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8 Mar, 2011

100th Int’l Women’s Day: Special Report

This dispatch commemorates the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. It celebrates the significant role women have played in the development of the global travel & tourism industry. Marked for the first time in four European countries in 1911, the day has become a critical rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in public spheres.

In this dispatch (pls click on the headline to go directly to the story)

1. International Women’s Day: New Report Shows Second Wave of Global Crisis Hurting Women

2. India Facilitates Women Aviators — Air India to Fly All Women Flights

3. Millions More Could Be Fed If Women Are Given Access To Means Of Production

4. Are Young Women Deserting Technology?

5. OECD Paper Looks at Time Spent by Women and Men on Cooking, Caring and Volunteering Worldwide

6. Struggle for domestic workers’ ILO convention heads for final round – and needs global support

7. European Commission Launches Gender Drawing Competition — Open For Children Worldwide

8. Women Spearheading Push for Organic Food and Farm Products

9. First “Women Deliver 100” list cites women and men who have fought to improve girls’ and women’s lives worldwide

10. Message by Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women: Time to Make the Promise of Equality a Reality

11. Men Vs. Women: Who Wears The Finance Pants?


1. International Women’s Day: New Report Shows Second Wave of Global Crisis Hurting Women

7 March 2011: (Source: International Trades Union Congress Media Release): Women are facing higher unemployment, underemployment and reduced working hours as a second wave of the global economic crisis impacts female employment, reveals a new report issued by the ITUC today, International Women’s Day.

The report, “Living With Economic Insecurity: Women in Precarious Work” shows that while the initial impact of the crisis was equally detrimental to men and women, increasing numbers of women are now either losing their jobs or being forced into more precarious, temporary, and informal forms of work. Globally the official unemployment rate for women of 7% masks a harsher reality, with a massive increase in the numbers of “working poor”, those, mainly women, whose jobs do not provide enough to meet basic needs. Overall, the ranks of working poor swelled by more than 100 million people due to the crisis, with around 1.51bn people, half the world’s workforce, now in vulnerable employment.

“This report, drawn from a broad set of global and national indicators, shows how the crisis is far from over, especially for women. Much of this impact is hidden, due to deficiencies in employment statistics. Much of it is also a direct result of women still being treated as second-class citizens at work. Too many women are denied the right to join unions and bargain collectively for better job security, wages and conditions, such as domestic workers or those working in export processing zones (EPZ). Cuts in public expenditure made with no consideration of their gender impact are having the biggest impact on women, both through higher unemployment and reduction in crucial services such as child care,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharon Burrow.

Burrow will present the report at the inaugural meeting of the ITUC Arab-country women’s network in Tunis this week. The report sets out four main areas of action needed to overcome the second-wave impact of the crisis on women in particular:

  • Shifting the policy focus to creating decent, quality jobs to get women out of precarious and informal work;
  • Implementing gender equality measures in government policy and especially in the labour market;
  • Introducing a social protection floor for workers in every country, with the proven beneficial effect on poverty reduction; and
  • Action by trade unions to reach out to women workers in unsecure forms of work “Our demands for government action are supported by trade union action to organise women workers, particularly younger women who face particular discrimination in the world of work,” said Burrow.

One such example is the “Decisions for Life” campaign, which has organised tens of thousands of young women workers in 14 countries to date. A video promoting this campaign has also been released by the ITUC.

Action by governments must also be accompanied by responsible employment practices in business, and multinational companies should be leading the way in this, instead of promoting or permitting violations of workers’ rights in their global operations. In one case study in the new report, a woman employed by T-Mobile USA, a fully owned subsidiary of German giant Deutsche Telekom, describes how the company’s union-busting activities impact on her life at work and at home, a pattern repeated across T-Mobile USA’s workforce of nearly 40,000.

“Government have their responsibilities, and employers do too. Big multinationals such as Deutsche Telekom, which respects union rights at home in Germany but not in its US subsidiary, should provide decent and secure jobs where the rights of all their employees are properly respected. We expect better from them,” said Burrow.

2. India Facilitates Women Aviators — Air India to Fly All Women Flights

Source: Public Information Bureau, Government of India

As part of the year long events to celebrate the centenary year of Civil Aviation in India, and on the occasion of the International Women’s day, the Ministry of Civil Aviation will highlight the role of women aviators in civil aviation in India. The Ministry of Civil Aviation will felicitate women aviators, who have contributed significantly to the civil aviation in India. Mr Vayalar Ravi, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil Aviation, Mrs Ambika Soni Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Mrs Jayanthi Natarajan, Member of Parliament, will be present on the occasion.

The women who will be felicitated are:-

Pioneer Pilots

Late Capt. Prem Mathur – First woman to obtain Commercial Pilot License.

Capt. Durba Banerjee – First woman Commander of an airline.

Ms. Chanda Budhabhatti – Pioneer Pilot and Founder of Indian Women Pilots’ Association.


Ms. Bhubaneshwari Gautam – First woman Aircraft Maintenance     Engineer.

Capt. Aruna Kandarpa  – First woman Helicopter Pilot.

Capt. Sonica Chhabra – First woman Instructor/Examiner in airlines.

Ms. Harpreet A De Singh – First woman Technical Ground Instructor and First Head of Quality Management Systems of an airline.


Ms. Tulsi Mirchandani – CEO, Blue Dart.

Capt. Shobha K Mani – CEO, North-East Shuttle.


Ms. Tuhinanshu Sharma – First woman ICAO auditor from DGCA.

Airports Authority of India

Ms Kalpana Sethi, General Manager, (architect) AAI

Ms K Hemalatha, General Manager (Finance), Chennai

Ms Aryama Sanyal, Jt General Manager (ATC), Ahmedabad

Ms R. Vasundara, Deputy General manager (CNS), Chennai

Cabin Crew of IC-814(Kathmandu – Kandhahar hijack flight)

Ms. Sapna Menon

Ms. Rajni Chandrasekhar

Ms. Kalpana Mazumdar

Ms. Tara Debnath

Mr. Anil Sharma

Mr. M.A. Satish

As part of the event presentations would be delivered on the occasion highlighting the contribution being made by women in all fields of civil aviation as well as the new opportunities that are emerging in the sector.

In continuation with the historic tradition of planning ALL WOMEN FLIGHTS on International Women’s Day, and encouraging women efforts in all walks of life, Air India has also organised flights with all women crew together with women dispatchers, women load and trim staff, women engineers, women staff at check-in counters, women doctor for crew breathalyser test, women staff for security checks and women conducting LOSA safety audit.

The following flights are being planned on the Women’s Day.

The non-stop flight AI-187 on Delhi- Toronto sector will be operated by commanders Capt Rashmi Miranda and Capt Sunita Narula and First officers Capt Varsha Sheoran and Capt. Nidhi Suri.  The flight is being dispatched by dispatcher Ms Rashmi Verma.

There are also other flights which are being operated by all-women crew:

AI-409/410   Delhi-Patna-Delhi

AI-469         Delhi-Raipur-Nagpur-Delhi

AI-811/812   Delhi-Lucknow-Delhi

AI-603/604   Mumbai-Bangalore-Mumbai

AI-569          Chennai-Mumbai

IX-671           Chennai-Colombo-Chennai

IX-302           Kozhikode-Mumbai-Kozhikode

Air India’s foray into all-women crew flights dates back to November 1985 when Capt. Saudamini Deshmukh and Capt. Nivedita Bhasin operated an Indian Airlines Fokker Friendship flight from Kolkata to Silchar, followed by the first jet flight when they operated a B737 from Mumbai to Goa in 1989.  In erstwhile Air India, the first A310 flight with all-women crew was operated on March 8, 2004 to Singapore with Capt. Rashmi Miranda in command and Capt. Kshmata Bajpai as co-pilot.

It may be recalled that Air India had organised an all women crew flight last year.The B777-200LR Nonstop flight AI-141 from Mumbai to New York at midnight on March 8, 2010 took off which created history when an all-women crew operated an ultra long-haul flight. In 2010, Air India operated a record 22 all-women crew flight across its domestic and international network.

As part of the event, presentations will be delivered highlighting the contribution being made by women in all fields of civil aviation as well as the new opportunities that are emerging in the sector.

3. Millions More Could Be Fed If Women Are Given Access To Means Of Production

UN New York, Mar 7 2011 (UN News) — Women in rural areas have the potential to raise agricultural production to levels that would feed up to 150 million more of the world’s hungry people if they had equal access to the means of production, including land, financial services, education and technology, according to a United Nations report released today. The “State of Food and Agriculture” report of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that yields on plots managed by women are lower than those managed by men because women do not have equal access to capital.

“The report makes a powerful business case for promoting gender equality in agriculture,” says Jacques Diouf, the FAO Director-General. “Gender equality is not just a lofty ideal, it is also crucial for agricultural development and food security. We must promote gender equality and empower women in agriculture to win, sustainably, the fight against hunger and extreme poverty.

Giving women the same access as men to agricultural resources could increase production on women’s farms in developing countries by 20 to 30 per cent, raising total farm output in poorer regions by 2.5 to 4 per cent. That could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17 per cent, or 100 to 150 million people, according to the report. An estimated 925 million people in the world were undernourished in 2010, the vast majority of them in developing countries.

“We must eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, ensure that access to resources is more equal and that agricultural policies and programmes are gender-aware, and make women’s voices heard in decision-making at all levels. Women must be seen as equal partners in sustainable development,” said Mr. Diouf.

Women make up on average 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, ranging from 20 per cent in Latin America to almost 50 per cent in East and South-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Where rural women are employed, they tend to be segregated into lower paid occupations and are more likely to be in less secure forms of employment, such as seasonal, part-time or low-wage jobs, the agency notes in its report. New jobs in high-value export-oriented agro-industries offer better opportunities for women than traditional agriculture, the report says.

The report documents gender gaps in the access to a wide range of agricultural resources, including land, livestock, farm labour, education, extension services, credit, fertilizers and equipment. Women in all regions generally have less access to land than men. For those developing countries for which data are available, between 3 and 20 per cent of all landholders are women. The share of women in the agricultural labour force is much higher and ranges from 20 to 50 per cent in developing countries.

“Women farmers typically achieve lower yields than men, not because they are less skilled, but because they operate smaller farms and use fewer inputs like fertilizers, improved seeds and tools,” said Terri Raney, editor of the report. “Evidence from many countries shows that policies can promote gender equality and empower women in agriculture and rural employment. The first priority is to eliminate discrimination under the law.”

4. Are young women deserting technology?

Geneva, 22 February 2011 – What’s behind the sharp downwards trend in young women opting to study information and communication technology? ICT qualifications offer good job prospects and higher-than-average remuneration. Yet in the US, for example, the proportion of girls studying ICT courses has dropped from a mid-‘80s high of 37% to just 29% today – and falling. Many European economies are now predicting a crisis in the number of trained IT professionals within the next 10-15 years. What is putting girls off technology? And why are some countries – particularly in the Asian region – succeeding in attracting female IT students? What are they doing differently – and getting right?

The International Telecommuniaitons Union will hold a high-level debate on girls in information and communication technology as a Special event to commemorate 100 years of International Women’s Day. With a panel comprising Ministers, top educators, industry experts, media and young students, this debate will look at how ICTs are taught in schools and universities, how girls perceive careers in technology – and what is informing their life choices. What are the cultural and economic barriers – and how might we encourage more girls into the technology field?

The debate will be audiocast at: www.itu.int/ibs/sg/20110310WomenDay/index.phtml

Full list of panellists available at www.itu.int/en/womensday

5. OECD Paper Looks at Time Spent by Women and Men on Cooking, Caring and Volunteering Worldwide

Paris. (OECD News Release) — A new OECD working paper, entitled “Cooking, caring and volunteering: unpaid work around the world”, reveals marked differences between the time men and women spend looking after their children. Mothers spend more than twice as much time on childcare than fathers: 1 hour 40 minutes on average compared to 42 minutes.

This new analysis includes the differences in time spent whether parents are working or not. In Nordic countries, men spend roughly the same time looking after children whether they are working or not (around 40 minutes). Australian men spend the most time, whether working or not (69 and 105 minutes respectively). The least time spent by working fathers is in South Africa (8 minutes) and Korea (12 minutes). On average, working dads spend 40 minutes on childcare, and only 10 minutes more when not working, whereas working mothers spend 74 minutes and nearly double (144 minutes) when not working.

This working paper also includes new data and analysis on the time men and women spend doing unpaid work, from cleaning and cooking to voluntary work and looking after elderly relatives. This will form part of the “Society at a Glance 2011” report, to be released in April 2011. It feeds into a series of reports looking at family policies, rising income inequality and intergenerational solidarity, to be discussed at the 2011 OECD Social Policy Ministerial meeting in Paris on 2 and 3 May. More information at www.oecd.org/social/ministerial

A new comparison of maternity leave rights in OECD countries also shows the dramatic differences in women’s rights to paid and unpaid leave. This is taken from a new OECD report “Doing Better for Families”, to be released in April 2011. Women in the UK can take a year off work, of which around 40 weeks are paid, with the total amounting to around 12 weeks of average earnings. In Austria, France and the Netherlands, women are entitled to 16 weeks, most at full pay. The US is the only country where women are not entitled to paid maternity leave – do note that this chart reflects the situation as in 2008 and does not include the Australian reform that introduced paid parental leave on 1 January 2011, or paid parental leave payments in other OECD countries.

