Women's Caucus

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    Democrats Abroad affirms the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women around the world, including the right to education, healthcare, legal protection and legal standing before the law, the right to physical and psychological safety, self-determination of reproductive rights and equality of opportunity and remuneration.

    Activism in Small, Medium and Large

    Opportunities to participate in our caucus are as varied as our members.

    There is no "one-size-fits-all" level of involvement.
    We also encourage membership by all genders because women's issues impact all of us.
    What our individual sections do depends very much on their size and location.

    Learn more...

    Statement of Purpose:

    The Women's Caucus of Democrats Abroad is committed to fostering and promoting gender-informed perspectives in issues analysis, communication and policy-making and ensuring that issues that impact woWe will take action to address policies that negatively impact women and their families and so, by implication, the economy and our democracy.

    We propose to:

    • Act as disseminators of information  to  Caucus members and Democrats Abroad members at large, and as a catalyst to action on issues which affect American women both in the United States and internationally;
    • Ensure that the women’s perspective is effectively incorporated in all the work of Democrats Abroad, including issues advocacy, communication and GOTV strategy, planning and execution;
    • Stay current and ensure that issues and policies which impact women are discussed in the Caucus and by Democrats Abroad and included in the Democrats Abroad and Democratic Party platforms;
    • Promote Democratic Party candidates committed to policies that positively impact women’s lives;
    • Support Democratic Party candidates who are proposing to improve women’s standings and rights in society at every level, in their election campaigns for State and Federal Government positions and in their appointments to judgeships and high positions in Government offices and agencies;
    • Monitor and, with Democrats Abroad, lobby for or against legislation affecting women directly or indirectly;
    • Inform our communities of injustices against women in areas of civil rights, economic equality, health, and welfare;
    • Engage with other women’s caucuses for the purpose of information sharing, mentoring and maintaining solidarity; and
    • Make our voice heard nationally and internationally with members of women's groups and all groups fighting for justice, equality and the rule of law around the globe


    DA Women's Caucus Leadership:

    Ann Hesse
    | Chair, Global Women's Caucus
    Christina Skovsgaard
    | Vice Chair Norway
    Shari Temple
    | Global IT Team Chair; Global Women's Caucus Steering Team; ERA Project Coordinator
    Carol Moore
    | GWC Steering Committee, Former Chair, DAUK, Founding Co-chair, DAUK Women's Caucus, Co-Chair DAUK PNR Healthcare Team, ERA Project, Florida Rep, DAUK Tax Reform Committee
    See all Leaders


    Recap: June 13 Reproductive Rights Webinar with Jennifer Merchant, Ph.D

    Recap by Connie Borde

    Jennifer Merchant, Ph.D*. in Political Sciences from the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, and Professor of Anglo-American legal and political institutions at the Université de Paris II (Panthéon-Assas), spoke for the Global Women’s Caucus in Paris on June 13 on the subject of the Criminalization of Women’s Bodies, following the recent abortion bans or restrictios in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Ohio.

    The evening was streamed live on Zoom, and over 100 persons listened and watched in real time.

    No one in the audience was disappointed with Dr. Merchant’s complete and informative story of historical landmarks that got us to where we are today. Most striking was her analysis of trends in abortions (in 2014, the U.S. abortion rate reached a historic low) and the segment of the population most affected by the restrictions. Because of lack of access to health insurance and health care, abortion is increasingly concentrated among poor women, and abortion rates continue to vary by race and ethnicity.

    For Dr. Merchant, the bottom line and philosophical underpinnings of this movement falls under the greatly discussed history of patriarchy and equal rights for women.

    The question about reversing Roe v Wade was naturally a key point. If Roe fell, abortion rights would be lost in some states and remain secure in others.

    If Roe v Wade is overturned:
    • 22 states could ban abortion outright.
    • In 8 states (including the District of Columbia), the right to abortion is at risk of loss.
    • In 21 states, the right to abortion appears to be more or less secure.

    To watch the recording of Jennifer Merchant’s talk and hear her opinions about where we go from here, you can click here

    *Jennifer Merchant sits on the Ethics Committee of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and the International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (FAB) Association as well as FAB Country Representative. She is a leading researcher in bioethical issues of comparative public policy with expertise in North American and European policy, and politics and regulation of medical technologies involving human reproduction. She started off her research on comparative abortion politics, and then became an expert in comparative law and politics on embryo research and assisted reproductive technology. 
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    Global Women's Caucus June Newsletter

    Happy Pride Month GWC members! June has ushered in summer and, with it, our annual month to celebrate LGBTQ communities across the U.S. and the world. As we stock up on bright and colorful Pride merch, we also reflect on an eventful month of May. Read on for more on what the GWC has been up to, developments with abortion access in the U.S. and new ways to get involved.


    DA Happenings: GWC goes to Washington!

    Democrats Abroad held its 2019 Annual General Meeting in Washington D.C. from May 17-21. DA leaders from every continent joined together for a fast-paced, densely packed series of meetings, discussions, presentations, and events topped off by two days of meetings with our representatives on Capitol Hill.

    Our own GWC members were also extremely productive and exhausted but thoroughly satisfied by the end of the week! GWC Chair Ann Hesse highlighted achievements from the past year and outlined our strategy to get more women elected in 2020. ERA team leader Shari Temple presented on plans to make 2020 the year we finally pass the ERA, and GWC leaders were on hand for informal one-on-one chats with newly minted leaders. Forty GWC leaders from around the world also convened at a planning session at the elegant Cosmos Club in D.C., where we laid out priorities for the coming year and formed two new important task forces: a Candidate Research Team and a Reproductive Rights Team.

