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Since 1995 when the UN Beijing Platform for Women called for a mininum of 30% women in representative office by 2000 on the way to the eventual goal of full equal representation for women, and especially since 1997, when the Interparliamentary Union began publishing the statistics about the level of officeholding of women in government by county http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm all US men leaders, too many prominent women in US office and some, not all, but far too many US Women’s Organizations leaderships have been ignoring this information, and making no effort to communicate about it, and it’s importance to their constituent members.
As a result, the US has now fallen to a rank of 80th in the world in represenation for women, was 92nd if you count ties on Women’s Equality Day August 26, 2012 and now is 94th if you count ties, with less women in office than most countries, far less than most closer to real democracies, less than Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates in balance of gender in office. http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm
For reasons listed below, we now regard this situation in the US, where women are well educated and literate and generally want full representation for both genders (as do many men), as evidence of gross malfeasance in titular leadership, negligence and in some cases, criminal negligence, and a crime against humanity.
The titular officeholders, male and female, who are guilty of this negligence include:
All those in the US Federal Executive (both President and Vice-President), Congressional and Judicial Levels of Office from 1995 to the Present. (about 600 people)
Most corporate CEOs, and most dangerously especially Media (called the fourth estate or fourth branch of government) CEOs.
Most Corporate TV, Radio and Print “Journalists” (with a few exceptions.)
Shockingly, these titular officers also include some who are from organizations that are supposed to be devoted to improving the status of women and their ability to help their society. But too many organizations in the US have said almost nothing about equal representation for women, especially in this period before an our broken system brings us another “election” where women candidates are largely missing.
Officers and Organizations of concern for their almost total lack of attention to equal representation for women include: (we are including only current officers, but ask that the organizations
refer this to all national officers since 2000)
Emily’s List Stephanie Shriock (strangely promotes the US abysmal stagnation at 16% women as evidence of progress. Never mentions that US ranks 94th. No information about 5050 success stories around the world.)
The National Organization for Women (no mention of women’s equal representation or US low rank; fails to say that the other issues it supports requires full representation of women;No information about 5050 success stories around the world.)
Terry O’Neill, President
Bonnie Grabenhofer, Executive Vice President
Allendra Letsome, Membership Vice President
Erin Matson, Action Vice President
Planned Parenthood (makes no statement that protection of women’s healthcare and reproductive rights requires full representation of women; no mention of women’s equal representation or US low rank; No information about 5050 success stories around the world.)
Cecile Richards President
Cecilia Guthrie Boone Chair
NARAL Nancy Keenan (makes no statement that protection of women’s healthcare and reproductive rights requires full representation of women; no mention of women’s equal representation or US low rank; controversially endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton; No information about 5050 success stories around the world.)
The League of Women Voters (makes no mention of need for equal representation for women or US low rank; seems to have abandoned public funding for elections; pushes people to vote in broken system; No information about 5050 success stories around the world.)
Elisabeth MacNamara President/Chair
Janis McMillenJ 1st vice president
Mary Klenz 2nd vice chair
Patricia Donath Secretary/Treasurer
Eleanor Smeal is a special and tragic case in 2012. She was able to discuss equal representation on several interviews, but never is quoted about it on her organization’s websites, which have no information about it, and apparently feared to talk about it on TV. She has certainly spoken about it outside of her Organization, but put no teeth into it for the years leading up to the current election
“You do not have a representative democracy if half of the population is not represented. Afghan women’s leaders must be represented in all the planning and decision-making,” commented Eleanor Smeal” (Yet so strangely, she says nothing about it on the Feminist Majority Website regarding this most dangerous election. and has done absolutely nothing to hold our major parties feet to the fire if they want women’s votes)
Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom
WILPF is also a tragic case. Roskos and this organizations were able to focus on UN Resolution 1325 to bring gender balance to peace negotiations in world regions of conflict, but substantially ignored the UN Beijing Platform for Women to achieve 30% by 2000 on the way to gender parity, and no officer has ever published anything about the rank in representation in the US, or 5050 that has been achieved in many places and sought in every country now.
Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University 2012 Project (mentions low rank but not 5050; advocated a 20% goal for 2012, but does not reveal that this does not meet the 1995 UN Platform for Action bare mininum of 30% by 2000, let alone the overdue 5050)
CodePink (has been able to not be co-opted by either major party, but ignores equal representation for women, even though that is the key to all its goals for peace and foreign policy.)
Some US organizations have lead in carrying 5050 information to members, although some of their efforts have fallen off and are not up to date, or do not include any mention of the current 94 rank of the US, and nor any hint that our election system in 2012 is already overdue for a complete overhaul, (via non-violent means, or course, as done in many other countries) These include:
The Partnership Way
American Association of University Women at Chapter level
US Women Connect (needlessly delays the goal of 5050 to the year 2020; waiting until then only insures 2020 hindsight that millions of American women and billions more are impoverished, and on an irrevocable date with global warming that literally destroys the world environment.
Hunt Alternatives (has stressed women’s equal representation and given facts about low rank) Swanee Hunt Political Parity (has stressed women’s equal representation but apparently under pressure to needlessly delay)
The White House Project (has stressed women’s equal representation and given facts about low rank) This was under Marie Wilson. New Leader Tiffany Dufu may be under corporate pressure to delay)
Missrepresentaton (Film and website reveal low US rank) Jennifer Siebel Newsom
The New Agenda (has addressed low percentage of women in Cabinet and lack of Women Presidential Candidates and Equal Presence in Corporations but has been willing to admire female tokenism such as Sarah Palin).
More to to be added.
(But unlike women in other countries who are pressing on the issue for upcoming and current elections, even these are lax and absenting the issue for 2012-2013, when their efforts can make the greatest difference,)
In most cases, the failure is human error, fear and habit. But it is so serious a lapse that it requires Truth and Reconciliation to understand what has caused this. In the case of our highest leaders and Corporate leaders who have actively undermined some women’s efforts, it is a crime against humanity.
Why is the Neglect of this Issue is a Crime Against Humanity
Females are 51% of the human population in the US and on Earth, and children and men must rely on women to function fully as decision-making human beings in order to prevent a whole host of social, economic, political (including war and war machines) and environmental ills. Studies have repeatedly shown (see section of this website on why 5050 is so important for real elections) that their critical mass to at least equal presence in office (along with men who understand the importance of their full presence and call for it) is the best protector of the general good of the respective country or jurisdiction, and the Planet as a whole. Without it we face extreme poverty, famine, billions of unnecessary deaths, and the likely loss of all life on Earth in years to come if we don’t change course NOW.
It is our belief and conclusion, therefore, that the failure to communicate the important facts about women’s full participation in public office and effective ways to bring this about quickly, amounts to a state of denial, and gross negligence on the part of many US so-called leaders holding office publically in some organizations.
What must be done about this:
1. Linguistic Jui Jitso: Immediately Stop calling all US public and organizational officeholders by their titles unless inserting the word “genderist (or patriarchal) titular” ______ for men, and “genderist (or patriarchal) titular co-opted token” for women, but refer to yourself all non-officeholding women (and any men who have or will publically call for gender 5050) as local global Co-Secretary General in their organizations and neighborhood. Kick Yourself and all other women upstairs, and be very careful to not call genderist officeholders by any title. When you go into a store or bank, tell the female cashiers that you regard them as the CEOs and do not recognize the titles of their company CEOs and Board any longer if they are mostly male, and will curtail your purchases drastically until the corporation engages in Truth and Reconciliation. Understand that the US election system is anchronistic on an interconnected Planet, outmoded and corrupt, and that any candidate “elected” under current rules, especially since 1996, has actually been rejected by the non-voting and opposing majorities combined, and therefore, has held title without the consent of the governed.
