Global News files


Exam Sociology of Women (both sections)
Sociology of Women (Writing Intensive)
Sociology of Women ( W & O)
Women in the World (WMST4050 & INTL 3000)
Global News files
Assignments for WMST Internet exercises
Poster session for Sociology of Women writing class

These articles have appeared in various publications around the world

Women work for a  chance for peace in wartorn middle east

Sat, 06 Sep 2003
23:15:17 +0200
By Gila Svirsky

Off with their heads!

While a bunch of Israeli and Palestinian women were
hugging and kissing outside Tulkarm today, the Israeli
government dropped three 250 kg (550 lb) bombs on an
apartment building in Gaza, trying (unsuccessfully) to
kill the ten Hamas leaders meeting inside. 'We were
only trying to send them a message,' said the news
commentator on Israeli TV tonight. 'We were trying to
kill them,' corrected the anchor, 'but screwed up.'

Meanwhile, Abu Mazen resigned and Israelis have begun
'the countdown' to quote more TV talk, on the life of
Arafat. Will Israel finally make the kill or not- All
agree that it's only a matter of time.

This kind of chatter about extra-judicial killing - this
year alone, Israel has assassinated 110 Palestinians,
during the course of which it killed another 73 unlucky
bystanders - goes on in a country which does not have
capital punishment. But that's a technicality.

A better tale from Tulkarm

Tulkarm is a Palestinian town in the West Bank on just
the other side of the Green Line (1967 border) and one
of the victims of the infamous Separation Wall now being
constructed. This terrible wall has already trapped
12,000 people between it and the Green Line, cutting
them off from their communities, and has stolen the
land, olive trees, and water sources from tens of
thousands of others. We went there today to call for an
end to its construction, and for Israel to leave the
territories altogether.

We were 500 women - half gathered on the Palestinian
side of the Tulkarm checkpoint, and the other half on
the other side (I almost wrote 'the Israeli side', but
the checkpoint is actually inside the Occupied
Territories). On both sides were a large but uncounted
number of 'international' women - those who come from
other countries to help us get to peace in the Mideast.

The demonstration had been organized by the Coalition of
Women for Peace, on the Israeli side, and the women of
the Tulkarm branch of the People's Party, on the
Palestinian side. We were also joined by multi-national
contingents from CPT and the Ecumenical Accompaniers -
Christians doing peace work in Palestine; Code Pink -
the US-based women's protest organization; and
individual women (and a few men). Buses came from
throughout Israel.

At the checkpoint, we could see the group on the
Palestinian side, roughly 50 meters (about 150 feet)
away. Both sides held signs calling for an end to the
Wall and the root cause of the conflict - the
occupation. As we approached the checkpoint, we were
rebuffed by a group of soldiers, clearly angry at our
presence and signs. Within seconds of our reaching
them, they pushed and then struck several of our group -
aiming for the men, but also catching some of the women
who sought to get between them. Their officers arrived
quickly and managed to stop their blows, but a moment
later we saw a teargas canister explode near the
Palestinian side. We were relieved that the
Palestinians did not scatter, and no further shots rang
out. The women remained firmly in sight across the
military domain.

A pre-arranged group of women approached the officers on
our side to negotiate our passage across. Matters had
flared much too quickly, and our negotiators spoke
calmly, explaining our peaceful intentions in meeting
with Palestinian women. Our case seems to have been
buttressed by 10 very large cartons that we had brought
for the women - school supplies for Palestinian
children. After talking and talking and making us wait
in the hot sun, satisfying themselves that they had
displayed their control over our movements, the officers
gave permission for 30 of us to cross the checkpoint and
meet the Palestinians.

I was one of the lucky ones to go across, and when we
reached the other side, there was hugging and kissing,
although most of us did not know each other. Battery-
powered megaphones allowed both sides short speeches:
'We share your hatred for the wall, your desire to end
the occupation and launch an era of peace,' and 'We
welcome you to our town, we thank you for the gifts for
our children, we view ourselves as sisters in the
struggle for peace', followed by brief flute playing and
a few rounds of songs that never quite got going. We
were all a little shy after the first outburst of

I watched the cartons get piled inside and out of one
small, dilapidated car that drove off toward town, where
I imagined eager little hands would rip off the plastic
and find a colorful schoolbag inside, filled with
notebooks, pencils, colored pencils, an eraser,
sharpener, and ruler. And perhaps their parents would
read them the letter inserted into each bag: 'We,
Israeli women, send this to you with good wishes for a
successful school year, and the sincere hope that your
studies will not be interrupted by bullets or tanks."

Then we all went home and listened to the news, made by
people who spend their time planning encounters of
another kind.

At the Italian Riviera

It was good to get recharged last week at the
International Women in Black Congress held in Marina di
Massa, Italy, where 400 women from dozens of countries
shared their pain and their strategies. Despite the
heat and intense humidity, there was nothing limp about
4 days of sessions among women peace activists. In
addition to contingents from all the European countries
(including a busload of 50 women from the Balkans),
women actually managed to arrive from Iraq, Afghanistan,
Colombia, Palestine, and other war-torn regions. Two
demonstrations capped the events - one outside a US army
base in Italy, where the soldiers fervently concentrated
on their softball to avoid looking at our anti-war signs
outside the gate. And the other at the resort town of
Viareggio, to remind vacationers that sunblock prevents
only some problems from getting through. They didn't
look interested.

