Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
Academic researches reviewed over 5000 children's books published in the 20th Century, finding that males are represented as major characters twice as often as females are.
Gender representations reproduce and legitimate gender systems. To examine this aspect of the gendered social order, we analyze the representation of males and females in the titles and central characters of 5,618 children’s books published throughout the twentieth century in the United States. Compared to females, males are represented nearly twice as often in titles and 1.6 times as often as central characters. By no measure in any book series (i.e., Caldecott award winners, Little Golden Books, and books listed in the Children’s Catalog) are females represented more frequently than males. We argue that these disparities are evidence of symbolic annihilation and have implications for children’s understandings of gender. Nevertheless, important differences in the extent of the disparity are evident by type of character (i.e., child or adult, human or animal), book series, and time period. Specifically, representations of child central characters are the most equitable and animals the most inequitable; Little Golden Books contain the most unequal representations; and the 1930s-1960s—the period between waves of feminist activism—exhibits greater disparities than earlier and later periods. Examining multiple types of books across a long time period shows that change toward gender equality is uneven, nonlinear, and tied to patterns of feminist activism and backlash throughout the century.
This executive summary includes key findings and data from from the 2011 Hollywood Writers Report, the eighth
in a series of reports released by the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) that examines employment trends for writers in the Hollywood industry. Study data come from the computerized files of the WGAW, which are based on member reports of employment and earnings. The Guild collects these reports during the course of business in order to establish member dues.
From the Executive Summary:
Since 2007, the last year covered in the previous Hollywood Writers Report, the nation’s economic fortunes have taken a serious turn for the worse. The Great Recession of 2008, triggered by the “bursting of the bubble” in the nation’s housing markets, was marked by a collapse of the financial markets, a tightening of credit, millions of housing foreclosures, millions of lost jobs, and significant declines in consumer spending. The impact on the Hollywood industry seems to have been felt most acutely in the film sector. Whereas television production was more or less flat between 2007 and 2009, the number of theatrical films produced in the United States declined 25.5 percent, from 909 to just 677. Meanwhile, the WGA unemployment rate increased 2.6 percentage points since the last report, from 45.8 percent in 2007 to 48.4 percent to 2009 -- which was driven by a 5.9 percent decline in the number of employed writers (from 4501 in 2007 to 4236 in 2009).
The current recession has clearly done little to help women, minority, and older writers move ahead in the Hollywood industry relative to their male, white, and younger counterparts. The present report shows that women writers remain stuck at 28 percent of television employment, while their share of film employment actually declined a percentage point since the last report to 17 percent. Although the minority share of television employment increased a percentage point to 10 percent (matching the shares evident in years immediately prior to the 2007 nadir), the group’s share of film employment declined to just 5 percent – the lowest figure in at least ten years.
In Risk and Reward: Black Women Leading Out on a Limb, the League of Black women report that due to insufficient support from the Feminist Movement, professional Black women continue to fall dramatically short of the career goals they aim for. According to the national leadership survey, their due rewards and recognition are missing, given the time and effort they put in – and the risk they assume – to achieve at the highest levels.
From the press release:
Black women are high risk takers, but support of feminist values and 40-plus years of diversity and inclusion efforts have failed to translate into the rewards and recognition they had expected for their risk investments, according to a new study by the League of Black Women.
Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents to the groundbreaking Risk and Reward Survey said they were behind where they had expected to be in their careers. The majority (64 percent) said "Not getting paid what I am worth" is the key barrier to their personal and professional well-being, followed by "lack of other Black women in positions of power" and "lack of resources and opportunities to pursue my goals."
The survey also found that Black women get the least encouragement for risk taking at work and in their communities; they feel the least freedom to take risk in matters of public policy.
Data released from the larger Dynamics of Cause Engagement study, conducted by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University's Center for Social Impact Communication show that American women are strong believers in the power of individuals to make a difference by supporting causes, while their male counterparts are more likely to view supporting causes as a fad.
In addition to believing that everyone can make a difference by supporting causes, American women are more likely than men to believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in life, makes them feel good about themselves and makes them feel like part of a community. More than four in ten Americans (45%) are actively involved with supporting causes, and women make up a significantly larger part of this group than men.
Men and women are generally in agreement when it comes to which particular causes they choose to support. For both, feeding the hungry and supporting our troops are among those that rank the highest, and as expected, gender-related health issues like breast cancer and prostate cancer are significantly more likely to be supported by women and men, respectively. In addition, survey results indicate that women are more compelled to support youth-related causes like bullying and childhood obesity, while men are more likely to support the Tea Party movement.
Women and men also tend to agree on the ways in which they most often support their chosen causes. For both, more historically prominent ways of engaging with causes top the list, including donating money, talking to others, and learning more about the issues and impacts. Women, however, are significantly more likely than men to get involved by donating clothing and other personal items, and volunteering their time in support of causes.
Social Media and the Sexes
When it comes to social media, women are more likely than men to recognize the role that sites like Facebook can play in facilitating cause involvement. Two-thirds of women (65%) believe that social networking sites can increase visibility for causes, and six in ten (60%) believe they allow people to support causes more easily. It comes as no surprise, then, that women are more likely to support causes through promotional social media activities (e.g., joining a cause group on Facebook, posting a logo to a social profile, contributing to a blog) than men (17% vs. 12%, respectively). Women also turn to social media as a source of cause information more often than men—though for both, this lags far behind traditional TV and print media sources and personal relationships.
Current perceptions of social media aren't entirely rosy, though. Nearly three quarters of men and women (74% and 73%, respectively) agree that emails about causes can sometimes feel like spam, and about half of both populations admit that they get too many cause-related emails now (49% and 45%, respectively) and that everybody "likes" causes on Facebook and it does not really mean anything (48% and 49%, respectively). Practitioners should be wary of these indicators and ensure strategic uses of these digital tools in order to avoid unintentionally contributing to "cause fatigue."
Women Support Companies that Support Causes
Cause marketers often target the female demographic with campaigns, and with good reason—survey results confirm that American women are significantly more likely than men to show their support of a cause by purchasing products or services from companies who support the cause. In addition, women are more likely to learn about causes through corporate partner or sponsor promotions, including advertisements, product packaging, and in-store displays.
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication
The article “Gender and College Recruiting,” which was first published in the April 2011 issue of the NACE Journal, reports that the average starting salary for a Class of 2010 new female college graduate with a bachelor’s degree was $36,451: 17 percent less than the $44,159 her male counterpart averaged. The article finds that the discrepancy cannot simply be explained as the result of males choosing majors that lead to higher-paying jobs because even when salary is adjusted by major, men come out ahead in most cases. Engineering is the notable exception.
From the press release:
Female new college graduates earn less than their male counterparts, according to a report issued by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
In “Gender and College Recruiting,” appearing in the April 2011 issue of the NACE Journal, Ed Koc, NACE director of research, reports that the average starting salary to a Class of 2010 new female college graduate at the bachelor’s degree level was $36,451—17 percent less than the $44,159 her male counterpart averaged.
Interestingly, being a rarity isn’t a guarantee of a higher salary. In fact, women earning degrees in computer science are also scarce—accounting for approximately 18 percent of the degrees conferred—but averaged $52,531, while men earned $56,227.
In addition, the data indicate a relationship between lower pay and fields that are predominantly female; even when they dominate a field, women tend to earn less than men holding the same degree. In education, for example, where they account for nearly 80 percent of graduates, women averaged $29,092, while men averaged $39,849.
A Guttmacher Institute report reveals current contraception methords do not satisfy the needs of many women in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Central Asia and Southeast Asia who want to avoid pregnancy.
In developing countries, one in four sexually active women who want to avoid becoming pregnant have an unmet need for modern contraception. These women account for 82% of unintended pregnancies in the developing world.
Sub-Saharan Africa, South Central Asia and Southeast Asia are home to 69% of women in the developing world who have an unmet need for a modern method.
Each year in these three regions, 49 million women have unintended pregnancies, leading to 21 million unplanned births, 21 million induced abortions (15 million of which are unsafe), 116,000 maternal deaths and the loss of 15 million healthy years of women’s lives.
Seven in 10 women with unmet need in the three regions cite reasons for nonuse that could be rectified with appropriate methods: Twenty-three percent are concerned about health risks or method side effects; 21% have sex infrequently; 17% are postpartum or breast-feeding; and 10% face opposition from their partners or others.
In these three regions, the typical woman with reasons for unmet need that could be addressed with appropriate methods is married, is 25 or older, has at least one child and lives in a rural area.
In the short term, women and couples need more information about pregnancy risk and contraceptive methods, as well as better access to high-quality contraceptive services and supplies.
In the medium term, adaptations of current methods can make these contraceptives more acceptable and easier to use.
Investment in longer-term work is needed to discover and develop new modes of contraceptive action that do not cause systemic side effects, can be used on demand, and do not require partner participation or knowledge.
Overcoming method-related reasons for nonuse of modern contraceptives could reduce unintended pregnancy and its consequences by as much as 59% in these regions.
Using data from the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization, this article looks at the prevalence and nature of self-reported violence against Aboriginal women in the ten Canadian provinces.
In 2009, close to 67,000 Aboriginal women aged 15 or older living in the Canadian provinces reported being the victim of violence in the previous 12 months. Overall, the rate of self-reported violent victimization among Aboriginal women was almost three times higher than the rate of violent victimization reported by non-Aboriginal women.
Close to two-thirds (63%) of Aboriginal female victims were aged 15 to 34. This age group accounted for just under half (47%) of the female Aboriginal population (aged 15 or older) living in the ten provinces. Young females were also highly represented among non-Aboriginal victims.
The majority of violent incidents against Aboriginal women committed outside of a spousal relationship did not result in injury (84%) and did not involve the use of a weapon (89%). Comparable findings were seen among non-Aboriginal women.
Over three-quarters (76%) of non-spousal violent incidents involving Aboriginal women were not reported to the police, a proportion similar to that for non-Aboriginal women (70%).
Among victims of spousal violence, close to six in ten Aboriginal women reported being injured during the 5 years preceding the survey, compared to four in ten non-Aboriginal women (59% versus 41%).
Similar to non-Aboriginal women, about 4 in 10 Aboriginal women (42%) stated that they were very satisfied with their personal safety from crime.
The 2009 "Life...supplemented" My Wellness Scorecard National Study, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, reveals that nearly three-quarters of American women try to live a healthy lifestyle, but often miss the mark.
From the press release:
Ranked on a scale from "AlphaWELL" (those who are extremely proactive and meticulous about their health) to "OhWELL" (those who do little to nothing about maintaining their health), participants were evaluated on their overall wellness regimen-maintaining a healthy diet, taking supplements, getting routine exercise and other general lifestyle habits. Only one percent of women are "AlphaWELLs" and 26 percent are "WELLs," while 42 percent and 31 percent are "WannabeWELLs" and OhWELLs," respectively.
The Working Moms: How do they manage? joint survey by TODAYMoms and iVillage, reports that 67.5 percent of working mothers would prefer to have an assistant at home rather than at work.
From the article:
In a survey of more than 700 working moms, 67.5 percent said they would prefer an assistant at home rather than at work. The survey Working Moms: How do they manage?, a joint venture by TODAYMoms and iVillage, found that 17.5 percent said they’d prefer help at work. (And a curious 19.5 percent answered “none of the above.” We want to know: who are these wonder women?)
Among other findings in the areas of chores, sick-leave, fitness and general happiness:
66 percent of full-time working moms are responsible for 75 percent of the household chores. Meanwhile, an unlucky 11 percent say they’re responsible for ALL of the household chores.
What’s a working mom to do when she gets sick? Soldier on, is the response of 24 percent, who said “I am not allowed to get sick.”
More than 75 percent say that juggling work and family makes it hard to live a healthy lifestyle.
Asked how they feel about being a working mom, “proud” beat out “guilty” – barely. While 87 percent feel proud, 82 percent felt guilty. (They were allowed to pick more than one choice.)
Nearly 60 percent are satisfied with the time they spend with their kids.
A report from the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at SUNY Albany finds that women make up 23% of all federal judgeships and 27% of all state-level judgeships. Vermont leads the nation with 40% of positions held by women; Idaho has the fewest women judges at only 11%.
Highlights: Women on Federal and State Benches in 2011 (from the report)
No state has achieved equal representation of women (50% of all seats) in either federal or state-level judgeships.
In the U.S., women make up 23% of all federal judgeships and 27% of all state-level positions. This represents an overall 1% increase from 2010 levels, which were 22% and 26% respectively.
In 2011, women accounted for 26.6% of both federal and state-level judgeships.
Compared with their 2010 levels, women’s share of federal and state judgeships has increased in 65% of states, remained at the same levels in 22% of states, and decreased in 14% of states.
Vermont retained its first place ranking in terms of the percentage of women on federal and state benches. With 40% of seats occupied by women on its federal and state benches, Vermont is approaching parity.
Idaho also retained its 2010 last place ranking among other states. Only 11% of seats on federal and state benches are occupied by women.
Center for Women in Government & Civil Society, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, SUNY Albany