Prison System Reforms for Women Urged at Civil Rights Commission – In recent decades, women’s incarceration rates have grown faster than those of men in the United States. However, women who are incarcerated receive little attention in discussions of reforms to the criminal justice system. To assess complaints and submit recommendations for prison reform, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently held a public hearing in Washington. Our correspondent, José López Zamorano, reports.
Fate of Texas Secretary of State in the Hands of Democratic Lawmakers – Controversial Texas Secretary of State David Whitley may soon be out of a job. Appointed late last year, he now lacks enough votes in the Senate to win the nomination. His fate depends on 12 Democratic senators who publicly opposed his confirmation after Whitley questioned the citizenship of nearly 100,000 voters and threatened to purge them from the electoral roll. The measure would be particularly damaging to Latino voters. If the Democratic lawmakers stand firm, it will signify a historic victory in a Republican-dominated state. Mariana Pineda reports from Houston.
“Roma” Wins Academy Awards, Shining a Spotlight on Domestic Workers – The Spanish-language film “Roma” received a record 10 Oscar nominations, winning three categories. The film, whose protagonist, Cleo, is an indigenous domestic worker, shined a spotlight on the racism against indigenous people present in Mexican society and the treatment of domestic workers. Cleo is played by Yalitza Aparicio, a teacher from Oaxaca making her film debut and who has made history as the first indigenous person from the Americas ever to be nominated for an Oscar. At the end of the awards ceremony, Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Media Coalition spoke about the need for influential filmmakers such as Alfonso Cuarón to cast more Latino actors. Meanwhile, by honoring the “true heroines of the home,” Roma has also breathed new life into activism around domestic workers’ rights, according to Marcelina Bautista, the director of the Center for the Support and Training of Female Domestic Workers in Mexico City.