Sunday, January 11, 2015

Thursday, March 7, 2013

57th Session of UN Commission on the Status of Women (NYC): Violence Against Women (2013)

My first CSW. I attended the first week (March 4-8). Report coming soon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

GENDER AND RENEWABLE ENERGIES: How women help energy and energy helps women.

My second published ARTICLE

Gender and Renewable Energies: How women help energy and energy helps women.

“The energy-poverty nexus has distinct gender characteristics. Of the approximately 1.3 billion people living in poverty, it is estimated that 70% are women, many of whom live in female-headed households in rural areas." Clancy, Skutsch and Batchelor

What does gender have to do with energy? Let’s start with the F word. Feminism. Some people do not consider themselves feminists because they misunderstand the meaning of the term or dislike negative connotations associated with the word when all it really refers to is equality. Does the word ecofeminism sound better to you somehow? That’s because the prefix “eco” here stands for ecology. Ecofeminism is a movement embracing the intersection of environmentalism and feminism. Some think of it as how current practices in the world dominate land and women in many of the same ways.

Now let’s look at another “eco”—economy, that is. Many of us know that the world economy is primarily dependent on fossil fuels and that such a form of energy is dangerous to, and expensive for, the planet and its people. We also know a new world of technology, based on clean and renewable energy, is waiting to be developed. But why renewable energy? With the world population hitting 7 billion this year and signs of global warming abound, renewable energy is crucial as it is environmentally friendly, more simple, and less expensive. But energy is often something we do not think about.

Because we do not really need energy, we tend to take it for granted. It is a rather intangible part of modern living, but we have come to need the services it provides. It helps us eat through cooking. The water that is provided to us starts with pumping. Energy is what lights and heats or cools our homes and offices. It contributes to the education, entertainment, healthcare, and commerce industries.

But why is it so important to focus on women and gender issues in regard to energy? For one, particularly in rural locations, women are often in charge of sustaining families through the use of energy. Women are not just a part of energy use-- they use energy far more than we think about. So their work often goes unrecognized. It is rather invisible and therefore often unpaid. (Men typically use energy for activities that society recognizes as income generating.) Evolving energy then leads to evolving women, something the world and everyone in it can benefit from. We have already seen how, as technology progresses, new energies help women work fewer hours (since they often work longer hours than men), allowing more time for education and improvement of family conditions.

Now, let’s take a closer look at energy and how it meets women’s needs. For the purposes of Klimapolitik’s website format, here I cite verbatim information from a chart on energy meeting women’s needs from a paper called The Gender – Energy – Poverty Nexus by Clancy, Skutsch and Batchelor (2003). Clancy et al state that there are three energy forms: electricity, improved biomass (supply and conversion technology), and mechanical energy. Women’s needs and issues are described as practical needs, productive needs, and strategic issues.

Under electricity, the practical needs are pumping of water supplies, reducing the need to haul and carry mills for grinding, and lighting to improve working conditions at home. The productive needs are to increase possibility of activities during evening hours, to provide refrigeration for food production and sale, and power for specialized enterprises such as hairdressing and Internet cafes. The strategic issues here are to make streets safer, allowing participation in other activities (e.g., evening classes and women’s group meetings), and opening horizons through radio, TV, and Internet.

With improved biomass, the practical needs are improved health through better stoves and less time and effort in gathering and carrying firewood. The productive needs are more time for productive activities and lower cost for processing heat for income-generating activities. The strategic issues are mainly that of control of natural forests in community forestry management frameworks.

Regarding mechanical energy, the practical needs are milling and grinding and the transport and porter of water and crops. The productive needs refer to increases in the variety of enterprises. The strategic issues mainly point to transport, allowing access to commercial and social/political opportunities.

By looking at populations that are less developed with modern technologies, we can more easily see all the steps involved in energy services. We can also see how much work goes into services that we use every day and hardly think about the human effort put into them. How then do we further enable development to ensure the cheaper, simpler, and environmentally-sound energies? First, we increase our awareness of gender issues involved in energy. Second, we make sure women are involved in the decision-making processes on changes in energy use and development. Third, we facilitate women’s equal access to resources. Lastly, we promote harmonization of family and work responsibilities between women and men. We can work together to appreciate and share the divisions of labor with sustainability of people and the planet in mind.

