Statement by President of NOW Terry O’Neill on the passing of The first female US Attorney General Janet Reno


Janet Reno was sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 1993, becoming the first woman to hold the position of United States attorney general. Credit Barry Thumma/Associated Press

Janet Reno was a trailblazer. She broke what once had seemed to be a never-to-be-shattered glass ceiling, when President Bill Clinton made her the first woman to serve as Attorney General of the United States. She was straightforward, no-nonsense, resolute and determined to, as she often said, “do the right thing.”

In the 1970s, Reno served as state attorney general for Dade County, Florida, where she focused on an issue that at the time was not receiving much attention—domestic violence. She found that 40 percent of the homicides over a 20-year period were related to domestic violence, and she opened Florida’s first domestic violence unit. As U.S. Attorney General, she was responsible for implementing and enforcing the Violence Against Women Act when it first took effect. She made sure that the full force of the federal government was behind VAWA from day one.

Reno was enthusiastically supported by Florida NOW when she ran for governor in 2002. Although she didn’t win that election, she inspired women to get engaged and stay engaged in the political process. We will miss her deeply — and we carry her memory forward in the ongoing struggle for equality for all women.

When Janet Reno was nominated to be Attorney General, just a few weeks after the death of her mother, she said, “My mother always told me to do my best, to think my best and to do right.” Janet Reno always did.


M.E. Ficarra , , 951-547-1241

The Women of Standing Rock are Midwifing a Global Movement

Indigenous Women Are Standing Strong

Women are leading the way at Standing Rock to protect the waters of North Dakota, and bringing forth a global indigenous spiritual and ecological movement, which honors the integral health and respect of the Earth and people.

“Sacred Stones Camp was begun by women, as a prayer.”

– Elders & leaders of Sacred Stones Camp

A group of Lakota Sioux women from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, including LaDonna Bravebull Allard, established the Sacred Stones Camp in April by the Cannonball River in North Dakota to protest the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline through their land and water supply.

The crude oil pipeline is being built through sacred lands, burial grounds and medicine harvesting sites, and is a continuation of the abuse of human rights, treaties, and nature.

Water & Oil

The Cannonball River is a tributary of the Missouri River, the longest river in North America, and the pipeline has already been laid close to the shores of Lake Oahe, a dammed off section of the Missouri River which is the water supply for the Standing Rock Sioux, as well as for millions of other people.

The Dakota Access Pipeline would carry 440,000 gallons of fracked crude oil a day through the pipeline from the Bakken Formation, which reaches through parts of Montana, North Dakota and Canada.

The pipeline was supposed to pass the Missouri River just to the north of Bismarck, but due to the concerns about potential oil leaks polluting the drinking waters of the state capitol, it was rerouted south through land delineated to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie, thus putting the risk directly on the tribe’s immediate and only water supply, as well as the water for the millions of people downstream.","url":"","thumbnailUrl":"","resolvedBy":"vimeo"}”>” data-provider-name=””>

Prayers for the Protectors

My heart and prayers are with Standing Rock and the Water Protectors who are calling for a halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline which not only threatens their water, but it runs through land that was illegally taken from them.

Through these challenging times, it is easy to wallow in feeling helpless, angry, upset and appalled at the abusive treatment of the indigenous people and water protectors, by militarized forces protecting corporate fossil-fuel interests, that is aggressively using violent tactics against women, elders, medics, youth and horses.

This is what indigenous people have been dealing with for hundreds of years, and this monumental gathering of indigenous people from over 300 tribes coming together in prayer and unity is an incredible demonstration of resilience, connection and the power of people to stand up for what is right.

“It’s people who are gathered together in prayer and unity and coming together for the first time, really, in history. This is a historic moment for tribal nations to come together like this. We’ve got people who are historic enemies camping alongside each other, learning to live together and be together in this space…

Private security uses dogs and mace on Native American women and children protecting sacred sites being destroyed right in front of them, while North Dakota police are watching. People are out exercising their first amendment rights and being met with militarized response in incredibly dangerous situations: guns drawn, mace, planes flying overhead…We hope grassroots media gets the real message out, that we’re gathered here in unity and prayer to stop this from happening.

