Some of the most inspiring activists and organizers of our time are women. In a political world often still dominated by men, it's important to both recognize the amazing women who have already dedicated their lives to creating progressive change, as well as encourage other women to bring their valuable insight to the political arena and make their voices heard. Here are two new resources all about empowering women and channeling our voice in the coming year: Code Pink has launched Occupy Women, "connecting women across occupations." With the project, Code Pink hopes to create a special space ensuring the safe participation of all marginalized voices and encourage organizing from a feminist peace perspective. Their mission is:
To provide women across occupations with resources for creating safer spaces and feminist organizing. Building on the example of Occupy Wall Street, we will help to create and be a space for tools and shared best practices. A space for a conversation beyond local occupations, to allow activists to connect globally. To support the needs of women co-creating equal participation in the movement.
Visit their site for a calendar of events, ways to get involved, their blog, and more. Another new resource is Planned Parenthood's Women Are Watching. Their message and pledge, which have been signed by almost 20,000 women since its launch, are loud and clear: "Attention 2012 political candidates: I hear what you are saying. I see what you are doing. And I’m watching…" Why are we watching?
This past year, we have been witnessing the most aggressive legislative attacks on women’s health and rights in a generation. The 2010 elections dramatically changed the U.S. Congress and state legislatures nationwide, leading to a wave of efforts to restrict access to lifesaving health care, including breast exams, cancer screenings, and birth control. Instead of focusing on jobs and the economy, anti-women’s health leaders in Congress and the states have been spending their time introducing and passing bills restricting women’s access to health care. In fact, lawmakers have introduced more than 1,000 reproductive health bills in legislatures across the country, the majority of which seek to undermine women's health.
Sign the Women are Watching pledge for information on ways to get involved, new legislation, and prospective candidates for 2012. Women have much to be proud of, and also much at stake. We're excited to see how women will continue transforming their voices to power in 2012.