American Poverty and Gender

On February 27, 2018, CHRGJ hosted a workshop and a public panel to discuss the unique ways in which poverty affects women across the United States. Timed to build upon the December 2017 fact-finding mission to the United States by Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, these events examined the intersections of gender, poverty, and race, with a particular focus on how state surveillance, punishment, and limited access to health care impact the human rights of women.

Both events were convened in partnership with the Center for Reproductive Rights; CUNY Law School’s Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic; the SIA Legal Team and Berkeley Law School’s Center for Reproductive Rights and JusticeNational Advocates for Pregnant Women. The panel was co-sponsored by the NYU Law chapter of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice and NYU Law Women.

American Poverty and Gender: Government Control and Neglect of Women Living in Poverty

At the public panel, Dr. Khiara Bridges, author of The Poverty of Privacy Rights, delivered the opening keynote. followed by a moderated discussion among a panel of experts on issues ranging from reproductive justice, maternal care and health, the child welfare system, and criminalization.

Introductory remarks
Nikki Reisch, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice

Keynote
Khiara M. Bridges, Boston University School of Law

Panelists
Martin Guggenheim, NYU School of Law Family Defense Clinic
Chanel Porchia-Albert, Ancient Song Doula Services
Cherisse Scott, SisterReach
Melissa Torres-Montoya, National Network of Abortion Funds
Melissa Upreti, UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women

Moderated by
Cynthia Soohoo, CUNY School of Law Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic

Event program

 

Watch a video of the full event or read some of the speaker’s paraphrased remarks below.

Event Video

Selected Remarks
Commentary
February 27, 2018
Remarks by Nikki Reisch on American Poverty and Gender
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Commentary
February 27, 2018
Remarks by Melissa Torres-Montoya on American Poverty and Gender
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Commentary
February 27, 2018
Remarks by Cherisse Scott on American Poverty and Gender
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Workshop

As part of its American Poverty and Human Rights project, CHRGJ worked with partner organizations to convene a strategy session on the topic of gender and poverty in the United States.

Participants included women from the following organizations and institutions: Ancient Song Doula Services; Black Mamas Alliance/Feminist Women’s Health Center; Boston University School of Law; Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, NYU Law (host & co-convener); Center for Reproductive Rights (co-convener); Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice, Berkeley Law (co-convener); Columbia Human Rights Institute; Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, CUNY Law (co-convener); Human Rights Watch; National Advocates for Pregnant Women (co-convener); Reproductive Justice Clinic, NYU Law; SIA Legal Team (co-convener); UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women; and the US Human Rights Network.

Members of the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights’ team were also invited to discuss the role of civil society in engaging with UN special procedures.

Featured
Report of the UN Special Rapporteur

On June 1, 2018, Professor Alston's report on his mission to the United States was released to the public. The report directly addresses the gendered impact on poverty, in particular on Black women, immigrant women, undocumented women, and women living in rural areas. It covers a wide range of issues, including maternal health, abortion access, privacy rights, and the removal of children by child protective services.

Details
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UN Special Rapporteur Visit Materials

Civil Society Submissions

In advance of his visit to the United States in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Alston issued a call for input from civil society. His team received over forty written submissions. Collected here are some of the civil society reports that relate to gender. Additional reports submitted by civil society in advance of the UN Special Rapporteur’s visit can be found here.

UN Special Rapporteur Documents

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