Today, JWI will recognize 10 extraordinary Jewish women from around the country who are game changers in the worlds of social justice, technology, and female empowerment. As we celebrate these women, here are three ways we can all step up our engagement in the world and help to empower women.
3. Sexual Assault
For the first time our nation is acknowledging the continuum of violence perpetrated against women in the workplace. As is becoming incredibly obvious, no workplace is immune from the injustice of sexual harassment. Men in positions of power are finally being held accountable for their harmful words and actions. It is up to each of us to keep up the pressure, tell our stories, and demand action – in our workplaces and in our government. Each of us can take action through the #MeToo and #IWill campaigns, by telling our stories and naming specific actions we can take to combat sexual harassment and assault.
2. Firearms and DV
There have been more than 400 mass shootings in our country this year. The epidemic of gun violence is terrorizing communities across our nation, but instead passing common-sense reforms, the House of Representatives passed a bill last week that allows abusers to stalk their intimate partners across state lines while carrying loaded concealed guns. The Senate is working on an important and valuable bill to ensure that the FBI’s database is up-to-date so that domestic violence abusers do not pass background checks – but there is still much more to do. Every person who purchases a gun should have to go through a background check, individuals convicted of dating violence and stalking should not have access to firearms, and accessories that turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons should be banned. We must hold our elected officials on the state and federal level accountable for their votes on firearms policies and vote into office individuals who believe in comprehensive gun violence prevention.
1. Violence Against Women / International Violence Against Women
Living free from violence is a human right, but around the world one in three women experience abuse at some point in their lives. The bipartisan International Violence Against Women Act, which was introduced in the Senate last month, ensures the federal government works with other countries to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. As we support this important international effort, we must also direct our energy to protect the nearly 10 million women and men who are physically abused by an intimate partner each year in the United States. Next year, the Violence Against Women Act will come up for reauthorization by Congress. Ensuring VAWA is maintained is of the utmost importance to the safety of women and communities across the country. As the nation’s single most effective tool in responding to the range of crimes against women -- including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking -- we must be steadfast in demanding VAWA be reauthorized and improved to meet the changing needs of victims.
And for you...
The Sigma Delta Tau chapter of Kent State University made this video about JWI's work. We're showing it to everyone at today's Women to Watch luncheon. We hope it inspires you as much as it inspires us.