Equal Pay and Fairness Advocate Lilly Ledbetter to speak at BradleyUniversity

Peoria, IL (September 10, 2013) Advocate Lilly Ledbetter, whose discrimination case led to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, will speak at Bradley University on September 17, at 7:00  p.m. in the Peplow Pavilion in the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center, located at 816 N. Tobias Lane. Admission is free and open to the public.

Ledbetter’s topic is “Grace and Grit: How I Won My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond.”

Ms. Ledbetter worked as a supervisor at a Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden, Alabama for 19 years. Toward the end of her career, she began to suspect that she wasn’t being paid as much as her male counterparts. Intent on facing the discrimination, she brought an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Complaint against Goodyear and won. Goodyear appealed the case all the way to the Supreme Court, and in a 5-4 decision, the Court overturned the ruling.

After the decision, legal groups and Democrats worked to introduce a bill that was signed into law in January of 2009, a law that makes it easier for women who have experienced pay discrimination to fight back.

A tireless advocate for fair pay, Ledbetter has been a featured speaker at colleges, universities, conferences, and other groups around the country, She also has made frequent television appearances.

The lecture is the first in the 2013-14 Women, Gender and the Law Series presented by Bradley’s Women’s Studies Committee.

Hillary Clinton in Elite Company as Liberty Medal Recipient

NCC Staff 1 hour ago


When former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton receives the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, she’ll join an elite list of leaders and humanitarians.

Clinton will receive the medal on Tuesday night in recognition of her lifelong career in public service and her ongoing advocacy efforts on behalf of women and girls around the globe.


The 25th annual Liberty Medal will take place at the NationalConstitutionCenter on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia and will be broadcast live on WPVI-TV/6abc.

Last year, Muhammad Ali received the medal at the NationalConstitutionCenter. Lech Walesa was awarded the first Liberty Medal in 1989.

“Liberty is not only a right, but also our common responsibility and duty,” Walesa said in his acceptance speech.

Past recipients include three American presidents (Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton), world leaders (Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Kofi Annan), two Supreme Court justices (Sandra Day O’Connor and Thurgood Marshall) and icons like Nelson Mandela and Vaclav Havel.

Established in 1988 to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the Liberty Medal is awarded annually to men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe. The medal was first administered by the NationalConstitutionCenter in 2006.

Six recipients of the medal have subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Throughout her nearly four-decade career as one of America’s most dedicated public servants, Secretary Clinton has continued to champion equal opportunities for women and girls in order to advance the security and prosperity of all people and nations. As the 67th Secretary of State, Clinton broke national and global barriers. She was the first First Lady to serve in a presidential Cabinet. She traveled to more countries than any other Secretary of State. She used social media to engage citizens in the workings of diplomacy, and she paid an official visit to Burma, making her the highest U.S. representative to do so in half a century. As Secretary of State, Clinton advocated for “smart power” in foreign policy, elevating diplomacy and development and repositioning them for the 21st century—with new tools, technologies, and partners, including the private sector and civil society around the world.

Clinton served as the 67th Secretary of State of the United States from January 21, 2009 until February 1, 2013, after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator.

As First Lady, Hillary Clinton advocated for universal affordable, quality health care and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and establish both the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Early Head Start, which provides support for children in the crucial first three years of life.

She also traveled to more than 80 countries as a representative of our country, winning respect as a champion of human rights, democracy, civil society, and opportunities for women and girls around the world.

In 2000, Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate. She worked across party lines to expand economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care, including for wounded service members, veterans and members of the Nationa Guard and Reserves. After September 11, 2001, she helped secure more than $20 billion for the rebuilding of New York and fought for the health needs of first responders who risked their lives at Ground Zero.

In 2007 and 2008, Clinton made her historic campaign for President of the United States, winning 18 million votes, and more primaries and delegates than any woman had before.

In her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world and strengthening its global leadership. Her “smart power” approach to foreign policy elevated American diplomacy and development and repositioned them for the 21st century—with new tools, technologies, and partners, including the private sector and civil society around the world. As America’s chief diplomat and the President’s principal foreign policy adviser, Clinton spearheaded progress on many of our greatest national security challenges, from reasserting the United States as a Pacific power and imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea to responding to the challenges and opportunities of the Arab Awakening and negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. She pushed the frontiers of human rights and demonstrated that giving women the opportunity to participate fully is vital to the security, stability, and prosperity of all nations.

Today, Clinton continues to build on the nonprofit work she began nearly four decades ago through the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which works to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among businesses, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private citizens.


Whatever Happened to the Women’s Movement?

(By Bob Burnett of Opednews.com)

Hillary Clinton will likely be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and the odds-on favorite to become the 45 th President.  Nonetheless, while over the last sixty years there’s been a lot of civil-rights progress in the US, women remain second-class citizens.  Whatever happened to the women’s movement?

