Monthly Archives: May 2018

Trump’s Racism

Progress is indicated when ABC cancelled the reboot of Rosanne Bar’s TV sitcom after she tweeted racist statements in May 2018 and a black woman won the Democratic nomination for Governor of Georgia. But, opposing the trend of denouncing racism, President Trump referred to Central American refugees as animals, painted Hispanics as violent gang members, and called some black African countries and Haiti “shithole” countries. He suggested that perhaps (mostly black) athletes who kneel during the national anthem to protest police violence should be deported. He wanted more immigrants from countries like Norway. He said some white nationalists at a Charlottesville, Virginia, demonstration held in August of 2017 were “some very fine people” and refused to condemn them for violence and Nazi insignia. He reminded his Millennial advisors Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller how much crowds at his rallies roar when he talks about throwing Hispanic criminals out of the country.[i] The two men laughed supportively.

[i] Bob Fredericks, “Trump Made Up Hispanic Names While Prepping Anti-Immigrant Speech to Congress,” New York Post, May 25, 2018.

https://nypost.com/2018/05/25/trump-made-up-hispanic-names-while-prepping-anti-immigrant-speech-to-congress/

Young Armenians Oust President in 3 Weeks

In 2018 large demonstrations and strikes featuring young Armenians ousted their president in only three weeks. Young people grew up without communism and learned about democracy on the Internet. These young tech experts used messaging apps to coordinate the demonstrations and blocked traffic by organizing streams of pedestrians at street crossings and pushing trash bins and vehicles on streets. They empty streets were an invitation to do folk dancing. The leader of the protests, Nikol Pashinian, (age 42) became prime minister. He explained about civil disobedience, “I understood the best way to prevent violence is to be nonviolent” and told the police they were friends. He promised to reform the country’s political and economic systems in a “velvet revolution.” Pashinian is hopeful because, “if we were able to do the impossible, that means we will be able to do the difficult.”[i]

[i] Neil MacFarquhar, “He Was a Protester a Month Ago,” New York Times, May 8, 2018.

Chile student feminists occupy college and high school campuses, 2018

In Chile, women students organized a new “Feminism Waves” movement in 2018 to remove sexism and sexual harassment from over 30 universities when their complaints were ignored. Building on the history of student protests to make education affordable, their weapons are taking over 14 college campuses (blocking front gates) and two high schools, weeks of strikes, graffiti (e.g. “Fire to the Patriarchy”), and marches with thousands of face-painted protesters. One group marched topless with maroon balaclavas on their faces. Men are included, but not as spokesmen. Decision-making in the campus occupations is enhanced by online voting and music and theater groups perform for the occupation. The protesters demand mandatory gender-equality training for students and faculty, equal opportunity for women in academia, women’s studies in the curriculum, avoiding sexist language and off-color “jokes,” better procedure for sexual crimes, and make careers less gender-specific. In response, conservative President Sebastian Pinera organized a “Gender Agenda,” which the feminists said was inadequate—so they called for a June 6 march. “ One of the spokeswomen, law student Emilia Scheider said, “We haven’t invented anything, we are a part of history.”[i] Student occupied her campus at the University of Chile’s School of Law for each of her four years as a student.

[i] Caitlin Donohue, “Chilean Feminists Take Over 14 University Campuses,” 48 Hills, May 18, 2018.

https://48hills.org/2018/05/chilean-feminists-take-over/

Anti-Poverty Program Led by 27-year-old Mayor, Stockton, CA

A current urban poverty program is underway in Stockton, California, where the 27-year-old mayor, Michael Tubbs, started a universal basic income pilot program. One hundred residents receive $500 a month checks for up to 18 months, funded by the Economic Security Project. Tubbs said, “My hope is that it will create such a buzz at the state and national level we’d have to have a conversation about expanding it to everyone, no matter what city they live in.”[i] He was raised in poverty by a single African American mother but earned a scholarship to Stanford University. Tubbs also backs the Advance Peace program that provides mentors and stipends to rehabilitate violent criminals and organized an NGO called Reinvent Stockton Foundation.

[i] Alex Langone, “Why This 27-Year-Old Mayor is Giving His City’s Poorest Residents $500 a Month,’ TIME Money, April 17, 2018.

http://time.com/money/5243564/why-this-27-year-old-mayor-is-giving-his-citys-poorest-residents-500-a-month-no-strings-attached/

Feminist Egyptians: Girls Revolution

Ghadeer Ahmed organized Girls Revolution on Facebook and Twitter on the first anniversary of the revolution as “an icon of rebellion” in order for women to share their experiences of sexism and to be able to discuss prohibited topics such as sexuality, sexual violence, or abortion rights. She feels safe to talk publically about women’s rights because the government “considers women’s rights defendants as having leisure time just talk about women, not a threat to the state.” She grew up in Mahalla in a non-political family of lower-middle class workers who don’t own land. When she was a college student in what she says is a low-quality government school, she was politicized by local demonstrations in her hometown during the January revolution. She took photos and tweeted news of the uprising. She and her two sisters took the train to demonstrate in Tahrir Square, an almost three hour train ride but they were required by their parents to return home the same day. The revolution inspired her to uncover her hair; when her parents pressured her to wear hajib, due to criticism from their acquaintances for not raising her to be a moral woman, she moved to Cairo. She worked for an NGO for women and development and then for Nazra for Feminist Studies (the government closed down its office) and earned a master’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies. She became so brave she chased after a harasser on the street, yelling and hitting back with her shoes in hand. She’s currently writing a book about women’s abortion tales although it’s illegal. If she put up a paper poster about women’s rights to control their own bodies, she could face great harm. Like other feminists I interviewed, she doesn’t feel hopeful except for the fact that her younger sister is even braver than she is.

Egyptian Women’s Groups

Egyptian Women’s Groups–

Suggestions for other groups?

Association for Egyptian Female Lawyers (AEFL).
Cairo Center for Development and Law.
Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA).
Daughter of the Earth Association.
Egyptian Female Lawyers Foundation for Women’s Rights in Cairo.
Egyptian Foundation for Family Development.
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).
ElNadeem Center for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture

Forum for Women in Development.
Mother Association for Rights and Development (MARD).
New Woman Foundation (NWF)
Promising Voices Organization for Human Rights and Participatory Development.
Salema for Women’s Empowerment.
Women and Memory Forum (WMF)

The Egyptian Women’s Federation (a coalition of 15 organisations)

The National Front for Egypt’s Women

The Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women

The Egyptian Foundation for Family Development

Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies
The American University in Cairo

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights—Gender and Women’s Rights

Egyptian Feminist Union

Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights

Ccenter for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance

Arab Women’s Alliance

Hawa’a Future Association

The Egyptian Association for Comprehensive Development

Al-Saud Association for Development

Egyptian Union of Local People’s Councils

My Mother of Rights and Development Association

The international African Union for Women

Al Ezza for Social Assistance

Writers’ Union of Egypt

International union of African Women Egyptian

Fustat International Association

Nazra for Feminist Studies

Women’s Development Association

Harrass Map Egypt

The New Woman Foundation

Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights

Forum for Women in Development (FWID)

The Arab Women’s Solidarity Association

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)

Alliance for Arab Women

Arab Women And Value System
Arab Women Solidarity Association

Cairo Family Planning Association

Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights

Egyptian Women Association

The General Department of Women’s Affairs
Ministry of Social Affairs

A Dictionary of the Revolution

Karama

The Legal Research and Resource Center for Human Rights

The National Council for Women

New Woman Research Center

BuSSy, a woman’s storytelling group