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Women's Lives & Education

Why study women, minorities, or other controversial subjects at all? The answer is: a good liberal education (liberal as in “freedom”) teaches people to think both “inside the box” and “outside the box”.  Gender studies programs can encourage students to creatively examine their surroundings and learn to identify both the empowering and dis-empowering properties of words and deeds and to consider the relationship of race, gender, class and ethnicity as well as the manifestation and effects of gender bias in society.   Your suggestions and submissions are welcomed.
Research on Women and Education     Women’s Media Center     OnTrack Women’s Financial Empowerment Center     The Community Foundation of WNC – Women for Women grants     Western Women’s Business Center     Womansong of Asheville Women’s Chorus & New Start Program

AB TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE Women’s Studies

Introduction to Women’s Studies, American Women’s Studies, and Women and History survey the experience of women in historical perspective; include the experiences and contributions of women in culture, politics, economics, science, and religion; and provide an inter-disciplinary study of the history, literature, and social roles of American women from Colonial times to the present.


UNC ASHEVILLE Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

UNC Asheville Women’s Studies seeks to understand the diversity of women’s experiences through an interdisciplinary program of teaching, service and research.

UNC Asheville Women’s Studies seeks to understand the diversity of women’s experiences through an interdisciplinary program of teaching, service and research.  Women’s Studies courses and electives explore the experiences of women and investigate the complex phenomenon of gender.  Courses promote student investigation of women’s diverse experiences from the perspective of the various social sciences, sciences and humanities.  Emerging from an activist tradition, Women’s Studies seeks to provide resources to the university and the broader community by providing an on-going array of co-curricular activities for students and community members.  We act as a resource and guide on issues relating to women through community activism and service by encouraging interdisciplinary techniques and by being wholly cognizant of the interaction of gender and diversity. 828.251.6419 Visit our Website


Emma Watson? Jennifer Lawrence? These aren’t the feminists you’re looking for

Recently, a young woman asked me how we can make feminism more accessible to men. I told her that I don’t care about making feminism more accessible to men. In truth, I don’t care about making feminism more accessible to anyone. I care about making the liberties that men enjoy so freely fully accessible to women, and if men or celebrities claiming feminism for themselves has become the spoon full of sugar to make that medicine go down, so be it. ( this Blog was suggested by Dorothy Rogers )  Continue reading


So She Did: The Female Mentor That Changed My Life

I always expected that I’d spend my last summer before starting college binge-watching TV, eating pizza, and dealing with anxiety about my freshman year.  Instead, I ended up exploring my recent acquaintance with the feminist movement through an internship with So She Did, an organization related to women’s empowerment. I decided to join the organization because it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a different perspective on feminism and my own ideas about empowerment. Sure enough, working there resulted in one of the best and most interesting summers of my life. Continue reading


The Most Undervalued Leadership Traits Of Women

It’s impossible to respect, value and admire great leadership if you can’t identify what makes a leader great.  Because of this, the identity crisis I have written about that exists in today’s workplace is something that women leaders in particular have been facing  for much too long. While the tide is changing and more women are being elevated into leadership roles, there is still much work to do. As of July 2013, there were only 19 female elected presidents and prime ministers in power around the globe.  In the business world, women currently hold only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and the same percentage of Fortune 1000 CEO positions.   As women continue their upward trajectory in the business world, they have yet to be fully appreciated for the unique qualities and abilities they bring to the workplace. Continue reading


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville (formerly the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement) is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed learning community dedicated to promoting lifelong learning, leadership, community service, and research. We opened our doors in 1988 as a department of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Our goal is to enable our members to “thrive” in life’s second half.

OLLI at UNC Asheville(OLLI) embraces an unusually comprehensive array of programs in the arts and humanities, the natural world, civic engagement, wellness, life transition and retirement relocation planning, intergenerational co-learning, and research on trends in the reinvention of

OSHER Courses and Offerings


MAKERS.com Women Who Make America

Women Who Make America

 

 

 

MAKERS.com is a dynamic digital platform showcasing thousands of compelling stories – both known and unknown – from trailblazing women of today and tomorrow. This historic video initiative was founded by Dyllan McGee and developed by AOL and PBS. Executive Producers are Dyllan McGee, Betsy West, and Peter Kunhardt.

