Women's Rights

759 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Donelle Dadigan, Patty Brunton, Cindy Braun, Christine Derenthal

Remove Bill Cosby Star NOW from The Hollywood Walk of Fame

Bill Cosby is a brilliant stand-up comedian, actor, musician, author and community activist. Now, he is also a convicted sex offender. SIGN MY PETITION TO REMOVE BILL COSBY'S STAR FROM THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF  FAME.  After DECADES of whispers and rumors, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault in April 26, 2018.  The case involved Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who testified under oath that Cosby drugged and molested her at his Philadelphia home in 2004.  At the trial, five other women told about similar encounters.  OUTSIDE COURT, MORE THAN  **60 OTHER WOMEN ** HAVE COME FORWARD with stories that are much the same, but include rape.  SOME of the victims were minors when they were assaulted.  MANY of their horrific encounters took place decades ago.   On September 25, 2018, a silent Cosby heard his sentence: three to 10 years in prison.  Despite his attorney's protest, Cosby was handcuffed and transported directly to prison immediately after Judge Steven T. O’Neill made the ruling.  This dramatic fall from grace has been tough for the millions of fans--including myself--who adored Bill Cosby. First, there were his terrific comedy albums, and then he was Scotty, the uber-cool agent on "I, Spy."  Later, Cosby was high school coach Chet Kincaid and a happy-go-lucky spokesperson for Jell-O Pudding Pops.  For many, he was also the wise and funny Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," a loving family man and The All American Dad.  BUT, the real Bill Cosby hid behind every one of these characters.   In reality, Cosby was a cunning sexual predator and serial rapist, serving up alcohol and pills to unsuspecting women and then assaulting them.   NOW, it's TIME for The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to DO THE RIGHT THING.  SIGN MY PETITION TO REMOVE BILL COSBY'S STAR FROM THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF  FAME.  Despite the sentence--which includes Judge O'Neill making Cosby register as a sexually violent predator--the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has so far refused to remove the star.    While rescinding a star has no precedent, taking away an honor from Cosby has already happened dozens of times this past year.  In a one-two punch in early May, Bill Cosby’s name and statue were removed from the prestigious Television Academy Hall of Fame AND the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame.    As of July, **Nearly 30 colleges and universities across the United States have revoked honorary degrees from Cosby,** including Yale University, an action the college has never taken in its 300 year history.  Some other prestigious schools are USC, Temple University, Johns Hopkins University, Notre Dame and Boston College.  At least half a dozen other colleges are recommending to their boards that their Cosby degrees be revoked.    When the verdict was announced, Cosby shouted expletives in the courtroom.  Unlike others who have apologized and taken responsibility for their reprehensible behavior, Cosby continues to say he has done nothing wrong.  To keep the Bill Cosby star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame is to agree with Bill Cosby.  For the sake of millions of tourists who visit the Walk of Fame every year--especially families with young children--NOW is the time to remove Bill Cosby's star. Together, we can encourage The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to DO THE RIGHT THING.  REMOVE BILL COSBY'S STAR.   THANK YOU.   

