Women in the News
Celebrities urge world leaders to fight for girls and women // Associated Press
A number of high-profile entertainers — including Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige, Charlize Theron and Meryl Streep — have signed an open letter calling on world leaders to fight for gender equality across the globe. The letter released Sunday states that some 62 million girls around the world are denied the right to education, 500 million women can’t read and 155 countries have laws that discriminate against women. “Nowhere on earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere,” the letter states. “The fight for gender equality is global.” Signers also include Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, Amy Poehler, Colin Farrell, Danai Gurira, Connie Britton, Elton John, Patricia Arquette, Muhammed Ali, Sheryl Sandberg and Sean Parker. The push is organized by the ONE Campaign, co-founded by Irish rocker Bono to end extreme poverty and disease. “We still living in a time period where the most impoverished and disadvantaged people in the world are, without question, women and girls,” said Gurira, the playwright of the Broadway show “Eclipsed,” in an interview. “The light and the potential of women and girls in the world today is being blocked.”
Global Marathon: Empowering Women and Girls in STEM // Huffington Post
It may not always feel like it, but there has never been a better time for women to pursue STEM careers, and for girls to set STEM careers in their lifetime goals. For girls, I use the term “set” instead of “include” because so many girls who are building their skills in math and science already are planning to join the next generation of innovators. Their challenge is lack of encouragement and role models, not lack of ability. For women, the challenge can be maintaining patience with an industry that is changing for the better -- steadily but slowly. The goal of this year’s Global Marathon is to help enable greater change, to make change happen faster, and to ensure that the women and girls currently fighting on the front lines of change are encouraging and bringing more women and girls into technology and engineering.
The Pentagon Is Finally Designing Combat Gear for Women // Motherboard.vice
As women begin to serve in all combat roles across all branches of military, the Pentagon is making new efforts to ensure that their troops’ fertility and prospect of having kids is intact—something former service members weren’t afforded. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced in January that the Pentagon would start a pilot program this spring that will bank troops’ sperm and eggs before deployment, but the effort goes beyond cryogenic freezing. There’s also a less high-tech solution: making sure protective gear worn in the field protects women’s reproductive organs and is comfortable enough to wear without limiting their movement. For close to a decade, the armor issued to women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq had been primarily designed with men in mind. Their vests didn’t fit to their curves, items carried on the torso were shifted to the shoulders because of their size, and groin protectors were more to protect outside organs such as testicles and the penis than ovaries, which sit higher in the abdomen.
During Women's History Month -- Take A Moment To Appreciate Female Role Models // Forbes
March is Women’s History Month, a great time to celebrate women who have had a positive impact on the world and also on your own life. For me, three women stand out as role models… and I will always appreciate them for their courage, compassion and determination. My grandmother. She grew up during the Great Depression in a tiny, rural town in North Dakota where eighth grade was the highest level of education offered. Each day, no matter what the weather, she would walk several miles to go to school in a drafty, one room schoolhouse. Food was scarce and survival was difficult. But no matter what obstacles she had to overcome throughout her life, my grandmother always had a positive attitude, a smile on her face and a hug for anyone in need of one. She was one of the most intellectually adept people I’ve ever known, not because she had a genius IQ (she didn’t), because of her ability to truly understand people in their hearts. She believed that each person was on a life-long journey that would provide experiences that would shape and mold him or her; and that good or bad – the choice was up to each person as to how they handled each experience.
Billie Jean King Campaigns for Women's Soccer // The New York Times
Forty-three years after its creation, the Women’s Tennis Association still bills itself as “the global leader in women’s professional sport.” This is no puffed-up claim. With close to $130 million in prize money available in 2016, tennis continues to provide paydays like no other women’s sport. See the $3.3 million that Flavia Pennetta earned for winning the 2015 United States Open. The sport has also produced a steady stream of truly global stars with staying power, from Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova in the WTA’s early years to Maria Sharapova, who may not play much longer, and Serena Williams. But it is just as clear that the WTA is on borrowed time when it comes to global leadership. Women’s soccer, a still-drowsy giant, continues to stir. Soccer is a team game with fewer barriers to entry than expensive, technically daunting tennis, and with an estimated 30 million players worldwide, it already has a larger amateur base. The money should eventually follow, even if professional leagues are still struggling for footing.
The International Women’s Day Google Doodle Celebrates The Next Generation Of Female Pioneers // Bustle
Google has been commemorating holidays, historical events, and noteworthy people with the Google Doodle since 1998 with women rocking the Doodle on numerous occasions over the years. But this year, Google went above and beyond in their recognition of International Women's Day with a must-see Google Doodle celebrating the next generation of amazing women. At nearly a minute and a half, the Doodle is a heartfelt celebration of female potential that will make you both cry and cheer. To create this year's International Women's Day Doodle, Google project lead Liat Ben-Rafael and Google animator Lydia Nichols traveled to 13 cities across the globe to ask a total of 337 women and girls to complete the sentence, "One day I will..." The result is an inspiring collection of goals — voiced in 14 different languages — from a diverse group of females looking to make their mark on the world.