Browse videos of individuals

MAKERS: Women Who Make America is an ongoing initiative that aims to be the largest and most dynamic collection of women’s stories ever assembled. Selections of MAKERS are made twice a year by our filmmaking team using guidelines set by our board of advisors.This process ensures that the make-up of the library of stories includes women from all walks of life with diverse experiences and perspectives.  Watch the video

 

Women in the ‘Groundbreakers’ category were chosen by the production team based on criteria defined by a team of advisors and include women who are firsts in their fields, visionary role models or frontline activists who sparked, and some who opposed, change for women.

 

MAKERS: Women Who Make America is made possible by Simple® Facial Skincare, a Unilever brand, AOL and The Charles H. Revson Foundation. Additional funding for PBS.org/makers and MAKERS.com is provided by NoVo Foundation, Ford Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Rice Family Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation and others.


WESTERN CAROINA UNIVERSITY Intercultural Affairs Department

Western Carolina University’s Department of Intercultural Affairs is located in the A.K. Hinds University Center. The mission of Intercultural Affairs is to provide an inclusive environment that examines, recognizes, accepts, and affirms human differences and similarities related to national origin, religion, gender, disability, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic status. The Department of Intercultural Affairs contributes to a culturally rich campus through advocacy, diversity and social justice education, leadership and the development of global citizens. Intercultural Affairs provides lectures, cultural awareness programs, films, and workshops to promote social justice and cultural competency as well as to respond to acts of discrimination and bias.

 Click here for the department’s website

Department of Intercultural Affairs | Western Carolina University | A.K. Hinds University Center | Cullowhee, NC 28723

 


Malala Yousafzai at Girl Summit 2014.jpg

Malala Yousafzai – Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2014

Shared Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2014

Malala Yousafzai S.St (Malālah Yūsafzay, Pashto: ملاله یوسفزۍ[məˈlaːlə jusəf ˈzəj];[1] born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Yousafzai’s advocacy has since grown into an international movement. Continue reading

(Photo: Available free under the terms of Crown Copyright/Open Government License/Creative Commons)


Real Tips About Sexual Assault Everyone Can Use

The new academic year has started, and once again students are attending seminars on staying safe on campus. These orientation workshops typically focus on tips for how young women can protect themselves — such as be aware and stay alert, don’t get drunk, and stick together in groups.

I’m sure all of this is good advice, but it misses what I have come to see as the crux of the matter: Teaching girls and women that they can avoid sexual assault if they just try hard enough places responsibility for rape on the shoulders of targets rather than on the shoulders of perpetrators and of political and cultural power-brokers. Continue reading

 


Nuns With a New Creed: Environmentalism

Every woman in this story is confoundingly non-descript. Short hair, often grey. Conservative dress. Unmarried; soft-spoken. Most are well into their seventies, and all will tell you that their way of life is dying out. They will also tell you, with surprising conviction, that the world is in peril.

They are Roman Catholic sisters, from a variety of orders—Dominican, Mercy, Passionist—but don’t think Whoopie Goldberg or a young Sally Field. While many of their aged peers are living out their days in quiet convents, these women are digging gardens and offsetting carbon. They’re as well-versed in solar and geothermal technology as they are in the Gospels of Luke and John, and some wear Carhartts and work boots like they’re habits. At the heart of the women’s action is a belief that the changing climate and world demand a new kind of vocation – that Ave Marias won’t cut it anymore, but maybe clean energy will. Continue reading


Why Contraception is a Health Issue for Everyone

Some of the media coverage of Tuesday’s arguments before the Supreme Court on the contraception mandate tended to pit women’s rights activists against social conservatives, making contraception seem like a lifestyle choice that only benefits some women — you know, the ones who have sex.

What often gets lost in the debate is why contraception is considered a preventive health issue — and why treating it as such is beneficial for everyone.

During the healthcare debate, the Department of Health and Human Services charged the Institute of Medicine (IOM) with reviewing preventive services that are important to public health and well-being, and recommending which ones should be considered in the development of comprehensive guidelines.

IOM came up with this evidence-based list of preventive services for adults and children, all of which are now covered by insurers with no required co-payment. Take a look at the IOM report, which explains the selection process.

For women, this includes annual well-woman visits, testing for STIs and HIV, support for breastfeeding, and screening and counseling for domestic violence.