References:

http://www.ren21.net

* Bronwyn Kay Galloway has an M.A. in Social Psychology from San Francisco State University and a J.D. in Public Interest Law from John F. Kennedy University. With the United Nations Association-San Francisco Chapter, she is a board member, the Executive Committee Secretary, and a Women’s Committee Co-Chair. In addition, Bronwyn has worked in law firms for 13 years, mostly as a litigation secretary, and is now working contract jobs mostly as a paralegal.

U2feminist@gmail.com

Monday, June 27, 2011

UNA-USA Annual Meeting & Lobbying Capitol Hill for Women's Issues

PHOTOS

[Read the program for the 2011 Annual Meeting, The United Nations...In Everyone's Interest]


FRIDAY 6/10: Elizabeth (UNA-SF Vice President) and I (UNA-SF Secretary) BART separately to SFO. Flight was scheduled to fly out at 11:25p. It was delayed an hour and 15 min. Once we boarded they had to check something on the wing. We didn't take off until at least 1a.

SATURDAY 6/11: To save money we flew into BMI instead of Reagan National. Originally we would have arrived at 7:30a but with the delays it was 9a (which seemed like 6a). We bused to the Metro. When we went to buy our tickets, we misprinted one. Luckily there was a nice attendant who divided the $10 ticket into two $5 ones and sold them, although it took awhile. Finally we both had the $9 passes we originally wanted.

When we got to the Radisson Hotel (near the Reagan National Airport), we found out it had been struck by lightening and the A/C was out. They moved us to another hotel. We stood for a long time at the counter working out that the Radisson sent us over and promised us the same rate for a comparable room. A room was not ready so we left our luggage and went sightseeing with our eyes half closed, but we were glad to have the time since we would be in the conference for the next three days before we had to return home Tuesday evening 6/14.

It was super hot (like 90 but thunderstorms were predicted). On our way to the Holocaust Museum, we saw a little kid (who looked like a boy but I think it was a girl) who had a place-mat with all the First Ladies on it. Elizabeth took a picture of the kid. Between not knowing the sex of the child (which I loved) and how cute the kid was...I cried. It was a great slice of Americana with which to begin the trip. Then we made it to the Holocaust Museum. It went on endlessly and was phenomenal, but I got to a point where it was too much and had to leave. When I exited it started sprinkling but luckily I carry a mini-umbrella in my bag.

We decided to check out the National Museum of American History. It was okay but we weren't as impressed. For one, the First Ladies exhibit was all about their dresses? C'mon.

After exiting that museum, we were worried about walking across the grass, away from the foot-trafficked gravel areas. But we did it anyway. As we were making our way over, there was a group of men, and one appeared to be accosting us but we were in for a great surprise. The guy says, very slowly, that he and the group are taking turns giving speeches and they'd love for us to listen. There were eight men, all attractive and "normal" looking, but with speech impediments, from different parts of the U.S. One of their strategies was to say the first letter of a word, then say the word. Like m-monument. They were all so excited to be working together to overcome their challenge and tell us about it. We were so touched by meeting them that as we parted we decided to call them back for a photo. (Coming soon)

Finally, we were off to eat dinner. Instead of going to the hotel, we went directly to this restaurant row we noticed when we exited the hotel earlier in the day. We met Sue Zipp. Sue was recently President for UNA-SF but now Treasurer since she's having to travel bi-coastily to care for her aging mother. We had a beer and ate Thai food while sitting outside. Afterward, we went back to our hotel and straight to bed.

SUNDAY 6/12: Planning for Elizabeth to meet us momentarily, Sue and I walked across the street from our hotel to The Hilton. We were hoping to catch the tail end of the complimentary continental breakfast. Instead, we were unpleasantly surprised to discover that the UNA-USA Annual Meeting was at a different Hilton, four miles away. So we walked back to our hotel, got Elizabeth, and arranged for transportation to the correct hotel but it wasn't easy. Fortunately, we liked our driver, Charlie. When we got to the conference, we were not the only ones registering late. We received black bags with a UNA-USA logo and a stack of valuable documents plus a flash drive with the same documents for our computer. I was impressed that the room was full of nearly 200 people with microphones on either side of the room at which audience members would get in line to speak. Luckily, there was still room at one of the round tables for all three of us. And, decent coffee was available all day, including those cute mini Coffeemate creamers in Irish Cream or my favorite Hazelnut.

