YWCA: Feminists Outraged Over Dismissal of Ireland

( [email protected] ) Oct 31, 2003 10:34 AM EST

Dismissal of Ireland as the executive of the YWCA has enraged the feminists across the country.

"Feminists across the country are outraged that ultraconservative attacks could have resulted in former NOW President Patricia Ireland's recent dismissal as the CEO of the YWCA," said current National Organization for Women (NOW) President Kim Gandy.

"Ultraconservative groups slammed the YWCA for hiring a strong supporter of women's rights," Gandy alleged. She also blasted the Bush Administration as acting "in concert" with "these bullies" at the conservative Traditional Values Coalition to remove Ireland.

Gandy indicated she was particularly incensed by the activities of the Traditional Values Coalition, which had led a petition drive against Ireland.

The YWCA in public statements noted that firing of Ireland wa because of the private personnel matter that her feminist beliefs didn’t fit for the organization. However NOW believes YWCA had to dismiss Ireland because of the strong objection from YWCA donors and conservative groups.

"It is our belief that in order for the YWCA to continue to carry out its mission of empowering women and girls throughout the world, a change needed to be made," read an earlier statement from the YWCA.

"The so-called Traditional Values Coalition [asked] Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson to consider cutting off $114 million in grants going to local YWCAs," said Gandy.

But Gandy acknowledged that "without federal grants, local associations would be hard pressed to continue providing quality child care to working moms and domestic violence services to women who are abused.”

"These women, who need the YWCA the most, would be devastated” Gandy said.

Gandy was very much concerned of "internal independence" and free speech of groups like the YWCA, the Girl Scouts, the Red Cross being threatened by other “chilling warning" of "the right wing."