From Jerusalem,

Gila Svirsky

Check out this website for international news on women
World Birth Magazine:  Listening to leading women and children on global issues.
World Birth Magazine is a new bi-monthly magazine that will feature cutting-edge news and analysis from women writers, visionaries, journalists, community leaders, and children around the world.  Unlike most international media sources, World Birth chooses to use a language of possibility and partnership when talking about major world issues. Additionally, The health and well being of children is always at the center of conversations and proposals in World Birth.
World Birth Magazine is currently soliciting current international analysis pieces, feature articles, literary essays, photography, and commentary for our premiere issue:  "Finding True Global Security"
Copy should be thoughtful and provocative, provide thorough coverage of the topic, and inspire readers by highlighting forces that are working for solutions. We will favor stories that emphasize creativity, courage, innovation, restoration, efficiency, transition, transformation, and collaboration. We will also favor queries from journalists and writers who are from the regions they are reporting on.
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The United Nations NGO conference
"Human Security & Dignity: Fulfilling the Promise of the United Nations"
New York
September 8-10, 2003

In an effort to make the proceedings of the 56th Annual
Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) "Human
Security & Dignity: Fulfilling the Promise of the United
Nations" available to a broader public, the United Nations
Department of Public Information (DPI) will web cast the
Conference  plenary  sessions  through  the  United
Nations homepage for the first time. The Conference, the
premier NGO event at United Nations headquarters, takes place
from 8 to 10 September 2003. About 2,000 NGO representatives
that work with the United Nations are expected to attend.

The interactive web site will enable NGOs and the general
public to live access of audio and video web casts through
their personal computers. A dynamic feature of the web cast
is an open discussion forum designed for each plenary session
where NGOs will connect globally and will share comments on
issues related to human security and dignity.

As the United Nations gears up for the World Summit on the
Information Society (in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003),
and seeks to close the technological gap between nations,
this groundbreaking initiative will bring NGO's worldwide
together to share their valuable insights live.

The web site will become active to the NGO network on Friday,
5 September through the United Nations DPI/NGO Section web page or NGO/DPI Executive
Committee's web page

One woman's view of war: Who's Counting the Dead in Iraq?

By Helen Thomas

September 5, 2003, The Miami Herald

Remember the enemy body counts during the Vietnam War? Some of those U.S. tabulations
were highly exaggerated in an effort to show gains on the battlefield.

Well, we don't do that anymore.

The Pentagon has meticulously reported the American fatality toll in Iraq, now up to
286. That number includes 183 deaths from hostile fire since the start of the war. It
also includes 148 dead since May 1 when President Bush declared the end of major combat
operations. A Pentagon spokesman said that 1,105 U.S. service personnel have been
wounded since the war began.

That kind of numerical precision doesn't apply throughout Iraq. Trying to find the
death count among Iraqis has proved to be mission impossible.

I asked Pentagon officials: ''How many Iraqis have been killed in this war?'' The
answers were given ''on background'' -- meaning that the Pentagon spokesmen requested
anonymity. The spokesmen were honest. They clearly were following orders from the
policymakers when they replied that the Iraqi fatality toll was simply not our concern.

The reply to my first Pentagon call was: ``We don't track them (Iraqi dead).''

Weeks later I pursued the question and was told by a Defense Department official:
''They don't count. They are not important,'' meaning the casualty figures.

I later asked for an explanation of why there has been no attempt to find out the
number of Iraqi war dead. A Pentagon officer patiently responded: ``In combat
operations, we have objectives. We don't have an objective to kill people. Our
objective was to remove Saddam Hussein from Iraq.''

''If the Iraqis laid down their arms,'' he added, ''there was no problem. But if we
have to go in by force to kill them, the numbers don't make a difference. It's not
something we are concerned with.'' He said that U.S. forces used precision weapons to
minimize the casualties.

''We achieved our military objective. We did not count'' the enemy dead, he said. ``It
would be difficult at best to determine who was killed when dealing with soldiers on
the ground.''

Various news organizations have come up with estimates of Iraqi dead that range from
1,700 to 3,000 persons. The heavy tonnage of bombs dropped on Iraq probably raised the
civilian death toll higher.

An official at the U.S. Army Center of Military History acknowledged that the question
of enemy fatalities ``is a bit sensitive to our people. We just don't face up to how
many people were lost.''

Books at the history center refer to 50,000 Americans killed in World War I and some
250,000 Americans in World War II. Germany lost 1.8 million soldiers in World War I,
and, as our archenemy in World War II, lost about 3.25 million people.

We do know, however, that in the Vietnam War 58,198 Americans died -- and many
thousands more Vietnamese.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan was asked this week whether President Bush
knows how many people were killed and wounded in Iraq -- ''not just Americans but the
total people killed and wounded in Iraq since the beginning of the war.'' He dodged the
question, simply saying that Bush is ``well aware of the sacrifices that our troops
have made and the sacrifices that their families are making with our troops over there
in Iraq.''

