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Entries in women leaders (52)


UN Passes Historic Code To Combat Violence Against Women | Why Philadelphia Women Need Earned Sick Days Bill

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1. Moms and Dads 1965-2011: Roles Converge but ‘traditional’ realms remain. Fifty years after Betty Friedan’s book ‘The Feminine Mystique’, Americans remain conflicted about what is best for children. In this recent Pew Research survey of 2,511 adults and an analysis of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), only 16% say it’s best for a young child to have a mother who works full time. 42% of adults say mothers working part-time is ideal, and one-third say that mothers shouldn’t work outside of the home. 

Perhaps due to financial pressures, the number of women wanting to work full time with children has increased from 20% in 2007 to 32% in 2012. 

Note that in 1997, 32% of mothers said they wanted to work full time. 

2. Senators are considering removing military commanders from rape cases. Hearings on rape in the military began on Wednesday, by the Senate Armed Services subcomittee chaired by New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. 

Testifying before the senate committee, Rebekhah Havrilla reported seeking support and guidance from a military chaplain about her rape.  The chaplain told her “that the rape was God’s will and that God was trying to get my attention so that I would go back to church,” she stated. 

The hearings on sexual assault in the military are the first in a decade. 

“The Pentagon estimates that 19,000 incidents of sexual assault occurred in 2010 alone, with only 13.5 percent of those reported and an even smaller percentage, 191 cases, convicted. In 2011, Gillibrand said, only 240 cases proceeded to trial”, writes The Daily Beast.

The military estimates that about 56% of the victims are men — a fact not widely reported. Presently commanders decide whether or not a military case will be pursued. 

3. When 5,000 women marched up DC’s Pennsylvania Avenue, demanding the vote, their New Woman clothing sent a clear message.

 Advancing a stereotype that burst on the scene around 1890, this ‘New Woman’ was middle class, bolder, more active and worldly, and definitely more outspoken than mom’s generation, says Alden O’Brien of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum. 

The Atlantic investigates the loosening up of women’s fashions and end of the brief fad ‘hobble skirts’ that kept women from getting anywhere fast. Across the Atlantic, Coco Chanel was embarking on an illustrious career, ultimately challenging women to give up the ‘illogical’ designs of male couturiers. From the woman who gave us trousers and jersey fabric, there was no room for waist cinchers or padded bras.  

Related: most people don’t know that Coco Chanel also gave the world suntans. Read on in AOC Body

4. UN passes historic code to combat violence against women. In an almost miraculous event attended by some 6,000 non-government groups from around the world, a deadlock between Western countries on the one hand and Muslim countries plus the Vatican on the other, was broken and agreement reached around language stating that violence against women could not be justified by “Any custom, tradition or religious consideration.”

Michelle Bachelet, the head of the UN women’s agency and former president of Chile called “historic”. The Muslim Brotherhood opposed the document along with Catholic countries. 

The head of Egypt’s delegation, politician and diplomat Mervat Tallawy, surprised delegates when she ignored the Brotherhood and announced that Egypt would join consensus. “I believe in women’s cause. I don’t take money from the government. I work voluntarily. If they want to kick me out they can. But I will not change my belief in women,” she said. “Women are the slaves of this age. This is unacceptable, and particularly in our region.”

5. We update readers on the dire situation for poor women in Texas, as Texas officials proceed with their crusade to defund Planned Parenthood.

Mother Jones reports that Texas is now funding 176 fewer health clinics for poor women than it did in 2011. 53 health clinics in Texas have been forced to close with budget cuts. 39 of those clinics have no affiliation with Planned Parenthood and zero performed abortions. 

200,000 low-income women in Texas have already lost or soon will lose access to birth control, cancer screenings and other critical preventative care. Before these cuts, half of all pregnancies in Texas were unplanned. 

It’s estimated that an additional 24,000 births will occur in 2014-15 costing taxpayers up to $273 million — unless that safety net is abolished in the state of Texas as well. 