Brawny Features Strong Women in Flannel for #StrengthHasNoGender Campaign // Ad Week
To honor International Women's Day on Tuesday, paper towel company Brawny will swap its iconic Brawny Man mascot with four powerful women—each of who is making a difference in her own way. While you won't find the women on the packaging, their images will appear on the brand's social media accounts throughout Women's History Month.
Why women in business still need men to get ahead // CNBC
Women in leadership roles are keenly aware of our how our numbers have stagnated in the past decade. When it comes to business, finance and politics, women remain underrepresented in senior roles — and even mid-level ones. And yet, we keep striving. The past year or so alone has seen a cottage industry of professional women's groups blossom into a city-sized community worthy of note, each focusing on a specific niche (Lean In, Ellevate, Levo League). And yet, the number of women in big jobs remains essentially unchanged.
Nancy Reagan’s Surprising Feminist Gift to Hillary Clinton // TIME
For decades, Nancy Reagan, who died Sunday at 94, was the woman feminists most loved to hate. She was too wifely, too fashion conscious, too conservative, too much a 1950s’ traditionalist in the edgier, post-sixties, 1980s. Critics delighted in the mini-scandals surrounding her expensive White House china, her borrowed designer gowns and her family spats. But Nancy Reagan’s eight years as First Lady from 1981 to 1989 ended with a surprising turnaround. Nancy Reagan emerged as a feminist pioneer who helped Americans get used to having strong women in the White House, thus blazing the trail for Hillary Clinton’s subsequent White House runs.
W.H.O. Advises Pregnant Women to Avoid Areas Where Zika Is Spreading // The New York Times
The World Health Organization advised pregnant women on Tuesday to avoid travel to areas where the Zika virus is spreading. Experts on the organization’s Zika emergency committee also recommended that pregnant women and their partners who have been in areas with Zika rely on abstinence or safe sex to prevent sexual transmission of the virus. Sexual transmission is “more common than previously assumed,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, the agency’s director general. Local transmission of the virus has now been reported in 31 countries or territories in Latin American and the Caribbean. The agency emphasized that it was not recommending that women avoid whole countries, but only “areas” where mosquitoes were transmitting the virus. “The onus is on countries to report where they are having outbreaks,” said Dr. David L. Heymann, the chairman of the emergency committee, who is a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “Then it’s up to the pregnant women to decide whether they want to travel there.”
International Women's Day: A look back at female firsts in politics // CNN Politics
On International Women's Day, CNN Politics takes a look back at the first women to ever hold prominent positions in the world of politics. From Jeannette Rankin, a Montana Republican who in 1917 became the first woman to serve in Congress, to New York Democrat Shirley Chisholm, who in 1969 became the first African-American woman elected to Congress, each woman faced a set of challenges unique to her setting. But each managed to rise in the largely male-dominated world of politics. Last November the number of women serving in Congress passed 100 for the first time, but the percentage of women in Congress is still about 20%. And women have yet to hold the nation's highest office -- the presidency. If Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, senator and first lady, win the Democratic presidential nomination, she will become the first woman to capture a major party's White House nomination.
Remembering One Woman's Ultimate Tax Protest On International Women's Day // Forbes
Today is International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. (You can read more about International Women’s Day here.) It seems appropriate on this day to take a look at the story of a woman whose personal sacrifice is said to have resulted in social and political changes in Southern India. The woman’s name was Nangeli, which means the “beautiful one.” Nangeli lived in the state of Travancore in southern India in the 19th century. At the time, Travancore was largely ruled by the Brahmin class. The Brahmin class (sometimes spelled Brahman) was the highest ranking of the four varnas, or social classes, in India in the 19th century.
Gender stereotypes are holding strong: Beliefs about the roles of men and women are 'as firmly held now as they were in 1980' // Daily Mail
In the last 30 years, women's participation in the workforce, in athletics, and in professional education has increased in the US. But gender stereotypes are just as strong today as they were three decades years ago in the country, according to a new study. Psychologists in New Jersey compared attitudes towards gender stereotypes from around 200 college students 1983 and 2014, and found they have not changed much over that time. The biggest difference in attitudes they found was that now both genders are judged to be equally responsible for financial obligations, whereas 30 years ago they had not been. But the belief that men should repair and maintain cars has not changed over the time, and the idea that men are less likely to look after the house and children has actually increased. Women now represent 47 per cent of the US workforce, compared to 38 per cent in the mid 1980s, according to the study.
Amnesty International Wants Latin American Countries To Stop Forcibly Sterilizing Women With HIV // World Post
Amnesty International is asking Latin American and Caribbean governments to decriminalize abortion and stop forcibly sterilizing women with HIV. The human rights group called attention to a wide-ranging series of public health failures across eight Latin American and Caribbean countries in a report released Monday, contending that state policies in the region often fuel violence against women. The report describes Latin America and the Caribbean as a region where “more than half of pregnancies are unwanted or unplanned, where there are extremely high rates of sexual violence, where the demand for contraception far outstrips availability and where cultural norms continue to give pride of place to women’s role as mothers.” Governments make matters worse by sharply restricting access to abortion, allowing religious groups too much influence over public health choices, and at times pressing women to make health decisions without their consent, the report says. In one example, Amnesty cites the case of Michelle, a 23-year-old housewife from the Mexican state of Veracruz who discovered she was HIV-positive during a check up after entering her fourth month of pregnancy with her third child. State health workers at the hospital where she received care in preparation for the birth then insisted that she undergo a sterilization procedure, called a bilateral tubal occlusion, despite Michelle’s insistence that she didn’t want it, saying she preferred to use another form of contraception.
Names We'd Like To See When We Google 'Women Changing The World' // NPR
Sheryl Sandberg. Hillary Clinton. Malala Yousafzai. Oprah. Even Taylor Swift.These names pop up when you Google "women changing the world." Depending on your politics and point of view, you may agree that these influencers have broken stereotypes, raised global awareness for critical issues like energy and education, and/or served as role models for girls.What about Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy? Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu? Kiran Gandhi? Have you heard of them? Probably not.
The Best-Paying Jobs For Women In 2016 // Forbes
To determine which professions are paying women the most, Forbes analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracking the median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers in 2015, broken down by gender and occupation. Each of these jobs pays median weekly wages of $1,148 or greater, resulting in median yearly earnings just shy of $60,000.
Documenting Violence Against Women, Even if It’s Hard to Look // The New York Times
The doors to a small but powerful new exhibition at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove are usually kept closed. The barrier is meant to prevent children visiting the rest of the museum from wandering by accident into the gallery, said Beth Lilach, the center’s senior director of education and community affairs who is the chief curator of “Women, Not Victims: Moving Beyond Sexualized Atrocities During Genocide.” The exhibition, which covers several countries and eras, includes images of a severed head and girls nailed to crosses. “This is a topic that has generally been overlooked and trivialized,” even by genocide scholars and historians, Ms. Lilach said. A few academic conferences have addressed the subject in recent years, she said, “but it’s still cutting edge.” Survivors have often felt stigmatized or shamed, she said, and women have rarely been in positions to bring public attention to the acts that mostly plague women and girls.
Apple Tops (Short) List Of Tech Companies Where Women Report Equal Treatment // Forbes
The technology sector can be a lonely place for women workers, particularly those in senior roles, who are few and far between. Men hold 82% of leadership positions, on average, at Google, Facebook FB +0.98%, Twitter TWTR +0.84% and the rest of the industry’s biggest companies. Women who do land roles in Silicon Valley are faced with pervasive, systemic sexism. A recent survey of senior women tech executives revealed 60% have been on the receiving end of unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. Of these women, 65% reported having received such advances from a superior. A whopping 90% reported having witnessed sexist behavior at company offsites or industry conferences. While women within the industry discuss the worst offenders amongst themselves, it can take a high-profile court case — like that of Ellen Pao and Kleiner Perkins — to expose the toxic goings-on inside individual companies.
“My pace was not sustainable”: Why millennial women are burning out on the job // Salon
Professional burnout is a topic on which self-help books abound (two of the most popular being the catchily titled “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferris or the “One Minute Manager” series by Ken Blanchard). New to this conversation is how burnout is affecting women in an age where the clock on their careers is less and less tied to their biological clocks. In Anne-Marie Slaughter’s much-shared piece, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” in The Atlantic, she explained why the pull of being at home with her kids in New Jersey drew her away from her successful government job in D.C. But what’s interesting is that this phenomenon isn’t about motherhood; it’s that the millennial propensity to overachieve and seek approval—in some cases mixing with the frustrations of glass ceilings and sexism in the office—is taking a toll on young childless women. Capable women are leaving the workforce in droves for disappointing reasons.
Riveting Video Shows The Harmful Consequences Of Objectifying Women // Huffpost Women
A powerful new campaign wants advertisers to know that many consumers are fed up with how women are portrayed. Women Not Objects, a project dedicated to calling out the objectification of women in commercials, magazine spreads and other forms of advertising, has released a new video focusing on how harmful these unrealistic beauty standards truly are. The video highlights the way women's bodies become trending buzzy topics, pointing to the "thigh gap" and the "Kylie Jenner lip challenge" before pointing out how many ads use violence against women to sell a product. As examples of these advertisements flash throughout the video, women comment on their dangerous consequences. "I just think that it's harming women psychologically, physically, mentally, socially," one woman says. To combat this mistreatment of women, people held up signs explaining why they're standing up to the use of women and their bodies as mere objects. It's not just affecting them. It's affecting their mothers, daughters, friends and many more. The setup is simple, but powerful.
