How Women in Kenya Mobilized for Peace After Surviving Violence

How Women in Kenya Mobilized for Peace After Surviving Violence

Women are rarely represented adequately at peace negotiations yet they make up half the population of any country in conflict or at war. This remains the case despite increasing global policy awareness on how women are affected by conflict and the importance of including them in peace and security processes. For instance, the UN’s landmark framework on women, peace and security reaffirms the important role women play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts.

Women’s contributions are also underscored in African peace instruments like the Maputo Protocol and Kenya’s National Action Plan.

But how do women in conflict actually engage in peacebuilding? There is considerable academic literature on the links between gender and peace but the lived experiences of women peace builders are not well captured.

New Abortion Ban Lawsuit Places Black Georgians Squarely at the Center of the Fight

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New Abortion Ban Lawsuit Places Black Georgians Squarely at the Center of the Fight

A new lawsuit filed last week could eventually force the U.S. Supreme Court to examine how laws that attack abortion access disproportionately affect Black women and other women of color.

Centering the conversation on some of the state’s most vulnerable people was the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU’s) motivation for naming SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective as the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging HB 481, Georgia’s six-week abortion ban.

“I think the ACLU was very intentional,” Monica Simpson, executive director of SisterSong, told me in an interview. “The way that they wanted to approach this particular lawsuit was to make sure it was rooted in reproductive justice.”

Reproductive justice centers “three interconnected human rights values: the right not to have children using safe birth control, abortion, or abstinence; the right to have children under the conditions we choose; and the right to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.” Black women coined the term in 1994.

New York Is the First City To Fund Abortion Directly. Let's Make Sure It's Not the Last

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New York Is the First City To Fund Abortion Directly. Let's Make Sure It's Not the Last

Last week, abortion access advocates in New York made history. When the ink dries on next year’s budget, New York will become the first city in the country to directly fund abortion by allocating $250,000 to the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF), which supports anyone who is unable to pay fully for an abortion and is living in or traveling to New York state by providing financial assistance and connections to other resources. This funding will help ensure that every person is able to decide when and whether to become a parent regardless of their income, type of insurance, or citizenship status.

In the face of increasing attacks on abortion access throughout the country, New York City’s commitment to funding abortion sends a powerful message—one that activists in other cities and states can push for.

This is an essential step as we work toward ending the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for most abortions. And we know it won’t be the last: Advocates in progressive cities like ours can seize the opportunity to turn supporters into champions, to advocate for policymakers who talk the talk about abortion access to also walk the walk. Even in progressive states, people face barriers to abortion access.

Major Film Studios Follow Netflix In Putting Georgia On Notice Over Illegal Abortion Law

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Major Film Studios Follow Netflix In Putting Georgia On Notice Over Illegal Abortion Law

It was a slow start on whether or not America’s film industry would become involved in Georgia politics, threatening to abandon existing projects and future expansion of filming major projects like the revolutionary, Oscar-winning ‘Black Panther’ movie.

Netflix was the first major studio to take a stand against the medical-quackery ‘heartbeat bill banning abortion at about six weeks, joining the ACLU lawsuit in fighting the law not only as an infringement of Roe v. Wade, but as pseudo-science that has no basis in medical facts.

Today, an onslaught of new studios including Viacom, CBS, Sony, AMC, NBC Universal and Warner Media raises their collective business voices against the new law.

The Evolution of the Medieval Witch – and Why She’s Usually a Woman

The Evolution of the Medieval Witch – and Why She’s Usually a Woman

By Jennifer Farrell, Lecturer in Medieval History, University of Exeter. First published on The Conversation.

Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls alike. But where did this gendered stereotype come from? Part of the answer comes from medieval attitudes towards magic, and the particular behaviours attributed to men and women within the “crime” of witchcraft.

Taking one aspect of the witch’s characterisation in popular culture – her association with flight – we can see a transformation in attitudes between the early and later Middle Ages. In the 11th century, Bishop Burchard of Worms said of certain sinful beliefs:

Some wicked women, turning back to Satan and seduced by the illusions and phantasms of demons, believe [that] in the night hours they ride on certain animals with the pagan goddess Diana and a countless multitude of women, and they cross a great span of the world in the stillness of the dead of night.

According to Burchard, these women were actually asleep, but were held captive by the devil, who deceived their minds in dreams. He also believed that none but the very “stupid and dim-witted” could think that these flights had actually taken place.

How One State Has Become a Model for Protecting Abortion Rights From Supreme Court Conservatives

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How One State Has Become a Model for Protecting Abortion Rights From Supreme Court Conservatives

As Republican-controlled state legislatures across the United States pass near-total abortion bans, Vermont Democrats are looking to establish the country’s most comprehensive abortion rights protections.

The pro-choice effort in Vermont is two-pronged: a constitutional amendment via Proposition 5 to guarantee personal reproductive liberty, and bill H 57, which codifies the right to an abortion and prohibits public entities from interfering with a person’s right to choose.

Vermont’s Democratic-majority house and senate have passed both measures this session, and H 57 will soon head to the governor’s desk, where he can either sign it, allow it to become law by taking no action, or veto it. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) does not plan to veto H 57, his spokesperson told Rewire.News.