May: News Roundup

THIS MONTH’S WOMEN IN THE WORKFORCE:

Redefining the Workplace by 2025

It’s easy to notice the gender gap that is taking place in American politics, but did you know that only 33 women are currently CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies? That’s less than 5 percent of the heads of these corporations. According to Rockefeller Foundation, 60 percent of publicly listed companies don’t even have any women on their boards. Not only are there few women in these high positions, but people don’t even realize it with 9 out of 10 surveyed think that there are more women leading major companies than there actually are.

Rockefeller Foundation is taking the initiative to change this by launching the initiative 100×2025 . They have already been showing their dedication to closing the gender gap by giving grants to groups for women’s equality, including funding the recent Women Deliver conference of the United Nations with a $100,000 grant.

Takeaway: The Rockefeller Foundation has its work cut out for it, but this is a push in the right direction.

Senate Passes Equal Pay Resolution For U.S. Women’s Team Soccer Stars

In March, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team began the movement to get the equal pay they deserve for equal work compared to the U.S. Men’s National Team. The complaint stated that female players receive $72,000 annually to play a minimum of 20 friendly matches with the promise of a $1,350 bonus for each victory. The men don’t earn an annual salary, but can make a minimum of $100,000 even if they lose every game. One argument against raising the female players’ pay was the idea that their team brought in lower revenue amounts, but that’s just a rumor; the women’s national team makes comparable or greater revenue than the men’s team.

According to the Huffington Post article, the resolution that the Senate passed only applies public pressure on the soccer governing body. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) hope it will also encourage conversation about the gender pay gap and more legal action in the future.

Takeaway: This will aid in the ongoing battle for the players equal pay, but it is only one step in getting equal pay for women.

Girls Can’t Code Because, You Know, Boobs (And Other Myths)

Satire can be a very effective way to make a point. Girls Who Code utilized this approach in their video to challenge the stereotypes that women face in the tech industry. This video was one feature in a three-part series that the nonprofit dedicated to bridging the gender gap in tech created.

This stereotype is affecting how many women are involved in the tech industry. Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council came out with a report stating that women comprise only 34.5 percent of all tech sector jobs in the state. This is not only the case in the U.S., but also around the world, even in Kathmandu where 24-year-old Rojina Bajracharya cofounded Girls in Technology to help women there learn more about opportunities in the tech industry.

Takeaway: There are many different movements working to push along the gender gap in the workplace. The gap and stereotypes affecting the technology sector are just one facet of this battle.

THIS MONTH’S SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES:

Oklahoma court: oral sex is not rape if victim is unconscious from drinking

In yet another case dealing with sexual assault and rape charges, critics accuse the court system of victim-blaming and outdated ideas of what rape and consent are. The decision was unanimously decided by the Oklahoma criminals appeal court. Rep. Scott Biggs said he will not let this “court-created loophole” stand and aims to fix the legislative ruling that allowed this.

This story received a lot of attention and was covered by numerous news organizations including ABC News, Huffington Post, and Snopes, which clarified that the controversial Oklahoma court ruling was widely misinterpreted to mean that under state law, rape charges cannot be brought if the victim was intoxicated.

Takeaway: Many current legal systems are outdated and need to be brought up to speed when it comes to defining rape and sexual assault.

Push Grows For A ‘Scarlet Letter’ On Transcripts Of Campus Sexual Offenders

There is still a lot of debate around determining guilt in sexual assault cases, but that is not the only piece of the issue that has people arguing. The punishment of students found guilty in these cases is under fire as well. Instead of simply expelling students from their university, people believe that they should also have a permanent mark on their transcript.

In one case that has resurfaced in news coverage again after a couple years, a female student of Washington State University was expelled after an accusation of sexually assaulting another male student. She was kicked out of school, and then denied when she applied to the nearby Idaho State University because they considered her a risk because of her disciplinary record.

Takeaway: This hot topic doesn’t seem to have a lot of clear answers and punishment typically varies already. What do you think about having a permanent mark placed on a student’s transcript?

THIS MONTH’S WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD:

Ni Una Mas: The Fight to End Femicide in Juarez, Mexico

Femicide: the deliberate killing of women, because they are women. This is a new word that has emerged in Mexico because hundreds of women have vanished and still more continue to vanish in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. It has created an uproar with protesters chanting that Machismo, the macho culture of the Spanish country that revolves around male pride, needs to end. In the state of Veracruz, 500 women have been killed since 2010. There are more stories in many other places, and over 40 cities throughout Mexico took to the streets to demonstrate against the violence towards women.

Takeaway: The safety of women is at risk in a very serious way everywhere in the world and the inequality and treatment women receive is ingrained in the culture of each society.

Northern Irish women ask to be prosecuted for taking abortion pills

One method of fighting for equal rights that has been used many times in history, is to let oneself be arrested by the police. That’s exactly what three women from Northern Ireland were asking for. Their goal is to be charged and spark a major trial that will show how outdated the country’s laws about abortion are. One of the women, Diana King, said that the law “accuses women of using noxious poisons. In fact these abortion pills are recognised by the world health organisation and are actually used by the NHS.” The three were questioned for three hours, but a decision about the prosecution has not yet been made. 

Takeaway: Women are fighting inequality in every way that they can, even if it sends them to jail and through the court system.

THIS MONTH’S ENDING ON A POSITIVE NOTE:

This Viral Post Reveals the Hidden Way Women Keep Each Other Safe in Public

There’s only so much one person can do to protect themself, but anyone is stronger when part of a group. A series of Tumblr posts went viral after a Facebook user named Hannah Quinn Horr was inspired to share her story after reading them. The posts tell the stories of women who had other women protect them from harm. In Horr’s own story, three women walked with her as she was leaving a club because they had heard a group of guys talking about following her.

Takeaway: The fight to feel safe walking the streets and going about daily life is not one that is being fought alone. Everyone can make a difference and protect others. 

OTHER ITEMS IN THE NEWS COVERED IN BRIEF:


Did we miss something huge? Let us know! Submissions are always welcome and comments are highly encouraged and will be approved to further discussion as long as they follow our guidelines. Please keep an open mind and respect your fellow humans. 

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