✨ Member Spotlight: Katy Szendrey

Hi there! This is the final week of the project and we are continuing on spotlighting the members of Unite for The Uterus. My name is Katy Szendrey and I’ve been so excited to work with this group of women who are equally passionate about all aspects of Feminism. When we brainstormed ideas about what we wanted to do this project on we came to a quick consensus that we wanted to focus on Women’s equality, rights, issues, etc. The project began in January, close to the inauguration of Donald Trump, so it’s safe to say we had lots of ideas for content and were eager to educate and inform about all things women’s equality and issues. For now, i’m here to tell you a little bit about myself and why feminism is so important to me.

College definitely opened my mind to feminism and all of the different issues. I grew up in Grapevine, Texas, a suburb in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area that overall is pretty conservative. That was what I knew my entire life until I moved to the liberal paradise of Texas, also known as Austin for college. I think the transition from a  very similar minded community to a very open and progressive one sparked the passion for feminism I have today. Now, I wasn’t not a feminist before I moved to Austin, I just wasn’t aware that I was, or what it meant. A lot of times people have a negative perception of what feminism is. To me, it’s simply the equality of the sexes, no matter what. Being in a progressive place like Austin really is a learning experience. You are able to gain so much from the people around you and learn from new backgrounds you may not have come across if you hadn’t taken that leap of faith into a new place. Being in Austin has really opened my mind and sense of awareness for issues around the world, especially women’s equality issues. This year alone I participated in my first ever political march and marched with thousands of other feminists in the Women’s March on Austin, met Wendy Davis and am currently writing my Senior Thesis over the gender wage gap.

Without a college education I don’t think I would be as well versed in social issues as I am. I don’t think I would have found the passion I have for women’s rights if it wasn’t for this liberal arts school in a liberal haven tucked away in the middle of a Red state. I hope that education can become the norm for others in the future, so that we may have more open minded individuals who share the same passion for equality. This turned into more of a reflection piece on how being at university has influenced me but I will leave you with this. While feminism is equality of the sexes, it is so much more than that. Feminism is co-exsisting, uplifting, supporting, educating  and empowering others. It’s so important that we learn to care for one another, learn to respect and how to treat others. My hope is that everyone,  (especially my ladies out there) will find something they’re passionate about and to advocate for it and never let that fiery passion burn out while making their voice heard.

💃🏻Member Spotlight: Sarah Longe

Hello there! We have come to the end of our blog, Unite for the Uterus. My name is Sarah Longe and it has been a wonderful experience to be a part of such a strong and intelligent group of women. It was inspiring to work alongside these ladies and discuss our passion for feminism. I remember when we first met to choose our topic, I had just marched in Austin’s local Women’s March. I remember feeling empowered being surrounded with my fellow fellow females and wanted to translate that passion into this blog.

My inspirations have varied throughout the years. Today my inspirations are my mother, grandmothers, and activists Terry Tempest Williams, and Emma Watson. It was hard to narrow it down to this few. Terry Tempest Williams is an American author who is from Utah, just like me! She is a conservationist and activist, using her writings to fight for women’s health, women’s equal standing in rights, and for environmental rights. Growing up in the LDS church she felt she did not have an equal say and as she explored nature and expanded her ideals she felt the need to fight for “I stand in solidarity with Kate Kelly and her plea to grant women equal standing in the rights, responsibilities and privileges of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, including the right to hold the Priesthood.” She continuously inspires through her writing in “If Women Were Birds”, where she shares her journey of discovering the pure beauty of being a woman and her journey of discovering who she is as a woman.

 Terry Tempest Williams

Emma Watson has continuously fought for women’s rights. She once said, “The more I have spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become a synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.” This is why I admire her because she understands that in order to make change happen for women we must stop the definition of feminism as a “man-hating” activists. It is not! Feminism is about equality, equality for both men and women. She continuously fights for women to have a choice of how to live their life. Everyday she speaks out about feminism or really does anything in her profession she is threatened by those who disagree and she does not let that devalue her work. I look to Emma Watson not because she is a phenomenal and talented artist, but because she carries herself with grace and force. She is not afraid to make a stand and work to cultivate change.