Historians say the American women’s movement has gone through three stages.  The first focused on women’s suffrage.  The second stage began in the sixties — about the time Betty Friedan published “The Feminine Mystique” — and lasted into the eighties.  It focused on gender inequality.  The third stage arose in the nineties as a reaction to the perceived failures of the second stage, in particular the lack of inclusion of women of color.

On the one hand women have made progress in America.  There are more females as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, 21, than there were 60 years ago.   More women go to college than do men.  And women live longer.

On the other hand more women live in poverty than do men.  And despite years of protest and countless lawsuits, women still earn less than men when they do comparable work: “Women on average make only 77 cents to every dollar earned by men.”  And despite the accomplishments of women like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, politics is still dominated by white men.  (Since 2010 the number of female elected officials has declined.)

From the perspective of a straight white guy perched on the left coast, there seem to be three reasons why the women’s movement hasn’t produced gender equity.

First, at the same time women were struggling to gain their rightful place in American society, there has been a horrendous class war.  Since the Reagan presidency conservatives have waged war on the middle class.  Inequality rose as middle-class income and wealth declined.

Second, in their drive to promote corporate capitalism and turn the US into a plutocracy, conservatives targeted the women’s movement.  Modern conservative political strategy dates from the 1971 Lewis Powell memorandum that called upon the US Chamber of Commerce and corporations to become more involved in politics. As a consequence, corporations and rich conservatives spent millions developing a conservative strategy to take over America. They argued that a liberal attack on traditional values had caused most of America’s problems. Republicans became adept at mobilizing resentment and in campaign after campaign Republicans have fueled the anger of lower and middle-class white men and redirected it to fictional groups, such as promiscuous women who supposedly want abortion on demand.

Third, the mainstream media continued to promote sexist images of women. Powell argued that conservatives had to manipulate the media. This led to the rise of Fox News, conservative radio commentators such as Rush Limbaugh, the neutering of much investigative journalism, and a steady increase in sexist images of women.

Progressives must acknowledge the reason the women’s movement hasn’t achieved all of its objectives is because the movement hasn’t had the whole-hearted support of men.  Progressive males have to adopt women’s issues as their issues.  For example, unfettered access to reproductive health services is not exclusively a women’s issue; it’s a human rights issue that impacts all of us. As another example, a giant step towards ending economic inequality is guaranteeing equal pay for women.

To see the rest of the article, you can see the original content at: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Whatever-Happened-to-the-W-by-Bob-Burnett-130712-532.html


What about the Founding Mothers?!

The 4th of July is a momentous occasion in the U.S.: Parades, barbeques, fireworks and political ceremonies celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which announced the American colonies separation and independence from Britain and King George III’s tyrannical rule. We celebrate our founders, and the troops who sacrificed their lives for the creation of our nation. But in our commentary, there are some crucial people being left out: the women of the revolution. Women were an integral part of colonial society, and later, the Revolutionary War. Their place was usually in the home, where they took care of their husbands, raised children and carried out endless daily tasks: They were butchers, cleaners, candle makers, cooks, farmers, tailors. During the war they also became nurses, activists, camp helpers and even soldiers on the frontline. While we celebrate Independence Day this weekend, we should remember these brave women who fought for and helped to shape our nation.

Here are just a few:

Abigail Adams (1744 – 1818)

Molly Pitcher (?? – ??)

Deborah Sampson (1760 – 1827)

Mammy Kate (?? – ??)

Phillis Wheatley (1753–1784)

To read info on those wonderful women, please go to: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2013/07/04/what-about-the-founding-mothers/

States of NC, KS, OH, and TX passed anti-abortion laws last week

From Weekly Feminist News Digest –  www.feminist.org

Top Feminist News

Jul 3 2013
North Carolina Passes Harsh Last Minute Anti-Abortion Amendment  – On Wednesday morning, during the last minute discussion of an anti-Sharia bill, the North Carolina state Senate gave final approval to an amendment restricting abortion access in a vote of 29 to 12. Tuesday evening, North Carolina state Senators covertly added an amendment that would severely limit women’s access to abortion services to a bill originally intended to outlaw Islamic Sharia Law throughout the family court system…


Jul 2 2013
Federal Judge Upholds Kansas Anti-Abortion Law
U.S… http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=14446


Jul 1 2013
OH Governor Fails to Veto Harmful Abortion Restrictions in State Budget – On Sunday night Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed a new state budget into law that includes provisions that will severely restrict access to reproductive healthcare across the state…


Jun 28 2013
Ohio Budget Includes Severe Anti-Abortion Provisions, Heads to Governor – Yesterday the Ohio state legislature passed a $62 billion budget that includes multiple anti-abortion provisions that could all but eliminate abortion access in the state…


