On March the 8th, 1857, hundreds of women garment and textile workers went on strike in New York City to protest against low wages, long working hours, and inhumane working conditions. The event was marred with violence and bloodshed when the police intervened.
The Silent Problem of Sexual Violence: Last year approximately 104,516 adults and 226,438 children (mostly women and girls) were sexually assaulted in Texas. Only 7-18 percent of rapes or attempted rapes are reported to Texas police (National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center).
Dating Violence Protective Orders: S.B. 68 This law amends the definition of family violence to include "dating violence." Victims of dating violence are now eligible for the same protective orders, including magistrate's orders of emergency protection, as family violence victims. This new law defines "dating relationship" as a "relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature."
The Violence Against Women Act Self-Petitioning Provision for Immigrant Women: Education on immigrant rights will enable more immigrant women to leave an abusive relationship. Many immigrant women living in the U.S. have left abusive relationships because of the legal remedies and protection available to them under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Improved Penalties for Hate Crimes: H.B. 587 Provides for penalty enhancement for offenses motivated by bias or prejudice based on ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Since each of these areas need improvement and everyone is affected by acts of irrational hate, this law benefits all of our communities.
Increase awareness of women's health issues by focusing on health education for women, not only in the areas of reproductive health, but also other serious health issues such as AIDS, cancer, osteoporosis, and eating disorders.
Bi-national Solidarity: Since economic development does not always translate into respect for women’s rights on both sides of the Texas/Mexico border. Only 11 of 32 Mexican states make domestic violence a crime while in the remaining states, beating wives or children is not considered a crime (National Organization for Women 12/24/01). Language barriers, cultural factors, and fear of deportation mean Hispanics may be even less likely to report sexual assault (Ron Acierno, an assistant professor with the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center). Currently in Texas, the lack of bilingual victim services denies many, the right to seek justice and safety.
International Solidarity: Violence Against Women Knows No Borders: An idea that emerged at the recent Afghan Women's Summit in Brussels was to declare “Afghanistan is everywhere” as a theme for International Women's Day, March 8, 2002. This alludes to the sentiment that we are all joined in solidarity with the women of Afghanistan not only because we all identify with how they have suffered but also because we understand that the same conditions of violence, oppression, invisibility, and other forms of inequality that plague Afghanistan are universal.
Achievements & Diversity: International Women’s Day promotes the celebration of women’s contributions and achievements throughout the world, it also reminds us of our strength in diversity.