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75 Women's Inequality News Articles
from 2018 1st Half
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6-29-18 Women drivers
Saudi women began driving legally this week as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s latest reform came into effect. Some women jumped behind the wheel at midnight, saying they had waited decades for the moment. “I am between belief and disbelief—between a feeling of joy and astonishment,” said new driver Mabkhoutah al-Mari. Most Saudi women, though, have yet to obtain licenses, and wait lists for gender-segregated driving classes are long. The most prominent activists who campaigned for the right can’t hit the road: Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, and eight others were detained a month before the ban was lifted, apparently as a warning that women’s rights will be decided by the monarchy, not activists.
6-27-18 How to think about… Gender
Men are more active than women, and women are better talkers. So says society, but biology suggests boundaries between the sexes are more blurred. AT FIRST it seems straightforward. After a brief inspection of its genitals, a baby is assigned a gender. But look more closely, and this simple idea begins to unravel. For a start, biological sex isn’t always clear-cut. Around 1 in 2000 people are born intersex, with reproductive organs or sexual anatomy that don’t fit the typical male/female pattern. Beyond biological sex, gender as a concept is also tough to pin down. The term originates from the Latin word genus, meaning “type” or “kind”. Before the 1950s, it was only really used to describe different classes of nouns in certain languages. It acquired a new meaning largely due to sexologist John Money, whose work with people who are intersex led him to distinguish between a person’s sex, as determined by genes and hormones, and their gender. For him, gender meant the social, psychological and behavioural aspects of being male or female. In the 1970s, work by feminist anthropologist Gayle Rubin helped to morph this into the idea of gender as a social construct, a socially imposed division of the sexes. Today, the terms “gender” and “sex” are often used interchangeably, and for many people they are synonymous – someone is born female and identifies as a woman, for instance. But some people, often from a young age, have a strong sense of being a different gender to the sex they were designated at birth: a study in 2016 concluded that 0.6 per cent of US adults identify as transgender. Some people don’t identify as either gender. The extent to which this gender identity – our internal sense of being male, female, neither or both – is down to nature or nurture is a hot research topic, and dominates much of today’s thinking about gender more generally. How much of, say, men’s supposed talent for engineering is down to biological factors such as a male fetus experiencing a surge of testosterone in the uterus, and how much is due to societal conditioning?
6-27-18 We must try harder to avoid biological bias in clinical trials
TO EVALUATE a new drug, you need a clinical trial that’s designed to most clearly reveal its effects. Test it in too variable – or too sick – a group of people, and you are less likely to pick up the powerful effects you hope it is capable of. That’s just statistics. But such efforts to get the clearest signal have led drug developers to skew clinical trials to one particular group: white people. As many as 86 per cent of participants in drug trials are white, according to one 2014 analysis. This is a problem: a person’s ethnicity can influence how effective or dangerous a drug is, as can their age, gender or weight. Testing a drug on a group that doesn’t represent the wider population means that guidelines on how to use it will then largely apply only to a subset of people. In the past, many explanations have been put forward for the low numbers of, for example, African Americans in clinical trials. These included lower awareness of trials, low numbers of black biomedical researchers, and a historically justified lack of trust in the US medical establishment. But it’s time to face the fact that the entry requirements are also against them. Just as women have been excluded from research due to fluctuating hormones, minority volunteers can be rejected from trials due to stats that gauge their health. For example, over-reliance on crude markers for kidney or immune health may explain why so few black men are included in prostate cancer trials, despite the disease being more common in this group (see “Black men are left out of cancer trials because of their biology). than the population average. So how can we better represent real populations and still detect benefits of new drugs? Bigger trials or extra trials in subgroups may help, although both will cost more money. Whatever we do, what’s certain is that we must act.
6-25-18 Calling men by their surname gives them an unfair career boost
We are more likely to refer to professional men by their surname than women in the same jobs - making them sound more famous, eminent and worthy of awards. Darwin. Einstein. Marie Curie. When we talk about professionals, we tend to refer to men by their surnames but not women, according to new findings from several studies. And it matters. It seems that when we refer to someone by surname it also boosts people’s perceptions of them. This hidden bias could be a factor behind gender inequality in many professions. Psychologist Stav Atir at Cornell University decided to carry out the study after she noticed that male politicians seemed to be referred to by their surname more than their female counterparts. “I wanted to find out if this pattern really existed, and if so, does it have any consequences,” she says. Along with her colleague Melissa Ferguson, Atir began by analysing almost 5,000 online student reviews of their professors, as well as transcripts of over 300 US political radio show segments. In another experiment, 184 volunteers were given identical bullet points about the work of fictional chemist Dolores Berson or Douglas Berson, and asked to rewrite the information in full sentences. Across these and several other similar studies, the pair found that on average both men and women were twice as likely to refer to men by their surnames than they were women. In the Berson experiment, they were four times as likely to do so. The findings applied across science, literature and politics.
6-23-18 Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving ban to end
Saudi women are to be allowed to drive from midnight local time (21:00 GMT) after a ban comes to an end. The change was announced last September and Saudi Arabia issued the first licences to women earlier this month. It was the only country left in the world where women could not drive and families had to hire private chauffeurs for female relatives. However the move comes amid an intensified crackdown on activists who campaigned for the right to drive. At least eight women's rights activists are being detained and could face trial in a counter-terrorism court and long prison sentences for their activism, human rights group Amnesty says. They include Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known figure in the campaign for women's driving rights. Amnesty has also called for wider reforms in Saudi Arabia, where women remain subject to male guardianship laws. Human rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned for years to allow women to drive. Dozens of women were arrested for driving in Riyadh in 1990 and some Saudi women began posting videos of themselves at the wheel in 2008 and between 2011 and 2014. (Webmaster's comment: Basically women are seen as property and many males want to treat them as such even here in the United States!)
6-22-18 Who gets hired?
The percentage of American women who are out of the labor force has plummeted from 66 percent in 1950 to 43 percent today. Men, however, show the opposite long-term trend. Just 14 percent of men were out of the labor force in 1950. Today, that figure is 31 percent.
6-13-18 Haim fired agent for being paid 10 times less than male artist
Haim claim they sacked their agent after finding out they were paid 10 times less than a male artist performing at the same festival. The band say they initially "didn't think twice" about their pay, because they hoped playing the festival would help them get noticed. "We later found out that someone was getting paid 10 times more than us," singer Danielle Haim told Grazia magazine. The sisters didn't name the festival. Alana Haim said the band - sisters Este, Danielle and Alana - had to defend themselves in the music industry. "It's scary out there and [messed] up not even to be paid half the same amount. But to be paid a tenth of that amount of money? It was insane," she said. Danielle added: "We had been told that our fee was very low because you played at the festival in the hope you'd get played on the radio. "We didn't think twice about it, but we later found out that someone was getting paid 10 times more than us. "And because of that we fired our agent." "We'll go to alternative radio stations in the States and there won't even be a girls' restroom," Este said at the Brits. "That's a clear indication that something needs to change."
6-13-18 India chess player quits Iran tournament over headscarf rule
Indian chess champion Soumya Swaminathan has pulled out of an Asian tournament in Iran over the country's compulsory headscarf rule. The 29-year-old Woman Grandmaster said the rule was a violation of her personal rights. "Under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my rights is not to go to Iran," she wrote in a Facebook post, which went viral. The Asian Chess Championship will take place in Iran next month. Ms Swaminathan, who is ranked No 5 in India, told local media that the tournament was originally supposed to be held in Bangladesh. "But once the new dates and new venue came up, I excused myself," she said. When asked if the All India Chess Federation (AICF) should have protested against the decision to shift location, she told the Times of India: "I can't expect everyone to be of the same opinion as me. It's a subjective issue." But in her Facebook post, Ms Swaminathan said she was "disappointed to see that player's rights and welfare are given such less importance while allotting and/or organising official championships". She wrote that athletes often made adjustments for the sake of sport, but "enforceable religious dress" should not be one of them, adding that "some things simply cannot be compromised". Many on social media have praised Ms Swaminathan for taking a stand.
6-13-18 Five things Saudi women still can't do
So Saudi women can now drive, go to the cinema and watch football. But what about the rest?
6-8-18 ‘1918 views’ on female corporate directors
A British survey investigating the lack of women on U.K. corporate boards received a few cringeworthy excuses from some of the country’s top executives, said Amie Tsang in The New York Times. “All the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up” was one tone-deaf response, as were “We have one woman already on the board, so we are done” and “Most women don’t want the hassle or pressure.” Overall, about a quarter of the board members at Britain’s 350 biggest public companies are women. There has been some progress: The number of all-male boards among firms in the FTSE-350 stock index has fallen to just 10 companies last year from 152 in 2011. Still, the survey responses “illustrate that much remains to be done.” Reading the executives’ excuses, “you might think it’s 1918, not 2018,” Amanda Mackenzie, chief executive of the charity Business in the Community, said. “It reads like a script from comedy parody.”
Progress, after the Miss America Organization scrapped the notorious swimsuit portion of the contest. “We are not going to judge you on your outward appearance,” said new chairwoman Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America and onetime Fox News host.
