Saudi Women for Driving, a coalition of leading Saudi women’s rights activists, bloggers and academics campaigning for the right to drive, sent an open letter today to the senior management of the Japanese transportation conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries, which owns Subaru.
“While Subaru is marketed heavily at women, your company is simultaneously making hundreds of millions selling your cars in the only country on earth where women aren’t allowed to drive,” the Saudi women’s coalition wrote to the car manufacturer. “We write to you with a simple request: that Subaru publicly pledge to pull out of Saudi Arabia until such time as women are allowed to drive.”
Saudi Women for Driving plans to launch similar campaigns against a number of other car companies, but decided to target Subaru first due to the company’s heavy marketing of the Subaru brand to women.
Within hours of the campaign’s launch, Saudi Women for Driving had recruited more than 5,000 supporters on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change.
“It’s still early, but recruiting 1,000 supporters an hour while the U.S. is sleeping is an unprecedented level of growth for a campaign,” said Change.org’s Human Rights Editor Benjamin Joffe-Walt. “The amount of momentum these Saudi women have managed to build in one month is incredible: first they successfully mobilized more than 70,000 people to help a Saudi mother arrested for driving her own car, then they successfully led a month-long campaign to get the United States’ top diplomat to publicly stand with them, and now they are taking on their most ambitious campaign yet. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
The Saudi women’s Subaru campaign follows a significant victory for Saudi women’s rights’ activists. Saudi Women for Driving recently called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to publicly support their right to drive. Her spokesperson responded, and said Clinton was doing so through “quiet diplomacy.” But Saudi women pushed back on that approach, launching a massive Change.org campaign to convince Clinton to reconsider and telling the secretary of state yesterday that “quiet diplomacy is not what we need right now.” At a press conference two hours later, the top U.S. diplomat publicly declared her support for the Saudi women’s right to drive campaigns, calling them “brave”.
Saudi Women for Driving is an informal consortium of Saudi women’s rights activists pulled together after the arrest of Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi mother jailed for driving her car. The group seeks to use online campaigning to build international support for Saudi women’s right to drive. More than 100,000 people in 156 countries have joined Saudi Women for Driving campaigns on Change.org.
Members of the Nobel Women’s Initiative are marshaling their collective wisdom and experience to tackle the challenge of ending rape as a weapon of war. Certain topics have always been hard to talk about—rape and sexual abuse ranking high up on that list. And yet we must speak up more because of the many women affected.
The Asheville Living Treasures committee has chosen its first laureates, who will be honored this month (May, 2011) for their lifetimes of service to the community. The four remarkable Ashevilleans are: Jessie Coleman, the late Hyman Dave, Mary Parker, and Lucille Flack Ray. Click here for Urban News article.Urban News – Gateway to the Multicultural Community
When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. (United Nations Population Fund, State of World Population 1990.)
Have you heard the one about the CEO who sits down to eat with two workers, one male and one female? The table holds a plate with twelve cookies. After scooping eleven onto his own plate, the CEO turns to the male worker and says, “Watch out for that woman. She’s going to try to take a bite of your cookie.”
More and more women are demanding their fair share—not through a drop in pay for men, but through changes in how work and family time are valued. The result will be a boon for everyone, except those whose pockets bulge as a result of discrimination. Click to read the article
A poem of thanks to all those folks at www.NoNuclearWasteinWNC.com who are working to disseminate the word throughout our regional community about the proposed dumping of nuclear waste in WNC and what we can do about it.
The second annual Women in the World summit started on Thursday with a welcome from Tina Brown, Editor in Chief of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, who hosted the event, and ended with a farewell on Saturday. Watch the video
Womansong is Asheville’s oldest and largest women’s chorus which started almost 25 years ago. Over time more than $45,000 from proceeds from concerts and donations have helped women in transition make new beginnings.
At a recent concert, Womansong performed the song “Help Somebody.” A line in that song captures the philosophy of the New Start Program (NSP), Womansong’s charitable arm: “Got plenty and then some, what do I do…I go out and help somebody get plenty and then some, too, that’s what I do.”
For more than twenty years the New Start Program (NSP) has provided grants to fill the gap for women in need when other funds are not available. More recently, the Womansong NSP has begun funding scholarships to help women improve their lives and better their prospects for meaningful employment.
