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TUESDAY BLAST: MAKE A DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK

Chicago Foundation for Women's Weekly eUpdate

The week of Oct. 16-22, 2007
View this update ONLINE

CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S HEADLINES









Additional photos and more from the
22nd Annual Luncheon

Fallon Wilson, University of Chicago graduate student and researcher on the Black Youth Project, speaks at our Oct. 9 program. Read more...
United is the official airline of Chicago Foundation for Women
Our yearlong anti-violence initiative
"What Will It Take?"is paid for in part by a grant from the State of Illinois.

TUESDAY SPECIAL

TOMORROW: WORLD POVERTY DAY 2007. Let’s beat last year’s record. On Oct. 17, 23 million people “stood up” last year and said they wanted to end poverty. By clicking on a website, they broke a Guinness World Record. This year, we need to do it again: Click here between 4 p.m. (Chicago time) today and 4 p.m. tomorrow. Women remain the missing piece of the poverty puzzle and we need to say so. Seven out of 10 of the world’s hungry are women and girls, as are 21 million of the 37 million poor in the U.S. Women’s rights are human rights—and world poverty is women’s poverty: Click here and say so. Also, read the Call to Action about women’s poverty by the Women’s Funding Network and UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

"BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BE RED" AND WEAR RED ON HALLOWEEN. We celebrate Oct. 31 with make-believe violence and terror, but too many women—especially women of color—face real danger and constant fear every day. And all too often, these women’s stories are invisible. Or if the stories make headlines, it’s seen as an isolated crime, rather than a deeper public health epidemic with root causes in sexism, racism, classism and patriarchy. So, please help raise awareness about violence against women of color—join us and this group of amazing grassroots activists and wear red on Oct. 31. Watch a video about the effort and about recent violence against women of color.

TUESDAY STARS

BLACK YOUTH PROJECT panelists: Thank you for a wonderful discussion last Tuesday. Read our write-up of the event. Thanks to lead researcher Dr. Cathy Cohen and graduate researchers Jamila Celestine-Michener and Fallon Wilson (pictured in sidebar), and our community and youth panel members: Adaku Utah, the moderatorl Elizabeth Kirby, Stephanie Posey, Charity Tolliver and Karen Williams. Also check out the Chicago Defender story on the program. 

TRACY BAIM for showing us all how to really be brave.  After seeing Jodie Foster in the new movie “The Brave One,” where Foster turns vigilante after she is violently attacked, Baim remembered her own story. Baim sympathized with Foster’s character, who turns to rage and emotional emptiness, but she also “mourned for the lost child”—herself—because though she did not seek vengeance or change her stance on the death penalty (she opposes it), the stabbing attack in her home when she was 15 made her into the woman she is—including founding and running the Windy City Media Group of gay and lesbian publications. Thank you Ms. Baim for your courage and your story.

MARY MORTEN, our associate director, will receive the prestigious Women with Vision Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois on Nov. 8. Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster, another of this year’s recipients, recognized the winners in last Tuesday’s “Stella in the City.” Congratulations to our visionary Mary, who this past year headed our "What Will It Take?" statewide initiative.


WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK

TODAY: WOMEN DECIDE 2008. This morning, hear Hannah Rosenthal, the Foundation’s executive director, at Legal Momentum’s “Women Decide 2008” program about issues facing women, including the epidemic of violence. RSVP to Legal Momentum--click here for details.

PRINT, SIGN, STAMP. Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation prepared ready-to-sign advocacy letters to call out businesses that make the sex trade seem normal—when normal for women is dangerous. That's why it is wrong for Crunch gyms to name its pole-dancing class “Turning Tricks,” and Chicago nightclub Crobar to celebrate the sex trade with its annual “pimp and ho” Halloween party. But there are good players as well. Hotels and resorts can be hubs of human trafficking and the sex trade. But hotel chain Starwood is taking steps to prevent violence against women and children through human trafficking. And the Alliance urges us to thank the company for its work.  Visit CAASE.org to view, edit, print and send the letters.
 
WHAT ARE MEN REALLY THINKING? Teatro Luna, Chicago's all-Latina theater company, presents “MACHOS,” putting women into men's shoes. See the Friday, Nov. 9 show to benefit grants made by the Foundation's Latina Leadership Council. Don't wait: Buy your tickets online now.

JOIN CHICAGO FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN. See our job openings:
     * NEW: Program Officer
     * Jessica Eve Patt Intern
     * Special Events and Annual Fund Manager
 

NEWS IMPORTANT TO YOU

ABORTION HAPPENS, SO KEEP IT SAFE 
Worldwide, abortion rates compare—but where the procedure is illegal or restricted, the price is women’s safety, according to a study released last week by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization, the New York Times reported. It found lower abortion and maternal mortality rates in areas with access to contraception and safe abortions. In this country, 92 percent of abortions are safe, while only 6 percent in Latin America and 2 percent in Africa are safe—both have anti-abortion laws. But the U.S. contributes to reproductive problems overseas by funding abstinence-only programs under the “global gag rule” reinstated by Pres. Bush in 2001.

BARBIE CREDIT CARD PLAYSET?
It's too sad to be true, but it is: The Mattel Barbie play set, the Fashion Fever Shopping Boutique, according to Feministing comes with an adult-size debit card that, once it hits a balance of zero, refills automatically so girls can keep racking up debt. The TV commercial features a girl exclaiming, “I love shopping—you never run out of money!” as the talking cash register announces account balances. With more women in poverty than men, and women’s earnings stuck at 77 cents for every man’s dollar, the last thing girls need is romanticized debt.