On March 18, two days before the U.S. invasion, Barbara Bush had an interview with ABC-
TV's Diane Sawyer.

''Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna
happen?'' Mrs. Bush declared. ''It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful
mind on something like that?'' Maybe she is right, but I don't think so.

If we do not know or care about the human cost of war for the winners and losers,
America will be forever diminished in the eyes of the world.

Copyright 1996-2003 Knight Ridder.

Take the Survey

Let your voice be heard on women's issues


The Center for Women's Global Leadership is involved in a process of strategic consultations, marking the 10th anniversary of the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights (1993), where women's rights were recognized as human rights and violence against women as a human rights abuse. We want to examine both progress and obstacles faced in advancing women's human rights over the past ten years, look at the current world situation, and brainstorm about new possibilities in terms of strategies and venues for our future work. We will be looking broadly at women's human rights, but also focus more particularly on how to advance the work on violence against women in terms of its linkages to human rights, militarism, globalization, development, and security.

We are initiating our consultation process by inviting you to share your reflections, in order to spark thinking and include as many women's voices as possible. We are asking you to register your opinions and help shape the future of women's human rights by completing our survey (see link below) by September 15, 2003. Your input will help us mark our progress and identify challenges and next steps for advancing women's human rights. It will also contribute to making a more visible acknowledgement that the women's human rights movement is at a critical junction of celebrating victories, facing challenges and assessing next moves.

After September 15, all responses will be tabulated and analyzed, and a report will be available on our website. Please be assured that your reflections will be confidential. Your personal information will be used solely for identification purposes and permission will be requested for any quotations.

It should take you only 10-15 minutes to answer these questions. Please provide specific and brief answers, focused on women's human rights. We are looking forward to your personal reflections based on your work and area of expertise.

Please access the survey by clicking on the following link:

We encourage you to fill out the questionnaire on the web, by clicking on the above link. The survey is also attached in a word document format, should you wish to send us your reflections via fax or email. You can fax the completed questionnaire to (732) 932-1180, or email it to

Thank you for your contribution to this important historical moment for the future of women's human rights.

INSTRAW News / Noticias del INSTRAW / Nouvelles de INSTRAW E-Newsletter September 2003

Table of Contents











**ECOSOC resolution on INSTRAW** The 2003 substantive session of ECOSOC adopted a resolution [E/2003/L.44] on INSTRAW entitled "Revitalization and strengthening of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women". This resolution amends the statute of the Institute in order to replace the Board of Trustees with an Executive Board. Two governmental representatives from each of the five regional groups of the United Nations will serve in their national capacities as members of the Executive Board.



**Professional Management Training Programme** Each month a new four-week programme is offered by the International Training Centre for Women (ITW) in The Netherlands. Tailor-made programmes can also be arranged to meet the specific training needs of middle-management groups from one organization. , E-mail:

**Gender MBA** The International Training Centre for Women (ITW) in the Netherlands offers its Gender MBA programme for all women interested in upgrading their management skills. An international staff of professors from France, Germany, Indonesia and London (U.K.) offer a special programme for women seeking an international career. http:// , E-mail:




**Women Included!** The first International Women Without Borders Conference will take place 13-15 November 2003 in Vienna under the theme "Women Included! Men can change the world, but can they rebuild it? Advancing the female skill set in the interest of development". The substantive work of the conference will take place in working groups that will explore the situations in Africa, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, and Israel and Palestine.

=509 , E-mail:

**Gender and Organizational Change in the Middle East/Maghreb Context** The Centre for Research and Training On Development (CRTD) established in Beirut, Lebanon offers this regional training workshop from 18 to 22 October 2003. As part of the Machreq/Maghreb Gender Linking & Information Project, the workshop aims to provide: in-depth knowledge of the concepts of gender and development and how these permeate organizational growth and dynamics; analysis of organizations from a gender perspective; skills in using organizational change frameworks

(ACCEPT) to assess, plan and evaluate organizational change processes and manage resistance to gender and to change; and opportunities for sharing relevant experiences and materials among participants from different countries in the Middle East region. Ms Georgina Ashworth (founder and president of CHANGE UK) will be the course facilitator. , E-mail:

**The Role of Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality** This Expert Group Meeting will be held in Brasilia, Brazil from 21 to 24 October 2003 and is sponsored by the Government of Brazil and DAW in collaboration with ILO and UNAIDS. The Meeting will form part of the DAW's preparation for the forty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women which will address this topic as one of its thematic issues. The specific focus of the meeting will be on the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality in the world of work and in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. , E-mail:

**Gender Training Course - Women, Men and Development** This course will be held 20-27 March 2004 in Bangkok, Thailand. The course focuses on increased understanding of gender equality concepts and gaining practical skills in gender analysis, gender planning, gender mainstreaming and gender auditing/budgeting. The course is conducted in English and teaches gender concepts and skills as applied in the context of Southeast Asia. Participants from Indochina (Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam) and Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia and

Philippines) are encouraged to participate. Deadline for application is 30 November 2003. , E-mail:

**Women's Studies in the New Millennium: Does the future belong to us?** The Center for Women's Studies of the Eastern Mediterranean University in Turkey will host this first international conference to be held 29-30 April 2004. , E-mail:

