How Do We Position Violence Against Girls and Women to Not Just Be a Women's Issue?
In our recent interview with immigrant rights leader Pramila Jayapal, we asked her: Campaigns are becoming the main vehicle for communicating with the electorate the public policy changes you wish to see. Are there important strategic differences that activists need to understand about how to treat male versus female voters?
Here's what Pramila had to say:
I think it probably depends on the issue, but I would say one of the main things we paid a lot of attention to was to not inadvertently box women right back into a particular role. For example, while it's true that kids are a really important part of a woman's movtivation and persona, we also wanted to include women who are entrepeneurs or single. We didn't want to just paint the picture of women in the family role. I think we have to be really careful about that because it just continues the cycle of boxing women into specific roles and there all kinds of diverse roles that women do and want to play. Similarly, we had to be really conscious about racial diversity. Sure, we can speak just about Latinas in immigration reform, but think of all the opportunities we are missing to talk to Asian, Caucasian, and African-American women! Our campaign really focused on defining immigration reform as an every women's issue--not just affecting some women. This component is often, sadly, left out of the immigration debate when we focus it only on one race or ethnicity.
So, how do we position violence against girls and women so it's not just a woman's issue? How do we position violence against girls and women so that everyone sees they have a stake in ending it? We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please offer your thoughts via a comment.