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The Department of Labor proposed a new rule to help fight pay discrimination – Take Action Below!

2016 January 29

Seven years ago today, President Barack Obama signed into law his first piece of legislation as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Ohio's own Lisa Maatz, AAUW 's top public policy adviser, and Lilly Ledbetter in Washington, D.C. this week.

Ohio’s own Lisa Maatz, AAUW ‘s top public policy adviser, and Lilly Ledbetter in Washington, D.C. this week.

At today’s event celebrating the anniversary, the president directed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), to publish a proposal to annually collect summary pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity from businesses with 100 or more employees. This step also expands on and replaces an earlier AAUW-supported plan DOL to collect similar information from federal contractors.

Take action today by thanking DOL for this improvement, and urge the department to finalize the rule as soon as possible!

We need you! Apply by Feb. 5 for a leadership position with AAUW of Ohio

2016 January 26
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Jo Dye, Marilyn Kornowski, JoAnn Benseler and Christine Siebeneck are on a roll at AAUW Ohio Equity Day and Convention 2015.

Apply to join your AAUW of Ohio leadership team. Pictured here are Jo Dye, Marilyn Kornowski, JoAnn Benseler and Christine Siebeneck at AAUW Ohio Equity Day and Convention 2015.

Don’t delay. Apply today for a leadership position with AAUW of Ohio. The application deadline to apply for a state office is Feb. 5. So now is the time to apply for the state office of President, Vice President of Programming, Vice President of Funds, Vice President of Membership, Financial Officer or Secretary.

 

Download the application as a PDF or RTF document, complete it and send it to Kaylee Pavel, AAUW of Ohio administrative coordinator, at kayleepavel@gmail.com by the Feb. 5 deadline. The Nomination Committee will review all applications.

The application has also been sent to all branches.

Conference call for Title IX coordinators

2016 January 16
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Hundreds of AAUW members have pledged to deliver new resources from the U.S. Department of Education to Title IX coordinators at schools in their area. title-IX-PIAB-logo-67

Join AAUW for an all-member conference call to hear the status of those efforts, including recent success stories and tips for overcoming common challenges from those who have already taken action.

Date: Feb. 3, 2016

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Online

Cost: Free

All AAUW members are invited but space is limited. This call will be recorded and made available at a later date.

Register here today!

BGSU Women’s Center event features BGSU Branch members

2016 January 15

An event at Bowling Green State University’s Women’s Center, 107 Hanna Hall, features two members of the AAUW Bowling Green Branch.womens-center-logo

The Winter Welcome, the first in the Women’s Center Weekly Discussion Series, will be held Wednesday, Jan. 20, 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. It features a presentation by Allie Lahey and Leslie Potts on “It’s More Than Roe V. Wade: A Brief Introduction to Reproductive Justice.”

The two also attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL).

Hot cocoa and doughnuts will be served. All, including children, are welcome. Attendees may feel free to bring a lunch.

Public Policy News

2016 January 11

Public Policy News, January 2016

By Karen Rainey, Public Policy Chair, kgraauw@yahoo.com

Here’s the “Issue of the Month” plus other news—please share with your branch members.

In this issue:

  • Issue of the Month: Paid Sick Days
  • Ohio Women’s Organizations Legislative Event Planned for April
  • Update on Legislation
  • Key Dates, including March 15 Primary Election

Issue of the Month: Paid Sick Days

As we enter the cold and flu season, let’s consider the impact on women and families when workers have no access to paid sick days. Without paid sick days, workers who have to take time off to care for sick kids or other family members—or themselves—lose wages and risk job loss or workplace discipline. Others go to work while ailing and/or contagious and endanger public health.

Nationally, about 40 percent of private-sector workers and 81 percent of low-wage workers do not have paid sick days.   AAUW notes that women are disproportionally impacted. More than half of working mothers report that they must miss work and often go without pay when caring for a sick child. A recent study found that just 3.5 unpaid days away from work can jeopardize a family’s ability to buy groceries for an entire month.   A single parent of two children missing just four days of work in a month and earning an average wage of $10 an hour would be placed below the poverty line.

Research conducted last year showed that 88 percent of voters support paid sick days. This benefit is not only good for employees by protecting their economic security, it promotes healthier communities. And employers have been shown to experience no loss of profitability.

Because there are no Federal laws that require employers to offer paid sick days, the focus is on state and local action. At the national level, AAUW supports the Healthy Families Act, which would provide seven accrued, paid sick days for full-time employees and a prorated number for part-time employees. For more information, share AAUW Quick Facts: Paid Sick Days with your members. All of us need to be better informed about this issue.

Here in Ohio, no legislation has been introduced to date to require employers to provide paid sick days. However, the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network (which includes AAUW Ohio) has as a goal increasing access to paid sick and family leave. Innovation Ohio has taken the lead in reaching out to city governments to press for this benefit for their employees.

For the branches in Columbus, Toledo and Chillicothe, there’s an opportunity to support this Innovation Ohio effort as these are among the next likely targets for action. More details will be available soon, but please start by educating your members about the need and consider how you might proceed –letters to the editor, letters to the mayor and city council members, possibly personal stories to share.

April Legislative Event in Columbus

It’s too soon to mark your calendars, but April 20 is the likely date for a combined women’s organizations legislative update event. Led by ACTION OHIO Coalition for Battered Women, several representatives of women’s groups are jointly planning for an educational experience to highlight key bills on priority issues for women.

To be held near the Statehouse, the event will feature panels of legislators discussing pending legislation in the areas of pay equity, domestic violence, and women’s health. A morning event, cost will be minimal. Organizations will be encouraged to follow up the discussions with visits to their legislators or attendance at a House or Senate session. Details will be shared as soon as they are firm.

Update on Legislation

Still pending is action on defunding Planned Parenthood: Both the House and Senate passed bills, but have yet to convene a conference committee to resolve the minor differences between HB 294 and SB 214 and send one along to Governor Kasich for his signature. You can expect to receive notice to send a veto message to the governor, once we know which bill will go forward.

That package of bills introduced last October and intended to counter the anti-abortion bills being heard in the legislature has yet to see any activity. The bills (HB 356, 357, 360, 370 and 376) would remove obstacles to safe and legal abortion care. They have been referred to the House Committee on Community and Family Advancement but have yet to be scheduled for hearings. It wouldn’t hurt to give the committee chair a call to ask why they haven’t been scheduled; he is Rep. Timothy Derickson, at 614-644-5094.

Key Dates
January 13:
AAUW all-member GOTV Kickoff webinar, 7:30 PM (details at aauw.org)

January 14: Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Statehouse, Columbus

February 16: Last day to register to vote or to change name or address for March 15 primary (address updates can be done on line at the Secretary of State’s website)

March 15: Primary election

If your branch is planning a primary candidate forum, please let me know at kgraauw@yahoo.com.

Thanks for all you do in keeping our members informed and involved.

Happy New Year—let’s make it one of our most active.

 

Apply for a state office with AAUW of Ohio

2016 January 8

Interested in holding a position with AAUW of Ohio? Now is the time to apply for a state office.

Download the application as a PDF or RTF document, complete it and send it to Kaylee Pavel, AAUW of Ohio administrative coordinator, at kayleepavel@gmail.com by the Feb. 5 deadline. The Nomination Committee will review all applications.

The application has also been sent to all branches.

It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard webinar is Jan. 13

2016 January 1

National AAUW will kickoff its 2016 Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaign with this all-member it's my votewebinar on Jan. 13.With so much at stake in this election, learn how your branch can register, educate, and turn out millennial women voters nationwide as part of our It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign!

All AAUW members are invited but space is limited. This call will be recorded and made available at a later date.

Date: January 13, 2016
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Online

Register here today! Details for accessing the webinar will be emailed to you shortly after registering.

Public Policy news for December

2015 December 21
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By Karen Rainey, Public Policy Chair

Here’s the “Issue of the Month” plus other news to share with your branches. Please make time on your December meeting agendas to include an update on AAUW concerns.

