Women's Rights

474 petitions

Update posted 58 minutes ago

Petition to David White, Ilyanne Morden Kichaven, Jeffrey Bennett, Gabrielle Carteris

Address Inequality and Sex Abuse in Hollywood

We are actors.  We are proud members of SAG-AFTRA. The support the Union has offered has been invaluable. The unity we share as SAG-AFTRA actors is an extraordinary honor.  The Union has done wondrous work to ensure proper working conditions and wages for the average working actor. But as female actors, We’ve come to understand some very unfortunate realities about the business to which we’ve dedicated ourselves, and some regrettable shortcomings of the Union that is supposed to represent us. While women represent 41% of SAG-AFTRA membership, an estimated 70% of working and aspiring actors and more than half the global population, we were only the protagonists of 12% of the 100 top grossing films last year. Recent reports show that women are underrepresented at an 8 to 1 ratio for film and television leads. Only 11% of females depicted in top grossing films of 2014 were black and moviegoers were only slightly more likely to see a Latina or Asian female character--only 4% and 3%, respectively--than a female character from another planet. Roughly a third of female speaking characters were shown in sexually revealing attire or were (at least) partially naked while more than half the women portraying characters aged 13-20 (teenagers) were shown with some nudity. These reports are not only an indication of discriminatory hiring practices in Hollywood, but of a great disservice to our culture and the world’s audiences. The industry is marked by innumerable instances of discrimination, harassment, and sexual assault, especially in a context of sexual content on screen. These abuses are unacceptable in any context.  The fierce competition female actors face and a gross imbalance of power nurtures the industry’s proclivity to stigmatize players for having a voice. A key principle of the Union is that our unity prevents such devaluations. We hope that all actors will be able to walk in to any employment situation with confidence that their rights have been firmly established, supported and normalized by our Union without fear they may be individually targeted, slandered or precluded from future work in any way if they stand for what would otherwise be clear and basic human, moral and legal rights. Despite the Union’s documented policies, the industry’s silent acceptance of these injustices has had critical, lasting effects on our members both personally and professionally.  We must find a way to alter our current culture to go beyond the small print statements and effectively promote an atmosphere and enforcement of a zero tolerance policy.  We cannot continue to stand by. We stand behind our Union and need our Union to stand for us.  We need SAG-AFTRA to stand and to step up. It is time for women’s interests to be addressed and their voices to be heard. Inequalities, discrimination, harassment and even sexual assault are still part of our experience in the industry. We call for the support of our Union to form an actionable, open gender committee to address the issues facing female performers.    We feel the Union is in the best position to: - unify its members with a unique ability to reach, convene, support and mobilize its participating members; - institute policies within the entertainment industry that protect women and our rights; - be a voice for those who have been silenced by a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination and provide those victims with substantive resources and support- move beyond a statement of "zero tolerance" for sexual harassment, assault and discrimination to enforcement and a culture of zero tolerance.- provide resources for family planning and maternity leave; - and take a clear stance on the stark income disparity between genders. The role of women in media has long been a controversial subject. It is time that the women of our Union be empowered regarding the use of their image, and to have roles that more richly and responsibly portray the lives and roles of women in our society. We believe that the unification of the Union’s female (and interested male and other gender) members around these issues will be a strong response. We would be served by the opportunity to convene around these issues with the support and protection of our Union to hold an open and transparent dialogue on the issues facing female performers.     There currently exists a “women’s committee” bullet pointed on the SAG-AFTRA website, but there is a lack of clarity to its activities, no contacts, no support available for interest in its activities and no initiatives or programs seem to exist around these issues.  For example, our Union provides for pensions, healthcare and even emergency relief, but offers no resources to women entering motherhood. As creative professionals we bring to life any culture we can envision. We can surely find a way to produce media that affects positive culture shifts, rather than reflecting and perpetuating oppressive gender roles and exploitive gender norms.     Our members have shown extraordinary resilience and perseverance in the face of extreme inequities, but it is time these conditions be addressed.  SAG-AFTRA is a strong voice for performers. If our Union supports a voice for gender equality, we should convene a committee to discuss gender issues and spark an initiative for equality. Thank you for your support of your female members.

