tagged w/ Women's eNews
WOMENSENEWS)--One of the best analysis pieces this week about the big rebuff by the Supreme Court to Wal-Mart's female workers came from Lila Shapiro at the Huffington Post.
In recent years, class actions have been employed by workers--particularly lower-wage workers--as a substitute for the force that collective bargaining wielded in an era of broader union representation, Shapiro wrote in "Walmart: Too Big to Sue."
"By banding together in large-scale lawsuits, workers have effectively organized themselves into unified, powerful voices, gaining leverage in negotiations with management," Shapiro said.
In this case, a large national voice of female workers was found to be too big to certify as a class, since they were spread out among as many as 3,400 stores and worked for a wide variety of managers.
Wal-Mart is the country's largest private employer. Apparently, once a company reaches such stature, its workers cannot claim common ground, even if the profits they help generate flow toward the same bottom line.
"In a sense the court has said, the banks we have were too big to fail, with Wal-Mart we have too big to sue," Ken Jacobs, chair of the Labor Center at University of California-Berkeley, was quoted as saying by Shapiro. "Basically if you're saying that the overall corporation is off the hook for what local managers are doing, that removes the incentive for corporate headquarters to really pay attention and to set up structures to make sure you do have the law being followed."
That's why the 5-4 decision is being widely seen as so wounding to wide swaths of workers; so favorable for the relatively few who wield corporate clout.
Almost immediately, women in other large class actions were sensing the repercussions. Costco Wholesale, for example, may be able to block women accusing it of gender bias from suing as a group because of the ruling, Bloomberg News reported June 23.
Linda Basch and Elizabeth L. Grayer decried the decision in a June 23 joint column in the Star Ledger and reminded readers of how many other underpaid women in the United States were, broadly speaking, represented by this suit.
Women are still paid 77 cents to every dollar a man earns," they wrote. "And the cost of pay discrimination to women and their families has been estimated to average $500,000 over a lifetime, and as much as $2 million or more for professional women."
The High Court had no precedent for coming down so heavily on a group of plaintiffs. It was simply being asked to rule on whether the women could certify as a class, not whether they could win the case.
"For 45 years, since Congress approved the criteria for class actions, the threshold for certification of a class has been low, with good reason because certification is merely the first step in a suit," The New York Times editorialized on June 20. "Members of a potential class have had to show that they were numerous, had questions of law or fact in common and had representatives with typical claims who would protect the interests of the class."
That's why the majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, is considered so discouraging to class actions in general.
Fights Yet to Come
The justices, meanwhile, said nothing about the women's underlying charge of bias on pay and promotion. Those fights are yet to come; possibly store-by-store and region-by-region, according to a plaintiff's lawyer quoted by The New York Times.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissenting opinion and was joined by Justice Stephen Breyer and the two other women on the court: Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Ginsburg would have allowed the Wal-Mart women to proceed with their case under another class-action category. She spoke out against the court disqualifying the women "at the starting gate," according to a story in The New York Times. She also cited the low proportion of women in management--30 percent--given the female-majority work force.
Could managers with a broad leeway in determining who gets paid what and who gets promoted all be subject to the same male bias? Ginsburg didn't think it could be ruled out. "Managers like all humankind, may be prey to biases of which they are unaware," she wrote.
This enormous, time-consuming, 10-year case is likely to sensitize managers far beyond the walls of Wal-Mart stores to gender bias. But whether they decide to change anything could depend on the multiple law suits still to come, brought by individual women and smaller groups of workers.
Lead plaintiff Betty Dukes and other women are vowing to push on.
Women's advocacy groups have protested the decision, according to Ms. Magazine's Feminist Wire. On June 21, many rallied outside the Supreme Court and rallies were held in other cities, including San Francisco, Boston, New York and Philadelphia.
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Corinna Barnard is editor of Women's eNews.WOMENSENEWS)--One of the best analysis pieces this week about the big rebuff by the... more
When we lived in Tonga, I was delighted to discover the juggling talents of the women. It is not taught to the boys, but I know some males who can juggle too, including my husband.
In elementary school, instead of learning to jump rope, play jacks or hopscotch, the primary students in Tonga learn how to hiko or juggle. They start very young, about five years of age, and some continue on for the rest of their lives.When we lived in Tonga, I was delighted to discover the juggling talents of the women.... more
As part of the Pitt Rivers Tattooing and Body Art project, a group of four women worked with Filmmaker Sharon Woodward to produce a short film their own experience of tattoos and piercings.
http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/bodyartsAs part of the Pitt Rivers Tattooing and Body Art project, a group of four women... more
Women who have been joining the Egyptian protests to oust Mubarak minimize the risk that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood could dominate a future government. If the revolution succeeds, they look forward to playing a part in the transition.
