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

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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."— 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  Women’s 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: 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

7 112 th Congress  Women make up 16.5% of House of Representatives  Women make up 17% of Senate  Women make up 16.6% overall in Congress  89 women total; 26 are 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

8 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

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 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

13 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)

14 Military  In 2010 women made up 15% of active-duty military and 20% of new recruits  African American women make up 1/3 of women in military  Women now serve in some combat roles  1 in 10 service members involved in Iraq and Afghanistan was female  45% of female service members in Iraq were mothers

15 Violence and Harassment in the Military  In fiscal year 2010, 4.4% of active duty women indicated that they had experienced unwanted sexual contact in the past 12 months 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) , 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

16 Sexual Violence and Harassment  Among the active duty ranks, there were 3,158 reports of sexual assaults involving service members in fiscal year 2010  At the military academies, during APY 09-10, there were 41 reports of sexual assault, a 64% increase from the previous academic year  The Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs, saw an unprecedented 150% increase in reported sexual assaults, from 8 reported in APY to 20 reported in APY 09-10


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