Webinars, Seminars and Forums

Recordings of the  3-part  Series directed by Cynthia Cicero:

Genderfication and its Impact on Nevada History --

The Power of Women Working Together

 

Session One, From Margins to Mainstream, April 25, 2015

Four video clips consisting of three speakers and group discussions.

Session moderated by Kim Russell and introduced by Cynthia Cicero.

 

Speaker: Patricia Cafferata, Esq.

 

Speaker :Cynthia Cicero,   Session One, April 25, 2015

 

Speaker: Ida Gaines,  Session One, April 25, 2015

 

Group discussions and summaries , Session One, April 25, 2015

 

 

Session Two Making Progress Through Movements, May 9, 2015

Four video clips consisting of three speakers and group discussions. 

Session moderated by Dawn Gibbons and introduced by Cynthia Cicero.

 

Speaker: Rozita Villanueva Lee,  Session Two, May 9, 2015

 

Speaker: Judge Karen Bennett-Haron,  Session Two, May 9, 2015

 

Speaker: Ruby Duncan,  Session Two, May 9, 2015

 

Group discussions and summaries , Session Two, May 9, 2015

 

 

Session Three Standing on Their Shoulders, May 30, 2015

Four video clips consisting of three speakers and group discussions.

Introductory remarks by Dina Titus 

Session moderated by Claytee White and introduced by Cynthia Cicero.

 

Speaker: Erin Bilbray,  Session Three, May 30, 2015

 

Speaker: Rikki Cheese ,  Session Three, May 30, 2015

 

Speaker: Fawn Douglas,  Session Three, May 30, 2015

 

Group discussions and summaries , Session Three, May 30, 2015

 

Webinar, August 25, 2015

Discussions via the Internet

Marlene Adrian and Samantha Seegars Facilitating


 

 

 

Global Womenʼs Rights: Amnesty International USA Town Hall, Part II

 

The Domestic Policy Panel discussed “Whatʼs at stake for womenʼs rights in the United States? What will bring the young generation into the feminist rights issues? What are the objectives and goals that should form the centerpiece of the womenʼs rights agenda? What is the importance of womenʼs political participation in the 2012 election and beyond?

 

Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President of Education and Employment at the National Law Center, indicated that, economically, our greatest challenge is to determine how to break down the barriers to gender equity. Essentially, there have been no advances in the average wage of women in decades. The same is true for African American women who still earn approximately 64 cents on the dollar and Hispanic women who earn 55 cents on the dollar.  Womenʼs earnings in their lifetime are directly related to their ability to reach higher levels of education. One of the hardest challenges is to remove economic training barriers to women. We need to secure places for women in the higher paying jobs, not the usual training programs in low paying  “womenʼs fields”. Fatima stated that, since women are 40% of bread winners, there are ways to rephrase how lesser pay hurts the family, the environment and transcends the plight of solely women. Their status affects the total society.

 

Linda Hirshman, brought another insight to the issues. As retired Allen/Berenson Distinguished visiting Professor of Philosophy and Womenʼs Studies at Brandeis  University, an author, lawyer and feminist scholar, she provided insight into what she perceived as the failure of the feminist movement of the seventies. She described how the present “Gay Movement” might be used as a model for the current feminist movement to gain rights for women. Women of the seventies invested in their male partners/husbands and “slaughtered themselves”. They lost the first layer of bargaining power. They gave up maximum power for minimum wage. By contrast, Linda states that the Gay movement (by this she meant lesbians and gay men) which she describes in her forthcoming book, has been the most effective movement. This movement produced the greatest achievements in the shortest period of time. The motto was “Gay is Good” and they would not settle for less. Linda emphasized that women today must “better yourself, rather than enable your male. Invest in self.”

 

Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of Choice USA, was the voice of the young, bringing a young perspective to the resolution of issues. First of all, Kierra stated that their three priorities were the economy, health care and education. Young people are talking about sex and having sex, but barely talking about what healthy sex and sexuality are. College women are not as concerned with abortion as working together with men in the broadest aspects of reproduction rights in how and when to create families and such issues as the shackling of pregnant women in prison.

 

Todayʼs young women are more likely to go to college, represent a greater percentage of college students than ever before, are aware and want to have the same rights and safety. But, Kierra continues, women are not in the center of conversation. A women lawyer receives the same wage as a man when they graduate, but a gap occurs and widens during her career. The young (18-29 year olds) represent 25% of the electorate and 20% have partners born outside this country. This population is more ethnically diverse and more complex than in the past.

 

A crucial issue is how to engage these young people, men and women, and their causes and values in the political so that we do not lose their power to make something happen. Being culturally engaged is political and women hold the culture of society. Young women know that "occupation segregation" is real; they will push to create a broader justice cause and not condone gender restrictions. They are staying single or marrying late or having children later. As Kierra states, "they could run against the older male Congressman".

 

A highlight of the conference was the showing of the new ONE BILLION RISING promotional video by Eve Ensler, playwrite, author, performer, founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising Campaign. On V-Dayʼs 15th Anniversary, February 14, 2013 there will be a global event for women to strike, dance and rise against violence of women. One in three women have been victims of violence (rape or beatings). Communities and groups are invited to dance, perform, discuss and do whatever they deem important in their space to make people aware of violence against women and to demand an end to violence. As Eve describes this event: V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders. What does one billion persons dancing all over the world look like? Encourage everyone to dance. We can shift the energy of the world. When you dance you transform. When we are connected to our hearts we cannot do wrong to others. Eve invites us to join and learn more by visiting:

 

www.onebillionrising.org              twitter: @VDay:1BillionRising

facebook.com/vday                        text Billion to 50555

 

Dr. Marlene Adrian, posted October 23, 2012

 

Global Womenʼs Rights: Amnesty International USA Town Hall, Part I

On October fourth I attended an awesome, exciting, optimistic, yet heart wrenching town hall on womenʼs rights. This was not, however, merely a civil rights discussion. It was a powerful look at the whole spectrum of global violence and atrocities against women in every country in the world, with personal stories from Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Afghanistan. It was a comprehensive look at actions taken by women to empower themselves, help their country and advocate for a fair and equal place in their society. It was, above all, an introspective evaluation of the status and challenges of women in the United States and what we can and must do to engage both nationally and globally. 

This event was entitled The XX Factor 2012: Town Hall on Womenʼs Rights and was held in Washington D.C. and sponsored by Amnesty International USA. Suzanne Nossel, the first woman Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, greeted the assembly of men and women, young, middle-aged and older, and culturally diverse. Suzanne spoke of the more than 50 years of Amnesty International being “one more voice for human rights” and its ability to reach millions of people in eighty countries to create change.

Did you know that the gender make-up of the Parliament of Rwanda is more than 50% women? After the end of the devastating genocide of 1994, women activists organized to reverse the societal rape patterns and discounting of the value of women. They took a major role in government and brought about changes and enforcement of laws. Beatrice Mukansinga, the founder of Mbwirandumva, an organization aiding women without homes or families, spoke of the challenges to provide counseling, shelter, food and skills for economic self-sufficiency to these women, who often were disabled and always traumatized. She was inspired to help these women post-genocide and now has committed her life to improving their lives.

Jenni Williams lives in Zimbabwe with different circumstances. She is fraught continuously with soldiers telling her that women should go back to the kitchen and should not be uprising. Jenni has been arrested 47 times, and other members of the grassroots organization she founded, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), have been arrested at least half as often. Her organization is a peaceful, non-violent one, giving red roses on Valentineʼs Day. Jenni believes and told us that “the solution is in our hands”. The WOZA women protest, campaign and peacefully demonstrate to formulate community-based solutions and empower women to stand for their rights and freedoms. She believes that ”the power of love can conquer the love of power”. She recognizes that women are risk-takers and “ want a lived reality of freedom”. As pertaining to herself, Jenni wonders when she will have her own space. “ In one place Iʼm too black; in another, I am too white. I need to fight for my rights.” Jenni also mentioned that legal change must be gender-sensitive and include gender-sensitivity training for judges.

In the morning, our speaker from Afghanistan, Hasina Safi, Executive Director of the Afghanistan Education Center and Executive Board Member of Afghan Womenʼs Network, participated at a Congressional Briefing with Congresswoman Donna Edwards from Maryland and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. The Afghanistan contingency presented the need for an action plan to secure Afghan womenʼs rights and protect and advance gains made by these women and girls in education, health, security, employment and other human rights. In the afternoon Hasina described the fine line between what has been accomplished through the new democracy and what can be lost in a moment. The Islam teachings of the Koran, not only allow women to be educated, but actually make education an obligation. There are 96 womenʼs groups with 5000 members working to eradicate violence against women in Afghanistan, providing awareness programs of what is printed in the Koran and advising Islamic women of their rights. The number of women in Parliament is now above 25%. According to Hasin, the Taliban has brought a misrepresentation of the Koran to Afghanistan. This has caused an increase in violence toward women and opposition to gains in womenʼs rights. The teachings of the Taliban have intensified the disparity between males and females with respect to rights. Hasina believes that the grass roots organizations need to be connected with the organizations in the capital to be more effective. 

The final woman on this panel charting the Global Womenʼs Rights Agenda was Dr. Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Director, Global Womenʼs Leadership Initiative at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Through her experiences and the data bases, she shared a wealth of information, some of which are paraphrased and listed as follows:

  1. The United Nations General Assembly Law often rules women OUT.
  2. We can draw some parallel to sustain a revolution among Arabic peoples. On March 8th, women were beaten back and told that the time is not their time and they should return home. Women need to seize the moment of opportunity and call for Womenʼs Rights during the Revolution, not wait until the war/revolution/struggle is over.
  3. The Arabic Movement could learn from South Africa where we see an equal number of men and women in government.
  4. It is necessary that legal and judiciary entities should have fair laws. This is not so in Syria and Jordan where inequalities abound.
  5. Some countries, such as Kenya, invoked human rights in the preamble of their constitution. They state that these national laws override the state rights.
  6. The Covenant on Civil &Political Rights (ICCPR) assures gender balance because it is agreed upon that there can never be more than 2/3rds of one gender in government.
  7. The Womenʼs Movement must be mobilized to secure full democracy, prevent child marriages and violence against women.
  8. Men still prevent women from getting what they wish-- we must redistribute, transition and reconcile justice. Our fight for justice should result in power sharing. It often does not.

Marlene Adrian, posted October 23, 2012

 

 

Be a Part of Writing Women’s History!

We are inviting you to become part of history-making! Most of us realize that women have played important roles in community building throughout Nevada’s history. Yet, so many of us continue to bemoan the scarcity of sources available to document this important aspect of history. Thankfully, over the course of the past several decades, scholars of women’s history have carefully gathered evidence of women’s roles and contributions; truly enriching the narrative of Nevada women’s history. But there are too few scholars to uncover and record the vast amounts of our history.

We can all be a part of this venture. I invite all of you to take part in the writing of Nevada women’s history. One doesn’t need a “Ph.D.” after their name or even a college degree to assist in the documentation of women’s lives. Do you know of a woman who is intriguing, fascinating, or perhaps simply tenacious? Sit down with her over a cup of coffee or tea. Turn on a recorder of some type and talk with her. Soon you have a lasting conversation that is a primary historical source and a permanent piece of history.

Perhaps you’ve attended an event with impressive speakers or enthusiastic attendees. Hold up your cell phone for an instant snapshot. Jot down a brief description of the event and email it off to a local women’s organization, community newspaper, or this very virtual center! Do you belong to a women’s organization? Or perhaps possess the photos and papers of an elderly female relative? We have Women’s Archives located at both UNR and UNLV that would welcome such materials.

You may encounter young women who have a real passion and vision for the future. How exciting to record a conversation with them before they’ve become known public figures. Or why not ask your own mothers, aunts, or grandmothers? I’m willing to bet that they have intriguing stories to share about their life’s experiences. Do you use Facebook or have your own Blog? The resources available are endless!

Becoming an historical investigator doesn’t have to be a labor intensive process. If we all just gather and share a few pieces of past women’s history or history in-the-making; we will soon discover that we’ve made an important contribution to the history of women in Nevada.

Resources are available across our state. See the links on this site for contact information. This particular site is dedicated to broadening the interactive communication across our state. Check this site frequently for more tips on the process of writing women’s history. Or click on the “Volunteer” link below if you would be willing to help build a repository of clips on women’s history. So, I encourage all of you, even if it’s just to talk to someone about how to begin – take the step. We cannot wait for others to write our history – we need to begin now!

Dr. Caryll Batt Dziedziak