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In Sisterhood

Soraya Chemaly

Steubenville: We’re Sick and Tired Of Rape Being Treated Lika An Unavoidable Joke Huffington Post

Yesterday, in our fatiguing chronicling of rape, the Steubenville rape trial began.  ABC reported that two boys “took liberties” (such an interesting turn of phrase if you think about it) with a drunk girl and now face rape charges. Attorneys for the defendants, two star football players (as everyone is intent on reminding us), argued that the boys did not rape a drunk 16-year old girl, whom they performed sexual acts on, because she “didn’t say no.”  The lawyers are asking the court to believe that there was no nonconsensual contact during a long night in which these boys (just like these boys) put their fingers into the girl’s vagina, attempted to have her perform oral sex (she couldn’t hold her mouth open), allegedly urinated on her and were photographed dragging her around by her hands and feet. As one of the boys was quoted saying in a tonally rape-friendly media piece, “It just felt like she was coming on to me.”  Which, of course, is clear license to treat a living girl like an inflatable silicon sex doll.

If traditional coverage and similar cases in the recent past are any indication, what will inevitably evolve in the next few weeks is a media narrative about these boys, their football aspirations, their dashed hopes, and their basic all-American Boy Goodness. 

Anne Doyle


It’s Sheryl Sandberg’s Courage To Raise Her Voice That’s Not News, Not Leaning In Forbes Woman

And thank you, Sheryl,  for doing something even more courageous: bringing the “F” word out of the closet. When was the last time you heard a nationally-known businesswoman, particularly one of Forbes’ 20 Most Powerful Women In Business, describe herself as a feminist?

Caryn Hunt

Why Philadelphia Women Need The Earned Sick Days Bill AOC Women

Four out of five of the lowest income workers in Philadelphia – an estimated 210,000 employees, primarily in the hospitality and care-giving sectors, a majority of them women – have no provision for paid sick days. So if they or a family member gets sick, tough luck. Many workers that do have paid sick days are not able to use them to care for family members. When workers are not allowed to take sick days, illness spreads, forcing formerly healthy people, people who were simply eating lunch, or whose child is friends with a child who should have stayed home, to have to use their own sick days – if they’ve got them.

The Earned Sick Days Bill, Bill 130004, would mandate that Philadelphia employers with five or more employees allow their workers to accrue time that can be used toward paid sick days off. It works like this: for every forty hours on the job, you become eligible for one hour of paid sick leave. For small businesses, there is a cap at four days per year. 


18 For Profit Companies Sue Against Contraception Mandate | Rape In Syria | Ashley Judd for Women & Families?

1. United Methodist Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, the first female Hispanic bishop elected in the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination, was one of 14 religious leaders who met with President Obama at the White House yesterday on immigration reform. 

In addition to her role as immigration spokesperson for the United Methodists’ Council of Bishops, Carcaño leads the church’s California-Pacific Conference, an area that covers much of Southern California, Hawaii and U.S. territories in the Pacific Ocean, such as Guam. Read on at Huff Po.

2. If Ashley Judd challenges Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) for his US Senate seat and wins — it will probably be thanks to women voters, writes Michelle Bernard for WaPo.

Kentucky is a state like Pennsylvania, having never elected to the US Senate. In its history, Kentucky has only elected two women to the House. Can Judd accomplish the unthinkable? If she can’t, why is Karl Rove already running attack ads against her?

3. Eighteen for-profit companies say they refuse to comply with the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act. This provision of Obamacare requires that all insurance policies cover birth control without a co-pay as part of preventive care.

The group are all suing to overturn the birth control benefit, arguing that the benefit infringes on their freedom of religion in deciding what is best for their employees. All 18 employers support the concept of “personhood” for fertilized eggs, believing that providing coverage to Plan B Emergency Contraception requires them to indirectly commit murder. Note that the FDA agrees that Plan B is NOT an “abortifacient”. Read on RH Reality Check. 

4. Rape is the primary reason families are fleeing Syria, writes Salon. Who in the media is talking about it? AOC regularly follows news on Syria and can’t recall a single mention of “rape as a primary reason their families fled Syria” even though an International Rescue Committee report in January confirmed the fact, as did Erika Feller, assistant high commissioner for protection of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“Reports are revealing that the conflict in Syria is increasingly marked by rape and sexual violence employed as a weapon of war to intimidate parties to the conflict destroying identity, dignity and the social fabrics of families and communities.

