CEDAW – The International Women’s Rights Treaty You Never Heard Of

SEPTEMBER 2015 UPDATE Sarasota, Florida has added its name to the cities seeking local CEDAW ordinances. We hope to join San Francisco, Los Angeles, Louisville, and many other cities bringing CEDAW to their communities. Stay tuned and see here for more info on the Cities for CEDAW initiative. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ June 2014 A Primer: What the hell is CEDAW and why should I care? What is CEDAW? CEDAW – conveniently pronounced “see-daw” - is the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Admittedly, this is a mouthful, but most international treaties are, so we won’t let that…

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Alpha Montessori

Alpha Montessori As a committed Montessorian, I was curious about what Montessori schools were in New Delhi.   The first ones I visited were very disappointing. The Montessori name has been an advertising slogan for many years, often disguising schools with little to no Montessori practices or philosophies at work, and that is what I found here. So I was delighted  when I found Rajesh Batra, school director, and he led me to Alpha. "The Alpha Montessori School, located in Mandawali, an impoverished community in East Delhi, India, was founded to provide high quality education to low-income children and provide them…

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Sanitation in India

Poor Sanitation in India May Afflict Well-Fed Children with Malnutrition, by Gardiner Harris, in Monday's New York Times, discusses something that has been puzzling health and sanitation experts for a while: why are so many children in India with improved food quality and quantity not thriving?  Why are patterns of growth stunting so persistent? If this emerging hypothesis is correct, then it would seem the clue to the disturbingly high rates of stunting is sanitation, not food.  The large percentage of the population in India who defecate in the open may be the cause; the theory is that the bacterial…

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College Campus Assaults – Call for Comments

An article in today's New York Times, Reporting Rape and Wishing She Hadn't, is one of many recent print and online pieces addressing campus rapes and sexual assaults.  These incidents are both disturbing and yet not at all surprising – the tea leaves have all been in place for a very long time. Our forthcoming play, “Spoiled,” explores masculine self-images behind gender violence in the USA and India. In preparation, I would love to get comments on this topic. For example: Why do some men come to see these type of assaults as acceptable? What really are the cultural influences shaping young…

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Walter Dean Myers 1937-2014

  Thank you  Walter Dean Myers. You are a godsend to a teacher. All those reluctant readers? All those boys who couldn't find ANYTHING they wanted to read? All those topics - war, families, race - that needed a good shared book to get the conversation started?  I knew I could always find something in your voluminous portfolio that would fit. I have used Fallen Angels repeatedly - always with success - and then been able to offer Sunrise Over Fallujah right behind it.  I've been able to offer up books on sports figures, history, ballet, teen pregnancy, jazz, the Old Testament, cowboys, Somali…

  • Post category:EducationMusings
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Lady Pockets

Satire Any Feminist Will Love If you haven't found Lady Pockets, yet, look it up.  It's the brainchild of Philadelphia-based costume designer and writer Katherine Fritz, clearly a woman with a sense of humor.  If you're a reader of women's magazines - or even a supermarket aisle browser - you'll get her take. Any woman who can find even a vein of humor in the frightening Hobby Lobby decision is okay in my book, and the fact that she works the obsessive adult arts and crafts movement into a recent post doesn't hurt either. I mean, really, "Get the Look" posts…

  • Post category:MusingsWomen
  • Reading time:2 mins read
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Are Women in India Safer Today?

Here's the question: after the wave of publicity following the Delhi rape of December 2012, and actions by the government in response, how's it going?  Do women feel safer?  Might they actually BE safer? Thanks to the fantastic work of ICRW - the International Center for Research on Women - we may soon know. In 2012, an ICRW survey asked about public safety in Delhi. The results found that 90% of women and girls had experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Ninety percent?  Did you catch that right?  In my book, that's pretty close to everyone.  That should…

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Banish the Colourful Classroom?

Thank you Jan Hoffman and Carnegie Mellon University.  Well, thank you and shame on you at the same time.  In the New York Times yesterday, Jan Hoffman wrote on a Carnegie Mellon study looking at effects on children's learning and concentration of the heavily adorned classroom walls that are the staple of traditional elementary schools throughout the USA. Not surprising to any Montessorian, the study found that children performed better in rooms with relatively unadorned walls.  They noted that the proliferation of posters and borders and commercial materials, presumably designed to be cheery and inspirational, actually may be a distraction,…

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Birthday Celebrations: Charity

How about adopting this birthday tradition? Birthdays are a big deal in many parts of India.  Some widely respected traditions include wearing new clothes, blessing parents, feeding others birthday cake - often including some messy frosting face smearing - and, in some offices, taking the day off work. But another practice I especially like is to give to charity.  Many people donate to a charity on this special day, especially by giving clothing or food to an orphanage or perhaps hosting a meal at a shelter home. It is both a blessing for the person celebrating the birthday as well…

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Shop for a Cause: Kamalini

Kamalini's spring Mela is coming up!  Kamalini works to empower underprivileged young women by providing basic education, useful skills, and confidence-boosting activities through two centers in Delhi and numerous outreach programs.   This Mela features women's and children's clothes donated by El Corte Ingles, a large Spanish department store. Shop for bargains and help Kamalini at the same time.

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