Tag Archives: women

President Obama Signs the Tribal Law and Order Act

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Lynn Rosenthal

President Barack Obama, surrounded by members of congress and Native American leaders, signs the Tribal Law and Order Act during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House, on July 29, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Act will give tribal courts the authority to impose harsher sentences and will require the courts to keep a better record of declinations involving Indian Country among other provisions. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)


We encourage readers to watch the video of the signing, including the moving introduction from Lisa Marie Iyotte.

The President just signed the Tribal Law and Order Act — an important step to help the Federal Government better address the unique public safety challenges that confront tribal communities.

According to a Department of Justice report, Native American women suffer from violent crime at a rate three and a half times greater than the national average. Astoundingly, one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes. At the White House Tribal Nations Conference in November 2009, President Obama stated that this shocking figure “is an assault on our national conscience that we can no longer ignore.”

Last week, Congress took another important step to improve the lives of Native American women by passing the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. The Act includes a strong emphasis on decreasing violence against women in Native communities, and is one of many steps this Administration strongly supports to address the challenges faced by Native women.

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Filed under Change, Native Americans, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

Secretary Hillary Clinton Hosts A Breakfast for Women Entrepreneurs

Posted by: Audiegrl

Secretary Clinton hosts a Breakfast with Women Entrepreneurs Attending the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, at the Department of State.

A portion of Secretary Clinton’s remarks:

“Well, this project which we are so excited about is just one example of the ideas and the programs that we’ve announced over the last two days of the Entrepreneurship Summit. It’s what happens when we create networks and partnerships, when we share best practices and lessons learned, where we match the talents of people, particularly women, around the world with the opportunities that they can then seize for themselves.

So when you leave here today, I hope you will carry with you a renewed sense of possibility and a commitment to use your skill and energy to contribute to the growth and progress of your families, your communities, and your countries. Because I think – this is a biased statement, but (laughter) – I really believe that, together as women, we can and will help create a stronger, more stable, more secure, more prosperous, more peaceful world for ourselves and our children.”~Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary Clinton’s full remarks

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Filed under Economy, Hillary Rodham Clinton (Sec of State), Uncategorized, Women's Issues

The Biden’s Attend NCAA Women’s Women’s Final Four National Championship Game in San Antonio

Posted by: Audiegrl

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pose with the Connecticut Huskies and the national championship trophy as they celebrate after a 53-47 win over the Stanford Cardinal during the NCAA Women's Final Four Championship game at the Alamodome on April 6, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America)

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attended the women’s basketball championship game between Connecticut and Stanford on Tuesday night. He sat two rows from the Alamodome floor at center court with his two young granddaughters.

“I tell my daughter and my granddaughters they can do anything a boy can do,” Biden said during an interview with ESPN.

“I have two basketball players here. I’m looking for scholarships.”

It wasn’t clear whether Biden, a Delaware graduate, had a rooting interest, but he was impressed with Stanford’s early play against the unbeaten Huskies.

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Filed under Basketball, Dr. Jill Biden, Uncategorized, Vice-President Joe Biden

Vice-President Joe Biden in Peoria, IL: The Fight to Stop Violence Against Women Continues

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Lynn Rosenthal

Vice President Joe Biden visits Peoria on March 31, 2010 to speak at the 16th annual Partners in Peace event hosted by the Center for Prevention of Abuse at the Peoria Civic Center. (Photo credit Fred Zwicky/Journal Star)

This week, the Vice President took his commitment to ending violence against women to Peoria, Illinois where he spoke at the Center for the Prevention of Abuse’s Partners in Peace awards.

The 1100 member audience was mesmerized by the Vice President’s story about his early efforts to pass the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The first VAWA hearing was held on June 20, 1990, and over the next four years then-Senator Biden held moving hearings on domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

I found out that the problem was much deeper than I imagined,” Vice President Biden said, describing three obstacles that had to be overcome: the notion that domestic violence is a family matter; a culture that blames the victim; and the belief that if the woman didn’t report it, it must not have happened.