 Emma Watson

I look to my mother and my grandmothers for instilling the values I hold dear to my heart today. These ladies taught me I can do anything I put my mind to, that if I work hard I will see results, and that it is okay to vocalize my opinion. These ladies and many more have shaped the way I have chosen to cultivate change and writing with Carmen, Katy, and Nadia on Unite for the Uterus was a great experience. Unite for the Uterus taught me how to vocalize my opinions and not only educate you readers, but also educate myself! Thank you all for following our educational journey.

Member Spotlight: Nadia Haseeb

Hello! My name is Nadia Haseeb and I am also a contributor to Unite for the Uterus’ blog and online content.  As our projects completion is coming to a close our team wanted to discuss why women’s rights are important to us, as well as highlight some of the many inspirational women that have had an impact on our  lives throughout history.

Obviously, as a young woman growing up in the age of the internet women’s empowerment and equality has always been very important to me. The media depicts the idea of the perfect woman to be something that is unattainable and it makes girls that don’t look like what you see on TV feel inadequate and less fortunate. This is just not true and it is down right wrong. All women of all colors, shapes, ethnicities and sizes should be able to feel empowered and motivated to step up and have a voice to express wha they believe in, and feel beautiful and intelligent while they do it.

I feel very blessed to be apart of a generation that has a voice. While the fight for full equality is far from over, several women throughout history, fought and even died to ensure that I have the freedoms I have today and its important to me to point out some of the amazing women that made a more equal and beautiful world possible.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s work for women began long before her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt won the presidency. After joining the Women’s Trade Union League in 1922, she introduced Franklin to friends like Rose Schneiderman, which helped him to understand the needs of female workers. In the political arena, Eleanor coordinated women’s activities, and later worked on her husband’s presidential campaigns. When Franklin won the White House, Eleanor used her new position to support women’s interests; even the press conferences she held for female reporters helped them in their jobs. Eleanor continued to be an advocate for women after Franklin’s death. She spoke out about the need for equal pay during throughout the rest of her life.

Margaret Sanger felt that “no woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body” — for her accessible birth control was a necessary part of women’s rights. In the 1920s Sanger put aside earlier radical tactics in order to focus on getting mainstream support for legal contraception. She founded the American Birth Control League in 1921; two years later her Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau opened its doors. The Bureau kept detailed patient records that proved the efficacy and safety of birth control. Sanger also lobbied for birth control legislation, though she didn’t meet with much success. However, she had more luck in court, with the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in 1936 that it was okay to import and distribute birth control for medical purposes. And Sanger’s advocacy also helped shift public attitudes: the Sears catalog ended up selling “preventives” and in a 1938 Ladies’ Home Journal poll, 79% of its readers supported legal birth control.

Both of these women took charge of large and important issues facing women today. If it were not for Roosevelt women never would have seen equal rights and birth control may not even exist today if not for Sanger. It is women like these that we have to pay homage too in order to remember the importance of the freedoms many of us have today.

🌟Member Spotlight: Carmen Rangel

Hey! I’m Carmen Rangel one of the contributing members of Unite For The Uterus, and as we reach the end of our project, we have decided to make ourselves the spotlight women of the week. This is a way to give our followers insight into who we are, why we care about the organization, and who has been inspirational in our life.
As a woman, it’s no surprise that I take an interest in women’s rights and my experience as a woman of color has made me place importance on understanding the various experiences of womanhood. I soon realized that we must put an emphasis on equality in order to make a future empowered females in a world where many of us face injustice and oppression. I believe that women deserve access to health care and reproductive planning and should be able to voice their opinions with local and federal representatives and should and will be taken seriously. I also hope to change a culture that degrades women and allows violence towards women to continue to occur without consequences. Additionally, the negative rhetoric towards females and the unrealistic beauty standards in our society have caused harmful effects on young girls leading to self-esteem issues which is another reason why I feel we need to tackle these issues today to make a substantial positive change for generations to come. As you can see there is so much to work on that I am passionate about, and with your help, we can make it possible!
There are so many women in my life and in history that have made me who I am, and I would like to time this as an opportunity to give Frida Kahlo one of the most influential women in my life a spotlight. Frida Kahlo is known for her incredible surrealist and self-portrait paintings and her feminist activist work during her lifetime as a Mexican painter up until the mid-1950’s.