In this issue:

  • Issue of the month: Women and Health Care
  • Update on defunding Planned Parenthood
  • Giving opportunities

Women’s Health: An Economic Indicator

It’s been open enrollment season for choosing a health care insurance plan, with plenty of advertising to promote a variety of plans. This emphasis leads us to take a look at health care resources available to women, who now make up 48% of Ohio’s workforce.  Many families depend on working mothers for their well-being, even their survival. Women’s health care is fundamental to achieving economic self-sufficiency, and yet many women have limited access to services. Illness, lack of sick leave, lack of disability insurance, lack of access to family planning services, being a caregiver—all take a toll on women’s ability to provide for themselves and their children.

Let’s look at how this plays out in Ohio—here are some statistics relating to women’s health care from a report recently issued by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which cited numerous research studies from government and private organizations (www.reproductiverights.org).

  • Ohio ranks 28th out of 51 in the country on overall indicators of women’s and children’s health and well-being, tying with West Virginia. These indicators include the percentage of women without health insurance, the percentage of women with no personal health care provider, the maternal mortality rate, and the prevalence of sexual violence. Other indicators were the cervical cancer screening rate, the percentage of women reporting poor mental health, and HIV incidence.
  • Ohio only performs better than the national average on 21 of 62 indicators of women’s and children’s health and well-being; national averages that are already considered to be relatively poor compared with many other developed countries.   Indicators here include the percentage of children with a medical home, the percentage of children with emotional, developmental, or behavioral problems that received care, and the percentage of teens who abuse alcohol or drugs.
  • Women and children in Ohio face poor health outcomes and numerous social and economic challenges, meeting the benchmark on only 8 of the 30 women’s and children’s health outcomes and only 1 in 10 indicators on social determinants of health. Of these measures, Ohio did not meet the benchmark on the percentage of women and children in poverty, household food insecurity, or gun safety laws.
  • There is a high correlation between the number of abortion restrictions enacted in a state and its overall score on indicators of women’s and children’s health and well-being; the more restrictions, the worse the score.

On the plus side, Ohio has expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, improving access to health care for women and children; Ohio’s policies also ease renewal of Medicaid. Another plus is that the state requires the training of health care providers to deal with victims of domestic violence, and soon will expand this to include training to identify human trafficking victims.

There is much work to be done to improve policies that benefit women and children. For starters, you can share AAUW’s Quick Facts on Work-Life Balance and on Women and Health Care with your branch members. It’s important that we inform ourselves so that we can advocate effectively for the policies we need. More information, and a focus on paid sick leave, will be included in the January Public Policy News.

Defunding Planned Parenthood

Two identical bills have passed in Ohio’s General Assembly, one in the Senate and one in the House. It’s not clear which bill will go forward to the other chamber and then on to the governor (who has already committed to signing it), but it is clear that Planned Parenthood will lose around $1 million in federal funding annually. Specifically banned were funding from the Violence Against Women Act and the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act.

The votes in both chambers were almost entirely along party lines. Rep. Kathleen Clyde, our keynote speaker at the August leadership conference, was prevented from speaking against the House bill (HB 294) when it came up for a vote on the House floor, so she entered her comments in the House Journal, excerpted here. In protesting the cuts to the wide range of services provided by Planned Parenthood, she said:

“We are not even pretending anymore that the tidal wave of abortion restrictions are just about abortion. This bill and its many companions are about shaming, judging and controlling women.   . . . This bill will hurt women, girls, and the men who also choose Planned Parenthood.

This bill imposes a gag rule on any organization, not just Planned Parenthood, that provides rape and dating violence education, cancer care, infertility prevention, HIV/AIDS services, and infant mortality prevention IF that organization even mentions abortion as an option for women. With no exception for the life and health of the girl or woman.”

You can read the entire protest letter at www.ohiohouse.gov/Kathleen-Clyde/press. Watch for an action alert requesting the governor to veto the bill—we want to be on record in opposition.