6-9-18 G7 summit: $3bn pledge for girls' education
Canada says it plans to provide $2.9bn (£2.2bn; €2.5bn) with the help of its G7 partners to fund education for the world's poorest girls and women. The money will help fund equal access to education and learning opportunities in countries across the globe, a government statement said. The announcement on Saturday was delayed as contributors including Germany, Japan, the UK, the EU and the World Bank, continued to commit funds. The G7 summit was held in Quebec. It is an annual event bringing together Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany, which represent more than 60% of global net worth between them. The Canadian government said commitments to the education fund announced on Saturday represented "the single largest investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations". The proposed investment, it said, could help educate more than eight million children and teenagers. Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, 20, welcomed the pledged funds. An estimated 75 million children, many of them girls, are out of school in 35 conflict-affected countries around the world, according to the UN children's agency Unicef. In conflict situations, girls are 2.5 times more likely than boys to not be in school. Some of the larger commitments were made by the UK, which said it would invest $250m, and the World Bank, which said it would contribute $2bn over five years. Canada said it was committing almost $310m over three years.
6-8-18 US election 2018: The women lining up to topple Trump
The US consistently ranks in the bottom half of democracies when it comes to female representation in government – can 2018 change that?
6-8-18 Will the G7 Lead by Example on Gender Equality?
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government said gender equality will still be a top priority at the G7 Summit that starts Friday, despite concerns that tensions between the U.S. and other leaders could overshadow the event. If it does get time on the agenda, will Canada and its G7 counterparts be leading by example on this issue, which Trudeau calls an "economic imperative"? Gallup took a close look at various aspects of the lives of working women and men in G7 countries to find out. The attitudes and experiences of men and women in G7 countries are similar on a wide range of topics that Gallup surveys through the Gallup World Poll. In most cases, gender is less of a differentiator than other factors, such as age, education and particularly income. But, as is true in the rest of the world, women in the G7 lag behind their male peers in the percentage who have "good jobs" and are able to reap the benefits that working full time for an employer can bring to their lives.
6-5-18 Saudi Arabia issues first driving licences to women
Saudi Arabia has issued driving licences to women for the first time in decades just weeks before a ban on female drivers is lifted. Ten women swapped their foreign licences for Saudi ones on Monday in cities across the country. However, women's rights activists have complained of a new crackdown - with several being arrested. A flood of applications is now expected in the run-up to 24 June when the ban will end. Saudi Arabia's laws require women to seek male permission for various decisions and actions, and that extends to the ban on women driving. Previously, that meant that families had to hire private drivers to transport female relatives. But rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned for years to allow women to drive, and some women have been imprisoned for defying the rule. Several activists, men and women, were arrested last month, accused of being "traitors" and working with foreign powers. Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known figure in the campaign for women's driving rights, was believed to be one of those held. Rights group Amnesty International described the arrests as "blatant intimidation tactics". On Sunday, Saudi prosecutors said 17 people in total had been detained, but said eight had been released "temporarily". Ms Hathloul has been detained previously, including once in 2014 when she attempted to drive across the border from the United Arab Emirates. She served 73 days at a juvenile detention centre as a result, and documented many of her experiences on Twitter.
6-5-18 Only a man can run an airline, says Qatar boss
The airline industry wants to attract more women, but no one seems to have told the trade body's new chairman. Akbar Al Baker, International Air Transport Association chair and chief executive of Qatar Airways, said his job could only be done by a man. "Of course it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position," Mr Baker said. He made the comment at IATA's annual meeting, where improving diversity at airlines was a big theme. The comments reportedly drew groans and gasps from those present, and Mr Baker later appeared to try to clarify his comments. He said Qatar Airways was the first carrier in the Middle East to have female pilots and that the company had women in senior roles. "So we actually encourage women. We see that they have huge potential in doing senior management positions," he said. Mr Baker also said that he would welcome a female leader, providing he could train her up. "It will be my pleasure to have a female CEO candidate I could then develop to become CEO after me," he told Bloomberg.
6-3-18 The parties’ widening gender gap
Stacey Abrams represents the future of the Democratic Party, said Jeet Heer. By winning the Georgia gubernatorial primary in a landslide last week, the 44-year-old lawyer and state legislator became the country’s “first black woman nominated for governor by a major party.” Abrams’ nomination in a red state vividly demonstrates the gender gap between the parties, which is growing ever wider in the Trump era. This year, more Democratic women are running for office nationwide than ever before. In House races, Democrats have nominated 62 female candidates—or about 50 percent of those running—while Republicans have nominated just 10. With Republicans “forcefully defending traditional gender norms,” Democrats are attracting more women over such culture-war issues as sexual harassment, abortion, and health care. President Trump’s blatant misogyny is accelerating that process; polling indicates 4 percent more women identify as Democrats since 2015, and 70 percent of Millennial women lean left. Abrams might lose in Georgia, where Republicans usually dominate. But she’s “a harbinger” of the Democrats’ future, as the party runs more women and more people of color, while Trump and the Republicans drive them away.
6-1-18 The women who fought against gender equality
The state of Illinois voted on Wednesday to add an amendment to the US constitution that would guarantee equal rights to women. The vote comes nearly a century after the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in Congress. Following the vote, only one more state is needed before the 28th amendment could become a part of America's founding charter. The provision would not change any laws, but seeks to formally give women the same citizenship status as men. While 76% of constitutions around the world in some way guarantee women's equality, the US constitution, technically, does not. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, it's easy to see why the ERA is back on legislators' agenda, but why has it taken so long? Many historians attribute the failure to one conservative woman: Phyllis Schlafly. Mrs Schlafly was a lawyer and housewife from Illinois who founded the Stop ERA group. Her campaigning became one of the first grassroots conservative movements in the US. "Women's libbers are promoting free sex instead of the 'slavery of marriage'," Mrs Schlafly wrote in a 1974 issue of Society Magazine. "They are promoting Federal 'day-care centres' for babies instead of homes... abortions instead of families. "Let's not permit this tiny minority to degrade the role that most women prefer." Mrs Schlafly capitalised on many of the same fears that plagued the suffrage movement: that the ERA would promote abortions and homosexuality, send women into military combat and deny a woman's right to be supported by her husband. "Those fears at the time were greatly exaggerated or untrue," Jane Mansbridge, political science professor at Harvard University, told the BBC. "The controversies were all spurred by what I and many lawyers believe to be misinterpretations of the ERA." Mrs Schlafly motivated conservative women across the country to rally behind "the rights of the wife". Marjorie Spruill, professor emerita of history at the University of South Carolina, said Mrs Schlafly's campaign used religion to form "an effective coalition" against the ERA. "Traditionally Catholics, evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants, and Mormons distrusted and were hostile to one another, but they shared a mutual fear and disdain regarding feminism," Prof Spruill told the BBC. "Conservatives pointed to the many successes of the feminist movement to say that women can achieve equal rights without a questionable, potentially dangerous constitutional amendment." (Webmaster's comment: SOUTH DAKOTA HAS NOT RATIFIED THE EQUAL RIGHTS ADMENDMENT!)
5-31-18 Women Fail to Gain Much Ground on Financial Inclusion
Even as the number of adults worldwide who have bank accounts continues to swell, the latest World Bank Global Findex report shows the gap between men and women remains just as wide as when it was first measured seven years ago. While there have been some advances in helping women gain access to financial services, globally, 65% of women have an account compared with 72% of men. The gender gap is similar in developing economies, with 67% of men and 59% of women having an account. There is no discernable gender gap in high-income economies. The picture is not entirely bleak in developing economies. Consider India, where a strong government push to increase account ownership through biometric identification cards helped narrow both the gender gap and the gap between richer and poorer adults. And several developing economies have no significant gender gap, including Argentina, Indonesia and South Africa. Still, women remain overrepresented among the world's unbanked. About 980 million do not have an account -- that's 56% of all unbanked adults globally.
5-25-18 Barbados elects Mia Mottley as first woman PM
The Caribbean island of Barbados has elected its first woman prime minister since gaining independence from Britain in 1966. Mia Mottley led her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to a crushing victory over the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Ms Mottley, a 52-year-old lawyer, is reported to have once told a teacher at her secondary school that she would become the country's first female PM. The BLP won all 30 seats up for grabs in the House of Assembly. The DLP has governed the popular tourist paradise for the past 10 years, most recently under Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. Ms Mottley faced a barrage of personal and political attacks from the DLP during the election campaign, but also picked up an apparent endorsement from Barbadian pop star Rihanna. Speaking shortly after it became apparent that the BLP would form the next government, Ms Mottley said: "I want to thank you the people in particular. This victory is not mine, this victory is not the Labour Party's." Ms Mottley's new administration - like its predecessor, a broadly centre-left government - faces a host of problems in a country once seen as a byword for good governance in the Caribbean.
5-25-18 Monaco Grand Prix: Campaigner wants end to 'sexual objectification' of women in sport
It is wrong to objectify women in sport says boxer and anti-sexism campaigner Stacey Copeland, after world champion Lewis Hamilton welcomed the return of "beautiful" women to the F1 grid. Models for watchmaker Tag Heuer will feature before Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix - though not in 'grid girl' roles. Copeland told BBC Sport: "It doesn't add anything and enough is enough. "It's not about ugly versus beautiful, it's saying the sexual objectification of women in sport is not OK." Formula 1's owner Liberty Media stopped the use of 'grid girls' in January, saying their use was "at odds with modern day societal norms". Traditionally, grid girls would hold driver placards on the grid but the Monaco models - who will include men - will only be there as representatives of Tag Heuer, taking pictures of the drivers to be posted on social media. Both world champion Hamilton and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel supported the decision to have female models on the grid.