Tara Houska, National Programs Director for Honor the Earth


Women Leaders for Healing the Earth

Standing Rock is an unprecedented movement of people from global tribes and backgrounds coming together to stand up in prayer for the Earth. This is happening because of the strength and commitment of many dedicated women who have started and sustain these efforts.

The healing of our waters and earth has a new feminine spiritual leadership, that is guiding an ecologically focused partnership model of living.

“One of the most beautiful things I feel right now, is that you see these amazing, empowered women who are stepping up and really reminding us young men, and men in general, that our role is to let the women lead, and yet, we’re their protectors and we stand side-by-side, but the women are supposed to lead with their hearts.”

Nahko Bear, speaking about Winona LaDuke and Indigenous women leaders at Standing Rock

The strength of the women supporting this movement is inspirational. They are honoring and bringing awareness to how protection of the waters is intrinsically connected to the protection of our food, herbs, women’s wisdom, birthing wisdom, children, communities, Earth, and sustainable living.

<img src=”” alt=”Daphne Singingtree, a Traditional Healer & Midwife, at Standing Rock, photo by Jade Beall” />Daphne Singingtree, a Traditional Healer & Midwife, at Standing Rock, photo by Jade Beall

Daphne Singingtree, a Traditional Healer & Midwife, at Standing Rock, photo by Jade Beall

Women’s Health & Ecology

Many midwives, herbalists and healers have traveled to Standing Rock to set up health clinics and support for the camps. Women healers are speaking up about the vital nature of traditional and sacred reproductive health care and birthing support for women.

“Sovereignty for indigenous people is only going to come about through the support of women and women’s health, in the same way that we defend and protect Mother Earth is the same way that we need to defend and protect women and the next generations of children being born.”

Carolina Reyes, Midwife at Standing Rock

The first baby was born at Standing Rock in September and has been named Mni Wiconi, meaning Water Is Life in Lakota, also the words seen all over Standing Rock and that express the heart of this movement. She was born naturally without medical assistance, a sign of great blessings upon the camp. New birthing tipis have been constructed for the more expected babies to come.

In the heart of the sacred lands under attack, new life is coming forth, dedicated to continuing the protection of water and health.","url":"","width":640,"height":360,"providerName":"Vimeo","thumbnailUrl":"","resolvedBy":"vimeo"}”>” data-provider-name=”Vimeo”>

The Energy Fueling Sexual Violence

What’s happening with the Dakota Access Pipeline is a continuation of the abuse and violation of the rights and health of indigenous people which perpetuates both the raping of the Earth and women.

“The way we treat the earth is inseparable from how our society treats women.”

Tracy Rector

The Bakken formation in North Dakota, as well as other sites of extreme extraction, have become lawless “man camps”, which are already hubs for violence and sex trafficking of women, girls and boys, particularly affecting the indigenous population. This is well documented in a submission to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on “Extreme Extraction and Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women in the Great Plains.”

In North Dakota, extraction from the Bakken deposits has increased over 300 times since 2006, and human trafficking and violence has similarly risen in the state.

Many indigenous women have been forced into prostitution or become victims of trafficking, and there is inadequate funding of the Tribal police and legal system to combat the influx of criminal activity led by national and international drug cartels due to the labor camps.

Uniting for the Earth & Health

It is so important to pay attention to how women’s leadership and health are integral components to the Dakota Pipeline opposition, and how environmental racism impacts indigenous women disproportionally.

Women are strong, women are healers, and will keep this movement going forward. Midwifing a healthy future for all the generations to come is a sacred path that women and men from all backgrounds are called to.

The connections and movement that is happening at Standing Rock is creating new relationships among global tribes that will support all future stands against fossil fuels and the destruction of sacred lands and health.

There will continue to be prayer, the grandmothers and elders will always remember the sacred ways of healing.

No matter how much of traditional ways has been lost, the time is now for rebirth.

People are coming together at Standing Rock, to protect the water and indigenous rights, and in the process have created a model sustainable village with schools, kitchens, wind turbines, solar panels, health clinics, birthing spaces, ceremonial circles, and are sharing wisdom for sacred and sustainable living.

