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.
Lately, Fox has increasingly promoted its straight-news talent in the press and conducted some of the toughest interviews and debates of the Republican primary season. Just last week, it hired the openly gay liberal activist Sally Kohn as a contributor.
All along, Fox watchers warned that it risked alienating conservative true believers as it inched toward the center.
Well, consider them alienated.
“To tell you the truth, a lot of conservatives see Fox News as being somewhat skewed on certain issues,” said Patrick Brown, who runs Internet marketing for The Western Center for Journalism, a conservative nonprofit that features stories questioning the president’s eligibility for office. “We actually did a poll recently that said, ‘Is Fox News actually conservative, or has it moved left?’ And some 70 percent of our readers thought it had moved left.”
“Left” is, of course, a relative term.
A casual Fox viewer might barely notice the changes since the network remains critical of the Obama administration and reliably conservative opinion voices, like Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, still anchor key spots in the Fox firmament. But the changes are there.
A complex matrix of factors, such as low literacy, early sexual initiation, and limited economic opportunities, increases the vulnerability of women to HIV infection in Mozambique. The Women First program addresses the role that poverty and lack of access to health information play in the spread of HIV through legal rights and income-generating activities.
This case study was prepared by the AIDSTAR-One project. As an AIDSTAR-One partner organization, ICRW provided technical oversight on this publication. The full case studies series and findings are available at AIDSTAR-One.
Saranga Jain, Margaret Greene, Zayid Douglas, Myra Betron, Katherine Fritz 2011
“Women are contributing in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement heralding the change, which was detailed at a briefing Thursday. “We will continue to open as many positions as possible to women so that anyone qualified to serve can have the opportunity to do so.”
But the move still bans them from key infantry, armor and special operations units, leaving many advocates unimpressed.
Responding to an order from Congress, the Pentagon said it was tweaking the 1994 rules on the issue:
– Women will no longer be barred from jobs simply because those jobs require those holding them to be located with ground-combat units. That means women will be able to serve as tank mechanics, radio operators and in other support billets, opening up more than 13,000 jobs to women.
– Women will be permitted to serve in 800-troop combat battalions, a smaller unit – closer to the front — than the higher-level 4,000-strong brigades where they had been limited to serving in support roles further from the action. More than a thousand jobs will be open to women under this change, although many already have been serving in those jobs as temporary “attachments.”
Some 86% of Fortune 500 firms now ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, up from 61% in 2002. Around 50% also ban discrimination against transsexuals, compared with 3% in 2002. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an American pressure group, measures corporate policies towards sexual minorities in its annual “equality index”. Of the 636 companies that responded to its survey this year, 64% offer the same medical benefits for same-sex partners as for heterosexual spouses. Some 30% scored a fabulous 100% on the group’s index.
Progress has taken place in a wide range of industries. The 100% club predictably contains plenty of talent-driven outfits such as banks and consultancies (including Mitt Romney’s old employer, Bain & Company). But it also includes industrial giants such as Alcoa, Dow Chemical, Ford, Owens Corning and Raytheon. Lord Browne, the boss of BP who resigned after his sex life made headlines in 2007, said he always remained in the closet because “it was obvious to me that it was simply unacceptable to be gay in business, and most definitely the oil business.” Today Chevron, one of BP’s toughest competitors, has a 100% rating.
Companies are competing with each other to produce the most imaginative gay-friendly policies. American Express has an internal “pride network” with more than 1,000 members. Cisco gives gay workers a bonus to make up for an anomaly in the American tax code. (If you are married, the cost of various insurance premiums is deducted from your pre-tax income, but if you are merely a partner it is deducted from your post-tax income.) Some companies vocally support gay marriage. In the past fortnight Lloyd Blankfein, the boss of Goldman Sachs, has accepted an invitation from HRC to become its first corporate spokesman for gay nuptials, and seven big companies, including Microsoft and Nike, have written to Congress to support the idea.
What caused this corporate revolution? Pressure groups such as HRC and Britain’s Stonewall can take some of the credit. But mostly it happened because changing attitudes in society at large have reduced the cost of being gay-friendly, and raised the rewards. A generation ago in the West, creating a gay-friendly workplace might have upset heterosexual staff. Now it probably won’t. But failing to treat gays equally is very likely to drive them to seek employment elsewhere. Since they are perhaps 5-10% of the global talent pool, bigotry makes a firm less competitive.
Being fair to gays is arguably simpler than being fair to women. Women really do differ from men in the amount of time, on average, that they take off to raise children. And there is no obvious answer to questions such as: “how much paid maternity leave should a small firm offer?” From an employer’s perspective, gays do not differ from straights in any way that matters.
As the first university graduates to emerge from Communism to a newly developing China in the 1980s and 90s, those women didn't hesitate to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to their careers. But according to data from the Center for Talent Innovation (formerly the Center for Work-Life Policy), today's younger generation is different. "The mindset has really changed," notes an HR manager for a major multinational corporation. "Women now talk about facials and traveling and all the things that the older generation didn't think about until they were more established."
Today, as the Black community recognizes the 12thAnnual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we stand at the crossroads of heightened awareness, education, and potential eradication. To understand the magnitude of being in such a positive position, it is imperative that we examine how far we’ve come and how close we find ourselves to alleviating the stranglehold that HIV/AIDS has held on our communities.
Long considered a “dirty little secret,” when the disease imploded in Black America, many people began to frantically gaze around in hopes of finding a reason why it could never happen to them; however, as HIV/AIDS began to affect our friends, families, and loved ones, the conversation began to shift from one of blame and hopelessness to one of compassion and purpose.
Though the numbers remain extremely troubling, with life saving treatments, community outreach, and education, African-Americans are living longer, healthier lives, and this pivotal breakthrough is due in large part to the tireless efforts of such organizations as the Black AIDS Institutein Los Angeles.
On December 21, Bank of America settled a Justice Department complaint alleging racial discrimination in mortgage lending by its Countrywide subsidiary. But underlying issues are far from resolved. Longstanding federal inaction in the face of widespread discriminatory mortgage lending practices helped create, and since has perpetuated, racially segregated, impoverished neighborhoods. This history of “law-sanctioned” racial segregation has had many damaging effects, including poor educational outcomes for minority children.
Liberty and justice for all is not yet a reality in America. Despite the election of our nation’s first African American president, black Americans continue to trail behind their white counterparts in education, employment, and overall health and wellbeing. And while some states and the federal government continue to expand protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, more than half of all states still deny them basic civil rights. Such systemic inequities render people of color who are also gay and transgender among the most vulnerable in our society.