5-24-18 A Women in charge at last
For the first time in its 226-year history, the New York Stock Exchange is being led by a woman. Stacey Cunningham, who began her career as a floor clerk on the exchange in 1996, became the 67th president of the Big Board this week.
5-24-18 Arresting women activists
Saudi Arabia this week arrested at least nine people—seven women and two men—who had campaigned for the right of women to drive, even though the country is due to grant that right next month. Among those detained was the country’s most prominent feminist activist, Loujain al-Hathloul, who was arrested while studying abroad in the United Arab Emirates and brought back to a Saudi prison. The government said those detained were traitors who had collaborated with “enemies overseas.” The arrests are intended “to stifle any kind of mobilization in Saudi Arabia that comes from the grassroots level,” said Madawi al-Rasheed, a London-based expert on the kingdom. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to make clear that “the rights of Saudi women and every Saudi citizen come from him.”
5-23-18 Stacey Abrams is first black female nominee for governor
A former Georgia lawmaker and author has taken a major step towards becoming the first ever African-American female governor of a US state. Stacey Abrams won the Democratic Party primary on Tuesday, telling voters that trying to "convert" Republicans into Democrats had previously failed. A Democrat has not held the red state's governor's mansion since 2003. Ms Abrams, 44, will face a Republican candidate in the high-stakes mid-term contest in November. Lt Gov Casey Cagle won the Republican primary on Tuesday, and will face Georgia's secretary of state Brian Kemp in a run-off on 24 July to decide her eventual opponent. If elected in the deeply conservative state, Ms Abrams would become the first woman and the first person from an ethnic minority to lead the southern state. A number of women battled for and won their Democratic Party mid-term bids in Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas, highlighting the strength of female candidates in the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Among the winners was political newcomer Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot, who won a Kentucky primary for a seat in the US Congress. "It's more, this time, this climate, right now," Ms McGrath told CNN before her win against Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. "It's very clear that people are looking for more women." The US currently has six female governors. Ms Abrams prevailed over Stacey Evans, a 40-year-old state representative, with three-quarters of the vote.
5-23-18 From the CIA to the NBA: The women making history this week
It's been a big week in the US for history-making women. From the CIA to the NBA, the buzz is all about female leaders. Here are four developments you might have missed.
- New York Stock Exchange has a new (female) boss
- Meet the first black woman nominated for governor
- America's spy agency is now run by this woman
- Is the NBA up for a shot of woman power?
- Next target: the White House?
5-23-18 Saudi Arabia widens crackdown on women's rights activists
Saudi Arabia has reportedly arrested three more women's rights activists in a crackdown launched just weeks before a ban on women driving will be lifted. Human rights groups said at least 11 people, most of them women who had long campaigned for the right to drive, had now been detained since last week. Officials have said they are suspected of "suspicious contact with foreign parties" and undermining "stability". Other activists have said the crackdown is "unprecedented" and "shocking". The US has expressed concern about the detentions and said it is "keeping a close eye" on the progress of reforms in the Gulf state, which is a key regional ally. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, drew widespread praise last year when they announced that the decades-old ban on women driving would end on 24 June. Saudi women's rights activists, including those who have been imprisoned for defying the ban, celebrated the decision. But they also vowed to continue campaigning for the end of other laws they consider discriminatory. Women must adhere to a strict dress code, be separated from unrelated men, and be accompanied by or receive written permission from a male guardian - usually a father, husband or brother - if they want to travel, work or access healthcare. During an interview with CBS News in March before a trip to the US, the crown prince stated: "Saudi women still have not received their full rights. There are rights stipulated in Islam that they still don't have. We have come a very long way and have a short way to go." (Webmaster's comment: Another barbaric nation still in the dark ages!)
5-22-18 New York Stock Exchange appoints first female leader
The New York Stock Exchange has appointed its first female leader more than two centuries after it was established. Stacey Cunningham will be elevated to the leadership role from her current position of chief operating officer. Her appointment means that both NYSE and the technology-focused Nasdaq exchange will now be run by women. Ms Cunningham replaces Thomas Farley, who had run America's best-known stock exchange since 2013. She began her career at JJC, later part of Bank of America Securities and held senior positions at Nasdaq before taking up roles at the NYSE. But in an interview last year with the Financial Times newspaper she said she first "fell in love" with the trading floor during a summer internship while studying engineering at university. She also compared her experiences share dealing with her other passion, cooking. Ms Cunningham spent nine months mid-career studying culinary management, including a stint in a New York restaurant. She told the Financial Times the environments were similar: "The way you interact with your co-workers during stress - everyone knows not to take it personally, for the most part. "On the floor you might in the heat of the moment be aggressively fighting over a trade, and at the end of the day go grab a beer together." Adena Friedman became chief executive of the Nasdaq, which is dominated by technology companies, in January 2017. However, the NYSE and Nasdaq no longer dominate trading the way they used to. The rise of electronic trading has reduced the proportion of share trading business that goes through the two exchanges, which are often rivals competing for new listings such as Spotify and Snap, both of which floated on the NYSE.
5-20-18 Saudi Arabia women's driving activists 'targeted in smear campaign'
The woman behind the movement to allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia says she and her fellow activists in the kingdom are being targeted in a smear campaign. Saudi native Manal al-Sharif said she has been receiving death threats online ahead of the ban's removal. She was speaking after several activists in the kingdom were arrested. They have been accused of being "traitors" and working with foreign powers - charges Amnesty International called "blatant intimidation tactics". The group is accused of "contact with foreign entities with the aim of undermining the country's stability and social fabric", the human rights group said. Manal al-Sharif, who is currently living in Australia, said the "organised defamation campaign" targeting the activists was similar to the campaign that targeted the movement in 2011. The ban is due to be lifted on 24 June. Seven people - men and women - were arrested earlier this week. They are believed to include Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known figure in the campaign for women's driving rights. Ms Hathloul has been detained previously, including once in 2014 when she attempted to drive across the border from the United Arab Emirates. She served 73 days at a juvenile detention centre as a result, and documented many of her experiences on Twitter. Amnesty said it believes that women's rights activists Eman al-Nafjan, Aziz al-Yousef, Dr Aisha al-Manea, Dr Ibrahim al-Modeimigh, and Mohammad al-Rabea have also been arrested. Saudi Arabia's laws require women to seek male permission for various decisions and actions, and that extends to the ban on women driving. Previously, that meant that families had to hire private drivers to transport female relatives.
5-19-18 Saudi Arabia detains seven activists ahead of lifting of driving ban
Saudi authorities have arrested seven women's rights advocates, weeks before the kingdom is due to lift its ban on women driving, rights groups say. The reasons for the arrests were not clear, but activists say authorities are attempting to silence the women. The kingdom's state news channel reported that they had been arrested for contacts with a foreign power. Saudi Arabia has strict laws requiring women to seek male permission for various decisions and actions. Seven people in total have been detained, including two male activists. They include Loujain al-Hathloul and Eman al-Nafjan, who have all publicly opposed the driving ban, which is due to be lifted on 24 June. According to Human Rights Watch, both Ms Nafjan and Ms Hathloul signed a petition in 2016 to abolish the male guardianship system, which prevents women from travelling abroad, marrying or obtaining a passport without the permission of a male guardian. Ms Hathloul has been detained twice already, once in 2014 when she attempted to drive across the border from the United Arab Emirates. She served 73 days at a juvenile detention centre as a result, and documented many of her experiences on Twitter. She was detained briefly again in June 2017 when she arrived at Dammam airport, in the east of Saudi Arabia, but was released several days later. The Saudi activist was ranked third in 2015's list of most powerful Arab women in the world, and has appeared alongside high-profile figures, such as the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, at the One Young World summit in 2016 for young leaders. Ms Nafjan also hit the headlines in 2013 when she filmed another female activist driving through the Saudi capital, before she was stopped by police. Ms Nafjan was released, but refused to sign a pledge that she would not drive again.
5-17-18 How physics gender gap starts in the classroom
Some progress has been made in encouraging girls to study physics at A-level, according to a report by the Institute of Physics (IoP). In 2016, 1.9% of girls chose A-level physics, up from 1.6% in 2011. But that compared with 6.5% for boys in 2016 and 44% of schools in England still send no girls at all to study the subject. The IoP said physics-based skills were essential for many future careers, from artificial intelligence to aerospace. However, the gender balance at physics A-level in England's schools has changed little in decades, with only 20% being female. "There is no evidence to suggest any intrinsic differences in ability or interest to explain why girls and boys choose technical subjects differently," said IoP President, Prof Dame Julia Higgins. "The consequences of girls' choices at school are that many rewarding and fulfilling routes are closed off to them." The report, Why Not Physics? - A Snapshot of Girls' Uptake at A-level, found only 1.9% of girls chose A-level physics in 2016, compared with 6.5% of boys. In 2011, 1.6% of girls chose the subject, compared with 6.1% of boys. In contrast, 8% of girls and 12.3% of boys progressed to maths A-level. In subjects such as English and psychology, the trend is reversed, with far more girls than boys choosing the subjects. The IoP is hosting a summit on Thursday to tackle gender inequality in the classroom and to debate new ways to close the gender gap in the take-up of physics A-level. "An ill-judged quip that girls 'can't do maths', or 'physics is too hard', can lead to girls making life-changing decisions that alter the subjects they study or the career they pursue," said Prof Higgins in a foreword to the report. "Women in physics are still in the minority, and this lack of visibility preserves the myth and cements the fact that physics is simply not a subject for girls."
