Back to School Campaign: 350 Action Teams & Growing
“I’m a 16-year old poet and I sold some books at my last
show for the Back to School Campaign. I would appreciate
it if you would use the money to purchase books” wrote a
young women who enclosed $44 for a girls’ school in
Some of the donations are small, some are larger, but the broad support for the Feminist Majority Foundation Back to School Campaign has demonstrated a deep concern for the plight of Afghan women and girls under the Taliban regime and a commitment to stop gender apartheid in Afghanistan.
Launched in August 2000, the Back to School Campaign includes more than 325 action teams in 39 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and in six other countries around the world. Women’s rights, human rights and community organizations; families and friends; 60 colleges and universities; individuals; and public and private school groups have all joined with the Feminist Majority Foundation in this effort. They are demonstrating their support for students and teachers in home schools in Afghanistan and refugee schools in Pakistan, recruiting college scholarships for Afghan women, and raising awareness about gender apartheid.
One of the 34 high school based action teams organized a week of activities for the school’s 2,000 students and faculty. The Women’s Studies class at High Point High School in Prince Georges County, MD initiated the project after 11th grader Esayas Wereta asked teacher Lu Morrissey if the class could do something to raise awareness about the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan. Morrissey invited Feminist Majority Foundation staff to meet with the class to talk about the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid. With the enthusiastic support of Morrissey and Principal William Ryan, the students adopted a refugee school and involved the whole student body in their efforts that included a Day of Remembrance with students and teachers wearing the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Symbols of Remembrance and observance of a moment of silence in support of Afghan women and girls.
The overwhelming response to the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Back to School Campaign has resulted in awareness actions all across the U.S, and thousands of signatures on petitions urging the President and the Secretary of State to continue to refuse to recognize the Taliban and to do everything possible to restore women’s human rights in Afghanistan. Action teams have contributed several thousand dollars to home schools for girls in Afghanistan and refugee schools for girls in Pakistan. The contributions are helping to pay teachers’ salaries and have been used to purchase pencils, paper, chalkboards and other basic supplies that we take for granted in our public schools.
The number of action teams is increasing daily. To join the campaign, visit our website www.feminist.org and sign up to help Afghan women and girls go back to school.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .