67 Women's Inequality News Articles
from 2017 2nd Half
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source
12-13-17 'Feminism' is Merriam-Webster dictionary's word of the year
A leading US dictionary has named "feminism" as its word of 2017 following a surge in online searches. Merriam-Webster said interest in the term was driven by women's marches, new TV shows and films on women's issues and the string of news stories on sexual assault and harassment claims. The number of people searching for the word was up 70% on 2016, it said. The dictionary defines feminism as "the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes". It adds that it is also "organised activity on behalf of women's rights and interests". In January the first spike in interest occurred after the Women's March on Washington and similar marches in cities across the world. Many wore pink knitted "pussyhats" in reference to controversial remarks Donald Trump was recorded making in 2005. March organisers claimed that women's rights were under threat following the election of Mr Trump to the White House. The following month, interest in feminism surged again when White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said she did not consider herself a feminist. Speaking at a conservative event, she said she found it difficult for describe herself as a feminist because she was not "anti-male" and "pro-abortion". She said she was a "product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances", which she described as "conservative feminism". There was further interest in the meaning of feminism with the release of the TV series The Handmaid's Tale, based on the Margaret Atwood novel, and the hit film Wonder Woman, Merriam-Webster said.
12-10-17 Sudan women in trousers: No indecency charges
Charges of indecency have been dropped against 24 women who were caught wearing trousers at a party near the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. The gathering was raided by morality police on Wednesday. If convicted, the women could have faced punishment of 40 lashes and a fine for wearing "an obscene outfit". Rights activists say tens of thousands of women are arrested and flogged for indecency every year, and laws can be applied arbitrarily. They say the law in Muslim-majority Sudan against wearing trousers and short or tight skirts discriminates against Christians. Traditionally, women in Sudan wear loose flowing robes. Campaigner Amira Osman told Netherlands-based Radio Dabanga the public order act violated women's rights. "The party took place in a closed hall in a building in El Mamoura [south of Khartoum]," she said. "The girls were arrested for wearing trousers, despite obtaining a permit from the authorities." The law - Article 152 of the Criminal Code - applies to "indecent acts" in public, wearing an "obscene outfit" or "causing an annoyance to public feelings".
12-6-17 U.S. Women More Likely Than Men to Put Off Medical Treatment
More than a third of American women (37%) report that they or a member of their family put off medical treatment in the past year because of cost, compared with less than a quarter of U.S. men (22%). A gender gap in delaying medical care has appeared consistently in Gallup's annual measurement since 2001. The differences by gender do not appear to result from differences in the type of healthcare available to men and women. Data from Gallup's Nov. 2-8 Healthcare poll reveal little, if any, difference between men's and women's assessments of the quality, coverage or cost of their healthcare. No differences exist in the kind of insurance they have either -- be it private, government, or none at all -- which, Gallup has found, affects the likelihood of whether an adult will put off seeking medical treatment. Additionally, no gender gap exists in the reported severity of medical conditions among those who have put off receiving treatment because of cost. The gender gap in putting off care narrows with each increasing age bracket, but even among adults aged 65 and older, women are more likely to report holding off on receiving their own or another family member's medical treatment. The gender gap also narrows with each higher income group; and among households earning $75,000 or more a year, the slightly higher figure for women is not significantly different from that of men.
- 37% of women put off treatment because of cost, vs. 22% of men
- Nationally, 29% have held off on medical care because of cost
- Of those who do, 63% say untreated condition is very or somewhat serious
12-4-17 China closes school 'teaching women to be obedient'
Chinese authorities have shut down an institute that was teaching women to be obedient and subordinate to men. The education bureau said the institute, which claimed it taught "traditional virtues", had violated socialist core values. An online video showed lecturers speaking out against gender equality, while other advice to women included not fighting back when being beaten. China has seen a rise in similar institutes in recent years. The viral video posted by news website Video Pear shows teachers at the Fushun School of Traditional Culture telling women they should not attempt to have a career but "just stay at the bottom level". It urges women to unconditionally obey their fathers, husbands and sons. Other "advice" from the controversial school included never arguing when scolded and never divorcing. The teachers are also seen warning that if a woman has sex with more than three men, the semen becomes poisonous and might kill her. "Whatever your husband asks, your reply should be: 'Yes. Right away'" one lecturer tells his students. The video showed women doing domestic housework such as cleaning the floor and cleaning toilets using bare hands.
12-1-17 Welcoming Ivanka
Ivanka Trump was feted like a princess in Hyderabad this week as she headed a U.S. delegation of 350 business leaders at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. The theme was women’s empowerment, and a speech by the president’s daughter was broadcast live across India on all major news channels. “We must ensure women entrepreneurs have access to capital, access to networks and mentors, and access to equitable laws,” she said. Human rights advocates, though, said that women workers in China who make products for the Ivanka Trump brand are underpaid and abused. “Ivanka has the responsibility to find these workers and ensure they are paid,” said China Labor Watch’s Li Qiang. (Webmaster's comment: White woman speaks with forked tongue!)
11-29-17 Hidden history of prehistoric women's work revealed
Grinding grain for hours a day gave prehistoric women stronger arms than today's elite female rowers, a study suggests. The discovery points to a ''hidden history'' of gruelling manual labour performed by women over millennia, say University of Cambridge researchers. The physical demands on prehistoric women may have been underestimated in the past, the study shows. In fact, women's work was a crucial driver of early farming economies. "This is the first study to actually compare prehistoric female bones to those of living women," said lead researcher, Dr Alison Macintosh. "By interpreting women's bones in a female-specific context we can start to see how intensive, variable and laborious their behaviours were, hinting at a hidden history of women's work over thousands of years." The researchers used a CT scanner to analyse the arm (humerus) and leg (tibia) bones of modern women: from runners, rowers and footballers to those with more sedentary lifestyles. The rowers belonged to the Women's Boat Club at Cambridge, and won last year's Boat Race. These elite modern athletes clocked up more than 100 km a week on the river. The bones strengths of athletes were compared to those of women from early Neolithic agricultural eras through to farming communities of the Middle Ages. The Neolithic women analysed in the study (living around 7,000 years ago) had similar leg bone strength to living women but their arm bones were 11-16% stronger for their size than the rowers. The arms of Bronze Age women were stronger still. The scientists think that prehistoric women may have used stones to grind grains such as spelt and wheat into flour, which would have loaded women's arm bones in a similar way to the back-and-forth motion of rowing. In the days before the invention of the plough, farming would have involved planting, tilling and harvesting all crops by hand, and women likely carried out many of these tasks. "Women were also likely to have been fetching food and water for domestic livestock, processing milk and meat, and converting hides and wool into textiles,'' said Dr Macintosh. The study, published in the journal Science Advances, suggests women's labour was key to the rise of agriculture.
11-29-17 Strong-armed women helped power Europe’s ancient farming revolution
Bone studies show that a low-tech agricultural life sculpted powerful arms that female rowers today would envy. Ancient farm women in Central Europe labored so vigorously at grinding grain, tilling soil and other daily tasks that the women’s average upper-arm strength surpassed that of top female rowers today, a new study finds. In the early stages of farming more than 7,000 years ago, women engaged in a wide array of physically intense activities that were crucial to village life but have gone largely unnoticed by scientists, conclude biological anthropologist Alison Macintosh of the University of Cambridge and colleagues. “Women’s labor provided the driving force behind the expansion of agricultural economies in the past,” Macintosh says. Previous investigations underestimated the intensity of ancient farm women’s manual labor, the researchers contend online November 29 in Science Advances. Those studies compared women’s bones with those of male contemporaries and men today. But due to hormonal and other biological factors, male bones generally undergo faster and more beneficial shape changes in response to regular physical exertion than female bones do. To better gauge how women’s skeletal strength has changed over time, Macintosh’s team compared bones of ancient farm women with those of living women, including different types of athletes.