5-13-18 Men-only event at US mosque sparks backlash
A small Muslim community in upstate New York has been thrust into a debate on the place of women after one of their members made a call for change on social media. For the Hudson Islamic Center, 29 April was a momentous day. After more than 20 years praying in another building's basement, they were ready to begin work on a space of their own. While they had acquired land in 2007, the community had spent years collecting funds for construction. Now with contributions from the working-class families that made up their community and a commitment from a New York City Muslim builder to take payment in phases, the time had come to build a mosque. On the bright Sunday morning, the community gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony. Local dignitaries were invited, speeches were made and the $1.5m project - a three-floor structure with two minarets and a dome - was unveiled. Missing from the picture, however, were the women from the community, many of whom had been actively involved in fundraising. A local Muslim woman, Jabin Ahmed Ruhii, took to Facebook to express her frustration. "Although the invitation letter said, 'dear brothers and sisters' - the men were explicitly told that women are not a part of this gathering," she wrote. Ruhii, 24, called the exclusion "discrimination against women and young girls". "Islam is for everyone, not just those with a particular reproductive organ," Ruhii wrote. "The women in this community have always served the Islamic Center with whatever resources they have, without ever having been welcomed by our fellow Muslim brothers. She said women would "continue to support" the centre "regardless of whether they are welcomed or not". "But I for one will not remain silent." The president of the Islamic Center, Abdul Hannan, says the lack of women at the ground breaking was a "miscommunication". Hannan says there wasn't enough space for women and because of security concerns not all community members were invited. (Webmaster's comment: There is always some male excuse for excluding those "inferior" women beings isn't there.)
5-12-18 Cannes 2018: Female stars protest on red carpet for equal rights
Dozens of women film stars have held a protest at the Cannes film festival against gender-based discrimination in the industry. Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Salma Hayek were among those taking part in the red-carpet demonstration. The prestigious Cannes festival has come under criticism for failing to showcase more films by women directors. The protest comes after a period of turmoil in the industry following allegations of sexual harassment. This is the first Cannes festival since allegations of sexual abuse were first made against producer Harvey Weinstein last year. He has always denied engaging in non-consensual sex. The actresses and film-makers linked arms to stroll along the red carpet. Cate Blanchett spoke of the film industry's gender inequalities. "We are 82 women, representing the number of female directors who have climbed these stairs since the first edition of the Cannes film festival in 1946. In the same period, 1,688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs," the two-time Oscar winner said. "The prestigious Palme d'Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors, too numerous to mention by name, but only two female directors," Ms Blanchett remarked. The women taking part in the protest included all of the festival's female jury members and many women actors, directors and producers.
5-10-18 Meet the only female broker on New York's stock exchange
The New York Stock Exchange trading floor is one of the most familiar symbols of American business. But in 2018, the arena that prides itself on predicting the future is stuck in the past in one respect - it's almost entirely staffed by men. Enter Lauren Simmons, the only full-time female broker on the New York Stock Exchange floor, as well as the only African-American woman, and at 23, the youngest. She told the BBC's Joe Miller what it's like to work in the male-dominated maelstrom.
5-5-18 Japan bullfighting: Women allowed into 'pure' ring after ban lifted
A woman has been allowed to enter a Japanese traditional bullfighting ring for the first time after a ban was lifted in a bid to modernise the sport. Yuki Araki accompanied her animal on the opening day of the season in Hokkaido island's Yamakoshi district. Women had previously been banned once the ring was deemed to have been purified with salt and rice wine. Japanese bullfighting, known as "togyu", differs from the Spanish version in that no bull is killed. Instead two of the animals lock horns and attempt to push each other back. The bulls have coaches to encourage them and the fight is over if one gores the other. There is no bullfighter in the centuries-old sport. Bullfighting officials said the move was necessary for the sport to appeal to the #MeToo generation. In recent months Japanese women have spoken out about sexual harassment. Two top officials subsequently resigned over sex scandals. "Equality for men and women is a trend of the times," said Katsushi Seki, an official with the Yamakoshi bullfight organisation. "By opening the ring to women, we hope this traditional bullfighting will continue far into the future," he told AFP.
5-2-18 What makes this Girl Scouts group special?
Troop 6000 is a regular Girl Scouts group in New York - with one small difference. "We let them know they can dream," says one of the troop leaders.
5-1-18 Tackling cricket's gender pay gap
England's women cricketers have just finished their tour of India, where they have taken on the highest paid female cricketers in the world. Recent pay rises for stars in the Indian women's team has drawn the pay gap in the sport into sharp relief.
4-28-18 Sumo wrestling: The growing sexism problem in Japan's traditional sport
Japan's sumo wrestling authority has postponed a decision on the sport's "men-only" policy. The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) met after a recent string of scandals, including when women were made to leave the ring after stepping in to help a man. Women are traditionally believed to be "unclean" and cannot enter the space. JSA director Toshio Takano said they needed more time, calling it "an extremely difficult issue". In April, Maizuru city mayor Ryozo Tatami collapsed in a sumo ring, known as "dohyo", when he was giving a speech. Women rushed to help the mayor, but they were ordered to leave by the referee. Local media reports spectators then watched salt being thrown into the ring - a practice performed before a match to purify the space. The Japan Sumo Association faced universal condemnation for the referee's actions, and association chief Nobuyoshi Hakkaku apologised for the "inappropriate act". But within days, the association came under fresh fire after denying the female mayor of a city entry to the ring. Tomoko Nakagawa, mayor of Takarazuka, asked the association if she could deliver a speech before an exhibition match in the city, but was reportedly told to "give due respect to tradition". "Female mayors are also humans," she reportedly said in a speech delivered beside the ring. "I am frustrated that I cannot give this speech on the dohyo just because I am a woman." The association also ruled girls could not take part in a spring sumo tour in which young people could join the wrestlers in the ring, citing safety concerns - despite girls having taken part in previous years.
4-25-18 Texas mid-terms: Record number of women standing
The women taking on Trump! A record number of women are standing for the 2018 US mid-term elections. Texas has seen one of the biggest jumps in the country.
4-20-18 Closing the gender gap in some science fields may take over 100 years
280 years may pass before there is an equal number of men and women in computer science. If you’re a female computer scientist, you may not see an equal number of men and women working in your field in this century — or even the next one. It might take a whopping 280 years for that scientific discipline to bridge the gender gap, researchers report online April 19 in PLOS Biology. The study predicts when the gender gap will close in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine, or STEMM, fields. Scientists from the University of Melbourne in Australia used a computer program to determine the number of men and women authors listed on more than 10 million academic papers in nearly 5,000 academic journals and about 120 arXiv.org subcategories, published from 2002 to 2016. (Authors with gender-ambiguous names such as Chris or Robin were not included in the analysis, which still preserved 92 percent of the data and didn’t appreciably change the final results.) This database allowed the researchers to estimate each field’s present-day author gender ratio, its rate of change over time and when gender parity is estimated to occur. The number of women authoring research papers is a reliable predictor of the number of women working in each field, the team writes. In 87 of the 115 disciplines analyzed, male authors significantly outnumber female authors. Women exceed men in only five fields, including nursing and midwifery. Some fields such as physics, mathematics and chemistry have the fewest number of women authors and would take the longest to reach gender parity. It will take about 131 years to close the gender gap in astrophysics, for example, and about 60 years in mathematics, the researchers estimate.
4-20-18 Closing gender gap in physics 'will take generations'
Closing the gender gap in physics will take hundreds of years, given the current rate of progress. That's the finding of research analysing the names of authors listed on millions of scientific papers. Physics, computer science, maths and chemistry had the fewest women, while nursing and midwifery had the most. Without further interventions, the gender gap is likely to persist for generations, said scientists from the University of Melbourne. "Of the gender-biased disciplines, almost all are moving towards parity, though some are predicted to take decades or even centuries to reach it," said Dr Cindy Hauser. The researchers used computer methods to analyse the genders of authors listed in databases (PubMed and ArXiv) containing thousands of scientific papers published over the past 15 years. They found that 87 of the 115 subjects examined had fewer than 45% women authors. Women are increasingly working in male-biased fields such as physics (17% women), while men are increasingly working in female-biased fields such as nursing (75% women). However, forecasts suggest it will take a very long time to close the gender gap in some fields, with predictions of 320 years for nursing, 280 years for computer science, 258 years for physics and 60 years for mathematics. "The solutions are out there but it's difficult to bring about change and get people to act on them," said Dr Luke Holman. "We haven't acted on them enough because it's difficult to change the way that people have always done things and it's maybe not afforded as high a priority as it should be by people in positions of power in the scientific industry and academia."
4-17-18 The first person on Mars 'should be a woman'
A senior Nasa engineer has said the first person to set foot on Mars should be a woman. Allison McIntyre, who puts prospective space travellers through their paces at Johnson Space Center in Houston, noted that all 12 people who have walked on the Moon were men. She believes women should be at the forefront if and when the agency sends its first human missions to Mars. BBC Radio 5 live has been behind the scenes at Nasa in Texas and Florida. They have been meeting women at the forefront of the 21st century space race. It's more than half a century since Russia sent the first woman into space, and 40 years since Nasa selected its first female astronaut. But there still hasn't been a woman on the Moon, and women remain under represented in science and engineering industries on both sides of the Atlantic. Allison has an incredible view from her office window - on to the floor of the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston. This huge building is packed with full-size versions of International Space Station (ISS) modules and other spacecraft, where astronauts train before going into space. Allison is in charge of the facility: "I love it. They're going to have to take me out of here kicking and screaming when it's time for me to do something else." She's been with Nasa for nearly 30 years and has seen huge changes in that time: "My centre director is a woman, my former division chief is a woman, we have female astronauts, but we haven't put a woman on the Moon yet, and I think the first person on Mars should be a woman." Nasa astronaut Karen Nyberg has already spent more than six months in space aboard the ISS. "When I was selected as an astronaut in 2000, I thought that might be a realistic possibility that we would be the next to go to the Moon, so it's unfortunate we weren't."