The Violence Against Women Act changed all that – sending resources to communities to improve the criminal justice response to abuse, creating tougher penalties for federal crimes, and bringing communities together to combat abuse. Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, domestic violence has dropped by 58%.

Vice President Joe Biden meets with local small business owners and workers Wednesday at the Spotted Cow during his visit to Peoria on March 31, 2010. The Vice President laughed as he learned that his ice cream was made just for him, a special flavor called Chip off the Old Biden. (Photo credit Fred Zwicky/Journal Star)

Despite the progress being made in reducing domestic violence across the country, the Vice President noted that there are still 2 million injuries and 1400 deaths to women each year. During the Vice President’s remarks on Wednesday, he said that the White House is stepping up its efforts in this arena, announcing an unprecedented $730 million in the President’s proposed FY2011 budget to shore up services, help victims find housing and legal assistance, and make sure every call for help is answered.

The Vice President pledged to continue his commitment to change attitudes and to “free women from the oppressive cultural norm that causes them in any way to feel they are responsible for or contributed to their own abuse.”

As one audience member said after the speech, the Vice President was “such a fitting representative for this issue.”

Lynn Rosenthal is the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women
Photo credits Fred Zwicky/Journal Star

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Filed under Illinois, Obama Administration, Raymond L. LaHood (Sec of Transportation), Vice-President Joe Biden, Women's Issues

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility

Posted by: Audiegrl

Small Business Owners, Workers, Business and Labor Leaders, and Experts Join Administration Officials to Discuss Workplace Practices for a Changing American Workforce

President Barack Obama addresses the closing session of the Forum for Workplace Flexibility in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building March 31, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Obama Administration held the forum to discuss workplace practices that allow working class to meet their jobs demands without sacrificing the needs of their families. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)

Today, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House Council on Women and Girls are hosting the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility to discuss the importance of creating workplace practices that allow America’s working men and women to meet the demands of their jobs without sacrificing the needs of their families.

Small business owners, business leaders, policy experts, workers and labor leaders are joining with senior administration officials today to share their ideas and strategies for making the workplace more flexible for American workers and families. The opening and closing sessions, as well as five breakout sessions focused on best practices and benefits for the American workplace and workforce, are streaming live on www.WhiteHouse.gov/live. In addition, much of the event is streaming on Facebook and Ustream, and the White House will include comments taken through these social networks in the feedback collected through the forum.

In conjunction with the forum, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers is releasing a report presenting an economic perspective on flexible workplace policies and practices. The report documents some of the changes in the U.S. workforce which have increased the need for flexibility in the workplace, including the increased number of women entering the labor force, the prevalence of families where all adults work, increasing eldercare responsibilities, and the rising importance of continuing education. It then examines the current state of flexible work arrangements and discusses the economic benefits of workplace flexibility – such as reduced absenteeism, lower turnover, improved health of workers, and increased productivity. The analysis is available online here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/files/documents/100331-cea-economics-workplace-flexibility.pdf.

“Workplace flexibility isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s an issue that affects the well-being of our families and the success of our businesses,” said President Obama. “It affects the strength of our economy – whether we’ll create the workplaces and jobs of the future that we need to compete in today’s global economy.”

“Flexible policies actually make employees more – not less – productive,” said Mrs. Obama. “Instead of spending time worrying about what’s happening at home, employees have the support and the peace of mind they need to concentrate at work which is good for their families – and the bottom line.”
The Office of Personnel Management is also announcing a pilot program to incorporate flexibility in the government to provide better, more efficient service for the American people – even in the face of snow storms and other emergencies. The pilot program will build on the cost savings telework provided during last winter’s snow storms and expand opportunities for federal employees, here in Washington and across America, to telework on a regular basis.

“Employers, including the federal government, will have to implement flexible work policies if they want to attract the best and the brightest,” said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls. ” The President is committed to making sure that the federal government can compete for talent because he knows that good people produce better work, which in turn, leads to better service for the American people.”