For more detail on maternity, paternity and parental leave entitlements, see http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/45/26/37864482.pdf

6. Struggle for domestic workers’ ILO convention heads for final round – and needs global support

04-03-2011 (SOURCE: www.iuf.org) — The final discussion on an ILO Convention for Domestic Workers will take place June 1-17 at the International Labour Conference in Geneva – and union action is crucial to ensuring adoption of a strong instrument. Although important battles were won in the discussions last year, the essence of the draft Convention – to provide domestic workers equal rights with other workers – was challenged by employers and some governments, including the EU.

At stake are issues including working time regulations, remuneration (moving away from in-kind payment), health and safety coverage, access to social security, maternity rights and stricter control of labour agencies. The ILO Workers’ Group will need support from a majority of the governments to ensure that a strong Convention provides the long overdue recognition of these workers’ trade union and human rights.

International union pressure is crucial. Trade unionists can act to ensure that your national center is well informed about the domestic workers’ demands (see Platform of Demands) and that your government votes in favor of a Convention that provides domestic workers the same basic rights as other workers.

You can find the position of your government, employers organization and trade union center in the ILO “blue report” (Report IV (A)) which contains comments to the conclusions of the 2010 discussions. The proposed texts of a Convention and a Recommendation, which will be the basis for the June discussion, are available here on the ILO web site in a bilingual English/French edition.

7. European Commission Launches Gender Drawing Competition — Open For Children Worldwide

BRUSSELS: (Source: European Union Press Release): To mark International Women’s Day, the EU Commissioner for development Andris Piebalgs will launch, for the fifth year in a row, a Gender drawing contest designed to raise awareness on women’s conditions and rights in developing countries, through the involvement of children.He will also inaugurate a joint EU/UN photo exhibition in Timor Leste with the Special Representative of the UNSG Ms Ameerah Haq. Commissioner Piebalgs will reaffirm the European Commission’s steadfast commitment to improve the rights and chances for women, as well as the representation of women in developing countries to speed up progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

EU Commissioner for Development said: ” Timor Leste is a remarkable case in developing world when it comes to empowerment of women. 30% of Members of Parliament are women and there are important legislations in place, for instance against domestic violence. But the world still has a lot of work to do before the gap between men and women disappears. Women comprise more than half the world’s population, but they constitute 70% of the world’s poor, and two-thirds of those who are not taught to read and write.

As a Commissioner for Development I am trying to take into account women’s interests in all the aspects of development policies. Any project we conduct, be it in agriculture, education or health should have a clear objective to enhance women’s engagement and empower them to further actions.

As I am travelling around the world, I can see that if women are healthy, educated, have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their communities and nations will flourish.

With this in mind the EU launched the Millennium Development Goals initiative. It is designed to reward progress of the countries that are most advanced in developing effective strategies to meet the MDGs, and to support efforts of the others to bridge the gap of the most off track MDGs, notably related to women.

Finally, the EU is making stronger efforts to combat victimization of women in conflict situations. At the moment, and for already several years, some of the most unacceptable abuses in the world are the repeated acts of sexual violence taking place in the conflict zone in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each day, women and girls are victims of the cruellest acts of brutality. We have to act to stop impunity and support the Congolese authorities in their efforts to raise awareness and bring criminals to justice.

On this special day, I want to make it clear: there will be no human and economic development without a sound respect of women’s rights and conditions. This is a fundamental part of the development policy that I wish to champion, providing rights and security to these women. It will be one of my priorities in the coming months and years.”

The Gender Drawing competition

Additionally, the European Commission’s sponsored Gender Drawing Competition is launched for the fifth year in a row to invite children across the world to present their vision of gender equality in a drawing. The objectives of the drawing competition are to promote creativity and reflection on what “gender equality” means, and to raise awareness of gender issues amongst children, as well as the adults close to them. The competition also aims to open-up debate within civil society and to involve national and local authorities in the countries where it is taking place.