**Conference: Gender, Development and Public Policy in an Era of

Globalization** The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Institute of Social Studies (The Netherlands) and the Centers of Development and Inter-Disciplinary Gender Studies of the University of Leeds (UK) sponsor this Conference to be held 11-12 May 2004 in Bangkok, Thailand. Among the themes to be examined are: Gender, conflict, migration and human security; Gender, human rights and social policy; Gender, economic development, technology and enterprise; and Gender, environmental resource management. , E-mail:



**Cities for Women** Women & Environments International Magazine has issued a call for submissions from North, South, aboriginal and minority communities from around the world. They seek analyses, theories, cross cultural comparisons, creative initiatives, projects, processes, poetry and art that address women's concerns/needs in creating communities which better serve women and their multiple roles and responsibilities. Among the suggested topics are: housing, community planning, services, transportation, sustainability, governance and urban design. Deadline for indication of interest/abstract by 1 October 2003. Manuscripts due by 15 January 2004. , E-mail:

**Gendered Impact of the Current Wave of Globalization on Health** The Centre for Research in Women's Health (CRWH) in partnership with the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Institute of Gender and Health, Fogarty International Centre and the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health announces this call for case studies. The Globalization Gender & Health partners are currently drafting a discussion paper which will discuss the findings from a critical synthesis of a broad range of literature on globalization, gender and health and also will incorporate insights from diverse groups. The purpose of this initiative is to formulate a global research and training agenda for the impact of globalization on gender and health. At this time they invite submissions of relevant case studies from different countries and regions (particularly developing or low income countries) that highlight the positive and/or negative differential impact the current wave of globalization has had on the health of women/girls and men/boys as outlined in the report. Deadline for submissions is 1 October 2003. , E-mail:

**Society of information and gender: a space of equity** New Millennium Women's Network, in preparation for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), has issued a call for papers on gender and new technologies to be presented at "ExpoSolidaria Patagonia 2003" which will be held from 29 October to 2 November 2003 in Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut Province in Argentina. Possible themes include: Gender, speech and image in ICTs; Cyberfeminism and Cyberculture; Information Society and women's organizations a means for making gender visible; Gender, development and ICTs; Groups, networks, forums and websites - women's relations in the virtual community; and Internet - a means of democratizing gender relations. Papers should not exceed 10 pages (double-spaced). They should be able to be read within 20 minutes or less. Abstracts should be submitted before 12 September 2003.


**Gender, Development and Public Policy in an Era of Globalization** This conference will be held in Bangkok, Thailand on 11-12 May 2004. The conference organizers invites papers for four panels that will deal with the following themes: Gender, conflict, migration and human security; Gender, human rights and social policy; Gender, economic development, technology and enterprise; and Gender, environmental resource management. Deadline for abstracts is 7 October 2003. Final papers due by March 2004.are , E-mail:



**Draft guidelines on ethical participatory research with HIV positive

women** The International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW) believes that HIV positive women are uniquely placed to contribute their knowledge, skills and experience to all research conducted on this issue as well as to research exploring more effective ways of preventing further transmission of the HIV virus. Because much current research ignores gender-related differences with regard to transmission as well as the effects of the research process itself on the psychological and economic well-being of the individual women concerned, ICW has recently developed draft ethical guidelines. and categories for classifying participatory research protocols for consideration in developing socioeconomic research programmes. Any comments to the draft should be submitted before 1 October 2003. , E-mail:

**Women 2000 and Beyond: Women, nationality and citizenship** This publication from the UN Division for the Advancement of Women discusses discrimination against women in nationality laws by examining laws that differentiate between women and men in the acquisition and retention of nationality, as well as in relation to the nationality of their children. The text is available online in English and Spanish. Printed copies may be ordered via e-mail. - English - Spanish




**APC WNSP and GKP Gender and ICT Awards** The APC Women's Networking Support Programme (WNSP) and the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) have made available Gender and ICT Awards which aim to honor and bring international recognition to the innovative and effective projects by women to use ICTs for the promotion of gender equality and/or women's empowerment. They are accepting applications until 10 September 2003 and applications may now be submitted online. The project website will become a knowledge base of outstanding gender and ICT initiatives that can be shared between and among communities and regions. , E-mail:




**Legislative and Policy Associate - Center for Health and Gender

Equity** The Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) is a U.S.-based independent non-profit reproductive health and rights organization. They currently seek candidates for the position of Legislative and Policy Associate. Among the responsibilities of the position are: assisting in the development and implementation of CHANGE advocacy strategy; building; maintaining a presence in the Executive and Legislative Branches; and developing advocacy materials. Deadline for submitting resumes is 8 September 2003. , E-mail:

**Call for Consultants - Kvinnoforum** Kvinnoforum based in Sweden is currently searching for consultants for a major EU project related to gender training. The positions available include: Team Leader/Project Manager (long-term, 30 months); Long-term consultants (10-30 months); and Education and Development experts with focus on training (long-term and short-term). Languages: fluency in English or French or Spanish. Knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese for education and gender training experts is highly desirable. Other additional languages are an asset. Deadline for submission of CV is 4 September 2003. , E-mail:



**Gender Sourcebook: Economic Reform and Development of Market System** Developed by GTZ, this website provides much information on Economic Reform and Development of Market System, such as gender tools and guidelines, gender statistics and gender-related country information, gender glossaries and annotated bibliographies. , E-mail:


Click on this site to see how women in various countries score the Bush administration's treatment of women. 

