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History of Feminist Majority Foundation

2000 History Header

2000

One in five clinics experienced severe anti-abortion violence in 1999, according to the Feminist Majority Foundation's National Clinic Access Project. The annual Clinic Violence Survey is released, showing a disturbing new trend: anti-abortion violence and harassment appears more widely distributed, with fewer clinics reporting a violence-free year.

Over the last nine years, the representation of women in sworn law enforcement ranks has increased by 5.3%, with 14.3% of all sworn officers in 1999 being women, says the National Center for Women and Policing's third annual report. However, at this rate of increase, it will take several generations to achieve equality in the police force. Barriers to women in policing include biased entry exams, recruitment policies that favor men, and widespread discrimination on the job.

As part of the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan, the Feminist Majority Foundation launches and Afghan Women's Scholarship Program to provide educational opportunities for young women who have fled Afghanistan. FMF asks colleges and universities to award at least two full scholarships to these Afghan women, who are barred from attending school in Afghanistan and have no access to education in Pakistan, where the four universities established for Afghan refugees were shut down. In September, 8 Afghan women begin college as a part of the Afghan Women's Scholarship Program.

FMF and its National Center for Women and Policing are featured on the television news show, "60 Minutes." NCWP Director Chief Penny Harrington and FMF National Coordinator Katherine Spillar are interviewed in a report on police family violence in the Los Angeles Police Department, currently under fire in the midst of an unfolding scandal. Less than one-fifth of the LAPD is female, and Spillar and Harrington argue that "introducing significantly greater numbers of women to the force would improve police response to violence against women."

Over 6,000 feminists of all ages from throughout the United States and the world gather at the state-of-the-art Baltimore Convention Center, March 31-April 2, in an historic gathering to ignite the feminist movement for the 21st century. Feminist Expo 2000 for Women's Empowerment, with over 500 co-sponsoring organizations, brings delegations from 45 countries and 170 colleges and universities together to learn from and speak with feminist leaders from all sectors of society: government, media, law, health care, arts, politics, business, technology, education, public service, trade unions, non-profit services, sports, entertainment, advocacy, religion and philanthropy.

In addition to four major general assemblies, Expo offers 108 symposia, roundtables, and training sessions and over 675 speakers on topics like Feminist Investing, Raising Feminist Children, Developing a Feminist Foreign Policy, The Christian Right's Offensive Against Lesbians and Gays, and Countering the Anti-Abortion Extremists.

Featured speakers include Eleanor Smeal; Gloria Steinem; bell hooks; Peg Yorkin, FMF Board Chair; Dolores Huerta, founder and secretary/treasurer of United Farm Workers; Robin Morgan, author, poet, and founder of Sisterhood Is Global Institute; "Cagney and Lacy" stars Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless; Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America; economist and syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux; Sarah Weddington, Roe v. Wade lead attorney; Marcia Ann Gillespie, editor-in-chief of Ms. Magazine; Betty Friedan; Judge Navanethem Pillay, president of the International War Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda; Jordanian journalist Rana Hussaini; and Charlotte Bunch, director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership.

An impressive array of more than 500 women law enforcement leaders gathers for the National Center for Women and Policing's (NCWP) fifth annual conference, in conjunction with Feminist Expo 2000. The conference draws the largest crowd to date, with law enforcement agencies from 42 states and the District of Columbia, the Australian Council of Women and Policing, the British Association of Women Police and the European Network of Policewomen. The conference focuses on the urgent need for increasing the numbers of women in the ranks of law enforcement.

The Feminist Majority Foundation participates in the United Nations Beijing Plus Five Conference in New York, which reviews the progress the world has made on women's rights issues since the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women. FMF hosts several cutting-edge sessions for non-governmental organizations on extremism, mifepristone, and the impact of drugs, oil, and corruption on women's lives and foreign policy.

Male officers in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) are involved in excessive force and misconduct lawsuits at rates substantially higher than their female counterparts, according to an FMF and National Center for Women and Policing study. The new report shows that the LAPD, currently in the midst of a scandal involving police domestic violence, false charges against citizens, and cover-up of police corruption, paid out $63.4 million in lawsuits involving male officers for use of excessive force, sexual assault, and domestic violence, compared to $2.8 million for female officers in excessive force lawsuits. The dollar value of payouts in cases of excessive force and misconduct involving male LAPD officers exceeded that of payouts involving female officers by a ratio of 23:1. And, male officers made up an even higher proportion of miscreants in lawsuit payouts involving killings (43:1) and assault and battery (32:1). Over the same period, male officers serving in a patrol capacity outnumbered women officers on patrol by a much lower ratio of only 4:1. FMF/NCWP's cutting-edge research highlights the importance of gender-balancing law enforcement units nationwide.

Feminists across the United States celebrate on September 28 when the Food and Drug Administration announces its approval of mifepristone for use in U.S. as a form of early abortion. At long last, science trumps anti-abortion politics and medical McCarthyism! FMF President Eleanor Smeal does extensive interviews with national media outlets, debating representatives of the National Right to Life Committee, American Life League, and Senator Tom Hutchinson (R-AR).

FDA approval of this medical breakthrough also means that long-stalled and desperately needed trials on mifepristone's other uses such as treating uterine fibroid tumors, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, meningioma (brain tumors), and some types of breast cancer and other serious diseases and conditions that mostly affect women can finally move forward.