In 2009, the NSP set up the first annual New Start Scholarship at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College to assist a woman entering a degree program. The recipient of that scholarship in 2010 was Katonya Owens (pictured at Scholarship Luncheon at A-B Tech with co-chair of the New Start Fund, Nita Walker.) Katonya is working on two Associate Degree programs in Automotive Systems Technology and Heavy Equipment Technology.
In December 2010, the NSP established eight more scholarships, four at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and four at Haywood Community College to be awarded to women entering non-degree diploma or certificate programs. Generally, these programs can be completed in a shorter time period so that recipients can more quickly find employment. Additionally, Womansong has set up a special fund at both A-B Tech and Haywood Community College to help students who are in need of assistance pay for the initial immunizations required for their programs.
Womansong is committed to the New Start Program and believes that by giving these women a hand, the women, their families, and their communities are all uplifted.
For more information about Womansong, upcoming concerts, and the New Start Program, please visit www.womansong.org. Press Release from Marilyn Hubbard, Womansong Publicity, 828-686-9010 email@example.com Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or need more information. Thank you.
The Asheville City Schools Foundation is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to educational success for all city schools students.(828)-350-6134 Website
Asheville Youth Rowing Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public corporation dedicated to promoting the sport of rowing among teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 years as a means of instilling discipline, teaching team work, attaining physical fitness, and teaching the sport of rowing in order to help young people gain admission to college and/or other educational efforts, obtain scholarships for educational efforts and/or to succeed in a life endeavor. The Association functions without preference to race, creed, religion, or color in Western North Carolina. 828-337-8109 http://ashevilleyouthrowing.com/home/
Asheville Youth Mission (AYM) is a place where mission, creativity, and transformation are happening with young people. 828 231-4635 http://ashevilleyouthmission.org/
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina serves nearly 700 children and teens in eight western counties. We match adult mentors with kids who need a caring role model in their lives. We match Bigs and Littles based on personality, hobbies and experiences and provide full support from the start, so matches can grow into lasting, fruitful friendships. 828.253.1407 http://www.bbbswnc.org/
Children First mission is to improve the lives of children, youth and their families through community collaboration, advocacy and programming. 828-252-4810 Website
Eliada mission is Helping Children Succeed. Eliada’s vision is to provide an optimal learning environment that empowers children and their families to succeed. 828-254-5356 http://www.eliada.org/
Girls on the Run is a national non-profit educational and running program for pre-adolescent girls (3rd-8th grades) that strengthens girls physically, emotionally, and socially in preparation to face the upcoming pressures of adolescence. 828-713-4290 http://www.gotrwnc.org/
Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont, Inc.Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. (828) 252-4442 firstname.lastname@example.org
Guardian Ad Litem WNC A Guardian ad Litem is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by the Juvenile Court torepresent the “Best Interests” of a child who is involved in court proceedings as a result of havingbeen abused or neglected. The Guardian ad Litem Volunteer conducts an independent investigationof the facts of the case and makes recommendations to the court. 828.251.6130 http://www.galbuncombe.org/
Hands On Asheville-Buncombe brings people together to strengthen our community through meaningful volunteer action. (828) 255-0696 http://handsonasheville.org/
Hanger Hall provides each girl a superior middle school education in an inclusive and supportive environment that promotes a sense of belonging, creativity, self-confidence, personal motivation and a desire for knowledge. In partnership with parents, Hanger Hall encourages girls to develop the living and learning skills necessary to succeed in life and to contribute to the betterment of the world. (828) 258-3600 http://www.hangerhall.org/
The Health Adventure, Asheville’s Family Health & Science Museum, provides a rich environment for community members to volunteer their time and skills on behalf of health and science education. Volunteer opportunities include everything from committee work, behind-the-scenes administrative tasks and internships to live performances! (828)254-6373 www.thehealthadventure.org
Helpmate serves as Buncombe County’s primary provider of crisis-level services designed specifically for – and offered exclusively to – victims of domestic violence and their children. (828)254-2968 www.helpmateonline.org/
The Hope Chest for Women commits to providing limited financial assistance for Western North Carolina women diagnosed with breast or gynecologic cancer and who are experiencing economic difficulties due to treatment cost. 828-418-1344 www.hopechestforwomen.org
The “I Have a Dream” Foundation mission is to motivate and empower children from low income communities to reach their education and career goals by providing a long-term program of mentoring, tutoring and enrichment, and tuition assistance for higher education. 828-230-8546 /www.ihadasheville.org