Try the Maquila Solidarity Network at .

This site provides you with information on women working in sweat shops in Latin America

The equal rites awards By Ellen Goodman, 8/24/2003

WE GATHER HERE once more to celebrate Aug. 26, the
anniversary of the passage of women's suffrage, with a
time-honored tradition. Our one-woman jury dispenses the
annual Equal Rites Awards to those very special folks
who worked hard over the past 12 months to set back the
cause of equality. The awards are always the subject of
intense competition. But never more so than this year
when the world seemed to divide between international
fundamentalists who want to keep women veiled and
Internet spammers who want to unveil them on your
computer screen.

But enough of that. It's time for the envelopes, please.

We must begin with the Boys Will Be Playboys Award,
which goes to the patriarch of soft porn, Hugh Hefner,
on the 50th anniversary of his magazine. In celebrating
a half-century of centerfolds without ever getting out
of his bathrobe, Hef said, "I was trying to give sex a
good name." Like, say, sexism? As a reward, we ship a
new pair of pants and a jacket to the mansion so Hef can
dress up and grow up.

While we are talking about an appetite for nudeness, let
us dispense the Our Bodies, Our Buffets Award. This goes
to Manhattan's Raw Catering, a company that uses naked
women as serving platters for sushi and other uncooked
delicacies. For this eating disorder we give them three
stars for bad taste.

Taste? Did we say taste? Rap artists have a lock on the
hotly contested Misogyny in Music Award. This year it
goes to Ludacris, whose tamer lyrics warn a girl: "I've
been drankin' and bustin' two/ and I been thankin' of
bustin' you/Upside ya . . . forehead." Well, you get the
drift and he gets the prize for making abuse into an art

At least they didn't make it into a marching song.

The real Battle of the Sexes Prize is flying to the Air
Force Academy. While women were fighting in Iraq against
the enemy, cadets were fighting the hostile environment
in which sexual assault was a form of hazing and women
who reported rape were penalized for having sex. We send
the academy an old and tattered peace symbol and best
wishes for reform.

Anyone want a Battle of the Species Prize? The People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals win for an ad
campaign that compared the serial killing of 15 women to
the "serial killings going on every day in slaughter
houses and on pig farms." We would send PETA the missing
link, except it may be the missing link.

While we are on the links, let's award the Superstar of
Sexism Award to two in the most gentlemanly -- and we
used that word literally -- of sports: golf. Hootie
Johnson fought to keep Augusta National Golf Club free
from the polluting influence of women members while
Vijay Singh hoped Annika Sorenstam would miss the cut
for a PGA event "because she doesn't belong out here."
We award them both a bad case of the yips.

On to the Dubious Equality Award, bestowed annually on a
woman who has labored for the most unworthy bit of
progress. No one deserves this honor more than Huda
Salih Mahdi Ammash, aka Mrs. Anthrax, who is cited as
the head of Iraq's biological weapons program. She won a
place for herself as the Five of Hearts in the most
wanted pack of cards. We can't trump that.

As for that other card, the Knight in Shining Armor
Prize goes to George Bush for many reasons, but
especially for that moment when he referred to Laura as
"the lump in the bed." Be still my heart. We send him a
suggestion . . . to send her roses.

Each year we hand out the Blind Justice Award to the
most deserving judge. Today, however, we give it to a
judicial nominee, the most sexist in a highly
competitive field. James Leon Holmes, the former head of
Arkansas Right to Life, opined that the duty of a wife
is "to subordinate herself to her husband." Holmes's
nomination has stalled and we bless him with a lifetime
tenure in legal limbo.

Meanwhile, the Raging Hormonal Imbalance Award goes
overseas for the first time to Seiichi Ota, a Japanese
lawmaker. Speaking at a conference on his country's
declining population, he defended a gang rape because
"the people who do it are still virile and that is OK. I
think that might make them close to normal." We send
foreign aid to help our Japanese sisters reduce the
population of politicians by one.

And while we are in a rage, let's give the Post-Feminist
Booby Prize to radio shock-jock Tom Leykis, best known
for his advice on how to get "more tail for less money."
Leykis justified broadcasting the name of Kobe Bryant's
accuser as a feminist strike against a "paternalistic
policy." We offer him our petit-point pillow inscribed:
With Friends Like These . . .

While we are broadcasting, the Media Ms-Adventure Award
goes to the folks at Spike TV, the new all-Mars, no-
Venus cable station, for their first female star. Who is
this cableman's dream gal? Truly a cartoon figure.
Erotica Jones is an exotic dancer by night, a sexy
superhero by later night, and we send Spike some anti-

Another prescription? Let's not forget the Male-Practice
Award. At a hearing, Dr. Harry J. Metropol dismissed as
frivolous the complaints of a woman whose breasts were
removed by mistake. Why, said Metropol, with breast
surgery she'd be better than new: "It won't be National
Geographic, hanging to her knees. It'll be nice, firm
breasts." Some nice fresh replacements for the doc's
private parts will be wending their way. Happy landing.