11-27-17 Rebrand for Finland's baby boxes
Finland is hoping to rebrand its celebrated baby box with a new, more inclusive name as the government gift for new parents celebrates its 80th anniversary. National benefits agency Kela, which administers the scheme, launched the discussion earlier this week, asking "Does the name of the maternity kit discriminate against dads?", national broadcaster Yle reports. "Or is maternity box so good a name that it should not be replaced?" it adds. Finns can suggest new ideas and vote on the name on Kela's website. In Finland, the gift is known as the maternity box, and the suggested change has led to a spirited discussion, as well as some off-the-wall ideas. While many of the comments on newspaper Ilto Sanomat's Facebook page thought changing the name would be a waste of time and money, others picked up the idea and ran with it. Amid the more sober posts suggesting "baby kit" or "family kit", one poster quipped "How about the 'consequences of sex kit'?" The box is a gift from Finland to expectant mothers, and is a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys. A mattress at the bottom transforms the box into a bed. It has been credited in some quarters as helping Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates. The government offers a cash grant as an alternative gift, but the vast majority of parents opt for the box. (Webmaster's comment: The only thing that America offers is "Pop the brat out and get back to work!")
11-18-17 100 Women: 'Home-schooling helped me break the glass ceiling'
Camille Eddy, 23, works in robotics in Silicon Valley and has her sights set on Nasa. But she doesn't think she would have chosen her career if she had gone to mainstream school. I was home-schooled from 1st grade to high school graduation by my mum. My sister was about to start kindergarten, and she wanted to invest time in us and be around. She's a really smart lady and she felt she could do it. I know that I had a harder time in science and maths to begin with but my mum saw that and took it into account. One year she wasn't very happy with my progress and changed up the curriculum. We received new textbooks with different pictures and wording. And when she saw something worked she would use that curriculum the most. My mum would look at how we did that year and if we didn't completely understand a subject she would just repeat the year. She focused on mastery rather than achievement. I was able to make that journey on my own time. One year after attending a science academy that introduced me to space science my mind really took off. And one year I took three maths classes which culminated in being placed in Calculus I class my first year at college. I feel like if I hadn't been home-schooled I probably wouldn't have chosen a Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) career. But home-schooling takes dedication and a lot of planning. It also takes community. My mother had a lot of resources to rely on and access to information. If you have the key ingredients and the flexibility to work with whichever home-schooling system is in place in your area it can work. (Webmaster's comment: You go girl!)
11-16-17 Americans No Longer Prefer Male Boss to Female Boss
For the first time since Gallup began measuring Americans' preferences about the gender of their boss, a majority say their boss' gender makes no difference to them. Those who do have a preference are now evenly divided between male and female bosses, also a first in Gallup's trend. The percentage of U.S. adults preferring a male boss is now 23%, 10 percentage points lower than the last reading in 2014 and 43 points lower than the initial 1953 reading. Currently, 55% of Americans volunteer that they would have no gender preference for a boss if they were taking a new job. Roughly equal percentages, 23% and 21%, say they would prefer a man or a woman, respectively. In the 1980s, male bosses held as much as a 34-point advantage over female bosses, making the current (and statistically insignificant) two-point difference notable.
- 55% of Americans have no preference about the gender of their boss
- Men (68%) are more likely than women (44%) to lack preference
- Women under 50 prefer a female boss; women 50 and older divided
11-6-17 Thailand's female rebel monks
Thailand forbids women from becoming ordained monks. These bold female Buddhists are doing it anyway. Thailand forbids women from becoming ordained monks. But that hasn't stopped roughly 100 female believers from donning the revered saffron robe anyway. About 95 percent of Thailand's population practices Buddhism, specifically Theravada Buddhism, one of the oldest sects that most closely follows the original teachings of the Buddha. There are some 300,000 monks across the country who serve as leaders, teachers, and role models for these many adherents, all the while seeking their own spiritual enlightenment. Because of the faith's widespread popularity, Buddhism's ruling monastic council — the sangha — wields enormous influence over the Thai government, and monks receive a handful of benefits from the state, like stipends and tax exemptions. But Thai women have been banned from Theravada monasticism for centuries. Although the Buddha himself spoke of the importance of both male and female monks, modern authorities point to a technicality in the teachings that states only female monks can ordain other women. But the lineage of female monks died out in the 11th century — ironically, due to a rash of sexism and harassment that discouraged new devotees. Therefore, the modern-day male-dominated sangha claims no new women can take the cloak. But one determined believer found a loophole: In 2003, 59-year-old Chatsumarn Kabilsingh traveled to Sri Lanka, where ordaining Buddhist women had been recently sanctioned. She returned home as the Venerable Dhammananda, modern Thailand's first female Theravada monk.
11-1-17 Iceland campaigners to redress drop in women MPs
Iceland's general election has seen a sharp fall in the number of female MPs, prompting a group of activists to launch a campaign to make sure the new parliament doesn't ignore women's issues - perhaps going as far as to set up a new political party. More than 120 women gathered in the capital Reykjavik in response to a call on the new Facebook group Kvennaframbod (Women's Candidacy) to do something about the drop in the number of female MPs. The proportion of men to women - 33 to 30 in the previous parliament - is now 39 to 24, the lowest tally of women MPs since 2007. Soley Tomasdottir of the Left-Green Movement told Iceland TV that Women's Candidacy fears a "huge blow to equal rights" in a country that has always prided itself on its feminist credentials, unless political parties are prepared to address the problem seriously. The issue of women's representation is particularly acute because the election was triggered in part by a scandal over violence against women. The father of Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson had written a letter of recommendation, saying a convicted paedophile who had repeatedly raped his own stepdaughter should have his "honour restored". The government then compounded the row by trying not to reveal who had written the letter. "Despite the feminist waves of recent years and decades, and despite the government disbanding over sexual violence and secrecy, we still got an election campaign based entirely on traditional male-centric terms," Soley told Icelandic TV. (Webmaster's comment: How could a man who had repeatedly raped his own stepdaughter regain his honour? Impossible!)
10-20-17 Reality Check: Does China's Communist Party have a woman problem?
Reality Check: Does China's Communist Party have a woman problem?
As President Xi delivered his opening address to the 19th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, 2,280 delegates looked on. But fewer than a quarter of those were women. That's got some people asking whether the party should take gender equality more seriously. The New York Times wrote of women being "shut out" - but does the Chinese Communist Party have a woman problem? Of the 89.4 million members of the Chinese Communist Party, just under 23 million are women - that's 26%. And women make up 24% of China's National Congress - the sprawling national parliament. You don't have to be a Communist Party member to sit on that. Women are less represented the higher up the political tree you climb. After the last Congress in 2012, only 33 women sat on the Central Committee which elects the powerful Politburo - that's 9%. Only two of the 25 members of that Politburo were women - 8%. (Webmaster's comment: Only 19.6% of the US congress are women!)
10-18-17 Spain's hotel chambermaids 'Las Kellys' fight for fair pay
Spain's hotel chambermaids 'Las Kellys' fight for fair pay
Spain's tourism sector is heading for another bumper year, with last year's figure of 76 million foreign visitors looking set to be a short-lived record. But within the industry, some people think their essential work is being seriously underappreciated - chambermaids, women who clean hotel rooms in increasingly precarious conditions and poor pay. "We are all women. There are virtually no men," says Ángeles Muñoz, leader of the Madrid branch of Las Kellys, a play on the Spanish words for "the girls who clean" (las que limpian). While room cleaning has never been a road to riches, Las Kellys argue that a reform to Spain's labour market in 2012 paved their way to hell, allowing hotels to outsource cleaning services to companies that do not have to respect established industry standards. In a tourism industry that last year produced earnings of €125bn (£112bn) - 11% of Spain's economy - hotel room cleaners say they are paid less, prone to more health problems and less respected than ever. "Without clean rooms, a hotel does not have a product. But we are invisible, despite being 30% of a hotel's staff," says Ms Muñoz, who claims to have been blacklisted by two hotel chains for her militancy after 20 years in the job. "Many chambermaids are from especially vulnerable sectors of society, including immigrants and single mothers. They are frightened to be seen and fear reprisals or losing the pay they are getting."
10-16-17 Lisa Wilkinson: Top Australian presenter quits in 'equal pay row'
Lisa Wilkinson: Top Australian presenter quits in 'equal pay row'
The female presenter of one of Australia's most prestigious TV news shows has moved to a rival channel amid reports that she was not able to get pay parity with her male co-presenter. Lisa Wilkinson, 57, announced that because the Nine Network had been "unable to meet her expectations", she was joining Channel Ten's The Project. Her announcement brings an end to six months of contract negotiations. Wilkinson made her last appearance on the Today show on Monday. The talks between her and the Nine Network were held up because of her demand to have pay parity on the breakfast programme with her co-host, Karl Stefanovic, The Daily Telegraph and other media outlets reported. The paper, quoting "well-placed sources", said that Stefanovic earns about $A2m ($1.5m) a year compared to about $A1.1m ($870,000) earned by Wilkinson.
10-13-17 Where are all the women in economics?
Where are all the women in economics?
We hear a lot about the under-representation of women in so-called STEM fields - science, technology, engineering and maths. But the proportion of women in economics is by some measures smaller. In the US, only about 13% of academic economists in permanent posts are women; in the UK the proportion is only slightly better at 15.5%. Only one woman has ever won the Nobel Prize in economics - American Elinor Ostrom in 2009. And there wasn't even a single woman on some of the lists floating about guessing who this year's prize winner would be - it went to the behavioural economist Richard Thaler. Some have argued that these figures aren't necessarily the result of bias. Maybe, they say, women are simply behaving rationally and choosing different disciplines that are perhaps more suited to their temperament and skills, or choosing to work in different but related fields. But Cambridge University economics lecturer Victoria Bateman says that can't really explain all of the gap. "I think that that way of thinking about the problem is is completely false," says Dr Bateman, who is a fellow at Cambridge's Gonville & Caius college. "But I think [it] helps explain why economists have for too long hushed up this problem. "Because if economists' models are suggesting that sexism doesn't exist, that it's all a result of people's free choices and... their personal characteristics, then you deny the fact there is a problem."
10-13-17 Wall Street: Fearless Girl firm underpaid women
Wall Street: Fearless Girl firm underpaid women
The firm behind Wall Street’s Fearless Girl statue has agreed to pay $5 million to more than 300 female and black employees “who were paid less than their white, male counterparts,” said Patrick Coffee in Adweek. Boston-based State Street Corp., the parent company of the investment firm that installed the popular statue of the little girl who “faces down Wall Street’s famed Charging Bull statue,” was accused by the Labor Department of discriminating against hundreds of female and minority executives since at least 2010. State Street, which manages $2.6 trillion in assets, officially denies the allegations.
Trolls, after a New York Times report that as a high-schooler, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller once jumped into the final stretch of a girls’ track race in order to prove male athletic superiority, and derided Latino students for speaking Spanish.
10-11-17 Boy Scouts move to accept girls prompts backlash
Boy Scouts move to accept girls prompts backlash
The Boy Scouts of America have announced plans to admit girls into the century-old youth club, allowing them to achieve the same high rank as boys. The historic decision was agreed upon unanimously by the group's board of directors on Wednesday, triggering a fierce backlash online. Under the new rules, girls can join the Cub Scouts at a young age, and eventually graduate as Eagle Scouts. The Girl Scouts of the USA are among critics of the move. Boy Scouts of America (BSA) chief executive Michael Surbaugh said in a statement: "We believe it is critical to evolve how our programmes meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children." "Families today are busier and more diverse than ever," the BSA statement continued. "Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programmes that serve the whole family more appealing." The decision was announced on the United Nations' International Day of the Girl, which has been observed since 2012 and is intended to highlight issues facing women and girls. The move was swiftly disparaged by some social media users, including the eldest son of US President Donald Trump. Starting in 2019, girls will be allowed to become Eagle Scouts - a prestigious honour - if they complete a volunteer service project. In 2018, parents will be able to enlist their children in Cub Scout programmes. Each chapter will be able to determine if they want to remain exclusive to boys, create all-female groups or establish new mixed-sex "packs". (Webmaster's comment: How will white males be able to maintian their superiority over women if women are allow to make the same achievements?)
10-10-17 The dearth of women in tech is nothing to do with testosterone
The dearth of women in tech is nothing to do with testosterone
Arguments over the causes of the gender gap in STEM jobs rage on. It's not due to hormones or innate brain differences, says Lise Eliot on Ada Lovelace Day. As efforts to improve diversity in science, technology, engineering and maths accelerate, so the voices of those who question those efforts seem to get louder. They say the STEM gender gap has its roots in innate biology, that men are inherently better at or more interested in these subjects. One of their favourite supporting arguments is that differences in male and female brains are clearly influenced by prenatal testosterone. Is there any truth in this claim? As a biologist, I appreciate that genes and hormones are important in brain and behavioural development. But my research over the past 20 years indicates that the differences between boys’ and girls’ brains are subtle, and that testosterone isn’t a key determinant of interest in or aptitude for STEM subjects. First, in spite of decades of MRI studies, there is little evidence that boys’ higher prenatal exposure to testosterone affects their brain structure or function. Most recently, the two largest studies of the brains of newborns found no difference between boys’ and girls’ functional brain networks and that prenatal testosterone exposure had a surprisingly weak effect on specific neural structures. Even the most clear-cut gender difference in infant behaviour – verbal ability, which develops more slowly in boys – hasn’t been linked to prenatal testosterone.
10-8-17 100 Women: Five things I learned as a woman in Silicon Valley
100 Women: Five things I learned as a woman in Silicon Valley
The BBC's 100 Women 2017 season is tackling some of the biggest issues facing women around the world and has given teams of experts a week to change the world. It kicked off by challenging women working at the home of hi-tech industries in California's Silicon Valley to smash the glass ceiling, as the BBC's Nuala McGovern reports. Here are her five findings:
- They will show up
- Women have been invited to the party, but they haven't been asked to dance
- Take up the space you deserve
- The glass ceiling is titanium for some
- Be the change you want to see
10-7-17 Norway will pay their male and female football teams the same
Norway will pay their male and female football teams the same
Norway's male and female players will receive the same amount of pay for representing the country, the Norwegian football association has announced. The amount of money paid to the women's team will almost double from 3.1m krone (£296,845) to 6m krone (£574,540). This includes 550,000 krone (£47,875) paid by male Norwegian players, money they receive for commercial activities. "Thank you for making this step for female athletes," said Norway winger Caroline Graham Hansen. In a message posted on Instagram, Graham Hansen also posted a picture of the men's football team and said: "This was maybe a small thing for you to do for us, this will maybe not show in your monthly wages, this was maybe an obvious move for you to do. "But this means everything for us, for our team, our sport, and for all the female athletes out there, who do the same work, the same sport as men do, but get paid less. "For you to say that equal pay is how it should be, makes me want to cry. It makes me want to hug you all. "Thank you for making this step for female athletes. For showing equality and for helping us all, making it a bit easier, to chase our dreams. To make them come true! RESPECT #equalgame #equalpay." (Webmaster's comment: The rest of the world leads the way. America doesn't even follow.)
10-6-17 Fearless Girl statue firm faced down in equal pay row
Fearless Girl statue firm faced down in equal pay row
The statue of a young girl staring down Wall Street's famous stock market bull was installed to draw attention to gender inequality and the pay gap in the corporate world. But in an ironic twist the firm behind the Fearless Girl statue will pay $5m (£3.8m; €4.3m) in a row over equal pay. State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) has been accused by the US Department of Labor of paying hundreds of female executives less than male colleagues. The firm denies the claims. It said it wanted to bring an end to the matter. The fund manager will pay the settlement to more than 300 senior female staff which were paid less than their male counterparts, according to the Department of Labor. The disparity was uncovered during a 2012 pay audit. The settlement also covers allegations that the firm paid 15 black employees less than their white counterparts. State Street has denied any pay discrimination for both its female and black employees.
10-5-17 100 Women: Where are the female Nobel Prize winners?
100 Women: Where are the female Nobel Prize winners?
The 2017 Nobel season is still under way, with the prizes for peace, and economics yet to be announced. But for the sciences, this year's work is done and many in the scientific community are noticing some similarities about the winners. In the case of physics, the winning discovery had already been making global headlines. The prize was shared by three researchers for the groundbreaking 2015 detection of gravitational waves. For chemistry, the committee recognised the less publicised work of developing a new microscopy technique, which the Nobel committee said had "moved biochemistry into a new era". For physiology or medicine, a team who uncovered a better understanding our body clocks was honoured. However, the science community was quick to notice that this year's laureates all had one thing in common. They are all men. BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world every year. In 2017, we're challenging them to tackle four of the biggest problems facing women today - the glass ceiling, female illiteracy, harassment in public spaces and sexism in sport.
9-29-17 A woman finally passes
A woman finally passes
The Marine Corps has made history by graduating its first female infantry officer. The woman, who has asked to keep her identity private, passed the Corps’ grueling, 13-week Infantry Officer Course this week. Since the course was opened to women, at least 30 female soldiers have attempted it and failed.
9-29-17 Women will drive
Women will drive
Women in Saudi Arabia will finally get the right to drive cars, King Salman announced in a decree this week, ending a long-standing ban that has come to symbolize women’s repression in the hard-line Islamic country. Saudi women activists, several of whom have been imprisoned for defying the prohibition, celebrated this week by posting photos showing themselves behind the wheel. “Saudi Arabia will never be the same again,” tweeted activist Manal al-Sharif. “The rain begins with a single drop.” Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam, is the only country in the world that restricts women’s rights so severely, and clerics have long resisted calls for equal rights. Saudi women still can’t travel abroad or work without a male guardian’s permission, and while out in public they must wear an abaya—a full-length, loose-fitting robe—and a headscarf.
9-27-17 Saudi Arabia women hail end of driving ban
Saudi Arabia women hail end of driving ban
One female activist called it a "great victory", while another said things would "never be the same again". The country's US ambassador has described the move as "the right decision at the right time". The Gulf kingdom is the only country in the world that bans women from driving - and women are still subject to strict dress codes and gender segregation. Until now, only men were allowed licences and women who drove in public risked being arrested and fined. Campaigner Sahar Nassif told the BBC: "I couldn't believe it. I started laughing and jumping and screaming. It's a great victory. "I'm going to buy my dream car, a convertible Mustang, and it's going to be black and yellow!" Meanwhile, Latifah Alshaalan, a member of the Shura council, a government advisory panel, told broadcaster Al Arabiya: "This is a great victory for many Saudi women. This was the one file and issue which Saudi women have fought not just years, but decades for." The country's US ambassador, Prince Khaled bin Salman, confirmed that women would not have to get male permission to take driving lessons, and would be able to drive anywhere they liked. (Webmaster's comment: As good as this is it's Rights By Decree! How primitive can a country be?)
9-26-17 US Marines get first female infantry officer
US Marines get first female infantry officer
A female US Marine has made history by becoming the first woman to complete the Corps' famously gruelling infantry officer training. The lieutenant, who wants to keep her identity private, graduated in Quantico, Virginia, on Monday. She will soon be assigned to lead a 40-strong platoon. Marine Corps commandant Gen. Robert Neller tweeted a picture of the woman, saying he was "proud of this officer & her fellow leaders". There are almost 1.4 million active duty troops in the US armed forces, and about 15% are female. In March 2016, then-President Barack Obama opened all military positions to women, including combat units. (Webmaster's comment: This is only a big deal in the United States. 70 years ago during World War II the Soviet Union had 800,000 volunteer women soldiers and many women officers commanding both male and female troops.)
9-22-17 Google sued by female employees
Google sued by female employees
Three women who used to work at Google have filed a lawsuit against the search giant, accusing it of “underpaying them and denying them opportunities for promotions,” said Jacob Kastrenakes in TheVerge.com. The lawsuit claims Google “systematically” offers lower compensation to female employees who are performing the same roles as their male counterparts. The filers are seeking to make the case a class action, representing all women who have worked at Google since 2013. A Google spokesperson said the company “has extensive systems in place to ensure we pay fairly.”
9-15-17 Hatred for Women in our society
Hatred for Women in our society
President Trump has nominated 42 U.S. attorneys so far to replace the 46 Obama appointees he fired. Only one is a woman, and 40 are white men. When Trump took office, there were 24 female U.S. attorneys.
9-13-17 It’s a disgrace there are no women on UK’s key science committee
It’s a disgrace there are no women on UK’s key science committee
When the main science committee in the UK parliament turned out to be devoid of women MPs, a backlash was inevitable, says Lara Williams. With the announcement yesterday that the eight members of the new House of Commons Science and Technology Committee so far appointed are all male – and all but one white – a reaction was sure to follow. It duly did, with a string of critical tweets. Not only had it failed to appoint a single woman, and only one person of colour, but between the newly appointed members, only two possess a degree in a science-related subject: Labour MPs Darren Jones and Graham Stringer, in human bioscience and chemistry, respectively. Stringer, by the way, is on the board of the climate sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation. Committee chair Norman Lamb promptly spoke out about the membership announcement, stating it is “imperative” women are on the committee. There are still three places left to be filled – which means there is a slim space for women to potentially occupy. Those defending the current all-male committee line up might make one of the more common arguments that crops up in debates relating to diversity and representation in science and technology, that men dominate the roles because there are simply fewer women qualified or interested in these professions. They might seize on statistics gleaned as part of the WISE campaign for gender parity in science, technology and engineering in 2014, which found women made up just 14 per cent of undergraduates receiving engineering and technology degrees, and 24 per cent at postgraduate level. (Webmaster's comment: It's much worse in America. Women here are for breeding and praying, not for working in Science.)
9-11-17 100 Women: ‘I dye my hair brown to be taken more seriously at work’
100 Women: ‘I dye my hair brown to be taken more seriously at work’
A Silicon Valley CEO reveals her secret to getting ahead in business - dyeing her blonde hair brown, and ditching her heels and contact lenses. Eileen Carey is a successful CEO, in her early 30s, with glasses and brown hair. But she didn't always look the way she does now. "The first time I dyed my hair was actually due to advice I was given by a woman in venture capital," she says. Carey was told that the investors she was pitching to would feel more comfortable dealing with a brunette, rather than a blonde woman. "I was told for this raise [of funds], that it would be to my benefit to dye my hair brown because there was a stronger pattern recognition of brunette women CEOs," she explains. Pattern recognition is a theory which suggests people look for familiar experiences - or people - which in turn can make them feel more comfortable with the perceived risks they are taking. When she had blonde hair, Eileen says she was likened to Elizabeth Holmes, whose company Theranos has been through a lot of controversy. "Being a brunette helps me to look a bit older and I needed that, I felt, in order to be taken seriously," Carey says.In interviewing candidates for roles at her startup, Glassbreakers, which provides companies with software aimed at attracting and empowering a diverse workforce, she's encountered other blonde women who have also dyed their hair brown. "We discussed that there's the fetishisation of blondes," says Carey. "People are more likely to hit on me in a bar if I'm blonde. There's just that issue in general. "For me to be successful in this [tech industry] space, I'd like to draw as little attention as possible, especially in any sort of sexual way."
9-11-17 The Indian women eating with their families for the first time
The Indian women eating with their families for the first time
Meals have a way of bringing families together. As food is laid out, everyone gathers round the table, conversation flows and families bond. But traditionally, eating together has not been encouraged in India. Men and children are fed first and only then can women sit down to eat. But in millions of poor homes, this practice has had an unintended consequence - malnutrition among women. Now, however, campaigners are urging women to eat with their families instead of after them. And, they say, the results have been very encouraging. No-one knows when or where or how the practice started, but like every other symbol of patriarchy, it is deeply entrenched in people's psyche. As a child, in my home too, my mother, grandmother, aunts and cousin's wives would cook and serve, but they would always be the last to eat. In the pecking order, gods came first - once food was prepared, a small portion of all the dishes would be offered to them. In my Brahmin home, even the resident cow was fed before humans - when my grandfather sat down to eat, he would set aside bits of food from every dish onto a small thick round piece of bread that was placed on a leaf. He would eat only after one of us had fed that to the cow. This staggered eating sometimes caused minor friction at home - if men delayed mealtimes, it just meant that the women's wait to eat got longer. It didn't matter how hungry they were, they just had to wait. (Webmaster's comment: In America domestically abused women often suffer the same fate! The man eats first and the woman must serve him and wait for him to finish.)
9-9-17 Nigerian Taekwondo fighter kicks gender inequality where it hurts
Nigerian Taekwondo fighter kicks gender inequality where it hurts
Thursdaline Peter is a medal-winning Taekwondo fighter and Nigeria's youngest referee. As well as teaching young people self-defence, she is also a passionate advocate for gender equality.
8-31-17 Marvel star slates 'racist' Hollywood over name change
Marvel star slates 'racist' Hollywood over name change
Chloe Bennet, who stars in TV series Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, has said she had to change her name from Chloe Wang in order to make it in Hollywood. The actress praised Ed Skrein for recently pulling out of Hellboy. His casting had been criticised for "whitewashing" the original character, who is of Asian heritage. She told an Instagram follower who queried her name change: "Hollywood is racist and wouldn't cast me with a last name that made them uncomfortable." "Changing my last name doesn't change the fact that my BLOOD is half Chinese, that I lived in China, speak Mandarin or that I was culturally raised both American and Chinese... It means I had to pay my rent." She added: "I'm doing everything I can, with the platform I have, to make sure no one has to change their name again, just so they can get work." Chloe, who plays a secret agent, has previously explained how her name change led to a more successful career almost immediately. "Oh, the first audition I went on after I changed my name, I got booked," she told The Daily Beast last year. "So that's a pretty clear little snippet of how Hollywood works." The actress has since created RUN (Represent Us Now) a group which campaigns for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to be better represented in Hollywood.
8-30-17 Female Witchsy founders use fictional male to beat sexism
Female Witchsy founders use fictional male to beat sexism
Two female US entrepreneurs have revealed that they created an imaginary male co-founder to dodge sexism and make setting up their company easier. Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer of online art marketplace Witchsy said male developers responded better to emails signed by "Keith Mann". They replied faster and were less condescending, the entrepreneurs said. Earlier this month a Google employee was fired for saying women were unsuited to tech. The memo - which suggested there were fewer women at Google due to biological differences - broke the firm's code of conduct, chief executive Sundar Pichai said. Ms Gazin and Ms Dwyer said they came up with the idea for Keith Mann because they were struggling to get the services they needed from graphic designers and web developers. Potential collaborators in the male-dominated tech world were slow to reply and sometimes rude, Ms Dwyer told the BBC. "The responses were cold and we were not taken seriously," she said, adding: "Developers didn't use our names in their emails; one used the term 'ok girls'." But things changed when fictional Keith Mann began signing their correspondence - with a certain level of assertiveness. "Keith would chase things up; 'You guys said this would be done, what's the status?' he would write. The responses were pretty speedy," Ms Dwyer said. She said that Keith was addressed by name and that "there was a noticeable difference in tone, a kind of level of comfort [in dealing with Keith]".
8-30-17 Ivanka Trump supports eliminating an Obama-era regulation meant to ensure equal pay
Ivanka Trump supports eliminating an Obama-era regulation meant to ensure equal pay
Ivanka Trump announced her support of her father's plan to eliminate Obama-era requirements intended to prevent pay discrimination, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal report. "Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results," Trump said in a statement Tuesday. The first daughter has taken a public role in her father's administration advocating for working women, including pushing for equal pay. The proposal she opposes would have required businesses with more than 100 employees to hand over information about how different genders or races are getting paid to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The requirement was deemed "enormously burdensome" by Neomi Rao, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The former chairwoman of the EEOC, Jenny Yang, defended the rules that were written while she was the head of the commission. Before the regulations, installed under former President Barack Obama, "we'd learn about a pay-discrimination problem because someone saw a piece of paper left on a copy machine or someone was complaining about their salary to co-workers," she said. "Having pay data in summary form will also help us identify patterns that may warrant further investigation." (Webmaster's comment: Ivanka is no friend of women. Amazing!)
8-22-17 Triple talaq: India court bans Islamic instant divorce
Triple talaq: India court bans Islamic instant divorce
India's top court has ruled the practice of instant divorce in Islam unconstitutional, marking a major victory for women's rights activists. In a 3-2 majority verdict, the court called the practice "un-Islamic". India is one of a handful of countries where a Muslim man can divorce his wife in minutes by saying the word talaq (divorce) three times. The landmark court decision came in response to petitions challenging the so-called "triple talaq" custom. The cases were filed by five Muslim women who had been divorced in this way and two rights groups. Women's rights campaigners have hailed the court's decision as a historic win. There have been cases in which Muslim men in India have divorced their wives by issuing the so-called triple talaq by letter, telephone and, increasingly, by text message, WhatsApp and Skype. A number of these cases made their way to the courts as women contested the custom. Triple talaq divorce has no mention in Sharia Islamic law or the Koran, even though the practice has existed for decades. Islamic scholars say the Koran clearly spells out how to issue a divorce - it has to be spread over three months, allowing a couple time for reflection and reconciliation. Most Islamic countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned triple talaq, but the custom has continued in India, which does not have a uniform set of laws on marriage and divorce that apply to every citizen.
8-11-17 Google cancels all-staff diversity meeting
Google cancels all-staff diversity meeting
Google has cancelled an all-staff meeting to discuss a controversial memo about diversity written by former engineer James Damore. It is reported that some staff members were concerned about being singled out online if they were identified while they spoke out during the meeting. The firm said it would "find a better way" to help employees discuss the issues raised by the memo. Mr Damore was fired for breaking Google's code of conduct. He had suggested in his internal note that there were fewer women in tech and leadership positions because of biological differences. According to Google's most recent diversity figures, 80% of its tech workforce and 75% of its leaders are men. "We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism," Mr Damore wrote in his note, which was widely criticised.
8-11-17 Contentious Google memo hits a nerve
Contentious Google memo hits a nerve
“It started as an anti-diversity memo on Google’s internal mailing list,” said Ellen McGirt in Fortune.com. Written by one of the search giant’s software engineers, the 10-page manifesto dismissed Google’s diversity initiatives as a waste of time and accused the company of being an “ideological echo chamber.” The fact that women are less likely to be hired for engineering and leadership positions, the author wrote, could be because men and women tend to have different abilities. Women have a “stronger interest in people rather than things,” the memo read, which could explain why fewer of them are coders. “I’m not saying that diversity is bad,” the author continued, but deciding whether to hire or promote people based on their gender or race is “unfair, divisive, and bad for business.” The document went viral inside Google and was soon leaked to the media, “setting off a firestorm of outrage,” said Aja Romano in Vox?.com. Within days, the author was outed as James Damore and fired, and Google, which has long been criticized for having an engineering workforce that is 80 percent male and majority white, was left to grapple with its persistent “diversity problem.”
8-9-17 Was Google wrong to fire James Damore after memo controversy?
Was Google wrong to fire James Damore after memo controversy?
Google has fired an employee who wrote a controversial memo opposed to diversity programmes and hiring practices. The company's chief executive said the "offensive" text advanced "harmful gender stereotypes". Did Google do the right thing? A senior Google employee, named in US media as James Damore, argued in an internal memo that perhaps tech companies that try diversity programmes to get more women in to the industry are looking at things the wrong way. It's not just because of recruitment practices or education or discrimination that more men than women work in the tech industry, he argued, but because of biological differences. Women are "on average more interested in people" as opposed to things, he said, "more co-operative" and "more prone to anxiety" - all things that stop them going in to the tech industry or rising to the top of it. And he said this couldn't usually be said by people who worked for Google, because of an "ideological echo chamber" and a "shaming culture and the possibility of being fired". After the memo received a few days of international attention, Mr Damore was fired. He is reported to be considering legal action. The memo and now his sacking have been much discussed on social media, with some agreeing with him, some offering him jobs, and others aghast at his views. (Webmaster's comment: Another man that hates women and will say anything to prevent women's equality in the workplace.)