I think that I relate so much to her because I am a Mexican American women, feminist, and artist but I can only dream to be as awesome as she was! Not only is she known as one of the greatest artists she was admired for her strength and determination as a creator. Kahlo started painting after she was in a tragic bus accident that left her bedridden where she worked on her craft but the injuries sustained throughout her entire life but that never stopped her from painting or from being politically active. Despite her physical limitation she never let anything stand in her way and made her named known in a male-dominated art world, fought for a better society, and freedom of expression. Overall she was a total badass, and I admire her for everything that she has accomplished and for being such an inspiration to me!

The Fight for Female Education

According to right-to-education.org, “31 million girls, are out of school and two thirds of illiterate adults are women (worldwide)”. The discrimination among females has continued. There are an assortment of reasons for the lack of education. For example,  poverty, pregnancy,  and even the threat of violence.  Many countries like Sub-Saharan Africa have the lowest proportion of countries with equal  gender education. In South and  West Asia 80% of there out of school girls are unlikely to ever begin compared to the 16% of boys that are not in school. Education is an intrinsic right and critical in progression. In order to create a better society we must ensure an education surrounding topics like human rights and gender equality occurs for not only the male population. When this occurs the strong education will be passed down from generation to generation, creating a better just and equal world.

While the numbers have improved from the past of girls receiving an education, there are many barriers girls must overcome to obtain an education. Many young girls have economic and social demands beyond their education, from chores around the house to child labor, child marriage, even genital cutting and mutilation. “One-third of girls in the developing world are married before age 18, and one-third of women in the developing world give birth before age 20” (unicef.com) Studies have shown providing an education for young girls can delay the age of marriage and the age at which a female gives birth. From  education in primary school up to high school we learn how to develop our skills such as writing, speaking up in class, and maybe even math, but the most valuable quality learned is confidence. Confidence grants women the power to fight for what they believe in.

By first becoming aware of the problem with can then  improve our education opportunities for females. We can help women develop the skills to allow them to make their own decisions an influence their community in a positive light.  We must look to those leaders like Malala Yousafzai or Emma Watson to encourage all women for fight for an equal and just education. If you want to make a change and take action, below the video of Malala’s speech is a list or websites where you can contribute to the movement.

Here is a speech done by Malala Yousafzai, whom we discuss in our Sunday Spotlight!

 

Links for you to make a change!

World Education

http://www.worlded.org/WEIInternet/index.cfm

Right to Education Project

http://www.right-to-education.org/

United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative

http://www.ungei.org/index.php

Unicef’s Education Page

https://www.unicef.org/education/bege_70640.html

 

 

 

 

 

📖 Sunday Spotlight: Malala Yousafzai

Education today is one of the most sought after accomplishments for people around the world. To get ahead in any nation today, one must be educated. The education systems varies greatly from country to country. Many countries there is lack of a good education system set up or they only allow for a select few to become educated. A young girl in Pakistan felt so passionately about education and making it accessible for women that she risked her life for it. This girl is Malala Yousafzai and her story is quite incredible.

Under the Taliban rule girls were sometimes banned from attending school. As a young girl Malala loved going to school and felt deprived when the Taliban wouldn’t allow for girls to attend. She began writing for the Urdu speaking BBC channel under an anonymous name to speak out against what was going on in Pakistan. While on her way to school one day with the rest of her schoolmates, the van that transported them to class was stopped by Taliban soldiers. A masked man jumped into the van and demanded to know which one was Malala. When she was identified the masked man took out a gun and shot Malala in the face. She was rushed to a government run hospital in Pakistan but was then later transported to a hospital in the United Kingdom, where she survived the attempted murder.

