Our program focuses on the connection between sustainability and women's rights. Keep an eye out– we will be kicking off our Green Team with a sustainability webinar in late-July. We also are making plans to get our members engaged in local environmental efforts. Through our partnership with the NYC Parks Department, we intend to use our new location at Fort Totten for community gardening and environmental education once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, here are some resources about why environmentalism is a women's rights issue:
How female empowerment is a prerequisite to sustainable development (IUCN link)
Women are disproportionately affected by climate change due to existing gender inequities (UN link)
In one striking example, multiple studies have found that rising temperatures caused by climate change put women at risk of shortened pregnancies (Time link)
Lack of female representation among climate scientists (We Do link)
If you are interested in joining the Green Team or have ideas to share, please write to email@example.com and specify Green Team in the subject line of your email.
We hope you were informed by our expect panelists at CWNY's June 9 Human Trafficking and the COVID Crisis webinar:
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Melton, Chief, Human Trafficking Bureau, Office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz
Amanda Eckhart, Executive Director, RESTORE NYC
Tori Curbelo, Manager of Education, Training & Advocacy, LifeWay Network
Kyra Wooden, Youth Outreach Manager, ECPAT-USA
Karen Lynne Siegel, Ph.D., Founding President, Zonta Club of Greater Queens
PowerPoint slides from the webinar can be found on our Past Events web page. Let us know if you have feedback on the webinar, or if you have topic suggestions for future webinars at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Asian Roundtable Summary
CWNY facilitated its second South Asian Women’s Issues Roundtable discussion on June 2, 2020. Victoria Pilotti and Malini Shah, CWNY, welcomed Somnath Ghimire, Anu Khada, and Urmila Sharma, GPK Foundation; Sophia Sharma, a women’s rights activist from SSAPC; Mazada
Uddin, South Asian Fund for Education Scholarship & Training; and Muna Rai, United Kirat Rai Organization of America. We asked the following questions regarding domestic violence.
1) How do survivors who speak Nepali, Malayalam and Gujarati get help when calling 311 and 911? Our group will create a list of interpreters by language in our organizations and share with each other to support the language needs of our clients. We will also contact NYPD and ask about interpreters for these low incidence languages.
2) How do domestic violence survivors know there are resources available? The Roundtable suggested a partnership between domestic violence support organizations and restaurants and
supermarkets to distribute information on DV resources with every order. Immigrant survivors need to know their rights under the law of their adopted country and abusers also need to know the laws of this country in educational pamphlets in multiple languages. It was also proposed to create flyers, “If you see domestic violence in your neighborhood, speak
up -- abusive behavior is never tolerated” and provide resources and service providers' contact information. The flyers could be in different languages, posted in neighborhoods, and sent by email blast and social media.
The Roundtable also discussed the issue of traffickers who take advantage of immigrants using debt for bondage. Education is the way to prevent trafficking by exposing all the tricks and promises that traffickers make so the vulnerable don’t fall into their trap.
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Jeehae Fischer, Executive Director, Korean American Family Service Center and
Sarah Koppalakonda, Development Officer, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (KCS) joined Victoria Pilotti, CWNY President, and Malini
Shah, CWNY Board Member on June 11 in a roundtable discussion on women’s issues
that affect the Korean community.
Breaking the cycle is very difficult for all domestic violence survivors. Many are recent immigrants from Korean and South Asia who have no other support. Survivors are often unable to speak about their pain with counselors due cultural stigmas of keeping problems within the family. Religious doctrine of staying together also prevents survivors from speaking out against abuse. The challenge during COVID is that in addition to abuse, perpetrators are threatening survivors with their immigration status, “if you leave me, you will be deported and separated from your children.” Survivors find a way to come for help when they go out for food shopping.
Many Koreans are trafficked in massage parlors and nail salons. Trafficked victims are so afraid of traffickers’ violence.
The stress of economic difficulties and confinement have lead to increased cases of elder abuse of parents by their adult children in the pandemic as adult children. In one case, a son-in-law physically abused a mother-in-law. In another case, demands of strenuous household chores are forced upon elderly parents with the threat of evicting the parents from the home.
Compulsive gambling and alcoholism are other issues in the Korean community.
South Asian forced marriage cases have also sought assistance
Survivors develop skills through classes to be economically independent.
During COVID survivors need to disguise their use of technology and be creative in seeking help. One way is to reach out while their children are using technology for classwork and homework.
Elder abuse victims can call the hotline for help.
Non-profits can create literature for domestic violence and trafficking awareness and hotline numbers with bilingual simplified language.
Awareness materials can be distributed in supermarkets.
An expanded Korean Roundtable group will meet with CWNY in July to further discuss
Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) has been serving immigrant survivors of domestic violence and child abuse for 30 years by providing a 24-hour hotline, counseling, shelter, afterschool programs, job training, and youth leadership.
kafsc.org (718) 460-3800
Korean Community Services (KCS)'s mission is to be a bridge for Korean immigrants and the wider Asian community to fully integrate into society and overcome any economic, health and linguistic barriers so that they become independent and thriving members of the community. KCS provides culturally competent programs in the areas of aging, education, immigration, workforce development, public health and mental health.
kcsny.org (718) 886-8203 (718) 939-6137
Global Domestic Violence Forum
On June 27, 2020, Somnath Ghimire, President, GP Koirala Foundation America,
facilitated a Global Forum on Domestic Violence during & Post COVID-19. Victoria
Pilotti and Malini Shah were honored to represent CWNY at the global domestic
violence forum. Also speaking on this critical issue were:
Honorable Sujata Koirala, Former Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister of Nepal; Chairperson of GP Koirala Foundation
Kasum Kaul Vyas, Managing Trustee, Healthcare Foundation (India)
Mahbooba Akhter Kabita, Founder & President of Batighor (Bangladesh)
Tenzin Tseyang, Manager of the Tibetan Community Center of New York & New Jersey Inc.
Lily Thapa, Founder, President of Women for Human Rights, Nepal
Dr. Paloma Mohamed, 1st Female Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana