Monday, 15 June 2009
Sarah Palin, feminist?
I did a bit of digging about Sarah Palin's record on women's issues. She doesn't like personal attacks and is always urging people to look at her record.
OK, I did just that!
Grant Decreased to Children’s Shelter: The Dorothy Saxton Youth Shelter provides residential care and rehabilitation to endangered children, including victims of sexual abuse. Sarah Palin’s fiscal year 2000 budget decreased the Wasilla city grant to the shelter by 25%.
Rape Kit Funding Transferred to Victim’s Insurance: the line item paying for rape kits was slashed from $4,200 in FY99 to $1,000 in FY00.
Contracted Out Early-Intervention Services Eliminated: Wasilla runs a Youth Court, a program of early intervention for troubled teenagers. Some of the services (it is unclear what these services were) provided by the court were contracted out. The FY2000 budget eliminated funding for these services.
Trimmed by $1.1 million funds the Alaska legislature had allocated for Covenant House Alaska this year for a capital construction project. Covenant House Alaska is a state-supported program that includes a transitional home where new teenage mothers can spend up to 18 months learning money management and parenting skills.
Palin voided $15,840 the legislature had allocated for a Women, Infants, Children (WIC) provider.
In the Troopergate fiasco, Sarah Palin fired Walt Monegan, citing insubordination for planning an unauthorized trip to Washington DC to lobby for money for a sexual assault program.
"The last straw," her lawyer (Van Flein) argued, came when he planned a trip to Washington, D.C., to seek federal funds for an aggressive anti-sexual-violence program.
The project, expected to cost from $10 million to $20 million a year for five years, would have been the first of its kind in Alaska, which leads the nation in reported forcible rape.
But the governor's staff authorized the trip. A state travel authorization form shows that Palin's chief of staff, Mike Nizich, approved Monegan's trip to Washington, D.C.
We know that Sarah Palin fired Monegan because he would't fire Mike Wooten, her brother-in-law, but Alaska lost a strong advocate for women's safety in the process. The program never got off the ground and the governor is unlikely to pursue anything similar to what Monegan proposed.
Sarah Palin is urging feminist groups to rise up and protest against David Letterman, painting him as an enemy of women, a pedophile and pervert who contributes to the poor self-esteem of young women across the country.
As a late night comedian, not only is his influence not that great, but he doesn't have the power of veto over budgets for anti-sexual assault programs, women's safety and welfare initiatives, teen mother units or abused children's shelters.
Alaska’s reported rate of rape per capita is 2.6 times the national average.
Anchorage has the ninth highest sexual assault rate of any city in the United States, and Fairbanks is ranked first, at 4.7 times the national average.
Alaska's child abuse rate is six times higher than the national average.
The state continues to rank first or second nationally in the number of chlamydia cases, a ranking it has held since 2000. In 2006, the last year data was available from the Center for Disease control, Alaska ranked 25th in rates of gonorrhea and 28th in syphilis.
The Alaska birthrate among women ages 15-19 in 2006 was 44.3 per 1,000 teens, up 19 percent from 2005.
I think the governor has enough problems regarding women's safety and welfare in Alaska and her record shows that these problems are not a priority as far as she's concerned.
Who contributes the most to women's low self-esteem?
Sarah Palin is a feminist in name only.
2008 budget cuts
Alaska figures here, here and here
Document about Sarah Palin's record