Category Archives: Human rights

Major new survey on women’s equality in the Trump/Republican era

[Editor: the new Supermajority survey covered in this article is amazing – a must-read eye-opener.  My suggestion: read it first, then read the NY Times analysis below.  And for a more hard-hitting analysis, see The Guardian’s “New poll shows what really interests ‘pro-lifers’: controlling women” – R.S.]

A Flash Point for Women in Politics

The New York Times, by By Lisa Lerer, Aug. 19, 2019

Throughout the Trump administration, there has been a fair amount of attention paid to the influx of women into politics. Historic numbers of women ran for, and won, political office last November. Six women are running for the Democratic presidential nomination. And from the Women’s March to voter turnout, it’s clear that women — particularly Democrats — are engaged in American politics as never before.

But there has been far less focus on what, exactly, all these female voters want.

Click to see the survey.

Now, some new polling conducted for the women’s political action group Supermajority, and shared first with On Politics, gives us a unique look at how women are shaping the political landscape — and how politics is shaping women’s lives.

“Women’s equality is at the forefront of people’s minds in a way that it hasn’t been ever in my history of looking at research and polling,” said Cecile Richards, the former Planned Parenthood president. “How candidates talk about these issues and think about them is really going to be influential in the coming elections.”

Supermajority, a nonpartisan organization, aims to train two million women to organize around political issues related to women’s equality. Part of that effort means asking about topics that are rarely addressed in political surveys — issues including gender equity and recent restrictions on abortion.

Here’s some of what they found.

On gender equality:

• There is a big partisan split over whether gender equality has been achieved: While 88 percent of Democratic women believe there is “still work to be done,” just 46 percent of Republican women agree.

On the recent abortion laws:

• The passage of new abortion laws, which essentially banned the procedure in a number of states, was a mobilizing moment for many female voters. Fifty-five percent of women said the recent laws made them think about the state of women’s rights and equality; 57 percent said they talked to friends or family about them.

On President Trump:

• Nearly every segment of female voters is more likely to think President Trump has made things worse for women, rather than better: Democratic women, 81 percent to 5 percent; Latinx women, 57 to 21; independent women, 47 to 25. Only Republican women disagree — 5 percent said he had made things worse for them, while 62 percent said better.

On the 2020 election:

• The survey asked which issues are “extremely important” in the presidential election. Climate change was an answer for 65 percent of Democratic women, and 14 percent of Republican women. Conversely, illegal immigration was a response for 72 percent of Republicans, and 43 percent of Democrats.

Philippine human rights advocate Jerome Aba tortured at San Francisco airport

Benicia’s Rev. Dr. Mary Susan Gast works on behalf of human rights in the Philippines.  She alerted me to the shocking case of Jerome Aba.

Jerome Aba, a human rights advocate from the Philippines, was invited by church groups to speak at a human rights conference in Washington, D.C.

Upon arrival at at San Francisco International Airport last week, he was detained by US Customs & Border Protection (CBP), held for 28 hours, stripped naked in front of an industrial cooling fan, badgered and threatened, denied legal counsel, made to sign blank pieces of paper, and sent back to the Philippines.

Serious and consequential questions arise as to why a Filipino human rights advocate invited to the US by multiple church organizations would be tortured here in California and returned to the Philippines.  U.S. ecumenical activists are working with Senator Kamala Harris and other elected representatives to investigate.  See the 3-minute video and more info below.  #Justice4Jerome


The mistreatment of Jerome Aba by Border Protection agents at SFO last week was horrific.  Senator Kamala Harris serves on the Committee on Homeland Security, which has oversight of Border Protection.  Please join in urging Senator Harris to investigate and hold Border Protection responsible.  Follow the steps below.  Pass this message along to others and urge them to make contact.

Contact Senator Harris

  • Go to
  • Click “email”
  • Fill in your name and contact information
  • For “Subject” enter: Border Protection’s treatment of Jerome Aba
  • Check “Homeland Security/Natural Disaster”
  • Paste your comment in the comment section (You can use or adapt the message below)
  • Click “Submit”

Or you can phone Senator Harris’ office, identify yourself, give the name of the city where you live, and leave your message.

San Francisco office:  415 981 9369
Washington, D.C. office:  202 224 2200

Sample Message

Just last week Jerome Succor Aba, a young peace advocate from the Philippines, was detained by Border Protection at SFO for 22 hours and subjected to grossly inhumane treatment.  He was then sent back to the Philippines despite his valid visa and an invitation from religious and community organizations to take part in Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. and a U.S. tour promoting peace in the Philippines.  This is totally reprehensible. We look to you as our Senator and a member of the Committee on Homeland Security to find out why this happened and who is responsible, and hold them accountable. Thank you for your commitment to justice.

Rev. Dr. Mary Susan Gast, Chair
Northern California Chapter
National Ecumenical-Interfaith Forum
For Filipino Concerns