Shortly after taking office, the President signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is delivering relief to working families across the country, including tax credits and child care assistance for working families.

The President’s Budget for FY2011 builds on those initiatives with a series of investments to support caregivers for elderly relatives or family members with disabilities, to help families afford the cost of quality child care, to aid states wishing to establish paid leave funds, and to build the knowledge base about work-family policies.

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks about the importance of creating workplaces that allow workers to balance job and family as she opens the Forum of Workplace Flexibility. A panel discussion follows the First Lady’s remarks.

Read the Transcript

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Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Jobs, Labor, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Celebrating International Women’s Day: From Kabul to Washington, DC

Posted by: Audiegrl

Written by Mozhdah Jamalzadah

Mozhdah Jamalzadah

Mozhdah Jamalzadah

In August 2009, I performed at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC in celebration of Afghan Independence Day. At that event, I met Mr. Tim Nusraty, an Afghan-American who now works at the National Security Council at the White House. Many months later, Mr. Nusraty recommended me to perform at the White House on March 8, 2010 for International Women’s Day. When I learned that I was selected to perform, it was the second happiest day of my life. The first was the day I met President Barack Obama and his beautiful wife First Lady Michelle Obama. I have to say that meeting the President, the First Lady, and performing at the White House was surreal. I never thought in a million years that this dream would come true.

As an Afghan girl born in Kabul, Afghanistan and raised in Vancouver, Canada, I have made it my duty to fight for women’s rights and to promote education in Afghanistan. I decided that more than anything else, music would be the best way to do this. It was a long-term goal, and it involved a lot of time, dedication, and hard work, not to mention the many obstacles I would have to face to get there. I had never sung professionally in my life, and decided to start from scratch at the BC Conservatory of Music. Today, my lyrics are heard by millions of people throughout Afghanistan and the region.

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The song that I sang at the White House on March 8th was composed by my father and me to remember the young Afghan girls who were doused with acid in Kandahar City last year for going to school. The lyrics to the song are very powerful. Below is the translation to the lyrics of the Afghan song:

Afghan Girl

I’m a girl, I am an Afghan girl
I’m the daughter of the land of braves
Don’t break my wings, let me fly
Don’t break my crown, let me think
I want to be as free as a gazelle
I love my homeland just as Malali did
Sing my songs just like a nightingale in the gardens
Express myself the same as Zainab, Nazo, and Mehri in poetry
Don’t break my wings, let me fly
Don’t break my crown, let me think
I’ve a smile on my face like a flower
And live in open green fields
My heart is filled with love for my homeland
I’ll sing songs and poems for my land

Words can’t describe what I felt when I was standing in the East Room performing at the White House. I was so grateful. I now believe that dreams can come true and goals can be reached. My mother was with me during the performance and was more than lucky to sit next to the First Lady. Halfway through my performance I noticed Mrs. Obama holding my mother’s hand and I was so happy I almost forgot my lyrics. The First Lady is such an inspiration to women around the world, and I am thankful we have such an amazing role model.

Later that day after my performance, I was approached by Afghan media, and they all told me in great excitement that I had made history in Afghanistan and that never in the history of Afghanistan had there been a performance at the White House by an Afghan artist. Even the Afghan journalists who interviewed me became very emotional. I didn’t realize the impact my performance at the White House would have on my Afghan people. Recently I was offered to host my own show on 1TV in Kabul, Afghanistan. This show focuses on family matters, women’s issues, and the treatment of children. I jumped at the opportunity and moved back to Kabul. 1TV is the platform for me to spread awareness for the women of Afghanistan.

Thank you President Obama and Madame First Lady for this amazing opportunity. I would also like to thank Afghan Ambassador Jawad, Ms. Columbia Barrosse, and Mr. Nusraty.