And while we are male-practicing, what can we give
Louisville surgeon Michael Guiler, who branded his
patient's uterus with the initials of his alma mater? A
post-doc in sensitivity training? How about the Dissed
Alumni Prize?

This ERA committee usually gives out a Patriarch of the
Year Award. Due to special circumstances, however, we
have replaced it with a Daddy's Little Girl Award to two
daughters of Saddam Hussein. Their murderous father even
had their husbands killed, but these girlchilds still
describe him "a very good father. Loving. Has a big
heart." For that ms-guided loyalty we send them
videotapes of Daddy Dearest's victims.

We still have room on our dance card for the
International Ayatollah Award. It goes to the Islamic
court in Nigeria that sentenced Amina Lawal to death by
stoning for adultery. As this young mother appeals her
fate -- due Aug. 27 -- the alleged man goes scot-free
because Koranic law requires four witnesses to prove a
man guilty. We send a DNA testing kit and cast the first
stone at the court.

Finally, the Ms-Ad-Ventures Award. The prize for the
worst ad, always competitive, goes to the folks selling
Barely There underwear. These ads feature a young, buff
model in her skivvies calling herself Susan B. Anthony.
What would the redoubtable Ms. Anthony say about her
historic role? Dear Susan, when we put you on a
pedestal, we didn't know you'd be barely there.

Ellen Goodman's e-mail address is

A third collection of reports, Violence Against Women: 10
Reports/Year 2002 has been published by the World Organisation
against Torture (OMCT) within the framework of its Violence against
Women Programme.

Over the past year, OMCT submitted ten alternative country reports
to the five "mainstream" human rights treaty bodies on:
Czech Republic, Moldova, Poland, Spain, Sudan, Togo, Uzbekistan,
Venezuela, and Yemen. Besides being the victims of violence
perpetrated by state agents and armed groups, women are frequently
victims of physical and psychological violence within the domestic
sphere and within the community. This violence by the hands of
private individuals may include; domestic violence, crimes committed
in the name of honour, female genital mutilation, rape and sexual
assault, and trafficking into forced prostitution or forced labour.

The reports show that while there are some encouraging signs of
progress in the development and implementation of new legislation
and procedures with respect to violence against women, States are
overwhelmingly failing to uphold their international and national
obligations to women.

Across the board, these OMCT reports found that the vast majority of
violence against women takes place within the family. For example,
information from the
Croatia report reveals that as much as 98% of
all violence against women is family violence. The report on the
Czech Republic notes that spouses or partners are responsible for
51% of all rapes in that country. In
Moldova, one study asserts that
22% of all the women interviewed reported having been a victim of
abuse by their husband or partner, while in
Poland, researchers have
concluded that as many as 1 in 6 women are victims of domestic

In the two years from 2000-2001, 82 women were killed as a result of
violence in the domestic sphere in
Spain. OMCT's report on Sudan
notes with concern that marital rape is not criminalized there and
that although statistics concerning domestic violence are not
available, such violence is suspected to be widespread. Domestic
violence is also a serious problem in
Togo where 85% of women
interviewed reported that they knew at least one woman victim of
such violence and 52% reported having been victims themselves. In
Uzbekistan, an inspector estimated that 80% of the calls he receives
concern family quarrels and 50 to 60% of them involve injuries.

The OMCT report on Venezuela highlights that in Caracas, a woman is
killed every 12 days by a man for reasons related to their
relationship. In
Yemen, only 26% of women who participated in a
survey reported never having been subjected to violence in the home.

While OMCT recognizes that more States are beginning to develop laws
against domestic violence, the problem remains grave in most
countries. Lack of awareness raising, which results in police and
judicial personnel who are ill equipped to handle domestic violence
complaints and a continued culture of silence surrounding the crime,
perpetuates this form of violence against women and hinders its

In the 10 reports, OMCT also expresses considerable concern about
the prevalence of trafficking in women and the failure of many
States to enact specific legislation to address this form of
violence against women. For example, there is no comprehensive
legislation to prosecute traffickers in
Croatia, Uzbekistan, Sudan,

In Poland, it is estimated that as many as 10,000 women and girls
are trafficked out to foreign countries every year and 60% of the
prostitutes in
Poland are suspected of being trafficking victims and
the OMCT report on
Togo notes that trafficking in children for
domestic servitude is a growing problem.

The Czech Republic has made trafficking a distinct crime, it focuses
on the border crossing element of trafficking and thus does not
cover trafficking within Czech borders. Further, Czech legislation
does not provide financial and other social assistance to
trafficking victims who are returned to the Czech Republic Violence
in the family and trafficking are only two examples of the many
forms of violence against women which persist in today's world.

Recognizing the important of raising awareness about violence
against women in all of its forms, the OMCT country reports compiled
in this publication serve as important documentation of the
widespread and pervasive nature of violence against women in the
family, in the community and at the hands of State agents.

