Heinz Kerry cancelled

2 March 2005

Tereza Heinz Kerry was the main carrot for an event with the National Council for Research on Women yesterday. Unfortunately she had to cancel.

Speakers (apart from Heinz Kerry) were Jehmu Greene, President of RocktheVote, Julianne Malveaux, economist and author, and Noeleen Heyser, the head of the United Nations
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Around 6000 delegates have brought women's issues to the UN in New York this week for a gathering called "Beijing plus Ten" which is to review and appraise the Beijing UN declaration on women from 1995. The event yesterday wasn't directly linked to Beijing or the UN but the timing was deliberate.

The topic for the event was women and improving the rights and life conditions of women. The speakers shared their life stories and experiences working for women's rights.

Julianne Malveaux was full of choice quotes.

On Aids, and women in the developing world she commented on the way women are often skipped in inheritance when their spouses die. In other words, "the dead man's brother comes and takes all the stuff," said Malveaux, admitting there must be a more eloquent way to put that.

On how women are paid minimum wage for caregiver jobs, she shares a joke with her elderly mother about how she is going to send her to an old folks home. "Don't send me anywhere where staff are paid minimum wage," says the mother, "I don't want sisters with an attitude moving me from the bedpan to the bed."

On social security, Malveaux said: "I'm always suspicious when people who have never cared about black people suddenly do," she said referring to the Heritage Foundation who advocate privatisation of social security claiming it will benefit low-income citizens.

Jehmu Greene from RockTheVote had some interesting facts on women in her briefcase. Out of 15,000 "street leaders" RocktheVote sent out during the 2004 US presidential election 75% were young women. They polled 115,000 young people who voted and learned that women vote on "issues" and men don't (they haven't figured out what makes men vote yet).

On how to get more women from poor areas involved in political issues, Jehmu, shrugged off pamphlets on billboards, community papers, and even the internet to some degree. The most effective form of communication that doesn't have "class bias" she said, "is text messaging" on mobile phones.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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