Women Will Be Impacted by COVID. Here’s How Donors Can Help

One small piece of good news about the COVID crisis is that there seems to be more awareness than ever about its gendered impacts. This piece in the New York Times, for example, discusses how women make up the majority of health care workers, and how, on top of that, they are more likely to take on the caregiving of sick people in their own families, and the care of children.

Texas Women’s Foundation has started a Resilience Fund to help address the COVID crisis for women in Texas. (Image credit: TWF)

There are lots of things we can do to mitigate these impacts, but it will take conscious effort to resist the pull toward harmful gender norms. More than ever, we need to defend women’s rightful place in leadership and decision-making to end the COVID crisis. Think about it: if we had more women’s leadership at the table right now, say, for example, if Hillary Clinton had become President, we might be taking a much different approach to addressing this crisis, one that recognizes the validity of science and the need for preventative measures in health care.

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Facebook Cites Tax Justice Among Solutions to Gender Inequality

Last September, at the UN General Assembly, Sheryl Sandberg announced a five-year pledge from Facebook to use its data and resources to help partners advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Over the last 6 months, Facebook commissioned a study by consulting firm Ladysmith to learn how it can use its access to gender data to help inform social policy.

A new report by consulting firm Ladysmith, discusses how the tech community can “strengthen the gender data ecosystem. (Image Credit: Ladysmith)

On March 10th, Facebook released these findings, with an introduction from Marne Levine, VP of Global Partnerships, Business and Corporate Development:

Helping to Close the Gender Data Gap

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Discovering the Highest and Best Use of My Worth

Twenty years ago, I moved out of corporate America to focus on social change. I had been successful on Wall Street and then at a large global conglomerate, working on mergers and acquisitions, capital financing, building brand equity, launching new products and finally restructuring country portfolios in the consumer products industry. It had been quite a run. My colleagues and friends were puzzled as to why I would give up a productive career to work in a field that was not lucrative and seemed poised for uncertain gains.

S. Mona Sinha, Board Chair of Women Moving Millions, reflects on the path of her career and the social value of working to increase gender equality. (Photo credit: S. Mona Sinha)

I was moving on because, as an advisor to a human rights organization at that time, I experienced an epiphany while offering simple business frameworks and tools that were met by the nonprofit organization’s leaders with delight and surprise. A small pivot in my business-trained mindset was seen as a huge and innovative intervention. It made me realize that my corporate and business school training could shift the ways that these critical organizations functioned, and could even make them sustainable. And thus began my path.

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UPDATE: CONVICTED! Weinstein Trial Shows Success of Funding #MeToo

UPDATE: Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape in landmark case for the #MeToo era. Weinstein was convicted of third degree rape of Jessica Mann. The jury in New York also convicted Weinstein, 67, of third-degree rape of Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress. He was also convicted of criminal sexual act in the first degree against Mimi Haley, a former “Project Runway” production assistant. Read more here.

Harvey Weinstein heads into court. (Photo Credit: AP, Michael Owens)

(Original article published February 13, 2020) Harvey Weinstein is now on trial, and all the world is watching to see how far the women survivors can get in their pursuit of justice. Women in philanthropy, in particular, are paying close attention to the Weinstein trial, many of them commenting regularly on social media about it, and offering support and thanks for the bravery of the women testifying. There also appears to be a surge in funding for initiatives that get women’s voices on the record about sexual assault and harassment, particularly in the film industry. All of these events are evidence of #MeToo’s indelible imprint on civil society.

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Will Bezos $10 Billion Address Gender Equality?

As a feminist, reading the news that Jeff Bezos has pledged $10 billion to fight climate change feels jarring, and a little frightening, especially as I scanned through several articles and realized there was no real plan for all this money, and no mention of gender as part of the strategy. I started to feel a little like a wife learning that her husband wants to work on improving their marriage, so he’s bought a boat to prove it, without considering whether she like boats or has any interest in the sport.

Jeff Bezos on vacation in Spain with Lauren Sanchez in January of 2020 (Photo credit: Twitter)

Slow your roll, Jeff. It seems like a better plan would be to step back and take a look at what the business you created has done to women, men, children, workers, the environment, and the global economy, and figure out a path to a more sustainable business model for Amazon.

