Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
Association for Psychological Science: A new study by psychological scientists answers the question of why women are underrepresented in STEM fields. Conclusions show that main factors include personal choice, and child-bearing years.
"The question of why women are so underrepresented in math-intensive fields is a controversial one. Two psychological scientists have reviewed all of the evidence and concluded that the main factor is women's choices—both freely made, such as that they'd rather study biology than math, and constrained, such as the fact that the difficult first years as a professor coincide with the time when many women are having children.
Psychological scientists Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams of Cornell University set out to understand the differences between men and women in math-intensive fields such as physics, electrical engineering, computer science, economics, and chemistry. In the top 100 U.S. universities, only 9% to 16% of tenure-track positions in these kinds of fields are held by women.
Williams and Ceci also reviewed research on sex discrimination and decided that it is no longer a major factor. In fact, one large-scale national study found that women are actually slightly more likely than men to be invited to interview for and to be offered tenure-track jobs in math-intensive STEM fields. Instead, Williams and Ceci think the problem is that women actually choose not to go into math-heavy fields, or drop out once they have started."
Bloomberg: A new poll conducted by Bloomberg finds that fewer women than men feel likely they will have enough money in retirement. Women are also living more frugally and trimming household expenses and are more worried about unemployment than men.
"Women voters, who are less confident they’ll have enough money in retirement and say they’ll have to work longer than many men expect to, are taking more steps to trim household budgets.
A Bloomberg National Poll conducted Oct. 7-10 finds that 41 percent of female likely voters are either very or fairly confident they will have enough money in retirement, compared with 48 percent of male likely voters. Thirty-two percent of these women are confident they won’t have to work beyond their target retirement age; 40 percent of men say the same."
White House press release: The National Economic Council has released a report on the impact of the recession on women. Women now make up over 50% of the workforce and in many instances, are the primary or co-breadwinner. The report also addressed how the current administration's policies are working to support women: click for the full report.
"The National Economic Council released a report on the impact of the recession on women and how the Obama administration’s economic policies benefit American women. The report lays out the economic landscape facing women today and details some of the many ways the administration is committed to making sure the government is working for all Americans especially American women. The White House said its policies will promote economic expansion and job growth for women, train and educate women for quality jobs, support working women at home and in their jobs, and support women in retirement and between jobs."
Washington Post: During the civil-rights era, black women were routinely attacked and sexually assaulted by white men. These men often were acquitted by all white, male juries. Many of these rape victims never received justice and more than 60 years later, are still waiting.
"Taylor was one of many black women attacked by white men during an era in which sexual assault was used to informally enforce Jim Crow segregation. Their pain galvanized an anti-rape crusade that ultimately took a back seat to the push to dismantle officially sanctioned separation of the races, and slowly faded from the headlines.
Many of these rape victims never got justice and the desire for closure is still there, more than 60 years later - leaving some to wonder what, if anything, can be done to address the wrongs done to them. Taylor is not inclined to pursue a civil case. She believes most, if not all, of her attackers are dead. But she does find the idea of an official apology appealing. 'It would mean a whole lot to me,' Taylor said. 'The people who done this to me ... they can't do no apologizing. Most of them is gone.'"
EurekAlert: A new study in the journal Cancer shows that racial disparities in the receipt of breast cancer care persist and more efforts are needed to better understand disparities in breast cancer care and to ensure that all affected women receive equal and effective treatments.
"Studies have demonstrated that black and Hispanic women are less likely to receive recommended breast cancer treatments than white women. Compared with white women, black women had 0.91 times lower odds of receiving recommended local therapy, 0.90 times lower odds of receiving hormonal therapy, and 0.87 times lower odds of receiving chemotherapy. Hispanic women were also less likely than white women to receive hormonal therapy. Hormone receptor testing did not differ by race/ethnicity. These modest racial disparities persisted even after accounting for insurance and socioeconomic status.
Despite efforts to eliminate disparities in cancer care in recent years, this study suggests that modest racial differences in the receipt of recommended breast cancer care still persist even after taking patients' insurance and socioeconomic status into account."
WeNews: Many Iraqi women who have fled to Syria to escape the U.S.-led war often face being sold into brothels by male relatives desperate for money.
"Um Ali is one of over a million refugees who have sought shelter in Syria since U.S. troops entered Iraq in 2003. She left with her husband and children during a wave of militia violence against Iraqis working--"collaborating"--with Americans in 2006.
Some girls and women among these refugees face being sex trafficked by people within their own families. No statistics or studies are available on this specific problem, but there are plenty of stories of men in a pinch treating female relatives as young as 13 as commodities for sex and marriage markets. Dodging such threats is particularly hard for women when they come from inside the family. Women who run away risk being branded prostitutes and subject to death at the hands of "dishonored" male kin. Marrying young and depending on men all their lives, they struggle to cope without a male provider and protector in Syria."
New York Times: Christine C. Quinn, City Council speaker, and Councilwoman Jessica S. Lappin are proposing legislation requiring all crisis pregnancy centers to have clearer signage stating that the centers do not provide abortions or contraceptives, and are not staffed by medical professionals.
"A yearlong investigation by Naral Pro-Choice New York found that crisis pregnancy centers — in addition to the E.M.C. centers, there are at least four others in the city — feed women information that has been medically refuted (including an old standby, rejected by the National Cancer Institute, that abortions cause higher rates of breast cancer). Partly in response to findings in that report, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, and Councilwoman Jessica S. Lappin, Democrat of Manhattan, are proposing legislation that would require the stance of these crisis pregnancy centers to be clear to all women who visit them.
To compensate for ambiguities like unclear signage at the centers, the bill, set to be announced on Tuesday, would require, among other things, signs at the entrance and in the waiting rooms to inform women that the center does not provide abortions or contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and that it does not provide referrals for those options, either. Signage would also need to make it clear if no licensed medical professional is on the staff."
NY Times: Romania has been the center of trade in young girls for decades, and Iana Matei runs one of the only shelters in Romania for victims of sexual trafficking.
"The 15-year-old had been “trained” in prostitution in a nightclub in the southern Romanian city of Calarasi. Now, the sex traffickers were getting ready to sell her off to a Turkish brothel for $2,800.
Iana Matei, Romania's leading advocate for the victims of trafficking, had made contact with the girl and offered to wait outside the nightclub in her car, ready to take the teenager away if she could get out on the street for a cigarette break. But the girl had tried to escape before, and had been beaten severely. Ms. Matei was not sure she would have the courage to try again.
Then she appeared, bolting for the car and scrambling into the back seat. For more than 10 years, Ms. Matei, a psychologist by training, has been pulling young women out of the hands of traffickers, sometimes by staging “kidnappings,” sometimes just by offering them a place to stay, heal and rebuild their lives."
Mother Jones: An adult-film actor tested positive for HIV last week, leading to a push to have actors in the industry wear condoms when filming. Producers and directors feel that viewers do not want to see condoms in porn, and that doing so will affect sales.
"An adult-film performer tested positive for HIV last week, leading several production companies in Los Angeles County to halt filming indefinitely to contain a potential outbreak, the Los Angeles Times reports. The news is rattling a multi-billion dollar industry that routinely tests performers for the virus but does not require them to wear condoms."