Feb 282012
 

The InternationalWomen’sDay.com website has added yet another corporate sponsor, EON. If you are perhaps baffled about why a website that has usurped the name of the most significant global celebration of women’s lives and rights of the year has corporate sponsors, Glenda Stone who started the website and runs it without input from women’s rights organizations explains,

Without their support, the website could not survive. Each Supporting Partner has a firm track record in supporting women’s equality and advancement. We like to celebrate International Women’s Day, but we also want to celebrate our Supporting Partners! We urge you to acknowledge them whenever you can.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but one of the central screaming reasons that IWD is so necessary is the continued corporate exploitation of women.  Women’s rights organizations throughout the world run websites and do their work without corporate cause-branding but Ms. Stone runs her site by allowing placement of ads such as this which clearly serve the interest of the corporation, not women:

As we have pointed out numerous times before, this website is primarily an opportunity for the corporate cause branding of International Women’s Day.  In sharp contrast, take a look at the sponsorship page for the Meet Me On The Street Anti-Street Harassment Week Campaign.  There are too many sponsors to capture in one screenshot, but here are a few of the many non-corporate woman-positive  sponsors:

Full disclousre–FPN is also a co-sponsor of the Meet Me On The Street Campaign, which proves most righteously that it is possible to run a successful campaign and website without selling out to corporate interests as InternationalWomensDay.com does.  Once again, the Feminist Peace Network calls on Ms. Stone and her corporate sponsors to do the right thing and quit using International Women’s Day for callous corporate cause branding.  InternationalWomensDay.com is NOT the official IWD website, there is no such thing and it should be boycotted.

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 February 28, 2012  Posted by on February 28, 2012 2 Responses »
Feb 222012
 

AF3IRM celebrates IWD in New York:

On March 8th, 6-9 pm, feminists and allies are invited to join the New York chapter of AF3IRM to celebrate women’s work and working women at a cash bar mixer at Madame X, 94 West Houston, Manhattan, NY 10012.

“On this day, we must think of how women through the centuries do the work that enables all work to be done,” said Leilani Montes, chapter coordinator.  “This means recognizing the value of the unheralded and the mundane tasks women do, from the home to the office to the factory and fields.”

Feminism, Ms. Montes added, is to “the level of the day’s most quiet needs.”

In recognizing women’s work and working women, the Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization and Marginalization (AF3IRM) marks the launch of the organization’s new national campaign against sub-contracting, de-unionization and labor trafficking through the guest worker program of the United States.

“Outsourcing has come home to roost,” said Ms. Montes.  “We are seeing entire corporate departments sub-contracted to outside companies, which in turn bring in migrant workers under trafficked conditions.”

A call to strike from Mimi Yahn:

We are not not a special interest group, we are half the world. Our society’s current patriarchal model of subjugation and exploitation influences every aspect of life on our planet and it excludes women at all levels: from decision-making and governing, from negotiating peace and ending wars, from organizing movements, from long-term economic, social, and environmental planning, even from sharing in life’s bounties.

We are the working class of the working class, the 99% of the 99%. And in virtually every nation across the globe, we have no equal status as citizens or even human beings. We are hunted and murdered like animals, we are bought and sold like property, we are silenced and erased from history and public life. We have no choice but to stand up for our rights and our lives. And men have no choice but to support us as allies if they ever want a world free of brutal injustice.

If you’re still not sure if you want to strike, then do it for the millions of women who cannot. Do it for the women who are struggling to feed their families; for the women who earn one-half to three-quarters of what men earn; for the women who became homeless in order to escape brutal beatings; who have been denied health care, reproductive care, contraception or abortion; for the women who cannot vote, cannot drive, cannot own property, cannot be seen in public without a man; for the women who have been beaten, tortured, raped, and sexually degraded; do it for the girls whose genitals have been mutilated and destroyed; for the women who are beaten by husbands, boyfriends, fathers and brothers; for the women who were been beaten into believing they were crazy, hysterical, neurotic; for the women who’ve been denied medical insurance because domestic violence is a pre-existing condition; for the women imprisoned in rape camps in war zones; for the women and girls who’ve been sold into sexual and domestic slavery; for the women whose legal and civil rights have been eliminated; for the women who have yet to gain legal and civil rights; and do it for the women and girls who are no longer with us because of dowry murders, acid attacks, honor killings, domestic violence, and the dozens of gender hate crimes perpetrated every day.

