Olga Avdeyeva Expounds the Significance of Women’s Advocacy Organizations in Pushing Central and Eastern European States, Adopt and Implement Women’s Rights Policies

“Defending Women’s Rights in Europe: Gender Equality and EU Enlargement” provided a substantial evaluation of government legislative adoption and implementation of gender equality policies in new member-states of the European Union (EU).

Chicago, IL – WEBWIRE

Between 2004 and 2007, ten Eastern and Central European states became members of the European Union, marking an incredible achievement in meeting stringent EU accession requirements. While recognizing these achievements, many observers continued to doubt the sustainability of accession-linked reforms. Olga Avdeyeva undertakes a unique analysis of detailed original comparative data on state compliance with EU gender equality requirements. The book features a rigorous quantitative analysis combined with insightful case studies of reforms in Poland, Czechia, and Lithuania. The conclusions convincingly demonstrate that policy reforms succeeded in those states where women’s advocacy organizations developed coalitions with governing political parties.

“Defending Women’s Rights in Europe: Gender Equality and EU Enlargement” combines theories of international influences and domestic political actors to investigate how international conditionality, normative pressures, and social pressures interact with domestic political actors to secure progressive policy reforms. After becoming members of the EU, the governments did not abolish gender equality policies and institutions despite the costs and lack of popular support. Reputational concerns prevented state elites from policy dismantling, but only a handful of states achieved successful policy reforms. Strong gender equality institutions appeared in those states where women’s autonomous groups pressured the governing parties to enforce these policies. In those states where women’s advocacy groups were weak, governments marginalized gender equality policies and institutions after accession.

This book is highly recommended for those who require substantial material, research, and citations for policy planning, gender studies, women empowerment, and European Union-related issues and solutions. Teachers, scholars or students, and policymakers would benefit greatly from the informative and enlightening discourse provided in this book.

Buy the book through Amazon

Title: Defending Women’s Rights in Europe: Gender Equality and EU Enlargement

Author: Olga A. Avdeyeva

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Published Date: January 2, 2016

Book Genre: Politics & Government

About the Author

Olga A. Avdeyeva is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago.

Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents “Light of a Brand New Day,” Reimagining American Roots Music

Women’s voices raised in hope and resilience: Sunday, May 22, 2022, at 3:00 pm in Chelsea, New York City

New York City, NY, USA – WEBWIRE

“With all of the uncertainty and unrest in our world, we wanted to share music that offers some comfort and respite” ~ Cynthia Powell, Artistic Director, Melodia Women’s Choir

At a time when people are longing for hope and harmony, Melodia Women’s Choir presents a heartwarming selection of American roots music arranged for women’s voices.

Highlights of the concert include Southern Harmony selections arranged by vocal ensemble Anonymous 4, and familiar favorites from Dolly Parton, Carly Simon and Carole King. Also featured is a set of two newly-edited gems by American women composers: “Sleep Song” by Margaret Bonds and “Night” by Florence B. Price.

In a trio of folk revival pieces, the performance of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” is dedicated to former Melodia singer Ukrainian Okenka Dzhedzhora who sent a message from her besieged home in Lviv asking Melodia to “sing for me.” The concert’s final song, Rosephanye Powell’s “Still I Rise,” resonates with a message of hope and resiliency.

Cynthia Powell, Artistic Director of Melodia said: “With all of the uncertainty and unrest in our world, we wanted to share music that offers some comfort and respite from life’s tumult and provides a glimpse of some iconic American musical moments.”

Performing with Melodia is the Melodia Bluegrass Band. Formed for this concert, the acclaimed musicians include Hilary Hawke, banjo; Barbara Merjan, drums; Ann Klein, guitar; Chelsea Starbuck Smith, violin; and Eleonore Oppenheim, double bass, with Taisiya Pushkar, piano.

Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC, now approaching its 20th year, has established a reputation as the premier women’s choir of NYC. To date, Melodia has performed 34 concerts of works written for women’s voices and presented 12 world premieres, including nine original commissioned works from women composers.

Called “riveting” by The New York Times, Melodia has performed at Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, DiMenna Center, among many other venues. Melodia has been recognized by the NYC Council for high quality musical performances “fostering greater harmony throughout our community and beyond.” Jennifer Clarke is the Executive Director of Melodia.

