Thursday, February 24, 2005

Women---You Can't Live With 'Em

Since I've been branching out into the net and discovering some solidarity with my female cohorts, I thought it was only fitting that I post a little something tasty on women's issues, and this is it.

Russ Kick over at The Memory Hole has a recent link on the purging of inconvenient reports from the website of Bush's new and improved US Commission on Civil Rights. This is a follow-up to his Feb. 9 post, that broached the subject and put it into context. Twenty of these reports proved a tad uncomfortable to the Republican commissioners, and with titles like "Consequences of Government Race Data Collection Bans on Civil Rights", "Native American Health Care Disparities Briefing Summary ", and "Briefing on Tragedy Along the Arizona-Mexico Border: Undocumented Immigrants Face Death in the Desert", who can blame them? Fortunately, Russ mirrored them for the rest of us. (Get over there and make a contribution if you can--he provides an invaluable service to the cause of truth.)

Most interesting to me were the tidbits from the section of the report titled "Redefining Rights in America: The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration (September 2004)", which he describes as "truly rak(ing) Bush over the coals; when it was first posted in October, the Republican members of the Commission tried to have it taken down. It took them four months, but they've finally succeeded."

Deep into the bowels of the report on page 135 I found a section titled "Redefining Women's Issues, Undercutting Women's Rights" (ouch).
Some of the examples therein:

  • Closed the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach (which) advocated on behalf of women’s issues and kept the President and his administration informed about women’s needs;
  • Attempted to close the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor…;
  • Abolished the Equal Pay Matters Initiative at DOL, an effort to achieve pay equity for women;
  • Repealed DOL regulations that allowed paid family leave through state unemployment compensation funds;
  • Weakened enforcement of job discrimination cases by the Department of Justice and abandoned several pending sex discrimination suits;
  • “Archived” guidance on sexual harassment in schools, no longer making it available to the public;
  • Proposed modifications to welfare laws that would impose stricter work requirements without increasing child care assistance; and
  • Appointed or nominated numerous individuals who oppose women’s rights.

It goes on to note that fact sheets on wage disparities between men and women have been rewritten to support the administration’s contention that the pay gap is a myth, and the HHS website excludes important scientific facts on human reproduction that conflict with Bushco’s religious base. The site is also required to promote abstinence-only instead of info on safe sex practices. And don’t even get started on Title IX, which gets its own section, “Title IX Under Attack.”

Add to this the Bush attack on contraception,reproduction info, and abortion, and whaddya got?
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