Women's Rights

650 petitions

Update posted 7 hours ago

Petition to University of Michigan

University of Michigan: Don’t Further Traumatize Survivors of Sexual Assault

The University of Michigan has shown that it stands against survivors of sexual assault: In its new sexual misconduct policy, survivors will be forced to undergo live cross-examination by their assaulter. As a University of Michigan student, I feel betrayed by my institution and scared for my fellow students. This new policy forces survivors of sexual assault to sit through a cross-examination conducted by their alleged assaulter, despite the fact that the university is well within its legal rights to require an advisor or attorney to lead the cross-examination instead. Even Betsy DeVos’s proposed Title IX regulations forbid the victim and alleged perpetrator from directly cross-examining each other. In criminal and civil court, cross-examination is always conducted by lawyers, but the University of Michigan has decided that it’s above the law. Will you add your name to show the University of Michigan that cross-examination should always be conducted by an advisor instead of an alleged assaulter? The implications of this policy are almost unimaginable. I was raped, and being forced to see my rapist is my biggest fear. Having him question me. Having him use his words to stab me. Having him tell me it’s my fault that he hid in my apartment until I was all alone. My fault that he bullied me into downing a bottle of liquor to the point where I was in and out of consciousness. My fault that he carried me into the bedroom and hoisted my body onto a bunk bed. This is too much to ask of any victim of sexual assault. As the complainant in a non-Michigan Title IX case, I understand the emotionally taxing process victims goes through. I am forced to relive my experience over and over again as I sit through hours of questioning by lawyers and investigators. When I filed a police report, I never expected to be dragged through a process that would snowball into over seventy-six arduous weeks of legal work. This process is hard enough without a policy that further traumatizes survivors. In college alone, nearly thirty percent of women are sexually assaulted. Only four percent of survivors report the attack. There is no doubt that the University of Michigan's new sexual misconduct policy will further decrease the number of victims that step forward. Sign to tell the University of Michigan that cross-examination should be conducted by an advisor instead of an alleged assaulter. Unless they make a change to this cruel policy immediately, U of M will be known as an institution that silences survivors.

Jane Roe
64,072 supporters
This petition won 5 years ago

Petition to President of the United States

End Female Genital Mutilation in the US - Commission a prevalence report on women impacted and girls at risk

My name is Jaha Dukureh and I am 24 years old. As an infant growing up in Gambia, I experienced Female Genital Mutilation. It took away a part of my femininity, my ownership to my body. Some girls, including my half-sister who died from complications from being cut, even lose their lives. I am committed to ending this destructive practice and I need you to join me.
  The World Health Organization defines Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as “the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons." In some cultures, FGM is believed to preserve the virginity of girls and keep them “pure” until marriage. It is also believed to keep girls faithful to their spouses because of lack of arousal during intercourse.  Apart from the violent and painful nature of the process, victims continue to suffer the physical and mental agony for the rest of their lives including complications during menstruation, sexual intercourse and childbirth. That is why the United Nations has declared FGM a human rights violation -- and yet the practice continues here in the United States and around the world. When I was 15 years old, I moved to New York and was forced in to marriage. I was lucky to escape and create a new life in Atlanta, where I now live with my second husband and children. I ended my silence about my experience and started speaking out about FGM. I created a blog where other women in our communities here in the US have shared their stories. Many in the US hear about FGM and think it only happens in far away lands. Unfortunately, this is far from reality. I hear from girls everyday that were born here in the United States who have been through FGM. These young women are your average American teenagers -- some of them you know, some of them you went or go to school with. And there are many more girls in the US that are at risk of being cut.  The practice of FGM is illegal in the US but girls are being taken to other countries, usually their parents’ country of origin where they are cut in what is now known as “vacation cutting." Laws have been passed to try to address FGM in the US -- including one signed by President Obama in early 2013 making it illegal to take a girl out of the country for purposes of FGM -- but girls continue to be cut. Part of the difficulty in recognizing and addressing the problem in the US is the lack of awareness and up-to-date research/statistics on the prevalence of FGM. That's why I started this campaign. In order to improve efforts to protect these little girls, we must know the facts about FGM in the US. I'm asking President Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services, to take the essential first step of commissioning a report on the current statistics of women in the US impacted by FGM and the girls at risk of being mutilated. This is just the beginning of our work and we won't back down and we won't go away until girls are protected. Join me, Congressman Crowley, and Equality Now in calling for the Administration to develop a strategic action plan to end FGM.  Please sign my petition now.

Jaha Dukureh
220,069 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Jim Turley, Ellie Morrison, Michael Surbaugh, The Boy Scouts of America, Boy Scouts of America

Boy Scout President Jim Turley: Speak Out Against Discrimination and Harassment of Girls

I have been an unofficial member of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for 13 years and try my best to live by the Scout Oath and Law. On February 1, 2019 - 478 days after the announcement that the Boy Scouts would soon allow girls to join - was I finally permitted to become an official member of the new Scouts BSA. Now the leadership - Boy Scout President Jim Turley and Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh - want me to wait another year-and-half, until October 2020, to earn the Eagle Rank. Why?  The Boy Scouts say they are ready to welcome girls and young women but they continue to discriminate against us.   When I first met with the Boy Scout Chief Scout Executive, he encouraged me to keep earning Rank and Merit Badges and he said that I could be the first female Eagle Scout.* I did the work. I earned Merit Badges and Rank Advancement.  I completed my Eagle Project. I was even elected Senior Patrol Leader of my Troop.  This past October, BSA President Jim Turley told me that my work, and the work of hundreds of other young women, will not count. We will have to start all over. Are male Scouts required to repeat work on Rank and Merit Badges?    Young women demonstrated enormous leadership in pushing the BSA to do the right thing and accept girls into the program. Because of this, girls will rise through the ranks and become Eagle Scouts alongside the best of the boys. All we need is the opportunity Mr. Turley. If the new Scouts BSA intends to welcome girls, there can be no tolerance for Harassment and Bullying of young women.  Tell Mr. Turley, we deserve a safe program, free from harassment.   Send an email to Mr. Turley and Mr. Surbaugh respectfully tell them that girls have worked just as hard for recognition and deserve to the same Rank Advancement and Merit Badges as boys. Please send to all email addresses:;;;; #ScoutHerIn #LetSydneyInNOW #CatalystInc #MeToo *There already are female Eagle Scouts. 

Sydney Ireland
11,391 supporters