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This Week in Women’s Rights 2012–11–12


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2017/12/12

“In a building tucked away on a dusty street in Tunis’s Lafayette neighborhood, a classroom full of a dozen young Tunisian women listen to lectures amid bursts of laughter on a spring day earlier this year. The group is a diverse mix of women sporting smartly tucked headscarves, brightly colored blazers and fitted jeans. One by one, they stand in front of the classroom and explain to their peers why they want to pursue politics.

This is their first training at Aswat Nissa’s academy where Tunisian women learn the tools they need to enter politics in the country’s young democracy. Aswat Nissa was founded by Ikram Ben Said in the spring of 2011, which was quickly followed by the complementary Women’s Political Academy in 2012. Aswat Nissa trains women from the entire political spectrum, from Islamists to secularists. The goal: continue to advance women’s rights by empowering women to be political leaders.

Tunisia has been at the forefront of women’s rights in the Arab world for decades, dating back to the country’s founding. The 1956 Code of Personal Status, implemented by Tunisia’s first president, outlawed polygamy and forced marriages and allowed equal divorce rights for men and women. At the time, this guaranteed some of the widest protections and rights to women in the Arab world.”


“ALBANY — A Brooklyn Democratic state Senate candidate wants to bring “if you see something, say something” to Albany when it comes to sexual harassment.

Ross Barkan, a journalist looking to challenge Republican incumbent Sen. Martin Golden, is set to unveil a women’s rights agenda that includes his pledge to call out any workplace harassment he sees in the Legislature.

“If I see any harassment of any kind, I will immediately call it out,” Barkan said. “We know this is a major problem in all work places. But certainly in the political realm we’ve seen repeated sexual harassment scandals.””


“With President Donald Trump’s unexpected 2016 victory and Republican attempts to roll back reproductive rights for women around the country, Lisa Mandelblatt ’86 said she felt compelled to run for congress.

Mandelblatt is running to unseat Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) in the state’s seventh district in the 2018 congressional election.

While at Cornell, Mandelblatt was a government major who served as the president of the sorority Sigma Delta Tau, but she believes her passion for public service began during her semester outside of Ithaca, during the Cornell in Washington program.

In an “eye-opening experience,” she interned for Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.).”


“The revelations that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed and assaulted women finally put sexual misconduct and abuse of power in the media spotlight.

We have known for a long time that violence against women is endemic and it has much to do with inequality and discrimination. While women in all social strata face the risk of being victimised, some are particularly vulnerable. That is the case with undocumented women.

The laws and policies governing irregular migrants reduce their control over their own lives, deny them public assistance, and isolate them from society. The consequences of these policies for women are detrimental.”


“Nobody could agree on how many people marched in the great Fifth Avenue suffrage parade of 1915. The New York City chief police inspector estimated anywhere between 35,000 and 60,000. The New York Times reported the number at precisely 25,340. Antisuffrage leaders (certain that support for that movement was grossly exaggerated) claimed the true figure was 24,629.

Antisuffragists had reason to be suspicious. Only 23 women had showed up for the city’s first suffrage parade seven years earlier. And those 23 marchers were the kinds of women other suffrage supporters considered militant and shockingly unrefined. Men “do not have respect for women who will walk through the public streets in this manner,” a suffrage leader said at the time. “It is so undignified” and “so unwomanly.” Another suggested that women didn’t need to “shriek our propaganda at the passer-by.”

Marching was not considered very ladylike.

So what happened that so many women found it acceptable to march for suffrage in 1915?”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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