Feminism | Posted by Carley Towne on 08/26/2016

This Women’s Equality Day, Let’s Remain Vigilant

Today is Women’s Equality Day

August 26th is Women’s Equality Day. First designated by Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-NY20) in 1971, the day marks the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which formally granted women the right to vote. Over the decades, however, Women’s Equality Day has transformed into a celebration of not only the 19th Amendment, but also the continued struggle for equality and fairness that women of all backgrounds and ages across the United States face.

First, we would be doing Representative Abzug, appropriately nicknamed “Battling Bella,” and women everywhere a disfavor if we celebrated the passage of the 19th Amendment without recognizing its complex history. The 19th Amendment was not a victory for all women and to celebrate it as such is historically inaccurate and exclusionary: …

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Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 01/13/2016

What Does Voting Really Mean? A Look At Saudi Arabian Women’s First Election

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Saudi Arabian women voters

Saudi Arabia is known for limiting women’s rights. Women who live in the conservative Islamic nation must wear an abaya, a full-length black cloak covering their hair and body, and an additional scarf over the face is optional but recommended. Women cannot travel, marry, or attend university without permission from male family members. As protests recently revealed, many Saudi Arabian women also still cannot drive, despite a tentative new policy meant to enforce the right.

But as of 2015, they can vote. What’s more, they can run for office.

Saudi Arabia is one of the last nations in the world to grant women suffrage. Although the nation held its first election since 1964 just a decade ago in 2005, according to BBC, women were not …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 11/18/2015

Cecile Richards Explains What Planned Parenthood Actually Does

Cecile Richards Sets the Record Straight About What Planned Parenthood Actually Does

Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood President

In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that banning abortion is unconstitutional. Yet despite being legalized, a woman’s right to choose has possibly never been more threatened in this nation. Or at least this is what President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards has found, especially in the light of various attacks on and misconceptions spread about the organization this year, she told Katie Couric in a Yahoo! News interview published last Tuesday.

Planned Parenthood has been attacked for years, but recently faced a particularly invective series of sting videos claiming the organization sold and profited from the tissue of aborted fetuses. Conservative politicians subsequently threatened to de-fund the organization, which in turn forced Richards to testify before a (particularly demeaning) House Oversight …

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Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 06/16/2015

Are Nigeria’s Steps Towards Eliminating FGM Enough?

Ban FGM.

In her 2014 TED Talk, Khadija Gbla expresses the cultural friction she felt between two very different definitions of what it means to be “empowered.” Gbla recounts her experience growing up in Sierra Leone, a country where, like in Nigeria, female genital mutilation is a deeply valued cultural practice. Her mother, she recalls, insisted that she undergo the procedure in order to curb promiscuity, increase her marriageability, and more fully realize her womanhood.

Female Genital Mutilation is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia. The data on physical and psychological consequences is horrifying. An inter-agency statement issued by the WHO and UNICEF, among others, states that when “seen from a human rights perspective, …

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Feminism | Posted by Devki R on 03/23/2015

Sexual Assault Is A Global Disease. Censorship Is Not The Cure.

My parents grew up in Delhi and the city is like a second home to us. In addition to my cultural roots and personal connection to the country, I also have a deep, personal interest in Indian society, traditions, and practices and always look forward to our bi-annual trip to visit my family and friends.

When I landed in Delhi’s international airport on December 18th 2012, though, I was greeted with riots in the streets. Women and men were uniting throughout the city as well as the entire country to demand an end to rape and violence against women.

Every 20 minutes, a woman is raped in India and most of these rapes go unheard and unreported. But a rape that occurred two days before my arrival on the …

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Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 11/3/2014

Texas and Its Abortion Laws: We Will Not Be Complacent About Our Reproductive Rights

On Thursday October 2nd, The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the state of Texas to enforce tough restrictions through the Texas House Bill 2 act. This act, which was released in 2013, includes changes such as requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles from where the abortion is completed, only allowing abortions in surgical centers, governing when abortion pills are taken, and banning abortions after 20 weeks.  In 2011, 46 of the 62 abortion providers were clinics and by 2013, only 22 clinics remained open. Through this prohibitive law, all but 8 abortion clinics were closed this month in Texas (the second most populous state in the country). Clinics currently remain in only a handful of areas, including San Antonio, Dallas, Fort …

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Feminism | Posted by Nova T on 07/23/2014

My Freedom Ride Moment

Whether it was the commencement speech given during my high school graduation last summer or comments made to me by adults throughout my first year of college, I have heard time and time again about how much “hope” adults have for our generation. But while adults seem to think that millennials are universally progressive, the terrible truth is that there is still a backwards, women-hating ideology and political program firmly in place in this day and age that jeopardizes every inch of progress past feminists have made towards liberation. Our generation can’t be complacent, but must fight to not only maintain but also actually ensure and expand the rights that women have already been demanding for years. We need all generations working together to ensure the safety and freedom of …

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Feminism | Posted by Mareike S on 03/20/2013

Thinking About Egg Donation

I recently saw a thought-provoking documentary about egg donation and its legal ramifications in Germany. The documentary followed several people: a couple that could not have their own children, a young woman who had some of her own eggs frozen, a family that had already gone through the process, and several doctors, lawmakers and people concerned with the ethics of egg donation.

The biggest problem with egg donation in Germany (besides the social taboo associated with donation, which is featured prominently in the subtitle of the documentary) is that it’s actually illegal and can be punished with up to 3 years in prison for the parents — or more accurately, the mother. For doctors, it’s not only actually performing the egg donation that is illegal, but also preparing women for …

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