Family & Society

Gender roles are formed and reinforced from earliest childhood through family relations, social and cultural strictures and norms. Today, family structures are shifting as nuclear and extended families undergo transformations due to economic and societal changes. The traditional archetype of one father and one mother plus children reflects only 25 percent of families in the U.S. Parental roles are also evolving as single-parent, same-sex couples and adoptive parents become increasingly common. Laws and employment policies are gradually reflecting these changes but more effort needs to be focused on providing family-friendly support from affordable, accessible, quality child and elder care to flexible work arrangements.

MISSING Information About Women's Lives

National researchers, policymakers, and the media have voiced major concerns in recent weeks about a pattern of distorting knowledge-based information and science in the service of political goals under the current administration. Now, the National Council for Research on Women, now Re:Gender, brings you the story from the women's research and policy perspective.

The Report
MISSING: Information About Women's Lives is a 24-page report that documents how crucial data on women and girls is disappearing. Download the report in PDF format (PDF, 408 KB) or order a copy.

Executive Summary
To download the executive summary in PDF format, click here (PDF, 172 KB).

Press Release

Teaser: 

Over the past few years, vital data has been deleted, buried, distorted, or has otherwise gone missing from government websites and publications. The National Council for Research on Women, now Re:Gender has documented in this report, the deletion and omission of such information and outlined how these actions directly affect women's lives.

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FAST FACT: Motherhood by the Numbers

May 7, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird In honor of Mother’s Day, the Census Bureau released a handy-dandy fact sheet on motherhood.  Here are some of the stats they compiled:


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FAST FACT: Changing Things Up—Gender Dynamics at Work and at Home

April 3, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird The Families and Work Institute  recently released a fascinating report on the changing gender dynamics in the home and workplace.  What they found is quite exciting:


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ECONOMIC STIMULUS FORUM: The Bitter with the Sweet

February 25, 2009 posted by admin Overall, the economic stimulus plan that Congress passed and President Obama signed is a strong package.  We fervently hope it will provide the help that struggling families urgently need, and begin putting the nation on the road to lasting economy recovery.  We’ve never needed that more. There were victories, large and small, for those of us working for equal opportunity, 21st Century benefits, and quality, affordable health care.  The relief for working families and the expansion of unemployment benefits are significant, as is the lower threshold for the child tax credit and increased funding for child care. Not as well known, but extremely important, is the health information technology (HIT) provisions that we fought to maintain.  They withstood an attack from pharmaceutical manufacturers, health plans and drug store chains intent on putting profits ahead of privacy.  With protections against inappropriate disclosures of health information, electronic medical records can do a tremendous amount to reduce medical errors, coordinate and streamline care, and reduce costs.  This was a real step forward.


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GIRLS FORUM: Round-Up

February 13, 2009 posted by Linda Basch Last week we reached out to advocates and scholars working on issues affecting girls’ lives to submit their Girls Agenda 2009: More funding for teen dating violence prevention? More attention paid to the international trafficking of girls? New programs to promote the health, safety, and well-being of future women?  Effective, comprehensive sex education in our schools? The responses we received were dynamic, fresh, and exciting.  Deborah Tolman, Professor of Social Welfare, Hunter College School of Social Work, suggested that in order to enhance girls’ resiliency, we must do more than reduce risk—we must provide encouragement so that they may live their lives in the positive.  Lyn Mikel Brown, author of Girlfighting, offered an insightful critique of the “mean girl” phenomenon and recommended a strength-based approach: “We affirm girls’ relational and political strengths by giving them reason to believe they can count on one another and work together to solve social problems.”  Allison Kimmich, Executive Director of the National Women’s Study Association, drew on Obama’s role as both father and policymaker, nudging him to make policy decisions in the same manner he parents.


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GIRLS FORUM: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

February 10, 2009 posted by admin My first memory in life is of my mom holding me up as a human shield to try get my dad to stop beating her—possibly to stop from killing her. I was 2-years-old at the time. My book for young women, RESPECT: A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GETTING RESPECT AND DEALING WHEN YOUR LINE IS CROSSED (Free Spirit Publishing, 2005), was born out of a life riddled with disrespect. Like many girls and women I’ve met, I grew up in this home where domestic violence, addictions, incarceration, near poverty and "-isms" from racism to sexism were diminishing my family. But I was one of the lucky ones who discovered the many keys to breaking this cycle. Through following my passions, discovering my mission in life and getting help--among other Steps to Respect--I learned that respect is always within reach because true respect starts on the inside.  Now as I travel the country coaching girls and women, I hear a lot of stories just like mine. And as part of this work, I share with them an amazing video made by Jennifer Uribe, our 19-year-old program assistant at Respect Rx (a venture I founded last year). Jen's video includes powerful stats  that some girls have heard and some haven't, like: 


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GIRLS FORUM: Allison Kimmich Advises Obama to Connect Policy to Parenting

February 6, 2009 posted by admin Dear Barack and Michelle, I’m writing to you as the parents of beautiful girls, and as people who hold the future of this country in your hands for the next four years.  I know that you both take seriously your job as parents as well as the way you can shape public policy to improve your daughters’ lives.  Michelle has talked about supporting working parents and Barack has talked about fighting workplace discrimination so Sasha and Malia will not have to experience it as adults. George W.


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GIRLS FORUM: See Dad

February 5, 2009 posted by admin How often is a girl’s Dad hidden in plain sight? Seeing fathers is an innovative step to increase and sustain girls’ self-esteem and self-efficacy considering the numerous obstacles they face. Seeing Dad is also a step that’s readily available, if not always easy to take. The power and potential of father-daughter relationships remain fairly invisible among advocates for girls and professionals working with girls and their families.  But a moment’s reflection reveals how important Dad and/or Stepdad is in Daughter’s life. Nearly every adult woman can identify ways her father (and/or stepfather) influenced her. Ask any group of adult women about their relationships with their fathers, and you rarely get a lukewarm answer.  You’ll hear something along the lines of either “He’s one of my heroes” or “He’s an [expletive deleted].”  Dads have unique influence in the lives of their daughters and stepdaughters.  A father’s actions (and inactions) set the standard of “man” for his daughter—what she can expect as normal from boys now and men later.  Dad also profoundly affects his daughter’s concept of “partner.”  His behavior in relationship with his daughter’s other parent(s) sets her standard for what’s normal and acceptable from her own eventual life partner(s), regardless of gender.


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