On May 7, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing, “Local and Private Sector Initiatives to Combat International Human Trafficking.” Chair Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) heard testimony regarding government and private sector efforts to prevent and respond to human trafficking within the U.S. and globally. You can view the hearing archived video at: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/hearing-local-and-private-sector-initiatives-combat-international-human-trafficking
Sen. Ben Cardin has decided to join others in a Resolution to extend the Equal Rights Amendment ratification deadline rather than pursue his three-state strategy. Please see Sen. Mikulski’s website for the full details:
Here are lists of Representatives and Senators in District 6 who have endorsed this Resolution thus far:
Gutierrez, Luis [D-IL4], Moore, Gwen [D-WI4] and Schakowsky, Janice “Jan” [D-IL9]
SENATORS: Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI], Durbin, Richard [D-IL] and Kirk, Mark [R-IL]
The article goes on to say that “numerous groups have endorsed the Cardin-Kirk resolution, including United 4 Equality, National Council of Women’s Organizations, American Association of University Women, Business & Professional Women’s Foundation (BPWF), Federally Employed Women (FEW) and US Women’s Chamber Commerce (USWCC).
On March 7th and 8th, the Zonta Club of Columbus celebrated International Women’s Day by inviting Loung Ung to speak. Loung was trained as a child soldier during the Khmer Rouge Regime in Cambodia. Her parents and baby sister were executed and another sister died from starvation related diseases. She shared her story about the violence during the conflict which lasted over 4 years and how she has taken her anger and doing good for her country. She and others started a foundation that raises money for prostheses for Cambodians who lose limbs from the land mines planted during the conflict. There are over 40,000 mines still planted and about 18,000 Cambodians lose limbs each year from stepping on them. These were planted in fields, woods etc to keep people from trying to escape to other countries. Loung spoke to both of our High Schools’ History students March 8th sharing her story but also discussed bullying, hate and other acts of violence. She spoke to the public on March 7th.
Cindy Felsten, District 6 Indiana Advocacy Liaison
The Indiana Commission for Women held listening sessions around the state 2 years ago about what are the big issues concerning women. There were 5 top issues that came out of the sessions consistently:
Work Based Issues – especially the wage gap
Health Based Issues
Violence Against Women
All women’s organizations were invited to attend Feb. 6th. Each issue was presented by a expert in the area and questions/answers followed each session. Zonta was represented with members from Indianapolis and Columbus. Indiana has some very good laws concerning Violence Against Women but we need to work toward more funding for agencies and we need to work educating our communities about the issue.
Cindy Felsten, Zonta District 6 Indiana Advocacy Liaison
This year’s International Women’s Day observance in Area 2 took place in Madison, WI on Friday March 8th. It was produced by a committee from the Zonta Clubs of Beloit, Janesville, Milwaukee and Madison. The theme utilized Zonta International’s anti-violence campaign “ZONTA Says No to Violence”.
The day included inspirational quotes from participants; presentations of issues on Domestic Violence by Tony Gibart of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on Sexual Assault by Kelly Anderson of the Dane County Rape Crisis Center, and on Human Trafficking by Zontian JoAnn Gruber-Hagen; Advocacy Training by Sabrina Gentile of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families; one-on-one visits with our legislators or their staffs; and a Rally in the Capitol Rotunda. We also celebrated the passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act signed by President Obama that day.
The event had 27 registrants, 23 of whom were Zontians, 3 were students in the UWM School of Social Welfare, and the President of the Madison Chapter of the International League for Peace and Freedom. We also accommodated a surprise visit by 15 women from ARC Community Services, Inc., a private, not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency that provides innovative, women responsive, strengths-based, family focused, community-based wraparound services since 1976, to women and their children/families.
Members of the Zonta Club of Madison were instrumental in making this event so successful, locating an excellent meeting room provided at no cost by Boardman & Clark LLP Law Firm across the street from the Capitol as well as developing training and informational materials.
The attendance and outcomes exceeded our expectations. Participants gained insights into three major advocacy issues and developed their advocacy skills through training and speaking with legislators or their staff. Each participant received a copy of the “Legislative Advocacy Guide” prepared by the WI Council on Children & Families. In turn, the legislators and staff learned more about International Women’s Day and Zonta International.