Mozhdah Jamalzadah is an Afghan singer, entertainer and model from Kabul, Afghanistan

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Filed under Afghanistan, Music, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues

First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Present the 2010 Women of Courage Awards

Posted by: Audiegrl

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) acknowledges guests as First Lady Michelle Obama (R) looks on during the fourth annual Award for International Women of Courage ceremony at the State Department March 10, 2010 in Washington, DC. The ceremony paid tribute to 10 outstanding women leaders worldwide. (Photos by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)

First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will hosted the annual International Women of Courage Awards on March 10, 2010 at the Department of State.

To mark International Women’s Day, the annual International Women of Courage Award recognizes women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and advancement. This is the only Department of State award that pays tribute to emerging women leaders worldwide, and offers a unique opportunity to recognize those who work in the field of international women’s issues.



Award Winners

Shukria AsilShukria Asil
Afghanistan
Promoting government responsiveness to the needs of women.
Biography


Colonel Shafiqa QuraishiColonel Shafiqa Quraishi
Afghanistan
Integrating women into the government and police force.
Biography


Androula HenriquesAndroula Henriques
Cyprus
Fighting human trafficking.
Biography


Sonia PierreSonia Pierre
Dominican Republic
Ending discrimination based on country of origin and the human rights abuses of statelessness.
Biography


Shadi SadrShadi Sadr
Iran
Advocating for women’s legal rights and an end to execution by stoning.
Biography


Ann NjoguAnn Njogu
Kenya
Seeking social transformation and at the forefront of reforms in Kenya.
Biography


Dr. Lee Ae-ranDr. Lee Ae-ran
Republic of Korea
Promoting human rights in North Korea and aiding the refugee community in the Republic of Korea.
Biography


Jansila MajeedJansila Majeed
Sri Lanka
Strengthening rights for internally displaced persons.
Biography


Sister Marie Claude Naddaf (a.k.a. Sister Marie Claude)Sister Marie Claude Naddaf (a.k.a. Sister Marie Claude)
Syria
Working for social services for women.
Biography


Jestina MukokoJestina Mukoko
Zimbabwe
Documenting human rights abuses.
Biography

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Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton (Sec of State), Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Women in the Military, Women's Issues, Young Women

Little-Known Black History Fact: Lois Mailou Jones

Posted by BuellBoy

Lois Mailou Jones in 1936

Lois Mailou Jones in 1936

Textile artist Lois Mailou Jones was a Harlem Renaissance artist; in fact, she was one of the longest living members of the Harlem Renaissance.

Jones found her inspiration in Martha’s Vineyard as a teen. As her interest grew, she decided to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1937, learning textile design.

Though a cultured profession, textile artists of her day were not excluded from racism. Sometimes she was required to clean the studio in order to us it. At one point, Jones saw her textile work hanging in a boutique. After introducing herself as the creator of the design, the owner told her a colored girl could not have possibly made such a beautiful design. After enduring more discrimination, Jones found herself in Paris, where she was accepted. It was there that she worked with Josephine Baker, Albert Smith and Emile Bernard.

Lois Mailou Jones

Lois Mailou Jones

Wishing to find her place in America, Jones entered “whites only” art contests using the face of her white colleague to make a name for herself. She connected with greats like with Mary McCleod Bethune, Arthur Schomburg, Alan Locke, Zora Neale Hurston and Danny Glover.

She took her expertise to an HBCU – the one place she was allowed to teach – and taught at Howard University for 47 years.

Before she died in 1998, Jones presented her work to President Bill and First Lady Clinton. She now lays to rest in Martha’s Vineyard, where it all began.

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Filed under African-Americans, Art, Artists, Black History Month, Civil Rights Movement, Culture, Entertainment, History, Holidays, Presidents, Uncategorized, US, William (Bill) J. Clinton, Women's Issues

Little-Known Black History Fact: Selena Sloan Butler

Posted by BuellBoy

Selena Sloan Butler

Selena Sloan Butler

Selena Sloan Butler was the past president of Georgia Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers 1919-1926. Following the success of the National Congress of Mothers PTA, African-American teacher and Spelman College graduate Selena Sloan Butler heard the call, so on May 7, 1926, the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) was formed, with Sloan holding the title of its first national president.