Water is the “first medicine;” it sustains us in our mother’s womb, Spotted Eagle says. It’s used in ceremonies to heal people. The steam it gives off in a sweat lodge, for example, purifies. Water can clean a spirit when it’s bleeding. It can calm a person and restore balance.

Faith Spotted Eagle, quoted on CNN

Water is healing.

Through the protection of our water, we can find a way to bring healing to the earth, to people, and spiritual feminine leadership is bringing light to the way.

Mni Wiconi – Water is Life! 

<img src=”” alt=”Carol, from the Pauite Tribe, photo by Jade Beall” />Carol, from the Pauite Tribe, photo by Jade Beall

Carol, from the Pauite Tribe, photo by Jade Beall

Photography by Jade Beall 

Jade Beall is a mother and world-renowned photographer from Tucson, AZ, creator of A Beautiful Body Project, and dedicated to celebrating truthful images of women’s beauty. Find her work at: 

Cover photo of Dona Lyn, from Southern New Mexico, facilitating support, prayer and ceremony on the front lines of Standing Rock.

This Is How Homeless Women Cope With Their Periods

, October 18, 2016

Every month, many homeless people are placed in desperate situations. If you’re a woman (or a trans man, or anyone who menstruates) living on the streets, getting your period is more than just a hassle — it’s a matter of comfort, cleanliness, and dignity. The latest installment of Bustle’s NSFWomen docuseries talks about Homelessness + Periods.

There are 50,000 women living on the streets nationwide, and with limited access to pads and tampons, and no steady, comfortable place to shower, they are forced to get creative with ways to keep clean when they have their periods. Some are forced to steal products, others wait for homeless outreach crews to come by with pads, and some use socks, paper towels, plastic bags, toilet paper, towels, cotton balls, or clothing in place of hygiene products.

Kailah Willcuts, 27, has been sleeping on the streets for more than eight years, and says getting her period is one of the most difficult things she faces.

“Not only is it terrible, but it’s also embarrassing,” she tells Bustle. “Not to mention that now you have this stain on your pants. I only have the clothes that I’m wearing, so I’m standing there half naked, bloodied, you know, washing my clothes out.”

In New York City, Willcuts says she washes up in public park bathrooms and goes to Starbucks for hot water and a water bottle to help with cramps. She also crafts makeshift tampons from pads, because tampons keep her cleaner and are harder to come by, and she washes blood-soaked socks in restaurant sinks.

The city recently became the first in the country to require public schools, jails, and homeless shelters to provide free pads and tampons.

“You shouldn’t have to decide between a pad and having lunch,” NYC Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, whose office led the push for this legislation, tells Bustle.

But many women living on the streets think that shelters are dangerous and prefer to stay away — even if that means spending the little money they have on tampons.

“I won’t do it, I can’t do it,” said New York-based homeless woman named Courtney, who declined to give her last name, about going to a shelter. “I choose to be out here in the streets.”

For women like Willcuts and Courtney, feeling clean is a constant struggle that intensifies monthly into what Ferreras-Copeland calls a “crisis situation,” where the use of makeshift products or the improper use of tampons become a health issue. Ferreras-Copeland hopes the recent legislation will also help start a conversation about periods.

“It’s about dignity and women understanding that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this process,” she said. “Once we take the taboo away from this product, then we are really empowering women.”

You can watch this installment of NSFWomen below. For the first 250 Facebook shares this video gets, Bustle will donate a pair of period-proof underwear, offered at cost by THINX, to Distributing Dignity, a women-led nonprofit organization that distributes pads, tampons, and bras to women who are homeless.

To help address this issue, visit Distributing Dignity’s donation page


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Celebration of Women! Wine & Chocolate!

Celebration of Women 2016

Wine & Chocolate

Featuring the All-Women Band

“Three Twins & A Fish”


Authors, Artists & Women-Supportive Businesses

Silent Auction

Newport Performing Arts Center

777 W Olive St, Newport, OR 97365

Sunday, October 9, 2016

2 to 4 p.m.

No Admission Charge

Presented by the Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation


Celebrate With Us!

Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation is a 501 (c)3 tax exempt organization.