It also includes FDA-approved contraception methods, as well as patient education and counseling on contraception. What makes contraception a health issue? Well, with all due respect to Mike Huckabee, it’s not about women’s libidos.

Here’s the deal: When women use contraception, they can avoid unwanted pregnancies and space planned pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes.

When a pregnancy is planned, women can start prenatal care, including increasing their intake of folic acid; work with their healthcare providers to address relevant medical conditions, as well as substance abuse; and take other steps that lead to healthier outcomes for both the mother and the infant.

Pregnancies that are unplanned are more likely to be affected by delayed prenatal care, maternal depression, low birth weight, poorer childhood physical and mental health, and other complications. Breastfeeding rates are also lower after unintended pregnancies.

Social conservatives should also take note that 40 percent of unintended pregnancies end in abortion. And there is an economic cost: Two-thirds of unintended pregnancies are paid for by publicly funded insurance programs, usually Medicaid. For more information, Guttmacher Institute has a terrific fact sheet on unintended pregnancies that explains the incidence rate, demographics, outcomes and costs.

When you look at the facts, contraception is smart public health policy.

Of course, for some women, birth control is essential for other health reasons, including acne, fibroids, endometriosis and to reduce problems associated with irregular or very heavy periods.

Despite the proven health benefits — and the benefits to society as a whole — Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood claim that the requirement to provide health insurance that includes no-cost contraception violates their religious freedom.

Not surprisingly, the Court’s three female justices were most skeptical of their position. As Jeffrey Toobin writes in The New Yorker:

After Paul Clement, the lawyer for Hobby Lobby, began his argument, twenty-eight of the first thirty-two questions to him came from Ruth Bader Ginsburg (four questions), Sonia Sotomayor (eleven), and Elena Kagan (thirteen). The queries varied, of course, but they were all variations on a theme. The trio saw the case from the perspective of the women employees. They regarded the employer as the party in the case with the money and the power. Sotomayor asked, “Is your claim limited to sensitive materials like contraceptives, or does it include items like blood transfusion, vaccines? For some religions, products made of pork? Is any claim under your theory that has a religious basis, could an employer preclude the use of those items as well?” Clement hedged in response. When Clement asserted that Hobby Lobby’s owners, because of their Christian values, did care about making sure that their employees had health insurance, Kagan shot back:

“I’m sure they want to be good employers. But again, that’s a different thing than saying that their religious beliefs mandate them to provide health insurance, because here Congress has said that the health insurance that they’re providing is not adequate, it’s not the full package.”

At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur wrote:

The most forceful was Justice Elena Kagan, who repeatedly asked aggressive questions throughout the 90-minute argument about the legal dangers of exempting certain entities from laws on the basis of religion.

“There are quite a number of medical treatments that religious groups object to,” she said, positing that a ruling against the Obama administration could empower business owners to seek exemptions from laws about sex discrimination, family leave and the minimum wage. “You’d see religious objectors come out of the woodwork,” Kagan warned, arguing that it’s problematic for judges to test the centrality of a belief to a religion or the sincerity of beliefs that are invoked in court.

Much of the argument also centers around whether companies really have religious freedom, or if that really only applies to people — whether corporations count as “people” has been a major issue before the Court in the recent past. In “The Hobby Lobby Case Represents The Worst Kind Of Anti-Choice Arrogance,” Sarah Erdreich writes:

But even if the owners do have a religious commitment, Hobby Lobby is not pretending that it is a religion. It is a business. That any business should have power over what can literally be the life-and-death health decisions of its employees, well, that’s another issue for another day. But as long as Hobby Lobby sells its supplies to saints and sinners alike, it has no business questioning what its employees do when they go to see the doctor.

Access to birth control is important for everyone — for preventing pregnancies, and to allow women and families to best time and plan healthy pregnancies. Hopefully the male members of the Supreme Court will see it that way, too.

To catch up on the issue, check out this coverage:


Prasad for Women: Talks for Fifth World Women

WELCOME FIFTH WORLD WOMEN. It is good to find you here. This is our time, our great joy, our canvas, our challenge, our sacred work, and our sacred trust. We are born for these times. What we each are, the world needs, every last woman of us. Every good impulse we have, every calling, instinct, stirring, essence, skill, ability, intuition, guidance, and dose of common sense, from the biggest big to the smallest small … all of this adds to the wealth and well-being of this world.


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