Women & Leadership Links

As title IX turns 40, women tell of opportunity, acceptance, and intangible benefitsThe Washington Post

Title IX was initially intended to give women more opportunities in higher education, with access to athletics a mere side effect. By opening the gates to gyms, stadiums and playing fields, however, Title IX changed the way women in America see themselves. Here, in their own words, are what Title IX has meant to athletes, coaches, administrators and league officials.

CANDACE PARKER, 2008 WNBA MVP, Olympic gold medalist and first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game: “Title IX is huge for sports but also it’s helped move our nation to a place where we can accept women in the workforce as well. It’s opened up a lot of jobs for women. We had a female run for president in Hillary Clinton.”

At Rio+20, diverse women leaders bring ground realities to the forefrontUnWomen

The Women Leaders’ Forum, a discussion between civil society, government and public sector representatives with UN heads of agencies, has broadened the dialogue on gender equality and sustainability at Rio +20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainability.

At the Forum, the Women’s Major Group, a civil society coalition, also presented the findings of a global survey that gathered the diverse voices of women from around the world. The survey and its dissemination were supported by UN Women in the lead up to Rio+20.

The increasing involvement of women in technology and engineering fields were commended as  promising signs of women’s  growing engagement in green jobs, the design of the green economy and better natural resource management. Governments and the private sector were also applauded  for their efforts to promote equal opportunities for women and men through policy and practice.

Obama Campaign Ad Promotes his Record On Women’s Rights- Huffington Post

One day after releasing two new TV ads that went after presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign on Thursday put out another ad, this one a positive spot.

The ad, called “First Law,” touts the fact that the first legislation Obama signed into law was the Lily Ledbetter Act, which made it easier for women to sue employers for pay discrimination.

Women Get Little Help From Men in WorkplaceThe Daily Beast

Every socioeconomic trend suggests women are storming the barricades of corporate America. But, two recent studies suggest, they aren’t getting much help from men.

The first study, a multiyear survey of business-school graduates by the nonprofit research group Catalyst, finds that women are far more likely to help women advance than men are. Debunking the queen bee stereotype, in which female bosses are especially hard on their female subordinates, the study found that 73 percent of women who mentored colleagues helped other women, while only 30 percent of men did. “The biggest surprise for me was that men are doing so little for women, says Catalyst chief Ilene Lang. “I really thought that there were more men speaking up.”

Lebanese Women Offered a Toothless New LawIPS News

In an effort to protect women like Nour from abusive partners, a coalition of civil society organisations has spent the last five years drafting a law criminalising mental, physical and sexual abuse. The bill was approved by the Council of Ministers in April 2010 and is expected to be passed by parliament within the coming days. However, campaigners warn that the parliamentary committee tasked with overseeing the law has made so many amendments that they have rendered it useless.

The law, as drafted by the coalition, would have appointed public prosecutors to investigate incidences of violence, established special units within the Lebanese police force to respond to family violence cases, obliged medical personnel to report cases in which they treated women bearing signs of abuse, and empowered women and their children to seek restraining orders against their abusers. For the first time in Lebanese law, it outlined the different types of abuse women face, and designated clear punishments for offenders.

At least one-third of women in Lebanon have experienced some form of gender-based violence, says Dr. Jinan Usta, a family medicine doctor at the American University of Beirut Hospital, and researcher on domestic violence. Considered a private family matter, domestic violence remains shrouded in secrecy, and women face considerable barriers leaving abusive relationships. Women who seek assistance from the police or courts often report being told to return home, meaning few even bother to report abuse.

Despite the bleak outlook, campaigners have vowed to keep up the pressure on the government in the coming weeks with media campaigns, protests and publicity stunts. If the amended law is approved, says Ammar, it will have “succeeded in silencing the voices of women.”

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