Mar 282012

I have always been a huge fan of the excellent work that Oxfam does, but what the heck is up with the recent sexist fundraising?  A few weeks ago we called out Oxfam for telling us to honor International Women’s Day by buying gravy boats, dresses and sewing supplies.

They responded with this:

No not intended.  These things never are.  But they are still offensive, regardless of the fabulous cause that is supported by the fundraising.

Today Oxfam tweeted this:

Seriously?  Aside from objectifying Ms. Moss, no offense but I’m quite happy looking just like myself, thank you very much.  The whole notion that people should buy things for a cause is revolting–why not just give money so that your donation goes for the work, not more stuff you don’t need, but this goes beyond that and is unacceptable.

It is time for Oxfam to review its fundraising and merchandising policy.

 March 28, 2012  Posted by on March 28, 2012 1 Response »
Mar 182012

From March 18-24, 2012, thousands of women and men across the United States and throughout the world in cities such as Cairo, Delhi, Istanbul, Montreal, Oslo, and Sana’a will participate in International Anti-Street Harassment Week to collectively raise awareness about gender-based street harassment.

By age 12, nearly 1 in 4 girls worldwide experience unwanted sexual comments, leers, touches, and stalking in public places by strangers. Nearly 90 percent of women have that experience by age 19.

“Street harassment is seen as a given by many women, girls and LGBQT individuals. Meanwhile, most people who are not harassed do not realize how much it happens,” said Holly Kearl, street harassment expert and founder of International Anti-Street Harassment Week. “This week is about challenging the normalization of street harassment, showing it’s a worldwide problem that negatively impacts lives, and working toward solutions.”

More than 100 groups in 18 countries, plus thousands of individuals worldwide, are participating in some form of activism, from sharing stories on or offline, to organizing sidewalk chalking parties with friends, to organizing discussions with school groups, to participating in community or campus events.

Internationally, women in Yemen will distribute a book of women’s street harassment stories to nonprofit organizations and members of parliament. In Germany, activists will pass out “red cards” against street harassment on buses, subways, pubs, and schools. In Afghanistan, activists will host a debate about street harassment.

Events taking place across the USA include a film screening and spoken word event in Philadelphia, individuals distributing fliers outside transit stops in San Francisco, campus discussions in Ohio and Illinois, an art exhibit and street theater performance in Washington, DC, and sidewalk chalking in Minnesota.

In New York City there are several events, including a rally. Additionally, thousands of students in 65 public schools will participate in an awareness campaign run by STEPS to End Family Violence. Lucia Rivieccio, Director of STEPS, said, “Educating teens about street harassment now will make our streets safer for all of us in the future.”

Some events specifically will address harassment motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA) is coordinating events and art exhibits in libraries focused on the harassment faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender-identified youth. “By working to bring awareness and an end to street harassment, we hope to create a safer and more welcoming community for all,” said Stephanie Arendt, Senior Prevention Educator at SACASA.

Any individual can participate in the week by sharing stories on and offline. Visit Meet Us On The Street for more information about the week and how to be involved.

(Received via press release.  Feminist Peace Network is proud to be a co-sponsor of Meet Us On The Street.)

 March 18, 2012  Posted by on March 18, 2012 1 Response »
Mar 122012

Feminist Peace Network Director Lucinda Marshall will be speaking about Occupy Patriarchy in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York City at the following upcoming events, the first 2  are open to the public, the conference requires registration.

Lecture:  Confronting Patriarchy:  The Occupy Movement From A Feminist Perspective
Thursday, March 22, 6pm
Benjamin Franklin Room
University of Pennsylvania
3417 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA

Panel:  Occupy Gender: Patriarchy and Gender Experiences in the Occupy Movement
Tuesday, March 27th, 4-6p
NYU Center for Global Affairs
15 Barclay Street
(The NYU entrance to the Woolworth Building)
New York, NY 10010
Room: TBA
(note: this will probably be via Skype, but possibly in person)