Hilary Grant
35,660 supporters
Started 4 days ago

Petition to Trinity University, Bob King, Seth Asbury

Change the Dress Code Policy at Trinity University's Fitness Center

TL;DR The dress code policy that requires students to cover their midriff at the Trinity University athletic center is unfounded and obsolete. In the absence of a justifiable concern for health and safety, patrons should be able to wear any athletic clothing that they choose. -- Last year I was kicked out of our student gym for wearing athletic attire that exposed my midriff. That night, I had gone to the gym intending to use the cardio room, but upon entering I was asked by a student employee to “cover up or leave” for “safety reasons.” The same employee informed me that five other women had already been kicked out of the gym just in August for violation of the dress code policy on midriff exposure. I was unsure of what threat my athletic wear posed to the safety of the gym. I had never been to a gym where wearing a crop top or a sports bra without a shirt is prohibited. In addition, midriff exposure was not prohibited by either fitness education instructor with whom I have taken yoga and weight training with in the Bell Center’s Stieren Dance Studio. I wrote an inquiry to Dean Tuttle about the policy and my letter was forwarded to gym management. They responded stating that the dress code policy functions to protect students from Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities and Event Management, responded “… all users in the fitness center are asked to wear shirts to prevent direct skin contact (your midsection/back) with the equipment. Wearing a shirt over your sports bra is the easiest way to prevent potentially contracting a communicable skin disease … Communicable diseases like [MRSA] do spread in fitness centers.” This explanation is scientifically unfounded. S. aureus, and other Staphylococcus species, are part of our skin’s normal bacterial flora, and are usually harmless in the absence of open wounds or compromised immune system. That being said, the skin of my midriff and chest do not pose a greater risk to public health than the skin of my hands, legs or arms, which are more in contact with gym equipment. If we must wear shirts so that our midriffs do not come into contact with gym equipment, then by that same logic we must also wear gloves to touch bike handles, pants to use the weight benches and long-sleeve shirts to use the mats. Additionally, the fabric of a t-shirt is permeable to bacteria, so a hazmat suit would be necessary to ensure protection from S. aureus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states on their website that there is a slightly increased risk of contracting MRSA from sharing exercise equipment, and the most effective preventative measure is to disinfect all equipment. Our gym policy already states that members must wipe down equipment after use, and I would assume that the gym also regularly disinfects all machines. Other recommended preventative measures are covering wounds, showering after exercise, and washing clothing and towels after exercise. I fail to see how evicting women from the gym is a better strategy for the prevention of communicable diseases than if gym management were to post signs that educate students about the warning signs of MRSA and advise appropriate preventative measures. I surveyed my peers to find out if any of them, male or female, had a similar experience or witnessed people violating the policy. All the responses I received from students asked to cover up were female, and those seen violating the policy were overwhelmingly male. While the policy applies to everyone, regardless of sex, many of my peers believed it to be inconsistently implemented. Three students shared their stories, and Trinity professors also weighed in on the topic: “I was kicked out of the gym for showing less than half an inch of stomach,” said Tia-Rose Pezzani, former Trinity University student. “… I was wearing extremely high-waisted leggings, and a sports bra that was not low cut … I was exposing maybe 3-4 inches of midriff … I got overheated during my workout and took off my t-shirt before getting on the bikes … an employee tapped me on the shoulder and told me to put my shirt back on or leave. I felt extremely embarrassed and ashamed just from being apprehended for showing more skin …” said Sophie Dwyer, junior communication major. “I was told I couldn’t work out without a shirt covering me completely … proper gym etiquette would completely prevent [MRSA], not clothing measures,” said Lauren Bagg, senior communication major. “While MRSA and other bacterial diseases can spread in gyms, cotton T-shirts would provide no protection from these bacteria. If the goal is preventing the spread of disease, a policy that requires wiping down gym equipment after each use would be far more effective than a wardrobe-based policy (unless biohazard suits were required). The policy appears to instead be a modesty policy, as the skin on an athlete’s hands, forearms, legs and face — which are freely exposed to gym equipment under the current policy — are no less susceptible to bacterial disease than the skin on their midriffs,” said Michele Johnson, Ph.D. associate professor of biology. “To my knowledge, arms, hands and legs are no more resistant to bacterial infection than other parts of the body … As an institute of higher education, Trinity faculty and staff should strive to identify instances when biases and logical fallacies may have influenced health recommendations from government authorities. The apparent propensity for Trinity workers to implement the policy inconsistently for male and female students supports the argument that cultural norms regarding modesty, as opposed to science, may be driving this health policy recommendation … surely we can institute policies that make logical sense, do not violate what students learn in the classroom, and don’t set the stage for the selective shaming of female students,” said Carolyn Becker, Ph.D., professor of psychology. Other professors who expressed their support include: Frank Healy, Ph.D., biology; James Shinkle, Ph.D., biology; Rosa Aloisi, Ph.D., political science; Rita Urquijo-Ruiz, Ph.D., modern languages and literatures; Norma Elia Cantu, Ph.D., humanities, modern languages and literatures. I contacted other universities and stand-alone gyms in Texas to compare dress policy. The religiously affiliated schools, Southwestern University and St. Edward’s University, with the exception of the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA), prohibited midriff exposure at their gyms. UTSA was forthright by stating that their policy was implemented for modesty reasons. Midriff exposure at UT Austin is not prohibited, but they ask that patrons put a towel on weight benches that they lay on without a shirt. Anytime Fitness and L.A. Fitness have no policy against only wearing crop-tops or sports bras. Both gyms require close-toed shoes for safety, which is practical. As for covering the midriff, however, there is little evidence that it will prevent injury or the spread of communicable disease. In the absence of a justifiable concern for health and safety, patrons should be able to wear any athletic clothing that is comfortable for them to workout in at the gym.

Izzy Rizzo
269 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Donald J. Trump, Zalmay Khalilzad

Tell the U.S.: Afghan women’s rights must be guaranteed alongside peace with the Taliban

