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#PressforProgress: The Time is Now. Green Women Rising Statement on International Women’s Day

Green Women Rising Statement on International Women’s Day

March 8, 2018

In this era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, International Women’s Day 2018 follows a movement that has arisen from the voices of people globally for the rights of women and equality and justice. The public is demanding change as an outcry against sexual harassment, violence, gender gap in wages, and discrimination against women.  The time is now. #PressforProgress.

Green Women Rising, the Green Party Women’s Caucus in Utah, joins women world-wide in embracing the opportunity to be part of this movement that is rapidly empowering women in rural and urban settings to raise up their voices and take action  for women’s rights and realize the potential of women.

“Green Women Rising believes that women’s rights are human rights, “ says Kimberly Bain, Co-Chair of GWR. “We promote the protection of the rights of all Utah Women, especially women of color, LGTBQIA+, women with disabilities and women of varying socioeconomic statuses. We exist to empower Utah women to stand up and speak up in a state where women do not have a powerful voice.”  

Not only are Utah’s women still lagging behind men in wages for equivalent work, they are also underrepresented in Utah’s politics and often do not have an influential voice on issues that directly impact women in Utah, particularly in the areas of health and domestic violence.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is “Press for Progress”, launching a year-long campaign in an effort to collectively unify women world-wide towards action to elevate women’s rights.  According to the IWD website, it began with the  Suffragettes in the early 1900’s, and the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911.

“We have been pressing for progress since the early 1900’s,” states Dee Taylor, GWR. “Now is the time to Press for Progress with unflinching resolve and determination.”  Referring to statistics that one in three women in Utah experiences some type of violence, Taylor adds that “Violence against women of color and cultural diversity is widespread and often not reported.  There is no registry for missing and murdered indigenous women, yet numerous accounts exist of these women missing or murdered.”

”Further,” Taylor adds, “climate change contributes to violence against women,” referring to accounts of women being at risk for rape, kidnapping and murder in certain areas of the world where water is difficult to access, requiring women to travel further to obtain it. “Violence against women in Utah is also often associated with camps at mining, drilling and excavation sites where men take advantage of women in nearby towns.”

The committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), a campaign of the Utah Native and environmental rights organization PANDOS, is actively providing education on indigenous women in Utah who are missing or have been murdered, in an effort to get a registry created to track the incidents. The campaign is centered around the themes of #whoismissing , #mmiw and #nomore.  Green Women Rising is an active member of the MMIW project.

Bain says that more education and involvement of women in the political process is needed to influence policies that affect women in all areas. “Women are the backbone of human life in Utah.  We call for all women in Utah to raise their voices against oppression, violence and discrimination. We call for all Utah women to become involved in advocacy organizations to learn how to speak up and demand justice.  We call for all Utah women to run for office and develop legislation that will provide the needed political actions to end disparities between women and men. #PressforProgress.”

GWR is actively working to strengthen the tradition of leadership by women in Utah as exemplified by women who have held and currently hold office.  Inspired by the legacy of Utah women in leadership, such as Martha Hughes Cannon, the first woman in the United States to hold the office of State Senator in any State (1896), a suffragette, physician and staunch advocate for women’s rights, women can and will rise up to Press for Progress.

Green Women Rising

greenwomenrising.org

greenwomenrising@gmail.com

Find us on Facebook and Twitter

References:

2016 report by the Joint Economic Committee Democratic Staff on Gender Pay Inequality

Huffington Post

International Women’s Day

UN Women

The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition

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Reacting to Violence: Making a Difference

This past week was fraught with turmoil in Salt Lake City as a militant sweep was conducted to eliminate the homeless population in the downtown area. This action did not resolve homelessness.  It exacerbated the issue and resulted in acts of violence, including physical harm to others and destruction of property.

Practically every violent conflict or social change has proved that violence unleashes violence in return. ~ Petra Kelly, 1947-1992

Green Women Rising learned of an opportunity to assist a community organization which found itself a victim of the turmoil. To that end, Green Women Rising has decided to forgo physically participating in the Women’s March for Equality this Saturday in Salt Lake City. We will be there in spirit as our sisters and brothers march in the continued fight for equality for all life in this world.

We have instead decided to attend to our community in a more immediate way that directly impacts people. A small church which provides over 500 meals a day to those in need, has been broken into. Windows smashed, food storage and clothes stolen. Through their community projects, they distribute food to low-income people even though they can barely afford to do it. This has resulted in letting go of resources to maintain the building which has been in need of repair prior to the break-in. The church members have found themselves having to repair and rebuild in order to carry out their mission of serving those in need.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.~ Mother Theresa, 1910-1997

help-1300942_1920.pngGreen Women Rising and others will be assisting in the effort to clean up from the break-in and building maintenance needs, which will include replacing or boarding up windows, erecting a fence and other needed work to help this small organization improve the structure and get services back into place.

 

In the spirit of the Ten Key Values espoused by the Green Party, and recognizing that violence is often a symptom of the societal deficits resulting in desperate acts, Green Women Rising reacts to this violent act towards our sisters and brothers who devote their time to helping those in need by helping them restore their services so that the work to feed and clothe the hungry and the poor can continue. It is our Personal and Global Responsibility to engage with our neighbors and our community in this way at this time.