Gen. Cadoria is a pioneer of our lifetime

By Kris Kieper
Chief Executive Officer, YWCA of Rockford

Kris Kieper

Kris Kieper

February and March are reflective months for me as both provide insight and inspiration for the work of the YWCA Rockford; February is Black History month, which leads into Women’s History month in March.

There are so many women in history we’ve never heard of, never celebrated their efforts and impact on our world today. As guilty as historians have been of neglecting women in history, they’ve been even more neglectful to women of color.

Women Veterans Partner with YWCA of Alaska

By Diane Kaplan, President and CEO
Rasmuson Foundation

In the summer of 2012, I was privileged to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Mary Louise Rasmuson and several Alaska women veterans. At the time, Mary Louise, who served as head of the Women’s Army Corps (WACS) in the Eisenhower/Kennedy days and on the Rasmuson Foundation board for 50 years, was 101 years old. The women were members of the emerging Alaska Veterans Organization for Women (AVOW) organization, led by founder Vanessa Meade.

Mary Louise Rasmuson shared stories with members of the Alaska Veterans Organization for Women in 2012.

Mary Louise Rasmuson shared stories with members of the Alaska Veterans Organization for Women in 2012.

On New Year’s Day, Honoring the Women of World War II

By Kay Philips 
Chair of the YWCA Pacific Region Advocacy Committee 

This year, the Rose Parade in Pasadena, C.A. on New Year’s Day will feature a float honoring the women pilots of World War II. Almost three years ago (in March 2010), 300 remaining women pilots of the 1,100 women pilots who served during World War II were honored in Washington, D.C. with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Most were in their late 80’s and 90’s. (Read more about the honorees who will also be on the Rose Parade float.)

Top Five on Friday: December 13

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

What does the YWCA want the most this holiday season? We’re got five things we’re hoping for — policy decisions that will help empower women, reform that will truly support racial equality, and your continued support for our local associations who are working hard in communities all over the country.

1. Although there have been considerable setbacks, passing comprehensive immigration reform that protects women and keeps families together is still possible, and there are still many activists who are continuing to beat the drum for a vote. We’d like to make sure that the momentum isn’t lost by next year, and that there’s a real chance for reform in 2014.

Why #passMJIA? 50 Facts About Sexual Assault in the U.S. Military

By Soraya Chemaly
Originally published on November 11, 2013

More than 70 members of the U.S. military deal with unwanted sexual contact, sexual assault and rape every day. That’s three every hour.

The National Defense Authorization Act will come to the Senate floor on Monday. As a result, sometime during the next week, Senator Kirstin Gillibrand‘s controversial Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA), will be debated. MJIA has the support of 47 Senators and 38 bipartisan sponsors, but is still missing just 13 votes in order to pass without the risk of a filibuster. It’s controversial because it proposes removing the prosecution of serious crimes in the armed forces (such as, but not limited to, sexual assault) from the chain of command.  Instead, cases will be handled by impartial military prosecutors, who would also be granted authority to decide which cases go to trial.

Top Five on Friday: November 15

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

Our theme for this week’s Top Five on Friday is hard work and recognition. Both of these ideas are important, and they are intrinsically linked: hard work deserves recognition, and recognition requires hard work. Our stories this week highlight audacious women who have overcome triumphs and who inspire others to keep forging ahead. We hope you’ll share these articles with your friends and family who need a boost!

YWCA Glendale is Committed to Empowering and Serving Women Veterans

By, Lisa Raggio, Senior Director of Community Services, Development and Communications, YWCA Glendale

Lisa Raggio

Lisa Raggio

At the request of our Mayor to research female veterans’  needs in mid 2012,  YWCA Glendale conducted research and found that amongst  the 2 million women veterans and active duty service members across the nation, some statistics are alarming and indicate that the prevalence of traumatic events among female veterans reflects the following:

• 81%-93% any type of trauma

• 30%-45% military sexual trauma

• 46%-51% physical assault

• 35% child physical abuse

• 18%-19% domestic violence *

Top Five on Friday – October 4

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

The government shutdown has taken over the media cycle this week, and its impacts will be felt by more people and programs as it continues – including some YWCA programs, which rely on critical funding from agencies that are currently closed. Below, we’re sharing the latest on the shutdown and who’s affected, and what to watch for in the upcoming week as the stand-off continues.

Rememeber: YWCA hotlines and shelters will remain open. Search for a YWCA near you to find out more.

Victim Blaming

By Kayla Williams

In a discussion about sexual assault in the military, an older gentleman at one point turned to me and said, “What do you think, Kayla, don’t these girls know that if they’re in these situations and get partially undressed, what might happen?”

I said, “I have to use the restroom” and walked out of the room to collect myself.

This was partly so I wouldn’t lose my temper at what to me was an appalling question.

Join the YWCA USA’s Week Without Violence™ 2013 Blog Carnival!

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

YWCA Week Without ViolenceAccording to the American Medical Association, more than 20% of women in the United States have experienced intimate-partner violence, stalking or both. A full 17% have reported rape or attempted rape. On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States (CDC).

We all know someone who has experienced violence – she might be a family member, a friend, a co-worker. All too often, they are us.