Communications, Media & Gender

Mainstream media and the communications sector are still largely male-dominated in management, ownership and representation. Women hold only 3 percent of leadership positions in the sector. And despite the parity of female and male graduates from journalism schools in the U.S., women reporters on average make $9,000 less per year than their male cohorts. New media and the internet are offering new opportunities for women’s involvement, with an estimated 7.3 million more women online than men and 23 million women who use blogs, including the emerging “momosphere,” or moms who blog. A vibrant feminist media is building alliances to combat sexism and amplify voices and critical viewpoints. Initiatives from our network, such as SheSource and the Women’s Media Center, are aiming to address the absence of women as experts and opinion leaders in the public sphere.

Blog Post Overturns Wrongful Termination

January 16, 2009 posted by Linda Basch I wanted to share with you an exciting victory that came across my desk during the holidays.  After bringing forward sexual harassment charges at Chili’s in August, a server named Rachel Spicuglia was fired two weeks before Christmas.   As a direct result of a quick and passionate response made by her sister, Rebekah Spicuglia,who wrote about the case on the Huffington Post and launched a petition, Brinker International re-hired Rachel.


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NEW YEAR'S FORUM: Elizabeth Holtzman Demands We Not Forget About Women

January 9, 2009 posted by admin New years, new administrations, change itself generally elicits a feeling of optimism in me--and I can’t repress that sense now.  Here are my hopes and concerns. I feel glad to see President Bush and his team go: they wreaked such damage on our country and the world--and undermined our deepest values by riding roughshod over the constitution, thumbing their nose at the rule of law and torturing people.  I hope that the country will take proper steps to hold them accountable for their actions even after they are out of office.  The past Administration was also hostile to women, particularly to our right to birth control and choice, treating us as though we were children incapable of making critical decisions for our lives.  Relieved that is over, but am still troubled by the efforts of too many to continue to control what in the end are deeply personal decisions for women, decisions that define our humanity. I hope that these efforts diminish in the years ahead. Americans face a ruined economy, and I am deeply afraid that women and children will be the biggest victims.  With the safety net of welfare gone, what will happen to the poorest of the poor?  Welfare was a concept that President Roosevelt adopted as one way to deal with the devastation of the Great Depression; while deeply flawed, it still reflected a national commitment to poor women and their children.  I hope that in these dire economic times we don’t lose sight of the needs of this vulnerable group.


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Join Women's Media Center's Progressive Women's Voices Program

December 10, 2008 posted by admin The Women's Media Center is offering training to researchers, advocates, and other experts who are interested in boosting their media skills.  Learn how to craft strategic messages and talking points and practice your commentator skills.  The deadline is December 15th.  For more information, or to apply, click here.


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Women Send Their Messages to Obama-Biden, Loud and Clear

November 18, 2008 posted by Vivienne Heston-Demirel In the spirit of continuing to send messages to President-elect Obama and his transition team, we bring you this week’s round-up of links to campaigns from those in our wider network.  Amazing work going on out there.  If we’ve missed you, please let us know! The first issue of Ms. magazine in 2009 - which will hit newsstands just as President-elect Obama is sworn in – will feature the best of readers’ ideas for moving forward to make the change we need.  Enter yours by clicking here.


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TRANSITION FORUM Recap

Last week, we asked prominent leaders of women's organizations to send us their messages to President-elect Obama and his transition team. We asked these leaders to speculate about how might life be different—more equitable, healthier, more secure—for women and girls in an Obama era. What are their visions for an Obama Administration? Who are their ideal Cabinet picks? What new offices, government departments, or agencies would they like to see set up? What’s been most missing in President-elect Obama’s platform around women’s issues, and what messages would they like to send the transition team to rectify these lapses going forward? How do we move women and the issues women care about most from the margins to the center in this new administration?


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Women Leaders Dream Big, Urge Transition Team to Bring Women and Women’s Issues to the Center of the New Administration

November 7, 2008 posted by Linda Basch A new administration, the cap to a long and exciting election campaign, and change is in the air. We have much hope, but we also have big issues to tackle.  The economic crisis brings particular urgency to the issues foremost on our minds.  At the Council, we've been talking about economic security, but now we need to talk about economic recovery  and the ways women are particularly affected.  Women are more likely to be in foreclosure and hold sub-prime mortgages (32% more likely than men despite better credit scores), more likely to be poor, to be earning minimum wage (68.4% nationally), and to lack adequate health insurance.  These challenges are not unique to women, they affect families, communities, and the entire nation.


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Feminist Town Hall November 5, 2008 Live @ 7 PM ET

November 5, 2008 posted by Vivienne Heston-Demirel Apologies for audio problems. It is 7:30 and we are going LIVE.

7:27pm

Michelle Goldberg - journalist/author, specialized in ideology and politics - said she was optimistic but that there were a few dark clouds, namely, anti-gay ballot initiatives that passed in California, Florida, Arizona (anti-gay marriage), and Arkansas (anti-gay adoption). All of the anti-choice initiatives failed. There is a potential for extreme right-wing terrorism, including attacks on abortion providers.

7:45pm

Andrea Batista Schlesinger - Executive Director, Drum Major Institute for Public Policy - just concluded her opening statements.

7:48pm


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Wake Up America and Vote

November 4, 2008 post by Linda Basch I know we all share the feeling that this election is historic, that change is in the air.  There's an excitement that we all feel as we go to the polls.  But whatever the outcome, we need to be thinking about the huge agenda facing the new president and his team, and the ways we need to act as leaders ourselves in helping to bring about the changes we all crave.  I was inspired this morning when I read the post of the Council's dear friend, Jacki Zehner, who points to some of the changes we need to make in addressing the challenges before us.  Two points that she makes, which we've also blogged about, include taking personal responsibility for our actions, and the importance of Add new Comment

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A Feminist Town Forum

Wednesday, November 5 @ 7:00PM


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Updates from the Swing States

October 31, 2008 Posted by Linda Basch

 

We all live incredibly busy lives.  Often, we have time only to hear the soundbites or scan the headlines. Yet, with so much at stake, it’s important that we all know more.  We’re not hearing enough about the real deal—what’s really going on in the lives of women and girls, and what’s really on our minds as we prepare to enter the polling booths next week.


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