    Just when we thought we were finished for the week, we were called into action again on our last day in D.C.! Our caucus joined with Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Emily’s List and other groups on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building for an impromptu protest action against the harsh new abortion laws passed in several states. Prominent women’s rights activists were joined by members of Congress and Democratic presidential candidates, calling for an end to the abortion bans. Media outlets from around the world captured the scene and were even able to interview a few of our GWC leaders.

    A few observations from participants:

    “It was energizing to be in a room with so many smart women who are passionate about protecting women’s rights and advancing the cause of equality. This is a critical time in our country, and I came away with a shot of hope that Democrats, and particularly women Democrats, will never give up the fight.” - Joan Stack, DA Panama

    "As always, the global meeting was fun, thought-provoking, frustrating at times, tiring, but valuable. It is always good to see people in person – particularly ones that you work with but have never met. And I was particularly pleased that by the end of the meeting, everyone was wearing an “ERA Yes” button." - Shari Temple, Global IT Team Chair; GWC Steering Team; ERA Project Coordinator

    “What thrills me most is the synergy between our long-time leaders, many of whom are women’s rights activism veterans since the 70s, and young, talented new members just bubbling with energy and ‘can do’ optimism. Observing a few of these conversations; women exchanging ideas and email addresses over lunch-boxes and coffee breaks, warmed my heart and makes me feel excited about the future” - Ann Hesse, chair, DA Global Women’s Caucus

    "It was outstanding to meet so many committed Democrats Abroad activists working to promote key policy issues and plan to elect Democrats across the country! And many thanks to Julia Bryan and her outstanding team for organizing the three days, the live/video talks from Presidential candidates, impressive committee/caucus presentations and fascinating briefings from DNC executives. With all this GREAT PLANNING, DEMS WILL WIN IN 2020!!!" - Carol Moore

    “I love women movers and shakers. I love Democrat women, and I especially love our DA Global Women’s Caucus. Our DA Global meeting was made all the more special by our intense discussions at our Sunday evening workshop at the Cosmos Club in DC. Join us and dig into the issues and see what we can do to CHANGE the picture of women's’ rights in the USA.” - Salli Swartz

    In the US: Assault on Abortion

    On Thursday, June 13th, from 6:45 pm to 8:45 pm CEST, the Global Women's Caucus will host an essential webinar with Dr. Jennifer Merchant. She will discuss the long-feared upcoming challenge to Roe v. Wade limiting choice for women and a likely constitutional crisis concerning women’s rights. Don't miss this important webinar, RSVP today.

    The assault on reproductive rights in the U.S. continues, as more states pass laws restricting abortion access with the explicit goal of challenging Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

    In May, Alabama passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country. It outlaws almost all abortions and does not include exemptions for rape or incest. Further, the law states that doctors who perform abortions could be charged with a felony and face up to 99 years in prison.

    Several other states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, and Georgia passed “heartbeat bills,” banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, and before many women realize they are pregnant.

    These laws are antiquated and dangerous, and if enacted, will endanger women’s health while laying waste to reproductive rights. And yet, there is a reason to be hopeful. States, including Nevada and Illinois, have recently passed legislation to protect access to abortion.

    Want to help? Check out this summary of ways to volunteer, organize, and donate to local organizations working to protect women’s access to abortion.

    ERA Update: Urge Congress to Remove Deadline

    As we celebrate the accomplishment that was the passage of the 19th Amendment 100 years ago, we look forward to the passage of the ERA. However, women will NOT have equal rights in the U.S. Constitution this year as the deadlines for the legislatures in all 13 unratified states has passed.

    What can still happen in 2019 is for Congress to explicitly remove the deadline that was in the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment preamble – clearly the path for the ratification without that legal issue. You can help – see https://www.democratsabroad.org/era_campaigns.

    We are also looking at other ways that DA can help influence and educate the public on the need for women in the USA to have equal rights. If you have ideas or would like to help, please contact us at era@democratsabroad.org.

    Watch Desi Lydic womansplain the Equal Rights Amendment on the Daily Show.

    Get Involved: We Want to Hear Your Story!

    As we march toward the 2020 election, we at the Global Women’s Caucus want to hear from you!

    Though we are proud of how far women have come in the U.S., there are still many miles to go. To shed light on the progress still needed, we are launching the “State of the American Woman” campaign. As part of this initiative, we hope to highlight stories of American women facing inequality in their daily lives.

    If you are interested in learning more or participating, please contact gwc_comms@democratsabroad.org.

    Get Involved: Survey and Volunteer Opportunity!

    Please take our issues survey. It's important for us to know what is important to you in 2020 elections.

    Are you interested in delving into the presidential candidates’ stance on women's issues? We're putting together a candidate research team, and if you’re interested in getting involved, we would love to hear from you at womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org.


    Thank you for reading, and as always, stay tuned on our Facebook page for all the latest news.

    In solidarity,
    Your GWC Team
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    Upcoming Events

    Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 06:00 PM through December 30, 2019 · 59 rsvps

    Watch the Film Legalize Equality

    The Equal Rights Amendment resolution passed unanimously in Tokyo where we committed to do whatever we can to help get the ERA ratified.  See the resolution here.

    Watch the video "Legalize Equality."  This 30-minute video gives an excellent overview of the Equal Rights Amendment and why it is critical to be ratified.  

    You can watch the video until 31 December 2019.

    To receive the streaming link and password, click RSVP and you will receive an email with the information in it.

    Feel free to share the link and password to DA members that want to view it.  However, please do NOT post the link and password on the internet in any way.  Only Democrats Abroad has access for this private screening and we need to honor this special access given by Equal Means Equal and Heroica Films.  



    Additional References to learn more about ERA: