It may not seem like much, but signing a petition for a cause you care about is a great way to raise awareness, generate broader dialogue, and bring about change. And with online petitions becoming easier to make these days, anyone can make a petition, and many people can sign them.
Gone are the days where signing a petition solely involved several sheets of paper and a pen to sign with. Creating and signing an online petition is easy, and when you hit SEND, your signature goes directly to the person, group, or organization that the petition is intended for.
I tend to sign at least one online petition a week. Knowing that I’m signing my name on something that can potentially improve the life experiences of someone or a group it very satisfying, especially when said cause for the petition starts to gain some national and international attention.
Two of my go-to online petition sites are Change.org and Care2. I’ve gathered 9 petitions from these sites, focusing on women and girls. Read more on these petitions and take action today. All it takes is a few minutes. You never know what can happen.
Stop Blocking Native Women’s Access to Emergency Contraception: This petition created by Change.org user Sunny Clifford, a Native woman living in South Dakota, protests the Indian Health Service’s refusal to grant Native/Indigenous women access to emergency contraception (EC). 1 in 3 Native women are raped in their lifetime, and being told that EC is only available to you if you travel an hour away from your reservation to a doctor that can prescribe EC to you is not a good look at all. This petition goes directly to Dr. Yvette Robideaux, director of IHS, to demand access to EC without a prescription and without seeing a doctor. Sign the petition.
Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls: This petition was created by Change.org user Julia Bluhm. Julia is part of SPARK Movement , and after finding out that Seventeen Magazine alters the photos of young girls in its magazine, Julia created this petition to stop magazines like Seventeen, as well as toy companies, and other big businesses from creating products, photo spreads and advertisements that do a disservice to girls’ self-esteem. This petition goes directly to Seventeen Magazine editor-in-chief Ann Shoket, and demands Seventeen Magazine commit to one unaltered photo spread a month. Sign the petition.
Free Marissa Alexander: Marissa Alexander is a mother of three children, and is currently incarcerated at the Pretrial Detention Facility in Jacksonville, Florida. This petition, created by Change.org user Lincoln Alexander, points out that Marissa, who is a victim of domestic violence, fired a single gun shot into a ceiling in her home in an attempt to prevent her husband from attacking her. When her husband left the home, he contacted police and falsely reported that Marissa shot at him and his 2 sons. The police took Marissa Alexander into custody. Florida is the home of the “stand your ground law”, and for standing her ground, Marissa is incarcerated for protecting herself. This petition goes directly to the United States Senate. Sign the petition.
Justice for 8 Month Pregnant Woman: This petition, created by Care2 user Brittany E.G, raises awareness on the police brutality of Tiffany Rent, an African American woman in Chicago, who pulled into a handicapped parking space to calm down her 3-year-old daughter. When trying to explain why she was in the parking space, she was given a $200 parking ticket. Fearing for her safety, Tiffany tried to return back to her car, but she was tasered through the driver’s side window, told to “call Jesse Jackson”, and was arrested in front of her children for resisting arrest and simple assault. This petition goes directly to the Chicago Police Department. Sign the petition.
It’s Time for a Woman Moderator: Equality in the 2012 Presidential Debates: This petition, created by Change.org users Emma Axelrod, Elena Tsemberis, and Sammi Siegel, highlights the fact that it’s been 20 years since a woman last moderated a presidential debate. Moderators are chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates (which is made up of 3 women out of 17 commissioners), and men are no more better at moderating debates than women are. This petition goes directly to the Commission on Presidential Debates. Sign the petition.
Support the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act: The United States House has approved the measure by a (very) close 222-205 to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), while the U.S. Senate has voted 68-31. This bill, which will be authorized for the next 5 years, excludes protection for immigrant women and LBGT individuals. Immigrant women and the LGBT community need the same protection against domestic violence. This petition, sponsored by Safe Horizon goes directly to the United States House of Representatives, and is posted on Care2. Sign the petition.
Free CeCe- Drop The Charges Against CeCe MsDonald: CeCe McDonald is a young African American transgender woman who has been charged with second degree murder. She has been sentenced to 41 months in jail after pleading guilty in an hate attack against her for being transgender. Cece is being held in a male facility in Minnesota, including time in solitary confinement. This petition, sponsored by Free CeCe Support Committee, goes directly to Michael Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, asking for the charges to be dropped. Sign the petition.
Tell LEGO to Stop Selling Our Girls- #LiberateLEGO: “After 4 years of marketing research, LEGO has come to the conclusion that girls want LadyFigs, a pink Barbielicious product line for girls, so 5 year-olds can imagine themselves at the café, lounging at the pool with drinks, brushing their hair in front of a vanity mirror, singing in a club, or shopping with their girlfriends.”, states Bailey Shomaker Richards and Stephanie Cole of SPARK. This petition has been covered in the NY Daily News, Wall Street Journal, News 12 in Brooklyn, Huffington Post and New York Times. LEGO has been trusted to provide toys that help children (girls and boys) be more creative and use their imagination. With LadyFigs, LEGO has definitely dropped the ball. The petition, on Change.org, goes directly to the CEO/Chief Executive Officer, Lego Group. Sign the petition.
Don’t Set Us Back Half a Century: Give Stay-at-Home Moms Credit: This petition was created by Change.org user Holly McCall, a stay-at-home mom who realized that the CARD ACT, an act that is supposed to protect consumers from misleading credit card practices, actually does a lot of harm to stay-at-home spouses. The CARD Act changed the way people – especially stay at home moms – could apply for a credit card. Instead of filling in your “household income” (the combined income of you and your partner or spouse), you can only note your own income. What does this mean? This means that the primary income provider has to give give approval for his/her spouse to apply for a credit card. This petition goes directly to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Sign the petition.
After you sign these petitions, spread the word! Send them to your friends and colleagues. Also, share them on social media.