mind the gap

Feminist Collective

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In 1983 a group of women activists, poets, teachers, artists and health professionals traveled to Nicaragua to witness the impact of the US sponsored contra war. What they saw horrified and angered them. They met with women who showed them day care centers, schools and clinics that had been bombed by contras supported by the US government.
These women returned to the US with a mandate from the women of Nicaragua: to bring the stories of Nicaraguan women and children to the attention of the US public and mobilize people to demand a change in US government policy.
MADRE's Founding Director Kathy Engel and the women she brought together had a vision of a unique women-led, women-run organization, dedicated to informing people in the US about the effects of US policies on communities around the world. MADRE resolved to build real alternatives to war and violence by supporting the priorities of our sister organizations and linking them to the needs of women and families in the US through a people-to-people exchange of direct relief and understanding.

Feminist Majority
The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which was founded in 1987, is a cutting edge organization dedicated to women's equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. In all spheres, FMF utilizes research and action to empower women economically, socially, and politically. Our organization believes that feminists - both women and men, girls and boys - are the majority, but this majority must be empowered.
Led by FMF President Eleanor Smeal, our research and action programs focus on advancing the legal, social and political equality of women with men, countering the backlash to women's advancement, and recruiting and training young feminists to encourage future leadership for the feminist movement in the United States.
To carry out these aims, FMF engages in research and public policy development, public education programs, grassroots organizing projects, leadership training and development programs, and participates in and organizes forums on issues of women's equality and empowerment. Our sister organization, the Feminist Majority, engages in lobbying and other direct political action, pursuing equality between women and men through legislative avenues.

National Organization for Women
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Since its founding in 1966, NOW's goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.

Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., is the world's largest and most trusted voluntary reproductive health care organization. Founded by Margaret Sanger in 1916 as America's first birth control clinic, Planned Parenthood believes in everyone's right to choose when or whether to have a child, that every child should be wanted and loved, and that women should be in charge of their own destinies.

Pro-Choice America
Thirty years after Roe v. Wade the pro-choice movement is still fighting to protect and defend a woman’s right to choose. Unlike the other rights we expect as Americans, this is not one we can take for granted. NARAL Pro-Choice America is the only organization with a proven history and expertise to combat an aggressive anti-choice movement intent on taking away our rights and freedoms.
Since Roe access to abortion has become increasingly tenuous. In its 1992 Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey decision, the U.S. Supreme Court sharply reduced its protections. Since that year, anti-choice forces around the nation have accepted Casey's invitation to introduce and enact a cascade of burdensome measures.
Both state and federal governments are restricting reproductive rights including access to contraception, legal abortion and sex education on a widespread scale. Eighty-seven percent of counties in the United States have no abortion provider. Since 1995, states have enacted more than 335 anti-choice measures and Congress has voted 152 times with anti-choice politicians winning all but 26 of those votes. Abortion is becoming less available even though it remains legal.
With every political trend working against us, the fact is, the need for abortion will never go away until we, as a country, can achieve two of NARAL Pro-Choice America's goals: better access to more effective contraceptive options and better access to other kinds of reproductive health care and information.
NARAL Pro-Choice America works to reduce the need for abortions. Americans need better access to contraception, health care and sex education. But, anti-choice forces are chipping away at a woman's right to choose which results in more unintended pregnancies and more abortions.
That is the challenge. But therein lies the opportunity. As the political and grassroots arm of the pro-choice movement, NARAL Pro-Choice America is mobilizing millions of pro-choice supporters to achieve these goals.
Until we attain our goals, it is critical that those who value the freedom and independence we enjoy in this country mobilize to protect a woman's right to choose. For now, that basic American right is seriously at risk.