Malala’s story became known over night and her impact has transcended the globe. Since her recovery Malala has become an education advocate and role model, especially for young girls. After recovering she went on to write a book entitled “I Am Malala.” The book tells her story and how she inspires others. She also began a non-profit called the “Malala Fund.” The Malala fund works to obtain access to at least twelve years of education for young girls. They fight for girls who are unable to fight for this right themselves because of patriarchal societies. In many nations women are still not looked at as equivalent to men and therefore such an important resource for young girls struggling to get an education.  In addition to co-authoring a book and starting the Malala Fund, she was the subject of the Oscar shortlisted documentary “I Am Malala.”  She was also listed as one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2015. In 2014 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is the youngest person in history to have been awarded a Nobel Prize.

Her inspirational story is still shared today, 5 years after the attack. Her story encourages young women everywhere to speak up for what they believe in. Education is so important, it’s what shapes our minds and allows us to grow into the people we are. Without education systems society wouldn’t be where it is today. If more people were as passionate about education as Malala, the world would be so different. Until there is education equality, we can use Malala’s story as encouragement and inspiration to keep moving forward to a brighter world.  To learn more about Malala and her story, you can visit the Malala Fund website or follow their twitter.

🌟Sunday Spotlight: Kimberlé Crenshaw

To achieve the efforts of feminism, we must unite to include all women and acknowledge the various experiences of womanhood regardless of race, class, and sex. Intersectional feminism does just that through the understanding that there is an overlapping and independent system of discrimination and disadvantages for different women. Intersectionality in feminism is important because it notes that the issues that women face are not the same and go beyond the ones that impact white middle-class women as previous feminist movements have done. If the movement of feminism strives to seek gender equality and to empower women then wouldn’t it need to be intersectional?

That is exactly what Kimberlé Crenshaw a professor of civil rights, critical race theory, and law at UCLA law thought when she introduced intersectionality to feminism in 1989. She acclaimed that the identity of the marginalized is often excluded from political movements, something that she experienced as a woman of color. Crenshaw published a study of the relation between racism and sexism in the context of violence against women. In her article, she recognized that there is a correlation between a person’s identity and the oppression and discrimination that they encounter.

After her discovery, the term and movement have gained momentum in political movements. We thank Kimberlé Crenshaw for her influential work that has indeed brought unity to gender equality. Since then Crenshaw has had a successful career with many accomplishments in her field.
– Elected Professor of the Year by the 1991 and 1994 at UCLA
– Published Critical Race Theory 1995 and Words that Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech and the First Amendment in 1993
– Awarded the 2007 Fulbright Chair for Latin America in Brazil
– Nominated an Alphonse Fletcher Fellow
– Awarded with an in-residence fellowship at the Center for Advanced Behavioral Studies at

The movement for women’s rights and gender equality has been a hard one but to positively progress from where we are at we have to advocate for the employment of intersectionality. Feminism that doesn’t consider all women doesn’t accurately represent and acknowledge the issues and lives of the entire population of women. No women should be left behind because of their race, class, gender, sex, or disability because this fight is for all of us!

Intersectional Feminism – curated content that makes sense

Curate a Page to Learn More on Feminist Topics!

Learn more on how to curate you own page to learn more on any topic you’d like to indulge in. For next weeks posts we will be discussing maternity leave. With websites like Paper.li you, yourself can create your own search on topics of interest! Paper.li offers an assortment of types of stories ranging from  business, politics, arts & entertainment, and even more! Upon my search “maternity leave” came stories on the “American Progress” of maternity leave, how one should negotiate maternity leave and the politics behind maternity leave. These websites make research easier for us fellow bloggers.

Wage Gap Curation

The gender wage gap is problematic not only in how it affects women but how easy it is to understand/how women in the work force are affected. To find several articles from various sources on information pertinent to the wage gap, you can use this paper.li curated page! Many different regions and professions are mentioned within these articles, so get researching and learning!

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