A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Freedom, Equality, Accountability & Transparency

Yesterday an estimated half million joined The Women's March on Washington which was supported by hundreds of thousands more gathering in various cities, not only in the U.S. but across the world. Described as “a women-led movement bringing together people of all genders, ages, races, cultures, political affiliations and backgrounds in our nation's capital to affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self-determination.” it clearly shows the deep concern that many citizens feel about the new U.S. Administration, a concern that is shared across the world and here in Canada.

A few weeks ago the organizers shared their “vision for a government that is based on the principles of liberty and justice for all”, whilst I cannot march with them I can support them and their vision by sharing it with you here. Whilst focused upon women the basic views expressed should apply to, and be supported by, all human beings of whatever sex.

Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles

We believe that Women's Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women's Rights .
This is the basic and original tenet from which all our values stem.
We believe Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice. We must create a society in
which women, in particular women-in particular Black women, Native women, poor women,
immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women-are free and able to care for and
nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural

Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of violence against our bodies. One in three
women have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime;
and one in five women have been raped. Further, each year, thousands of women and girls, particularly
Black, indigenous and transgender women and girls, are kidnapped, trafficked, or murdered. We honor
the lives of those women who were taken before their time and we affirm that we work for a day when
all forms of violence against women are eliminated.

We believe in accountability and justice for police brutality and ending racial profiling and
targeting of communities of color. Women of color are killed in police custody at greater rates than
white women, and are more likely to be sexually assaulted by police. We also call for an immediate end
to arming police with the military grade weapons and military tactics that are wreaking havoc on
communities of color. No woman or mother should have to fear that her loved ones will be harmed at
the hands of those sworn to protect.

We believe it is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the
criminal justice system. The rate of imprisonment has grown faster for women than men, increasing by
700% since 1980, and the majority of women in prison have a child under the age of 18. Incarcerated
women also face a high rate of violence and sexual assault. We are committed to ensuring access to
gender-responsive programming and dedicated healthcare including substance abuse treatment, mental
and maternal health services for women in prison. We believe in the promise of restorative justice and
alternatives to incarceration. We are also committed to disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline that
prioritizes incarceration over education by systematically funneling our children-particularly children
of color, queer and trans youth, foster care children, and girls-into the justice system.

We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts
or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS
care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal,
affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education. We
understand that we can only have reproductive justice when reproductive health care is accessible to all
people regardless of income, location or education.

We believe in Gender Justice. We must have the power to control our bodies and be free from
gender norms, expectations and stereotypes. We must free ourselves and our society from the institution
of awarding power, agency and resources disproportionately to masculinity to the exclusion of others.

We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift,
expand and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming brothers,
sisters and siblings. This includes access to non-judgmental , comprehensive healthcare with no
exceptions or limitations; access to name and gender changes on identity documents; full anti-
discrimination protections; access to education, employment, housing and benefits; and an end to police
and state violence.

We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity. We
believe that creating workforce opportunities that reduce discrimination against women and mothers
allow economies to thrive. Nations and industries that support and invest in caregiving and basic
workplace protections including benefits like paid family leave, access to affordable childcare, sick
days, healthcare, fair pay, vacation time, and healthy work environments-have shown growth and
increased capacity.

We believe in equal pay for equal work and the right of all women to be paid equitably. We must
end the pay and hiring discrimination that women, particularly mothers, women of color, lesbian, queer
and trans women still face each day in our nation. Many mothers have always worked and in our modern
labor force; and women are now 50% of all family breadwinners. We stand for the 82% of women who
become moms, particularly moms of color, being paid, judged, and treated fairly. Equal pay for equal
work will lift families out of poverty and boost our nation's economy.

We recognize that women of color carry the heaviest burden in the global and domestic
economic landscape, particularly in the care economy. We further affirm that all care work--caring for
the elderly, caring for the chronically ill, caring for children and supporting independence for people
with disabilities--is work, and that the burden of care falls disproportionately on the shoulders of
women, particularly women of color. We stand for the rights, dignity, and fair treatment of all unpaid
and paid caregivers. We must repair and replace the systemic disparities that permeate caregiving at
every level of society.

We believe that all workers, including domestic and farm workers - must have the right to
organize and fight for a living minimum wage, and that unions and other labor associations are critical to
a healthy and thriving economy for all. Undocumented and migrant workers must be included in our
labor protections, and we stand in solidarity with sex workers' rights movements.

We believe Civil Rights are our birthright. Our Constitutional government establishes a
framework to provide and expand rights and freedoms, not restrict them. To this end, we must protect
and restore all the Constitutionally-mandated rights to all our citizens, including voting rights, freedom
to worship without fear of intimidation or harassment, freedom of speech, and protections for all citizens
regardless of race, gender, age or disability.

We believe it is time for an all-inclusive Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Most Americans believe the Constitution guarantees equal rights, but it does not. The 14th Amendment
has been undermined by courts and cannot produce real equity on the basis of race and/or sex. And in a
true democracy, each citizen's vote should count equally. All Americans deserve equality guarantees in
the Constitution that cannot be taken away or disregarded, recognizing the reality that inequalities
intersect, interconnect and overlap.

Rooted in the promise of America's call for huddled masses yearning to breathe free, we believe
in immigrant and refugee rights regardless of status or country of origin. It is our moral duty to keep
families together and empower all aspiring Americans to fully participate in, and contribute to, our
economy and society. We reject mass deportation, family detention, violations of due process and
violence against queer and trans migrants. Immigration reform must establish a roadmap to citizenship,
and provide equal opportunities and workplace protections for all. We recognize that the call to action to
love our neighbor is not limited to the United States, because there is a global migration crisis. We
believe migration is a human right and that no human being is illegal.

We believe that every person and every community in our nation has the right to clean water,
clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands. We believe that our environment and our climate
must be protected, and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or
greed-especially at the risk of public safety and health.

Thank you for that Ladies.

These pictures say it all .... https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/21/world/100000004886005.mobile.html?_r=0 Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers


Owen Gray said...

In the end, Rural, it may be the ladies who take him down.

Rural said...

Indeed Owen, I have long ago learned not to piss off the girls!