Tag Archives: Women

40 Mothers Launch Hunger Strike As They Await Immigration Hearings

Forty mothers who came to the United States from Central America, seeking asylum, launched a hunger strike on Monday to protest their detainment. The mothers and their children are being held at an immigration detention center in Karnes City, Texas, while they await their immigration hearings.

McClatchy DC reported that while more than 80 women had initially signed a petition to take part in the strike, several dropped out after two women were placed in isolation.

Johana De Leon, a legal assistant with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, told McClatchy DC that some of the mothers were warned they could “lose custody of their children” if they participated in the strike.

Part of the letter, which was obtained and translated by Colorlines, says:

During this time, no mother will work in the detention center, nor will we send our children to school, nor will we use any services here, until we are heard and approved: we want our FREEDOM.”

Colorlines reported that the mothers who signed the letter have all been interviewed by immigration officials, and have established a “credible fear of persecution or torture if they were to be deported.”  While some have not been given the opportunity to post bond for release, others have a bond set too high for them to pay.

Colorlines’ Aura Bogado reported that when she contacted the facility, she spoke with an anonymous immigration officer who laughed at the strike, calling it something the women’s attorneys had convinced them to do.

Kenia Galeano, a 26-year-old mother who came from Honduras with her 2-year-old son, told McClatchy DC that instead of finding the shelter they were seeking when they came to the US, she and the other mothers are being treated like prisoners. She said that while she has been held at the center for five months, some of the other mothers have been there for 10 months.

Galeano said that the mothers participating in the strike have not been influenced by any outside sources, and that they will not eat, work, or send their children to the center’s school until the detainees are released.

Colorlines noted that the Karnes facility, which is run the private GEO group, has a mostly-male staff of guards who have access to the women and children’s rooms at all times, and as a result, the Karnes facility has been the site of repeated allegations of sexual abuse.

According to Colorlines, while illegal immigrants are not authorized to work in the United States, undocumented detainees at Karnes help run the facility, and receive a paycheck of $3 a day. Their work includes cleaning and running the laundry facility for the 532-bed detention center.

Karnes City, Texas, has a population of about 3,500, and is home to several major fracking operations. These operations have led to complaints about contaminated water, which means that the city’s residents rely on bottled water. For residents at the Karnes facility, $3 is both a day’s salary and the price of a bottle of water, according to Colorlines.

Nina Pruneda, a spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), released a statement saying that the agency is carefully monitoring the situation for potential health and safety risks.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference, and all detainees, including those in family residential facilities such as Karnes, are permitted to do so,” Pruneda said.

McClatchy DC reported that the Karnes center is one of three immigration detention facilities set up specifically for women and children in the US. More than 2,500 illegal immigrants have been detained at these centers since July.

Microsoft CEO apologizes again for saying women shouldn’t ask for raises

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON, October 17, 2014 – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued another apology following his remarks at a conference for women where he suggested that women should not ask for raises. Nadella’s second apology was sent in the form of an internal company memo to all employees which Todd Bishop at GeekWire received.

In his apology, Nadella stated, “One of the answers I gave at the conference was generic advice that was just plain wrong. I apologize. For context, I had received this advice from my mentors and followed it in my own career.”

“I do believe that at Microsoft in general good work is rewarded, and I have seen it many times here. But my advice underestimated exclusion and bias — conscious and unconscious — that can hold people back. Any advice that advocates passivity in the face of bias is wrong. Leaders need to act and shape the culture to root out biases and create an environment where everyone can effectively advocate for themselves,” Nadella continued.

Nadella’s original comments at the Grace Hopper conference in Arizona last week were in response to a female conference attender’s question regarding how women should go about requesting a raise in the work firm. The conference was specifically geared to women in the tech field.

Nadella initially responded to the question posed at the conference by stating, “It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.” He continued, “Not asking for a raise is good karma.”

You can read Nadella’s full apology in his company memo here.

In today’s monthly Q&A session, I want to give some perspective about the past few weeks — my trip to Asia, Gartner Symposium, the Adobe MAX conference, the Grace Hopper conference and Windows 10, as well as focus on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) (and, of course, anything else on your minds). In November we’ll have a tightly focused conversation with Terry about Windows 10 more broadly.

Before our discussion, I want to provide additional thoughts from the Grace Hopper conference last week. Thank you to the many people who sent me comments and feedback over the past few days. It was a humbling and learning experience.