All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Community discussion on Sept. 27 in Newport on Findings from the Recent Report on the Status of Oregon Women & Girls

The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) will host a community discussion at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, on the Oregon Women’s Foundation “Count Her In” Report ( uploads/CountHerInreport. pdf ), which was released Sept. 21 on the status of women and girls in Oregon.   

The discussion will be held at Central Lincoln PUD meeting room, 2129 N Coast Highway, Newport.   

More than 100 Lincoln County women, and a few men, participated in the “listening tour” stop that was held earlier this year in Newport and that contributed to the “Count Her In” report.  

The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of NOW believes the findings raised some major concerns and that it important to have a community discussion about how the coast can respond to some of those findings.   

Among the concerns identified by NOW are:   

An estimated 1 million Oregon women and girls — more than half of the state’s female population — have experienced some form of sexual or domestic violence. This     is one of the highest rates in the country.   

Oregon is one of the least affordable states in the nation for child care. A year of day care is now more expensive than annual tuition at a state university in Oregon.   

Women and girls of color in Oregon experience disproportionate barriers to success, including poverty rates that are nearly twice as high as those of white women and girls.    Hundreds of thousands of women lack access to the information and services they need to decide if, when, and how they become pregnant. Almost half of Oregon pregnancies are unintended, a rate that has barely dropped in 20 years.   

Oregon women earn between 53 and 83 cents (depending on race or ethnicity) for every dollar white men in Oregon earn. The gender wealth gap, based on the sum of a person’s assets, is even larger: approximately 35 cents on the dollar. Oregon’s gender wealth gap is among the largest in the nation.   

Oregon women have the   highest incidence of reported depression in the country, as well as the highest rate of alcohol use. Women are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide than men, and Oregon women have higher rates of childhood trauma than the national average.   

The purpose of this meeting is to work on solutions to the obstacles facing women and girls in the local community.

The public is encouraged to attend. For more information, email or go online at

Women still struggling

BY CALLEY HAIR    Of the News-Times, September 23, 2016


SALEM — A detailed report on the status of women and girls in Oregon reveals the state has a long way to go in achieving gender parity, from wage equality to child care to sexual assault.    However, that same report also shows Lincoln County is slightly more equitable than  the rest of Oregon in most categories.   

“Count Her In: A Report About Women and Girls in Oregon,” from the Portland based Women’s Foundation of Oregon, was released Wednesday, Sept. 21. The report is the result of comprehensive   data collection and a 14-stop listening tour, the first of its kind in 18 years.   

“We took our eye othe ball for a generation,” said Emily Evans, director of the foundation. “We wanted the data, because we wanted to know where our investments would make the most impact.”   

Statewide, the report turned up some discouraging results for women of all races and socioeconomic statuses.   

It found that the state’s females have the highest rates of reported depression and alcohol use in the country, and more than half have experienced some form of sexual or domestic violence. The report also shows that nearly half of Oregon’s pregnancies are unintended, while the cost of child care remains among the highest in the nation.   

Women and girls of color face poverty rates twice as high as their white counterparts, the report indicates.   

“It’s alarming”, Evans said. “But the first step in solving the problem is identifying the problem — especially in a   state used to coasting on the progressive reputation of its Pacific Northwest neighbors”.   

“We’re really hoping that it changes the perception of gender equality in the state,” Evans said. “In many ways, Oregon is kind of the stepchild that’s doing a lot worse than its regional counterparts. And we really need to grapple with that.”   

While Lincoln County remains far from immune to gender-specific struggles, the region appears, on the whole, slightly more hospitable to women than the rest of the state — or, more skeptically, equally inhospitable to both genders in some regards.   

Lincoln County’s employment numbers are low, but more even between genders than Oregon’s average.    “It usually means men and boys of that county are doing worse,” Evans said. “Places where there used to be a lot of robust, male dominated industries   , like logging or fi shing.”   

Women in the region are 4 percent less likely than men to join the workforce, but that disparity is smaller than the 9 percent statewide one.   

The wage gap in Lincoln County also remains slightly tighter than the rest of Oregon, with women earning $0.81 on the dollar compared with a statewide average of $0.79.   

