Articles and Media

Myth of Equality in the Workplace

CEDAW Update

“The Myth of Equality in the U.S. Workplace”
This article appeared in Huffington Post. Read here

By JoAnn Kamuf Ward & Hillary Scrivani

Despite the United States’ array of legal protections, women continue to face barriers to equality and the full enjoyment of their human rights.

Currently, the U.S. is the only industrialized country that fails to ensure workers are provided paid parental leave. As a result, only 12 per cent of the private sector workforce is eligible for paid family leave, offered voluntarily by their employer. Yes, that means the majority of working women do not have access to paid family leave when they have a baby. This has real and tangible psychological, physical, emotional, and economic consequences.

Human rights call for equal pay for men and women; for maternity leave with pay; for policies that enable parents to balance family obligations with work responsibilities; as well as for special workplace protections for pregnant women. These protections are laid out in the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, a treaty on women’s rights, also known as CEDAW. International human rights experts have also specifically called on the U.S. to introduce paid parental leave and to address the pay gap.

There is cause for optimism that the U.S. is moving in the right direction. In the absence of federal movement on paid family leave, paid sick time, and pregnancy accommodations, three U.S. states, namely New Jersey, California and Rhode Island have enacted legislation requiring employers to provide paid family leave insurance to their workers. Four states, Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Oregon, the District of Columbia, and twenty localities now have paid sick time laws insuring a minimal amount of paid sick time to most workers. Additionally, sixteen states, the District of Columbia, and four localities have protections that offer at least some accommodations for pregnant workers.

These are positive steps, but further action is needed at the state and federal levels. Federal legislation that has been introduced such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the Schedules that Work Act, the FAMILY Act, and the Healthy Families Act would contribute to improving gender equality in the workplace and prove better support for families. If enacted, these laws would bring the U.S. much closer to human rights standards for fair treatment in the workplace.
Grounding our thinking about gender equality in human rights terms offers us a framework to shape the types of laws that will better protect women, children, and families.

Feb Meeting Date and Jan Minutes

Our next meeting is on February 15, 2016 at Peaceful Paths, 2100 NW 53rd Ave. Suite A Gainesville, FL 32653.

GCOSW Board of Directors Meeting Minutes


Attended by: Molly McGowan, Taraneh Darabi, Kristy Sasser, Bella Blizzard and guests Giselle Honeycutt and Angie Chesser

Meeting started at 5:35 p.m.


Annual Conference Committee-

  • Co-chairs are Annie Carper and Brandi Corbin
  • Being held on May 10th (Tuesday)
  • Most of the speakers and morning keynote are set, waiting on a few to sign their contracts and to finalize food.
  • Trying to decide on a name for the Conference and Comittee

Survivors Art Exhibit-

  • Will probably be held at The Bull (Bar and Coffee Shop) from May 8-14th with a closing reception


  • Current Balance is $8714.47


We have several people who are members but not currently active on the Board for work or physical reasons. The by-laws may need to be amended to allow “emeritus” or lifetime members.

Look into asking someone from the MLK Committee to come speak with us and possibly join our organization.

Other news:

  • Bella Blizzard is going to the induction ceremony for the Women’s Hall of Fame will to be held on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. on the 22ndfloor of the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee and the 3rd Annual Women’s Day at the Capitol on January 28th. She will be representing Sheriff Sadie Darnell.
  • Taraneh Darabi will be going to New York in February to a meeting at the United Nations.
  • There is a panel on Human Trafficking “Raising Awareness and What We Can Do” on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Cone Park Library 2801 E. University Ave. at 10:30 a.m.

Next meeting will be at Peaceful Paths on February 15th at 5:30 pm

GCOSW Holiday Party!

holiday-lights-020Celebrate the Season!
We’re planning a Holiday Party
so please say you’ll be here
Let us celebrate the Holiday Season
with good friends and good cheer!
Monday, December 14th at 6:00 p.m.
Northwest Grille
The Gainesville Commission on the Status of Women is having their annual Holiday get together! We would love to see you there as allies of the Commission, this is a very laid back way to all see each other and discuss upcoming events and ideas for next year. 
Please feel free to bring significant other’s or anyone you know who might be interested. 
I ask those of you on the committee’s to please pass this on to the members as we rarely get to see all of them.
Please RSVP to by Friday December 11th, everyone will pay for their own meal (we are a non-profit☺)
Thank you!

Rural Women’s Health Project

Please see the flyer asking for donations for farmworker families in rural areas. This organization works on women’s health among the rural farm community in areas such as HIV, sexual violence, protecting eyesight and breast exam information.  COTflyer


The Rural Women’s Health Project (RWHP), founded in 1991, is a non-profit organization that designs and implements community-based health-education projects, promotes lay-health worker efforts and develops community-driven materials to assist communities in strengthening their understanding of critical health and community issues.

The mission of the RWHP is to work with rural communities to strengthen their capacity to overcome barriers to health justice. Utilizing a community-based approach, community members are involved in all grassroots research, educational campaigns, training and bridging to services— thereby broadening their skills to replicate programs and advocacy strategies.

Editorial: Crime labs need funding

From the Gainesville Sun- November 24, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott and a legislative leader finally seem to recognize the dangers and costs tied to persistent flaws at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s crime labs.

See full article HERE

Florida! Put a Woman in Statuary Hall!

Florida! Put a Woman in Statuary Hall!

Florida’s current representatives in Statuary Hall: John Gorrie (1803–1855) and Edmund Kirby Smith (1824–1893).
EVE’s proposed candidate for a replacement statue: Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890-1998), conservationist and writer who devoted her life to preserving the Florida Everglades.

Biographical links for Marjory Stoneman Douglas:
Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Defender of the Everglades

Everglades Biographies: Marjory Stoneman Douglas, 1890-1998

Marjory Stoneman Douglas in the National Women’s Hall of Fame

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, “Mother of the Everglades”

EVE State Coordinator for Florida: Open. Contact Dr. Lynette Long at if you are interested in volunteering.