for your note to Feminist.com--and
I apologize for taking so long
to get back to you. I hope this
response isn't coming too late
for your project, which sounds
great. Many times when people
do reports on Women's Rights
they usually only concentrate
on one country, not realizing
that it is a world-wide movement.
As you indicated, I hope that
my answer helps young Canadians
understand some of the issues
that women in the United States
and around the world are facing.
More importantly, I hope this
"understanding" leads to action.
If so, you will surely deserve
a big "thank you" for initiating
you tell me about the group
that you are involved in?"
I am involved mostly with the
Wave Foundation. Third
Wave is national--U.S.--activist
and philanthropic organization
for young women between the
ages of 15 and 30. Through technical
assistance, direct service funding,
and public education campaigns,
we empower, inform and network
a generation of young feminist
I am also involved here with
is a website by/for/about women.
Although most of our work is
about women in the United States,
we do some work with women around
the world. Through the Internet
we provide information and tools
to people in cyberspace so that
they can make informed choices
about their lives and take action.
I am also involved with Voters
for Choice, which is a pro-choice
organization. In 1973, in the
United States, women were supposedly
"granted" the right to choose
to have an abortion in the first
trimester of pregnancy. Since
that decision, Roe v. Wade,
there have been many restrictions
placed on a women's right to
choose. (As I understand it,
this right is similar to the
Morganthaler decision that you
have in Canada.) This right
is basic to women's freedom
and is also an indication of
other rights. If we don't speak
out more vocally about this
issue, we will lose control
over our bodies--and ultimately,
the power to make decisions
about our lives.
are the problems women face
in your country?"
One of the biggest problems
facing women---and everyone
in the U.S.--is lack of participation
in the political process. The
majority of eligible voters
don't vote, which leaves us
with a country that is "by the
few and for the few." This has
an even greater impact on women,
who weren't even included in
the U.S. constitution. So our
rights--are not inalienable--but
ones that we must fight for
each and every day. This becomes
more serious when we look at
who is making these decisions.
By far, the majority of policy
makers are white, middle class,
privileged men. Yes, this is
changing, but not fast enough.
Women are 51 % of the population
in the U.S., but still only
9% of the U.S. Senate and approximately
20 % of the Congress. These
numbers aren't much better at
the local level.
been the most significant thing
your orginization has done?"
I'm going to answer this question
in terms of my work with the
Wave. The most significant
think that the Third Wave
does is that we work to change
the system before it changes
us. We also work to inform young
people about how issues are
being negatively played out
in their lives before they even
realize it is an issue. We raise
awareness among young people,
so they don't have to first
experience the injustice before
they fight against it.
have you acheived so far?"
We have achieved a great deal
so far. Third Wave has
created a network of over 2,000
young people across the United
States. These young people are
living feminist lives and demanding
only what they deserve--equality.