The day began with the Alma Morrison, Chair of the Council of Chapters and Regions (CCR), reviewing the annual meeting. Then Patrick Madden, Executive Director of UNA-USA gave an address with Q&A after a screening of a film called Global Classrooms. The afternoon covered the Young Professionals (ages 21-40, soon dropping the "for International Cooperation"), Girl Up (a UN Foundation campaign), and discussion of general business such as structure, membership, and procedures. To end the day we had a Chapter Charter Signing Ceremony with photos taken, then regional breakout sessions.

After today's conference the Young Professionals (and anyone wanting to join them) met for Happy Hour at the Rock Bottom Brewery. Since I was part of YPIC when I first joined UNA-SF as a board member in spring 2009, I joined. Shortly after we got there, the electricity on the entire block went out. I opened the door to the back patio and left it open. Then one of the waitstaff closed it. I went to one of the waitstaff and asked them why the door was closed and was told that those dining were complaining about the heat. I argued that at least with the door open there is cross ventilation, and so I reopened the door and it stayed open. We were still able to order cold beer although the waitstaff had to use their cell phone calculators to figure out our tab. Some people went back to the conference to see a film called Climate Refugees. We were too distracted by the power outage. Later, we went to a restaurant called The Front Page for dinner, sitting outside with a few of the YPs. Suddenly it was 10:30 and we all scurried to our hotels to rest for the next full day.

MONDAY 6/13: We tried to be on time today but with being 4 miles from the conference, we had coffee for breakfast again once we arrived. Tim Wirth, President of UN Foundation, had a Q&A. Then Concurrent Policy & Program Sessions were offered; we had to choose one of two in each time block. At 10am was either Global Health OR Securing Peace. At 11am was either Empowering Women OR Energy. I chose Global Health and Empowering Women. During Empowering Women, the microphones went out. (Is there a pattern here?) Instead of just walking to the microphone and getting in line, audience members were raising their hands to ask questions. I decided to be aggressive. So I just jumped up before anyone else did, apologized for doing so, and announced my name, chapter, and that UNA-SF has a Women's Committee. Then I said that if any UNA chapters do not have such a committee that I suggest they create one. At that point I posed a question to Joanne Sandler, Deputy Director of UN Women. I simply asked her if UNA-SF's Women's Committee could have a relationship with UN Women. She said yes. I added if the relationship could be on-going. She said yes. Then I asked how to reach her and she motioned for me to type her an email. During the break she came up to me in the restroom and gave me her card. So far I have emailed her twice but not heard back. I aiming to telephone her before the first official UNA-SF WC meeting on 7/6.

At 1:30pm, we chose one of four: Social Media, Model UN, Local Partnerships, and Raising Money in This Economy. I chose the Social Media session, since I am the Administrator for our UNA-SF Facebook page. I spoke at the mic to say that concerned chapters should just find a member who is very active with social media and ask if that member is willing to take over in this regard. I have a few notes which I will post later.

Then Kathy Calvin, CEO of UN Foundation, had a Q&A. Peter Yeo, Vice President of Public Policy & Executive Director of the Better World Campaign, and Don Kraus, Citizens for Global Solutions, spoke about UN Funding, Human Rights, International
Treaties and MDGs. Finally we had a Training Session regarding Meeting Strategies &
Briefing for the Day on the Hill (Tue 6/14) with Mike Beard, Director of Better World Campaign, Jordie Hannum also from the Better World Campaign, and Rita Maran from the East Bay Chapter.

From 6:30 to 8:00 we had complimentary drinks and appetizers at the Caribbean Breeze Restaurant across from the hotel where the conference was held. It was so nice to see everyone let their hair down. Some were wanting to go later into the night, but when Sue said she was leaving, I told her I'd leave with her. A couple offered to give us a ride. We followed them to the garage, but they weren't sure of where they parked. The elevator contributed to the confusion because it went underground so the numbering of the floors throw's one off. I told them they were probably parked on

**WRITING IN PROGRESS**

TUESDAY 6/14: full day of lobbying on Capitol Hill

WEDNESDAY 6/15: Breakfast meeting with Senator Feinstein!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DEAR WOMAN


This is huge. I will just let you view this for now.

DEAR WOMAN

From,
CONSCIOUS MEN

Friday, March 4, 2011

SHADES, UMBRELLAS…AND BOOTS: Protection from gender wars, overpopulation, and climate changes




My first published ARTICLE. Thank you Klima Politik!


Living in downtown San Francisco, I often wear sunglasses to protect my eyes from the wind tunnels. And it is quite sunny downtown too, typically 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the city. I have always looked strangely at people using umbrellas for protection against the sun. But that might be the norm in the world soon. Wouldn’t it be funny to name a bar “Shades and Umbrellas” where people could just lose and find sunglasses and umbrellas as they so often do already? It was supposed to snow in San Francisco this weekend. It didn’t snow, though. It did not even rain. It was sunny. Comes the rhetorical question: Is this global warming? Even if it doesn’t rain, I carry an umbrella anyway. My gender umbrella, I call it. Because it is raining actually…it is raining humans! That is the image in my mind that makes me wince.

I am an idealist and literally own a pair of rose-colored glasses. But figuratively, I don’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses. I clip on a gender lens. Through it I see the realities of women and men, their needs and participation, and the relationships between them. Equality is valuing women and men with all their similarities and differences, some known, some mysterious. Equal, respectful partnerships between them are necessary to have healthy, happy communities. We see through both of our eyes to see best. Right? I see best through my sunglasses--my gender shades, I call them.

It all gets me thinking about overpopulation and then I cannot help but think about how every human enters the world through a woman. I even think about a time when the world had no humans. Our world is 40 billion years old, yet humanity is 40 million years old. However, overpopulation is only two centuries old. Some argue that overpopulation does not exist or that the world’s population is waning but it will be 9 billion by 2050. It is nearly 7 billion right now and was 1 billion only 200 years ago! That is a number which population experts say we should not have exceeded. Was not it a woman whose idea gave birth to The Pill after finding a correlation between poverty and the number of children a family had? She was carrying a gender umbrella and wearing gender shades. She knew we must lead medicine to control birth if we embrace medicine to prevent death. I will follow.

How did we get here and is there a correlation, if not a causation, between gender issues and the climate crisis? According to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) there is. (No, not Miller Genuine Drafts, albeit those would go well in my Shades and Umbrellas bar.) The MDGs have a target date of 2015. As a board member with the United Nations Association in San Francisco, I helped promote the MDGs at the United Nations 65th Anniversary in October 2010. Looking at climate change we can see how gender issues link with the MDGs.

MDG #1 (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger) requires plenty of water, food, and general agriculture. All over the world women commonly ensure food security and control the household consumption and activities. Climate changes generally cause an increase in their work.

As with #1, climate change affects MDG #2 (achieving universal primary education) by increasing women’s workloads as well as the migration, mostly of men. With this, school attendance is at risk the more females are responsible for collecting water and wood. A whopping 80% of refugees are women and children, according to the UN Refugee Agency, also know as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

MDGs #3 (promoting gender equality and empowering women), #4 (reducing child mortality), #5 (improving maternal health), and #6 (combating HIV/AID, malaria, and other diseases), involve primarily women and children and are the main focus of this article. As Richard H. Robbins said in Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism (1999), “Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive 10 percent of the world’s income and own 1 percent of the means of production.” With climate change comes increases in illness, disease, and temperatures. These problems increase women’s workloads as primary caregivers when they suffer a shortage or loss of medicines. In particular, pregnant women are more susceptible to disease which contributes to our high, worldwide maternal mortality rate. According to the Women’s Environment & Development Organization, women and children are 14 times more likely to die in disasters. As a result of women dying, there is an increase in orphans, early marriage, school dropout rates, trafficking, prostitution, and AIDS/HIV. Migration, of primarily men, adds to AIDS/HIV and results in the reduction of available, healthy men who are needed to operate irrigation.

MDG #7 (ensuring environmental stability) is threatened by climate change via extinctions and general disruptions in ecosystem productivity. As we cannot believe in the news today, there is a substantial increase in disastrous and deadly occurrences such as floods, droughts, tsunamis, and melting glaciers. Seems like nature’s way of validating overpopulation. As women have less access and control over natural resources, it is harder for them to cope with change and too many people. Again their work is increased. This increase goes hand in hand with the expectation for them to contribute more unpaid labor. Meanwhile, they have fewer options for medicine and treatment. This is leads to the fact that there is a general lack of women’s representation and participation in decision making locally, nationally, internationally, and globally.

MDG #8 (developing a global partnership) is, of course, under threat if most or all of the other MDGs cannot be accomplished. Yet this is the one MDG where women need to be included the most, as equal partners, since they already hold up half the sky. And why are not we revering those who gave birth to us?