Pay doesn’t look the same for men and women at top newspapers // The Washington Post
The union that represents journalists at The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s announced this week that Dow Jones, which owns the publications, pay men more than women in jobs of similar tenure. Male staffers with up to five years of experience, for example, earn an average of 13.5 percent more than female staffers at the same level — and even slightly more than the category of women who've been on the job for twice as long. The Independent Association of Publishers' Employees 1096’s analysis found that, on average, full-time women at Dow Jones properties make about 87 cents for every dollar paid to full-time men. This includes everyone employed by Dow Jones who's represented by the union — a group of about 1,400 across North America, including writers, copy editors and customer service representatives. (The union does not represent workers in supervisory roles.)
Missing From CDC’s Advice for Women: Advice for Men // Undark
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a document with some strongly worded guidelines for women. In order to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome, the CDC advised, women should avoid drinking, even if they’re not currently pregnant. “Sexually active women who stop using birth control should stop drinking alcohol,” the document warned. “But most keep drinking.” As CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat put it in the agency’s press release, “The risk is real. Why take the chance?” The CDC isn’t alone in these recommendations. The Mayo Clinic, too, suggests that sexually active women in their childbearing years “consider giving up alcohol” in anticipation of unexpected pregnancies.
The founder of Wikipedia’s Women Scientists project found a brilliant use for her hate mail // Quartz
By day, Emily Temple-Wood, 21, is a student of biology at the university of Loyola in Chicago on a path to start medical school in 2017. But by night, she is even more impressive: she runs Wikipedia’s Women Scientists project to improve the coverage of women scientists on Wikipedia. She was inspired, at 18, after finding out that many of the profiles of women scientists belonging to the Royal Society of Science didn’t have a Wikipedia page. Since launching, her project (to which 76 Wikipedia authors and editors now contribute) got nearly 400 women scientists on Wikipedia’s front page, and Temple-Wood’s efforts to improve gender bias in science coverage has been labeled as “epic,” the Wikimedia Foundation reports. Beyond the fact that many of the profiles of female scientists are missing, there is a problem in the way the existing ones are written, Temple-Wood told Quartz.
All-female flight crew inspires new generation of women pilots // CBS News
Airlines are looking to diversify their pilot corps, but women still make up only a fraction of the applicants. In the U.S., women make up only about six-and-a-half percent of all pilots. But on one San Francisco-to-Maui United Airlines flight, the pilots, flight attendants, gate agents and even some of the ground crew were all women - a rare occurrence in the male-dominated world of aviation. "I never thought it would be like this but it's really wonderful that it is," said United Airlines Captain Wanda Collins. Collins joined the airline in 1999 and is a former Army reservist. Before coming to United, she competed in air shows. "I'm really looking forward to it and seeing more women in the future. Just being a female pilot gives you the opportunity to prove to people that you can be strong," Collins said. The number of women licensed to fly an airliner has grown by more than 800 between 2010 and 2014, but make up only about 4 percent of licensed airline pilots.
1st women could start Navy SEAL training in August // The San Diego Union Tribune
The first female Navy SEAL candidates could arrive at pre-training as early as mid-May, and the Marines will start sending women ground combat candidates to boot camp as soon as April, according to time lines released Thursday by the Defense Department. That would mean the first women could start the infamously tough SEAL training course in Coronado in late August — potentially being assigned to SEAL teams as early as October 2017, if they make the cut. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s office said he has approved implementation plans by each of America’s armed services to allow women in nearly 220,000 previously closed combat jobs. It’s a move building since 2013, when then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that he would lift the ban on women in combat. Many observers see it as an acknowledgment that women have proven themselves in the line of fire during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Women of colour around the world are taking part in the #UnfairandLovely campaign // Mashable
A few days ago, three students from the University of Texas joined forces to start an online campaign to question colourism across the world. Called "Unfair and Lovely," it has quickly grown as hundreds of women come forward to share their experiences. It began when black photographer Pax Jones shot a photo series titled "Unfair & Lovely" featuring fellow students, Sri Lankan sisters Mirusha and Yanusha Yogarajah, to highlight their common experiences of colourism. After it went viral, the three decided to evolve the series into a hashtag on social media. The campaign invites dark-skinned women from around the world to post their photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #unfairandlovely. Since then, hundreds of women have been sharing their stories. It gets its name from Fair & Lovely, a skin-whitening product sold by Hindustan Unilever in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and other parts of Asia. In India, where it has been sold for the last four decades, its popularity is attributed to the close connection between South Asian ideals of beauty and being fair-skinned.