The Edmond Sun

Opinion

March 6, 2014

Women raise their voices for peace, security

OKLA. CITY — International Women’s Day has been observed on March 8 since the early 1900s. From factory workers to abolitionists, women began to speak out against women’s oppression and inequality. They organized to demand better working conditions, equal pay and the right to vote. As 50 percent of the world’s population, our foremothers realized they had a critical role to play in the political, social and economic life of their society and it was time for their voices to be heard.

Women today continue to raise their voices to bring attention to the most critical issues facing our communities, and our world at large. The Oklahoma Women’s Coalition recently led our great state in the fight against human trafficking. The U.S. State Department estimates 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, and 70 percent of them are women.

The Oklahoma Women’s Coalition has worked to bring awareness to the issue and lobbied lawmakers to change this awful reality. In the past few years we have seen our state Legislature step up to try to stop human trafficking in Oklahoma. By uniting with others — or raising one courageous voice — women here and across the world are potent agents of social progress and change.

Recently, the bipartisan Women, Peace and Security Act of 2014 (S. 1942 / H.R. 2874) was introduced in the Congress to ensure that women are equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace. The WPS Act is an important step in integrating women into these negotiation processes. It empowers women to act as leaders and contribute their voices to achieving peace.

Modern peace agreements around the world have fallen apart at a startling rate because of the failure to include a broad range of stakeholders, especially women, in the peace process. Research and experience show us that, when included as meaningful participants, women are likely to expand the scope of agreements to include a broader set of critical societal priorities and needs required for lasting and just peace.

Of the five women present at last month’s Geneva II peace talks to end the four-year deadly conflict in Syria, none had a seat at the negotiating table. Despite Syrian women’s significant peacemaking and reconciliation efforts and support to victims of violence on the ground and in refugee camps, their voices were not heard.

This pattern of excluding women must be set aside in order to move forward in the right direction. We know that women play a crucial role in creating and implementing sustainable solutions. Oklahoma women recently have gained an ally in the fight for equal representation in our state Legislature. Only 12.8 percent of the members in the Oklahoma Legislature are women, making Oklahoma’s female representation one of the lowest in the nation. However, Sally’s List is determined to change those dismal numbers. With the sole mission of recruiting and helping to elect more women to the state legislature, Sally’s List has become a lifeline for many women seeking to be leaders for their communities.

This year, in recognition of International Women’s Day, join with me to urge our members of Congress to pass the Women, Peace and Security Act. Let us make sure that women’s voices are heard on the most important issue of all — peace.

JEANNIE McDANIEL is a state representative in Oklahoma and an active member of Women’s Action for New Directions and the Women Legislators’ Lobby.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

  • For better politics, it’s time for some raging moderates

    Like more than 20 percent of my fellow Californians, I am now classified as a no-party-preference voter, registered to vote but with no affiliation to any of the state’s political parties.
    I am for lower taxes and for marriage equality. I am tough on crime and I am anti-abortion. I believe that a pathway to citizenship is a necessary part of immigration reform and that student test scores should be a critical component of teacher evaluations.

    July 15, 2014

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results