The State of American Women Project

The State of American Women Project Welcomes You!

Welcome to the blog for The State of American Women Project. In this space, the Global Women's Caucus shares articles and issues related to women living in American.  New articles are posted monthly.


Turning Tragedy into Political Change

“We are powerful because we have survived.” Audre Lorde, a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” wrote these words in her book, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Women have made an art of turning tragedy and despair into meaningful change and transformation of their communities, states, countries, and, indeed, the world. Many of these women have looked unspeakable tragedies in the eye and instead of pulling into themselves, launched campaigns or organizations to bring about change.

Photo Credit: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Representative Lucy McBath, a Democrat, ran and won in Georgia’s 6th district on a platform of gun violence prevention after her son, Jordan Davis, was murdered in 2012 by a white man at a Florida gas station. Shortly after Jordan’s murder, McBath joined with a group of other mothers who had lost children to gun violence or police violence to form Mothers of the Movement. Then she became national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action, continuing her work on gun-violence prevention policies and education. When this didn’t bring about change fast enough, she ran against Karen Handel, a Republican and NRA A-rated and backed candidate. McBath won, and in addition to supporting a number of gun-violence prevention policies, in June of 2019 she introduced H.R. 3076, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019--a law that allows family or law enforcement to petition the court to temporarily remove firearms from a person who presents a danger to themselves or others. This law, if passed, will save lives-- lives like Jordan’s.

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Voter Suppression & Coronavirus

In any given election, voter suppression is a real and pressing issue. In this coming election in November, it’s even more dire. Ever since the 15th amendment was passed in 1870, expanding suffrage to men of all races, voter suppression has been present. Whether the method is in the form of literacy tests, poll taxes, voter ID laws or hour long wait times, they amount to the same result: they work to unjustly prevent citizens—disproportionately African American—from voting.

Photo Credit: Patricia McKnight/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Turning Tragedy into Political Change

“We are powerful because we have survived.” Audre Lorde, a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” wrote these words in her book, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Women have made an art of turning tragedy and despair into meaningful change and transformation of their communities, states, countries, and, indeed, the world. Many of these women have looked unspeakable tragedies in the eye and instead of pulling into themselves, launched campaigns or organizations to bring about change.

Representative Lucy McBath, a Democrat, ran and won in Georgia’s 6th district on a platform of gun violence prevention after her son, Jordan Davis, was murdered in 2012 by a white man at a Florida gas station. Shortly after Jordan’s murder, McBath joined with a group of other mothers who had lost children to gun violence or police violence to form Mothers of the Movement. Then she became national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action, continuing her work on gun-violence prevention policies and education. When this didn’t bring about change fast enough, she ran against Karen Handel, a Republican and NRA A-rated and backed candidate. McBath won, and in addition to supporting a number of gun-violence prevention policies, in June of 2019 she introduced H.R. 3076, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019--a law that allows family or law enforcement to petition the court to temporarily remove firearms from a person who presents a danger to themselves or others. This law, if passed, will save lives--lives like Jordan’s.

Stacy Abrams, after having the governor election stolen from her due to voter suppression, launched an organization called Fair Fight. Fair Fight is dedicated to fair elections and turning out the vote for 2020. Abram’s turned her defeat into a movement against voter suppression, which will hopefully have tangible positive outcomes for voters in 2020.

After living through homelessness as a child and losing family members to the opium epidemic, Rosemary Ketchum became West Virginia's first transgender elected oficial. Ketchum, who served as a director at a mental health center said, “Running for office was never in the plan for me. I didn’t know what that would look like or how I would fit into that world.” But she kept focused on local issues of poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse and won as a city councilwoman in Wheeling, WV.

This article profiles just three of the many women who have turned hardship into political action and reform. They stand with other women such as Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani assassination attempt survivor, Nobel prize winner, and activist fighting for girls’ education; Greta Thunberg, Swedish climate activist; and Emma Gonzalez, Parkland school shooting survivor and gun-violence prevention activist. We, as women, turn tragedy and heartache, and loss into change. We reach deep into our hearts and know that our tragedy doesn’t have to be another woman’s tragedy, and we work toward positive change. The 2018 election saw more women running for office than ever before, backed by woman-led organizations and activists knocking on doors, phone banking, and having hard conversations with voters; 2020 will be no different. When we use our stories and our talents to take on the system, we can win.


Celebrating LGBTQ+ Women in History and Culture, Part 2

GWC is proud to celebrate Pride Month in June.  Below is part 2 of our list of links to websites, books, podcasts, etc., that commemorate the history and achievements of LGBTQ women in history and culture, and feature upcoming Pride events, such as:

Photo credit: https://www.pinknews.co.uk

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Domestic Violence and Firearms

Every year domestic violence offenders in the US commit more than a million acts of domestic violence. Pair the prevalence of domestic violence with the ease of acquiring a firearm in America and you end up with an average of 52 women shot and killed by an intimate partner every single month--52 women shot and killed monthly. In fact, if a gun is present in the home, the woman is six times more likely to die.  Women are more likely to be murdered with a gun by an intimate partner than every other means combined. A note before we continue: women are not the only ones who face domestic violence; however, the vast majority of victims are women.

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Taking Action from Overseas for Black Lives Matter

Living abroad comes with a mixed bag of benefits and as well as it own pains. The distance is usually the biggest drawback, bringing long and costly flights to get back to your home.  During the past weeks of protests over the killing of George Floyd (or Breonna Taylor, or Ahmaud Arbery, or of too many others), that distance has never felt further. Sometimes the distance makes it harder to take action, and easier to explain away when you don’t. It’s easy to say: “That’s happening in America”, or to say “I’d protest if I was there, but there’s nothing organized here,” instead of finding another way.

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Celebrating LGBTQ+ Women in History and Culture, Part 1

GWC is proud to celebrate Pride Month in June. We've compiled a list of links to websites, books, podcasts, etc., that commemorate the history and achievements of LGBTQ+ women in history and culture.

Part one of the list is below, and we will offer part two next month. We hope that you enjoy exploring these links.

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Voting for 1st Time, Across Cultures and Borders

On 8 March 2020 (4 months shy of turning 18 years old but much before the general election), I voted in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary. I was all the way across the world from the White House in Mumbai, India. There was something beautifully joyful about 20 Americans living abroad, casting their vote in the lobby of a hotel in the bustling city of Mumbai. 

For some of these people, they just happened to be away from their homelands at this crucial time and therefore were lucky enough to be able to vote from another place.  But, things were a bit different for me, as I was voting for a presidential candidate to govern the people of a land in which I have never lived. The only home I’ve ever known is in the midst of South Bombay; approximately an 18-hour plane ride away from the hospital in Harris County, Texas where I was born.

It’s strange being part of something much bigger than yourself, and voting was an experience like no other. Yet, I felt slightly misplaced because, although I’m fairly informed about American politics and the Democratic Party (and, I will probably pursue high education in the United States), I hadn't gotten into the heated debates that some of the other American voters were having, simply because I didn't share their fervor.  Yet a fire ignites in me when I debate, question, and rant about Indian politics. This makes sense since this is where I now live. But, legally I'm a a citizen of another nation.  I guess that’s something I don’t quite understand yet.

I wrote the following piece on my way back home after voting:

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