Emily's List
An acronym for Early Money Is Like Yeast (it helps the dough rise), EMILY’s List is the nation’s largest grassroots political network, raising campaign contributions for pro-choice Democratic women candidates running for the House, the Senate and for governor; helping women candidates build strong, winning campaigns; and helping mobilize women voters.
Until EMILY’s List was founded in 1985, no Democratic woman had ever been elected to the U.S. Senate in her own right, no woman had ever been elected governor of a large state, and the number of Democratic women in the U.S. House had declined to 12 less than three percent of the chamber’s 435 members.
In the nine elections since EMILY's List began, we have helped elect 11 Democratic women senators, 55 congresswomen and seven governors. In the process, EMILY’s List has become the largest financial resource for minority women seeking federal office. Almost one-third of the women EMILY’s List has helped to elect have been women of color.
In the 2002 elections, EMILY’s List and its almost 73,000 members contributed nearly $9.7 million to pro-choice Democratic women candidates; members contributed $23 million to fund EMILY’s List operations and political program, including the nationwide WOMEN VOTE! project to mobilize women voters on behalf of Democrats.

John Kerry
John Kerry has an unparalleled record working on behalf of women in this country. As a prosecutor in Boston, he established one of the country’s first offices to assist rape victims. One of his first statements in the Senate defended a woman’s right to choose. He cosponsored and helped pass the Violence Against Women Act. He worked to expand the rights of women in the workplace and pass the Family and Medical Leave Act to help working parents balance work and family. As President, John Kerry will stand with women to guarantee that they have the ability to go as far as their talents can take them.

John Edwards
Senator John Edwards is a strong supporter of women's rights, families and the right to choose. He has worked to protect Roe vs. Wade and has opposed anti-choice nominations. He has also been a leader on women's health issues, including passing a real Patients Bill of Rights, and has strongly supported equal pay for women. Senator Edwards also has stood up for families, because he knows that being a parent is harder than ever. His proposals will offer parents a chance to spend more time with their children, and help parents instill strong values in our children.
Currently, there is every evidence that much in-school sex education is not working. According to SIECUS, "To date, six studies of abstinence-only programs have been published. None of these studies found consistent and significant program effects on delaying the onset of intercourse, and at least one study provided strong evidence that the program did not delay the onset of intercourse. Thus, the weight of evidence indicates that these abstinence-only programs do not delay the onset of intercourse. A study of 7,326 seventh and eighth graders in California who participated in an abstinence-only program found that the program did not have a measurable impact upon either sexual or contraceptive behaviors. Nearly two-thirds of teenagers think teaching "Just Say No" is an ineffective deterrent to teenage sexual activity. "
While we at Scarleteen do not hold to the notion that telling teens to go have sex is a better solution, we strongly feel that belying judgment and furnishing them with the facts they need to know REGARDLESS of whether or not they are sexually active readies them to learn to make their own choices, and develop their own systems of ethics and values from themselves and their families is our job as educators and sex-positive advocates. One cannot make a decision from a position of informed consent without being informed.
The statistics, in fact, may surprise you, because they show that more than half of American teens DO abstain from intercourse until age 17, and that a quarter of them at 20 still have not had heterosexual intercourse. These same studies show that informative sex education has not increased sexual activity, pregnancy or the number of sexual partners, and has in fact, succeeded in that, "Teenagers who start having intercourse following a sexuality education program are more likely to use contraception than those who have not participated in a program. (SIECUS)." In addition, while many teens may not be having vaginal intercourse, they are often instead engaging in a myriad of other sexual practices, including petting, oral sex and even anal sex.

For women with something to get off their chests.

It's a noun. It's a verb. It's a magazine.

fierce (from the Latin ferus, wild, savage) adj. 1. Glorious, fully self-acknowledged, fabulous. 2. Free from self-doubt, self-hatred, and self-treachery. 3. Wild, empowered, juicy. FIERCE MAGAZINE: 4. The collective sisterhood that honors women and their global efforts. 5. The space for self-love, authentic self-expression, creativity and succulence. 6. Pages brimming with organic, intuitive and non-linear ideas and theories. 7. The stand that all women everywhere fearlessly reclaim their authentic, bold, audacious selves, and lead the charge in transforming and healing the planet.

Betty Dodson
This website is devoted to liberating masturbation, erotic sex education, and promoting sexual diversity. Many of my art forms have centered around celebrating orgasms alone, in partnersex, and beyond. Since sexual expression is natural and healthy, I regard all writing and discussion about sexual matters as educational, enlightening, and protected speech. I also regard art which depicts human sexuality either directly or indirectly as an expression of the human spirit and protected imagery. Join me for an honest, intelligent, and fun loving exchange of ideas and images about my favorite subject, SEX.