4-13-18 Can this woman become the first cop in Quebec to wear a hijab?
A 17-year-old woman is at the centre of a heated debate in Canada over whether police officers should be allowed to wear hijabs or turbans. Sondos Lamrhari is the first student in Quebec to wear a hijab while studying to become a police officer. A Quebec politician said she should not be allowed on the police force, which has ignited a firestorm on both sides of the issue. Meanwhile, a law banning face coverings in public services is going to court. Ms Lamrhari says she will not let the controversy deter her from her dream career of working for the Montreal or Laval police forces. "I feel like all the other kids. I don't think I have a better or worse chance of getting into this career path," she told Radio-Canada. "Any insults just motivate me." Religious symbols - especially head coverings worn by Muslims - have frequently become a topic of bitter debate in Quebec, where state secularism is highly prized. The issue of whether public servants should be allowed to wear religious symbols or clothing has arisen in all recent elections.Last September the province passed a religious neutrality law that bars people from wearing face coverings when giving or receiving a public service. It did not specifically mention the Muslim faith, but critics said it targeted Muslim women who wear veils that cover the face. The bill had been proposed by the ruling Liberal government two years ago. Since passage, it has been put on hold while it faces a human rights challenge in court. (Webmaster's comment: As long as the head covering does not cover the face no one should have any problem with it.)
4-5-18 The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote
Though we all know that American women secured the right to vote only about a century ago, “most modern readers will be astonished to learn exactly how it all went down,” said Marjorie Kehe in CSMonitor.com. In the summer of 1920, the fate of the 19th Amendment hung in the balance when pro- and anti-suffrage forces converged on Tennessee for a crucial showdown. Just one more state was needed to ratify the constitutional amendment, but even suffragist leaders believed Tennessee might bury the cause, perhaps for years. Though the “Suffs” were out in force, the “Antis” were just as visible, led by Josephine Pearson, a professor determined to prevent her state from becoming the first in the South to endorse the measure. “There was scheming, double-dealing, and flip-flopping up to the last moment,” and in her new book, author Elaine Weiss has made the drama “an out-and-out nail-biter.” Weiss initially rewinds to 19th-century America, and “it is hard to believe how powerless women were,” said Mims Cushing in the Jacksonville, Fla., Times-Union. When the suffrage movement began, married women had no rights to property or to their children, and many accepted the notion that society benefited when women remained uncorrupted by engagement in the public sphere. In 1920, Carrie Chapman Catt and other suffragists were still battling that idea. But anxiety about maintaining woman’s purity wasn’t the only obstacle, said Zlati Meyer in USA Today. The Antis reminded white Tennesseans that extending suffrage to women would increase the total number of African-American voters. And because Tennessee depended on its liquor industry, the Antis plied lawmakers with free whiskey and warned that women voters would push for the passage of Prohibition. In a book that “could have easily become snooze-worthy,” such color is welcome. But because so much information is packed in, “much of the drama seeps out.”
4-1-18 How these Guatemalan women are transforming their town
dia Florentino Cumes greets visitors to her small, bright office with a giggle before grabbing a brochure and launching into a well-honed explanation of what it means to paint this entire town on the banks of Guatemala's majestic Lake Atitlán. "These are the base colors," she said recently, displaying a palette with names like "water," "mud," and "green stone." Butterflies, cornstalks, and the national bird, the quetzal, will cover facades, she says, pointing to a pattern on her huipil, a traditional woven blouse, to show where the inspiration for the designs come from. Cumes is one of several women helping helm a project to paint the 800 homes of Santa Catarina Palopó using colors and designs that imitate weavings made by indigenous women. Nearly 50 homes have been painted thus far, and 150 are on a waitlist for the next round. The group plans to complete the project by the end of 2019. The goal is to strengthen community cohesion to tackle problems like a lack of sanitation and draw more visitors to the town, helping create jobs around tourism. But the connection to weaving gives it special resonance among women in the community — and by taking leadership of the initiative, they are also gaining the ability to challenge traditional gender roles. It's not just having something pretty or nice or clean, "it's also a growing process," said Cumes, the promotions coordinator for the project, Pintando Santa Catarina Palopó, and a longtime community organizer, who, single at 29 and having gone to technical school for career administration, is already bucking social norms in Guatemala.
3-29-18 NFL cheerleader says she was fired over Instagram photo
Dancing for the New Orleans Saintsations cheerleading squad was a lifelong dream for Bailey Davis. Those dreams were crushed after three years on the job when she says she was fired for a "distasteful" Instagram post. Now, the former cheerleader has filed a complaint against the National Football League (NFL). Davis grew up in Ellisville, Mississippi. Her family travelled 150 miles (240km) to Louisiana to support the New Orleans Saints football team each season. Her mother worked as a choreographer for the Saintsations for 18 years and Davis grew up around the women with the goal of someday becoming one of them. After high school, Davis finally had her chance to dance in the Superdome, where the Saints play. She was invited to become a Saintsation after a year of junior college. The 22-year-old spent three seasons travelling with the 2010 Super Bowl champions until she was fired on 23 January. The photo that she said led to her dismissal showed Davis in a lingerie body suit, which her employer allegedly claimed violated Saints policy. "This letter is your confirmation of the termination of your employment with the New Orleans Louisiana Saints effective today... due to failure to comply with Saintsations rules and regulations", the letter, seen by the BBC, reads. The "rules and regulations" referred to in the letter are anti-fraternisation policies between dancers and players and semi-nude photos posted on social media. The NFL team's employee handbook says: "Nude, semi-nude, or lingerie photography is strictly prohibited and terms for immediate dismissal". The rule, however, does not apply to Saints football players and is only required for Saintsation cheerleaders.
3-27-18 The inequality delusion: Why we’ve got the wealth gap all wrong
A dislike of economic inequality supposedly runs deep in our psychology, but the evidence suggests that we actually prefer it that way. YOU are probably aware that there are high levels of inequality in the world and that inequality is getting worse. But it is unlikely that you appreciate just how unequal things are. So here is a way of visualising it. Take the wealth of the eight richest people on the planet and combine it. Now do the same for the poorest 3.5 billion. The two sums are the same, £350 billion. Correct: just eight people own as much wealth as half of the world’s population. That is just one of many eye-watering measures of inequality. Consider that in the US, almost 85 per cent of the wealth is owned by just 20 per cent of the population, and the bottom 40 per cent own just 0.3 per cent of it. In 1960, a chief executive in the US typically earned 20 times as much as an average worker. Today it is more like 354 times. Most people find these numbers shocking, even obscene, and inequality has become one of the world’s most serious issues. Early in his second term, President Obama called it “the defining challenge of our time”; Pope Francis has described it as “the root of social evil”. The general public also rank it highly. When the Pew Research Center asked people in 44 countries whether they thought the gap between rich and poor was a “big problem”, a majority in all 44 said it was. A majority in 28 said it was a “very big” problem. The idea that inequality needs to be reduced now almost goes without saying. I agree – but my training as a cognitive scientist warns me we should be careful how we go about it. Some fights for equality, such as against racial prejudice, are morally straightforward. But the battle against economic inequality isn’t so simple.
3-27-18 Tackling inequality means first understanding the problem
Research shows it’s not actually inequality we care about – it’s unfairness. But that fact shouldn’t be interpreted as supporting the status quo. WHEN the primatologist Frans de Waal wrote in 2010 that “Robin Hood had it right – humanity’s deepest wish is to spread the wealth”, he captured a prevalent mood after the great financial crash of 2008. This also reflected results emerging from the laboratories of neuroeconomists, which found that humans are egalitarian to a fault. And so our prevailing assumption was that income inequality is a recent aberration: that we are at heart noble, benevolent beings with an altruistic aversion to inequality. Humans are also gullible to a fault, and we like hearing what we want to hear. More recent research shows there is no such thing as inequality aversion; we actually quite like inequality, even when we lose out (“The inequality delusion: Why we’ve got the wealth gap all wrongs”). What we want is fairness – the harder-to-measure sense that any excess an individual makes stands in fair proportion to what they put in. These insights should not be misinterpreted as a scientific justification of the status quo. The levels of inequality that people are comfortable with are much less than those seen in the US, UK and elsewhere. There is no doubt that curbing the pay excesses of those at the top can contribute to a greater sense of fairness. But if equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome, is the ultimate goal, only longer-term fixes will do: better education and training and, yes, an increased emphasis on the role of scientific knowledge in a fair society.
3-15-18 Unequal pay in the extreme
Thanks to a rule in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, U.S. companies have begun revealing the gap between their median worker’s pay and their CEO’s annual compensation. At the insurance company Humana, the median employee made $57,385 while the CEO made 344 times that much, or $19.8 million. Whirlpool’s median worker was a full-timer in Brazil earning $19,906 a year, while the CEO made $7.08 million, or 356 times as much.
