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November 11, 2016
American drivers are texting, talking, futzing with the vehicle’s entertainment systems, and otherwise ignoring the road more than half the time they’re behind the wheel. The epidemic of distracted driving is thought to be responsible for about 9% of all road fatalities. Anti-cellphone traffic laws remain frustratingly difficult to enforce in most states, and are nonexistent in some.  Some 50% of traffic fatalities occur on rural roads, according to the FHWA, despite just 15% of the population living in rural places, as designated by the Census. Compared to interstates, rural roads are often curvier, narrower, undivided, less consistently paved, and poorly lit and marked. Medical attention can also be farther away.

For 33 years, Patagonia has had an on-site child care center run by teachers, some of whom are bilingual and trained in child development. Learning takes place outdoors as much as in. Parents often eat lunch with their kids, take them to the farmer’s market or pick vegetables with them in the “secret” garden. And100% of the women who have had children at Patagonia over the past five years have returned to work, significantly higher than the 79% average in the US. About 50% of managers are women, and 50% of the company’s senior leaders are women. “It’s a natural outcome of providing this kind of support, not just to working moms but to working dads too,” Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia said.

Women are highly underrepresented at all levels of government. On average, women elected officials introduce more legislation than men, and that they do so on a wide range of issues, from health and education to infrastructure and the environment. On balance, women elected officials have also been found to be more transparent, collaborative, and effective. Given the positive impact that women leaders have on the content and quality of public policy, a better understanding of the gender gap in political representation is needed. Studies have found that women are underrepresented because they do not run for office. There are a number of barriers preventing women from running for office, such as gendered social roles, negative self-perceptions, limited exposure to politics, and lack of support. Addressing these barriers will be an important step toward achieving greater gender parity. According to a UN study, there are wide variations in the average percentages of women parliamentarians in each region. As of June 2016, these were (single, lower and upper houses): Nordic countries, 41.1%; Americas, 27.7%; Europe excluding Nordic countries, 24.3%; sub-Saharan Africa, 23.1%; Asia, 19.2%; Arab States, 18.4%; and the Pacific, 13.5%.


November 15, 2016 - Local and Regional Food Conference - Marion, IL
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