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Entries in women of France (5)

Saturday
Feb232013

Will Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Run for Political Office? | Girls' Brains & Language Development

1. Republicans in the US House of Representatives have redrafted the Senate’s bill to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), stripping protections of LGBT Americans and a clause involving Native Americans who victims of sexual assault or abuse. Read more on Republican opposition in an earlier RedTracker.

Republicans argue vehemently that the Native American protections are unconstitutional. The House bill allows the states greater discretion in deciding which populations are being under-served and are therefore more deserving of funding than others. 

Huff Po provides a link to the House version of their 288-page bill. 

2. The New York Times writes: In Paid Femily Leave, U.S. Trails most of the Globe. America joins Papua New Guinea, Suriname and Liberia as countries having no paid maternity leave at all. 

Individual corporations like Google have stepped in where the federal government has not. And some states have laws that mandate paid maternity leave. 

Perhaps America can learn from France, a country that supports new mothers with a generous paid parental leave policy and childcare services. As a result France now has a birth rate of 2.0 — putting it with Ireland in top birth rates — and also the lowest rate of unemployment among women among European Union Member States. 

3. BBC reports that the Vatican accuses media of trying to profit from a time of disorientation and confusion in the Catholic Church, promoting ‘gossip’ and ‘slander’, writing:

An unconfirmed report in one of Italy’s biggest newspapers, La Repubblica, suggested that the Pope had resigned shortly after being presented with a dossier detailing a network of Vatican priests, “united by sexual orientation” who were being blackmailed.

We reported in July 2010 that Panorama, a publication owned by Silvio Berlusconi caught three Catholic priests inside a gay nightclub and having sex outside a church building. The expose titled ‘Gay Piests’ Nights on the Town’ followed priests with secret cameras for a month. (cont)

(Vatican cont) Italy’s prominent paper La Repubblica, Thursday published a report of similar scandal around the Vatican. USA Today also covers the story. 

Britain’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien has gone on record saying that the next pope should review the marriage ban on priests. Lest we think Cardinal O’Brien is a progressive, his moderate views are confined to this particular topic. 

In Germany, Catholic bishops have announced that “Catholic hospitals can provide emergency contraceptives to rape victims, as long as the pills prevent the fertilization of an egg and do not stop the implantation of a fertilized egg”, writes The Catholic Reporter. 

4. The public weighs in on sequester cuts, with four in 10 Americans saying let the sequester happen. With barely a week to go, even one in three Democrats, says let the cuts happen, writes Pew Research.

Both parties say that the president and Congress should focus on a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the budget deficit. Only 10% of Americans agree with Republican leaders that tax increases should be off the table. Only 42% of Republicans surveyed said that deficit reduction should come from spending cuts alone. 76% believe in a combination of both spending and revenue increases, with 54% supporting “mostly spending cuts” and 30% saying equally balanced.

Take Note

Girls and Language Development

Girls may be naturally more gifted in language skills because their brains contain considerably more of the gene called FOXP2, considered essential for the production of speech. Since it was first discovered in 2001, studies have confirmed that girls learn language faster and earlier than boys, as well as maintaining a larger vocabulary.

Scientists caution that the nature vs nurture argument remains critical to the discussion. And there are other genes critical in the production of speech.

An examination of levels of FOXP2 in male and female rat brains confirmed higher levels of FOXP2 in the male brain regions linked to emotion, vocalization and cognition. Mother rats responded to male babies who called nearly twice as frequently in the less vociferous girl babies. The mother rats also carried the boy rats back to the nest first. 

Researchers reduced the FOXP2 in the male pups’ brains and increased it in the females’ with the opposite result. 

And in a study of 10 recently-deceased human children, girls exhibited 30% more FOXP2 in their brains than boys.  Researchers concluded that among both rats and humans, the gender with the most FOXP2 in its brain was the most communicative.

Are We About to Map the Entire Human Brain? Psychology Today

 

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg

Writes ‘Lean In’

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

This week Kevin Roose of New York Magazine predicted the Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will leave the company within the year AND run for political office. Roose’s comments come in response to Jodi Kantor’s New York Times article about Sandberg’s new book ‘Lean In’. Talking about her book-slash-manifesto on women in the worplace, Sandberg said that she reread Betty Friedan’s classic ‘The Feminine Mystique’, now 50 years old.

When her book is published on March 11, Sandberg hopes to orchestrate her own version of feminist consciousness-raising groups. Sandberg has developed a curriculum of how to create career success including videos on how successful women speak and even sit at work.

Ms. Sandberg will grant her first book interview to the CBS program ‘60 Minutes’. “I always thought I would run a social movement,” Ms Sandberg, 43, reflected in an interview for ‘Makers’, a new documentary on feminist history. Take a listen. 


Wednesday
May302012

US Child Poverty Rate | French President Hollande's Gender Parity Cabinet | Women's Strike Force in VA Hits Home

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

View chart larger.

