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UPDATE 4/13: Trump signed EO giving states the option to block funding to any organization providing abortions, including Planned Parenthood. 4/4: On 3/27, Trump signed an EO revoking the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act, which ensured compliance with 14 labor and civil rights law. (NBC News) 3/30: GOP voted to no longer require states to fund Planned Parenthood, blocking $2 million in Title IX funds going to "any" organization which funds abortion. This was as close a vote as can happen. VP Pence (long a foe of women's right to choose) broke the tie. In states with extremely conservative politicians, Planned Parenthood will struggle to survive to provide low income women with healthcare (PBS). 3/25: Trumpcare has been withdrawn. Success! Current version would have removed mental health, maternity & prescription coverage! 3/23: #1) Now is the time to call your senators. Tell them to vote NO on Neil Gorsuch, who sided with efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and voted for Hobby Lobby (giving companies the right to deny birth control coverage). Call now: 202-224-3121. 3/22: Nevada backs the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA--see below)! Only two more states to go. 2/28: Congressional representatives wear white to Trump's Congressional address, to support women's rights and suffrage. 2/15: Puzder withdrew from consideration as Labor Secretary, after an Oprah Winfrey interview with his ex-wife alleging domestic abuse was re-aired, and amidst criticism of his record on women's rights in the workplace, as well as general unfair labor practices. "'There is some good news today for women and workers in America,' said Sen. Patty Murray..." (NBC News).
LEARN. Feminists have been fighting to obtain equal rights for U.S. women for over a century, beginning with the right to vote, granted by the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The term, feminist, is widely misunderstood. It simple refers to a person who agrees that women should have equal rights to men. Who doesn’t agree with that? (see Sexism)
Surprisingly, we have yet to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, introduced into Congress for the first time in 1923, finally passed by Congress in 1972 to be ratified by at least 38 states before becoming an amendment to the Constitution. By the deadline 10 years later, with only 3 states to go, time ran out. The ERA has been introduced into Congress every year since. On 3/23/17, Nevada joined the cause, many years after the deadline. Now, only two states are needed, along with an extension to the 1982 deadline. The ERA states (with only slight modifications in 2016):
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.
What is so controversial that prevents the ERA from becoming the law of the land? (see Sexism)
Where the ERA has NOT been ratified: AL, AZ, AK, FL, GA, IL, LA, MS, MO, NV, NC, OK, SC, UT, VA.
The ERA doesn’t look likely to pass within the next four years. After all, the Trump administration assembled the names of Obama administration staff who supported programs to enhance women’s rights worldwide, another throwback to the McCarthy era. (ERA staff, 12/22/16) Trump plans to defund Planned Parenthood, which will severely compromise low income women's ability to access general and reproductive healthcare (which would be difficult to do if the ERA were law). And then, of course, there are his personal views about women… (see Sexism)
(1) Equal Rights Advocates: TEN current, quick actions to take to support equal rights for women, with immediate links to contact relevant policymakers!
(2) The overwhelmingly successful Women’s March, held on 1/21/17, attracted millions around the world, marching in solidarity with women in the US for women’s rights. How many actually attended? The Womens’ March activist group now promotes 10 quick actions to take in the first 100 days of the Trump administration. When times are dark, revisit all the women’s marches around the world on 1/21/17!
(3) Run for office! In 2016, no progress was made in putting more women in office. Until women comprise an equal number of governors and Congresspersons, it will be more difficult to pass legislation focusing on women’s and children’s rights. As Hillary Clinton said in Bejing at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women on 9/5/95, “Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.” (See Political Action Primer)
(4) Join your local Democratic National Committee chapter and support women candidates.
In 2017, 104 (78D, 26R) women hold seats in the United States Congress, comprising 19.4% of the 535 members; 21 women (21%) serve in the United States Senate, and 83 women (19.1%) serve in the United States House of Representatives. Five women delegates (3D, 2R) also represent American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the United States House of Representatives.—Center for American Women and Politics
(5) Celebrate Women’s Equality Day on August 26!
(6) Work with womensvote.work to register 100,000 new voters for Trump’s 100th day in office, 4/30/17.
(7) Join a women’s rights group, and become active alone or with friends/family. Here are a few to consider:
(a) The American Association of University Women, founded in 1881, promotes equality and education for women and girls
(b) The League of Women Voters are now working on ending the recent trend toward voter suppression and ensuring voting rights for all (also see Voting Rights).
(c) The National Network to End Domestic Violence’s projects address the complex causes and consequences of DV, while taking action to prevent it.
(d) The National Organization for Women is the largest organization of feminist activists in the U.S. Take action, educate yourself, join your local chapter!
(e) Service Women’s Action Network advocates for the needs of women in the military, including reducing bias, harassment, assault, and ensuring reproductive healthcare.
(f) The United State of Women is taking action on a variety of topics, including women in STEM, LGBTQ rights (also see LGBTQ Rights), reducing sexual violence, women in politics, increasing education.
Human Rights: Women's Rights: Reproductive Rights
Human Rights: Women's Rights: Pay and Position Equity
Human Rights: Stop Sexism
Human Rights: Sexism