In its fifth blog carnival, HERvotes is taking on the need to keep the laws and public policies to end sex discrimination and sexual harassment in schools and at the workplace strong. HERvotes, a multi-organizational campaign launched in August 2011, advocates women must use our voices and votes to stop the attacks on the women’s movement’s major advances at risk in the next election.
While HERvotes called attention in early November to the dangerous personhood state constitutional amendment on the Mississippi ballot, sexual harassment emerged as an issue in the presidential primaries and the horrific sexual assault of children at Penn State by a former football coach captured the nation’s headlines. (The Mississippi ballot measure was defeated 58-42%.). Today a member organization of HERvotes, the American Association of University Women, is releasing an historic report on the high levels of sexual harassment in our nation’s schools.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people in the workplace from sex discrimination and 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. Sexual harassment has been ruled decisively by courts as a form of sex discrimination. Both federal laws, major advances of the Women’s movement, are under attack by members of Congress who seek to gut such protections or by Supreme Court decisions that have weakened them. The Supreme Court has ruled, in various cases, to weaken or even gut the protections of both VII and/or Title IX. Congress has had to restore the Acts once weakened or gutted. Still, several members of the Court have ruled to weaken the Acts. We must keep Title VII and Title IX strong. We have a right to know where policymakers stand on these issues. Check out the #HERvotes blog carnival to learn more.