Do it for the women of Juarez, Tahrir Square, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Rwanda, the Congo, King County, Montreal, Suffolk County and everywhere else women and girls have been targeted and murdered for the sole “crime” of their gender.

Do it for our daughters whose future must not be the same.

Learn more about Join Me On The Bridge IWD events here.

And Rae Abiliah explains why Code Pink’s WomenOccupy is calling for the occupation of Bank of America on IWD here.

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 February 22, 2012  Posted by on February 22, 2012 2 Responses »
Feb 122012
 

International Women’s Day on March 8th is fast approaching and as we have in past years, the Feminist Peace Network calls for boycotting the corporate-run InternationalWomensDay.com website.  The website is owned by Aurora Ventures, a private company run by Australian businesswoman Glenda Stone.  The corporate sponsors seem to vary from year to year, this year’s sponsors include:

Also included this year is a link to financial giant  Deloitte’s International Women’s Day  Global Retention of Women (GROW) Toolkit. And who you ask are the executive sponsors of the GROW council?  These guys, that’s who:

And here is the picture used in the toolkit to illustrate women’s history:

And because it is a GROW toolkit, there are lots of awesome plant pictures–a crop circle, a clove of garlic and an adorable little girl blowing dandelion seeds.  Really worth the read just for the illustrations, not to mention helpful event planning tips like hiring a caterer.  Inappropriate and self-serving?  Just a tad.

Nowhere on the  InternationalWomensDay.com site has there ever been any indication of editorial and decision-making input from women-run organizations or NGOs.  While the website does provide links to information on International Women’s Day, it is a blatant example of corporate cause branding that is completely inappropriate for International Women’s Day and as we have pointed out before, it is beyond inappropriate for the site to refer to itself (as it does in its metatags) as “The International Women’s Day Site”.

While considerably different in format, the InternationalWomensDay.org site is also disturbing.  It is run by the Women’s Information Network and seems to be primarily geared  towards running for profit seminars about women’s issues.  While it does count a number of women’s organizations on its list that support International Women’s Day, these look to be primarily organizations that table at WIN events, rather than participating in decision-making roles for event planning. If there is any doubt about the commercialization of this website, as I write this, the top post on their blog reads as follows:

What do the Kindle and Nook have to do with you?

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Writing an ebook for clients, friends and family to read on their Kindles or Nooks will be one of the most exciting gifts you can give yourself and others this holiday season. Who wouldn’t want to influence others for good using the hottest technology? On Wednesday, November 30th, we had a fabulous teleseminar where we shared cutting-edge strategies for writing an ebook.

Listeners learned:

  • The 3 Mega Niches for writing your ebook
  • The correct format and word count for ebooks
  •  Shortcuts to writing your ebook (even if you hate to write or aren’t a great writer)
  • How to partner with The WIN when you write your ebook
  • What to do to be part of the WIN Library of Resources
  • The value of having your book promoted by The WIN to maximize exposure

Listen to the recording here: http://www.theWINonline.com/ebook

Don’t get left behind!

This is your time and the WIN has powerful vehicles to assist you in getting your unique message to your perfect audience. Our WIN database includes thousands of women with everyday questions and concerns, and YOU have answers and solutions. At the end of the call we offer you the option to be a part of this unique series.

To learn more and get involved now visit: http://www.theWINonline.com/ebook

To a WIN filled Day!
The WIN Team

 

To say that is inappropriate would be an understatement. The bottom line is this–International Women’s Day is an international event that belongs to the women of the world. No one organization should control websites that hawk themselves as official websites for the day and it is beyond unfortunate that these url’s have been taken over for the primary benefit of private concerns.  The Feminist Peace Network encourages a boycott of both sites.

For more on International Women’s Day, please see our resource page.

