Newsflash:
Issues End Wars and Occupations, Redirect Funding ERA Articles Poverty, Hunger, Inequality, Violence: American Women Are Being Screwed
Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:43

Poverty, Hunger, Inequality, Violence: American Women Are Being Screwed

Written by  Pamela Powers Hanley

Women earn less than men. Compared to white men, Latinas earn 59 cents for every dollar earned by a white man, black women earn 68 cents on the dollar, white women earn 81 cents on the dollar, and Asian women earn 88 cents on the dollar

It’s time for a stats update…

93 years after American women won the right to vote,

90 years after the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the US Constitution was originally proposed,

53 years after The Pill,

50 years after The Feminine Mystique awakened middle-class housewives from the slumber of the 1950s,

47 years after the creation of the National Organization for Women (NOW),

40 years after Roe v Wade legalized abortion in the US,

and 31 years after the ERA died because it fell short of state ratification by 3 state legislatures…

Where are we?

Women earn less than men. Compared to white men, Latinas earn 59 cents for every dollar earned by a white man, black women earn 68 cents on the dollar, white women earn 81 cents on the dollar, and Asian women earn 88 cents on the dollar. In 2012, the Republican Party’s presidential candidate said he would not have signed the Lilly Leddbetter Fair Pay Act, thus perpetuating this inequality.

Single women and their children live in poverty. According to the National Poverty Center, “Poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, particularly if they are black or Hispanic. In 2010, 31.6 percent of households headed by single women were poor, while 15.8 percent of households headed by single men and 6.2 percent of married-couple households lived in poverty.” Here is Tucson, 52 percent of children live in single parent households; 71 percent of these children live in poverty, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

28 million women provide unpaid care for the elderly. Many working women joke sarcastically about starting their “second shift” when they leave their paid jobs at the end of the day. For some, the second shift is going home to cook, wash dishes, and help with the homework. For 28 million women, the second shift is caring for elderly family members (usually their Moms) or friends. According to a new report released by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 42.1 million Americans (66 percent of whom are women) provided $450 billion in uncompensated care in 2009– more than the cost of Medicaid. The “average” family caregiver is “a 49-year-old woman who works outside the home and spends about 20 hours a week caring for her mother without pay.”

Politicians (mostly Republicans) promote and enact laws that oppress women. Cutting food stamps, which help poor women feed their families. Cutting Head Start, which helps poor children succeed. Cutting low-income childcare subsidies, which help poor women find and keep jobs. Cutting public education, which levels the playing field across the classes. Defunding Planned Parenthood, which offers reduced or free contraception, allowing women to choose pregnancy (or not). Closing women’s health clinics in multiple states, which denies access to care and access to safe, legal abortions. Intimidating and demeaning women by forcing them to have unnecessary medical procedures, particularly vaginal ultrasound. Pondering the question of “legitimate rape” in the US Congress. Allowing employers to drop contraception from health insurance plans. Making voting more difficult. Balancing budgets on the backs of the poor, while keeping the military-industrial complex fat and happy. Sexism has become institutionalized and codified in the US. It’s OK to say ”duh” now, but even on the left– among people fighting for racial equality–it’s OK to be sexist. From the Huffington Post…

“We have to stand together with a single goal,” explains Desiree Jordan, founder of Unite Women NY, one of the leaders of renewed ERA efforts and an organizer of the rally on the 24th. “Constitutional equality for all. We can’t deny equal rights to half of our population and at the same time claim to be “leaders of the free world.” As she points out, as a country, we are keen on making sure acknowledgement for women’s equal rights is written into other countries’ constitutions. [Emphasis added.]

As David Rothkopf put it earlier this year, “the underrepresentation of women in positions of power is proof not so much that men still dominate the top of the pyramid as it is of a system of the most egregious, widespread, pernicious, destructive pattern of human rights abuses in the history of civilization.” Being “equal enough” in the United States is squarely part of this global sex-based caste system. It’s beyond embarrassing that we haven’t passed the Equal Rights Amendment, a necessary step to dismantling “traditional” discriminatory power.

Is it time for an Equal Rights Amendment?
Hell, yes! Back in the 1970s, after the Congress passed the ERA, there was a huge push by feminists to encourage state legislatures to pass it and make the ERA an amendment to the US Constitution. One of the prevailing memes of the times was that the ERA was unnecessary because, of course, women are equal. Well, obviously, things have not played out that way. Even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says US laws don’t protect women from discrimination. From the Huffington Post…

Without the ERA, gains made for and by women remain vulnerable, politically negotiable and constantly at risk. Some believe that the 14th Amendment secures women’s rights under the Constitution. But, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is fond of explaining why this is not the case: “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws.” The 14th Amendment was not written to include women and gives no guarantee based on sex. [Emphasis added.]