For Egyptian women in the March of a Million and other street protests to oust authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak, the sometimes deadly demonstrations have been a show of force.
"Women are key actors in this historical moment of Egypt," Mozn Hassan, executive director of the Cairo-based Nazra for Feminist Studies, wrote Women's eNews at 5 p.m. on Feb. 2, moments after the Egyptian army fired warning shots in Cairo in a bid to break up violent clashes. "Women are giving a statement that they are working closely with men to change Egypt."
Twitter has played a key role in helping demonstrators spread the word. Google Inc., the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet services company partnered with Twitter, the real-time microblogging platform, according to press reports.
On Feb. 1 the two providers of Web-based communication launched a phone-to-tweet platform to help protestors work around the government's tightening grip on media and cell phone communications.
The protest movement--powered by a mix of Islamists and pro-democracy activists from across the political spectrum–demands regime change and has rejected Mubarak's bid to remain in office until the conclusion of his term in September.
While protesters have not produced a detailed agenda for the post-Mubarak era, Western and Israeli leaders have expressed concern over the potential role of an empowered Muslim Brotherhood, linking it to Iran's theocracy and a loss of women's rights.
The Muslim Brotherhood, an international Islamist movement and the best organized opposition to Mubarak's regime, is formally banned in Egypt but some of its members, including women, have participated in local elections, running as independents.
Azza Soliman, at the Center for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance, is one of many activists underscoring the interreligious and national character of Egypt's unrelenting pro-democracy rallies.
"I want you to know that during the past demonstrations not once has there been an Islamic slogan," she said in a Feb. 2 email. "None of the opposition leaders would attribute this revolution to himself as we witness a popular uprising by the youth of Egypt, which are regular citizens oppressed by Mubarak's regime for 30 years."
Soliman added the movement's leadership is aware and confident in putting together a national coalition to reform the Egyptian constitution and uphold the principles of citizenship and establish a civil state in Egypt.
Women's stance at Tahrir (Liberation) Square in central Cairo and their presence in protests across the country is also making an online splash. Women of Egypt, a Facebook group, created a photo gallery to document women's role at the historic hour.
Read the full story at Women's eNews http://www.womensenews.org/story/the-world/110203/egyptian-women-lay-claim-revolutionary-roleWomen who have been joining the Egyptian protests to oust Mubarak minimize the risk... more
Motivation for women and men who strive to live the Christian Life! Encouragement for the homeless-the jobless-the single mom-the father that feels worthless. One of the most motivational podcast for those who have been abused both physically and mentally. DJ Mona-Lisa despite her faults as a sinner is definitely a mentor for everyone: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/djmonalisa/2011/02/10/im-crossing-the-enemy-lineMotivation for women and men who strive to live the Christian Life! Encouragement for... more
America's most famous broadcaster, DJ Mona-Lisa's recent talk show on BlogTalkRadio-02/06/11...She relates matters in regards to her sexuality and torrid childhood experiences. Radio listeners are shock to hear about the price she paid for fame in the industry that most imagine being a part of; every superstar has some secrets..DJ Mona-Lisa reveals it! So Is Michael Jackson dead or alive..hear what she has to say-you will not believe your ears! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/djmonalisa/2011/02/07/waz-up-monaAmerica's most famous broadcaster, DJ Mona-Lisa's recent talk show on... more
The most important sign is feeling really tired–even if after enough sleep. Other signs of heart disease in women are:
* Trouble breathing
* Trouble sleeping
* Feeling sick to the stomach
* Feeling scared or nervous
* New or worse headaches
* An ache in the chest
* Feeling “heavy” or “tight” in the chest
* A burning feeling in the chest
* Pain in the back, between the shoulders
* Pain or tightness in the chest that spreads to the jaw, neck, shoulders, ear, or the inside of the arms
* Pain in the belly, above the belly button
http://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/heart-disease-in-women/The most important sign is feeling really tired–even if after enough sleep.... more
Pro-choice advocates are bracing for a tough year in state lawmaking.
"Thanks to the gains by conservatives in the Nov. 6 election, 2011 will be a banner year for anti-choice legislation in the states," predicted Donna Crane, policy director of the Washington-based NARAL Pro-Choice America, the political watchdog of the pro-choice movement for more than 30 years.
Only 34 of the more than 600 anti-abortion bills proposed by state lawmakers in 2010 were approved last year. But that number is set to soar, says Crane, because 15 states now have anti-choice legislatures and governors versus 10 in 2010--and anti-choice politicians made gains throughout the country.
