Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Effects of War on Women

November 28, 2007, the League of Women voters held their annual United Nations briefing. The American Association of University Women of New York State is one of five other sponsoring organizations. This year's topic was the Effects of War on Women Around the World. About 150 people attended the Briefing- 30 AAUW member-10 more were members of AAUW /LWV.

I was unable to attend. My thanks to Nancy Mion who sent me these notes:

NGO (non-governmental organizations) member’s representatives attend weekly briefings, attend meetings and give reports when requested. AAUW‘s rep is past Vice Chair of the Working Group on Girls

The face of war has changed. In 1900-5% of casualties were civilians; in 2000-75% of the casualties were civilians. In wars today everyone is a combatant.

Sylvia Hordosh, from the UN Division for the Advancement of Women is involved with the implementation of CEDAW (Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Agains Women--almost all nations except the US have signed it). If you want to know what is happening world wide go to www.un.org/womenwath . There is unequal power between men and women. Women have been excluded from efforts to resolve conflicts. Yet, they are viewed as the passive peacemakers.

Women are gravely affected by conflicts. They are displayed, become heads of households, lose their resources since they often cannot own land or anything. They try to hold it together, but often are punished after the conflict is settled because of what they had to do to do this.
Women are exposed to violence and abuse. They are preyed upon. They lose protection and freedom of movement; they are forced into marriages, forced to become combatants in army and militia. They are forced to have abortions, forced to be pregnant; they are detained and raped. The rape is not for pleasure but for control. When violence against women increases it is a sign of impending military conflict... It escalates during the war. But continues after the conflict has died down...
Women are underrepresented in power structures. They are left out of decision making that affect all especially them. . At talks going on now about the Middle East in Baltimore there are 40 delegates. Only 3 are women. Women have played key roles in debarments. Women form parties for power base. They are asked to prove that they have this base. Men are not asked to do that.
The 192 member states of the UN are doing 4 things to stop this. They are using Dept. of Peacekeeping, Humanitarian arm, Political Arm and Post Conflict Reconstruction

Since 2000 the UN has made a major change. Policies have been enacted that women be included, quotas have been established for women’s involvement. Women’s financial needs have been acknowledged. More women have become heads of state and even Departments of Defense. However it is not fair that they are held to higher standards then men. Women are mandated on UN peace-keeping missions..
Regarding violence against women: women need to talk to women and to talk to men especially those who support women.
Books recent and future:

In this time of seasonal stress you may find it difficult to find the time to read. If you had time to read, you wouldn't be under all this stress. On the other hand there are those to whom you must give something and books are excellent gifts. You might give one to yourself to read after the holidays. Here are some titles I have read and recommend and some I will read next.

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum, a tale of German resistors of the
Holocaust and what it cost them.

The Distant Land of My Father by Bo Caldwell, the story of life in Shanghai before WW II, the love of the narrators parents, betrayal and reconciliation.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, a book of masterful short stories about Vietnam. I was just in an elevator in Baltimore with the book in hand and every person in the elevator had read the book and loved it.

Then next books I will read:

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fierce critic of Islam, a former member of the Dutch parliament, a talented writer and a new resident of the US, she was Hero by Glamour magazine in 2005 among other honors.

Cellophane by Marie Arana, a magical realist story of a family that own a cellophane factory in Peru.

The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama, which looks to be a beautifully written story of a man of twenty, a Chinese man sent to Japan to recover from tuberculosis on the eve of WW II.

Diane Haney

Sunday, November 11, 2007

CAMPUS ACTION PROJECT (CAP)

Behind the Pay Gap
The American Association of University Women is pleased to announce its 2007-2008 Campus Action Project, Behind the Pay Gap, based on the AAUW Educational Foundation research report that was released in spring 2007 and examined the gender pay gap for college graduates. The objective of this year’s CAP program is to provide a platform to raise awareness of the inequity in pay between women and men in the workplace.
While several measures of educational achievement show that on average women are faring as well as their male counterparts today, often times these gains do not translate into comparable economic success beyond college. In 2004, college-educated women 25 and older earned 75 percent of what their male peers earned. This pay gap appears within the first year after college – even when women are working full-time in the same fields as men – and widens in the first ten years in the workforce. AAUW Educational Foundation research points to several factors that appear to be pivotal including, the field of study, occupational choice, and family-work balance issues such as time out of the labor force.1
Students, faculty, and administrators from U.S. colleges and universities are invited to submit a proposal for a campus action project (CAP). We expect to fund 5-10 projects of up to $5,000 each. Visit http://www.aauw.org/research/upload/behindPayGap.pdf for a full list of recommendations.
1Goldberg, J. D., & Hill, C. (2007). Behind the Pay Gap.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Educational Foundation Research Studies

The AAUW Educational Foundation sponsors many research studies along with its other programs, funding Fellowships and Grants and the Legal Advocacy Fund.

One such publication related to the Legal Advocacy Fund is Tenure Denied - Cases of Sex Discrimination in Academia. This publication describes many of the cases supported by the Legal Advocacy Fund and has details about the very first case supported by LAF, Zahorik vs. Cornell, et.al.

The Ithaca Branch of AAUW decided to support the original "Cornell 11" in their quest for tenure at the University. From this involvement the Legal Advocacy Fund was created and recently we celebrated the 25th Anniversary and over 100 cases supported.

More recently we are seeing decided victories in court, recognition of AAUW as one of the very few organizations to carry on this important work of advocacy for discrimination in academia.

Please note that this is not just a women's issue. Our institutions of higher learning hold an important place in our society. Since employers look to hire those with degrees for the upper echelons of their companies it is most important to have a diverse group of faculty who make the decisions when granting degrees to applicants.

This generation heading out into the world to make their way are our future corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, politicians, researchers, etc. These are the people who will impact our future at every level. Achieving equality in the tenure process is of major importance to all of us.

You may purchase this book on line at www.aauw.org click on Shop AAUW. All AAUW members will recieve a 10% discount.