The region’s women hold 38 percent of local leadership positions compared with the state average of 30 percent. The county’s 41 city council positions include 17 women, although top spots — including three county commissioners and four paid city managers — are all held by men.     

That’s a pretty common pattern across the state”, Evans said.    “The less accolades and less money involved in a position, the more women are involved in it,” she said. “Counties are so critical to the administration of services, (and) the fact that we have largely men making decisions about the distribution   of these resources seems a little out of proportion.”   

Child care is cheaper on the coast. Keeping a toddler in day care costs around $6,000 per year, half of Oregon’s $11,976 median.   

However, Lincoln County ranks second lowest in economic mobility for women, followed only by Jefferson County. By the time she’s 25, a Lincoln County girl’s location will negatively impact her earnings by an annual average of $1,485.    “There’s not that much opportunity to pull yourself up the economic ladder,” Evans said.     

Lincoln County also lacks a comprehensive reproductive health clinic that offers sexual health, family planning and abortion services.    “Being the most populous county on the coast, that’s a little alarming,” Evans said.   

Evans and her team stopped in Newport on April 5, the second sojourn in a spring listening tour that gathered personal stories from more than 1,000 women. Around 130 women showed up to the   event at Samaritan Health Education Center.   

“It was pretty uncanny, the way that the stories and the text polling we got during the tour lined up with the data,” Evans said.    The report isn’t all doom and gloom. It also found that Oregon’s women participate in public service and serve in the military at some of the highest rates in the nation. They’re also the country’s most physically active females.   

“We tried to have a hopeful report, as much as some of these things are startling,” Evans said. “Oregon women are giving more and getting less … Think about how much they would be contributing if they weren’t facing these daily   challenges.”   

A full copy of the 120-page report can be read at uploads/CountHerInreport. pdf   

Contact reporter Calley Hair at 541-265-857 1 ext. 211 or chair@newportnewstimes. com  

Newport News Times, Page A-1


Is it harder to be a woman in Oregon? New report finds high rates of alcohol use, trauma, childcare costs

The Oregonian, September 21, 2016

Oregon women have the nation’s highest rates of reported depression and heavy alcohol use. More than half say they have experienced sexual or domestic violence, one of the worst rates in the country, officials at a new Oregon foundation have found.

And Oregon is one of the least affordable states for working mothers to care for children, with a year of daycare now more expensive than annual tuition at a state university.

Officials at the new Women’s Foundation of Oregon say they hope the “Count Her In” report, released Wednesday, will be a wakeup call. It’s the first comprehensive look at Oregon women and girls in nearly two decades. And it is grim.

“When you read this list, it’s just irrefutable that Oregon has a problem with gender equity,” said Sue Hildick, president of the Chalkboard Project and the board chair for the new foundation. “And it’s deep.” The stark findings, pulled from surveys and federal and state reports, reflect harsh circumstances for Oregon’s women in almost every facet of life:

• Nearly half say they’ve experienced a childhood traumatic event such as abuse or neglect, federal surveys have found. . Nearly a quarter say they have been raped.

• Women across the state earn less than men, according to Census numbers. For women of color, the wage gap is much larger. Latinas, for instance, earn only 53 cents for every dollar earned by all men.

• And the foundation discovered nearly half of Oregon’s counties have zero women serving on their county commissions, the government bodies usually responsible for doling out social services.

Advocates say the findings match hard data to an unsettling reality they’ve witnessed for years. Oregon’s women and girls are struggling — with domestic abuse and sexual harassment, but also school attendance and substance abuse.

“We didn’t have the data to back up our claims,” said Elizabeth Nye, the executive director of Girls Inc. “You feel like you’re just shouting into the wind, not being able to substantiate what you’re saying.”

But Hildick, Nye and others say the report offers a glimmer of hope. Maybe now, they hope, policymakers will listen to pleas for help.

“It’s a way to start conversations, to galvanize and bring energy to these issues,” Nye said. “If you don’t ever talk about it, or if you don’t know it, it’s just going to continue to be the same as it always has been. I really do think people will step up and say, ‘This can’t continue this way. We can do better.’

The last comprehensive report on Oregon women and girls came out in 1998. That report, created by the Oregon Commission on Women and the Institute for Women’s Policy, drew mostly from 1990 Census data.