About Face
About-Face promotes positive self-esteem in girls and women of all ages, sizes, races and backgrounds through a spirited approach to media education, outreach and activism.

Labia Love
The international labia blogathon is being held on the 9th and 10th of April to spread labialove, body acceptance and proclaim an end to genital shame

V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls initiated by Eve Ensler's award-winning play "The Vagina Monologues." In 2004, more than 2000 V-Day events will take place in the U.S. and around the world.
To date, V-Day has raised over $20 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, funded essential community-based anti-violence programs, reopened shelters, crafted national awareness, media and PSA campaigns, and built safe houses in Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq, amongst its efforts.

Equality Now
Equality Now was founded in 1992 to work for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women around the world. Working with national human rights organizations and individual activists, Equality Now documents violence and discrimination against women and adds an international action overlay to support their efforts to advance equality rights and defend individual women who are suffering abuse. Through its Women’s Action Network, Equality Now distributes information about these human rights violations to concerned groups and individuals around the world, along with recommended actions for publicizing and protesting them. The Women’s Action Network is committed to voicing a worldwide call for justice and equality for women. Issues of urgent concern to Equality Now include rape, domestic violence, reproductive rights, trafficking of women, female genital mutilation, and equal access to economic opportunity and political participation.

Vital Voices
Vital Voices is a global partnership to support women's progress in building democracies, strong economies and peace. Our work focuses on three critical areas: expanding women's roles in politics and civil society; increasing women's successful entrepreneurship; and fighting trafficking in women and girls and other human rights abuses.

Women Waging Peace
Women Waging Peace advocates for the full participation of women in formal and informal peace processes around the world. The inclusion of all sectors of society furthers the development of fresh, workable solutions to seemingly intractable conflicts. Sustainable peace, and therefore international security, depends on such innovations.

Doctors Without Borders
Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders or MSF) delivers emergency aid to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, and natural and man-made disasters, and to others who lack health care due to social or geographical isolation.

Code Pink
CODEPINK is a women initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement that seeks positive social change through proactive, creative protest and non-violent direct action.

DEVELOPMENT ALTERNATIVES WITH WOMEN FOR A NEW ERA is a network of women scholars and activists from the economic South who engage in feminist research and analysis of the global environment and are committed to working for economic justice, gender justice and democracy. DAWN works globally and regionally in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific on the themes of the Political Economy of Globalization; Political Restructuring and Social Transformation; and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, in partnership with other global NGOs and networks.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom was founded in 1915 during World War I, with Jane Addams as its first president. WILPF works to achieve through peaceful means world disarmament, full rights for women, racial and economic justice, an end to all forms of violence, and to establish those political, social, and psychological conditions which can assure peace, freedom, and justice for all.

In both industrialized and developing countries, women are more likely than men to live in poverty, endure low status within the family, be refugees, migrate in search of work, suffer from poor health and nutrition and be solely responsible for the maintenance and care of children. Even worse, women and girls are increasingly victims of state-sponsored or condoned violence and repression. Female infanticide, honor killings, acid attacks, female genital mutilation, widow abuse, sexual slavery and child marriage are still practiced in too many parts of the world. And mass rape has become a common terror tactic in ethnic cleansing campaigns.
In many nations, the legal systems perpetuate sex bias. Often laws and customs openly discriminate against women. Women are routinely denied their most basic economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.
Unfortunately, women who are the subject of violence and discrimination often have no idea what rights they have, or they don't know any effective methods to enforce those rights. In short, they lack the knowledge or the skills to advocate for themselves.
WLDI empowers women to fight for women's rights. We are a a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the promotion and defense of women's rights globally. Our strength is our ability to conduct useful and applicable research, training, and advocacy to women's rights groups in developing countries. WLDI identifies and publicizes violations of women's human rights, networks with women's rights leaders and organizations to develop common strategies for action and trains women to become women's rights advocates.

