The military is falling short in providing equal health care for women on the battlefield even as public pressure grows to allow them a broader role in combat, an Army task force led by female officers concluded.
"The health issues and uniform issues are areas that if we are going to be expanding the role of women (in combat), or even maintaining the current role, we need to do a better job at, so that women are equally served," says Army Col. Anne Naclerio, a pediatrician who leads the task force.
None of the health problems outlined in the report would bar women from serving in combat but instead create unnecessary physical discomfort, Naclerio says. The Army treated about 450 women for urinary tract infections in Afghanistan last year, according service data.
Basic improvements are needed to help women avoid higher rates of urinary tract or vaginal infections, stress-related menstrual difficulties and the chafing, bruising and bleeding caused by ill-fitting body armor designed for men, the task force's report says.
Although women make up the majority of college graduates, they still earn significantly less money than men on average. Financial Finesse found that women also lag in financial planning, especially in money management and investing. Greg Ward, a financial research analyst for Financial Finesse, said the study showed that many women are behind on financial literacy.
“The biggest significance of this is when you understand that most women at some point in their lives are going to be solely responsible for their finances,” Ward said.
While 89 percent of men surveyed reported a general investment knowledge about stocks, bonds and mutual funds, only 66 percent of women answered the same. In a similar gap, 78 percent of men reported having a handle on cash flow and spending less than they made each month, compared to 62 percent of women.
Women were less comfortable with their non-mortgage debt load than men, with 71 percent of men saying they were comfortable with their debt and only 52 percent of women.
Likewise, men were more likely to have an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, to pay their bills on time each month, and to regularly pay off credit card balances in full. Men were more confident that their investments were allocated appropriately and more often understood the tax implications of their investment and retirement accounts.
Since reporting to their boats in November, 25 women who broke one of the Navy's final gender barriers have gone on patrol and been accepted among their crews.
"The men adjusted to us being there, and we adjusted to them," said Lt. j.g. Megan Bittner of the USS Ohio gold crew. "It was quick. There were no big problems. No stumbling blocks along the way. It was just learning as a junior officer how you fit on the boat."
Forty years ago this month, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 became law, requiring an end to gender discrimination in admissions at educational institutions that receive federal money. Since then, progress in attaining gender equity for women has been heartening, but there is still considerable work to be done, particularly in the areas of faculty and leadership.
In the 1980s—in little more than the blink of an eye—women surpassed men in admissions on most college campuses. And now, unlike their parents and grandparents, these women are increasingly likely to be taught by women. This is good news, and we have Title IX to thank.
Women—and their dollars—are the lifeblood of today's colleges. But who decides how those dollars are spent? Men, largely—and that's not all they determine. As far as students are concerned, men are the dominant minority, but male administrators hold a lopsided percentage of university power and the most senior leadership positions. What's more, men make most of the decisions that control women's educational lives and futures, without much input or oversight from women themselves. This includes decisions about curriculum, co-curricular programs, the nature and scope of health and benefit programs, and faculty hiring. Women have unprecedented access, yes, but they have little influence.
The anti-abortion activist group Live Action released two videos of Planned Parenthood staffers discussing sex-selective abortions with actors posing as patients, but Laura Bassett explains how a side-by-side analysis of one of the edited videos and the original, unedited version of it shows that parts of the conversation were strategically omitted in order to implicate the family planning provider.
The video Live Action released on Thursday, which takes place at a Planned Parenthood clinic in New York City, shows a licensed social worker counseling a supposed patient who says she will abort her fetus if it turns out to be a girl. In the portions of the conversation shown in the video, the counselor discusses the types of tests available to detect the sex of the fetus, tells her "it's not up to us to decide what is a good or a bad reason for somebody to decide to terminate a pregnancy," and complies with the woman's request to schedule an abortion at the end of the appointment.
"Planned Parenthood has built their abortion empire on their belief that any abortion is a good abortion, even if it is motivated by the very discrimination against women that they claim to abhor," Live Action president Lila Rose said of the video.
"Planned Parenthood’s abortion-first mentality leads them to defend targeting baby girls for extermination," she added.
The Republican sponsors of a House bill that would have banned sex-selective abortions included Rose in the press conference they held about the bill on Thursday and brought up the videos multiple times as evidence that Planned Parenthood is complicit in American "gendercide."
But in the unedited video footage of the appointment, the counselor can also be seen recommending that the woman purchase insurance that covers prenatal care in case she chooses to continue the pregnancy, asks her if she has "definitely decided" that she wants to terminate and suggests adoption as an option.
"Because we're required to discuss all of a patient's options, is adoption something that you were interested in considering?" she asks the woman.
Leslie Kantor, vice president of education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the video was "selectively and heavily edited in order to distort what actually happened."
Critics of Title IX often say that it has harmed male athletics in its insistence on increasing opportunities for females in school sports. Here, from the report (with footnotes removed), are some myths about how the law has affected school athletics:
What the Law Says
Title IX requires that schools treat both sexes equally with regard to three distinct aspects of athletics: participation opportunities, athleticscholarships, and treatment of male and female teams.
Myth 1: Title IX requires quotas.
Title IX does not require quotas; it simply requires that schools allocate participation opportunities in a nondiscriminatory way. The three-part test is lenient and flexible, allowing schools to comply even if they do not satisfy the first part. The federal courts have consistently rejected arguments that Title IX imposes quotas.
Female Bosses. They’re a type, aren’t they? At least that’s what dueling research findings seem to suggest. You either get the ones who hang with their sisters at some women’s conference and then offload a project to run home to their kids, or some alpha female whose stiletto seems aimed at kicking you back down the career ladder. If they work in a male-dominated industry, they benefit from more slack than guys when it comes to making mistakes, according to research by Christian Thoroughgood of Pennsylvania State University. Linguistics expert Judith Baxter has found they’re not even funny: More than 80 percent of quips from senior women were met with silence in her research, while 90 percent of the men’s jokes got an immediate laugh.
And working for a female boss if you’re a woman? Don’t get the experts started. Women with female bosses report more headaches and anxiety than those who report to men, a University of Toronto study found. German researchers found they suffer higher levels of depression. Maybe that’s because female bosses direct their hostility toward other women more than 70 percent of the time, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute, while men are more inclined to make everyone feel miserable. Then again, consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman surveyed 7,280 leaders last year and found women notably better at mentoring, motivating, and driving for results (PDF). Put them in charge, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found, and other women in the company end up making more money.
Now comes a June 12 study from Catalyst, a nonprofit group that focuses on expanding opportunities for women in business. As part of its ongoing study of 742 MBA grads, it found that women are not only better than men at helping others—women and men—move up the ladder, but those who sponsored others or developed others earned an additional $25,075 in compensation from 2008 to 2010. Moreover, 73 percent of those mentors are especially inclined to help women, while only 30 percent of the men were.
Cancer screening has been a contentious issue in recent years. Even by government-backed U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) standards, which some consider to be relatively conservative, screening rates for breast and cervical cancer were low in the study. Only about half of women in the Oregon-based research met USPSTF recommendations.
"People in rural areas tend to go to the doctor only when they are ill, so they don't get the chance to talk about cancer screenings," said Dr. Patricia Carney, a researcher at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, who led the study.
Previous studies have shown that screening rates are lower among the uninsured, but that research has focused on people in towns and cities.
For the new study, partially funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), researchers analyzed a decade of medical charts at two private health practices, and two federally funded public health centers in rural Oregon. The study included more than 3,000 men and women, all aged 55 or over when the study began.
They found that about 10 percent of patients lacked insurance coverage. Those with coverage had either private insurance, or a combination of private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. The insurance status of about 16 percent of patients was unknown.
According to the report in the journal Cancer, people with private insurance were much more likely to be up-to-date for some ACS recommended cancer screenings than people without insurance.
While 56 percent of women with insurance went without recommended mammograms, which the ACS recommends beginning at age 40, 78 percent of uninsured women, and 70 percent of those with Medicare or Medicaid, did.
Human Rights Watch interviewed 10 former detainees, including two women, who described being sexually abused or witnessing sexual abuse in detention, including rape, penetration with objects, sexual groping, prolonged forced nudity, and electroshock and beatings to genitalia.Many of the former detainees told Human Rights Watch that they were imprisoned because of their political activism, including for attending protests. In other cases, the reason for the detention was unclear but detainees suffered the same abusive tactics.
“Syrian security forces have used sexual violence to humiliate and degrade detainees with complete impunity,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The assaults are not limited to detention facilities – government forces and pro-government shabiha militia members have also sexually assaulted women and girls during home raids and residential sweeps.”
Human Rights Watch documented over 20 specific incidents of sexual assault, five of which involved more than one victim, that took place between March 2011 and March 2012 across Syria, including in Daraa, Homs, Idlib, Damascus, and Latakia governorates. The majority of cases were from Homs governorate. Interviewees described a range of sexual abuse by Syrian security forces, the army, and pro-government armed militias referred to locally as shabiha.
The Center for Talent Innovation released a new report, the “Sponsor Effect: UK” that was released last night at the House of Commons at an event keynoted by Theresa May, the British Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities.
Women enter the white-collar workforce in the UK in far greater numbers than men: 57 females for every 43 males. Yet as employees in large corporations move from entry-level to middle management, and from mid- to senior-level positions, men advance disproportionately. Across sector and occupation, women are simply not breaking through to leadership positions in numbers commensurate with their weight in the talent pool.
Why? According to the new CTI study the reason is straightforward and has nothing to do with a lack of accomplishment or ambition—or a paucity of childcare or flextime. Rather, British women tend not to have sponsors—powerful champions willing to take a bet on a young talent, go out on a limb for him/her and advocate for the next promotion. Sponsors are the people that propel and protect high performing employees through the treacherous shoals of upper management.
The study found that UK men with sponsors (as opposed to those without) are 40 percent more likely to move up the ladder at a satisfactory clip, while this “sponsor effect” for UK women is even higher—52 percent.