Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What’s Going On in the USA?

While one of the great things about the CSW parallel events is the opportunity to learn about the struggles and triumphs of women in other countries, it can also be really worthwhile to take a look at the situation in our own country. WomenNC sponsored an event at which 4 college students from North Carolina who had received WomenNC fellowships for research presented their findings (read their bios here and their blog here)

The information presented by these young women was at times shocking to hear, as we sometimes think that issues such as sex slavery or child labor do not happen here. As all the presenters also offered well-thought out recommendations informed by their extensive research, though, the panel also offered some refreshing ideas for how to address these challenges.

Annie Clark's presentation about sexual assault at universities was a sobering wake-up call - what does it say about the status of women in the US if 1/4 to 1/5 of women will be assaulted at some time during 4 years in college? I urge everyone reading this to view her presentation here, and talk to your own schools to see whether their policies about sexual violence match her recommendations.

Katie Starr talked about sex trafficking from a global, US, and finally a state perspective, you can see her presentation here.

Kristen Brugh discussed why child labor, which is illegal in all other industries, persists for farm workers, and the negative effects of this work on children, especially girls. You can see her presentation here.

Kimmie Garner examined policies on different kinds of sex education (comprehensive, abstinence-only) offered to teens and how this affects teen pregnancy. See her presentation here.

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