Blog of Rights

Lenora M.

Watch It: CEDAW Hearing Today at 2 p.m.

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 10:28am
Today at 2 p.m., the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law will hold a hearing on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) — the landmark international treaty that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women. The hearing, chaired by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), will be the first hearing on CEDAW since 2002. It is high time that the Senate addresses this important treaty and this hearing will be a significant step toward a vote for ratification.

Realizing the UDHR Requires Ending Violence Against Women

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 11:57am

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an opportunity to remind our government, particularly the incoming new administration and Congress, of its duty to protect the human rights of its people — an obligation…

What Good is the Constitution if You Can't Enforce it in Court?

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 5:50pm

There is a case currently before the Supreme Court, Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee, that raises a fundamental question of individual constitutional rights: can a student who was sexually harassed in school raise sex discrimination claims under both Title IX (the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in public schools) and the Constitution?

To understand the question more fully, let's take a quick look at the relevant legal history:

In the years following the Civil War, there was a wave of action to try to create racial equality in the United States and dismantle the legacy of slavery. The States ratified the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, and Congress passed a series of civil rights laws, including 42 United States Code Section 1983, which allowed people to go to court to enforce the rights set forth in those amendments. Section 1983 has become a critical tool for enforcing our constitutional rights, and has played a key role in some of the most important civil rights and civil liberties battles of the last century, including Brown v. Board of Education, Tinker v. Des Moines, and Faulkner v. Jones.

Antiquated Gender Stereotypes Underlie Radical Experiments in Sex-Segregated Education

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 7:50pm
On Sunday, the New York Times Magazine devoted its cover story to the new sex segregation movement in public schools. The same day, the Washington Post published one of the more offensively misogynist op-eds in memory, arguing that as a biological matter,…

CERD Addresses Women's Issues

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 12:02pm
Gender issues have been well represented in briefings during the opening days of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination's (CERD) 72nd session. The Committee requires all countries that have ratified the Convention for the Elimination…
A Woman in the White House — When?

A Woman in the White House — When?

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 5:57pm

When I heard the news on Saturday that Geraldine Ferraro had passed away, tears came to my eyes. I have vivid memories of Ferraro's ill-fated candidacy for vice president. In the summer of 1984, I was a college intern at the Institute for Policy…

Sex-Segregated Education on Trial Today

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 11:46am

Today, the first-ever court hearing over sex-segregated classes in coed public schools begins in a federal court in Lafayette, Louisiana.

In August 2009, the parents of students of the Rene A. Rost Middle School in Kaplan, Louisiana, learned…

U.N. Bodies Condemn Violations of Native, Minority, and Immigrant Women's Rights in the U.S.

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 5:15pm
This article was originally posted on HuffingtonPost. On the eve of the celebration of the 98th Annual International Women's Day, the international human rights community is sending a clear message to the United States government that it needs to step…
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