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State, Law, and Social Policy. Social Institutions Established patterns of social behavior organized around particular needs and purposes Structured by.

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Presentation on theme: "State, Law, and Social Policy. Social Institutions Established patterns of social behavior organized around particular needs and purposes Structured by."— Presentation transcript:

1 State, Law, and Social Policy

2 Social Institutions Established patterns of social behavior organized around particular needs and purposes Structured by gender, race, class, and other identities associated with systems of inequality and privilege

3 The State Refers to all forms of social organization representing official power in society Organized to maintain systems of legitimized power and authority Teaches and enforces social values Can work to maintain sources of inequality or as an avenue for social justice

4 Government One of the institutions that make up the state Creates laws and procedures The political system

5 History Womens political identity was restricted Women were represented by fathers, husbands or brothers No separate legal identity (husband and wife were one person) 1848 – Seneca Falls Convention, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions (Elizabeth Cady Stanton) 1868 – Fourteenth Amendment ratified to include due process: no person could be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denied due process of law (person = man)

6 History 1923 – Equal Rights Amendment (ERA): introduced to counter the shortfalls of the Fourteenth Amendment Both women and men hold equally all the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution Passed Congress in 1972, but was never ratified (fell 3 states short of the 38 needed) 19 states have equal rights guarantees in their constitutions

7 Equal Protection Clause 14 th Amendment: No state shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws Limited by the concept of state action: only applies to federal, state, and local governments, not private entities Limited to action in which the government is substantially involved

8 Equal Protection Clause The Rational Basis Test: Did the state have a reasonable purpose for passing the law? and is there some difference between the two classes or groups of people that makes it reasonable to treat them differently? The Strict Scrutiny Test: Does the state have a compelling interest in passing the law? and is the legal classification absolutely necessary to accomplish that purpose? The Intermediate Scrutiny Test: Provides that classifications by sex are constitutional only if they serve important government objectives and are closely and substantially related to the achievement of those objectives

9 112 th Congress Women made up 16.5% of House of Representatives Women made up 17% of Senate Women made up 16.6% overall in Congress 89 women total; 26 women of color Overall percentage of women in Congress fell from 17% to 16.6% from 111 th Congress to 112 th – first time overall figure fell from previous year

10 113 th Congress Women make up 18% of House of Representatives Women make up 20% of Senate Women make up 19% of overall Congress 101 women total; 29 are women of color Overall percentage of women in Congress rose from 16.6% to 19%

11 Welfare 1996 – Aid to Families with Dependent Children was terminated and replaced with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (gave authority to states, time limits) 2002 – Welfare Reform Act: increased hours mothers on welfare had to work, study, or receive training 2005 – Deficit Reduction Act – reduced Medicare and Medicaid spending All of these reforms have disproportionately affected women

12 Wealthfare Government subsidizes corporations through: Direct grants Publicly funded research can be used by private corporations Discounted fees for public resources Tax breaks for the wealthy Corporate tax reductions and loopholes

13 Anti-Abortion Laws In 2012, 17 states set new limits on abortion. In 2011, 24 states did (Guttmacher Institute) Many states now have only one clinic (North Dakota, Mississippi), and those are threatened by proposed legislation 40 percent of female registered voters surveyed in 12 swing states consider abortion the most important election issue for women (Gallup)

14 Violence Against Women No laws offering women legal protection against violence until 1980s (rape shield laws, mandatory arrest for domestic violence, public notification about convicted sex offenders, restraining orders) 1994 Violence Against Women Act - created new federal interstate domestic violence, stalking and firearms crimes, strengthened federal penalties for repeat sex offenders, and required states and territories to enforce protection orders issued by other states, tribes and territories

15 Violence Against Women Act Contd. Created legal relief for battered immigrants that prevented abusers from using immigration law to control victims and established the toll-free National Domestic Violence Hotline Authorized funds to support battered women's shelters, rape prevention education, domestic violence intervention and prevention programs, and programs to improve law enforcement, prosecution, court, and victim services responses to violence against women

16 Violence Against Women Act Contd. VAWA has been reauthorized twice since It was not reauthorized by the 112 th Congress, as they could not agree on one version of the bill. Senate version: bill would have expanded coverage for illegal immigrants and Native Americans who are victims of domestic abuse. It also specified the inclusion of gay, lesbian and transgender victims. House version: bill omitted protections for Native American and LGBT victims of violence, and actually weakened existing protections for immigrants

17 Violence Against Women Act Finally reauthorized by 113 th Congress Includes expanded coverage for Native Americans and the LGBTQ community Does not include expanded coverage for immigrants

18 Criminal Justice System Rate of crime committed by women is steadily increasing Most are imprisoned for property and drug crimes African Americans make up 45.5% of all incarcerated women Nearly 2/3 of incarcerated women are mothers Almost half of incarcerated women have been physically or sexually abused

19 The Military Militarism – predominance of armed forces in state policies or the intent of a government to maintain a strong military capacity and its use to defend or promote national interests History of misogynistic and homophobic attitudes to enforce highly masculine codes of behavior Women were not given formal status in the military until WWII First women were admitted to military academies in 1976 (West Point)

20 Women in the Military More than 200,000 women are in the active-duty military, including 69 generals and admirals. 203,000 in 2011, or 14.5% of the active-duty force of nearly 1.4 million. That number comprises about 74,000 in the Army, 53,000 in the Navy, 62,000 in the Air Force and 14,000 in the Marine Corps. Nearly 167,000 women were in the enlisted ranks, making up 14.2% of that force. There were 36,000 women in the officer corps, or 16.6%.

21 Women in the Military Among the top ranks, 69 of the 976 generals and admirals % -- were women. There were 28 female generals in the Air Force, 19 in the Army, one in the Marine Corps and 21 female admirals in the Navy. Of the 3,698 new female officers in 2011, 579 were graduates of the nation's service academies. In addition, 18% of the 722,000 enlisted reservists and National Guard troops and 19% of their 113,000 officers are women. In the Coast Guard, now a division of the Department of Homeland Security, women made up 10.5% of the total force of 44,000 active-duty and reserve personnel.

22 Violence and Harassment in the Military In FY 2012, there were 3,374 reports of sexual assault made to DoD. Over the past 6 years, the Department estimates that fewer than 15 percent of military sexual assault victims report the matter to a military authority. That means in FY2012 there were likely more than 22,000 incidents of sexual assault in the military. DOD Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the MilitaryDOD Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military At the nation's military academies, during academic program year (APY) , there were 70 reports of sexual assault. Reports of sexual assault made to Department authorities provide limited insight into the overall phenomenon of sexual assault at the MSAs. Sexual assault in military society is underreported, meaning that reports to authorities are outnumbered by the sexual assaults estimated to occur using surveys of a given population. At the MSAs, the SAGR survey is conducted every two years to estimate the past-year prevalence rate of sexual assault in the MSA population. In the last survey administered, 12.9% of women reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact, and 56% of women indicated that they had experienced sexual harassment.Annual Report of Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service AcademiesAnnual Report of Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies


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