2. Request every officeholder both public and organizational since 1995 to make a public statement apologizing for their lapse on promoting equal gender representation, and communicating the important information, including the 94 rank that will be perpetuated by this $election immediately. It is our belief that some will do this, but some won’t. Keep a list of who will and who won’t, and publish it on your own or topical blogs.
3. Hold personal and collective Truth and Reconciliation Hearings (online, live and teleconference discussions about this that include the following:
1. Ask and ascertain the real reasons for the failure to communicate this important information about women’s representation.
a. Did not know (over a nearly 20 year period, never looked up “Women’s Representation” on an Internet Search Engine, which immediately brings up the Interparliamentary Union website among the first page of links.
b. Was intimated by existing male dominated political or corporate pressure, including high level cooopted females, to conceal and ignore the information. Report instances of actual threat and intimidation for immediate investigation, and apply appropriate jail sentences for instances of personal threat and financial pressure or blackmail by male corporate funders and political bosses.
c. Too busy with other tasks, that allowed these leaders to be Big Fish in Small Hierarchical Ponds which perpetuate under
gender imbalanced governments. Studies show that while men in general are more hierarchical than women, women do form
some hierarchies. Some women may be extremely hierarchical and authoritarian, and encourage passive following in their membership instead of equal idea sharing and decision-making. These officeholders may say they were too “busy” too learn the facts, with activities such as i.e. : Raising dues, going to awards dinners, traveling, investing their salaries for personal and family status, other tasks.
d. Psychological block (poor relationships with mother, overidentification with father figures who engaged in
either defacto/habitual unaware sexism, or were active sexists who preferred women to be lesser in a gender hierarchy and
taught this to daughters as well as sons;
e. Habit and conventional and national-parochial “thinking” at the expense of informed and logical thought, global awareness and human progress.
e. So over-focussed on other related profound but actually derivative inequities (race, class, health access, abortion, peace, environment) that they repeatedly ignored the oldest and most universal Elephant in the Living Room, sexism. These should simply be asked to understand the interplay of all these factors, and stop leaving the most widespread factor, unequal representation/genderism in decision-making, out of their work.
f. Did not understand the importance of gender representation to the general social, environmental, peace and global good.
2. Include those that do admit their lapse and communicate the facts now as Co-Secretary Generals.
Tell those officeholders since 1995 that if they will not do this that they are retroactively resigned from service as if they have never held title of office, and are asked to pay a fine of one-fifth of the salary into the cause of equal representation. (one half or more, if they can be helped to discover their consciences, in the case of CEOs and male politicians) that they earned while in office to their relevant members or constituents. When they make a statement of Truth and Reconciliation, they can regain their title as local-global Co-Secretary General of their hereby gender balanced relevant organization, jurisdiction, or corporation
Why “local-global” Co-Secretary General?
We choose this phrase to elevate citizenship, which on a globally interconnected Earth must be global in concern, to its highest level, while removing the false hierarchy that has plagued humanity for millennia, out of the title. Today, the global organizations
that use this title for one man, must relinquish the title to every adult capable of functioning without perpetuating false hierarchy,
especially the most pervasive hierarchy, which is gender, whether serving at the local, state/provincial/national-regional or international-global level.
The Occupy Movement’ s General Assemblies that use progressive stack has already proven that direct democracy is possible, and has been urged to adopt gender balance in its facilitation of General Assemblies. This can easily be done in every neighborhood and organization, supplemented by rotating representative democracy at city/state/provincial and national regional levels that is drawn from the direct democracy gatherings that are gender balanced, minority representative, and not dependent on money for candidacy and access to public.media.
Women’s Organizations can still include a membership that is mostly female because this is still reparative to the half the human race that has been kept from office for 8000 years, but engage in periodic partnerships with men in democracy and environmental organizations, and men who serve women in anti-dometic violence programs, and children, families, and the socially disadvantaged, such as pediatricians, therapists and social workers, and men who protect Mother Nature.