Once in a while it is good to press the pause button and enjoy some successes, and there have been several in the arena of justice.
The representatives of 196 nations gathered in Paris for the historic Global Climate Change talks were serious in their deliberations and agreed on many critical environmental policies including:
- establishing a long-term durable framework to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions;
- agreeing for the first time that all countries put forward serious targets to reduce carbon emissions;
- mandating transparency requiring a rigorous and standardized review process;
- assuring developing countries that they will be supported as they move toward clean, climate resilience.
Saudi Women Cast Their First Vote
I rejoiced when I saw photos of Saudi women voting for the first time in the history of the kingdom. Although barred from voting in person, to avoid being in the presence of men in this ultra conservative Muslim nation, they were allowed to vote online, and several were elected to office. The number of women in the Saudi workforce has been increasing, from 23,000 in 2004 to more than 400,000 in 2015, according to the government.
Movement on Gun Control
Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut deserves applause for his pledge to sign a first-in-the-nation executive order that will allow firearms permits to be denied to those on a government watch list. The Governor is working directly with federal officials to use government watch lists for that purpose. He noted that between 2004 and 2014, FBI data showed that people on the terrorism watch lists tried to purchase firearms and explosives 2,233 times. They succeeded 90 percent of the cases, or 2043 times.
What this represents to me is much hard work by many people – calling, writing and visiting elected leaders, networking with other committed groups, engaging the media as an ally and taking risks. Those gathered in Paris heard the voices of millions around the world. King Abdullah heard the voices of millions of women, including Secretary Clinton, and issued the order on voting and holding office. Governors and state legislators around the country are listening and approving common sense gun control laws.
I celebrate the persistent and determined voices that have made the difference!