One of the answers I gave at the conference was generic advice that was just plain wrong. I apologize. For context, I had received this advice from my mentors and followed it in my own career. I do believe that at Microsoft in general good work is rewarded, and I have seen it many times here. But my advice underestimated exclusion and bias — conscious and unconscious — that can hold people back. Any advice that advocates passivity in the face of bias is wrong. Leaders need to act and shape the culture to root out biases and create an environment where everyone can effectively advocate for themselves.

Make no mistake: I am 100 percent committed to Diversity and Inclusion at the core of our culture and company. Microsoft has to be a great place to work for everybody. I deeply desire a vibrant culture of inclusion. I envision a company composed of more diverse talent. I envision more diverse executive staff and a more diverse Senior Leadership Team. Most of all, I envision a company that builds products that an expansive set of diverse and global customers love. As we make Diversity and Inclusion central to Microsoft’s business, we have the opportunity to spark change across the industry as well. This is the accountability the Senior Leadership Team and I own.

There are three areas in which we can and will make progress — starting immediately.

First, we need to continue to focus on equal pay for equal work and equal opportunity for equal work. Many employees have asked if they are paid on par with others at the company. Here’s what HR confirmed for me: Although it fluctuates by a bit each year, the overall differences in base pay among genders and races (when we consider level and job title) is consistently within 0.5% at Microsoft. For example, last year women in the US at the same title and level earned 99.7% of what men earned at the same title and level. In any given year, any particular group may be slightly above or slightly below 100 percent. But this obscures an important point: We must ensure not only that everyone receives equal pay for equal work, but that they have the opportunity to do equal work.

Second, we need to recruit more diverse talent to Microsoft at all levels of the company. As you saw in the numbers we recently released, we have work to do at Microsoft and across the industry. These numbers are not good enough, especially in a world in which our customers are diverse and global. To achieve this goal — and especially in engineering — we will have to expand the diversity of our workforce at the senior ranks and re-double our efforts in college and other hiring. Each member of the SLT will be goaled to increase Diversity and Inclusion.

Third, we need to expand training for all employees on how to foster an inclusive culture. Although we already offer training and development in these areas, we need to ensure the right level of accountability for modeling inclusive behaviors in all our work and actions. We all need to think about how Connects are written, performance feedback is delivered, new hires are selected, how promotion and pay decisions are made, etc. We need to focus on both the conscious and unconscious thinking that affects all these things, and mandatory training on D&I is a great place to start.

I am personally fully committed to these efforts and so is the rest of the Senior Leadership Team. We are going to work side by side with Gwen Houston, GM, Diversity and Inclusion, each month to drive progress on the three actions above, and Gwen and her team will continue to gather input, refine our existing plans and develop new approaches. I’ll report back to you in future all employee Q&A sessions starting in November.

When I took on my role as CEO I got advice to be bold and be right. Going to the Grace Hopper conference to further the discussion on women in technology was bold, yet my answer to a key question was not right. I learned, and we will together use this learning to galvanize the company for positive change. And I’ll certainly go back to Grace Hopper next year to continue the dialogue. We will make Microsoft an even better place to work and do great things.

Satya

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Why is ISIS drawing so many young women in?

LONDON, October 7, 2014 – As many as 50 young women have reportedly left Great Britain to join ISIS in recent months, with some of them as young as fourteen years of age. A handful of other countries, including Austria, France and the United States have also encountered young female citizens attempting to flee their borders in order to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Charlie D’Agata with Yahoo News stated, “When these young women run away we are not sure whether they are leaving to fight or leaving to marry, but we do know they are leaving good homes and shocked loved ones behind.”

Steven Pomerantz, the former Chief of Counter-terrorism at the FBI, thinks that young girls are being lured to ISIS as a way of giving meaning to their lives. Pomerantz stated, “They’re also looking for excitement, they’re looking for adventure, they’re looking for social acceptance.”

The militant group has amped up its recruitment efforts in recent months and is targeting susceptible teenagers with its message of jihad. ISIS has reportedly used social media and web campaigns to reach young men and women in other countries.

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Colleges forcing fraternities to accept women into their ranks in the name of “gender equality”

Middletown, Conn., September 25, 2014 –  This week, Wesleyan University made history by mandating that its two residential fraternities admit women into their ranks on an equal basis. Delta Kappa Epsilon, one of the two fraternities affected by this new policy at the University, has openly criticized this decision.

