On Nov. 25, NYSUT will observe International Day
for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Women have shaped, inspired and led the union since its founding in 1972. From the NYSUT women’s history project to our involvement in women’s health issues and fighting for pay equity, the union has created many initiatives focused on our sisters in labor.
As a union we cannot be silent about violence. We need it to come from behind the shadows and address it head on if we ever hope to eradicate these abuses.
Read the letter from NYSUT president Dick Iannuzzi and NYSUT secretary-treasurer Lee Cutler and the Q&A by Lee Cutler discussing the importance of addressing this issue.
Exercise to Face Violence Against Women
Close your eyes and take two or three deep breaths. Think about the last hour. Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? How did you feel? What happened to you?
When you are ready, open your eyes and read slowly (or read aloud):
During the last hour:
61 women worldwide have died in pregnancy or during childbirth;
73 women have been trafficked across international borders — sold into sexual bondage or as slave workers;
228 girls have undergone genital mutilation; and
148 women here in the United States have been victims of domestic violence.
These women and girls are mothers, daughters, wives, grandmothers, aunts; these are our sisters. These women are ourselves.
Now, take a moment to take more deep breaths and think about how the last hour might have been for these women. You can decide to take a small step to eliminate violence against women: the process starts with a promise. You can make this pledge privately or publicly, in a group or with your family. Once you have become aware, once you have taken the pledge, you have become part of a community of millions determined to change the way women are treated.
Download a printable version of this exercise (PDF)