GWC February 2020 Newsletter

Greetings from your Global Women’s Caucus team! 

In this issue, we celebrate Black History Month by providing a list of books, articles and podcasts focused on the experiences of African-American women, and we also provide an important, in-depth article that discusses the disparities in health care access for women of color in the US.

We also introduce our new Climate Change initiative and activities around the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and discuss the passage of the ERA legislation in Virginia and what may come next.  Finally, we offer three ideas to help you commemorate and be active during Women’s History Month in March.

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GWC Celebrates Black History Month

GWC is proud to join with other Americans in celebrating Black History Month.  Check out our lists of books, news stories and podcasts that commemorate the history and achievements of African-American women.   

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Disparities in Healthcare Access for Women of Color: Will Democrats Find Solutions?

By Ramya Prabhakar

The 2020 primary season has whittled down the impressive field of Democratic presidential contenders to a mere eight candidates. With the exit of Kamala Harris in early December, the field lost its only woman of color, and with the suspension of the Castro and Booker campaigns, the field became entirely white.  

Simultaneously, the platform of the Democratic party has centered around healthcare—and for good reason. Polling continues to show that voters rank healthcare as the most important issue in elections, and Democratic focus on Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act helped them win back the majority in the House of Representatives. And healthcare disparities negatively affect women—particularly women of color. This article lists some of the major risks and causes of disparities between women of color and white women, and then discusses the effects of Obamacare. Read more.

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GWC Launches New Climate Action Team!

The Global Women’s Caucus has launched an initiative to educate voters and participate in activities focused on climate change.  As a recent article in Time magazine noted, women are disproportionately impacted by climate change, and the UN estimates that 80% of those who have been displaced by climate change are women.

The GWC hosted an event in Paris to kick-off our climate change initiative and will be participating in Earth Day events and activities. Scroll down to learn more.

 

Women and the Environment Event in Paris

by Sheila Malovany-Chevallier

On January 26, 2020, I was lucky enough to host(ess) a meeting of the Women and the Environment group of Democrats Abroad France. 

The three women scientists, experts in their fields, shared their scientific work with the audience in a talk titled: Is Climate Change a Gender Issue?  Alyssa Fischer’s work discusses climate and sustainability, focusing on urban climate challenges and the inclusion of equity into climate conversations. Dr. Cara Maesano is a scientist and researcher in environmental epidemiology and exposure science at INSERM/Sorbonne University. Dana Powers is an environment journalist specializing in renewable energy and chair of the Democrats Abroad France Environment Policy Group. 

Click here to read more about this event, and you can also watch a video clip of the event here.  Special thanks to Jean-Pierre la Rochelle for filming the event.

Save the Date: April 22nd Climate Action on Earth Day

Many of the world’s largest climate organizations are planning major events for the week encompassing the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd.

Our new GWC Climate Action Team is working on an “Earth Action Week Event Ideas Package,” which will include lots of ideas for how our members can participate. Look for it in our next newsletter.

We would also like to encourage our GWC members to get involved in activities that major climate activist organizations are planning in your area. Check out the Earth Day and Strike with Us websites for more information.

This important anniversary provides us with an ideal opportunity to keep momentum going on the climate emergency, and to make noise around one of the most important election issues out there - climate change!

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ERA was Ratified in Virginia!  What’s Next? 

By Shari Temple

Virginia ratified the Equal Rights Amendment on January 27, with a vote of 27-12 in the VA Senate and 58-40 in the VA House.  It had full support from all Democrats and was supported by several Republicans. Virginia became 38th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the 38-state majority necessary to begin proceedings to amend the Constitution. 

Now that this historic milestone has been achieved, what comes next for ERA?  Read more about what’s happening in Virginia, in other states as well as the national level, and how you can help ensure that ERA is added to the Constitution.  

Story from an ERA Warrior:  Shari Temple

Shari Temple is the ERA Project Coordinator for Democrats Abroad. She is also a member of the Global Women’s Caucus. She traveled to Virginia last month to meet other ERA Warriors. Click here to read her story about her involvement with ERA.

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March is Women’s History Month. Three Great Ways to Celebrate!

March is Women’s History Month, and we have provided three ways that you can get involved to commemorate women’s history and make an important political impact:

1.    Exercise Your Right to Vote by Participating in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary.

2.    Participate in activities and events on International Women’s Day.

3.    Join us for a Women’s History Month webinar, featuring Ramona Houston, Ph.D., PMP: “Black/Brown Power, Whiteness and Women: The 2020 Election Challenge—Democrats, Be the Light! Save America! (…And the World!)”.

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Chair’s Corner: Why Volunteer with the DA Global Women's Caucus?

By Ann Hesse

As Global Caucus chair, I receive quite a lot of email. But the emails I am always happiest to see in my in-box are the ones that say, “Hi, I’d like to volunteer!”  

So, in order to encourage more of you to go ahead and step up in this crucial election year, I’d like to take a moment to give you all a better idea of what it really means to join our team.

What is a “global” volunteer?

Our Global Women’s Caucus is over five thousand strong, with members in over 100 countries. We have large, active caucus groups in many major cities that plan in-person events at the country and local level.

Because many of our members live far outside of city centers, we also have a vibrant online team that provides support worldwide.  We work to create many remote and online activist opportunities for our far-flung members.

We have several teams which focus on various issues, and they do research, educate our members, write and share articles on our media platforms, develop event tool kits and create online “calls to action.”

These are our teams:

  • Communications
  • Equal Rights Amendment
  • Reproductive Justice
  • Candidate Information
  • Books Abroad Feminist Literature Club
  • Women and Climate

Our goal for 2020 is to raise awareness around all our issues, stress the importance and impact of voting, and to propel a “blue wave” of new leaders who are committed to women’s rights into power on Election Day.

How can you get involved?

If you are interested in volunteering for an “in-person” Women’s Caucus group near you, let us know your location, or just ask your local DA leadership to connect you with your nearest Women’s Caucus leader. (If your area has no group yet, consider launching one! We will help you!)

If you’d like to volunteer for one of our global teams, please indicate which teams you have an interest in, and we will put you in touch with the appropriate team leader.

It would also be helpful to know which aspects of our various projects you would most like to work on, and to have a bit of information about your interests, background, location and availability.

A Last Word:

In the face of ever-increasing horror around the world, many of us have found that using our skills and creativity for this good cause is enough to keep that awful feeling of helplessness and pessimism at bay.  We work “for free,” but what we get in return is a priceless feeling of pride, calm and even a good night’s sleep.

All we need now is your fresh ideas, creativity and dedication!  Go ahead and drop us a line!

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

In solidarity,

Your GWC Team