Butler was dedicated to teaching. When her community lacked a kindergarten for black children, she held classes in her living room.
Butler’s goal was to create an organization that held interest in all children, regardless of color or social status. The first local chapter was at Yonge Elementary school in Atlanta in 1911 and grew from there. However, because of segregation, the Colored Mothers PTA would work independently of the larger National PTA until 1970.

Young Street Parent Teachers Association Atlanta 1919

Young Street Parent Teachers Association Atlanta 1919

An activist in the community, Butler co-founded the Spelman College Alumnae Association, organized the Phyllis Wheatley Branch of the Atlanta YWCA and was the first president of the Georgia Federation of Colored Women’s Club. From 1929 to 1930, she served under President Herbert Hoover’s cabinet on the Child Health and Protection committee.

Yonge Elementary was renamed in honor of her husband, Dr. Henry Rutherford Butler, and Selina Sloan Butler’s portrait now hangs in the Georgia State Capitol building.

Selana Butler died October 1964.

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Filed under Black History Month, Children, Civil Rights Movement, Culture, Education, HBCU, Herbert Hoover, History, Holidays, Presidents, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, US, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women

Cancer Treatment and Health Care Reform

Blogged by: BarbaraOBrien1

One argument you may hear against health care reform concerns cancer survival rates. The United States has higher cancer survivor rates than countries with national health care systems, we’re told. Doesn’t this mean we should keep what we’ve got and not change it?

Certainly cancer survival rates are a critical issue for people suffering from the deadly lung mesothelioma cancer. So let’s look at this claim and see if there is any substance to it.

First, it’s important to understand that “cancer survival rate” doesn’t mean the rate of people who are cured of a cancer. The cancer survival rate is the percentage of people who survive a certain type of cancer for a specific amount of time, usually five years after diagnosis.

For example, according to the Mayo Clinic, the survivor rate of prostate cancer in the United States is 98 percent. This means that 98 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive five years later. However, this statistic does not tell us whether the men who have survived for five years still have cancer or what number of them may die from it eventually.

Misunderstanding of the term “survivor rate” sometimes is exploited to make misleading claims. For example, in 2007 a pharmaceutical company promoting a drug used to treat colon cancer released statistics showing superior survival rates for its drug over other treatments. Some journalists who used this data in their reporting assumed it meant that the people who survived were cured of cancer, and they wrote that the drug “saved lives.” The drug did extend the lives of of patients, on average by a few months. However, the mortality rate for people who used this drug — meaning the rate of patients who died of the disease — was not improved.

But bloggers and editorial writers who oppose health care reform seized these stories about “saving lives,” noting that this wondrous drug was available in the United States for at least a year before it was in use in Great Britain. Further, Britain has lower cancer survival rates than the U.S. This proved, they said, the superiority of U.S. health care over “socialist” countries.

This is one way propagandists use data to argue that health care in the United States is superior to countries with government-funded health care systems. They selectively compare the most favorable data from the United States with data from the nations least successful at treating cancer. A favorite “comparison” country is Great Britain, whose underfunded National Health Service is struggling.

It is true that the United States compares very well in the area of cancer survival rates, but other countries with national health care systems have similar results.

For example, in 2008 the British medical journal Lancet Oncology published a widely hailed study comparing cancer survival rates in 31 countries. Called the CONCORD study, the researchers found that United States has the highest survival rates for breast and prostate cancer. However, Japan has the highest survival for colon and rectal cancers in men, and France has the highest survival for colon and rectal cancers in women. Canada and Australia also ranked relatively high for most cancers. The differences in the survival data for these “best” countries is very small, and is possibly caused by discrepancies in reporting of data and not the treatment result itself.

And it should be noted that Japan, France, Canada and Australia all have government-funded national health care systems. So, there is no reason to assume that changing the way health care is funded in the U.S. would reduce the quality of cancer care.

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Filed under Austrailia, Cancer, Culture, England, France, Health, Health Care Reform, Japan, Medicine, Mesothelioma, News, Opinions, Uncategorized, Women's Issues, World