Its findings were hopeful: Oregon women led the country in voter turnout, health insurance coverage and business ownership. They reported roughly average rates of employment and earnings.

That data, nonprofit workers said, was no longer a useful guide for their programs.

“It was a different time,” Emily Evans, the director of the Women’s Foundation of Oregon, said about the 1990 Census. “The Berlin Wall had just come down. I was in first grade. Nobody had a computer in their house.”

For the new foundation’s report, Evans started by talking to nonprofit leaders such as Nye about what kind of data might help their work.

Existing survey data didn’t always break down responses by race or income, Nye pointed out.

In Oregon, for instance, Nye said people assumed school-age girls were doing “fine” because they graduate at higher rates than boys do. But what about black and Latina girls? What about girls living in poverty? No one had data to show how they, specifically, were faring.

Evans’ foundation first paid economists ECONorthwest to pull relevant federal, state and local numbers. Then the foundation conducted its own research. They trawled state, city and county governments to compile a list of female elected officials. And they supplemented their numbers with face-to-face interviews across the state.

Earlier this year, foundation workers and volunteers loaded up Evans’ grandparents’ 1985 motor home and went on the road. They visited 14 counties and talked to 1,000 women and girls. They held events in Spanish, Russian and Somali. They drove to the Umatilla reservation to talk with Native American women.

The 28-foot motorhome doubled as a listening booth. There, women recorded their own histories. The data said wages are low and daycare costs are high. Evans said women knew that, intimately, from trying to juggle their career aspirations with their role as caretakers.

“Oregon and women know what’s wrong,” Evans said. “There was no disagreement with what the data said. These challenges are felt every day.”

The data, for instance, revealed high rates of sexual violence across the state. On the road, women told foundation staff and volunteers that their communities are ill-equipped to support survivors. Hospitals lack trained sexual assault nurse examiners, as well as the money to process physical evidence like rape kits.

In Newport, one woman described waiting days without a shower after her assault because no one at her local hospital was trained to examine her. She eventually drove to Corvallis to receive help.

Data collected from a child care advocacy group showed the cost of child care in Oregon is the second most expensive state in the country for infant care — a statewide average of $11,322 a year — and the fourth most expensive for toddler care, with a statewide average of $8,797. A single parent making the median income of $22,000 would have to spend half her salary to put an infant in daycare.

“There is a reckoning coming,” Evans said. “We have this perception of ourselves as a progressive state and a great place to live. When we dive into the data, we’re finding it’s incredibly challenging for women and girls in Oregon, more challenging than it is in many, if not most, other states. But there is something hopeful about finally knowing the full measure of the problem. Then we can move past the speculation of whether it is a problem and move toward creating solutions together.”

A few policymakers have indicated they plan to join that quest.

Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, first heard about the report when his wife attended a listening session in Bend. He contacted the foundation and asked for a copy of their findings.

“I’m a physician by training, so I’m a data-driven guy,” Buehler said. “I try to stay away from the tired partisan arguments. I just try to look at the data and not ask if it’s a Republican or Democratic idea, but what’s the best idea to solve the problem?”

Buehler called the report “really top-notch work” and said it will help guide him in the coming months. Buehler, who pushed legislation 2015 that made it easier for women to obtain birth control prescriptions, plans to use the data next year as he works on bills aimed at improving mental health and suicide prevention.

The report, citing state and federal data, said 9 percent of Oregon women report having seven or more drinks a day — the highest rate in the nation and nearly double the national average of 5 percent. On their listening tour, the researchers found 70 percent of women told them they “faced a mental health issue that adversely affected” their jobs, home life or health.

“Good policy will be produced from such great foundational efforts,” he said.

The group found some bright spots.

Oregon women vote at higher rates than Oregon men, and at higher rates than women in most other states. Oregon women serve in statewide elected office at some of the highest rates in the country. And they give charitably and volunteer their time at higher rates than Oregon men and than women in most other states.

“Women and girls in Oregon are giving a lot but getting less than women and girls in other states,” Evans said. “Imagine how much they could give if they weren’t facing all these daily challenges.”

— Casey Parks

Interactive map by Melissa Lewis