Source: Carin Benninger-Bude and Joanna Bourke-Martignoni, Violence
Against Women: 10 Reports/ Year 2002, OMCT, 8.7.03.
E-mail: Website:

posted to the internet by:
International News Edited by Farhat Bokhari

 African woman's report on Bush visit
Here's a Senegalese woman's perspective on Bush's
visit to
Dakar. (A letter from the coordinator of
the French edition of Our Bodies, Our- selves for
West Africa)

Dearest friends,

As you probably know, this week George Bush is
Africa. Starting with Senegal, he arrived
this morning at
7.20 PM and left at 1.30 PM. This
visit has been such an ordeal that a petition is
being circulated for this Tuesday, July 8th be named
Dependency Day.

Let me share with you what we have been through
since last week.

1- Arrestations: more than 1,500 persons have been
arrested and put in jail between Thursday and
Monday. Hopefully they will be released now that the
Big Man is gone

2- The US Army's planes flying day and nigh over
Dakar. The noise they make is so loud that one
hardly sleeps at night

3- About 700 security people from the
US for Bush's
security in
Senegal, with their dogs, and their
cars. Senegalese security forces were not allowed to
come near the
US president

4- All trees in places where Bush will pass have
been cut. Some of them have more than 100 years

5- All roads going down town (were hospitals,
businesses, schools are located) were closed from
Monday night to Tuesday at
3 PM. This means that we
could not go to our offices or schools. Sick people
were also obliged to stay at home.

6- National exams for high schools that started on
Monday are postponed until Wednesday.

Bush's visit to the
Goree Island is another story.
As you may know Goree is a small
Island facing Dakar
where from the 15th to the 19th century, the African
slaves to be shipped to
America were parked in
special houses called slave houses. One of these
houses has become a Museum to remind humanity about
this dark period and has been visited by kings,
queens, presidents. Bill, Hillary and Chelsea
Clinton, and before them, Nelson Mandela, the Pope,
and many other distinguished guests or ordinary
tourists visited it without bothering the islanders.
But for "security reasons"this time, the local
population was chased out of their houses from
5 to
12AM. They were forced by the American security to
leave their houses and leave everything open,
including their wardrobes to be searched by special
dogs brought from the

The ferry that links the island to
Dakar was stopped
and offices and businesses closed for the day.

According to an economist who was interviewed by a
private radio,
Senegal that is a very poor country
has lost huge amount of money in this visit, because
workers have been prevented from walking out of
their homes.

In addition to us being prevented to go out, other
humiliating things happened also. Not only Bush
brought did not want to be with Senegalese but he
did not want to use our things. He brought his own
armchairs, and of course his own cars, and meals and
drinks. He came with his own journalists and ours
were forbidden inside the airport and in place he
was visiting.

Our president was not allowed to make a speech. Only
Bush spoke when he was in Goree. He spoke about
slavery. It seems that he needs the vote of the
African American to be elected in the next
elections, and wanted to please them. That's why he
visited Goree.

Several protest marches against American politics
have been organized yesterday and even when Bush was
here, but we think he does not care.

We have the feeling that everything has been done to
convince us that we are nothing, and that
can behave the way it wants, everywhere, even in our



    Alameda Times-Star August 24, 2003

    As the Presidential campaigns seek definition, one pivotal issue remains
hidden from view. It is potentially huge, especially for Democrats, because it
involves their natural constituents, and it addresses core issues of the
economy, social justice and fairness. The issue is low-wage work. Fully 30
million Americans -- one in four U.S. workers -- earn $8.70 an hour or less, a
rate that works out to $18,100 a year, which is the current official poverty
level in the United States for a family of four. These low-wage jobs usually
lack health care, child care, pensions and vacation benefits. Their working
conditions are often grueling, dangerous, even humiliating.

    At the same time, more and more middle-class jobs are taking on many of
these same characteristics, losing the security and benefits once taken for

    The shameful reality of low-wage work in America should be on every
Democrat's cue card as a potential weapon to be used against the Republicans'
rosy economic scenario. But so far it isn't. Why not? One reason may be four
long-standing myths that have for years drowned out a rational discussion of
what should be a national call to conscience:

    Myth 1: Low-wage work is merely a temporary step on the ladder to a better
job. According to the American dream, if you work hard, apply yourself and play
by the rules, you will be able to earn a decent living for yourself and your
family. If you fail to move up, you must be lazy or incompetent.

    The truth: Low-wage job mobility is minimal. Low-wage workers have few
career ladders. Those of us lucky enough to have better-paying employment depend
on them every day. They are nursing home and home health care workers who care
for our parents; they are poultry processors who bone and package our chicken;
they are retail clerks in department stores, grocery stores and convenience
stores; they are housekeepers and janitors who keep our hotel rooms and offices
clean; they are billing and telephone call center workers who take our
complaints and answer our questions; and they are teaching assistants in our
schools and child care workers who free us so that we can work ourselves.

    In a recent study following U.S. adults through their working careers,
economics professors Peter Gottschalk of Boston College and Sheldon Danziger of
the University of Michigan found that about half of those whose earnings ranked
in the bottom 20 percent in 1968 were still in the same group in 1991. Of those
who had moved up, nearly two-thirds remained below the median income. The U.S.
economy provides less mobility for low-wage earners, according to an
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study, than the economies
of France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Finland or Sweden.