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and allies are pressing for passage of the ERA by eliminating the time limit on ratification by the state legislatures and implementing a “three state strategy”, since the ERA fell three state legislatures short of passage back in the 1980s. Go here and scroll down to see a map of states that never passed the ERA. Of course, it’s the “usual suspects” who have not passed it. Think of the states that passed vaginal ultrasound, defunded Planned Parenthood, cut public education, or voted not to extend Medicaid under Obamacare. It’s just about the same list– the deep South + the Libertarian West.

Why is the ERA important?
When you read this statement: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” and think of the literally hundreds of anti-woman bills that have been passed just in this decade, it’s obvious that the ERA is as important today as it was in 1923. The Equal Rights Amendment and the 50th Anniversary of The March on Washington in the Huffington Post provides a thorough look at the ERA and related issues of sexism and racism. Two of the most salient points from the article are:

1) The ERA would shift the way in which sex discrimination cases are dealt. “Sex” would be a classification requiring “strict scrutiny,” like race, sexuality, As The Feminist Majority puts it, “Those fighting sex discrimination would no longer have to prove discrimination, but instead those who discriminate would have to prove that they did not violate the Constitution.” Think about the millions of women who’ve faced pay discrimination at Walmart, but still can’t sue as a class, because they can’t show they “have enough in common.“

2) Passage of the ERA will institutionalize equitable considerations of women’s need as they differ from men’s. Currently, our normative interpretation of laws is based almost entirely on men’s needs, bodies, experiences and life stages. For example, in the study reported on by Covert, the majority of men surveyed, “feel that the “country has made most of the changes needed to give women equal rights as men,” but just 29 percent of women felt the same.” These “feelings” become the basis for legislation, norms and discrimination that is perpetuated and unaddressed.

It’s time. Let’s do this. Joint resolutions SJRES15 and HJRS43– currently in Congress– would remove the ERA ratification time limit. Call your Congressional representative and urge backing of these resolutions. If you live in a state that never passed the ERA, check out PDA’s the three state strategy. We can make equality for all an issue in the coming elections.

A few months ago, I heard author and activist John Nichols call for the foot soldiers in “the new progressive movement” to fight for three Constitutional Amendments, which would guarantee the right to vote for all Americans, get money out of politics (by denying corporate personhood and denying money = speech), and eliminate the Electoral College.

These are all great ideas, but passage of the ERA should be added to this list.

Link to original article from the Tucson Progressive

 


 

PamelaPowersHannleyPamela Powers Hannley
I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth--not just people who agree with me or look like me. I believe that people who promote religiosity but use violence, intimidation, and lies to force their ideas upon other people are not following the teachings of any religious leader. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona.

In addition to being a blogger, I am a published author, photographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post. I am a proud member of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).

Read 3780 times Last modified on Thursday, 29 August 2013 01:34

End Wars and Occupations Articles

  • A Ceasefire and Lasting Peace: Why Israel and HAMAS Must Agree to an Immediate Ceasefire, and Israelis and Palestinians Must Sign and Successfully Implement A Final Status “Land For Peace” Agreement Now
    A Ceasefire and Lasting Peace: Why Israel and HAMAS Must Agree to an Immediate Ceasefire, and Israelis and Palestinians Must Sign and Successfully Implement A Final Status “Land For Peace” Agreement Now

    PDAers have, with the rest of the world, reacted with outrage and heartbreak to the violence in Israel and Gaza.  Board members like Medea Benjamin have worked for decades to bring attention to that area of the world, to its crying need for peace with justice. PDA was founded during the 2004 Democratic Convention in opposition to the Iraq War, which was being silenced by “official” party leaders. Our Inside/Outside strategy brought street heat to the suites, opening up our political process to the nonviolent call of Dr. Martin Luther King: turn from perpetual war to meeting human need. Nonviolence grounds all our policy advocacy: Healthcare Not Warfare; Windmills Not Weapons.

    Written on Saturday, 26 July 2014 13:06 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq
    Washington DC – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which requires the President to seek Congressional authorization before deploying armed services engaged in combat operations in Iraq.
    Written on Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:02 Read more...
  • SALAAM and SHALOM: Joint Statement on Israel/Gaza
    SALAAM and SHALOM: Joint Statement on Israel/Gaza The current military operations in Israel and the Gaza strip should disturb all people of faith. The only moral path to a solution between Israelis and Palestinians (Israeli Jewish/Muslim/Christian and Palestinian Muslim/Christian) will be dialogue and negotiation.
    Written on Friday, 25 July 2014 22:36 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq
    Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq

    Washington DC – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which requires the President to seek Congressional authorization before deploying armed services engaged in combat operations in Iraq.