8-9-17 Google and the case for messy, maddening workplace democracy
Google and the case for messy, maddening workplace democracy
Why companies shouldn't be allowed to fire employees for holding toxic views. Last week, a Google software engineer named James Damore shot off a 10-page memo criticizing the company's internal politics and diversity efforts. Then on Monday, Google fired Damore. But this isn't just a story about Google's institutional culture. It's not even just a story about larger national efforts to increase diversity and the ensuing backlash. It also cuts right to the heart of one of the American workplace's defining traits: its anti-democratic nature. Damore's memo was civil and measured in tone, and frankly more complex than a lot of the coverage allowed — it begins, for instance, with Damore saying, "I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes." But it also suffered from plenty of faulty logic, short-sightedness, and, indeed, poisonous evolutionary-psychology-style stereotyping. Damore claimed that men have a higher drive for status; that women are more prone to "neuroticism" and "higher anxiety" and have "lower stress tolerance"; that pay and hiring gaps between men and women can be explained by "biological causes"; and that Google's diversity programs can therefore be discriminatory and destructive. Damore then proposed diversity programs of his own. (Webmaster's comment: We don't allow drug addicts in our work places and there is no reason we need to allow those who openly advocate against workplace equality for women.)
8-8-17 Memo to all tech bros: Sexism, not biology, holds women back
Memo to all tech bros: Sexism, not biology, holds women back
Women are not biologically predestined to be bit players in tech firms no matter what one (ex) Google engineer thinks of diversity programmes, says Lara Williams. Sexism in the tech sector has been a long-standing problem. The latest manifestation of an industry in which machismo reigns and women are grossly underrepresented came as an internal memo written by James Damore – an engineer employed by Google (Google has since fired Damore). The essay, which has been described as an “anti-diversity manifesto”, is titled Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber. It comprises 10 pages of bad science and biological determinism. Damore outlines research that he says supports his view that women are intrinsically different to men, broadly less likely (and capable) of working in the same careers and industries. “Women, on average, have more:” he begins, before listing various attributes as innate to women: openness, interest in people over things, preference for social and artistic work, neuroticism and anxiety, extraversion expressed as gregariousness and a harder time negotiating salaries. “Philosophically,” he reasons, “I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women.” Some of the science Damore uses to prop up his argument, as Angela Saini points out in The Guardian, is valid; but only insofar as there is a school of neuroscientific thought venturing theories of anatomical differences in men and women’s brains. Equally, there is a school of thought dismissing this idea. “There are published scientific papers out there to support every possible opinion,” Saini states. “Science is a slow process, not a growing string of truths.”
8-8-17 Google fires diversity memo author
Google fires diversity memo author
A Google employee who wrote a controversial memo about workplace diversity has been fired, the BBC can confirm. The controversial memo broke the firm’s code of conduct, Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai said on Monday in an email to employees. The memo, shared widely at the weekend, suggested there were fewer women at Google due to biological differences. Mr Pichai said the text crossed the line due to it "advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace”. Entitled Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber, the paper argued that "the abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership”. The author wrote: "We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism." Google has not confirmed who the employee is, but media reports name him as James Damore. "[I was fired for] perpetuating gender stereotypes," he told Reuters. He also claimed to have received "many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude" for speaking out. (Webmaster's comment: Many men are terrified of the fact that women are their equals. It's the same fear those same men have for non-whites and non-christians.)
8-3-17 Female politicians and babies: a lose-lose situation?
Female politicians and babies: a lose-lose situation?
A new political party leader in New Zealand has reacted angrily to repeated questions about whether she plans to have children. It is "unacceptable" to be getting those questions in 2017, the politician, Jacinda Ardern, said. So what added scrutiny are female politicians under, and, conversely, can mothers sometimes use their family lives to their political advantage? Some politicians have faced serious political attacks for not having children. New Zealanders just need to look across the water to Australia for one example: former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. In an editorial, the Sydney Morning Herald wrote: "Her media persona does not fit the expectations of some voters: a single woman, childless, whose life is dedicated to her career." This was one of the kinder comments. While leading Australia, Ms Gillard was called "deliberately barren" (by a senator from another party) and a "childless, atheist ex-communist" (by a rival from her own party). She fought back against personal attacks against her, most notably with a searing tirade against the leader of the opposition, in which she said: "If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia ... he needs a mirror." (Webmaster's comment: Damned if you do and damned if you don't! A woman is never right no matter what she does! Unless she's obeying a man!)
8-2-17 Jacinda Ardern: NZ opposition leader hits back over baby questions
Jacinda Ardern: NZ opposition leader hits back over baby questions
New Zealand's new opposition leader has said it is unacceptable for women in the workplace to be asked about their motherhood plans, after she was quizzed on TV about whether she wanted a child. Jacinda Ardern, 37, was elected leader of the Labour party on Tuesday after Andrew Little stepped down. Ms Ardern is the youngest person to lead the party and the second woman. The questions have sparked a fierce sexism debate in the country, which is due to hold an election in September. Prime Minister Bill English said the questioning was not acceptable and that while "some degree of personal intrusion" could be expected in politics, Ms Ardern's plans were "her private business".
8-1-17 Serena Williams essay calls for equal pay for black women
Serena Williams essay calls for equal pay for black women
Serena Williams has written a powerful essay calling for equal pay for black women. To mark Black Women's Equal Pay Day in the US, the tennis star posted an article titled How Black Women Can Close the Pay Gap. "The gender pay gap hits women of color the hardest," she writes. "Growing up, I was told I couldn't accomplish my dreams because I was a woman and, more so, because of the color of my skin." Writing in Fortune Magazine, the 35-year-old speaks about the systematic imbalance of pay for black women in all types of jobs. "The issue isn't just that black women hold lower-paying jobs. They earn less even in fields of technology, finance, entertainment, law, and medicine." She adds: "Even black women who have earned graduate degrees get paid less at every level. "This is as true in inner cities as it is in Silicon Valley." Serena does recognise her position of privilege as one of the most successful sportspeople of all time, writing: "I am in the rare position to be financially successful beyond my imagination." "But today isn't about me. It's about the other 24 million black women in America. "If I never picked up a tennis racket, I would be one of them." (Webmaster's comment: White male supremacists will never let equal pay happen, especially for black women. To them white women are for impregnating and black women are for raping!)
7-30-17 Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg: 'Pay women well'
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg: 'Pay women well'
Fairer pay for women must be backed up by stronger policies at work, according to Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg. But the firm's chief operating officer, in an interview for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, said the first step is to "start paying women well". She chose Beyonce's empowering Run The World (Girls) as her first song. She said: "We start telling little girls not to lead at a really young age and we start to tell boys [to] lead at a very young age. That is a mistake." "I believe everyone has inside them the ability to lead and we should let people choose that not based on their gender but on who they are and who they want to be."Ms Sandberg made headlines in 2013 with her book "Lean in" about female empowerment in the workplace. It became a worldwide bestseller, but was criticised by some for being elitist and unrealistic for many women not in her privileged position.In the interview, she also called for more to be done around the gender pay gap between men and women. Ms Sandberg admitted she had struggled with self-doubt at Harvard and recognised that women more than men underestimated their own worth, preventing them from putting themselves forward or asking for a pay rise. "We need to start paying women well and we need the public and the corporate policy to get there," she said. "Certainly, women applying for jobs at the same rate as men, women running for office at the same rate as men, that has got to be part of the answer."
7-30-17 Is this short workshop the key to getting more women hired in STEM fields?
Is this short workshop the key to getting more women hired in STEM fields?
