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Sharon Leder

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We Advocate Gender Equity
March 30, 2011

As a member of a sister organization of WAGE (Feminists Against Academic Discrimination), I know full well that the situation of women in the workplace is far from equal. We need only turn on the news today to hear of the women of Walmart who are struggling to achieve equity in pay. WAGE fills a much needed gap, supporting women when they are discriminated against, providing venues for publicizing their situations, and offering advice, both legal and other forms.
Our organization partnered with WAGE to support the case of Columbia Professor Graciela Chichilnisky who was one of the main architects of the Kyoto Accords. Professor Chichilnisky had a class action gender equity suit against Columbia that ran for several decades before she was able to settle the case with her job intact.
I know that the support WAGE provided was indispensable, since
Professor Chichilnisky was in close contact with WAGE members for encouragement in her battle to achieve recognition in her field from the Columbia administration which continuously undermined her accomplishments and status, which included a position at the U.N.
We need more women's advocacy organizations like WAGE, and we need to support those which already exist by providing generous contributions for the work they do.
Not all women's organizations operate in a sisterly manner giving support to others working in the same direction. I can say wholeheartedly that WAGE is working for the betterment of all women, not just a select few.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its ability to encourage and support women undergoing gender inequity discrimination. I have witnessed the women who have been helped express their gratitude both in public assemblies and in writing.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help make its work more widely known, through media that reached a national audience so that fundraising efforts could expand.

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & i worked with WAGE on supporting the case of Professor Graciele Chichilnisky in her class action gender equity litigation against Columbia University.

FEMINISTS AGAINST ACADEMIC DISCRIMINATION INC
March 25, 2011

I have been working as a board member in FAAD for twenty years, and before that, I was helped by FAAD when I litigated against the institution that had denied my tenure in Women's Studies. I felt so grateful to FAAD for understanding that my credentials for tenure were equivalent and in some cases better than those of my male peers who were receiving tenure. FAAD understood how "confidentiality" was being used to hide the fact that evaluations of academic work were subjective and biased in favor of the Old Boys Network. There are patterns that occur when administrators deny tenure and promotion to qualified female faculty, and FAAD helps women faculty identify those patterns when they surmise that discrimination is taking place.
Feminists who are litigating against academic institutions for sex, gender, racial, ethnic, and other kinds of discmrination can apply to FAAD for seed money to help underwrite their legal fees and costs.
We have helped scores of women over thirty years of operation, several of whose cases have helped to expand legal precedent. Unfortunately, the political climate is experiencing backlash, and many women today continue to find academic culture anti-gay and anti-feminist, so that scholarship on women is devalued and discouraged. Women who engage in collaborative research, which is encouraged in fields like Women's Studies, are being evaluated negatively, while male peers in the sciences who work with others are encouraged to do so and are rewarded. These are the kinds of inequities FAAD helps to identify.
We need continued funding to help women fund lawsutis when they are courageous enough to blow the whistle on issues like pay inequity and discrimination on the basis of sex, gender and race. Can you help us keep our resources plentiful, so that women's voices for gender equity remain alive and well in academia?

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

receiving support for my own lawsuit and for the scholarhsip on women I write. I've received statements of appreciation from other women undergoing litigation who have found that FAAD provided them with sound legal and personal advice.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to do effective fundraising so that those who support the work FAAD does can feel comfortable making contributions.

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I have read the law briefs of scores of women who have suffered anti-feminist academic discrimination and have voted to support their cases. I have organized panels on anti-feminist academic discrimination at women's conferences to make the issues of dis.