From Ms. Magazine: The Obama administration recently released a report from the National Security Strategy that prioritized supporting the rights of women and girls. The document also states that it will support the "the human rights of all of Afghanistan's people," including women and girls and also plans to "invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and career opportunities for women and girls as well as other underrepresented groups."
From the NY Times: A federal jury of nine in Manhattan found the drug company Novartis guilty of discriminating against women from 2002-2007. The company was ordered to pay $250 million in punitive damages for discriminating against thousands of women over issues of salary and pay, promotion and pregnancy and maternity leave.
The enduring European gender imbalance has led Norway to mandate that 40% of directorships go to women — a legal quota that other governments also are rolling out. It's not going to happen organically. A comparison of surveys indicates that women make up less than 9% of boards in France's leading firms, compared with about 12% in the U.K., 13% in Germany and 8% in Spain. E.U.-wide, women made up less than 10% of top boards in 2009. That trails the 15% figure in the U.S. — where a quota is a nonstarter — and drops to just over 9% once Norway's female board members are factored out.
The Women’s Bill is not and should not be expected to be a panacea for women’s ills. India is a shameful bottom or near-bottom in the Global Gender Gap Index when it comes to sex ratio at birth, and women’s economic participation and health and survival. Greater representation in Parliament and Assemblies will not necessarily resolve gender inequalities, since women leaders in Parliament cannot be counted upon to challenge economic and social structures that subordinate women. That task will still fall to the women’s movement. But the WRB will undoubtedly open up space for greater political participation for the mass of women. The emergence of a larger pool of women as active participants in the political process is bound to unleash a new social dynamics.
Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s largest telecommunications company, said Monday that it would more than double the number of women who are managers within five years, becoming the first member of the DAX 30 index of blue-chip German companies to introduce gender quotas.
Political pressure has grown on companies across Europe to increase women’s representation among their leadership ranks and to address persistent gender gaps in areas like pay and professional opportunity.
Deutsche Telekom said it planned to raise the number of women in senior and middle management to 30 percent by the end of 2015, from 12 percent today. The company said it had roughly 15,000 management positions worldwide.
One way to increase the number of women on boards is to ensure that more women gain the right experience further down the corporate hierarchy. That may be a slower process than imposing a quota, but it is also likely to be a more meaningful and effective one.
What most prevents women from reaching the boardroom, say bosses and headhunters, is lack of hands-on experience of a firm’s core business. Too many women go into functional roles such as accounting, marketing or human resources early in their careers rather than staying in the mainstream, driving profits. Some do so by choice, but others fear they will not get ahead in more chauvinist parts of a business.
Under a U.S.-backed quota requiring that at least one quarter of Iraq's lawmakers be female, women have carved a foothold in the Iraqi political system. The country is holding its second parliamentary elections under the system on Sunday.