There's an unfortunate divide when it comes to the diversity trainings many companies, schools, and other institutions adopt to try to make themselves more welcoming to underrepresented and marginalized groups. While they may be well-intentioned, there's precious little evidence any of them work. Over and over, researchers have noted that few diversity trainings are backed by any empirical evidence they meaningfully improve outcomes — meaning hiring ratios, office climate as reported by employees, and so on — whatsoever. But some researchers are trying to do better by building more carefully designed approaches that incorporate accepted theories about how prejudice and bias operate. One promising example is called the "prejudice habit-breaking intervention," and according to a new paper, it may have had an exciting impact on the way some traditionally male-dominated academic departments in the University of Wisconsin system hired faculty. The paper, lead-authored by Patricia G. Devine, a psychologist at UW-Madison, and set to appear in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, focused on a group of science, technology, engineering, math, and medical (STEMM) departments at UW-Madison (she co-conceived of the study ideas with Patrick Forscher, a University of Arkansas psychologist who has contributed to some important work highlighting problems with the implicit association test). These areas of academia are fairly infamous for their gender-equity problems, and in some STEMM departments, sexual harassment and gender-based exclusion are rampant.
7-22-17 Norway: The country where no salaries are secret
Norway: The country where no salaries are secret
This week the British papers revelled in news about how much the BBC's on-air stars get paid, though the salaries of their counterparts in commercial TV remain under wraps. In Norway, there are no such secrets. Anyone can find out how much anyone else is paid - and it rarely causes problems. In the past, your salary was published in a book. A list of everyone's income, assets and the tax they had paid, could be found on a shelf in the public library. These days, the information is online, just a few keystrokes away. The change happened in 2001, and it had an instant impact. "It became pure entertainment for many," says Tom Staavi, a former economics editor at the national daily, VG. "At one stage you would automatically be told what your Facebook friends had earned, simply by logging on to Facebook. It was getting ridiculous." Transparency is important, Staavi says, partly because Norwegians pay high levels of income tax - an average of 40.2% compared to 33.3% in the UK, according to Eurostat, while the EU average is just 30.1%. "When you pay that much you have to know that everyone else is doing it, and you have to know that the money goes to something reasonable," he says. "We [need to] have trust and confidence in both the tax system and in the social security system." This is considered to far outweigh any problems that may be caused by envy. In fact, in most workplaces, people have a fairly good idea how much their colleagues are earning, without having to look it up. Wages in many sectors are set through collective agreements, and pay gaps are relatively narrow. The gender pay gap is also narrow, by international standards. The World Economic Forum ranks Norway third out of 144 countries in terms of wage equality for similar work.
7-21-17 Lagging behind India on women’s rights
Lagging behind India on women’s rights
India’s Muslim community has taken a bold step forward on women’s rights, said Rafia Zakaria. Islamic leaders there have begun allowing women to train and to serve as qadis, or Islamic judges. Qadis are not clerics, but they can perform marriage ceremonies and settle disputes over Islamic law relating to personal matters, including divorce. One of the first Indian women to train for the role, Jehanara Begum, decided to become a judge after she left her abusive husband and her local qadi refused to help her secure alimony and child visitation rights. The idea that Muslim women have the right to a divorce and to various marital assets if a union dissolves is a basic tenet of Islam, but in practice many qadis instantly side with the husband. The new female qadis have pledged to “never tell an abused woman to ‘bear it’ when she comes to them for help.” It’s a welcome development that forces the question, Why hasn’t Pakistan done something similar? Muslims are a minority in India but a majority here, and “the problems of Indian Muslim women are all too familiar to Pakistani women.” Female qadis could “transform the way women see their rights and options within the marital relationship”—an evolution Pakistan desperately needs.
7-20-17 Gallup Vault: A Sea Change in Support for Working Women
Gallup Vault: A Sea Change in Support for Working Women
Reporting on a 1969 update of Americans' views about women in the workplace, George Gallup commented, "Rarely has the Gallup poll shown such a remarkable change in viewpoint." The change in question was a shift from 72% of Americans in 1936 saying they disapproved of a married woman working in business or industry "if she has a husband capable of supporting her" to 55% approving in 1969. George Gallup also noted that the timing of the 1936 poll, during the Great Depression when women would have been competing with men for scarce jobs, may have dampened Americans' support for women working who didn't need to. Regardless of the reason, 33 years later, the country had undergone a sea change in this aspect of gender equality. The 1969 Gallup news article discusses survey respondents' reasons for their views. Some of those against married women working for pay said, "A woman's place is in the home." Others thought that a rise in juvenile delinquency (which many at the time blamed on parents) could be traced to mothers working, and thus that women needed to be at home with their children.
7-15-17 Right to bare arms: US Congresswomen protest against dress code
Right to bare arms: US Congresswomen protest against dress code
US Congresswomen have protested for the right to bare arms in parts of Washington DC's Capitol building. The National Rifle Association may be disappointed to learn that this is not a typo. They are not campaigning to bear weapons, but to stand against the Congressional dress code. The long-standing code bans sleeveless tops, among other things. The protest comes after a number of women have recently reported being told their outfits violated the rules. Female reporters have said they had been prevented from entering the lobby area, where the press meets to ask questions of US politicians. On Friday, Representative Jackie Speier tweeted to encourage colleagues to dress in clothes that showed their arms, calling the protest "Sleeveless Friday". A group of around 25 women gathered on the steps of Congress, wearing sleeveless shirts and dresses. "It's 2017 and women vote, hold office, and choose their own style. Time to update House Rules to reflect the times!" tweeted Congress member Chellie Pingree.
7-14-17 Women's salarys under Trump
Women's salarys under Trump
The salary gap between male and female White House staffers has more than tripled in the first year of the Trump administration, according to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. The median salary for a female White House employee is now $72,650, compared with the median male salary of $115,000. That 37 percent gender pay gap is more than double the 17 percent national gender pay gap.
7-10-17 The American housewives who sought freedom in Soviet Russia
The American housewives who sought freedom in Soviet Russia
A look back at the Russian chapter in U.S. feminism. In the summer of 1922, Ruth Epperson Kennell, a children's librarian, left New York City for the far reaches of Siberia. She travelled with her husband Frank and 132 other "pioneers." In Siberia, they joined the Kuzbas colony, a utopian commune in the coal-mining town of Kemerovo, founded by "Big Bill" Haywood, a leading Wobbly (Industrial Worker of the World) who had jumped bail in the United States and escaped to Russia. Haywood and hundreds of other foreigners were eagerly establishing industrial and agricultural communes to aid the "new Russia." Kennell claimed that the Kuzbas pioneers — re-enacting American settlement of the West and industrial development on a new frontier — were building, not a new Atlantis, but a "new Pennsylvania." In signing a two-year contract with the Society for Technical Aid to Soviet Russia, and leaving the comforts of middle-class life in the U.S., Kennell made a decision that was surprisingly popular. An article in the radical Liberator by the proletarian bard Mike Gold, headlined "Wanted: Pioneers for Siberia," provided the spark that set the Kennells' life in a new direction. It also gestured toward the attractions of a broader exodus that was not just about escaping the U.S.: These pioneers wanted a part in the building of something new. This was especially the case for U.S. women at a moment in which they'd gained the vote but otherwise nothing had really changed for them. Appealing to "the Young Intellectuals who have not fled to the boulevard cafés of Paris, there to sip cocktails in a sort of noble protest against American Puritanism," Gold's article convinced the Kennells to pack up their worldly goods and leave their 18-month-old son in California with his paternal grandmother.
7-9-17 Japan's Okinoshima island gains Unesco World Heritage status
Japan's Okinoshima island gains Unesco World Heritage status
Japan's Okinoshima island, an ancient religious site where women are banned, has been declared a World Heritage site by the UN's cultural body Unesco. Okinoshima is home to the Okitsu shrine, built in the 17th century to pray for the safety of sailors. Before stepping foot on the island, men must take off their clothes and undergo a cleansing ritual. When they leave they are not allowed to take away any souvenirs, or disclose details of their visit. Long before the shrine was built, Okinoshima was used for rituals involving prayers for oceangoing ships and trade ties with Korean and Chinese people, the Japan Times reports. Thousands of artefacts brought as gifts from overseas have been found on the island, including gold rings from the Korean Peninsula, it says. The island now welcomes visitors on a single day every year, 27 May, and ancient rules are still observed. The number of visitors is restricted to 200. They must perform ablution rites in the sea, and - most controversially - be male. (Webmaster's comment: Keeping the hatred of women alive in Japan and supported by the United Nations.)