Read the full story at Women's eNews: http://www.womensenews.org/story/reproductive-health/110113/anti-abortion-state-legislators-rise-in-powerPro-choice advocates are bracing for a tough year in state lawmaking.
The new United Nations gender agency, known as U.N. Women, quietly opened on Jan. 3 without any publicity or announcements.
The superagency's midtown Manhattan headquarters remain unoccupied, said U.N. Women spokesperson Gretchen Luchsinger. Employees from the four U.N. gender agencies and offices that this new entity is uniting continue to work out of their own, scattered offices around the U.N. Secretariat building.
"Maybe because of the U.N. bureaucracy we have experienced a slow process to seeing U.N. Women become operational," said Margot Baruch, spokesperson for the Gender Equality Architecture Reform, a civil society coalition with offices in New Brunswick, N.J., that campaigned for U.N. Women's creation.
U.N. Women activity is likely to remain low-key until the public ceremonial launch on Feb. 24--pushed back from Jan. 20--at the U.N. Secretariat, according to Baruch. The evening event will coincide with the start of the annual month-long session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which typically brings in thousands of women's rights activists from around the world.
Read the full story at Women's eNews: http://www.womensenews.org/story/international-policyunited-nations/110112/un-women-superagency-opens-just-barelyThe new United Nations gender agency, known as U.N. Women, quietly opened on Jan. 3... more
Christiana Garpeh listened attentively with her headphones as she put together her first radio piece of the day. She ignored the Beyonce song playing in the newsroom to focus on transcribing an interview.
The interview was with a woman from Pagos Island, a part of Monrovia cut off from the rest of the city by swamps. She was seeking donors for women's literacy classes and classes in soap making and tailoring.
Each working day Garpeh produces about two such stories on the needs of women for broadcast by Liberia Women Democracy Radio, housed in a two-story building in Congo Town on the outskirts of Monrovia, the nation's capital.
Across the hall that day in the on-air studio, two men hosted a talk show about reducing poverty. That day's theme: transportation and how women in particular, due to their caretaking burdens, need better access to markets and medical centers.
Next door in the production studio, Varnetta M. Johnson edited a weekly show on traditional women that explores different tribes' customs, such as weddings and greetings. Many Liberians are unaware of their traditions, she said, especially if their families moved to Monrovia and left the old ways behind.
Launched in August by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia Women Democracy Radio is the first station in the country focused on women's advancement.
Read the full story at Women's eNews: http://womensenews.org/story/media-stories/110111/liberian-radio-station-gives-women-the-controlsChristiana Garpeh listened attentively with her headphones as she put together her... more
Supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment should give U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a standing ovation right about now.
In widely quoted comments in the current issue of California Lawyer, Scalia said the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution does not protect against discrimination on the basis of gender.
That boils down to the idea that women are not part of the Constitution.
Bravo! That's just what supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment, known as E.R.A., have been saying for years.
The E.R.A. is rather simple. It would guarantee the equality of rights under the law not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. It gives Congress the power of enforcement.
Those who follow Scalia's decisions barely raised an eyebrow at his latest comments. He showed his view on sex discrimination in 1996 when he cast the sole vote in favor of the Virginia Military Institute's ability to discriminate against female applicants. Overall, his statements are less alarming than the media have trumpeted.
The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 as part of the Reconstruction Amendments and was the basis for the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, leading to the dismantling of segregation laws in the South.
Read the full story on Women's eNews: http://www.womensenews.org/story/washington-outlookcongresswhite-house/110106/justice-scalia-makes-the-case-era-ratificationSupporters of the Equal Rights Amendment should give U.S. Supreme Court Justice... more
The prosecution of Jean-Pierre Bemba, which resumes Jan. 11 in The Hague, is expected to continue taking testimony about the sexual violence committed by his troops in the Central African Republic between 2002 and 2003.
The trial marks the first major prosecution of rape as a weapon of war and a fulfillment of years of international legal advocacy for female war victims.
Three of the four witnesses who testified in Bemba's trial between Nov. 22 and Dec. 6 recounted rapes by Bemba's Congolese troops.
"Witness 38" described watching a young girl get raped in front of her mother. "Witness 22" described getting gang raped by three soldiers while her family was held captive in another room, according to testimony posted on the monitoring site BembaTrial.org.
But despite the focus on rape, Brigid Inder is worried about aspects of the somewhat showcase trial.