All of this might not matter to you if you live in a (more) developed country. But it matters to everyone. Women’s issues in underdeveloped countries are quite similar to women’s issues in developed countries. In either type of country, women are primarily the caregivers. Whether men leave to emigrate (temporarily, for years, or permanently) to a developed country or due to military service or the end of a marriage or relationship, the main theme is the increase in the women’s workload. Even in developed countries where women receive salaries for working outside the home, their labor at home is unpaid. It is said that the average American housewife/stay-at-home mother would receive $150,000 per year if her husband had to hire others to do all she does, according to U.S. government statistics. What do the women who work outside the home and still do 80% of the household chores have to say?

Domestically and globally, we need to constantly consider gender roles. Rigid ones need to go. It is crucial to look at and curb the causes of violence against women as well as how being taught to be a violent man strips him of his soul. Or how men’s lives are not valued because they are encouraged to go or sent off to fight or die in the military. And won’t men always take that out on women? In any case, whether roles are followed rigidly or not, they need to be respected and eventually paid in some way. Resources for all with valued labor.

How can you help? By speaking up often so that others are aware of the links among gender issues, overpopulation, and climate change. Do not rid the room of debate, especially when it comes to overpopulation and climate-change deniers. Both theories, true or not, are grandiose enough if true that we are far better off safe than sorry. Like a “good” atheist asks--what if I’m wrong? Of course the problems are deep and complicated. But we must maintain common sense and trust our intuition, whether we are female or male, or both. Our time is best spent away from taking sides or attacking people but toward solving the problems.

Back at the bar? What kind of umbrella are you carrying? What lenses are you looking through? Back at the ranch, I hear it is raining cows. Get on your boots!

References:
* Global Gender and Climate Change. “Incorporating a gender perspective in all climate change policies and initiatives is critical to solving the climate crisis.” Accessed March 1, 2011. http://www.gender-climate.org


Bronwyn Kay Galloway has an M.A. in Social Psychology from San Francisco State University and a J.D. in Public Interest Law from John F. Kennedy University. With the United Nations Association-San Francisco Chapter, she is a board member, the Executive Committee Secretary, and a Women’s Committee Co-Chair. In addition, Bronwyn will be a Committee President and Debate Leader at the International UN Charter Review Conference in Mexico City in 2011.

U2feminist@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm [see link to 1970 article!]


Recently I told a friend that I'd transfer one of my MySpace blog entries (written 5/16/06) to Facebook. Then I remembered I needed to add it to my blog.

The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm [see link to 1970 article!]

As an Aquarius, I bring water to the people. I like to think water is information. It's about time I brought information to you on female sexuality.

A woman has three genital organs with separate purposes: the clitoris for pleasure--the only body part with no other purpose but pleasure, the urethra for urination, and the vaginal canal for intercourse and reproduction. A man has one genital organ with all three purposes. So the man's orgasm is connected to reproduction, while the woman's orgasm is just for fun. Did you know that the clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings while the penis has 4,000?!

According to zoology, a female human only reproduces 10 percent of the time and she gives no sign of impregnatability to males. Ninety percent of sex for her is bonding. (Both women and men produce a bonding chemical called oxytocin, but women produce more.) For female animals, they do send out impregnatability signals to males and reproduce 90 percent of the time. It is said that humans, bonobos, and dolphins are the only species which have sex for pleasure only.

The "G-Spot" is named after the man (Grafenberg) who "discovered" it. However, all the "G-Spot" (located about two inches deep within the vagina) is...is the back of the clitoris. The clitoris is actually four inches long into the female body! The average vaginal canal is also four inches long. And the average erect penis is six inches long, so the "size matters" argument is gross misinformation. The vagina only has nerve endings at the beginning of the canal, so any size penis suffices. Not to mention, intercourse provides indirect clitoral stimulation at best. Not to compare humans to objects, but "it's the motion of the ocean, ain't the size of the ship." It takes the average woman 20 minutes to orgasm, while it takes the average man two minutes (or the average person 11 minutes).

And you'll notice that sexual circumcision in Africa is about removing the clitoris from the female--they're not removing "G-Spots."

Furthermore, in 70 years of study, experts find that the vast majority of women who orgasm during intercourse do so in a "woman superior" (woman on top) position.

Read more here (a famous article from 1970): http://www.cwluherstory.com/CWLUArchive/vaginalmyth.html

I still agree that the v orgasm is a myth, but otherwise this site is right on: http://femaleorgasmsecrets.com/

Minus the vulgar slang, this article is also right on (the woman needs to orgasm first--and BEFORE intercourse): http://www.cleansheets.com/coverstories/regentin_12.07.05.shtml

And for the center of attention: http://www.the-clitoris.com