help girls in school in America is through Helping Women Period (https://www.helpingwomenperiod.org ). They are an organization who also takes donations to help girls in Michigan by providing pads at school.

While you may not be able to solve this problem, you can make a difference in a girl’s life by donating to these groups. Think about the difference it would make if each month you purchased a pack of pads so that another girls in some far off country could get one too.

Rosalinda Kowalczewski has an associates in Arts and attends East Carolina University achieving a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology with interest in Psychology. She hopes to explore the rest of the world in the future and the cultures it holds.

 

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