Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2008
Time to give thanks
Chicago Foundation for Women is thankful for all the work our grantees do to help women and girls. To meet a few of our fabulous grantees, watch the video from this year’s Annual Luncheon on YouTube.
None of this would be possible without our donors, and we are grateful for each and every one and each and every gift.
On the issue of economic security, thank you to all our grantees that are helping us shape our Women’s Economic Security Collaborative, a project we are undertaking with three other women’s funds across the country to put women at the center of the discussion on economic justice. Violence against women is no small problem, but our grantees have sophisticated anti-violence strategies—from innovative services to advocacy efforts. We look forward to giving out the first Irene Bayrach Anti-Violence Legacy Fund grants next month to help groups prevent violence in all its forms.Thanks to the groups we are lucky to work with access to health services and information has become more widespread and equitable. We also look forwarding to boosting reproductive justice when our first Catalyst Fund grantees are announced next month.
Thank you to the women who made our fundraising events spectacular: NBC-5 reporter LeeAnn Trotter emceed May’s Race for a Safe State; Byllye Avery, Jo Moore and Amber Smock accepted honors at the Impact Awards in June, and Dr. Joycelyn Elders helped us honor Avery; Denyce Graves and Amina Dickerson conversed on the opera Margaret Garner at the 23rd Annual Luncheon on Oct. 31.
Finally, a big Tuesday Blast thanks to all of our readers around the world. Without you, how could we make a difference each and every week?
Stay tuned in December for a look back at all Chicago Foundation for Women accomplished in 2008—and our plans for 2009.
The New Hampshire Senate boasts the country’s first female-majority legislative body. Not only are 13 of 24 senators women, they also hold powerful positions: Sylvia Larson (top) is president, Maggie Hassan (middle) is president pro-tem and Martha Fuller Clark (bottom) is majority whip. Women’s eNews reports that two key factors may have spurred this historical majority: "the state’s high number of legislators and their low—practically nonexistent—pay." Each representative and senator—424 in total—receives only $100 plus gas mileage annually. But, the Tuesday Blast points out, low pay is not equal to low prestige. We applaud New Hampshire’s voters and the women they elected.
Why aren’t more women computer scientists? Even as other science and engineering fields have narrowed their gender gaps, computer science’s gap is growing—and is worse than it was in 1981, The New York Times reports. More than half of bachelor’s degrees go to women, but at leading research universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology only about 12 percent of computer science BAs go to women. Some blame a video game market dominated by men and the dearth of games designed to appeal to girls and young women. Ellen Spertus, who wrote in 1991 about the gender gap while a computer science PhD student at MIT, says the concern should be unearthing barriers that keep women out. Recently she lamented an outstanding computer science student who switched to nursing because the student saw better job opportunities in that field. The Tuesday Blast would add that we should re-examine both sexual harassment and the pay gap as possible reasons women avoid industries dominated by men.
The Supreme Court of California will review lawsuits regarding the legality of Proposition 8, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The proposition, which would amend the California Constitution to make same-sex marriage illegal, passed on Nov. 4. Lawsuits will be filed by same-sex marriage opponents—who propelled Proposition 8 by fundraising among Christian congregations, especially Mormons—as well as LGBTQ allies who want the court to uphold its May decision that found same-sex marriage a civil right. While lawsuits are pending, same-sex marriage licenses will not be granted, the court ruled decided in a 6-1 vote on Nov. 19.
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Women’s activists started this tradition on Nov. 25, 1981 and in 1999 the United Nations officially endorsed the day. Next week we will bring you more information on the International Violence Against Women Act, which we support. Until then, we recognize today with these words from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (at left): "Violence against women and girls continues unabated in every continent, country and culture. It takes a devastating toll on women’s lives, on their families, and on society as a whole. Most societies prohibit such violence—yet the reality is that too often, it is covered up or tacitly condoned."
Letters of intent for the Irene Bayrach Anti-Violence Legacy Fund (PDF) and The Sophia Fund for Advocacy (PDF) are due 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 9, 2009. Find out more on our Apply for a Grant page.
Firebelly Design is accepting applications for their annual Design + Marketing Grant until 5 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 5 – click here for more information and a link to the application.
The Foundation's Lesbian Leadership Council held a fundraiser at the Velvet Rope in Oak Park. On Nov. 12, council members and friends enjoyed celebrity bartending. A portion of bar proceeds will benefit the council’s Lavender Fund. Thanks to everyone who attended, including the Foundation's own Linda Wagner, a member of our staff and the council. Pictured: Council co-chair Evette Cardona (right) and partner Mona Noriega (left) with friends of the council.
Job opening: Applications are still being accepted for the 2009 Jessica Eve Patt Internship. Read the job description (PDF) and send all inquiries to the contact information enclosed.
Read more at our Press Room and our Past Events at cfw.org.
Update: HHS "conscience" rule may move forward
The so-called "provider conscience" rule, which was proposed by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services in August, has re-emerged after the public commenting period that ended in late September. The rule would allow medical care providers at federally funded institutions to refuse to give information or provide a service to which they object on moral or religious grounds. The proposed regulation generated national outrage because of its overreaching protections of medical providers that could limit women’s access to reproductive care. State attorneys general (including Illinois’ Lisa Madigan) spoke out against the regulation, as did Congressional Republicans and Democrats—including House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) (at right). According to the Women’s Health Policy Report, Waxman’s letter to HHS said the regulation did not follow federal policies, which require interagency coordination and review. Women’s eNews reports that the regulation, if implemented, would affect 580,000 federally funded institutions, which includes 89 percent of all hospitals. The proposal is still under review, and Chicago Foundation for Women will continue to monitor its progress and report new information as it becomes available.
News: Crack-down on Craigslist's "erotic services" section
Craigslist, the national online free classified ad service, helps people find an apartment, sell a couch or search for a job. It also helps Illinois law enforcement investigate the sex trade—because its “erotic services” section officially prohibits “offers for or the solicitation of prostitution” but people often post those exact ads. In response, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced an agreement with Craigslist, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and 42 other state attorneys general to crack down on illegal activity in “erotic services” ads. Craigslist has set up telephone and credit card verification systems and has begun charging a $5 fee to post an ad under “erotic services.” The deterrence seems to be working: On Nov. 6, the day before the agreement was made public, 1,400 “erotic services” ads were posted in Chicago. The number plummeted to less than 300 the next day. Madigan has also convened community advocacy groups and direct service providers to publicize the terms of the agreement and get feedback about next steps. And while more work needs to be done surrounding this issue—including getting law enforcement to agree to focus its “Craigslist sting operations” on the customers and traffickers in the sex trade—this is a good first step.
Find more advocacy opportunities at our Online Action Center.
Our website calendar lists all our programs, events and cosponsorships.
In the spotlight
JAN. 9 (Fri.): Grantees: Letter of intent deadline for Bayrach and Sophia funds, 5 p.m.
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