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WMC News: WMC Live round table with Gloria Steinem, Maria Teresa Kumar, Elanor Smeal & Salamishah Ti

November 13, 2016

 

 

 

 

Gloria Steinem, Maria Teresa Kumar, Eleanor Smeal, Salamishah Tillet - a Special Election Roundtable with Robin Morgan (November 13, 2016)

Robin on dread, resilience, where we are now, and where we're going. Guests: Special Election 2016 Analysis Roundtable, with Gloria Steinem, Maria Teresa Kumar, Eleanor Smeal, Salamishah Tillet—on what happened, and strategies for what's next.  Listen here >>

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Women Put “Climate Change Ground Zero” in the Picture

Anuradha Sengupta | November 11, 2016

The women's photos show conditions such as unpaved, mud roads that flood during monsoons. Photo by Shibani Das.

In an area in India known as “climate change ground zero,” a group of women are using photography to document their living conditions— and finding that their work is leading both to greater visibility and to change.

The low-lying Sundarbans delta region, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the most visible victims of the ravages of climate change in the world. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in 2007 that globally it will be areas like the Sundarbans that will bear the brunt of climate risks caused by sea level rise and salt-water intrusion into farmable land and underground aquifers. Sea levels in this area are rising at twice the global average, submerging islands and destroying homes and livelihoods.

Women and children are especially at risk. Loss of farmable land has caused men to migrate in search of work. The workload on women has increased—they have to look after the fields, manage the households, and care for family members. This often limits their mobility and increases their vulnerability to factors like sudden weather-related natural disasters.  More >>

Image description: The women's photos show conditions such as unpaved, mud roads that flood during monsoons. Photo by Shibani Das.

Syrian Girls Say Building Minds Will Help Build Futures

Young girls and women are extremely vulnerable in crises and conflicts. Here, a young girl who fled Syria with her family sleeps on the street in Turkey. (Freedom House)

By Fiona Duggan/Guest Blogger | November 2, 2016

“Education is important because it builds a person’s mind, and the mind will build the future,” says Ethar, a 15-year-old Syrian girl with a winning smile.

Explaining why going to school is important to her, the teenager, who fled Aleppo with her family four years ago, is unwavering in her conviction. Now living in Gaziantep, Turkey, she attends a school for Syrian refugee children.

The International Day of the Girl was on October 11—an occasion to commemorate and further acknowledge the importance of girls, their potential, and the role they play in building stable and equitable communities. But it is also a time to recognize the barriers they face, devise the means to overcome them, and start putting a plan into action.

Girls and women are subject to unique vulnerabilities in crises and conflicts. Displacement, poverty, and the breakdown of built-in familial and social protections can place them at higher risk of sexual abuse, violence, exploitation, and psychosocial distress. Conflict often exacerbates poverty, and girls can be pulled out of school or even forced into early marriages to alleviate economic burdens on traditional family structures. More >>

Image description: Young girls and women are extremely vulnerable in crises and conflicts. Here, a young girl who fled Syria with her family sleeps on the street in Turkey. (Freedom House)

 

Experiencing Racial Bias In Preschool

It starts early

By Chloe H | November 7, 2016

When I was in preschool I hated my skin. While I had bronze skin, brown eyes, and brown hair, my friends in preschool looked different. Most of them had fair skin, blue eyes, and blond hair. I thought I could remedy this, could look more like them, by walking with my inner arms turned outwards because that skin was paler than the rest of me.

I remember seeing Snow White, a Disney Princess with “white” in her very name, at age 3. Snow white had brown eyes and dark hair like me, but her skin was so much lighter than mine. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel also had pale skin like Snow White. I remember wishing that I could look more like a princess, and to me looking like a princess meant having lighter skin. Even though my parents avoided buying me Disney toys or Barbie dolls, all of my baby dolls still had creamy pink and white skin and sparkly blue eyes. I remember looking at the glossy pages of my Mom’s Vogue magazine and noticing that all the beautiful women had fair skin — skin that was almost white, like paper.

I first learned about Eurocentric beauty standards in preschool. I didn’t learn what they were called until at least a decade later, but I observed them nonetheless. Preschool was when I learned to feel different because of the way I looked, particularly because of the color of my skin. Preschool was when I learned what it meant to be mixed race with dark skin in a society that prizes whiteness. More>>

Image description: Preschool classroom with caption "It starts early"

 

On Being Catholic and Pro-Choice

Being a pro-choice feminist

By Reilly W | November 4, 2016

Many people might find the two identities I hold closest to be contradictory: I am a Catholic, but am also an ardent, sex-positive, Birkenstock-wearing feminist. But I don’t think these identities contradict each other. I believe that Catholics have a duty to be radically accepting of other people, Catholic or otherwise, and am therefore pro-gay marriage, anti-Islamophobia, pro-contraception, and perhaps most notably, pro-choice.

Even so, these stances are undoubtedly hard to come to terms with as a Catholic. At some point in their lives, many Catholics feel they don’t personally align with the doctrines taught in Sunday School, like those regarding abortion and beyond. When you’ve been raised in the church, though, it’s somewhat disillusioning to think of yourself as somehow outside it. Beyond unsettling, many Catholics believe these inclinations are patently wrong: They are taught to assume that every stance the church has offered for every issue is the absolute word and will of God. But in reality, Jesus didn’t say much of anything about a fair amount of contemporary issues. More >>

Image description: Cathedral with caption "Being a pro-choice feminist"

 

WMC Live #186: Joy Reid, Anne Holton. (Original Airdate 11/6/2016)

Robin on the FBI, women vets' rising suicide rate, and last words pre-election. Guests: Joy Reid, MSNBC political analyst and host of "AM Joy"; former Virginia judge and Education Secretary Anne Holton (whose husband is Veep candidate Tim Kaine). Listen here >>

This week WMC SheSource features experts on the 2016 Presidential Election, FBI Director James Comey’s involvement in the presidential campaign, Veteran’s Day, the death of the first women U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, the protest against the gender pay gap by women in France, and Native American Heritage Month.

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The views expressed in this commentary are those of the authors alone and do not represent WMC.

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