Read the full story at Women's eNews: http://www.womensenews.org/story/rape/110105/bemba-icc-trial-showcases-war-rape-prosecutionThe prosecution of Jean-Pierre Bemba, which resumes Jan. 11 in The Hague, is expected... more
On a recent winter morning in the tiny Bolivian village of Tayasigua, Deogracia Otega sat on a wooden bench, nervously clutching her purse.
The indigenous Guarani woman with tired eyes said that it burned when she urinated and her lower abdomen ached. "I'm worried about cervical cancer," said the 45 year-old grandmother of two as she waited to consult the doctor setting up opening up shop in the one-room brick school house behind her.
Half an hour later, Otega emerged, relieved. She was in the clear for now, she said. "I didn't even know what a cervix was before the mobile health units starting arriving," she added with an embarrassed half-smile:
Otega's medical care was likely not discussed at the recent U.N. summit on the progress of the world in meeting Millennium Development Goals by the deadline year in 2015. But it could have been. Her consult is an example of what's helping South America's poorest country advance in its maternal health goals, as well improve its populations overall sexual and reproductive health.
Read the full story on Women's eNews: http://www.womensenews.org/story/reproductive-health/101228/pickups-mobilize-bolivias-maternal-healthcareOn a recent winter morning in the tiny Bolivian village of Tayasigua, Deogracia Otega... more
As President Obama and congressional Republican leaders reveled in the Dec. 18 bipartisan approval of an $858 billion tax cut package to stimulate the economy, advocates for women's financial security set their sights on the next and biggest battle: ensuring that its one-year payroll tax holiday doesn't become permanent.
"Women will suffer if the 112th Congress, which begins in January, extends the (tax) holiday beyond 2011," said Maria Freese, director of government relations of the Washington-based National Committee to Protect Social Security and Medicare. "Four out of 10 women over 65 who live alone receive virtually all their income from Social Security."
The payroll tax holiday is part of the package for a two-year extension in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits. It decreases a worker's contribution to Social Security taxes to 4.2 percent from 6.2 percent of the first $106,800 earned in 2011.The employer's contribution of 6.2 percent remains unchanged.
Read the full story on Women's eNews: http://www.womensenews.org/story/retirement/101230/payroll-tax-holiday-stirs-social-security-fearsAs President Obama and congressional Republican leaders reveled in the Dec. 18... more
Philanthropy headlines in the past year have focused on billionaires giving in two different ways.
There are those who give to numerous projects in a piecemeal fashion. They include Warren Buffett, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill and Melinda Gates. They give millions to causes like education and health.
The other group includes George Soros and the brothers Charles and David Koch.They work at different ends of the political spectrum--from left to right--but they are both building movements behind their opposing and sparring visions.
For those of us who give to women and girls, the Soros-Koch movement-building strategy is the one to note.
That's because a central tenet of women's funds is that money is needed at the intersection of major problems--health, education, environmental justice, domestic violence--to address the cascade of deficits in the lives of girls and women that create the overall poverty of any given community.
Read the full story at Women's eNews: http://www.womensenews.org/story/economyeconomic-policy/101224/lets-give-girls-and-women-lets-build-movementPhilanthropy headlines in the past year have focused on billionaires giving in two... more
The year's biggest literary controversy was set off by two women who write "women's fiction:" Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner.
The two complained on Twitter and in a joint interview on the Huffington Post about a culture of "white male literary darlings" who mesmerize influential critics at publications such as The New York Times Book Review and leave female authors--particularly commercial ones-- out in the cold.
It started in August, when glowing reviews for Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" in the Times daily paper and the Times book review (and on the cover of Time magazine) led Picoult to sound off on Twitter.
Weiner joined in. Under the hashtag-turned subject heading "Franzenfreude" (a hybrid of Franzen's name and the German word for taking pleasure in the misfortune of others) they began calling on readers to tout other authors on the social networking site.
A number of media outlets took interest. Editors at Slate's Double X, a blog focusing on women, crunched the numbers at the Times Book Review and determined that yes, literature by women does fetch far fewer reviews. Lorin Stein, editor of the Paris Review, branded (without naming them) Weiner and Picoult as "faux populists." Meghan O'Rourke of Slate wrote about unconscious gender bias that leads women to be unintentionally overlooked. Ruth Franklin of the New Republic called the Times' treatment of female writers shameful.
Read the full story: http://www.womensenews.org/story/books/101222/year-female-writers-kicked-literary-dustThe year's biggest literary controversy was set off by two women who write... more
When Lu Pin sits in her small office in Beijing and presses the send button, her weekly e-magazine offering gender-related news and analysis goes off to some 800 subscribers.