My name is Nahid Fattahi, I’m a woman who fights for other women’s rights. A woman who loves to learn. A woman who has prominent laugh lines on her face. Yet, I lost years of my childhood. I did not attend school from 7th to 11th grade. I know what it’s like to not have freedom. I know what it’s like to not being able to go to school. I know what’s it like to be marginalized and traumatized because of my gender.  I was an Afghan child bride, and I am deeply worried that unless the global community comes together, the lives of so many women in Afghanistan will be at risk.  Since the official fall of the Taliban, Afghan women have made so much progress and have been both empowered and free. Afghan women want their freedom to be guaranteed and sustained alongside peace with the Taliban.  That’s why I’m asking for your signature today, demanding that U.S. leaders don’t sacrifice the rights and lives of women in any peace deal with the Taliban.  The people of Afghanistan are yearning for peace, as the war in Afghanistan continues destroying lives due to the direct consequences of violence and the war-induced breakdown of public health, security, and infrastructure. But peace with the Taliban can’t come at women’s expense. Peace with the Taliban must not conclude until the peace agreements are backed by measurable indicators ensuring women will have access to education, mobility, healthcare, and justice.  The peace agreement must explicitly guarantee the following:  All girls and women will be allowed education in schools and universities exactly as is currently in the big cities of Afghanistan. Including having the freedom to participate in student exchange programs, and other scholarship and fellowship opportunities Universities will not be segregated  Women will have political participation freedom: Right to vote and hold office At least 27% of parliamentarian seats must go to women. Women will have the freedom to work anywhere they desire without having to have permission of a male guardian  Women will have the freedom to travel anywhere they desire without having to have permission of a male guardian  Women must continue to be a part of the mass media and entertainment industry.  Freedom of the press and freedom of speech must be continued As a survivor of child marriage, I advocate for having legal frameworks to protect girls and women from violence. The Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW law) is very vulnerable and susceptible to compromise in the peace process. The Afghan women need a guarantee that their rights will not be negotiated with the Taliban. The EVAW law of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan enacting by a Presidential decree must be safeguarded. Stand with us, the women of Afghanistan, and ask President Trump, and the American government to work with us to make sure that Afghanistan’s peace that we desperately need can be achieved and sustained alongside our human rights.  Please sign my petition to make sure Afghan women’s rights are guaranteed and sustained alongside the potential peace with the Taliban.  #AfghanWomenRights

Nahid Fattahi
37,139 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to California State Senate, Nancy Pelosi, California Governor, California State House, Kamala D. Harris, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, Paul Cook, Kevin McCarthy, Barbara Lee, Darrell E. Issa, Ken Calvert, Adam B. Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Jared Huffman, Brad Sherman, Karen Bass

End Child Marriage in California

Current marriage age exception laws in CA offer dangerous loopholes to predators who can and do use them to exploit children. My Story: My name is Sara Tasneem, and I am a child marriage survivor who is advocating to end child marriage in California. At just fifteen, I was forced by my father to marry a 28 year old stranger. Sadly, I am not alone, a recent report showed that: "Between 2000 and 2015, at least 207,459 minors were married in the United States", and 86% of child marriages happen to girls marrying adult men. Many Americans are unaware that children across the United States are legally able to marry. State laws govern marriage age laws and 48 out of 50 states allow children under the age of 18 to marry with parental consent, or if there is a pregnancy involved. Join me in fighting to end child marriage in CA today! Child Marriage is legal in 48 out of the 50 states in the US Ending child marriage in the United States is an uphill battle because each state must approve new bills limiting the age of marriage to 18.  Many states, including California, are reticent to pass such bills because of age-old patriarchal views of marriage and pregnancy. Recently, Delaware and New Jersey passed the marriage laws to limit the age of marriage to 18 with no exceptions. After the age of 18 individuals are considered adults and they can access the vital services that they might need if they experience abuse, or want to divorce their partners. Child marriage in California: In California there is NO age limit for a minor to marry with parental consent and Judicial review.  What is problem with these laws? Minors are easily coerced and forced into marriages especially when raised in an abusive household. Parental consent can mean force and abuse if a minor does not comply with a marriage chosen for them. Once they have been forced into a marriage it is extremely difficult to leave. Child Marriage is considered a HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE internationally and domestically, but there are very few laws which prevent it. Here is a small list of significant roadblocks that minors face in California when trying to leave an abusive forced marriage. Minors who marry are THREE TIMES more likely to experience abuse within their marriages. Shelters will not take minors in without parental consent, and often minors are turned away or sent to youth shelters where there is a lack of bed space. Minors cannot enter into contracts thus, it is difficult to find an attorney that will take on a minor’s divorce. Minors are not allowed to get driver’s licenses until after 16 (with parental consent). Minors are not allowed to work in some states until 15-16 years old (with parental consent). Many minors who marry are often forced to drop out of school limiting their ability to get jobs, or future opportunities. Minors who marry are faced with serious health risks, and often have more children than their adult counterparts. Minors who marry suffer from higher complications in childbirth, and higher rates of mental health issues.   Forced child marriage can often be inter-generational and many minors who are forced into marriages suffer from multiple layers of abuse. The solution: END CHILD MARRIAGE FOR GOOD, limit marriage to adults only (18 years+).   References: Learn more: My advocacy work and contact information:

Sara Tasneem
2,348 supporters