M Hampton
721 supporters
This petition won 3 years ago

Petition to Mary Fallin, Lee Denney, Jeffrey Hickman

Hear Oklahoma House Bill 1362

We are a group of mothers, fathers, students, and concerned citizens in Oklahoma. We urgently need your help to make sure that a crucial bill to help stop the rape and victimization of young girls in our state is heard in the Oklahoma State House. HB 1362 is a vital bill that will ensure that victims have support, that school officials are trained to handle these situations, and that our students are effectively taught about consent and proper boundaries. It is essential that this bill is passed, not just for the safety of Oklahoma’s students, but also as a signal to the rest of the country that this type of legislation is needed to protect all of our young people. House Bill 1362 successfully made it out of the Common Education Committee on Tuesday, February 24th -- but now the real fight begins. The next step is a vote on the house floor, and if the bill is voted down it will be two more years before this essential legislation can be reintroduced.  Last fall, we organized the group Yes All Daughters after three teenage girls in our hometown of Norman, OK were raped by the same classmate and then bullied out of school after they reported their assaults.We organized a peaceful protest and the school district responded by creating a task force to address issues related to victimization and bullying. The perpetrator was arrested following our protest and is currently awaiting trial on First Degree Rape charges. HB 1362 was introduced as a direct result of the assaults on these three girls, and our work to bring their stories to light. But the work is not done. There is no guarantee that the Oklahoma State House will pass this legislation, even though the rape and sexual assault of minors is still an enormous problem in Oklahoma. Last week, in the town just over from Norman, four more students (all aged 18 and 19) were arrested for the alleged gang rape of a girl under the age of 16. We cannot continue to let this problem go unchecked in our state. Girls ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault, yet this bill was not on the agenda until our last-ditch effort compelled legislators to read it in committee. We must demand that House Bill 1362 become a priority among the Oklahoma State Legislators. Sign the petition. Stand with us against sexual violence. No more silence. No more shame.

Yes All Daughters
36,473 supporters
Started 3 days ago

Petition to Oklahoma State House, Oklahoma State Senate, Mary Fallin

Lauren’s Law - Support Consent Education In Oklahoma - Pass House Bill 2734

Lauren Atkins bravely shared her story with the world last summer. A story every parent hopes their child won’t have to face, but for many that’s all too familiar; Lauren was raped by a boy she knew from school. She was shocked to find out he had no idea what legal consent was. In the fall of 2014, we organized the group Yes All Daughters and led a protest after multiple teenage girls in our hometown of Norman, OK were raped and bullied out of the same school Lauren attends. These are not isolated incidents. Girls between 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. 44% of sexual assaults happen before the age of 18. WE MUST FOCUS ON EDUCATION. Statutory laws on consent are not enough to prevent rape. Educating teens about issues of consent and healthy relationships is essential to reversing the horrifying statistics. Yes All Daughters has worked with Oklahoma lawmaker and former high school teacher, Representative Jacob Rosecrants, to introduce House Bill 2734 to address the need for consent and healthy relationship education. HB2734 will allow for the development of age appropriate programs on consent and healthy relationship behavior. These programs will teach students about consent and how to recognize and prevent relationship violence, including physical and emotional relationship abuse. It will also address relationship communication skills, emotional health, and accountability. Federal funds are available for this consent and safe relationship education to be implemented at the state level through Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Under the last administration, the White House Council on Women and Girls Report estimated the cost of rape to be as high as $240,776 per incident, including medical services, investigations, loss of productivity, and quality of life. With the high cost of assault and federal funding available, there’s no excuse not to protect and educate our kids. Let’s do this for Lauren, the young women we started our movement for, and all the survivors who hope for a better world. SIGN OUR PETITION AND DEMAND THAT OKLAHOMA LAWMAKERS MAKE OUR CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY A PRIORITY BY PASSING THIS IMPORTANT BILL. EDUCATION IS PREVENTION. Call and email your legislators. Stand with us against Sexual Violence. No more Silence. No more Shame.

Yes All Daughters
1,534 supporters