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 February 12, 2012  Posted by on February 12, 2012 Comments Off
Feb 102012
 

There are many take-aways from the recent Komen fiasco.  Not that there has ever, in anything vaguely resembling recent history (say the last 5000 years or so) been a time when women’s health and rights have not been under siege, but the level of attacks the last few years has been horrifying and women have been working full tilt to combat them.  While there have been a lot of successes, there have been dreadful losses too, perhaps the worst of which is that we haven’t been able to stem the tide of these attacks.  But the one thing that we most certainly have done is found amazing ways to work together on these issues and very effective ways to respond quickly and loudly.

What I see in the way that we reacted to the Komen debacle is perhaps the perfection of our coming together to say,

NO MORE!  We have had enough!

For me, the Komen story has been deja vu.  Many of the issues that have been highlighted by the many wonderful people who have documented this story are things I have written about before and I am so glad they have finally been aired in a way that has reached critical mass.

Without hesitation, I can say that of all the many topics I have ever written about, the Komen story is one of my least favorites.  But yet I have felt compelled to write about it again  last week and I am gratified by the attention the two pieces that I wrote on this blog received.  Today The Washington Post ran a piece that linked to my work and last week, the Institute for Public Accuracy included a link to one of them in a press release, the result of which was requests for numerous interviews with radio stations and print media from all corners of the country.  Here are links to two of them:

Sonali Kolhatkar interview with FPN’s Lucinda Marshall on KPFK’s Uprising

FPN’s Lucinda Marshall interviewed on WORT’s Her Turn

Let’s take what we’ve learned from the Komen incident about raising our voices together and keep this rolling because enough is enough, women’s rights are human rights and our lives and our health can no longer be used as political footballs!

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 February 10, 2012  Posted by on February 10, 2012 Comments Off
Feb 072012
 

Women’s health has long been a political football, especially during election season.  This year unfortunately, it is beginning to look like both teams are trying to dunk our lives in the same basket.  Okay, forgive the mixed metaphor, I’ll let the candidates speak for themselves as they have all done so eloquently this week:

Newt Gingrich upped his attacks against President Obama on Sunday over his administration’s requirement that some religious hospitals offer co-pay-free birth control under the new health care law.

Gingrich’s comments come after a week of outrage from the Catholic Church and his fellow GOP presidential candidates over the policy.

“This is a tremendous infringement of religious liberty,” Newt Gingrich said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Every time you turn around the secular government is shrinking the rights of religious institutions in America.”

And then there is this gem from Santorum making the absolutely false, debunked a gazillion times, connection between abortion and cancer,

“I don’t believe that breast cancer research is advanced by funding an organization where you’ve seen ties to cancer and abortion,” he added. “So, I don’t think it’s a particularly healthy way of contributing money to further cause of breast cancer, but that’s for a private organization like Susan B. Komen to make that decision.”

Romney also decided to jump on the anti-Planned Parenthood wagon,

“I also feel that the government should cut off funding to Planned Parenthood,” the former Massachusetts governor added. “Look, the idea that we’re subsidizing an institution which is providing abortion, in my view, is wrong. Planned Parenthood ought to stand on their own feet, and should not get government subsidy.”

Of course he doesn’t want the government to provide those services either.  But the win in the right wing misogynist hate fest goes to Ron Paul for coining the baffling phrase, “honest rape”,

In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul was asked whether or not victims of rape should have access to abortion services. He said that while he believes that life begins at the moment of conception, the issue is too complex for him to give an answer that will “satisfy everyone.”

In an interview from Las Vegas on Piers Morgan Tonight, Morgan asked whether as a man with daughters and granddaughters, Rep. Paul (R-TX) thinks that abortion is warranted if a woman has been impregnated by a rapist.

“If it’s an honest rape,” Paul replied, “that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, I would give them a shot of estrogen.” He claimed, however, that if a woman is “seven months pregnant” and says that she was raped, “It’s a little bit of a different story.”

Okay, all of the above is revolting, but they are all Republican candidates, so ixnay on the surprise but here is the one that makes me spitting mad:

A top adviser to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign suggested on Tuesday that the administration was open to working with Catholic hospitals and universities over their objections to providing birth control services to women.

That the political dialog has reached a point where a Democratic President running for re-election feels he can sell out women with the same impunity that Republicans candidates assert, women’s lives are in deep peril.

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 February 7, 2012  Posted by on February 7, 2012 Comments Off