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Entries in women of France (7)

Sunday
Aug112013

At Least Some Opt-Out Revolution Moms Are Opting Back In & Not Only For The Money

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Oprah Winfrey above shares  details of her collision with a shopkeeper in Zurich who refused to show her a Tom Ford handbag, saying, “No. It’s too expensive’. Oprah tells Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’Dell that she asked to see the bag at least twice more, but the shopkeeper refused, suggesting cheaper bags.

“One more time, I tried,” says Oprah but the shopkeeper refused saying “Oh, I don’t want to hurt your feelings”, leaving the woman who earned $77 million last year, according to Forbes magazine, saying “Okay, thank you so much. You’re probably right, I can’t afford it.”

Oprah’s ET interview was focused on her new movie ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler. For the Swiss side of the story, read Huff Po.

NYT Magazine: Opting Back In

I remember Lisa Belkin’s cover article well, generally refusing to give it serious credence because the title ‘Opt-Out Revolution’ applied to a select group of often Ivy-League educated women married to successful men. A national trend it was not in a country among the most difficult internationally in promoting national policies that give any assist to working moms. Several of the women have sobered up in the last decade. Read Judith Warner’s article in this weekend’s NYT Magazine. 

French Women = More Babies

If America has no work/motherhood policies, France has made a demographic u-turn, with large credit given to pro-family policies. The average number of children born to French women rose to 2.01 in 2011 from 1.96 in 2007.

New French mothers are offered a state-paid, extended course of vaginal gymnastics with an emphasis on seeing thelves as les femmes as well as new moms. Perineal therapy — think Kegel exercises — are as ubiquitous in France as free nursery schools, generous family allowances, tax deductions for each child, discounts for large families on high-speed trains, and the expectation that after a paid, four-month maternity leave, mothers are back in shape — and back at work.

Related: Mothers Least LIkely To Be Given Flexible Work Schedules.

Wednesday
Apr032013

Angelina Jolie Opens Girls School in Afghanistan | Jolie Visits Congo Women Ahead of G8 Meeting | Texas Title 10 $

1. Angelina Jolie opens Afghanistan girls school. Angelina Jolie inspired me to start writing AOC and she is a muse in many ways to the development of our content and philosophy. Jolie’s latest project is a school for girls she opened in Afghanistan, funding it with profits from her new Style by Jolie jewelry collaboration with Robert Procop.

The girls-only primary school is located just outside of Kabul, in an area known for resistance to educating girls. 

“The beauty of these creations is matched by the beauty of spirit behind Angelina’s most heartfelt mission — to empower children in crisis…For me it’s an honor to have the opportunity to be a part of creating this line with Angie, as we both believe every child has a right to an education.”

2. Angelina Jolie lends voice to DR Congo rape victims. On March 26, Angelina Jolie joined British Foreign Secretary William Hague in his efforts to raise commitments of G8 countries to tackle rape and sexual assault in war zones. Jolie and Hague are calling on the G8 to agree that rape and sexual violence constitute breaches of the Geneva Conventions governing warfare, as well as a new international protocol on the documentation and investigation of the issue.

“More often than not the international community looks away, the perpetrators of these brutal crimes walk free and the cycle of injustice and conflict is repeated. We have to shatter this culture of impunity,” Hague said.

Read our extensive writing about women in the Congo. 

3. Hamas seeks to educate girls separately from boys. Palestinian boys and girls in Gaza should be educated at separate schools if a new Hamas-proposed law takes effect. The new policy is more symbolic than functional, since most older children are already educated in single-sex schools. Of greater concern is that the law is another example of Hamas flexing its muscle on its insistence on a strict, traditional interpretation of Islam.

The UN announced last month that it would cancel its annual Gaza marathon after Hamas insisted that women no longer participate. London’s The Independent writes that to date Hamas has not been tough on enforcing restrictions on women. 

4. Not so fast, Saudi ladies! Foreign Policy reports that Saudi Arabian women might not be riding bikes after all. On Monday reports were that an unnamed Saudi religious police official said that women will now be allowed to ride bicycles in the country for “entertainment” purposes only.

5. In France women will no longer have to pay to terminate a pregnancy and young women 15-18 will be allowed free and anonymous access to contraception. The French government seeks to reduce the number of abortions and teen pregnancies among poor women, reports NPR. 

6. In a massive win for the poor women of Texas, the The Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas (WHFPT), which includes Planned Parenthood, has received millions of dollars enabled by the federal government under Title X grants. No funds can be used for abortion, but it will allow women’s clinics to provide free contraception and other women’s health services to poor women.  

The state of Texas has gone to inordinate pain to put Planned Parenthood out of business, sacrificing women’s health across the state. We’ve reported in depth that current estimates are that 24,000 unwanted children will be born in 2013 to poor women with no access to contraception. 

7. Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are proposing the formation of a state religion. The bill would declare the state exempt from the Constitution and court rulings. The bill says each state “is soverign” and courts cannot block a state “from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.”

In Mississippi, writes Huff Po, the legislature is looking at a proposal to establish a state board with the power to nullify federal laws. 

Constitutional law professor Jeffrey Fisher from Stanford University says “It is elementary that a state cannot pass a statute that blocks enforcement of an otherwise enforceable federal law.”

8. Women’s rights activists in North Dakota want to put all abortion rights legislation laws up for a popular vote. The referral process would involve obtaining petition signatures to start a statewide vote over whether or not the recent bans should be allowed to go into effect. 

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.