    Written on Friday, 25 July 2014 20:06 Read more...
  • Against Intervention in Iraq
    Against Intervention in Iraq

    The stunning military advance into cities in northern and central Iraq by an Al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—backed by some of Iraq's Sunni tribal paramilitary forces and a militia tied to remnants of the deposed Baath party—compounds Iraq's long-running tragedy. 

    Written on Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:10 Read more...
  • Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners
    Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners

    According to Ha'aretz correspondent Amira Hass, the [Israeli Defense Force] ] IDF has been conducting mass arrests in the West Bank, between 10 and 30 every day. Twenty-four of the arrested are members of the Palestinian parliament from Hamas' Change and Reform party. The number of those arrested since the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teens has already exceeded 1,000. The Palestinians are convinced that most of those detained have nothing to do with the kidnapping and that these are mainly political arrests for purposes of intimidation and revenge.

    Written on Sunday, 20 July 2014 20:43 Read more...
  • PDA Advisory Board Members Urge Cease-Fire Between Israel and Palestine
    PDA Advisory Board Members Urge Cease-Fire Between Israel and Palestine

    PDA Advisory Board members Reps. John Conyers, Keith Ellison, and Barbara Lee joined 3 congressional colleagues--Reps. Jim Moran, Hank Johnson, and Alan Lowenthal--calling upon President Obama and Secretary Kerry to "redouble" their efforts to urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach a cease-fire agreement. The full text of their letter is below, and a signed PDF can be found here.

    Written on Friday, 18 July 2014 22:35 Read more...
  • Bipartisan Letter Calls for Congressional Authorization before Any Military Action in Iraq
    Bipartisan Letter Calls for Congressional Authorization before Any Military Action in Iraq

    80 Members of Congress Write to the President on Iraq

    Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA13), Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA02) and seventy other Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to seek Congressional approval before taking any military action in Iraq.

    Written on Friday, 04 July 2014 00:10 Read more...
  • Immediate Action Needed! Stop Iraq Escalation!
    Immediate Action Needed! Stop Iraq Escalation!


    Please act now! We need your Congress member's signature on the Lee-Rigell Letter opposing a military attack on Iraq. Consult the list (see below). If your member of Congress is not there, call the Congressional switchboard ASAP (before Close of Business July, 2nd) and ask them to sign on to the Lee-Rigell Letter. Republicans may be willing to sign on, so it's worth trying them as well. The Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Tell them to contact Rep. Barbara Lee's staffer Monica Pham at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Written on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 22:19 Read more...
  • The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria
    The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria

    At this writing, President Obama has neither the legal nor the political mandate to conduct airstrikes in Iraq or Syria.

    On Thursday night, 182 Members of the House voted yes on Representative Barbara Lee's amendment defunding the use of the 2002 Iraq Authorization for the Use Military Force. 

    Written on Friday, 20 June 2014 18:00 Read more...
  • BREAKING: House To Push Back Against Military Action in Iraq
    BREAKING: House To Push Back Against Military Action in Iraq

    Members of Congress want to send a clear message to Obama: They won’t stand for another war.

    After a recent string of insurgent attacks from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the northern part of Iraq, President Obama told Congress on Monday night that he will order 275 troops to the country to protect American personnel and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. 

    Written on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 18:49 Read more...
  • Voices from Iraq: 'We have lived enough years of revenge and tyranny'
    Voices from Iraq: 'We have lived enough years of revenge and tyranny'

    Residents of Mosul and Samarra, and a spokesman for a militant group, speak about their experience of the latest conflict

    Written on Monday, 16 June 2014 11:08 Read more...
  • Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.
    Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.

    Why is Congress trying to allocate $601 billion to the military?

     

    Next week, Congress will begin debate on a roughly$601 billion Pentagon budget for FY2015.  Before we let this pass unchallenged, let's take a few minutes to put it in some historical perspective.


    Written on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 22:15 Read more...
  • 93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama
    93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama

    During the Bush years, people all over the world were horrified by America's aggression, human rights abuses and militarism. By 2008, only one in three people around the world approved of the job performance of U.S. leaders. The election of President Obama broadcast his message of hope and change far beyond U.S. shores, and Gallup's 2009 U.S.-Global Leadership Project (USGLP) recorded a sharp rise in global public approval of U.S. leadership to 49 percent.

    Written on Thursday, 01 May 2014 12:44 Read more...
  • America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953
    America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953

    U.S. efforts to overthrow foreign governments leave the world less peaceful, less just and less hopeful.

    Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide's lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami.  He began his talk with a riddle: "Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?"  The answer: "Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C."  This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.

    Written on Thursday, 10 April 2014 19:30 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Or How the U.S. Military Avoided Budget Cuts, Lied About Doing So, Then Asked for Billions More

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II.