Jun 27 2013
Rick Perry Calls Second Special Session on Abortion Restrictions
After a marathon filibuster to defeat an extreme anti-abortion bill, Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) has called a second special session in an attempt to pass the anti-choice legislation of Senate Bill 5. Beginning at 11:18 am CST on Tuesday, Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) talked about the dangers of Senate Bill 5, read testimony from women and others who opposed the bill, speaking of her own experience at Planned Parenthood, and discussing the changes the bill had experienced…


Intro to SBA Loans & Program to Grow your Startup

Guide to Small Business Administration Loans for Women Entrepreneurs:

Over the past 5 years, the number of women-owned private businesses shot up 20 percent and the rate at which women launch startups has outpaced men for the past 20 years. Most women entrepreneurs setup small organizations as one-woman operations or have only a few employees to start in order to keep costs down. As their businesses grow or different challenges pop up during launch, many turn to outside funding sources like loans from the Small Business Administration. These SBA loans tend to have lower interest rates than traditional bank loans, but the advantages don’t end there.

Microloans from nonprofit community lenders often have programs specifically designed to guide women through starting and growing a business. These and three other SBA loans, listed below, are propelling the new women’s movement forward and setting up women entrepreneurs for success, one loan at a time.

Microloans – Startups in their infancy are more likely to be approved for microloans than any other SBA loan. Microloans are administered only through nonprofit community lenders and are designed to help startups and small business meet their smaller funding needs with loans ranging from $500 to $50,000. Microloans can be used for most business needs, with the exception of paying off existing debt or purchasing real estate.

General Small Business Loans – General Small Business Loans are the most commonly issued SBA loans and are referred to as 7(a) loans. For-profit small businesses with reasonably invested equity are eligible to apply, and the loan can be used for a wide swath of business needs, from paying operational expenses to refinancing debt. Depending on your lender, these SBA loans can be as low as $500 and interest rates are determined by the intermediary.

Real Estate & Equipment Loans – Real estate and equipment SBA loans are also referred to as 504 loans and are solely issued through lending intermediaries called Certified Development Companies (CDC). As Texas CDC’s website explains, independently owned for-profit small businesses are eligible for 504 loans and the loan amount must be at least $50,000. 504 loans benefit small businesses more than startups as startups are required to pay a 15 to 20 percent down payment, whereas established small businesses only need to put down 10 percent.

Disaster Loans – Unlike other SBA loans, you do not necessarily have to be a business owner to be eligible to apply for certain SBA disaster loans. Loan fund uses are more limited, though, and you must use them only to repair or replace eligible items destroyed in a declared disaster. There are quite a few, including:

Business physical disaster loans

Home and personal property loans

Economic injury disaster loans

Military reservists economic injury loans

As women continue to meet their entrepreneurial potential, the Small Business Administration and its lending intermediaries will support their endeavors. At the current pace, by 2018 women-owned small businesses will account for over half of new jobs in the small business sector, an encouraging number when merely 8 percent of the workforce worked directly for women-owned companies in 2009.

Statistics prove that the uptick in women entrepreneurs isn’t just advance gender equality; it advances the nation’s economy. As a woman and a citizen of that nation, I can only say one thing – go, women, go!

About the author: Jennifer Beardsley writes for CW Highlights, an eclectic blog exploring issues affecting women entrepreneurs and craft beer start-ups.

[Source: http://www.projecteve.com/sba-loans-for-women-entrepreneurs/

Supreme Court Scales Back Progress

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

June 24, 2013

The Supreme Court’s decisions today in Vance v. Ball State University andUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar show continuing indifference, and sometimes outright hostility, on the part of conservative justices to the achievement of workplace nondiscrimination. The National Organization for Women is frustrated that the Supreme Court insists on standing in the way of progress. We are encouraged, on the other hand, that the court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, reaffirmed the validity of diversity policies in universities’ admissions — but even in that case, some justices are more resistant than supportive of achieving diversity in higher education.

In Vance and Nassar, the court has made it easier for employers to escape liability for racial and sexual harassment in the workplace (Vance) and for claiming retaliation against employees who file discrimination complaints (Nassar). This sends altogether the wrong signal to employers. The threat of being held accountable is an essential tool to move unwilling employers to take the necessary actions to maintain a safe, collaborative, and non-discriminatory work environment. Yet the court is moving in the opposite direction.

NOW will continue to work with our allies to legislatively overrule Vance and Nassarto correct what Justice Ginsburg called “this court’s wayward interpretations of Title VII.” We will also continue to fight for policies that foster racial diversity in higher education — without which communities of color will continue to face unjust barriers in employment and beyond.

On May 22nd, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research will Celebrate 25 Years of Making Research Count for Women!

Making Research Count for Women: Launching the Next 25 Years

 The event will include an afternoon symposium on the current and future status of women in theUnited Statesand abroad, followed by a special keynote by Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank. The symposium will feature two panels of experts addressing political and economic equality, to include speakers from the spheres of business, labor, politics, and advocacy and research.

To read more: http://www.iwpr.org/about/25th-anniversary/iwpr-celebrates-25th-anniversary