Mar 14, 2013
CWA women joined the UNI Global Union campaign calling for zero tolerance for violence against women and girls during the UN Committee's week-long deliberations. They tweeted, texted, posted to Facebook and raised awareness of the intimidation, harassment and danger that women still face. Here's the team: standing from left, Anita Long, 1101; Jacquetta Rawls, 1040; Dana Holland, 1180; Sharon Brown, 1105; Leticia Scrivens, 1101; Colleen Smith, 1105; Pamela Guff, 1040. Seated from left: Joyce Hart, 1040; Karen Leemou, 1105; Ramona Russell, 1040; Cecilia Hope, 1040.
UNI Global Union and the global labor movement are calling for zero tolerance of violence against women and girls at home and in the workplace.
As the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is meeting in New York through March 15, union women from 27 countries are demonstrating to break the cycle of violence against women and to press their governments for enforceable laws that protect women and girls from harm.
UNI Global Union is calling on all union women to "be outraged and be engaged" and to work to end this assault on women and girls. UNI also stressed that women must be able to join unions without fear and intimidation.
At the conference, CWA has over 20 volunteers from Locals 1101, 1105, 1180 and 1040. They were joined over the two-week period by Secretary Treasurer Annie Hill and CWA Representative Nancy Biagini. Below are personal perspectives from some of the volunteers:
Colleen Smith, CWA Local 1105:
I was thrilled and honored to be given this opportunity to represent my Local at the CSW. While I attended numerous sessions, all with different topics, every day one particularly involving "paid" leave for domestic violence stuck out the most. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a discussion with two amazing women from Australia; Ludo captured my attention and is an incredible advocate, to say the least. She not only shared with us that in her country they have a "paid leave of domestic violence" clause, she also encouraged us to begin to bargain for that right here in the United States. I never thought about how domestic violence could affect work performance, but the fact is it does. As a young female and a newly appointed steward, I realized I would hate to see anyone lose their job because they couldn't either afford to take off or feel like there isn't a safe haven for them.
Leticia Scrivens, CWA Local 1101:
I'm a mother of a seven year old girl and I've always been an advocate for women's rights, so when I was asked by CWA if I would be interested in volunteering for a Stop the Violence on Women and Girls Campaign, I immediately said, "Yes." I had no idea what to expect, nor did I know what was expected of me. However, what I experienced not only inspired me, but made me changed my perspective on women's issues.
When I thought of women's issues, I thought of issues like equal pay, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. These were the issues that I felt affected me and the women I knew. Since attending some of the seminars given this week, I've heard stories of human trafficking, mother's abusing daughters, and child brides married off because their parents could not afford to take care of them. These stories made me realize that all women's issues, although different in many ways, stem from a common problem — lack of empowerment — whether financial or emotional.
These issues seem so vast and complicated that it's overwhelming to think we could ever solve them. However, working with the resourceful, strong, talented women that I met this past week and knowing how much we accomplished in such a short amount of time, gave me hope. Even though we may not resolve all women's issues this generation, we could leave the world a little better and make our daughters a little stronger to continue the struggle where we leave off.