5. The Longevity Project has studied 1500 Americans who were first examined as kids in the 1920s. 

Amidst all the talk that stress is debilitating, the Longevity Project reveals that individuals who stay the busiest — and often working the hardest — live the longest and stay healthiest. Retirement — depending on what one does with it — can be bad for one’s health. Consider some of the people who are telling you to relax, writes Psychology Today.

“They are highly accomplished journalists, successful scientists, and gurus running highly thriving and lucrative meditation centers. You’d better believe they work really hard and are very dedicated to their work.”

GlamTribale Opens At Building Character in Lancaster, Pa. 

Anne writes: Our new GlamTribale shops at Building Character in Lancaster are evolving — but not according to plan. In the process of having a major crisis last Thursday night — when we had 24 hrs. to open for First Friday — my strategy for the spaces has changed quite a lot.

30 Dreadful Seconds

Imagine this. I was sitting on a chair painting the back wall a golden mocha color, engaged in a bit of a nirvana moment. Painting is almost as therapeutic as mowing the lawn — there’s something very tidy about accomplishing the task at hand with such clear signs of progress. Read on. 

GlamTribale at Building Character in Lancaster, Pa.



Mostly Men Write Our Serious Reading | Neuro-politics Is A Hot Topic | US Seeks A Liberal Pope

1. Journalism seems to be a man’s world. According to a new VIDA study, women continue to write a minority of articles in prestigious publications, consistent with results from other years.  

The study found that the London Review of Books published 34 pieces that carried female bylines, compared to 161 pieces with male byelines. Harper’s published 17 articles written by women, compared to 76 articles written by men. The New Yorker published 160 articles with female bylines, compared to 445 articles with male bylines. The New York Review of Books published 36 stories by women and 121 stories written by men. via Huff Po

2. Neuro-politics is a hot topic, as increasing evidence indicates that genes and brain chemistry significantly influence one’s political perspective. The Democratic amygdala can be distinguished from a Republican’s in a recent brain scan study. The Republican brain is more driven by fear and reward, with Democrats having a more generous-spirited, emotional connectivity — a conclusion affirmed by linguist and cognitive scientist George Lakoff who says the “Republicans’ attachment to a rigid concept of paternalistic discipline and enforced obedience to an idealized authority” is no accident. 

Writing for Salon, Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg trace neuro-politics back to Thomas Jefferson.

3. ‘Queen-bee syndrome’ alive and well, writes the Wall Street Journal.  A 2011 survey of working women by the American Management Association found that 95 percent of them believed they had been undermined by another woman at some point in their careers. 

The syndrome is a live and well with the rise of the alpha women, writes psychologist Peggy Drexler. With all the talk about the need for women to mentor other women, something may be rotten in Denmark when the focus is the professional sisterhood.

Madeleine Albright said famous: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” If so, is it possible there may not be enough room for all the alpha ladies. 

4. As the College of Cardinals prepares to select a new pope, US Catholics are united in a strong preference for a younger man with hew ideas. 66% of Catholics polled by CBS seek a pope with more liberal teachings on issues like birth control, ordaining women and permitting priests to marry. 

Time for a reality check, however. The Vatican, Iran and other religious states are resisting efforts at the UN to demand tougher global standards to prevent violence against women and children.

The Vatican seeks to eliminate language stating that religious custom can’t be used as an excuse for being violent towards women and girls. 

5. American researchers have found a potential benefit of a molecule in green tea: preventing the misfolding of specific proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Simultaneously, British researchers believe that natural chemicals found in green tea and red wine prevent clumps of protein to latch on to brain cells, causing them to die.  

After identifying the process which allows harmful protein clumps to start brain degeneration, the researchers were able to interrupt this pathway, using the purified extracts of EGCG from green tea and resveratrol from red wine.  The discovery will help the development of new drugs to treat the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease. via Science Daily