3-15-18 More female billionaires than ever
There are now more female billionaires than ever. Of the 2,208 people with a nine-figure fortune on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, 256 of them are women—just 12 percent, but a record high.
3-15-18 Women Still Struggling in Parity Pioneering Western Europe
Western Europe comes closer to achieving gender parity than any other region of the world. But Gallup data suggest that like women everywhere, Western European women are struggling to balance the demands of work and family life, and this balancing act is leaving many of them emotionally drained. Gallup and the International Labour Organization's 2016 global study of men's and women's attitudes toward women and work show women in Western Europe are among the most likely in the world to say they want to both work at paid jobs and care for their homes and families. Sixty-two percent say they want to do both, while just 13% want to stay home. This preference to do both is stronger among women with children younger than 15 at home (68%) than those without children at home (60%). By far, doing both -- balancing work and family obligations -- is the No. 1 problem women and men in Western Europe see facing women who work at paid jobs in their countries. Among women in Western Europe, those working full time (37%) or part time (41%) are more likely to cite this as the biggest challenge than women out of the workforce (32%).
- Balancing Work and Family Is the No. 1 Problem for Working Women in Westen Europe
3-14-18 The seven places where women earn more than men in US
A new analysis by Stateline, a publication of the Pew Charitable Trusts, found only seven communities across the country where women make significantly more than men.
3-13-18 The office where only women are allowed to work
There have been men-only clubs for centuries. The Wing is a co-working space in New York exclusively for women. Should there be more like this around the world?
3-8-18 Streisand’s trail blazing
Barbra Streisand has been doing things her own way for years, said Ramin Setoodeh in Variety. The showbiz legend lives on a 3-acre estate in Malibu, Calif., meticulously designed by Streisand herself. She shares the home with her husband, James Brolin, and their three dogs—two of them clones of her beloved coton de Tuléar, Samantha, who died in 2017 at age 14. “They have different personalities,” she says of Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett, who were created using cells from Samantha’s mouth and stomach. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her brown eyes and seriousness.” Streisand, 75, is very comfortable breaking with convention. In 1983, she became the first woman to direct, produce, co-write, and star in a single studio movie, Yentl. “I didn’t know it was a glass ceiling. I just thought, They don’t believe in a woman’s capacity to handle finances or to be the businessman. I was told, ‘A woman wants control? That’s crazy!’” As a director, she has had numerous fights with her male stars and cameramen, who have repeatedly questioned her decisions. But Streisand has total faith in women’s abilities. “We’re giving [men] the benefit of the doubt that we’re equal. I think women are more powerful than men.”
3-8-18 International Women's Day: Spain's workers in 'feminist strike'
Women workers in Spain are marking International Women's Day with an unprecedented strike targeting gender inequality and sexual discrimination. Work has been halted as part of a 24-hour strike organised by the 8 March Commission and backed by 10 unions and some of Spain's top women politicians. Scores of marches under the slogan "if we stop, the world stops" are taking place across Spain. Events marking the day are being held in dozens of other nations. Women taking part have stopped working and have been urged by organisers to spend no money and ditch any domestic chores for the day. Police were called to stop protesters blocking main roads in Barcelona but some women pickets still brought areas to a standstill. Public transport nationwide is available but at reduced services and flights have also been affected. Evening marches in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and a number of other cities are leading events in 200 Spanish locations. Many prominent women in the media were absent from their programmes. The 8 March Commission is behind the strike. Its manifesto calls for "a society free of sexist oppression, exploitation and violence" and says: "We do not accept worse working conditions, nor being paid less than men for the same work." A poll of 1,500 people for the El Pais daily suggested 82% supported the strike, while 76% thought women in Spain had harder lives than men.
3-8-18 Iran jails woman for removing headscarf in public
An Iranian woman who publicly removed her veil to protest against a mandatory hijab law has been sentenced to two years in prison, prosecutors say. The woman, who has not been officially named, was found guilty of "encouraging moral corruption", Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said. He added that 21 months of the woman's sentence had been suspended and that she was in need of medical treatment. It follows dozens of similar arrests of Iranian women in recent weeks. Most of those detained for defying the country's strict law on appearing in public in a headscarf have been released without charge. The woman sentenced in the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday was jailed for three months without parole. She is "in need of long-term medical treatment and has to be seen by a psychiatrist", Mr Jafari-Dolatabadi said. He criticised the suspension of the majority of her sentence and argued that she should serve the full term of her penalty. In December, an Iranian woman who was detained after defiantly taking off her headscarf and holding it on a stick in Tehran became the face of protests in the country. Images of her standing on a telecoms box in a busy street in the city were widely shared on social media. The woman was later freed. The photograph of the woman was first widely used in connection to the White Wednesday campaign in which women in Iran wear white to protest against the country's strict dress code. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, women have been forced to cover their hair according to Islamic law on modesty.
3-8-18 Climate change 'impacts women more than men'
Women are more likely than men to be affected by climate change, studies show. UN figures indicate that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. Roles as primary caregivers and providers of food and fuel make them more vulnerable when flooding and drought occur. The 2015 Paris Agreement has made specific provision for the empowerment of women, recognising that they are disproportionately impacted. In central Africa, where up to 90% of Lake Chad has disappeared, nomadic indigenous groups are particularly at risk. As the lake's shoreline recedes, women have to walk much further to collect water. "In the dry season, men go to the towns... leaving women to look after the community," explains Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Women and People of Chad (AFPAT). With dry seasons now becoming longer, women are working harder to feed and care for their families without support. "They become more vulnerable... it's very hard work," Ibrahim recently told the BBC's 100 Women initiative.
3-5-18 NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson's 5 tips for success
Peggy Whitson likes to break records. Late last year, the NASA astronaut set a new record for the most cumulative time spent in space — 665 cumulative days — by any U.S. astronaut, and any female astronaut in the world. She ranks eighth on the all-time space endurance list. Her most recent mission, Expedition 50/51, allowed Whitson to participate in four spacewalks, bringing her career total to 10. Her two previous missions to space comprised of two six-month tours of duty for Expedition 5 and Expedition 16 in 2002 and 2008, respectively, when she was a flight engineer on board the space station and shuttle. Now back on Earth, Whitson, 58, is enjoying a little rest and relaxation — and a mandatory post-flight six-month stay on the ground. As for what's next, she jokes that she's still trying to figure out what she's going to do when she grows up. While she isn't sure — or perhaps can't share — what her next space mission will be, Whitson reflects on her meteoric career, and the lessons she's learned about perseverance along the way.
- Be humble but determined
- Follow your gut
- Adaptability is key
- Do the grunt work with gratitude
- There are a lot of rejections on the way to the top
3-1-18 Women challenge Turkey traditions for right to work
The piping-hot tea washes down the Turkish classics: stuffed vine-leaves, cheese pie and bulgur salad. For Emel Resuloglu and her circle it's a monthly tradition: the women's get-together around the dinner table, or "gün" in Turkish, when one member of the group gets a little money or a gold coin. Turkey cherishes its traditions. But there's one that some here feel is holding the country back socially and economically - that of women not working, cast only as the home-maker. "I got a university place but my father didn't want me to go", Ms Resuloglu says, as a freshly-baked cake is added to the table. "So I didn't work, I married and had children at 21 and I regret not studying. "Some women can't find jobs and others in Turkey are married off young. It's an old-fashioned mentality." Just 34% of women in Turkey work, by far the lowest of the 35 industrialised countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where the average is 63%. Critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan say his rhetoric is worsening the situation. At a rally two years ago, he called women who aren't mothers "deficient". Previously, he's urged women to have at least three children and denounced birth control as "treason". Turkey now ranks 130 of 144 in the gender gap index of the World Economic Forum, based on access to health services, educational attainment, economic participation and political empowerment.
2-26-18 Saudi Arabia allows women to join military
Saudi Arabia has for the first time opened applications for women to join its military. Women have until Thursday to apply for positions with the rank of soldier in the provinces of Riyadh, Mecca, al-Qassim and Medina. The roles do not appear to involve combat, but will instead give women the opportunity to work in security. A list of 12 requirements says hopefuls must be Saudi citizens, aged between 25 and 35, and have a high-school diploma. The women and their male guardians - usually a husband, father, brother or son - must also have a place of residence in the same province as the job's location. The decision to recruit female soldiers is one of many reforms enhancing women's rights introduced in recent months in the conservative Muslim kingdom. King Salman has decreed that women will be permitted to drive from June, while women spectators were allowed to attend football matches from last month. However, human rights activists say Saudi Arabia's discriminatory male guardianship system remains intact despite government pledges to abolish it. Under the system, adult women must obtain permission to travel, marry or leave prison. They may be required to provide consent to work or access healthcare. Women are also separated from unrelated men and must wear full-length robes known as "abayas" in public, as well as headscarves if they are Muslims.