LOCAL REPORT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
“The Realities of Human Trafficking in Cook County: Strategies for Ending the Exploitation of Women and Girls” is a report released last week by the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues based on 2005 testimony from experts, including Chicago Foundation for Women. It outlines steps the Cook County Board of Commissioners can take to prevent the sexual and labor exploitation of women and girls who have been trafficked. Read the report online–flip to the end for their recommended actions, including training first responders in key county systems such as emergency rooms and law enforcement.

ARE MEN HAPPIER THAN WOMEN?
Recent studies find women’s reported happiness is lower than men from young adulthood onward. In Saturday’s Chicago Sun-Times, two women debated the issue: Is it feminism’s fault? We will let you decide--but we must say that if we were talking about a society that valued child and elder care enough to have laws, policies and compensation in place for this work that holds up society, helping make sure that women who stay home do not suffer lower Social Security payments perhaps we wouldn't be debating staying at work or working at home. Or, if we had a society that compensated women for their work on the same par as men, maybe it would all be a moot point. But again, we will let you decide.  

HOUSE CONDEMNS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Denouncing domestic violence, female genital mutilation, “honor” killings and other violence against women, the U.S. House of Representatives spoke out against “gender-based persecution” by unanimously passing House Resolution 32 last week, reports Women's Policy, Inc. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) said, “No matter where one lives, and no matter what their race, religion or culture, we are all human beings who deserve the opportunity to live in dignity and free from oppression or abuse based solely on our gender.” Thank you.

A FEMINIST ROMANCE
If you are heterosexual and feminist, you’re in luck: A new study by Rutgers University researchers says feminists in straight relationships—both men and women—report better sex lives and happier partnerships than non-feminists, according to Science Daily. Using anti-feminist stereotypes as a jumping-off point—misogynist myths of feminist women as sexually unappealing to men—the researchers concluded feminist do, indeed, have it better.

TAKE ACTION
Bills and policies that need your energy. Visit our Action Center - quickly make a difference this week. 

ILLINOIS ACTION
DON'T CUT WOMEN AND GIRLS OUT OF THE BUDGET
$460 million was cut from the state budget through Governor Blagojevich’s line item vetoes. The State House has already overturned most of the vetoes, but the Senate, led by President Emil Jones Jr., wants to keep them. Women and girls cannot be cut out of the budget, including $3 million for school-based health centers, which provide preventative care for adolescents—many of whom are girls. ACT NOW: TELL YOUR STATE SENATOR AND SENATE PRESIDENT EMIL JONES JR. to restore funding that helps women and girls.

FEDERAL ACTION
BUSH VETOES CHILDREN'S HEALTH CARE: FACT AND FICTION
Earlier this month, President Bush vetoed the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP. Kaiser Network's Daily Health Policy Report rounds up the nation's opinions and op-eds both for and against the legislation. Keep in mind the real facts and figures, available from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This veto can and should be overturned. PLEASE SPEAK UP NOW: Children need health care. Tell the U.S. House and Senate to override the veto and do it soon—funding expired Sept. 30.

HATE CRIMES. The federal definition of a hate crime must be expanded to include gender, sexual orientation and disability status. President Bush said he will veto this change, bowing to the Christian religious right, who wrongly think this bill will limit free speech from the pulpit. The American Civil Liberties Union supports the legislation, though it has never backed a hate crime law before. WRITE NOW: CLICK HERE TO CONTACT CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT NOW.

FOOD SUPPLEMENTAL PROGRAMS must be funded to keep up with inflation and rising food prices. That includes the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (or WIC) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) mostly for seniors 60 and older. TELL YOUR SENATORS TODAY to fully fund these programs.

WHAT IS MISSING?
We add perspective to recent headlines

The story: Google launched Street View for Chicago last week. There are now maps of Chicago streets feature photos from a 360-degree ground-level camera. Google touts its use for: exploring new neighborhoods to move to or viewing architectural wonders. The images also feature any nearby people, whether sunbathing or playing on a playground. Websites are cropping up, such as the aptly-named Google Stalker, that collect people’s photos—and a Chicago Tribune blog is also soliciting images. Privacy advocacy groups are very concerned and call the program an “intrusion we should all be against,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
What is missing: There is enough research out there for a reporter to make the connection between this technology and violence against women. Stalking is the most pervasive form of violence against women and the strongest predictor extreme violence will follow. But not enough women feel safe enough to report this crime. When it comes to abusive partners, they are already  emotionally and verbally stalking women via cell phones and instant messaging. Google will remove Street View images if users call it “inappropriate,” an infringement of privacy or a “personal security concern,” but images can be saved and re-posted before Google takes them down. Google must remember that pictures don’t just reflect the world—they can change it. They can start by blurring faces or offering people in the camera’s view a chance to leave the shot. They can offer links to anti-violence resources and include strong warnings to potential stalkers. Ending abuse against women and girls starts with all of us.
 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
THIS MORNING

OCT. 16: Women Decide 2008 featuring Hannah Rosenthal (Legal Momentum), 8:30-10 a.m.

THROUGHOUT OCTOBER


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster recognized the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ Women with Vision Award winners last Tuesday. Mary Morten, the Foundation’s associate director, will receive the prestigious award on Nov. 8.

Catch up at our Press Room or our Past Events page at cfw.org or our News page on whatwillittake.org.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
Speakers' bureau: Want a free speaker to come and tell you or your organization about “What Will It Take?” Contact Laura Fletcher at (312) 577-2824 or lfletcher@cfw.org. More about the speakers' bureau...


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