Opening the National Center for Women and Policing’s (NCWP) 7th Annual Conference, Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, warned of the growing backlash to women in policing. The number of women in police agencies of 100 or more sworn officers decreased from 14.3 percent in 1999 to 12.7 percent in 2001, according to the latest survey conducted by NCWP. “The cut back in affirmative action and the loss of consent decrees mandating the hiring and/or promotion of women and minorities has begun to reverse the very modest gains women have made in law enforcement over the last thirty years,” said Smeal, who also predicted that “Without the willingness of the Department of Justice to bring lawsuits and negotiate consent decrees to remedy discriminatory hiring practices by law enforcement agencies, the percentage of women in law enforcement will likely decrease further.”
In her remarks, Smeal also highlighted the striking similarities between the backlash US women are experiencing in the fight for equality and the backlash Afghan women faced under the Taliban. “In both cases, you see male-dominated power structures that are afraid to allow women for fear that they will clean them [the institution] up,” said Smeal.
The National Center for Women and Policing, a division of the Feminist Majority Foundation, promotes increasing the numbers of women at all ranks of law enforcement as a strategy to improve police response to violence against women, reduce police brutality, and strengthen community policing reforms.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .