Since 1960, when women only accounted for 39 percent of the undergraduate population, women’s relative numbers in college have steadily increased. According to Goldin et al. (2006), women are the majority of U.S. college students overall and they receive the bulk of bachelor’s degrees. This trend isn’t limited to the U.S. – in fact it’s prevalent in most rich countries.
When you hear the phrase “work-life balance,” the image that comes to mind for many is women juggling baby bottles and Blackberries. However the speakers at the Emerging Leaders Network’s Making Life Work for You panel on April 30 challenged the audience to see how the concept of work-life balance applies to all professionals: men and women, entry level and senior leadership.
Is it possible to think of your mother without also conjuring up notions of the Great Mother, that archetype so deeply embedded within our cultures and psyches? Richard Stromer, doesn’t think so, as he says in his paper, The Good and the Terrible, Exploring the Two faces of the Great Mother: “In exploring the idea of ‘mother,’ it is useful to recognize the existence of both a personal and biographical dimension and a collective and mythic one.” That mythic mother appears all around us, especially in the stories we consume from an early age.
This Sunday, bouquets of roses, Hallmark cards, and restaurant reservations will be deployed by citizenry anxious to promote and valorize an ideal Mother. But what if you are a “mother” operating outside of the normative, mainstream designation? Is there a prize for you, too?
We could ask the thousands of grandmothers doing double duty as mothers while their daughters (or sons) serve time in prison. Jessica Dixon Weaver, a lawyer and legal scholar at Southern Methodist University, has spent considerable time exploring this version of mother, particularly in African American communities shaped by mass incarceration over the last 30 years.
Quality early care and education are truly a gifts that will keep on giving, not only to mothers but to all of us. We’re not saying that it’s only important to mothers; fathers need and want this too. However, there has been much research on its impact on mothers, especially single mothers. According to the Center for American Progress, “...although mothers are now the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American households with children, women spend more than twice as much time as men providing primary care to children.
The “Baby Veronica” case (Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl) currently before the Supreme Court is many things—a case that could undermine a great deal of federal Indian law by attacking the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA); a story about the stupid, mean things a couple will do to each other when they break up; and a sad story about a little kid who, at four, spent the first two years of her life with would-be adoptive parents and the next two living with her bio-father, his wife and other children. It’s also a story about the conservative right’s uses of marriage and its adoption crusade. What it’s not is a case that feminists have been on the right side of.
Today, the NCRW Listening Tour brought President Áine Duggan to the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of Texas. The Center fosters academic research, teaching, advocacy, and community partnerships in support of ending gender discrimination. They work toward this goal through four core projects:
NCRW is a network of leading university and community based research, policy, and advocacy centers with a growing global reach dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. We also have a Corporate Circle comprised of senior diversity professionals from leading U.S. and global member companies and a Presidents Circle of college and university leaders who share our commitment. NCRW harnesses the collective power of its network to provide knowledge, analysis, and thought leadership on issues ranging from reducing women’s poverty to building a critical mass of women’s leadership across sectors.