The Junior League of Asheville is a volunteer non-profit women’s organization who have been serving the Asheville area and surrounding communities since 1925. We are part of a larger oraganization, the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. which includes over 295 Leagues throughout the U. S., Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. The association of Junior Leagues International consists of approximately 160,000 women around the world, all striving for positive change in their communities. (828) 254-5608 www.juniorleagueasheville.org
Kids Voting Buncombe County is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to securing the future of democracy by educating and involving youth in the election process today.Our objective is to educate students Grades K-12 of the rights and responsibilities associated with voting and to stimulate critical thinking skills necessary for making informed judgments as voters. 828-775-5673 http://www.kidsvotingbc.org
Trips For Kids WNC was founded on November 18, 2010. The goal of Trips For Kids WNC is to provide mountain bike outings and environmental education for kids who would not otherwise be exposed to such activities. 828-777-1022 http://tripsforkidswnc.com
Mountain Area Child and Family Center is an early learning program of distinction where young children thrive, families flourish, and early childhood professionals excel.(828) 298-0808 http://www.macfc.org/
OpenDoors of Asheville Inc. is a new not-for-profit that breaks the cycle of poverty by connecting local children with an active individualized support network and providing them with opportunities for higher level education. (828) 777-1135 www.opendoorsasheville.org/
Our VOICE, Inc. is a non-profit crisis intervention and prevention agency which serves victims of sexual violence, age 13 through adult, in Buncombe County. The agency was founded in 1974 as an all-volunteer grassroots organization. The agency remained underground until 1982 when we received our non-profit status and the first employee was hired. Now, 35 years and considerable growth later, Our VOICE employs seven paid staff and over 50 volunteers, working both to support the healing of survivors of sexual violence and to prevent future acts of sexual violence. http://www.ourvoicenc.org/about/
United Way’s 2-1-1 of WNC is a community service information line that links people to health and human services in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties. 2-1-1 service is free, confidential and available 24/7 to speakers of all languages. Whether you want to find or give help, trained referral specialists are available to answer your call and identify the right resources for you. www.211wnc.org
Women At Risk helps individuals break the cycle of abuse and wrong choices that lead to criminal activity. In particular, Women At Risk gives to women the opportunity, the motivation, and the tools to succeed. With almost 90% of our graduates successfully completing probation and staying out of jail, Women At Risk is a proven treatment alternative to incarceration. (828) 251-1962 http://www.wccj.org/womenatrisk.html
The Women for Women giving circle brings women together in an engaging and meaningful way. By combining financial resources and working with others, Women for Women makes high-impact grants to improve the lives of women and girls in our region. Since January 2005, Women for Women has given more than a $1.2 million dollars to programs helping women and girls in our region. (828) 254-4960 Website
Womansong mission is to sing together for joy and the creation of community, provide a safe, nurturing environment for musical expression and creativity, support local women in need through our New Start Program, and to perform quality music that elicits joy and affirms social justice and unity. http://www.womansong.org/
Women’s Wellbeing and Developement Foundation creates dynamic partnerships with projects that enable women and girls to positively transform their lives and the communities they serve. The foundation supports programs that ensure economic self-sufficiency, social equality and sustainable development, by providing effective technical assistance, targeted funding and by creating model healthcare and educational programs. (828) 255-8777 Website
YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Phone: 828-254-7206 www.ywcaofasheville.org/
Saudi Women Call on Sec. Hillary Clinton to Publicly Support Their Right to Drive Saudi women’s rights activists inspired by the Arab Spring call on Secretary of State Clinton to make a public statement supporting Saudi women’s right to drive
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 10,000 people from all 50 US states have endorsed a an open letter by a coalition of leading Saudi Arabian women’s rights activists calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to issue a public statement supporting their right to drive.
The initiative follows the success of a series of campaigns by the women’s coalition to free and acquit Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi mother dubbed the ‘Saudi Rosa Parks’ after she was arrested for driving her car. Campaigns led by Saudi women on Manal’s behalf were joined by more than 60,000 people in 156 countries through Change.org, the world’s fastest growing advocacy platform.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world in which women are not allowed to drive a car or even ride a bicycle. With no public transportation system, getting to work, school and medical appointments is complicated, expensive and dangerous for Saudi women. The dependence of Saudi women on men for transportation is repeatedly exploited by abusive fathers, brothers, husbands and hired drivers, and earlier this week a Saudi woman reported she had been raped at gunpoint by her hired driver.
“We were encouraged to see media reports that US diplomats have quietly pressured the Saudi government to give women the right to drive,” reads the open letter from leading Saudi women’s rights activists to Secretary Clinton. “But given the recent arrests of women trying to drive, now is the time for the US to show its muscle and make that pressure public… We believe that you making a public statement of support for Saudi Arabia opening the country’s roads to women would be a game changing moment.”
“Secretary Clinton, you are a friend. Indeed, some of us have met you personally during your decades-long journey as a champion of women’s rights all over the world,” the letter continues. “Now, as we build the largest Saudi women’s protest movement in decades, we need your help.”
Saudi women plan to take the streets en masse on June 17.
Change.org said that Saudi Women for Driving, the consortium of Saudi women’s rights activists, has seen unprecedented success in their online campaigns. www.Change.org
When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. (United Nations Population Fund, State of World Population 1990.)
An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.(George Psacharopoulos and Harry Anthony Patrinos, “Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update,” Policy Research Working Paper 2881[Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2002].)
The Nike and NoVo foundations have announced a combined $100 million investment in the Girl Effect initiative, which works to help adolescent girls in developing countries bring social and economic change to their families, communities, and countries.
To bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership; education, networking support and national recognition. One of the biggest and best benefits of membership is getting together with friends at “regional” conferences where the atmosphere is more intimate and the schedule allows for a full day of ABWA Leadership Training along with professional development and networking opportunities. That won’t change. You’ll still be able to take advantage of all that and more. Website
Office of Women’s Business Ownership – SBA U.S. Small Business Administration
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to establish and oversee a network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) throughout the United States and its territories. Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCs, entrepreneurs, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged, are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses. Website
The Asheville Branch of the American Association of University Women
The Asheville Branch of the AAUW traces its history from 1915 when sixteen local women college graduates organized what would locally become AAUW Asheville. Its work in Asheville has been ongoing and influential in the community, nation, and world, assisting women through such related projects as refugee relief and improvement of public schools. Its history is replete with names of local women who made significant inroads for women and girls. Website
WomanOwned.com – Business Networks for Women
WomanOwned was formed in 1998, and since then we have provided the information, tools, networking opportunities and advice that have helped hundreds of thousands of women. Women just like you – starting or growing their business. Website
Womencorp is an international company that provides high quality experiential learning programs and leadership development for women in business. We are made up of a team of corporate business leaders and entreprenenurs who have achieved success in the business world. We joined forces for the purpose of helping women in business succeed.Our mission is to help women executives and women business owners to successfully lead profitable businesses that offer valuable products and services that employ more people, positively impact communities and change the world for the better. The “experiential training” for women managers is done through teleseminars, learning workshops, mentoring and coaching. We also offer CDs, books and DVDs as an additional resource. Website
If you haven’t already heard of net neutrality, you must get up to speed. What ultimately happens with the fight for free speech on the Internet will have a direct impact on female representation in our media–and in our culture. Click here for this important article
Women’s History Month is over for this year. But I confess I haven’t been in much of a celebratory mood. March 8th (2011)was the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The UN theme for the celebration was “Equal Access to Education, Training and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women.” Ironically, this March was also the 100th year commemoration of the tragedy of the Shirtwaist Triangle Factory Fire in New York City. On March 25, 1911, 146 people died from a fire caused by unsafe workplace conditions.
As a teacher of women’s studies I often talk about “the gender lens”—the notion of adopting metaphorical spectacles to view the world so that you start seeing things through a special filter and with a special light.
Celebrating International Women’s Day: Reflections from Natalie Portman, Maya Angelou and Other Renowned Women By Marianne Schnall
For the centenary of International Women’s Day this week, Marianne Schnall samples assessments from a wide range of women on where we stand around the world. Click here forA Woman’s Place song by Sara Thomsen
The resolution sends a strong message to a largely hostile state legislature that Asheville recognises the contributions of an LGBT citizenry that is three times larger than the national average and that the city values this sector of its population.
“I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker from the department of psychiatry said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.