Live Concert

Sunday, May 22, 3:00 pm

Holy Apostles, 296 Ninth Avenue (28th Street), Chelsea, NYC

Information: https://melodiawomenschoirnyc.org/melodia-womens-choir-in-concert/

Tickets ($20, advance general; $15, advance stu/seniors) $25 at the door


Canada – Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations are supported to end violence against vulnerable people

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced funding for 18 Indigenous organizations (including 15 Indigenous women’s and three 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations) through multi-year agreements that amplify their voices and perspectives in the development of policies, programs and legislation. Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is coordinating the distribution of $36.3 million over five years beginning in 2021−22 to 2025−26, and $8.6 million ongoing for this program to allow stable and longer-term project funding for these organizations.

May 6, 2022 — Ottawa, Ontario, Traditional Unceded Algonquin Territory — Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced funding for 18 Indigenous organizations (including 15 Indigenous women’s and three 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations) through multi-year agreements that amplify their voices and perspectives in the development of policies, programs and legislation. Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is coordinating the distribution of $36.3 million over five years beginning in 2021−22 to 2025−26, and $8.6 million ongoing for this program to allow stable and longer-term project funding for these organizations.

The newly funded organizations and programs span 11 provinces and territories and include the Ontario Native Women’s Association’s Reconciliation and their “Indigenous Women – Improving Indigenous Women’s Safety” program, Two-Spirited People of Manitoba with their “2S Medicine Owl” initiative, and Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation and their “Awii – The Person You’re Supposed to Be: Connecting Métis 2SLGBTQQIA+ Across the Motherland” program. The Supporting Indigenous Women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Organizations Program provides longer-term, sustainable funding to Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations to enable them to support engagement at the grassroots level and support advocacy on behalf of their members while also supporting the co-development of policy, programs and legislation at all levels of government.

Through the Federal Pathway, the government’s contribution to the National Action Plan, funding under this program helps respond to Call for Justice 1.8 from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which calls upon the government’s support of national, regional and community-level Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations.

The Federal Pathway outlines the Government of Canada’s work with partners to advance solutions that will support families and Survivors and address the root causes of violence. The Federal Pathway is part of the broader 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan (National Action Plan). The National Action Plan was created from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Government of Canada is working with partners to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in Canada through solutions that will protect vulnerable people and address the root-causes of this violence. The ability of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples in Canada to shape these solutions—in areas such as data and research, diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and equality and safety—is key to this effort.

“It is critical that the voices of Indigenous women and 2SLGTBQQIA+ organizations are heard and brought forward in the decision-making processes that impact their communities. These 18 organizations are well-positioned to empower and engage Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples to support real and meaningful systemic change in Canada. Together we will continue to work in partnership to implement the National Action Plan and the Government of Canada’s Federal Pathway to address this national crisis.”

The Honourable Marc Miller

Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

“We welcome the commitment from the federal government to prioritize the engagement of Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations. The MMIWG National Inquiry centred on the needs of the grassroots; this funding further ensures that Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ voices are centred in the decisions that impact us so we can restore balance to our families and communities.”

Nona Matthews

Executive Director of Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network (NAWN)

Justine Leblanc

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Marc Miller

Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations


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Premier Women’s Tackle Football Team Tennessee Trojans to Launch in Nashville

 The Tennessee Trojans, an expansion team in the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC), announced today it will launch its inaugural season in April 2023. Founded and led by U.S. military veteran Rachael Ortiz-Marsh, the Tennessee Trojans will be one of few major sports teams owned and operated by a Latina woman.

“The impact sports have upon women and girls is immeasurable. As a second-generation Mexican-American, raised by my grandmother in a challenging environment, it was sports that increased my self-confidence, taught me resiliency and established a strong leadership foundation that prepared me for the trials of life. I founded the Tennessee Trojans to empower women and girls to break down barriers, create visible role models in our community and build a premier women’s team that fills a critical gap in Nashville’s sports scene. Women like Wilma Rudolph and Pat Summit set the stage for the future of women in sport. It is only fitting on the 50th anniversary year of Title IX, that we continue pushing Tennessee to the forefront of women’s history in the form of women’s football.” –Rachael Ortiz-Marsh – Tennessee Trojans Founder/Owner

The Trojans will be the 18th team to join the WNFC. The WNFC is the premier women’s football league, changing the trajectory of the sport since its launch in 2018. The WNFC was created to help women and girls reach their full potential through the power of football. With sponsorships from adidas, Riddell Sports, and other major brands, the league has propelled women’s football into the mainstream of sponsorships and media.

