Everybody, it seems, is talking about women in this campaign — what they should do, how they should act, who they should be in society. But do women see themselves reflected in the dialogue — or is the mirror of political rhetoric distorting their concerns? How, exactly, is all this talk about women playing among women?
You could hear these issues play out on a recent day in this key presidential swing state — first, at the equal pay protest, but later at a hotel near Broncos stadium, where five conservative women led a panel discussion to strategize about reframing the rhetoric and working to woo more women voters to their camp this year. There was passion, but there was also irritation. Some women said talk about contraception was a distracting sideshow; others said the preoccupation of some politicians with abortion showed they were out of touch.
"They really must not know what exactly is going on," said a university student with friends who've had both babies and abortions. "They" are the male politicians who still outnumber women at all levels of elective office, but also the two men running for president who keep trying to one-up each other in reaching out to this vital, but hardly monolithic, voting bloc.
The upshot: Whether seen as real or manufactured, something about the so-called "war" is resonating among American women who could well make the difference on Election Day. Many are acting out and speaking up. Many are, in fact, girding for battle, in one way or another.
This report builds on an earlier report published in 2008 by the Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) of AusAID that assessed current approaches to addressing violence against women and girls in five of Australia’s partner countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste.
This monthly update provides information on legislation, as well as relevant executive branch actions and judicial decisions in states across the country. For each of the topics, the number of states in which legislation has been introduced is given, as are the names of the states in which subsequent action has been taken. Detailed summaries are provided for legislation that has been passed by at least one house of a legislature and for major court decisions; actions for the current month are in bold.
Abortion Adolescents Contraception & Prevention Pregnancy & Birth Refusal Clauses Reproductive Health and Environmental Hazards
According to an ongoing study conducted by Black Women’s Blueprint, sixty percent of Black girls have experienced sexual abuse before the age of 18. More than 300 Black women nationwide participated in the research project. A similar study conducted by The Black Women’s Health Imperative seven years ago found the rate of sexual assault was approximately 40%.
The pervasive nature of this trauma could translate into an increased risk for Black women and girls to experience depression, PTSD and addiction, common symptoms experienced by many survivors of rape.
The Department of Justice estimates that for every white woman that reports her rape, at least 5 white women do not report theirs; and yet, for every African-American woman that reports her rape, at least 15 African-American women do not report theirs.
There are many reasons why Black women may choose not to report incidences of sexual assault. Survivors of all races often fear that they will not be believed or will be blamed for their attack, but Black women face unique challenges.
The Globe and Mail article discusses the International Football Association Board's unanimous recommendation to rescind the hijab ban first introduced by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association in 2007.
This rule had resulted in the banning of individual female players in FIFA-sanctioned games – including the forfeit of an Olympic qualifying match by the Iranian women’s team. Some (the Quebec Soccer Federation, for instance) used the FIFA edict as a pretext to ban the hijab from the soccer field for non-FIFA events.
The ban reversal followed intense lobbying by Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, a FIFA vice-president, who sought to allay safety concerns by working with Cindy van den Bremen, a Dutch designer of sports-safe hijabs, for a dozen years. Montrealer Elham Seyed Javad (who created a hijab for female martial arts athletes in 2008) has also submitted a design for consideration by FIFA. Muslim women, for whom soccer is a passion, welcomed the IFAB decision. After all, the “beautiful game” is the most universal of sports, encompassing cultures and nations.
Those who fought to have FIFA include hijab-clad players should also lobby Saudi Arabia to allow women to be part of its Olympic national team. Last week, the Saudis confirmed their opposition to sending Saudi women to the London Games. This, despite the Olympic Charter: “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, sex or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”
Congrats, ladies! By today you’ve earned the same as men did in 2011. That gap means that the typical woman working full-time, year round, makes about seventy-seven cents for every dollar a typical man does, and those missing twenty-three cents can really add up. In a year a woman loses $10,784 to a man—enough to buy about 2,700 gallons of gas. It can add up to a loss of $431,000 in pay for the typical woman over a forty-year career. No small chunk of pocket change.
This issue hasn’t gone unnoticed. The first thing President Obama did after settling into the West Wing was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, which expanded the statute of limitations on lawsuits over equal pay. Yet Ledbetter did little to actually change the gap: it stood at seventy-seven cents when the bill was passed at 2009, where it stands today.
But this high holiday of gender inequality is not the day to get dragged down in pessimism! After all, it can’t be totally out of reach to change this thing that’s barely budged in fifty years, amiright? In the spirit of moving forward and focusing on real solutions, here are some quick steps we can all take to make the gap disappear:
Although social and political efforts have been made to close the wage gap and in turn the wealth gap, recent Census data still indicates that women earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. For women of color the gap is even wider: Black women earn 69.5 percent, and Hispanic women 60.5 percent, compared to the earnings of their white male counterparts.
The wage story is just as unequal for single mothers: They make less than men, less than married women, and less than women without children. Adding race to the equation, single mothers of color are hit hardest by the wage gap. Studies show that single mothers of color are much more likely to live in poverty and face significant barriers to creating wealth. Lower wages can often prevent families from engaging in asset- and wealth-building mechanisms such as pension plans because of fewer job benefits and resources. Lower earnings can hinder families from investing and saving their money, a key strategy for building wealth. Additionally, wealth not only impacts economic security but long-term retirement security as well.
While it’s recognized that the racial wealth gap is widespread there is a critical need to understand the intersection of race and gender in accumulating wealth.
Even that 73 percent number is too rosy, because it only looks at a snapshot of mothers and men employed in a given year.
But mothers also spend more years out of the workforce than anyone else, usually to care for family. So the financial impact of mothers' employment patterns becomes clear only when we look across the years. The lifetime earnings of women are just 38 percent of the lifetime earnings of men.
Now that's a gap.
One of the reasons more women drop out of the workforce is because United States income tax policy is designed specifically to encourage them to drop out.
A significant gender pay gap still persists. That's why we cannot be passive as we acknowledge Equal Pay Day, which marks the day when a woman's earnings catch up to what her male peers earned in the previous year. To millennials, it's startling to see that women still earn just 77 cents to the dollar of what men earn. Women of color are hit especially hard: African-American and Hispanic women earn 70% and 61%, respectively, of what white men earn. Without any male income in their household, single women and lesbians may feel the pay gap effect all the more. This wage gap costs working women and their families more than $10,000 annually and jeopardizes women's retirement security.
This gap isn't just about women making different choices in their careers. Even after accounting for occupation, hours worked, education, age, race, ethnicity, marital status, number of children and more, a difference of 5% still persists in the earnings of male and female college graduates one year after graduation. After 10 years in the workplace, that gap more than doubles to 12%.
Today we are fortunate to have critical laws like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which overturned a 2007 Supreme Court decision that made it harder for women -- and all employees -- to pursue federal claims of pay discrimination. Although this important law restored fairness for workers who want to use federal law to challenge cases of discriminatory pay, it only addresses one piece of the larger puzzle. More needs to be done.