    Written on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 18:57 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II. Headlines about this crisis followed in papers like the New York Timesand members of Congress issued statements swearing that they would never allow our security to be held hostage to the budget-cutting process.

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:44 Read more...
  • 35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists
    35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists

    The U.S. is backing Ukraine's extreme right-wing Svoboda party and violent neo-Nazis whose armed uprising paved the way for a Western-backed coup. Events in the Ukraine are giving us another glimpse through the looking-glass of U.S. propaganda wars against fascism, drugs and terrorism. The ugly reality behind the mirror is that the U.S. government has a long and unbroken record of working with fascists, dictators, druglords and state sponsors of terrorism in every region of the world in its elusive but relentless quest for unchallenged global power.  

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:20 Read more...
  • We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror
    We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror

    America's military adventures have fueled a global explosion of terrorism and a historic breakdown of law and order.

    Twelve years into America's "war on terror," it is time to admit that it has failed catastrophically, unleashing violence, war and instability in an "arc of terror" stretching from West Africa to the Himalayas and beyond. 

    Written on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 01:28 Read more...
  • Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers
    Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers

    The implementation of the Iran accord Monday signaled a modest but still important sea change in that country’s relationship with the world. As with all good diplomacy, the deal is a win-win for Iran and the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:29 Read more...
  • Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations
     Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations

    MONTREUX, Switzerland (AP) — The United Nations is taking a day to see if there is enough common ground between Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and the opposition to talk directly for the first time since the rebellion began in 2011.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:23 Read more...
  • No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks
    No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks

    The talks in Syria began today, with the Syrian government and opposition exchanging accusations and invectives. Missing was the voice of nonviolent civilians, especially women, even through they have been trying for months to have a seat at the table.

    Written on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 17:16 Read more...
  • Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?
    Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?

    At least ten states will be sites for testing drones — unmanned aircraft — in the next couple of years, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) announced on Monday. Six institutions have been authorized to operate test locations for the use of drones and for studying how they will interact with air traffic systems.

    Written on Sunday, 05 January 2014 20:49 Read more...
  • Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway
    Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway

    As we end the longest period of war in our history, we should be entering a period of postwar downsizing - but what about the communities dependent on the massive post-9/11 military budget?

    End wars. Shrink the Pentagon budget. Reinvest the savings in neglected domestic priorities. It’s a logical progression. Right?

    Written on Friday, 20 December 2013 00:00 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing
    Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing

    Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement on the passing of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela:

    Written on Friday, 06 December 2013 17:29 Read more...
  • Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List'
    Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List' Activists from across the globe kicked off the largest-ever anti-drone summit Friday with a boisterous White House rally then march to the headquarters of one of the most notorious weapons manufacturers in the world.
    Written on Saturday, 16 November 2013 01:11 Read more...
  • US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq
    US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq

    Iraq is still suffering from the US invasion because the apparatus of state oppression and terror is still in place, killing people every day. But few in the US seem to realize the scale of the war crimes committed in Iraq, an expert author told RT.

    Written on Saturday, 09 November 2013 19:49 Read more...
  • The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy
    The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy

    Having the most expensive and destructive military does not make the American people safer. The idea of U.S. "national security" seems inextricably entangled with the notion of "military supremacy."

    Written on Friday, 25 October 2013 02:20 Read more...
  • Reading Obama’s Iran Speech
    Reading Obama’s Iran Speech

    All of a sudden we’re talking to Iran. Now, granted, that shouldn’t be such an astonishing bombshell. But given the reality of the last several decades, it pretty much is. And that’s all good. It’s been too long coming, it’s still too hesitant, there’s still too much hinting about military force behind it… but we’re talking. Foreign minister to foreign minister, Kerry to Zarif, it’s all a good sign.

    Written on Thursday, 26 September 2013 01:36 Read more...
  • Beating Swords Into Solar Panels
    Beating Swords Into Solar Panels

    A trillion dollars.  It's a lot of money.  In a year it could send 127 million college students to school, provide health insurance for 206 million people, or pay the salaries of seven million schoolteachers and seven million police officers.

    Written on Thursday, 19 September 2013 23:17 Read more...

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

 

Email Your Senators and Representatives - Ask Them to Support Peace Legislation

There is no faster way to send a message to your Congress members than using our Email Advocacy Tool.

  1. Enter your Zip +4
  2. Use our letter or feel free to edit and create your own
  3. Choose an Advocacy Alert and have your letter sent directly to your Congress Member


Advocacy Alerts

Bennis: There is No Military Solution to Syria

Miriam Pemberton - Progressive Central

Building the Peace and Justice Movement

Miriam Pemberton - Swords into Ploughshares