2016 National NOW Conference Resolutions


RESOLUTION TO BAN U.S. FEDERAL ARMS DEALING

WHEREAS, the epidemic of gun violence and gun related suicides cause countless loss of life creating a bloody legacy for women and children and a humanitarian crisis; and

WHEREAS, according to the Brady Institute to Prevent Gun Violence, guns kill 90 people a day in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimated that the 2012 military expenditure was roughly 1.8 trillion United States dollars, which resulted in a surplus of decommissioned military arms and equipment that feeds into the overall number of weapons on the national and international market, currently estimated to exceed 300 million in the United States alone; and

WHEREAS, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the United States of America supplies more than 33% of the exports in the global arms market, substantially contributing to the global product stream of military arms and war equipment; and

WHEREAS, military style weaponry and surplus arms sold by the United States cannot be guaranteed to be used safely by the end user after it has ended up in the marketplace, contributing to militarization of the police, mass shootings, domestic violence, and gang violence, particularly disadvantaging less privileged populations; and

WHEREAS, military arms and war equipment no longer considered useful or technologically advanced enough for national defense can be recycled and/or dismantled thereby ending the product life cycle; and

WHEREAS, the issue of purchasing military arms and war equipment for national defense is distinct from the budgetary benefits of United States governmental involvement, the selling, reselling or giving of such arms and equipment is inconsistent with national defense; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes the life threatening dangers that women and their families face as a result of the federal arms trade, both internationally and nationally;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW calls for a ban on the selling or donating of decommissioned military arms and equipment by the United States and demands a policy of requiring the dismantling and recycling of discarded equipment and arms to prevent future harm and death.


EQUALITY IN PUBLIC SCHOOL BATHROOMS REQUIRES MORE THAN TOILET PAPER

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is the grassroots arm of the women’s movement and has a long-term to commitment to supporting advocacy for women and marginalized communities; and

WHEREAS, NOW is a multi issue, multi strategy organization that takes a holistic approach to women’s rights; and

WHEREAS, all girls get their periods at some point in their lives, usually in middle school but has been happening as early as age eight; and

WHEREAS, public education is a fundamental right and important to a girl’s future; and,

WHEREAS, due to safety precautions, most students are no longer allowed to carry any type of bag with them through the halls, forcing girls have to publically carry their menstruation hygiene products through the halls school; and

WHEREAS, these policies subject girls to harmful social ridicule and peer pressure due to the exposed carrying of menstrual products, which can impact their school experience and decision to remain in school; and

WHEREAS, access to the needed menstruation hygienic products can also be highly limited for families with limited income; and

WHEREAS, schools supply toilet paper, soap, and bandages, providing for all the needs of male students but do not supply the menstruation hygiene products needed by girls; and

WHEREAS, programs of this nature have been successfully implemented through the New York City Education Department’s pilot programs in 25 public schools in Queens and the Bronx, where over 79% of students are low income.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the National Organization for Women calls for the provision of menstrual products for girls in all schools; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT NOW state and chapter leaders are encouraged to lobby their local school officials to require that schools provide the necessary menstruation hygiene products at no cost in all public schools, both in the girls’ bathrooms and with easy accessibility for transgender students.


NOW STANDS WITH IMMIGRANT WOMEN

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) believes that the rights of women are not limited by the borders of the country in which they live, and

WHEREAS, the organization’s Statement of Purpose says, “NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life”; and

WHEREAS immigrant, asylum-seeking, and refugee women in the United Stated uniquely experience multiple forms of oppression such as gender, race, femicide, ethnicity, language, education, and labor practices which enforced by racist and nationalist policies at federal, state, and local levels; and

WHEREAS, lived experience is equally, if not more powerful, than academic experience when qualifying someone as an expert on an issue and communities are experts on their own issues; and

WHEREAS, NOW cofounded the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights (NCWIR) in 2008 to advocate for immigrant women on an array of important issues, including immigration reform legislation, access to health care, detention conditions, family re-unification, battered immigrant women.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW condemns coordination between local law enforcement agencies and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that serves to intimidate, imprison, and isolate undocumented immigrants;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls for policies that allow for a path to citizenship, access to healthcare, access to education, and protection of the fundamental dignity of all people regardless of citizenship status including keeping families together and protection from domestic violence and exploitation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW welcomes participation by immigrant, asylum-seeking, and refugee women in NOW activities, including chapter meetings, conferences and actions; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW state and chapter leaders are encouraged to facilitate participation by immigrant, asylum-seeking, and refugee women in this organization and to assist them in their ability to reclaim space and power particularly on issues that disproportionately impact their lives and communities.


URGING THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA TO ALLOW FULL PARTICIPATION IN ALL SCOUTING PROGRAMS, REGARDLESS OF GENDER, AND TO PERMIT GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN TO EARN THE EAGLE RANK

WHEREAS, according to the websites of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, for over 100 years the Boy Scouts of America (“Boy Scouts”) has made a positive impact on our boys and young men in many ways including the nurturing of academic skills, leadership skills, self-confidence, social ethics and good citizenship, the fostering of positive social connections, and by promoting protection of our environment; and

WHEREAS, in May 2005 a study entitled, Eagle Scouts – Merit Beyond the Badge, it was shown that the Boy Scouts build tolerance and respect for diversity; and

WHEREAS, according to the website and other informational materials, the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America maintains that “the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America is in business to help all children… As the most diverse youth organization in the most diverse community in the country, we are committed to this mission and we oppose any form of unlawful discrimination; and

WHEREAS, in January 2014 the Boy Scouts ended the discriminatory policy excluding boys based on their sexual orientation, and in July 2015 ended the discriminatory policy excluding gay and lesbian adults from leadership positions within the organization; and

WHEREAS, despite the goals and commitment to oppose discrimination, the Boy Scouts of America has a longstanding, discriminatory policy of excluding girls and young women from full membership in the organization, including the opportunity to join Scout Troops, earn Merit Badges, and earn the Eagle Rank, the Boy Scout’s highest rank; and

WHEREAS, earning the Eagle Rank opens up opportunities for Scouts by allowing them to join the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA), gain admission to selective colleges and earn scholarships exclusive to Eagle Scouts, and to be considered for the most challenging and highly paid jobs, including employment on Wall Street, as astronauts, and in the military (16% of West Point Cadets are Eagle Scouts); and

WHEREAS, federal, state and many city employment laws prohibit discrimination based on gender; and

WHEREAS, almost all international Scouting organizations, welcome girls and young women to fully participate in Scouting organizations and do not discriminate based on gender; and

WHEREAS, the discriminatory policies of the Boy Scouts of America, by prohibiting girls from fully participate in Scouting, have negative consequences, including, but not limited to: (1) Perpetuating the negative image that the Boy Scouts of America is a discriminatory organization; (2) Prohibiting girls and young women from fully participating in the organization and from earning the highest Scout rank – Eagle Scout- only because of their gender, which is not their choice; and

WHEREAS, it is determined by the National Organization for Women (NOW) that discrimination in any form, including but not limited to discrimination based on gender, is contrary to our mission to promote equality for women.

WHEREAS, the Boy Scouts receive direct and indirect support from the federal government;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW calls for an end to all discriminatory policies by the Boy Scouts against girls and young women and urges the Boys Scouts to allow girls all opportunities in the organization, including the opportunity to earn the Eagle Rank; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls for the suspension of all direct and indirect support and other forms of remuneration from the federal government to the Boy Scouts until the Boy Scouts ends its discriminatory practice of excluding girls and young women;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will transmit a letter to National Council of the Boy Scouts demanding that the organization end discrimination against females, and allow girls and young women into all Boy Scout programs.