Why is the US So Behind on Protection for Women?
On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court despite sexual abuse allegations against him. Also on Friday, President Trump signed a spending bill that would delay the expiration of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was passed in response to Anita Hill’s accusation against then-Supreme-Court-nominee Clarence Thomas. Legislators have until December to keep VAWA on the books. In 2012, VAWA almost lapsed because Senate Republicans objected to a portion that would protect undocumented victims of sexual abuse. The conversation about renewing VAWA has also drawn attention to the fact that the U.S. is only one of seven countries in the world that hasn’t ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, including Iran, Sudan, Somalia, and the Holy See. The International Violence Against Women Act, (I-VAWA), which was introduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Jan Schakowsky in 2015, never made it out of committee. To discuss, we’re joined by Jessica Bank Interlandi, a family law attorney who advocates for victims of domestic abuse, and Bernardine Dohrn, former head of Northwestern University’s Children and Family Justice Center.