Global spending cuts are certain to impact child poverty rates, putting children’s future health, education and employment prospects at risk, the UN’s children’s charity UNICEF warns.

Poverty rates are determined by whether a child lacks two or more of a list of 14 basic items such as three meals a day, a quiet place to do homework, educational books at home, or an Internet connection. The highest rates of deprivation are found in countries that include Romania, Bulgaria and Portugal (with more than 70%, 50% and 27% respectively), though even some richer countries, such as France and Italy, have deprivation rates above 10%. The Nordic countries have the least deprivation among children, all with rates below 3%.

The second measure scrutinized in Report Card 1/0 looks at relative poverty, examining the percentage of children living below their national “poverty line” – defined as 50 per cent of median disposable household income.

The combined analysis results in a lineup of countries in which the United States ranks second from last among developed countries with a child poverty rate of 23.1%.

The top five positions in the league table are occupied by Iceland, Finland, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Norway (with Slovenia and Denmark close behind). All of these countries have relative child poverty rates below 7%. Read on at UNICEF

More reading from AOC

Status vs Money | A Third Look At Happiness, Gender Equality & Taxes

More French Roast News

Women’s Strike Force Soars

“Our organization is not even three months old, yet activists across Virginia are clamoring to get involved and help raise money,” the group’s director, Rebecca Gellar, boasted recently. “In our first two weeks, we raised a breathtaking $100,000.” According to public documents, that includes $20,000 from a single donor in Charlottesville — as well as four-figure contributions from as far afield as Massachusetts and California.

Anne’s ‘Operation Spittin’ Out the Pitts’ is watching the new VA-based Women’s Strike Force, a political PAC formed after VA infamous vaginal ultrasound bill probed the private parts and public conscience of a few too many American women.

WSF is gaining such momentum that the Richmond Daily saw a need to write a critical op ed piece, deriding a PAC that would form around the single issue of women’s reproductive health.

Related Reading:

Ronald Regan, The Silent Scream and the Slow Rise of Fetal Pain The Daily Beast

Anti-Sex Ed Curriculum Makes the List: Don’t Blame Obama, Blame the System RH Reality Check

Republican Rep. tries to save Planned Parenthood Politico

Conservative bishops court the disdain of Catholic Women LATimes

Gender Parity in Hollande Ministers

VOA News writes that France’s newly-elected president Francois Hollande has ushered in the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet. Olivia Cattan, journalist and founder of the feminist organization ‘Paroles de Femmes’ or ‘Words of Women’ advises Hollande on women’s issues. A new ministry of women’s rights is headed by 34-year-old Najat Vallaud Belkacem.

“It’s a fantastic gesture for Mr. Hollande. It’s like a page has been turned. It’s the first parity government in France. He’s really turned a page in terms of French feminism,” Cattan said.

Tuesday
May082012

President Obama Endorses Gay Marriage | Meet France's New First Lady Valerie Trierweiler, A Fresh Face

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

One key line in the sand between President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney has been drawn today, and the topic is gay marriage. In a dramatic nod to his own constituency of Democrats who heavily favor gay marriage — and that includes large numbers of Catholic voters — President Obama became the first sitting president to declare this afternoon his support for same-sex marriage. Huff Po writes:

The statement constitutes an act of political bravery on the president’s behalf, as well as a major victory for the gay rights community, which has been pushing him to declare his support for marriage equality for several years. With the issue back in the news this week, the pressure intensified.

Mitt Romney does not agree, when asked for his views on gay marriage, telling POLITICO’s Reid Epstein:

“Well when these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name. My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not.”

Related: Liberal Donors’ Plan Worries Top Democrats NYTimes

Hatch calls on IRS to probe whether staffer leader anti-gay marriage group’s files FOX News

A Real Conversion for the Rest of Us Catholics Huff Po

More DFR

France’s New First Lady

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of defeated French President Sarkozy, will exit the Elysee Palace stage left, as the new first lady Valerie Trierweiler prepares for her new role alongside President-elect Francois Hollande. Adding spice to the French election result is the fact that twice-divorced journalist Trierweiler “stole” her man, according to the Washington Post, from “Segolene Royal, the mother of Hollande’s four children and a former presidential candidate now seeking her own seat of political power.”

After losing to Sarkozy in 2007, Royal asked Hollande to leave the family home, given his full-blown relationship with Trierweiler. Now she seeks the position as speaker of France’s lower house of parliament, if the Socialists win June’s legislative elections.

Unlike her supermodel predecessor, Valerie wears high-street shops or mid-range labels. Her trademark look consists of a trench-coat or a blazer, a simple shirt, ample trousers and small heels — often accessorized by a Gérard Darel handbag and a colorful silk scarf, writes Fashionista.

Florence Willaert, editor-at-large at French Grazia, describes France’s new first lady. “She is discreet, real, and a lot easier to identity with. She embodies the same message as her husband: a new proximity to the people.”  The couple intends to live in their apartment in a Parisian neighborhood, not the Elysee Palace.