    Today's economy is even more rigid. In many industries, such as insurance,
retail and financial services, wealthier clients are served by different
employees than lower-status customers. This makes it harder for the lowest wage
earners to move up. Some do, but this happens primarily in the manufacturing
sector, where the number of jobs continues to decline.

    Myth 2: Training and new skills solve the problem. Low- wage workers are
said to lack the necessary skills for better-paying work in our changing
economy. What's needed is retraining and better education for everyone.

    The truth: The problem is that there are fewer better jobs to move into. The
percentage of low-wage jobs is growing, not shrinking. The growing sectors of
our economy are the labor-intensive industries. The two lowest-paid work
categories, retail and service, increased their share of the job market from 30
percent to 48 percent between 1965 and 1998. By the end of the decade, the low
end of the job market will account for more than 30 percent of the American work
force. There will be about 1.8 million software engineers and computer support
specialists, but more than 3.8 million cashiers.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of all new jobs by
2010 will require relatively brief on-the-job training. Only three of every 10
positions currently require more than a high school diploma. Certainly, raising
skills and education levels will lead some workers to higher wages and better
jobs. But that approach will do little to improve the lives of most of the
hardworking women and men in the jobs that will continue to grow as a proportion
of our economy.

    Just as important, those who denigrate low-wage work as "low-skilled" ignore
the reality of these jobs. A nursing-home worker must be compassionate, must pay
attention to detail and must possess psychological and emotional strength; a
call-center worker must have patience and must be able to command enough
information to handle questions and complaints; a security guard must be
dedicated, alert and conscientious. To say these workers need retraining to earn
more lets their employers off the hook for failing to compensate them
appropriately for their existing skills and duties.

    Myth 3: Globalization stops us from doing anything about this problem.
Between 1979 and 1999, 3 million manufacturing jobs vanished as global trade
brought in textiles, shoes, cars and steel produced by overseas labor. In June
2003 alone, 56,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. American employers must keep
wages and benefits low if they are to compete in the global marketplace.

    The truth: Very few low-wage jobs are now in globally competitive
industries. It is true that global trade has had a profound impact on our
economy and on American workers. But companies in Beijing are not competing with
child care providers, nursing homes, restaurants, security guard firms and
janitorial services in the United States. Checking out groceries, waiting on
tables, servicing office equipment and tending the sick cannot be done from

    Employers and politicians use globalization as an excuse to do nothing for
low-wage workers, scaring them into accepting lower pay, fewer benefits and less
job security. It is invoked to justify reduced social spending and less
workplace regulation, and workers believe they are powerless to object. Yet not
only does globalization fail to apply to most of America's low- wage jobs, other
industrialized countries facing the same global competition have chosen
differently: They provide social safety nets, notably including guaranteed
health care. As a result, according to a 1997 study by Timothy Smeeding of
Syracuse University, Americans in the lowest income brackets have living
standards that are 13 percent below those of low-income Germans and 24 percent
below the bottom 20 percent of Swedes.

    Myth 4: Low-wage jobs are merely the result of an efficient market. The
economy is a force of nature, and we as a society have little control over
whatever difficulties it creates.

    The truth: The economic world we live in is the result of our creation, not
natural law. America's low-wage workers have little power to change their
conditions because of a series of political, economic and corporate decisions
over the past quarter-century that undercut the bargaining power of workers,
especially those in lower pay grades.

    Those decisions included the push to increase global trade and open global
markets, changes in immigration law, the deregulation of industries that had
been highly unionized, Federal Reserve policies focused on reducing inflation
threats, and a corporate ideological shift that eliminated America's postwar
social contract with workers and emphasized maximizing shareholder value. Those
decisions worsened conditions in low-wage jobs and exaggerated disparities in
income and wealth.

    AMERICA'S most vulnerable workers have also lost many institutions, laws and
political allies that could have helped counterbalance these forces. In the
1950s, the number of American workers who were fired, harassed or threatened for
trying to organize a union was in the hundreds a year. According to Human Rights
Watch, by 1990 that number exceeded 20,000. In 1979, one-fourth of
private-sector workers were unionized; only 11 percent are today.

    At the same time, the purchasing power of the federal minimum wage fell 30
percent during the 1980s. Despite minimal increases in the 1990s, according to
the Economic Policy Institute, the value of the current minimum wage of $5.15
per hour is still 21 percent less than it was in 1979.

    The richest country in the world should not tolerate such treatment of more
than a fourth of its workers. The myths of upward mobility and inevitable market
forces blind too many people to the grim reality of low-wage work. A
presidential campaign is the right time to begin a conversation on how to change

    Beth Shulman is a lawyer and author of "The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage
Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans," to be published next month by the New Press


US Ranks 11th on treatment of mothers

At the URL below, you will find a Mother's Day report from Save the Children which shows, among other things, that the US ranks 11th among nations in how well it treats mothers. [The top 10, in order, are: Sweden, Denmark and Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Austria and the UK.]

A National-Security Gender Gap by Ann Crittenden