Fighting Sexual Harassment

By Eleanor Smeal

Part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

Welcome to the fifth #HERvotes blog carnival. This time we’re focusing on the need to keep strong the laws and public policies to end sex discrimination and sexual harassment in schools and in the workplace. HERvotes, a multi-organizational campaign launched in August 2011, advocates that women must use our voices and votes to stop the ongoing attacks on the major advances of the women’s movement. We are very excited that HERvotes is reaching a growing list of member groups and organizations and millions of people.

HERvotes called attention in early November to the dangerous personhood state constitutional amendment on the Mississippi ballot–which we’re pleased to report was soundly defeated last week by a margin of 58-42 percent. Now, sexual harassment has emerged as an issue in the presidential primaries at the same time that a member organization of HERvotes, the American Association of University Women, has released a historic report on the high levels of sexual harassment in our nation’s schools.

Sexual harassment has been ruled decisively by courts as a form of sex discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people in the workplace from sex discrimination. Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 protects students, teachers, professors and staff in all educational institutions receiving federal funding from sex discrimination.

Both of these federal laws, major advances of the women’s movement, are under attack by members of Congress who seek to gut such protections and by Supreme Court decisions that have weakened them.

We must keep Title VII and Title IX strong. We have a right to know where policymakers stand on these issues.

How to join the fight:

*You can share the posts below on Twitter –using the hashtag #HERvotes–and on Facebook. If we spread the word far enough we can make sure Title VII and Title IX are enforced.

* You can ask where candidates and policymakers stand on issues of Title IX, Tile VII and sexual harassment in the workplace and in educational institutions.

The blog posts below share more reasons why we need to take action now. Happy reading, and thanks for joining the fight to end sexual harassment.

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