On Saturday, December 10, 2011, Occupy Los Angeles held an all female run General Assembly. Although I have attended dozens of General Assemblies over the past 71 days of our occupation, it wasn't until last night that I felt empowered enough to speak in front of the group. For that I am very grateful.
When I did speak in front of the General Assembly for my first time last night, I presented a list of 25 facts about females that I researched and thought were worth sharing. I typed up the list of facts I read off last night, during my mic-check, to share. Enjoy.
1) Gender does not stand by itself. Women face racial justice, class justice and sex justice.
2) Sexual violence is often used as a tactic of war.
3) In the United States, 1 out of 3 women will be sexually assaulted during her lifetime. 44% of these victims are under age 18 and 80% are under 30 years old.
4) 80% of the 50 million people around the world who are affected by violent conflicts, civil wars, disasters, and displacement are women and children.
5) Women own only 1% of the world’s land, just as 1% of the population holds 99% of the wealth.
6) Women compromise only 17% of the United States Congress. In Rwanda, woman account for almost 50% of the representation in Government (the highest in the world).
7) The two highest IQ’s ever recorded (on a standard test) both belong to women.
8) Since “feminist” issues need to take a back seat to saving lives, the struggle for female equality is that much more difficult. It is often a secondary issue, or even lower then that.
9) Woman, transgender woman, transgender men and gender non-conformists may all identify as female. Yet if and when incarcerated, the fate of where these individuals will be incarcerated is determined by our state and not by the gender they identify with.
10) Women are the fastest growing population of inmates in jail/prison, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
11) To look at the history of struggle for Women’s rights, you see the struggle has engaged, either explicitly or implicitly, with the system of punishment in this Country.
12) In 1911, only two countries in the world allowed women to vote. Today, that right is almost universal. Although gender discrimination does not stand alone, female identified individuals must continue to stand together in solidarity. Only in this way will we continue to make progress against oppression and injustice.
13) Although women may have differing views of what justice means, they all have in common the view that currently the law and justice systems are not working for them.
14) Only a very small fraction of World Bank funding has been allocated to gender equality focused rule of law projects over the past decade. Of a $261 billion budget, only $9.6 million has been allocated to the gender equality projects. That is less then the cost of Madonna’s house.
15) A Woman’s right to use contraception can be denied, if a pharmacist in the U.S. says so.
16) In the United States, unintended pregnancies account for almost half of the pregnancy rates.
17) A Woman’s right to abortion in the U.S. is attacked every year, and a common topic of male debate.
18) In over one third of 182 countries investigated by the United Nations, women are prohibited from working in some of the same industries as men.
19) In 17 out of 41 countries investigated by the United Nations a quarter or more people think that it is justifiable for a man to beat his wife.
20) The vast majority of countries in the World have no laws regarding marital rape.
21) Where there are laws in place on domestic violence, prevalence is lower and fewer people think that violence against women is justifiable.
22) Over half a million women die in childbirth every year in Africa and Asia.
23) Women face many barriers when trying to access justice. While capacity gaps affect all justice service users, gender discrimination means that women typically have less time and money and lower levels of education, exacerbating the challenges.
24) Women and girls are particularly targeted by the use of sexual violence, including as a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instill fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group.’ -UN Security Council resolution 1820
25) The Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 was organized by WOMEN!!!