This report argues that women's studies has key lessons to offer about fostering civic engagement at the course level that will deepen student learning in the college setting, contribute respectfully to communities in which they become involved, and produce lifelong civic leaders.
Prepared on behalf of: The Teagle Working Group on Women’s Studies and Civic Engagement and the National Women's Studies Association By Catherine M. Orr, September 2011
iVillage, the content-driven online community for women, has commissioned an extensive analysis to rank all 50 states in order of which were best for women, and which have failed their female citizens.
iVillage, the largest content-driven online community for women, commissioned an extensive analysis to rank all 50 states in order of which were best for women, and which have failed their female citizens. Connecticut, which has healthcare coverage for over 90% of its female population and touts an educated population with more than one-third of women holding a four-year college degree, took top honors as the nation's best state for women. The five best states for women are revealed today on iVillage's iVote channel, the site's Election 2012 hub. Each day for the next 10 days, five more states will be unveiled in descending order, culminating in the worst states on March 23. States were judged on how women fared in terms of healthcare and wellness, economic well-being, parenting support, education, female representation in government, and reproductive rights.
The five best states in iVillage's ranking are: 1. Connecticut 2. Hawaii 3. Maryland 4. Massachusetts 5. California
To gather the facts for iVillage's "50 Best to Worst States for Women" list, 12 authoritative sources of data were consulted, including the National Council of State Legislatures, National Women's Law Center, National Partnership for Women & Families, the 2010 US Census FactFinder, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The categories of healthcare & wellness and economic well-being were weighted as top criteria, followed by parenting and female representation in government office. Education and reproductive rights also factored in. For the full methodology used to determine each state's rank, click here.
In the next five years, STEM jobs are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in all other fields according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. While all jobs are expected to grow by 10.4 percent, STEM jobs are expected to increase by 21.4 percent. Similarly, 80 percent of jobs in the next decade will require technical skills.
By this measure, future STEM jobs represent a huge opportunity to today's students. But to put these numbers into perspective, of the 3.8 million ninth graders in the U.S., only 233,000 end up choosing a STEM degree in college, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This means only 6 percent of ninth graders will become STEM graduates. And of these graduates, women will be even more underrepresented in most STEM fields.
These are alarming statistics. How do we get more young boys and girls to be interested in STEM-related fields? It isn't an easy task. Schools do not always adequately prepare students for these rigorous subjects, and college programs are designed to weed out the less persistent. Nationally, only 41 percent of initial White and Asian American STEM majors who begin a degree in STEM-related fields complete their degree in less than six years.
In addition, societal pressures continue to loom over girls who might otherwise consider the STEM fields. A couple of years ago, I met amazing parents, both of whom had a background in engineering and hoped their 10 year-old daughter would follow in their footsteps. They encouraged her to take an after school science/robotics program. When she got there, she found she was outnumbered 6:1 by boys in the class. As the only girl, she came home crying much of the time because she was teased and told that geeky girls are not welcome in the boys' club. Ironically, by the time young adults are entering college programs in STEM fields, many complain about the lack of gender diversity.
Diversity in executive management is low at all agencies when compared to the percentage of people of color in the civilian labor force. Three agencies—the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis, Boston, and Cleveland—have no people of color in executive management.
Dr. Joan Gustafson Haworth, founder and Retired Managing Director of ERS Group, was honored in New York City by the National Council For Research on Women (NCRW) as one of the 30 women who have been instrumental in changing the way the world looks at women.
Dr. Haworth was chosen by her peers for her substantial contributions to the development of equitable employment policies and practices in U.S. workplaces throughout her career as an economist, scholar, entrepreneur and statistical expert witness in employment discrimination litigation.
Dr. Haworth's many achievements have included founding ERS Group in 1981, and testifying in precedent-setting Title VII class actions. Additionally, Dr. Haworth is a former tenured Florida State University faculty member and author of over 30 articles that were published in leading economic, statistical and legal journals. For over 30 years, she has also played a pivotal role in advancing the role of women through her memberships in the American Economic Association's Committee on the Status of Women in the Economic Profession (CSWEP), including 20 years as a board member.
"Redefining the impact and perception of women leaders is something I have focused on throughout my career," says Davia Temin, CEO of reputation and crisis management consultancy Temin and Company.
"Helping girls and women realize their leadership potential is why I became so heavily involved in organizations such as Girls Scouts of the USA and the White House Project. I wanted to help develop the pipeline of female leadership in this country, from Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies all the way up to the U.S. Presidency," she says. "And, making a difference in the U.S. also has an impact globally, especially in countries where women's leadership is more challenged by societal expectations."
Ms. Temin is among the "30 Outstanding Women" being celebrated by the National Council for Research on Women for their efforts in advancing women's issues, promoting women's leadership and changing the way women and girls are viewed globally. Nominated by their peers for their achievements, the honorees will be recognized at this year's Making a Difference for Women Awards Dinner on March 6th in New York City, where the NCRW will also be commemorating its 30th anniversary.
The Ernst & Young study, based on Babson College Center for Women’s Leadership research, revealed that four years into the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program, it is a model that can spur dramatic growth. Program participants’ companies have grown almost 50 percent each year on average, with a corresponding average annual job growth rate of more than 25 percent.
When Rush Limbaugh first began using the term "feminazi" in the 1990s, he said that it described "a specific type of feminist" and that there were "probably no more than 25 of them." However, since then, he has used the term as a broader slur to attack feminists, pro-choice activists, and progressive women.
GOP women are poised for gains in Congress in 2012, either by leaps or baby steps. ShePAC is optimistic, despite Jean Schmidt's March 6 upset in Ohio. Judy Biggert's race to keep her seat in Illinois is a lynchpin race.
The first primary of the season, on March 6 in Ohio, was a disappointment for GOP-women-spotting. Incumbent Rep. Jean Schmidt the lost.
Suzanne Terrell, co-chair of ShePAC, a new super PAC supporting Republican women, isn't fazed. "I think there is a good chance that we'll elect four new women [to the Senate]. I think that we will be electing new women to the House."
Those Senate hopefuls, Terrell says, are Linda Lingle of Hawaii, Heather Wilson from New Mexico, Sarah Steelman from Missouri and Deb Fischer from Nebraska.
If ShePAC meets its $25 million fundraising target, it could play a major role in influencing many of these elections.
Super PACs can raise unlimited sums to run political ads so long as they do not "coordinate" with candidates.
But ShePAC faces the formidable and unpredictable effects of other Super PACs.
The Campaign for Primary Accountability, for instance, which runs ads against incumbents, has been credited with knocking Schmidt out of her seat. [...]
What's the connection? We live in a sexualized society where the gap between fantasy and reality is vast and harmful.
"Women are aspiring to do great things in leadership, yet the glass ceiling is still there because of the way media depict women," director and activist Jennifer Siebel-Newsom said. "It influences our culture and dictates our gender norms and values."
Siebel-Newsom's documentary, Miss Representation, is the latest cinematic foray in the movement to challenge portrayals of beauty in "the media," a term used to describe all forms of mass communication, from the internet, TV, film, magazines, radio and advertising.