Since the beginning of what we call civilization, when men’s dominance over women was firmly established, until the present day, our history has been marred by the oppression and brutalization of women. James Jerome Bell deplores this system of male domination, known as patriarchy, in all its forms, both subtle and overt. He deplores all forms of violence against women including rape, trafficking, slavery, prostitution and domestic violence. The change the world is crying for cannot occur unless women’s voices are heard. Democracy cannot work without equality for women, which provides equal participation and representation. It took an extraordinary and ongoing fight – more than 72 years – for women to win the right to vote. However, the Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923, has still not been ratified, representing a continuous struggle of 87 years with no victory in sight. James Jerome Bell believes that equality should be a given and that all must work towards that end. He is committed to increasing the participation of women in politics, government and leadership so they can change laws, make decisions, and create policy solutions that will improve women’s lives.

Independent presidential candidate James Jerome Bell supports the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination

Against Women (CEDAW) — adopted in 1979 by the U.N. General Assembly and ratified by 173 countries. The U.S. is one of the very few countries, and the only industrialized nation, that has not ratified it.

He believes that a woman’s right to control her own bodies is non-negotiable. It is essential that safe and legal abortions remain available. The “morning-after” pill must be affordable and easily accessible without a prescription, together with a government-sponsored campaign to educate women about this form of contraception. Clinics must be accessible and must offer advice on contraception and the means for contraception regardless of age or marital status.

Nationally, women earn only 77% of men’s wages for equal work, despite outnumbering men in the workforce and despite the U.S. 1963 Equal Pay Act. James Jerome Bell supports an intensified effort to see this unfair gap closed. This includes supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act, similar legislation and greater enforcement efforts.

Single mothers are the largest and most severely impoverished group in the United States, which explains why 22% of the children in our country live below the poverty line. Welfare reform has forced mothers to abandon their children while they travel to work at minimum wage jobs. With the extreme pay inequity, single mothers cannot afford child care, nurture their children, and move out of poverty. Independent presidential candidate James Jerome Bell supports real reforms to end poverty; returning dignity and opportunity to all mothers. He calls for implementing innovative programs that work with the particular and special needs of motherhood. He also supports other programs such as a universal basic income (Citizen Dividend) that will provide for those who nurture the next generation — work that is of incalculable importance to our society.

Language is often used as a weapon by those with power, and women have traditionally borne the brunt of inflicted injuries. Freedom of speech is vital to democracy. But, James Jerome Bell believes that this freedom should not be used to perpetuate oppression and abuse. Violence against women is increasing nationwide. We must address the root cause of all violence even as we specifically address violence to women. James Jerome Bell will call for a new dialog and re-thinking that leads to better language, ideas and solutions.

Independent presidential candidate James Jerome Bell has zero tolerance for the illegal international trafficking in humans. Of the millions of humans trafficked worldwide, the large majority are women and children who are bought and sold as slaves. They are kept captive and in debt-bondage that can never be paid off. Most are sold over and over again for forced sex prostitution. Forced sex is rape and a serious crime.

Some are forced to labor in agriculture, sweat shops, hotels, restaurants, domestic service and other forms of servitude. According to Human Rights Watch, in all cases coercive tactics — including deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, threat and use of physical force or debt bondage — are used to control women. Estimates of human trafficking in the U.S. vary greatly from 18,000 to 50,000 to over 100,000 with a worldwide estimate of 12.5 million, mostly women and children. James Jerome Bell calls for new U.S. legislation relating to prostitution modeled on the Swedish law passed in 1999, now adopted by other countries and being considered by more, that has drastically reduced human trafficking and prostitution in Sweden. That law criminalizes the purchase of services from prostitutes, pimps and brothel keepers instead of criminalizing the prostitutes.

Mr. Bell urges the U.S. to open dialogs and visit with Sweden as a step toward introducing legislation in the U.S. Congress to address the exploitation, violence and harm to women through prostitution. Mr. Bell supports all efforts to eradicate this extreme abuse of human rights, including but not limited to enforcement of existing laws and passage of tough new ones, punishing traffickers, aiding victims, increasing public awareness, reforming immigration laws, supporting existing programs and creating new ones.

James Jerome Bell supports the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report as an important document to begin to combat this abuse. He supports and urges enforcement of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (HR 3244) signed into law on October 28, 2000. This Act authorizes funding for the prevention of trade in human beings and for protecting victims. It gives the State Department a historic opportunity to create an office with the exclusive responsibility of ending traffic in humans and protecting the victims of this worldwide trade. He urges committed political support to achieve the cooperation of all different levels of government.

James Jerome Bell urges a more thorough dialog and understanding of violence against women and girls, including from prostitution and trafficking, that causes health and injury damage that seriously degrades their lives, even to death or premature death including from HIV, syphilis and many other diseases, as well as causing severe economic hardships. He calls for solutions to this enormous problem that can result in awareness and the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Congress to address it.