Thursday, September 27, 2007

AAUW AGAINST ECONOMIC ABUSE OF WOMEN

When a woman's value is not respected she is being mistreated. When a woman works at the same job as a man and is paid only three- quarters of what a man is paid, that is abuse. When she works at a job that is comparable to the job a man is doing and is paid one quarter less than a man that is abuse.

Women deserve respect the same as men. What is respectfully about receiving less money for their labors? When a woman buys a car she is not given a 25% discount. She is economically abused in that she has to pay 25% more of her salary to buy the car than a man.

Women work hard at their jobs. It is abusive for employers to pay them less than men. They do this because they can get away with it. What recourse do women have? They need jobs to provide the necessities of life.

What can be done to stop this economic abuse? Contact your legislators and ask that they pass state and federal fair pay bills. AAUW believes in economic equity. AAUW’s national website www.aauw.org has facts, figures and reports on Equal Pay. Also there are prewritten letters that you can adapt, to send to your Congress people at a click of a button. Try our state website www.aauw-nys.org for resources too.

This Bloggers Against Abuse Campaign has brought us together in voicing our care about those who need to be treated with the respect they deserve. The outpouring of fellow bloggers shows the humanity in us all.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Our Future Scientists?

This was just received from the Association:

Worldwide Comparison of Higher Education Released
On Tuesday, September 18, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released “Education at a Glance 2007,” their annual report of data and analysis of education systems in their 30 member countries. According to Inside Higher Ed, the report shows that the competitiveness of American higher education continues to decline compared to other countries. One startling statistic in the report shows that the proportions of employed 25 to 34-year-olds in the U.S. who have a science degree significantly lag the OECD averages. The article quotes John Douglass, senior research fellow in public policy and higher education at the University of California at Berkley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education as saying, “The latest OECD published data shows a continued trend of stagnation in higher education access and graduation rates in the U.S. among younger students, and a relative decline in our standing when compared to other developed economies. It’s a trajectory that could prove a real drag on the nation’s long-term economic competitiveness. Among younger students, the U.S. is now a little bit better than mediocre in getting students into colleges and universities, and pretty lousy at getting those who enroll to actually get a degree.”

Since its founding in 1881, AAUW has been committed to making the dream of a higher education a reality for women. Read more about AAUW’s commitment to and recommendations for the Higher Education Act, the cornerstone of the federal government’s commitment to post-secondary education. AAUW also supports promoting and strengthening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, especially for girls and other underrepresented populations. For more information on AAUW’s stance on girls’ and women’s education in STEM fields, please read AAUW’s legislative agenda for the 110th Congress and watch for an upcoming release of AAUW’s new STEM position paper.

From Diane: AAUW has always supported education and long sponsored programs to encourage girls to consider careers in the STEM (science, technolgy, engineering and math) areas. Our work is just important as ever.

By joining AAUW you become elegible to receive (or just visit the web-site and read) the Washington Update which contains information on this and many other issues of importance to women. For more information contact www.aauw-nys.org or www.aauw.org.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pay Equity legislation--urgent

I just received this communication from Lisa Maatz,the American Association of University Women staff person who guides us on public policy :

A critical bill is pending in the Senate, and we need your help to make a strong statement about AAUW's support for the Fair Pay Restoration Act (S. 1843). Thanks to the efforts of AAUW members around the country, the House has already passed its version of the Ledbetter bill, and it is now pending in the Senate. This bill would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which severely weakens legal remedies for workers who have faced pay discrimination. The plaintiff in this case, Lilly Ledbetter, one of very few women supervisors at an Alabama Goodyear plant, suffered decades of pay discrimination and sexual harassment. While a jury found in her favor, the U.S. Supreme Court took her compensation away, holding that she waited too long to file her case. Under this newly-created Ledbetter rule, victims of discrimination have no recourse against such treatment unless they file a charge within 180 days of the employer’s discriminatory decision, even if they are unaware that pay discrimination is occurring, even when the discrimination continues into the present.
The Fair Pay Restoration Act would overturn this damaging decision and reinstate the "paycheck accrual rule," which allows that each discriminatory paycheck triggers a new claim filing period. Passing this bill is essential to ensure that those facing pay discrimination can effectively protect their rights.

New York State AAUW will support this. It would be a really good time for everyone to contact their senator whether or not you are a member of AAUW. You can contact your senator directly or go through the AAUW Two Minute Activist at www.aauw.org.

Lisa is also a terrific speaker and will be at the District 6 conference on Long Island, Oct. 20. For more information contact me.

Diane Haney

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labor Day - What can it mean?

Labor Day weekend. I used to think it was a holiday weekend - and I think it's truly supposed to be just that, to honor our laborers throughout history. But I think it has come to mostly be "just" a three day weekend - to get ready for school, take a last break before winter, etc. But at our house we have labored.
We have a greenhouse - not the new, no-maintenance-vinyl/fiberglass type thing you can build now, but an old-fashioned wood-and-metal frame room attached to the original house dating back to 1920 - converted into a sunroom sometime during the past century. "Charming", you may say, but "maintenance!!!!!!" the practical will proclaim. And it's that five-year time for practical to win. It has to be maintained - scraped, sanded, washed, primed, painted inside and out.
Now, there are choices. We could just ignore it (but it will only get worse), we could move (it doesn't go away - just becomes someone else's problem), we could pay someone to do it (but would they do it right?), or we can do it ourselves, which we are doing. In our mid-sixties (both of us), we probably shouldn't be doing this kind of work, but it's our choice this year.
It's sort of like the AAUW mission - equity for women and girls - we know it IS still an issue. I could ignore it - but it would only get worse. Or I could pretend it's not a problem (but it IS), or I could assume that someone else will take care of it (but will they do it, or do it right?). OR - I can decide that since it's my problem it's my responsibility. As part of this wonderful organization, that's my choice.
Those of us in AAUW have decided that this battle needs to continue until true equity for women and girls is achieved - and we have decided that this is OUR battle. I urge any of you who feel the same way to seek out your local AAUW branch (or, if there is none nearby, to become an individual member) and join us in this mission! Check the Association branch locator ( http://svc.aauw.org/about/branches.cfm) to see your options.