Panel:  Grassroots Uprising: Fueling the Revolution Against Gender Oppression and Economic Exploitation
National Young Feminist Leadership Conference
Saturday, March 31, 12:15-1:30 pm
Hilton Crystal City
Arlington, VA




 March 12, 2012  Posted by on March 12, 2012 Comments Off on Save The Dates–FPN Director Lucinda Marshall Discusses Occupying Patriarchy in DC, Philly and NYC
Mar 112012

The Center for Reproductive Rights is asking for our help. Gary Trudeau is a long time supporter of women’s rights, something he has never shied away from in the Doonesbury cartoon (think Lacey Davenport, Ginny Slade for President and Joanie Caucus). This week he tackles Texas’ anti-sonogram law and some papers have decided not to run it. Please check your local paper and email (see below) the Center for Reproductive Rights and let them know if it ran in your local paper or not.

The comic strip Doonesbury will be focusing on the anti-choice sonogram law in Texas this week. We’re told Gary Trudeau does a great job of using humor (depicting a “shaming room,” counseling by ridiculous anti-choice legislators, etc) to drive home how harmful the law is.

This is fantastic news, but it’s not the whole story.

Doonesbury’s syndicate, United Features, is giving papers that don’t want to run the strips a set of alternate cartoons. Trudeau made them the most boring strips he’s ever drawn, but we know many papers will choose to run them. Even though the real cartoons simply humanize the struggles of Texas women, many papers will call that “controversial.”

As a community, we need to support the papers choosing to run the real Doonesbury cartoons and call out those that hide behind the alternate strips. We hope you’ll let people know what’s happening in your local paper and encourage your readers/followers to do the same.

We also hope you’ll take a second to do 2 things:
1) Email us at and let us know which strip your paper ran, and
2) Ask readers and social media followers to do the same.

Addenda:  This morning’s Washington Post has an interview with Trudeau where he talks about why, after all these years he is tackling this topic, “I thought reproductive rights was a settled issue.  Who knew we had turned into a nation of sluts?”  Yes indeed.

 March 11, 2012  Posted by on March 11, 2012 6 Responses »
Mar 072012

As we observe and celebrate International Women’s Day 2012, it should escape no one’s notice that this last year has been a pivotal one for women’s empowerment and rights.  With the Arab Spring we saw the strong and courageous activism of women across the Middle East leading the movement for change.  Despite that, progress towards women’s equality in the region has been discouraging and it has become painfully clear that the revolutions that took place, while in large part depending on women’s participation, did not have women’s interests at heart.  Despite that, it was thrilling to have the Nobel Peace Prize shared by a woman from Yemen and two women from Liberia for their pivotal work in advocating for peaceful change.

As I write this, it has occurred to me that FPN’s focus this past  year been far more geared towards women’s rights in the U.S. than it has in the past.  And with good reason.  Women’s lives are under siege in the U.S.  In recent weeks we have been called sluts and whores, our right to control our own reproductive health is under the worst attack since Roe v Wade.  Yet women are striking back in unprecedented numbers and ways.  As we go forward, it is clear that the attacks against women, whether they be in the form of rape in the Congo and Somalia, maternal mortality because of appalling health care in Afghanistan, murders in Mexico, human trafficking in Southeast Asia or attacks on reproductive health in the U.S. will continue.  But we know we are strong and getting stronger and we will not stop until women everywhere have equal rights.

Please be sure to check out Gender Across Borders wonderful annual IWD blogathon.

Also check out this very inspiring post from Women Deliver that looks at progress being made on behalf of women and girls worldwide.  Amnesty International has a great post on IWD from an international perspective.

International Women’s Day in Iraq:

And this call to action from Barcelona (warning, VERY GRAPHIC, probably best not to watch near children or at work):

Finally this bit of IWD Fail from Oxfam:

Sorry, IWD is not about buying stuff, no matter what the organization or company it benefits.  And it is especially not about buying such stereotypical girly stuff like craft kits and gravy boats.

Happy International Women’s Day!

 March 7, 2012  Posted by on March 7, 2012 Comments Off on Happy International Women’s Day! (Warning: VERY Graphic)