7-7-17 Emma Stone: Male co-stars took pay cut so they were paid the same as me
Emma Stone: Male co-stars took pay cut so they were paid the same as me
Emma Stone has revealed some of her male co-stars have taken pay cuts to make sure they're paid the same. Speaking to OUT magazine, the La La Land star said her male colleagues have reduced their fee so she can "have parity with them". Emma is currently promoting her latest film, Battle of the Sexes. It's based on the male v female tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King in 1973. It was watched by an estimated 90 million people worldwide. In the magazine interview, Emma talks to Billie Jean about fighting for equality back then - and what it's like now. Speaking about her co-stars taking a pay cut, she said: "They do it for me because they feel it's what right and what's fair. "If my male co-star, who has a higher quote than me but believes we are equal, takes a pay cut so that I can match him, that changes my quote in the future and changes my life.
7-7-17 Makes no sense
Makes no sense
Women who refused to disclose their current salary while interviewing for a job received final offers that were 1.8 percent lower than for women who shared their salary history, according to a recent survey. By contrast, men who refused to share their salary history ended up receiving bigger offers than those who divulged their earnings.
7-7-17 Ms Sheila Michaels: Feminist who popularised 'Ms', dies aged 78
Ms Sheila Michaels: Feminist who popularised 'Ms', dies aged 78
Sheila Michaels, an American feminist who brought the honorific "Ms" into mainstream use, has died aged 78. Ms Michaels did not invent the term, but is credited with rescuing it from obscurity after she saw it used in an address, thinking it was a typo. "Ms" did not convey a woman's marital status, unlike the traditional options "Mrs" or "Miss". "I had never seen it before: It was kind of arcane knowledge," she said. Speaking to the New York Times in an interview last year for her own obituary, she said the honorific resonated with her, both as a feminist and as the child of unmarried parents. "[I] was looking for a title for a woman who did not 'belong' to a man. There was no place for me," she told The Guardian newspaper in 2007. "I didn't belong to my father and I didn't want to belong to a husband - someone who could tell me what to do."
7-6-17 AI photo check exposes scale of diversity problem at top firms
AI photo check exposes scale of diversity problem at top firms
Neural networks automatically detected the age, race and sex of the board members of the world’s 500 largest companies to quantify biases. Bias in boardrooms is tricky to assess. Many companies don’t publish diversity reports, making useful information difficult to come by and hampering efforts to tackle institutional biases. Now artificially intelligent algorithms have been used to dig down into the data, confirming that there is a lack of diversity at the top of the world’s corporate ladder. To evaluate the situation, researchers from biotech firm Insilico Medicine compiled pictures of the top executives taken from the websites of nearly 500 of the largest companies in the world. The final dataset comprised over 7200 photographs from companies spanning 38 countries. They trained image recognition algorithms to automatically detect the age, race and sex of the board members, and compared the results to the age, race and gender profile of each firm’s country to see if they reflected the general population. AI is far from perfect at interpreting images and Insilico Medicine doesn’t specialise in this particular area, so the results should be taken with a pinch of salt. But, nonetheless, they do give an impression of the current state of play. Evidence from other studies suggests that boardroom diversity is increasing year on year, but it is clear there is still a long way to go. Overall, the team found that only 21.2 per cent of the corporate executives in the study were female. And in every single company, the percentage of female board members was lower than the percentage of women capable of work in that country. Twenty-two companies had no women on their boards, with the majority of those firms being in Asia.
7-5-17 Afghan girl roboticists denied US visas
Afghan girl roboticists denied US visas
An all-girl team of roboticists from Afghanistan will watch their creations compete in a US competition via Skype after being denied entry visas. President Trump recently ordered a ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries, but Afghanistan was not included on the list. Teams from Iran, Sudan and Syria - which are on the list - did manage to enter the country. The girls said they did not know why they had not been given visas. A US State Department official said it could not discuss individual cases. A team from The Gambia also failed to gain visas. The six-member team will watch their ball-sorting robot compete in Washington DC via a video link from their hometown of Herat, in western Afghanistan. "We still don't know the reason why we were not granted visas, because other countries participating in the competition have been given visas," Fatemah Qaderyan, 14, told Reuters. She was one of the team members who made two journeys to the US embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul, to apply for their papers. Team-mate Lida Azizi, 17, said: "All of the countries can participate in the competitions, but we can't. So it's a clear insult for the people of Afghanistan." (Webmaster's comment: The best and the brightest are denied entry to the United States. Why? The women would show how stupid and ignorant white male supremacists really are!)
7-5-17 Manchester International Festival: Putting women in control of the world
Manchester International Festival: Putting women in control of the world
What If Women Ruled The World? That's the title of a show bringing together actresses and experts to explore whether women can come up with better solutions to the planet's problems than men. "I absolutely do think the world would be a better place if women ruled it." That's Vicky Featherstone, who is the artistic director of the Royal Court, London's leading theatre for new plays. "I absolutely do," she continues. "I think there would be different conversations." She's directing What If Women Ruled The World?, a live performance-discussion event being staged at the Manchester International Festival. "I think there would be a different sense of care. Definitely." We're talking during a break in rehearsals, and I've asked Featherstone for her view on the show's title, and whether she thinks the world would be a better place. She ends her answer with a question."But your question to me was, do you think the world would be a better place if women did [rule it]? "At the moment, it isn't equal. It is men ruling the world. And I think it would be a better place if, in place of those men, if we can't have proper equality, if women were doing that. It would be better. Definitely. "There would be less war. There would be less arms being sold. There would be less of all those sorts of things. We'd be more nuanced and layered. Things would be able to co-exist in a more nuanced way rather than being so compartmentalised. Definitely." (Webmaster's comment: Women care more about including others, helping others. Too many men only care about power and sex! How many women politicians do you see in money or sex scandals?)
7-4-17 Uganda civil servants face strict dress code in new government rules
Uganda civil servants face strict dress code in new government rules
Public servants in Uganda are facing a strict dress code after the government issued a circular warning them to "dress decently". Female staff have been told not to show any cleavage, wear brightly coloured braids or hair extensions, sleeveless blouses or any clothing made out of see-through material. Men must wear long-sleeved shirts, jackets and ties, and loose trousers. Staff failing to comply will be disciplined. The guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Public Service apply to all non-uniformed civil servants. But there is a feeling that female staff are the main focus on the new rules. While women will be allowed to wear pant-suits, they have been warned not to wear any tight-fitting clothing. Dresses and skirts must at least be knee-length.The circular further states that accessories should be modest, and women should not have bright hair colour, braids or extensions. Flat, open shoes are also ruled out, except in cases where one can prove that it is for medical reasons.
7-2-17 Grimes: 'Not enough bourbon' in Kentucky to make commission's voter data request seem sensible
Grimes: 'Not enough bourbon' in Kentucky to make commission's voter data request seem sensible
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she will not send "sensitive personal data" of Kentucky voters to a commission created by President Donald Trump to investigate voter fraud. Grimes, a Democrat, said in a statement late Thursday that her office had received a request from the commission for Kentucky records that includes names, personal information and voting history of 3.2 million Kentucky voters. "As the commonwealth's secretary of state and chief election official, I do not intend to release Kentuckians' sensitive personal data to the federal government," Grimes said in a statement. "The president created his election commission based on the false notion that 'voter fraud' is a widespread issue. It is not." In an interview with MSNBC on Friday, Grimes said there is "not enough bourbon here in Kentucky to make this request seem sensible. ... NOT ON MY WATCH are we going to be releasing sensitive information that relate to the privacy of individuals." Trump, a Republican, established the Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in May to investigate his claims that millions of illegal voters participated in last November's elections. The commission is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. Grimes also said in her statement, "The president has repeatedly spread the lie that three to five million illegal votes were cast in the last election. Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country." (Webmaster's comment: On CNN I heard her statement. It was most powerful condemnation of trump's attacks on our privacy and liberty by anyone! If this person wanted to run for President I'd support her in an instant! We need more women like her in government!)
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67 Women's Inequality News Articles
from 2017 2nd Half
Women's Inequality News Articles from 2017 1st Half