Erie County Commission on the Status of Women

Erie County Commission on the Status of Women Connecting women with the resources they need to reach their full potential!
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A short history of black women and police violence
06/15/2020
A short history of black women and police violence

A short history of black women and police violence

Young men make up the majority of black people killed by police in the US. That's fed a perception that black women are somehow shielded from the threat of police violence. They aren't.

Daily Suffragist
06/02/2020

Daily Suffragist

Black women & white women experiencing this country differently is nothing new. In the suffrage movement, what voting meant for white women was different than what it meant for Black women. Not only because the fight was segregated, running on parallel tracks.

White suffragists were fighting patriarchy and misogyny that limited their personal, individual progress. Compared to their brothers, fathers, husbands, and sons, they had no power and could barely contribute to public life. Black women were fighting a much larger fight.

African-Americans, regardless of sex, were wholly excluded from participation in American society. Save a scant decade, Black people in the South were effectively re-enslaved by violent white supremacy: debt peonage (sharecropping), lynching, disenfranchisement, and convict leasing. In the North they faced race riots, segregated schools & total residential and professional segregation, which persist to this day.

For Black women then and now, the stakes were higher.
Each white woman needed the vote for herself: for her own full citizenship, access to education, to control her own body, to make a living. Each Black woman needed the vote for all of those reasons AND because her entire community was literally under constant, violent attack.

Put simply, white women were fighting for rights their brothers had but they did not. Black women were fighting for rights denied to everyone in their family - their brothers, fathers, husbands, and sons often couldn’t vote either.

In addition to the many good suggestions of contemporary reading about racism, white privilege, and complicity folks have shared, for suffrage buffs I also recommend Deborah Gray White’s Too Heavy a Load; Paula Giddings’ Where and When I Enter; Brittney Cooper’s Beyond Respectability; and I can't wait for @MarthaSJones_ Vanguard.

In Her Words: Fault Lines
05/20/2020
In Her Words: Fault Lines

In Her Words: Fault Lines

While both women and men are suffering the economic fallout of the virus across the world, it is women — already more likely to be in poverty than men, already more likely to be earning a smaller paycheck, already with less savings, already more likely to be in precarious jobs — who are being di...

Examining the Meaning of ‘Mrs.’
05/18/2020
Examining the Meaning of ‘Mrs.’

Examining the Meaning of ‘Mrs.’

In a new special project, a team of Times reporters and editors is taking a deeper look at the tradition of using honorifics to address married women.

"There isn’t much data yet on the women who have filed to run in 2020. But anecdotally, the field of women appears to be...
05/14/2020
More women are running for House seats than ever. Even 2018.

"There isn’t much data yet on the women who have filed to run in 2020. But anecdotally, the field of women appears to be “more diverse than ever,” says Dittmar, full of candidates of different racial and economic backgrounds, ages, and levels of political experience. Many are responding to a clear “appetite for disruption” in American politics, she says, presenting themselves as fearsome opponents of the status quo". Caroline Kitchener

Republican women are responsible for the gains

Women Bear The Brunt Of Coronavirus Job Losses
05/12/2020
Women Bear The Brunt Of Coronavirus Job Losses

Women Bear The Brunt Of Coronavirus Job Losses

Before the coronavirus crisis, there were briefly more women on American payrolls than men. That's no longer true. Women accounted for 55% of the increase in job losses last month.

Now I'm looking at: Where do we put more pressure? We were already working to put pressure on Congress, but I hadn't tho...
05/11/2020
How the coronavirus crisis influences Melinda Gates' $1 billion commitment to gender equality

Now I'm looking at: Where do we put more pressure? We were already working to put pressure on Congress, but I hadn't thought through the deeper pieces—how about more flexible work hours for workers? We'll go deeper into those business pieces: more credits for childcare options, some businesses doing on-site childcare. We need to expect more from businesses than we have. Melinda Gates

Getting more women into political leadership is more important than ever, Gates says.

On the Frontlines at Work and at Home: The Disproportionate Economic Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Women of Col...
05/06/2020
On the Frontlines at Work and at Home: The Disproportionate Economic Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Women of Color - Center for American Progress

On the Frontlines at Work and at Home: The Disproportionate Economic Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Women of Color - Center for American Progress

Too little attention has been paid to the consequences of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic for women of color, even as it exacerbates existing disparities and further undermines their families’ economic stability and survival.

Daily Suffragist
05/06/2020

Daily Suffragist

“The manufacturer has a vote; the bosses have votes; the foremen have votes, the inspectors have votes. The working girl has no vote.” - Clara Lemlich, 1912

White working women became suffragists in large numbers when they heard working women advocate suffrage.

At the turn of the 19th century, Italian and Ashkenazi Jewish immigration was booming on the east coast. Immigrants who weren’t Asian became citizens easily, and the men quickly became new voters. But instead of seeking their support, national suffrage groups like NAWSA and WCTU decided they were the enemy: surely pro-liquor and anti-suffrage. Xenophobia and anti-Semitism contributed to their certainty that these men were to be resented, not recruited.

If laboring men were resented, their sisters were pitied. In New York especially, upper class women began to take an interest in the working conditions of white women and girls, and the Consumers League became a force for reform. But factory girls were the objects of the League’s political organizing, not its authors.

The settlement house movement began to bridge this gap, and Florence Kelley especially tried to unite suffragists and working women. But do-gooder social workers weren’t persuasive messengers to immigrant factory workers, at least not about why they should prioritize the vote over workers’ rights.

In 1907, the leading women of the labor movement began to speak for themselves about the crusade for voting rights. Rose Schneiderman, Pauline Newman, Clara Lemlich, and Leonora O’Reilly were stars of the labor movement in New York City. Their embrace of women’s suffrage infused it with energy and vitality at a crucial point. But friction between suffrage and Socialism meant they were endlessly pulled in two directions. Stay tuned this week for more!

Can U.S. Soccer and Its Women’s Team Make Peace on Equal Pay?
05/04/2020
Can U.S. Soccer and Its Women’s Team Make Peace on Equal Pay?

Can U.S. Soccer and Its Women’s Team Make Peace on Equal Pay?

A federal judge’s rejection of the players’ equal pay claims cost the team their leverage, but it is in the federation’s interests to find a settlement both sides can embrace.

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Rath Building, 95 Franklin St
Buffalo, NY
14202

General information

The Commission was established by a unanimous vote of the Erie County Legislature in 1987 to remove gender based inequities for women. In 1988, the Commission became a department of Erie County government. The Commission conducts policy studies; analyzes current legislation, programs and trends affecting women; develops collaborative programs with local and regional organizations and public officials; provides educational awareness; and recommends measures to coordinate, consolidate or expand the resources and services available to women in Erie County. Please visit our website at www.erie.gov/csw for a listing of resources available for women at a national level, as well as here in Erie County!

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A very special thank you to Dr. Karen King, Executive Director, Erie County Commissioner on the Status of Women, for honoring this writer during Women's History Month, 2018.
Tamara McMillan speaking to #nacw girls summit!