The recession further undermined many efforts to develop women’s leadership, particularly in the corporate world, where diversity initiatives were often seen as an optional luxury whose budgets were the first to be slashed when financial cutbacks were imposed. “With the economic downturn, it has become okay not to focus on practices and invest in programs that support women,” says Linda Basch, president of the National Council for Research on Women.
The outcry over Rush Limbaugh calling birth control activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” seems to have worked. Several days after his attempt to slut-shame the Georgetown University law student, Limbaugh issued a rare apology on his website, saying "in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize."
The outcry over Rush Limbaugh calling birth control activist Sandra Fluke a “slut”and a “prostitute,” seems to have worked. Several days after his attempt to slut-shame the Georgetown University law student, Limbaugh issued a rare apology on his website, saying "in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize."
Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched the Agency's new Policy on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment.
Citing its importance, Dr. Shah stated, "We know that long-term, sustainable development will only be possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunity to rise to their potential. But today, women and girls continue to face disadvantages in every sector in which we work, and in other cases, boys are falling behind. With this policy, we can ensure our values and commitments are reflected in durable, meaningful results for all."
USAID Deputy Administrator, Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development, and other senior White House officials participated in the launch.
For the seventh year in a row, Americans United for Life, a national law and policy group based in Washington, D.C., will publish a collection of what it calls “trend-setting” state-based legislation aimed at adding as many restrictions as possible to abortion. In the last year, governors across the country have signed 28 of these model bills into law, according to AUL.
The Defending Life book of model laws is due to come out in March, but in the midst of last week’s frenzy over the Virginia legislature’s attempt to mandate invasive ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion, AUL released a preview (PDF) of the new book, which includes legislative proposals that could lend themselves to similar controversy if states choose to adopt them.
If Rick Santorum wants to win the GOP presidential nomination, he's got to do a better job with women, and his campaign knows it.
In his concession speech in Michigan Tuesday following his pair of primary losses, the former Pennsylvania senator took the time to praise several women in his life, most notably for the first time, his mother.
"I grew up with a very strong mom, someone who was a professional person who taught me a lot of things about [sic] how to balancing work and family, and doing it well, and doing it with a big heart and commitment," he said. He also praised her for getting a college education in the 1930s and eventually a graduate degree in nursing.
For the past twenty years Moroccan women, from the liberal camp to the Islamist, have campaigned for equal rights for women. Their struggle has borne many triumphs and is gradually beginning to change the lives of women throughout the country. But how will they face the new challenges presented by Morocco's first Islamist-majority government?
In the Moroccan parliamentary elections of November 25, 2011, for the first time in Morocco’s history, an Islamist faction, the Justice and Development Party (PJD) won 40 percent↑of the seats in the government, giving it the majority in Morocco’s legislative body. Since then the leaders and members of Morocco’s liberal/secular women’s movement have been on alert. In January 2012, when Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane (PJD) revealed the appointments of his cabinet, much to the chagrin of the liberal women’s movement, only one woman was given a ministerial position. Bassima al-Hakkaoui, former MP and member of the PJD and, now, the Minister of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development, is the first hijab-wearing Islamist political figure to serve in the Moroccan government. Maguy Kakon, Social Center Party parliamentary candidate in 2007 and 2011, claims that while it may be too soon to tell exactly what the PJD government’s agenda will be, women are preparing “to fight to keep their hard-earned rights” that they fear may soon come under attack.
HERvotes, a coalition of 51 women's groups, vowed to ensure that several decades of progress in health care, education and labor rights will not fall by the wayside in the run-up to the November general election.
"Women are outraged with the constant politicization of theses issues with no regard for half of the population," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
"The gender gap is alive and well," agreed Lisa Maatz, chief lobbyist for the American Association of University Women, who added: "We are mad and we are fed up."
In a campaign year in which the economy and jobs were the initial dominant themes, social conservatives have thrust birth control and abortion to the top to the agenda at the state and federal level.
French Prime Minister François Fillon ordered Tuesday that the term “mademoiselle” be removed from all official forms and registries after months of campaigning by two feminist organizations, Osez le Féminisme (Dare to be feminist) and Les Chiennes de Garde (The Watchdogs).
The decision marks a great victory for French feminists who say the use of “mademoiselle” is demeaning to women, insisting that their marital status need not be known every time they sign a form. Men in France are referred to as “monsieur” regardless of marital status.
A lawmaker has sent a letter to fellow Republican members of the Indiana House saying he will not support a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts because he believes it is a "radicalized organization" that supports abortion and promotes homosexuality.
In a letter obtained by The Journal-Gazette of Fort Wayne on Monday, Rep. Bob Morris of Fort Wayne said he did some research on the Internet and found allegations that the Girl Scouts are a tactical arm ofPlanned Parenthood, allow transgender females to join and encourage sex.
"After talking to some well-informed constituents, I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing," Morris wrote in his letter, which also accused the group of promoting "homosexual lifestyles."
Ashley Sharp, spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, said Monday a statement on the group's website states that it leaves sex and reproduction questions to parents. The group accepts transgender youth on a case-by-case basis.
Morris is the only House member to refuse to sign a resolution honoring the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts that lawmakers approved last week. He told the Journal-Gazette that others would join him in opposing the resolution but later recanted that statement in an interview with The Associated Press.
At an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hearing Wednesday in Washington, D.C., employment and legal experts said that pregnant women and caregivers face everything from harassment and hostility on the job to terminations and decreased work hours. That’s despite a law passed 30 years ago – the Pregnancy Discrimination Act – and other measures like the Family and Medical Leave Act intended to protect workers balancing job and family obligations.
One example shared by an expert panelist at the hearing: A pregnant woman was told she couldn’t alter her uniform to fit her growing belly, but then was forced to take a leave when the uniform no longer fit. There were also tales of men who were punished for asking for time off to take care of sick or elderly relatives, because such labor was considered “women’s work.”
Sadly, stereotypes about who should provide care appear to be alive and well despite the fact that women have increasing responsibilities in the workplace and men are taking larger roles in the domestic sphere.
Low-skilled, low-wage workers are especially vulnerable since jobs like waiting tables, retail sales and other service positions often have unpredictable but inflexible schedules. That makes it harder to plan time off or deal with the kinds of small and large crises – a sudden ear infection, a fall that results in a broken hip – that crop up when you’re caring for a baby or an elderly parent.