On Monday, the university sent a letter to the entire student community stating, “We have decided that residential fraternities must become fully co-educational over the next three years. This change is something that Wesleyan and the fraternities have been contemplating for many years, and now the time has come.”

Reports of sexual assault and gang rape on college campuses in America have steadily increased in recent years, with one in five women statistically becoming a victim of sexual aggression during their college years. Across the country, many fraternity members have been accused of sexual assault and violence against women, while on-campus fraternity houses have frequently been named as the scene of the crime in many rape charges.

Wesleyan University’s new policy follows several lawsuits and rape allegations against fraternity members at the school. A student petition calling for the new measures earlier this summer garnered hundreds of student signatures, in hopes the new policy will reduce campus sexual assaults.

Earlier this summer, the University closed the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house following the serious injury of a female student who fell from a third story window. However, school spokeswoman Kate Carlisle said the decision to integrate Greek life on the campus was not related to any singular incident. Carlisle stated, “This has been the subject of ongoing concern and discussion among the people in the administration, the school community, the alumni community and so forth for a number of years.”

The University’s decision follows those of several other liberal arts colleges in the North East including Middlebury College in Vermont, Colby College in Maine, and Trinity College in Hartford.

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LOTFI: Apple’s newest executive advocating rape and murder of women- a radical homophobic racist

NASHVILLE, May 29, 2014– The music industry’s heart and soul is found here in Music City. When Apple decided to acquire a new executive, focusing on music, chatter began to filter through the industry.

Apple’s newest executive has been recorded multiple times advocating the murder of white people, domestic abuse, rape and objectification of women, illegal drug use, violence towards the gay community, and unwarranted, illegal gun violence.

In 1992, he was arrested for assaulting a police officer. Additionally, in the previous year, Apple’s newest executive was arrested for beating a defenseless woman to within an inch of her life. Journalist Alan Light describes the assault:

“He began slamming her head and the right side of her body repeatedly against a brick wall near the stairway” as his bodyguard held off the crowd with a gun. After he tried to throw her down the stairs and failed, he began kicking her in the ribs and hands. She escaped and ran into the women’s rest room. He followed her and “grabbed her from behind by the hair again and proceeded to punch her in the back of the head.”

Last year, Paula Deen was fired by the Food Network and all of her sponsors for admitting she had used the word “nigger” in the past. Last month, when it was revealed that new Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich had donated to a pro-traditional-marriage campaign in California more than six years ago, he was removed from his new position after only 11 days. In addition, billionaire Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was fined $2.5 million and is being forced to sell the team after it was revealed that he made racist statements, which were secretly recorded, last month.

Meanwhile, Apple’s newest executive has used the words “nigger” and “faggot” more than any human could possibly count.

Where is the public outcry? Where is the #FireDre hashtag campaign? Why are gay and black activists not demanding Apple cut ties with their new executive?

Oh, right. The new executive is Dr. Dre.

How is it unacceptable for a woman in her late sixties to actually admit that she had used the word nigger many years past, and actively seek to be forgiven? Meanwhile, it is completely acceptable for a black man calling himself “Dr. Dre” to become an executive at Apple while calling people niggers and faggots, beating women, assaulting cops, using illegal drugs, and encouraging unwarranted gun violence? Oh, it was just music? Making millions by degrading minorities somehow make Dre’s actions acceptable? Got ya. American culture dictates that we can be as racist, homophobic and misogynistic as we like, as long as a paintbrush is used as a scapegoat and it is sold as “art”. Makes sense.

Timothy Trudeau, founder of Syntax Records and music industry juggernaut, raises a pressing question. What does this say about our culture?

“Millions of people around the world have heard this and are probably wondering how someone can be in leadership at the world’s most valuable brand and also be allowed to think and talk in such a way. What is our culture going to do about this? How will we provide justice to this situation—which seems to be far worse than the ones we’ve acted upon recently. Will it be different? Will it be more harsh, or less? Or, are we willing to let this one slide? If so, why?” -Trudeau, Syntax Records

Trudeau illustrates how ambiguity and selective targeting have resulted in a complete meltdown of cultural accountability.

If the masses demand Paula Deen, Donald Sterling and Brendan Eich be fired from their respective positions and be publicly crucified, then why not demand Apple, the largest brand in the world, explain why they felt it was appropriate to allow a man that almost killed a defenseless woman, regularly uses racial and homophobic slurs, encourages the murder of white people, assaults cops, uses illegal drugs and encourages the rape of women to be an executive at their company. I expect Apple will immediately rectify this situation (sarcasm).

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