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TUESDAY BLAST - Chicago Foundation for Women's Weekly eUpdate

March 11-17, 2008

Monday, March 31:
Celebrate Women's History Month: Chicago Sinfonietta

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Save the Date

Thursday, May 1:
Race for a Safe State 5K

Friday, Oct. 31:
23rd Annual Luncheon and Symposium

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Tuesday Special

Getting to know Margaret Garner
Dr. Delores Walters (left) kicked off our “Margaret Garner” series of community conversations on race, gender and the legacy of slavery March 6 at the DuSable Museum of African American History. A panel of local activists and scholars—Dr. Patricia Williams Lessane, Gail T. Smith and Silvia Rivera—responded to Walters’ remarks, answering a wide range of questions from the audience of more than 100 people. See more photos and read about the program.



Tuesday Stars
Celebrate March as Women's History Month with us as we recognize women whose accomplishments made a difference then and now. Buy the books mentioned from Women & Children First, who will donate 10% of purchases to us when you use our coupon.

"Ida" book coverIda B. Wells (1862-1931) was born into slavery, which inspired her lifelong pursuit of equal rights. Wells led anti-lynching campaigns and insisted on exposing racism in the women’s suffrage movement, where she refused to march in the back of suffrage parades. She was also the first female African American newspaper publisher, co-founder of the NAACP and an independent political candidate in Chicago. Scholar Paula Giddings has written Wells’ long-overdue biography, “Ida: A Sword Among Lions” (Harper Collins, $35). Celebrate Women’s History Month by honoring Wells’ story, and meet biographer Giddings at 7:30 tonight at Women & Children First. 



News

News analysis
Economic security
When countries discover oil, women lose their rights
, according to a report by the University of California at Los Angeles. More than Islamic fundamentalism, oil-producing economies increase misogyny when they create job shortages in women’s fields, such as manufacturing, and women are forced into the private sphere. And when women cannot work, they are financially dependent on marrying a husband with an income. In fact, when women work they have “greater political awareness and participation.…[which helps] produce egalitarian family and inheritance laws, and increased voting, economic and legal rights.” Read more at the Washington Post.

Health care and access
Is emergency contraception too available, or too restricted?
A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed an anti-choice lawsuit trying to halt over-the-counter sales of the “morning-after” contraceptive pill Plan B, Reuters reported. The plaintiffs, including the far-right Family Research Council, failed to "identify a single individual who has been harmed" by over-the-counter availability, the judge said. Meanwhile, the pro-choice Center for Reproductive Rights has filed suit against the FDA for limiting non-prescription Plan B to women under age 18--a decision "based on politics and not science," they say (and we agree). 


What's missing
The story: On Monday, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was publicly implicated in a federal investigation into a prostitution ring identified as Emperors Club VIP. After informing his staff of his involvement, Spitzer made a brief statement apologizing for his behavior, which he called a “private matter," according to The New York Times


What’s missing:
As more details of this story unfold, we hope follow-up headlines highlight how the demand for prostitution spreads violence against women. This story, so far as we know it, rightly focuses on the demand side, but reporters can go deeper and explain how few prostitution arrests—less than 10 percent—are of the men who pay for sex or the pimps who make the money. At this point, Spitzer has not been charged.

Future reports should also point out that no matter how exclusive or “off the streets” a prostitution operation may be, the women involved experience violence across the board—including rape, domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking. Let’s hope The New York Times, which first broke the Spitzer story, and other outlets make the effort to examine it beyond the “sex scandal” framework and show how sexism and violence against women cannot be separated from the facts.


Foundation news
Students at Umoja's Community Connections programManley High School sophomores Kierra Williams (left) and Siraron Beal (center) "Stand and Declare" whether they agree or disagree about how young women access power, as business partner Ruanda Garth McCullough (right) reads statements to spark debate. The exercise was part of the seventh annual African American History Month Community Connections program held by Umoja Student Development Corporation, a Foundation grantee. Manley students divided by gender for an in-depth discussion on race, power, politics and responsibility when it comes to defining "womanhood" and "manhood" for their generation.

Today Chicago Foundation for Women announces our fall 2007 grants. Fifteen groups were awarded grants for programs and projects that address freedom from violence, access to health services and information and economic security for women and girls throughout the Chicago area. Check our website later today for a full list of grants and a news release.

The Foundation was in the news twice last week with a WBEZ news brief on our "Margaret Garner" community conversation and recognition of Mary F. Morten, our interim executive director, in the Windy City Times. Morten will receive an award from the Anti-Defamation League for her leadership on our "What Will It Take?" anti-violence initiative. Morten and former executive director Hannah Rosenthal will be honored at the 15th Annual Women of Achievement Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 20, at the Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus. To RSVP, contact Rebecca Gruenspan at (312) 782-5080, ext. 243.


Read more at our Press Room and our Past Events at cfw.org



Advocacy

Organizations: Sign a letter demanding "No More
Money" for abstinence-only-until-marriage sex ed

"No More Money" logoThe Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (or SIECUS) leads the "No More Money" campaign, of which the Foundation is a member, that wants to put a stop to public funding for inaccurate, insulting and harmful abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education. "No More Money" is sending a letter to Congress to ask for this cut to be made in the federal FY 2009 budget. Become a signatory through our Online Action Center. The deadline to sign on is 4 p.m. (CDT) Monday, March 17.

ACTION: Support reproductive justice in Illinois
Illinois' Reproductive Justice and Access Act (HB 5615) has been introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives--and your representative should be a cosponsor. The bill ensures access to reproductive heath care and services, including access to comprehensive sexual health education. Chicago Foundation for Women is an active proponent of this bill because women and girls cannot realize their full potential without the freedom to control their reproductive health. The bill has 25 sponsors but needs more. Anti-choice groups are calling Springfield, too. Ask your representative to cosponsor HB 5615 today, or thank those already on board.

Update: Paid sick days for Illinois workers
Almost half of Illinois' private-sector workers--3 million people--get no sick days. The Foundation is proud to be an active member of the Illinois Paid Family Leave Coalition, led by Women Employed, which is kicking off the new legislative session in Springfield with the Healthy Workplace Act (HB 5320). The bill would allow all workers to accrue seven paid sick days per year--to use for their own illness or to care for sick family members. We will let you know when your help is needed to contact legislators.


Find more advocacy opportunities at our Online Action Center.
"Why Women Should Rule the World" book coverToday, Dee Dee Myers will say why "women should rule the world."
Read our interview with the author online.



Our Events
Our website calendar lists all our programs, events and cosponsorships.

In the spotlight
MARCH 11 (Tue.): "Why Women Should Rule the World": Discussion with author Dee Dee
     Myers
, 11:30 a.m.
MARCH 11 (Tue.): Meet "Walking on Eggshells" author Jane Isay, 3-4:30 p.m.

New this week
APRIL 9 (Wed.): A Foundation for Your Financial Future: Redefining Economic Security,
     6-8 p.m.
     (One of three workshops in the Leadership and Alumnae Councils' financial series)


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