Giving Opportunities

In keeping with AAUW Ohio’s focus on women and children in need, here are some resources for branches to explore giving opportunities this holiday season and after:

  • Action Ohio Coalition for Battered Women has suggestions at actionohio.org.
  • The Ohio Domestic Violence Network accepts cash donations at odvn.org.
  • Gracehaven, the shelter for teen victims of human trafficking is now open and accepting donations; more information is available at gracehaven.me.

Your feedback is important. Please send your questions or comments to me at kgraauw@yahoo.com.

Happy Holidays!

Newly released campus sexual violence data raise red flags

2015 November 23

WashUpdate banner

91 percent of U.S. college campuses report zero incidents of rape, domestic and
dating violence, and stalking

WASHINGTON — An American Association of University Women (AAUW) analysis of data recently released by the U.S. Department of Education shows that 91 percent of college campuses reported zero incidents of rape in 2014.

“The data reported by the nation’s colleges simply defy reality and commonsense,” said Lisa M. Maatz, vice president of government relations at AAUW. “These numbers don’t reflect campus climate surveys and academic research, let alone what we’re hearing from students themselves.”

Under the Clery Act, American colleges and universities are required to disclose reported crimes on their campuses, including incidents of sexual assault. These annual safety reports are also required to include information about schools’ training and prevention efforts to improve campus safety. “The abundance of zeros in the 2014 reports raises real concerns about how colleges are handling sexual assault incidents on campus,” said Maatz.

For the first time this year, because of new reporting requirements passed in the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), campuses are now providing data on dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking in addition to rape statistics. And yet, in each of these new categories only 9–11 percent of campuses disclosed at least one reported incident in 2014.

“What these zeros really tell us is that students don’t feel comfortable coming forward with formal reports at these schools,” said Maatz. “Why? Perhaps the school doesn’t have good services or processes in place or is not perceived as being supportive when students do come forward. Believe me, word gets around the campus community. Needless to say, this is not the reputation colleges want if they’re going to effectively address campus sexual assault.”

AAUW’s analysis of the 2014 data provides a further breakdown of the numbers, along with background on what the data say about schools that reported zero incidents of rape, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The analysis also provides information about the new VAWA requirements and how to easily access the data, school by school.

AAUW’s analysis shows that campuses that disclosed a report of one type of incident were more likely to disclose reports of other types of incidents, indicating that some schools are clearly working to do the right thing when it comes to disclosing campus incidents and addressing sexual violence.

“Where schools have built systems to welcome reports, support survivors, and disclose statistics correctly, the numbers show that they’re on the right track,” said Maatz. “These reports are incredibly useful in designing and implementing adequate responses and building programs to address gender-based violence. Schools that aren’t using this tool are shortchanging their entire campus communities.”

Study after study shows that sexual harassment and violence are far too prevalent in institutions of higher education. Many people are familiar with the statistic that one in five women is sexually assaulted during college; less well known is that more than one in five college women experiences physical abuse, sexual abuse, or threats of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. “Schools should have a strong commitment to getting these numbers right,” said Maatz. “It’s not only the law — their students’ well-being and access to education are on the line.”

The full 2014 data set is available online from the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, every school’s annual security report should contain this information.

Find out about new statewide philanthropy project & focus on economic status of women in latest issue of Orbit

2015 November 22
by admin
Before the holiday rush begins in earnest, please brew a cup of tea and take a moment to read the AAUW of Ohio Orbit Fall Orbit Fall 15issue. In it, you’ll find:
  • Details about our new statewide philanthropy project, the AAUW Ohio Philanthropy Honorary Memorial Fund
  • News from President Christine Siebeneck about our statewide focus on the economic status of women — and tips on what you and your branch can do to help — from stocking a food pantry to advocating for paid sick leave
  • What your branch needs to know about bylaws and policy documents
  • Shout-outs to branches around the state
  • The latest on the issues and actions happening in Columbus — from women’s health care to human trafficking
  • Convention 2016 updates that will rock your world
  • Online resources from National AAUW that will help you plan programs, advocate for issues and more.

Download past issues of AAUW of Ohio Orbit.