Senator Kamala Harris For President Of The United States In 2020, And More Feminist News

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Kamala Harris For U.S. President

Kamala Harris, who recently became the fourth woman to announce her candidacy for President of the United States, drew a rare compliment from the man she seeks to replace. When asked by The New York Times who would be his toughest opponent in 2020, President Trump gave the name of the Senator from the most populous state. "I would say, the best opening so far would be Kamala Harris. I would say, in terms of the opening act, I would say, would be her." And he is right. If a candidate’s Presidential rollout has any bearing on the type of leadership one can expect, then, as Politico noted, Senator Harris won the rollout party of all the candidates now declared. From her announcement on the top-rated Good Morning America on Martin Luther King Day to the 20,000-person campaign address in her hometown of Oakland and her polished performance at the CNN Town Hall, Kamala Harris made clear her historic links to the civil rights movement and her intentions to be the first woman President of the United States.

 
 

Trump Administration Quietly Changed Domestic Violence Laws

The Trump administration's Justice Department quietly changed the laws regarding domestic violence. The change of the definition on the Department website was noticed by Slate. Only actual physical abuse is mentioned now, not the other non-physical types of abuse. "The Obama-era definition was expansive, vetted by experts including the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Domestic Violence Hotline," writes Natalie Nanasi at Slate. "The Trump administration’s definition is substantially more limited and less informed, effectively denying the experiences of victims of abuse by attempting to cast domestic violence as an exclusively criminal concern."

Activist Lilly Ledbetter Working With Congress On New Paycheck Fairness Act For Women

It has been a decade since the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was signed by then-President Obama. Ledbetter, a native Alabaman, was the plaintiff in an infamous employment discrimination case. The Lilly Ledbetter Act overturned the Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc., which severely restricted the time period for filing complaints of employment discrimination concerning compensation.

Alabama equal pay activist Lilly Ledbetter is at present working with Congress on a new Fairness in Employment Act. On that occasion, Senator Doug Jones—who won a long-shot Senate race in December running against a man who faced multiple allegations of predatory behavior towards teenage girls—spoke in favor of the idea of an update to the Lilly Ledbetter Act. “If businesses are doing the right thing and they are giving equal pay for equal work, they should not be afraid of this law. The equal pay act was passed in 1963 but we have yet to achieve that for women in this country particularly women of color,” Alabama Senator Doug Jones told WBRC.

Europe: Corporate Boards Quotas Making Waves

As of September 2018, California became the first U.S. State to require quotas on Corporate boards, while these have expanded all over Europe. Quartz took a look at how quotas on corporate boards have affected the gender balance on the continent. Iceland is the most successful, with 44% of women on corporate boards, followed by Norway (39%) and France (33%). The lowest numbers of women on corporate boards in Europe are in Cyprus (9%), Estonia (8%) and Malta (5%). Could such a system become broadly adopted and work in America?

"Having board quotas for women may be a step in the right direction," writes Shelley Zalis for Forbes. “2018 was a powerful moment that generated movements for using our voices, breaking the silence and creating consequences for bad behavior. 2019 is our opportunity to create accountability and positive solutions for change. Equality is a choice. The good news is that we generated a lot of awareness and conversation around the need for change and parity. The challenge is that we still have a lot of progress to make. For example, less than 5% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are women, and only about 34% of global managers are women, according to the latest Global Gender Gap Report. Parity is not a female issue or a male issue; it is a leadership issue. As a woman in middle management, it’s not your responsibility to transform workplace culture. It’s time for companies to be accountable for change, and to not hide behind excuses. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s good for the bottom line: Businesses will see a return on equality when they create measurements and solutions.”

A Must Read: “E Pluribus Unum? The Fight Over Identity” by Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams of Georgia, who narrowly lost last year’s Georgia Governor’s race to the president’s ally, Brian Kemp, has a new, must-read essay entitled “E Pluribus Unum? The Fight Over Identity” in Foreign Affairs. The article, which will have many thinking whether Stacey Abrams might be a future Senate candidate—or, even further down the line Presidential candidate—is a response to a previous article by public intellectual Francis Fukuyama called “Against Identity Politics.” In it, Fukuyama argues that in the present age, the Democrat Party has to make a profound decision of arguing for mobilizing identity groups like African Americans, Hispanics, professional women, the LGBT community—or make the larger argument according to class.

“Racism and sexism have long tarnished the heroic story of the U.S. labor movement—defects that contributed to the rise of a segregated middle class and to persistent pay disparities between men and women, disparities exacerbated by racial differences,” Abrams writes. “Indeed, the American working class has consistently relied on people of color and women to push for improved status for workers but has been slow to include them in the movement’s victories.”

Kenya Failing Gender Equality Goals

Is Kenya at risk of falling behind and failing at their ambitious task of achieving gender equality by 2030? Of their 17 laudable goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity, the two that focus chiefly on reducing inequality are already in danger of failing. A new report, the EM2030 SDG Gender Index by the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (Femnet) in collaboration with Equal Measures 2030, a global independent civil society, is sounding the alarm on Kenya. "The legislations—the Protection against Domestic Violence Act 2015, the Community Land Act 2016 and the Matrimonial Property Act 2013—have not sped-up the government’s commitment to achieving the SDGs,” The Daily Nation notes. “According to the report […] lack of implementation of legal and policy instruments and girls and women’s empowerment remains a chronic issue due to a lack of sufficient resources coupled with little progress on gender-responsive budgeting.” The chart also shows that Kenya is below average in health, education, water and sanitation, and that the lack of those basic services impact women and girls adversely.

"Many girls and women still lack access to basic services, and women remain underrepresented in decision-making positions and political leadership," the report warns.

Cover via National Review