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Reviewing the Weinstein Trial: Molineux Witnesses and More

Feb 18 (Reuters) – A Manhattan jury’s verdict in the sexual assault trial of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein may well hang on the testimony of three women whose accusations were not part of the underlying criminal case.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein’s tie flutters in the breeze as he arrives at New York Criminal Court during his ongoing sexual assault trial in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Deliberations began on Tuesday in the case of Weinstein, 67, who pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping Jessica Mann, a onetime aspiring actress.

During the six-week trial, the three other women – costume designer Dawn Dunning, model Tarale Wulff and actress Lauren Young – testified they were enticed into meeting Weinstein for professional reasons and then groped or raped.

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Prioritizing Gender Equality: A Response to the Gates Annual Letter

When one of the richest women in the world decides that gender equality should be more of a priority, what impact does that have? Should we cheer, or fear, this development?

For two decades, Bill and Melinda have spent $53.8 billion on philanthropy, all for the purpose of making the world a better place. Now, for the first time in that twenty years, Melinda Gates has planted a stake in the ground and declared gender to be a topic of high priority for the foundation’s work, and for her own work happening separately through Pivotal Ventures. From the letter:

Melinda Gates devotes much of her part of the Gates Annual letter to discussing her agenda for bringing gender equality to the fore as a social issue. (Image Credit: Gates Foundation website)

In addition to the foundation’s 20th anniversary, this year marks another milestone I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: the 25th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women. (If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you may know it as the event where Hillary Clinton famously declared that “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”)

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Lucina Di Meco on Women Political Leaders and Media Bias

Much has been written about fake news, bots, Internet trolls, and the gamut of tech-driven media manipulation that ranges from ad-hoc hoaxes to systematic attempts to hijack civil and political discourse. But there has been a lacuna in this coverage: gender, and the ways in which female politicians are victims of “gendered disinformation.”

Lucina Di Meco discusses the difficulties that women politicians face in a hostile media environment. (Photo credit: Lucina Di Meco)

In the report “Women, Politics & Power in the New Media World,” gender expert and women’s rights advocate Lucina Di Meco tries to fill this gap. “Millions of dollars are being spent on programs looking at democracy and technology,” she writes. “Almost none of them factors in women in politics. It’s infuriating and doesn’t make any sense.”

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NoVo Foundation Announces $10 Million in Life Story Grants

(Jan 28, 2020) The NoVo Foundation is honored to announce the recipients of The Life Story Grants: a $10 million, three-year investment in fifteen projects that open exit ramps and close on-ramps to commercial sexual exploitation across the U.S. 

The Life Story Grants follows the launch of The Life Story: Moments of Change, a survivor-centered examination of 13 moments that can shape — or change — the trajectory of how girls and women enter the sex trade — also referred to as “the Life”.

NoVo remains committed to deepening our understanding of systemic barriers faced by survivors and lifting up the work that will be a catalyst for change. The Life Story Grants aims to support and expand the efforts of underserved leaders across the country and foster collaboration among national and community organizations that seek to address the short-term needs while supporting long-term solutions. Funding for these projects will address how systems such as foster care, healthcare, immigration, housing and law enforcement can shift and respond to survivors and their communities. 

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House Speaker and RI Convention Embroiled in #MeToo Controversy

Editor’s Note: The following statement comes from the Rhode Island Women’s Democratic Caucus, which split off from the Democratic party in Fall 2019.

The Women’s Caucus voices our strongest support for the women who come forward with their own stories of workplace harassment and abuse. It is a vulnerable place, to be brave and tell one’s story in these circumstances. The Women’s Caucus extends its gratitude to all those who do so. We stand in support of all women, and we will fight for a government in which all women will be safe, empowered, and equal.

House Speaker Nick Mattiello (Photo Credit: Upriseri.com)

The Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus believes that no woman should experience harassment in the workplace, and that no one should fear retaliation for speaking truth to power. In a Democratic state such as ours, one would expect the principles of equality, fairness, and integrity to be exemplified by the leaders of our party, especially those with the most political clout. Yet – as revealed this week in stories from WPRI and GoLocalProv – misogyny and moral ambiguity appear to guide the current Democratic state party leadership as it fails to rise to the level of ethics that our party platform demands.

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