Common Dreams News center
Breaking News and Views for the Progressive Community

Prostitution Research and Education
Prostitution Research & Education (PRE) is sponsored by the San Francisco Women's Centers, a nonprofit corporation. PRE develops research and educational programs to document the experiences of people in prostitution.
The purpose of Prostitution Research & Education is to organize against the institution of prostitution and advocate for alternatives to prostitution - including emotional and physical healthcare for women in prostitution. A purpose of PRE is to reflect the voices of one of the world's most disenfranchised groups: prostituted women and children. The project's goal is to empower this constituency by documenting their perspectives through research, public education, and arts projects.

Remember My Name
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), in conjunction with Ms. Magazine, started this project in 1994 to create a national registry of names to increase public awareness of domestic violence deaths. Since then, NCADV has continued to collect information on incidents of women who have been killed by an intimate partner and produces a poster each year for Domestic Violence Awareness Month listing the names of those submitted and documented in that year. Date of death does not have to correspond to the year the name is submitted. We are hoping to create as complete a registry as possible of women who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. If you know of a woman who was killed due to domestic violence, please complete this form and attach additional documentation available (newspaper clippings, police report, court records, etc.)

Domestic Violence links from the NCADV website

Labor Project for Working Families
Since 1992, the Labor Project for Working Families has worked with unions, union members, community groups, organizations and other activists on work and family issues across the country.

Women and Families
Page of links dealing with women, children, and families

S.P.O.T The Tampon Health Website

Peter Duesberg on AIDS
Website of UC Berkeley professor at the forefront of questioning the HIV/AIDS hypothesis.

Feminists For Life
A pro-life women's group.

Guerrilla Girls
Since 1985 the Guerrilla Girls have been reinventing the "F word feminism. Still going strong in the 21st century, we're a bunch of anonymous females who take the names of dead women artists as pseudonyms and appear in public wearing gorilla masks. In 19 years we have produced over 100 posters, stickers, books, printed projects, and actions that expose sexism and racism in politics, the art world, film and the culture at large. We use humor to convey information, provoke discussion, and show that feminists can be funny. We wear gorilla masks to focus on the issues rather than our personalities. Dubbing ourselves the conscience of culture, we declare ourselves feminist counterparts to the mostly male tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Batman, and the Lone Ranger. Our work has been passed around the world by kindred spirits who we are proud to have as supporters. The mystery surrounding our identities has attracted attention. We could be anyone; we are everywhere.

Off Our Backs
The mission of the paper is to provide news and information about women's lives and feminist activism; to educate the public about the status of women around the world; to serve as a forum for feminist ideas and theory; to be an information resource on feminist, women's, and lesbian culture; and to seek social justice and equality for women worldwide.

FIRE: Feminist International Radio Endeavor

Voices From the Gaps
Voices From the Gaps is a World Wide Web project that focuses on the lives and works of women writers of color in North America. The Voices project is made possible through an ongoing collaborative effort between faculty and students in the Department of English and the Program in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. In addition, this site relies upon students and scholars from around the world to contribute "author pages" for women writers of color.

Bell Hooks
bell hooks is one of America's most indispensable and independent thinkers and one of the foremost Black intellectuals in America today. hooks has described herself as a "Black woman intellectual, revolutionary activist." And that's no lie. The author of many books and essays, hooks has focused attention on the myriad forms of racism, from subtle to blatant, in the United States. She has criticized the way in which the plight of Black women has been either ignored or worsened not only by what she has termed "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" but, in many instances, by the mainstream feminist movement and the Black liberation struggle. hooks has participated in discussions of those subjects on television and radio programs, in order to ensure that her opinions are heard outside the world of academia. "We are looking at a culture where millions of people don't read or write," she has said. "If I want to get the message out there, I have to use some other format." Far from merely making use of mass media, she has frequently cited the roles played by television, film, and advertising in perpetuating racism and sexism.

Women's history sourcebook
In recent years, while not denying the history of oppression, historians have begun to focus on the agency of women. All human beings are subject to some degree of social forces that limit freedom, but within those limits people are able to exercise greater or lesser degrees of control over their own lives. This insight applies equally to women even in oppressive societies.
These various approaches to the history of women are not exclusive. This sourcebook attempts to present online documents and secondary discussions which reflect the various ways of looking at the history of women within broadly defined historical periods and areas.

mind the gap