Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 02/8/2014

Saturday Vids: Income Inequality and HOPE Credit Union

I’m currently taking a sociology class called “Perspectives on Inequality” and the first major issue we’ve addressed is the current state of income inequality in the United States. The U.S. is the most wealth-unequal country in the world and it’s an issue that’s getting worse over time. For instance, incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans grew only $59 (adjusted for inflation) from 1966 to 2011, while incomes for the top 10% rose by $116,071 (more stats can be found here). It’s also no secret that income inequality — while a serious issue for American society at large — is also undeniably gendered.

Luckily, there are some people out there trying to address this problem: like William Bynum and the HOPE Credit Union, which “empowers communities with member-owned …

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Feminism | Posted by Rachel B on 06/26/2013

Will Girls Really Rise?

I recently watched the documentary film “Girl Rising” with my high school (of about 80 students) and subsequently helped to lead a forum to discuss it. The movie artistically illustrates the stories of nine girls in the developing world who overcame seemingly insurmountable barriers to get an education that culturally only their male counterparts are entitled to. Their struggles included extreme poverty, bonded servitude, sexual harassment, rape, physical abuse and gender discrimination just for starters. Most of the stories ended positively with the girls overcoming their oppressive situations and making better lives for themselves, but others, such as the girl from Afghanistan, did not fare as well. The bravery these girls exhibited by speaking out (they could be killed for this effrontery) should be lauded.

Once the movie …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 01/26/2013

Saturday Vids: Trade of Innocents

I recently came across a movie that takes on the issue of human trafficking called Trade of Innocents starring Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney. Although it doesn’t look like the film is getting wide distribution, it is available for individual screenings and seems like a perfect film to create an event for a human rights-based or anti-human trafficking club. The film also has other resources available. Check it out:

 

 

Trailer

Synopsis:

In the back streets of a tourist town in present-day Southeast Asia, we find a filthy cinder block room; a bed with soiled sheets; a little girl waits for the next man. Alex (Dermot Mulroney), a human trafficking investigator, plays the role of her next customer as he negotiates with the pimp for the use …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 12/31/2012

The Opportunities and Perils of Being A North Korean Woman

While in the car I recently listened to an NPR story by Louisa Lim called Out of Desperation, North Korean Women become Breadwinners. Although considering North Korea’s traditionally patriarchal society this rise in female power and responsibility may seem like a positive step, a disturbing rise in domestic abuse has occurred alongside it.

As the lives of all North Koreans have become more difficult, it has been up to women to keep their families alive. Men in North Korea are trapped in state-mandated jobs that often pay nothing or, incredibly, force them to pay the government. As one North Korean woman told NPR, her husband “had to pay not to work for about six months of last year. You have to pay, even if you can’t afford to eat. …

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Feminism | Posted by Fiona L on 04/4/2012

To Educate A Girl

I’ve often wondered if those who are provided with less, make more with what they are given. A few weeks ago, I went to a screening of a documentary called To Educate A Girl, and was convinced once again of the life-changing importance of education for girls and women. More importantly, I also realized the incredible drive to learn that permeates communities where girls are not given such opportunities.

Filmmakers Frederick Rendina and Oren Rudavsky focused on the factors that inhibit girls around the world from getting an adequate education, through chronicling the stories of several girls in Uganda and Nepal, two countries emerging from violent civil wars.

To Educate a Girl begins with Manisha, a daughter of a brick-carrier in Nepal, who has been unable to attend school …

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Feminism | Posted by Bryan N on 12/26/2011

Why I’m So Passionate About Women’s Rights

People often ask me why, as a man, I am so passionate about women’s rights. The answer is that I got into women’s rights because I have seen so many women put through so many horrible things. There is so much that women go through that most men don’t have to worry about.

I have dated survivors of abuse and sexual violence. I have many friends who are survivors of assault. I have seen the way it destroys their lives. Almost every girl I know has been cat called and verbally harassed on the street. Almost every girl I know feels or has felt ugly because of the media and society setting impossible standards of beauty. It hurts me seeing such naturally beautiful women constantly feel fat and ugly. Some …

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Feminism | Posted by Brenna McCaffrey on 10/24/2011

Five Reasons To Keep An Eye On Senator Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the US Senate by Governor David Paterson in 2009 to fill the vacancy left by Hillary Clinton when she was selected by President Obama to serve as Secretary of State. Previously, Gillibrand spent two terms representing New York’s 20th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. Many were surprised by Paterson’s appointment of a relatively unknown Democrat from the mostly rural district that represents the Catskill, Adirondack, and Hudson Valley areas of upstate New York. New Yorkers outside of her district may not have been familiar with Senator Gillibrand before her Senate appointment, but for the past two years she has been turning the heads of those who might be looking for an alternative to Hillary for next woman President.

Senator Gillibrand will be …

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Feminism | Posted by Fiona L on 10/3/2011

Is Suffrage for Saudi Women Justice, or Just Words?

In a society where women can’t leave the house without their faces covered and aren’t allowed to drive, how much does the right to vote really mean?

Global pressures aided in getting women the right to vote and run for office in Saudi Arabia last week. Unfortunately, “the right to vote” is used very loosely when it comes to Saudi Arabian politics. With an intact monarchy, a tight set of laws based on religious texts, and a society which allows for few freedoms for women, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah’s promise that women will be able to further participate in politics rings a little bit empty to me.

First of all, what does it mean for women to “get the right to vote” or “run for office” in a country …

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