2-19-18 Gaza women's TV channel blocked by Hamas
Authorities in Gaza have blocked the launch of a women's television channel there, just before it was due to go on air. Officials from the Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas, which dominates the territory, said Taif TV had not obtained the necessary licences. However the channel said it had met all the legal requirements. Civil liberties groups have long criticised Hamas for what they say is a poor record on women's rights in Gaza. The Palestinian independent Maan news agency said Hamas had on Sunday banned a launch party for the channel, after which it was meant to begin broadcasting. The Hamas-run Ministry of Information said Taif TV did not have legal permission, despite being repeatedly informed of the need for relevant licences. "The management of the channel was asked to settle their legal status, to obtain licences to start work and were notified of another licensed media organisation of the same name," the ministry said. The channel denied this was the case, saying it belonged to media organisations which had both been licensed by the Ministry of Information and Ministry of Economy. "Therefore, they are legal to do their media production work and use social media platforms," it said in a statement. "That does not violate Palestinian law and is part of the basics of free media activity." Taif TV says it is the first channel of its kind and aims to "shed light on Palestinian women as an integral part of the social fabric, and the role of women in building society". In a video on its Facebook page, the channel's manager is seen thanking a crowd of people outside its building for "believing in Taif's ideas. "Our idea will remain and we will keep working on it," he says.
2-15-18 Spanish woman's 'sexist' rejection letter sparks furore
A Spanish company has been criticised for allegedly rejecting a woman for a job on the grounds she was not a man. PR agency Impulsa Comunicación told Carla Forcada the account executive role "needed a man who could handle the pace of working with big companies". The agency has now been dropped by Coca-Cola and other firms after she posted about it on social media. The PR agency said that it was never its intention to discriminate against Ms Forcada. But Ms Forcada, 25, shared a screenshot of a message that read: "Believe me, they need a man." She said on Twitter (in Spanish) that it was "incredible that companies that practice gender-based discrimination in the workplace still exist". Ms Forcada, who studied marketing and communication and lives in Barcelona, told La Vanguardia newspaper that she felt "insulted as she could do the job as well as any man". She said she received a later email offering her a job opportunity because "someone in the company knew her". To show her anger at the discrimination that she believes she experienced, Ms Forcada tweeted at clients who had contracts with Impulsa Comunicación. Coca-Cola said that they would not work with the agency any more and expressed their discomfort at Ms Forcada's experience. In a tweet, they said that they support companies which have "an inclusive, diverse and equal hiring policy. We are very sorry that our name has been aligned with this discriminatory and unfortunate response".
2-14-18 Credibility does not hinge on wearing sleeves
Quick wardrobe change needed today. I'm going sleeveless on Beyond 100 Days. I hope this does not mean my credibility is shot and my gravitas is sunk. According to the former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, I'm taking a risk. Ms Campbell came under fire for an approving tweet about a blog post that appeared to suggest people who wear more clothes are seen as smarter. Which raises the question - would a burka raise my perceived IQ? I anchor a daily news show, sometimes I wear sleeves, sometimes I wear sleeveless. I am not aware that either my ability or my talent change according to my outfit. I am not aware of any studies that show a woman's IQ is diminished by the length of her sleeve. Ms Campbell's point is that bare arms are distracting. But this is a slippery slope argument that has been used throughout history, and around the world, to keep women covered up. When Katie Couric, the legendary anchor of NBC's hit morning programme, The Today Show, first went on set without stockings in the 1990s, she became the object of similar criticism. Her bare legs were seen as a distraction. Now, it would be laughable to suggest a lack of stockings undermines a woman's credibility. I suspect women had the same pushback when they shed their gloves and their hats too. It's not just that a woman's gravitas is erroneously linked to what she wears, it's more that every time women's fashion removes some article of clothing, gloves, hats, stockings, sleeves, we face criticism that we are somehow undermining our seriousness. Men don't have this issue because they are stuck in suits; it's a bit of a red herring to argue women should do the same. It's the difference between male and female fashion, and it's part of our culture.
2-14-18 Ex-gymnast and Nassar survivor poses naked with the word 'survivor'
Ex-USA gymnast Alexandra Raisman has posed naked with the words "women do not have to be modest to be respected" written on her. Other words she chose to put on her body were "fierce", "trust yourself" and "survivor". Aly was one of more than 100 victims who were sexually abused by USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. She said it was important to talk about what she went through as hard times were "equally important in shaping us". Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison last month following evidence from nearly 160 of his victims. Aly, who testified at his sentencing, posted the photo on Twitter and Instagram along with a message to fans. "Women do not have to be modest to be respected-- Live for you! Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves however makes them happy. Women can be intelligent, fierce, sexy, powerful, strong, advocate for change while wearing what makes them feel best. The time where women are taught to be ashamed of their bodies is OVER. The female body is beautiful and we should all be proud of who we are, inside and out." (Webmaster's comment: You Go Woman!)
2-10-18 Saudi women should not have to wear long robes, top cleric says
Saudi women should not have to wear the abaya, a long loose-fitting robe used to cover their bodies in public, a top religious cleric has said.. Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said women should dress modestly, but this did not have to mean wearing the abaya. Saudi women are currently required to wear the garment by law. The cleric's intervention comes amid moves to modernise Saudi society and relax restriction on women. "More than 90% of pious Muslim women in the Muslim world do not wear abayas. So we should not force people to wear abayas," Sheikh Mutlaq said on Friday. It is the first time a senior cleric has made such a statement, which may form the basis of Saudi law in the future.
2-9-18 Colombian students in miniskirt protest against sexism
A Colombian university has faced a backlash after advising female students not to wear miniskirts to avoid "distracting classmates and teachers". Branding the advice sexist, students mounted a campaign to encourage everyone, male and female, to wear short skirts on campus on Thursday. Medellín's Pontifical Bolivarian University, known as UPB, had posted the advice on its website. After an outcry, it said the tips were only meant as general suggestions. "The UPB respects the right to express personalities, and has never imposed a dress code on students," said its statement, adding that the article had been mostly aimed at new students. The original post, now deleted, appeared under a heading, "How should you dress to go to university?". Some of the advice was presented as unisex, but there were plenty of tips directed at women. Dress discreetly, it advised. "There is nothing more uncomfortable than distracting your classmates or teachers. For this reason, we suggest you don't wear low necklines, short skirts or tight-fitting clothes."
2-2-18 Hijab protest
Iranian women have been taking off their headscarves and waving them on sticks to protest the country’s strict Islamic dress code. Women who show their hair in public can be imprisoned for up to two months and fined $25. In recent weeks, at least six women have been photographed standing silently on the streets of Tehran and Isfahan, holding out headscarves. The protests were inspired by Vida Movahed, 31, who was detained for a month after she removed her hijab during an anti-regime protest in December. Activist Masih Alinejad said the protesters are not anti-hijab, but anti-compulsion. “Our fight is for freedom of choice,” she said. Police said this month they would no longer enforce the hijab requirement, but at least two of the protesters have been arrested in the past week.
1-29-18 Iran frees woman who took off headscarf - lawyer
An Iranian woman detained after defiantly taking off her headscarf and holding it on a stick in Tehran has been freed, a human rights lawyer says. The woman - whose name remains unknown - became the face of protests in the country in December, and images of her were widely shared on social media. Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh now says she has seen an official dossier that shows the woman has been released. Iranian officials have so far made no public comments on the issue. "The girl of the Enghelab Avenue has been released", Mrs Sotudeh, a former political prisoner, wrote in a post on her Facebook page (in Persian) on Sunday. She was referring to the avenue where the woman took off her headscarf - a punishable offence in Iran. The lawyer said she had gone to the prosecutor's office to follow up the woman's case and had learnt of her release the previous day. "I hope they don't fabricate a legal case to harm her for using her basic rights," Mrs Sotudeh wrote. "She has not done anything wrong to deserve prosecution." The woman is believed to be a 31-year-old mother of a toddler. She has been the subject of a social media campaign in Iran, following the anti-establishment protests at the end of last year in which at least 20 people died. A hashtag in Persian asking about her whereabouts - and English-language equivalents #where_is_she and #WhereIsShe - have been used thousands of times on Twitter, as well as on other social media channels used in the country where dissent is often met with repression.
1-28-18 The suffragettes of the circus
In 1912, female acrobats, equestrians, and weightlifters took on a new high-wire act: fighting for their right to vote. a Sunday afternoon in March 1912, a group of female performers from the Barnum & Bailey Circus gathered in the animal menagerie at Madison Square Garden. Watched over by lions, a Bengalese tiger, "a two-horned rhinoceros, ostriches, yaks, pigs, seals, cassowaries, flamingos, monkeys," and a hippopotamus named Babe, they began to talk about suffrage. Among them was petite May Wirth, whose equestrian act included a running leap onto the back of a galloping horse; Victoria Codona, whose beauty was nearly as famous as her skill on the high wire; bareback rider Victoria Davenport; the "female Hercules" Katie Sandwina and many others. Barnum & Bailey billed itself as the greatest show on Earth, and these were its female stars. They'd been brought together by acrobat Zella Florence and Josephine DeMott Robinson, a retired circus bareback rider. The turnout was impressive, but notably absent were the top representatives from the Women's Political Union, a suffrage organization known for its focus on working women. Inez Millholland, a rising star in the women's suffrage movement, had planned to come. She had been quoted in the New York Press saying that "circus women exemplify one phase of the ability of women to earn their own living," and that she was interested in helping them join the fight for suffrage. But at the last minute, Millholland backed out, perhaps out of concern that the meeting was nothing but a circus publicity ploy. To replace her, Florence and Robinson crashed a tea being given by the Women's Political Union and tried to get a group of the suffragists to attend the circus meeting. According to The New York Times, these "strong and earnest women" impressed the suffragists, who sent over Miss Beatrice Jones, "as a committee of one." Back in the Madison Square Garden menagerie, "[Jones] planted herself in the center of a group of 25 or more women and girls, modishly and sedately gowned, so that you would never dream it was their daily lot to bound about, blithe and bespangled," and asked assurances from the women that their intentions were sincere. Once they had convinced her, she helped them elect officers and told them how they could contribute to the cause. To celebrate, they named a baby giraffe Miss Suffrage. For the women of Barnum & Bailey, it was the first step towards becoming suffragists. For Josephine DeMott Robinson, it was just another scrap in a long battle to find her place outside of the ring, in a world that she had always found bewildering and stifling.