“Our mission to help women and girls reach their fullest potential through the power of sport has expanded even further today. The WNFC is very strategic and mindful about expansion and the partnerships that are right for the betterment of women’s football. With that, we are incredibly thrilled to partner with Rachael and her team as we continue to lead the way in creating the most provocative women’s sports league in history. Nashville has long-been a sports city with a huge opportunity for the growth of women’s sports. These factors make this an ideal partnership and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We are looking forward to exciting competition from the Tennessee Trojans in 2023!” -Janice Masters, Commissioner WNFC

The Trojans will be hosting a series of OTA’s throughout the summer with official tryouts in the fall as part of the WNFC’s National Tryout Day. Tryouts are a combine-like event in which the top talent from all athletic backgrounds compete for one of 45 roster spots available on the Tennessee Trojans.

You can learn more about the Trojans and sign up for their newsletter at www.tennesseetrojans.com. Business inquiries, including becoming a brand partner or investor, should be directed to tntrojans@wnfcfootball.com.

Tennessee Trojans

Rachael Ortiz-Marsh




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International Women’s Day 2022: MSDE salutes the grit of India’s women, fulfilling their aspirations by breaking age-old stereotypes

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) organised a special event today on International Women’s Day 2022, recognizing the accomplishments made by women in the skill ecosystem and honoring them for their active participation in augmenting India’s economic growth. The women of our country have truly combated stereotypes and eliminated inequalities by coming at the forefront and standing shoulder to shoulder with men in every field. Since the inception of Skill India Mission, there has been an evident increase in the participation of women in non- conventional job-roles like plumbing, welding, and driving among others.

The event was graced by the presence of esteemed dignitaries from the ministry and partner ecosystem of Skill India Mission. Over 100 women were felicitated today on this occasion – these are amongst state level champions in IndiaSkills, Craftsmen Training Scheme and others. In addition, the inauguration of 21 National Institutes for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) extension centres in National Skill Training Institutes (NSTI) took place to promote entrepreneurship across the country. NIESBUD will also conduct entrepreneurship awareness programme followed by entrepreneurship development programme for the NSTI trainees to inculcate entrepreneurial competencies to create future entrepreneurs.

The government is accelerating its focus towards skill development and vocational training for all citizens including women. MSDE has rolled out several schemes and programmes to increase the participation of women in the workforce.  There has been increased focus on skill development of women in new age job roles aligned to Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, Data Analytics etc. and across conventional skills like welding, automobile mechanics etc.

Expressing his views during the event, Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, MSDE  extended his  gratitude to all towards women for being the pillars on which the edifice of Aatmanirbhar Bharat will rest. The women of our country have truly broken the barriers of inequalities and exclusion, have come forward to fulfill their aspirations, strengthened their support towards society, and have been strongly involved in augmenting the country’s economic growth, he added. He stressed that women to come at the forefront by combating the stereotypes, eliminating inequalities and exclusion, this is true Nari Shakti. He further said that with the ecosystem evolving, mindsets are also changing and we should pledge to empower our women to shoulder the demand of the Naya Bharat and contribute to its growth.

Gayathri Vasudevan, Chief Impact officer, Sambhav Foundation & Chairperson, LabourNet Services India laid stress on encouraging women to take up skilling courses and explained how skilling should not be seen as gender based. She added that participation of women in the labour force is low and necessary steps must be taken to create a secure ecosystem for women and devise a robust policy framework that ensures that women are bought in the forefront.

The Ministry has launched several initiatives to encourage women to not only take up wage-employment in industry, but also become self-reliant through entrepreneurship. MSDE’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) strives to promote increased participation of women in the workforce through appropriate skilling and gender mainstreaming of skills. Under PMKVY, over 40 lakh women have been certified which constitutes more than 40% of the total certified. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), a skill certification programe under PMKVY scheme enables Indian youth to take on industry relevant skill certification, upskilled and certified more than 23 lakh women. This includes Bru Tribe in Manipur, Rug Weavers in Rajasthan, Namda art in Jammu & Kashmir and Bamboo craft in Nagaland.

Women are also receiving vocational training at 14,000+ Industrial Training Institutes spread across the country. ITIs have witnessed nearly 100% jump in women registrations from year 2014 till date. Jan Siksha Sansthans has over 85% women trainees across the country. There are 18 women-only National Skill Training Institutes across the country.

In addition, initiatives like IndiaSkills 2021 Competition, witnessed over 110% increase in women participation as compared to the previous edition which was held in 2018. Some of the trades such as Plumbing & Heating, Welding, Additive Manufacturing, Industry 4.0 witnessed participation of female candidate for the first time..

With India on a trajectory to becoming the skill capital of the world, gender equality can enhance economic productivity and improve development outcomes. The use of technology, funding opportunities and upskilling programmes would nudge women to participate in the ongoing transition.



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