Her organization, Media Monitor for Women Network, began in the 1990s along with about a hundred others in China that were spurred by the government during the landmark 1995 U.N. women's rights conference held that year in Beijing. Last year her organization started the e-magazine, which had about 500 subscribers until June. Then it joined a Chinese social network similar to Facebook. The listserve quickly added 300 subscribers and her organization now claims 2,200 "friends"
Those numbers are miniscule compared to China's colossal statistics; 420 million Internet users, nearly 36 million more in the first six months of 2010 up from the 2009 figures. But for Lu it's all about the potential to give voice to women.
Women make up 45 percent of Internet users, according to the official China Internet Network Information Center.
But Lu and others say women don't assert themselves much online.
Read the full story: http://www.womensenews.org/story/media-stories/101221/womens-groups-in-china-warily-tap-new-mediaWhen Lu Pin sits in her small office in Beijing and presses the send button, her... more
Jim Curran is the third generation of his family to be born at the Niagara Falls General Hospital in Ontario, Canada.
Two of his three children make the fourth.
But any chances of a fifth generation being born there are in doubt.
Two years ago, the Niagara Health System, an organization managing a network of 12 hospitals in the Niagara Falls region of Ontario, announced a plan to centralize maternity care by closing two wards and expanding the one at the hospital in St. Catharine, a neighboring town northeast of Niagara Falls.
Curran, 46, a real estate broker, has spent off hours fighting to save the maternity unit at Niagara Falls General Hospital. Losing the ward, he says, will make it hard for women, particularly those who don't have their own cars, to reach medical help.
"We're in the snow belt up here," he said in a recent phone interview, "so what happens when the roads are closed?"
The maternity ward closings in the Niagara Falls region are part of a looming maternity care crisis in Ontario and across Canada, a nation often praised for its universal health care system.
Read the full story: http://www.womensenews.org/story/medicine/101220/canada-faces-growing-loss-maternity-wardsJim Curran is the third generation of his family to be born at the Niagara Falls... more
When Diana Morgan saw her daughter's body for the first time after her death in Iraq in February of 2008, she thought U.S. Army Spc. Keisha Marie Morgan looked angry in her coffin.
"She looked like she was not at peace. She didn't look like the child I had known," said Morgan, who lives in Washington, D.C.
At the time, Keisha's death in Baghdad was a mystery and designated "non-combat related."
Nearly six months later Army investigators ruled it a suicide brought on by an overdose of her military-dispensed prescription antidepressants.
The military has consistently said all non-combat related deaths undergo a very complete and thorough investigation. Indeed, some reports stretch for 800 pages, which include graphic photos.
Morgan wasn't aware the military had diagnosed Keisha as having depression, let alone taking medication for it. "She was outgoing and very happy," she says, "I can't see her not telling me."
But Keisha had confided in her mother about a night when she was certain a fellow soldier had slipped something in her drink at a local bar. When she awoke the following morning--failing to remember how she left the bar and returned to barracks--the soldier was in her room. This same man was on base at the time of Keisha's death, says her mother, recalling her daughter's concern about this.
Read the full story: http://www.womensenews.org/story/military/101217/mother-one-dead-soldier-suspects-sex-assaultWhen Diana Morgan saw her daughter's body for the first time after her death in... more
In her Alaska reality TV show, Sarah Palin has a close encounter with grizzlies, kayaks down swift-moving rivers and climbs tall mountains, not in a single bound perhaps, but with grit and determination.
All in all, she appears to be trying for a single-handed reenactment of "How the West was Won." She also appears to be telling the whole nation--as she told Republicans on the campaign trail--how to "man up."
Palin has a penchant for slang that questions the masculinity of men who don't see things her way. Back in July, Palin announced that President Obama lacked "the cojones" to take on the problems of undocumented immigrants.
Her "man up" usage spread to other right-wing female candidates in this year's elections. In Nevada, Sharron Angle told Harry Reid to man up and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware gave the same message to her republican opponent Mike Castle.
The phrase hasn't yet run its course. In a recent episode of "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough decreed that the whole country needed to man up.
I suspect the high-testosterone political talks suggests a tide of nostalgia, not only for the good old days of prosperity and high-paid manufacturing jobs, but for a gone-but-not-forgotten era when (mainly white) men ruled the roost, in politics, business and of course the household.
This nostalgia harks back to a time when men could simply pull up stakes, grab a rifle and head West if they didn't like the way their lives were turning out.
Read the full story: http://www.womensenews.org/story/parenting/101217/guys-in-snuglis-do-the-real-manningIn her Alaska reality TV show, Sarah Palin has a close encounter with grizzlies,... more