1-26-18 Pompeo’s behind-the-scenes battle
Ellen Pompeo had to fight to get paid like a man, said Lacey Rose in The Hollywood Reporter. The Grey’s Anatomy star has just signed a new $20 million contract that will see her earn $575,000 per episode—making her the highest-paid actress on television. It’s a fair deal, she says, after starring in the multibillion-dollar ABC franchise for 13 years. But if Pompeo, 48, is finally getting the salary she deserves, it’s no thanks to former leading man Patrick Dempsey—aka McDreamy. “There were many times where I reached out about joining to negotiate. He was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? I’m sure I felt what a lot of actresses feel: It’s my show; why should I walk away because of a guy?” Dempsey was killed off in 2015, giving Pompeo new leverage. She got a new paycheck—and the show’s ratings actually went up. “I had a nice chuckle about that. But the truth is, the ink wasn’t even dry on his exit papers before they rushed in a new guy. I couldn’t believe how fast the network felt like they had to get a penis in there.”
1-21-18 America's reluctant septuagenarian workforce
U.S. companies have been eliminating traditional pensions for decades, but many Americans can't afford to retire on Social Security and savings alone.Tom Coomer has retired twice: once when he was 65, and then several years ago. Each time he realized that with just a Social Security check, "you can hardly make it these days." So here he is at 79, working full-time at Walmart. During each eight-hour shift, he stands at the store entrance greeting customers, telling a joke and fetching a "buggy." Or he is stationed at the exit, checking receipts and the shoppers that trip the theft alarm. "As long as I sit down for about 10 minutes every hour or two, I'm fine," he said during a break. Diagnosed with spinal stenosis in his back, he recently forwarded a doctor's note to managers. "They got me a stool." The way major U.S. companies provide for retiring workers has been shifting for about three decades, with more dropping traditional pensions every year. The first full generation of workers to retire since this turn offers a sobering preview of a labor force more and more dependent on their own savings for retirement. Years ago, Coomer and his co-workers at the Tulsa plant of McDonnell-Douglas, the famed airplane maker, were enrolled in the company pension, but in 1994, with an eye toward cutting retirement costs, the company closed the plant. Even though most of them found new jobs, they could never replace their lost pension benefits, and many are facing financial struggles in their old age. A review of those 998 workers found that 1 in 7 has in their retirement years filed for bankruptcy, faced liens for delinquent bills, or both, according to public records. Those affected are buried by debts incurred for credit card payments, used cars, health care, and sometimes the college educations of their children. Some have lost their homes. And for many of them, even as they reach beyond 70, real retirement is elusive. Although they worked for decades at McDonnell-Douglas, many of the septuagenarians are still working, some full time. (Webmaster's comment: Slave labor in America! Work them till they die! Making America Great Again?)
1-15-18 The case for the 28-hour work week
Germans are fighting for a 28-hour work week. Americans should too. rmany already has a 35-hour work week. Now, the country's most powerful union, IG Metall, is demanding its 3.9 million workers in the electrical and metalworking industries be allowed to work a 28-hour week for two years. The union staged several walkouts to make its point, and is gearing up for nationwide strikes if its demands aren't met. Americans should take note. The standard work week in the States is 40 hours. The average American clocked 1,780 hours on the job in 2016, which makes us something of an anomaly: We don't just put in considerably more work than the Germans (who averaged 1,360 hours per worker in 2016), we also put in more hours than the French, the British, the Canadians, the Dutch, and others. More than that, annual hours per worker steadily fell in those countries over the last half century. America saw its hours fall until about 1980, when the trend flatlined. Our hours have been stagnant ever since. An economy with high productivity is supposed to deliver better standards of living, either in the form of higher incomes or more leisure hours. Most Western countries have seen a mix of both. Americans, to a large degree, have gotten neither. The distribution of working hours in America is also incredibly uneven across demographics. Perverse as it may seem, longer hours have become a mark of privilege in the U.S. labor force: The well-educated, the highly paid, white workers, and male workers all log in the most. Why? Because in an economy where increased overall productivity doesn't result in increased wages or leisure time, working obscenely long hours to rake in more money is the one surefire way to increase your standard of living. This all brings us back to the length of the work week. (Webmaster's comment: Americans are slaves to the corporations.)
1-13-18 Why are there so few female engineers?
Fewer than one in 10 engineers in the UK are female - the lowest percentage in Europe, according to the Women's Engineering Society. Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus lead with nearly 30%. Here, two pioneering female engineers at Oxford University explain what drives them.
- Environmental goals
- Not just hard hats
- Rewarding career
- Encouraging women
- Role models
- Aerospace dreams
- Filing a patent
(Webmaster's comment: In the United States only 14% of engineers are women. Also way behind Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus.)
1-10-18 Women's 'wage gap' discount at local pub sparks backlash
A Canadian pub that gives a discount to women to help remedy pay inequality is facing backlash from a patron who says the policy discriminates against men. The Morrissey House in Ontario offers a 13% discount to women on Mondays, recognising that women earn 87 cents for every dollar men earn in Canada. Owner Mark Serre said an irate customer has threatened to file a complaint with the provincial human rights commission. The new promotion also raises money for local charities that benefit women. Mr Serre said he has no problem with the customer complaining to the human rights commission, but he does not think the promotion is discriminatory. "It's his right. If he feels wronged, then I applaud him for taking it to the (commission). But I think he's taking it the wrong way," Mr Serre told the CBC. "As a general rule of life, women should get paid equally. I think that's important. Is it worth my 13 per cent on a Monday night? Absolutely. Is it worth a conversation? Absolutely. I hope people embrace it." The Ontario Human Rights Commission investigates complaints that violate the province's human rights code, including complaints about discrimination against gender. Offering a regular discount to women on "ladies' nights" is a common practice at pubs and bars, and given the social conscience of Mr Serre's "Mind the Gap Mondays", he said he believes it will be supported by the commission.
1-9-18 Survey reveals extreme gender bias plagues STEM – it must change
A new snapshot of women working in science and technology in the US shows deep levels of discrimination against them. It must spark action, says Lara Williams. It seems no matter where you look, claims of gender discrimination at work can be found. Hollywood. The BBC. Google. The latest addition to a depressing stream of reports of such bias in many walks of life comes in the form of a new survey showing that half of women in STEM jobs in the US (those in science, technology, engineering and mathematics) have faced sexual discrimination at work. Released today by the respected Pew Research Center, it examined the experiences of employees and their perceptions of fair treatment of women at work. While inequalities were reported across the board, these experiences were more pronounced in jobs where women worked mostly with men. What stands out is that, when compared with women working in non-STEM fields, those in STEM occupations report a higher level of discrimination: 50 per cent against 41 per cent. This demands the question: what is it about these industries that is engendering an environment of deeper inequality? Science and engineering jobs have a chequered past in terms of gender parity and treatment of women, and while there are reasons for tentative optimism (more women working in the life and physical sciences since 1991, for example), there are plenty more for pessimism (the proportion of women working in computer sciences has plummeted since 1991).
1-3-18 How will gender equality change dating?
This is what the heterosexual dating scene might look like in 100 years. On their first date, Mia and Josh talked as if they'd known each other for years. Josh loved Mia's wit; Mia delighted in Josh's warmth and ready smile. Their relationship blossomed, but doubts crept up on both of them now and again. Josh was the primary caregiver for a child from a previous marriage, and his financial prospects were dim. That didn't really bother Mia, since Josh's personality more than made up for it. Still, he wasn't her usual "type" — the type that was much younger than her, plus athletic and handsome to boot. Josh, meanwhile, had been dreaming of a cashed-up woman with high ambitions, status, and education, ideally with a PhD (or two). Mia's mere MA was a bit of a sticking point. It was the norm, after all, for men to be the ones to "marry up." This scenario probably sounds strange, and it should: I've invented an anecdote about how the heterosexual dating scene might look 100 years in the future. Currently, the desire for a young, attractive partner of the opposite sex tends to be more prevalent in men than in women. Women, meanwhile, are more likely to prioritize money and status over youth and beauty. Why? Many evolutionary psychologists put this trend down to the power of innate biological drives. Their argument is that women have a primeval urge to hang on to wealthy men to provide for their children during the long period of pregnancy and childrearing. Men, meanwhile, are mostly concerned about a woman's fertility, for which beauty and youth serve as helpful cues. In the distant past, this behavior was adaptive, and so evolution selected and encoded it in our genes, forever. Sure, the rituals of modern mating look very different to those of our ancestors. "Nevertheless, the same sexual strategies used by our ancestors operate today with unbridled force," as the psychologist David Buss put it in The Evolution of Desire (2003). "Our evolved psychology of mating, after all, plays out in the modern world because it is the only mating psychology we mortals possess." (There's little historical or intercultural research on LGBT mate preferences; such questions are clearly important, but sadly there isn't yet sufficient data to examine them properly.)