The competition is open to children between 8-10 years old in six regions that span the globe: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Pacific, Latin America, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and non-EU Countries in Europe including the Eastern Neighbors of the EU. In 2010, 61 countries, 48,709 children and 1,641 schools participated in the competition. The winners in each region will be awarded a prize of €1,000, which can be used to buy books, computers or other education materials.

Gender Drawing Competition: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/gender/drawing-competition-2011_en.htm

Examples of EU funded projects: http://www.cc.cec/dgintranet/europeaid/tools/csse/index_en.cfm

EU actions on gender equality: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/gender/index_en.htm

8. Women spearheading push for Organic Food and Farm Products

Santa Cruz, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 07, 2011 — 2011 is a historic year in the organic food and farming movement. With Maureen Wilmot named to the executive directorship of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) in January, four leading U.S. organic food and farming advocacy organizations are now headed by women for the first time. Joan Boykin is the executive director of The Organic Center, Christine Bushway is the executive director of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), and Peggy Miars is the executive director of the Organic Materials Review Institute.

The four women will celebrate the continuing rise of women in organic leadership at OFRF’s 14th annual luncheon on March 10 at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA. The event takes place in Ballroom B, on the third floor of the Anaheim Convention Center from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. During the program, Wilmot will acknowledge the historical significance of this moment by calling Boykin, Bushway, and Miars to the stage at approximately 12:20 p.m. The women plan to meet following the luncheon to discuss emerging issues in the organic community and on-going collaboration.

“The fact that women are leading these four major national organizations at the same time is a delightful coincidence,” said Ms. Wilmot. “In the last three years, the boards of all four organic organizations have chosen the best and the brightest to lead the way, and it just so happened we were all women.”

“The participation, passion, and leadership of women working in organic businesses reflects their commitment to organic agriculture and an improved future state they are helping to create for our children’s children’s children,” said Ms. Boykin.

“The active leadership of women in the organic sector reflects the aim of organic agriculture to address concerns that affect all people on our great planet. The Organic Trade Association in 1990 chose a woman to be its first executive director, and I am the third in that great tradition. Three of the past four presidents of OTA elected since 2001 have been women. Although there are many OTA member companies headed by great men, there also are many great women entrepreneurs who run their own organic businesses. I believe this mutual respect between men and women in the sector bodes well for the future and vision of organic agriculture as it continues to grow,” said Ms. Bushway.

“Because women are the backbone of most families in America, it is not surprising that women lead key organizations in the organic community. Women have led the way in buying organic for our families, advocating for production practices that protect the environment, and ensuring that organic laws and regulations uphold the integrity of organic products. As a baby boomer, I remember when women’s rights were still young, so it is very gratifying to see this leadership transformation in organic,” said Ms. Miars.

Having women in leadership positions in the organic agriculture sector is only natural given the significant role women have in the U.S. farm and food economy. Today, the majority of food purchases are made by women and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that 22 percent of all organic farmers are women.

The quartet of women in leadership positions comes at a time when women have made significant advances in other national organic farming institutions as well. Kathleen Merrigan, a former OFRF board member and lead author of the Organic Foods Production Act, is now deputy secretary of agriculture at the USDA and LaRhea Pepper is co-founder and senior director of Textile Exchange (formerly Organic Exchange). In addition, board presidents at both OFRF (Deirdre Birmingham) and OTA (Julia Sabin) are women.

Organic Farming Research Foundation (http://www.ofrf.org)

Organic Materials Review Institute (http://www.omri.org)

Organic Trade Association (http://www.ota.com)

The Organic Center http://www.organic-center.org.

9. First “Women Deliver 100” list cites women and men who have fought to improve girls’ and women’s lives worldwide

SOURCE http://www.womendeliver.org

Women Deliver announced today the “Women Deliver 100,” the global advocacy organization’s list of the hundred most inspiring people who have delivered for girls and women. The list recognizes women and men, both prominent and lesser known, who have committed themselves to improving the lives of girls and women around the world. Honorees derive from the fields of health, human rights, politics, economics, education, journalism, and philanthropy, and represent a great diversity of geographic and cultural backgrounds.

“2010 was widely viewed as the year women’s issues finally came to the fore in international development,” said Women Deliver President Jill Sheffield. “This list recognizes those who successfully navigated the corridors of power, along with those on the front lines, who have worked to expand rights and choices for girls and women everywhere.”

The 100 honorees were selected from among hundreds of potentials and feature some of the most intrepid, committed, and results-driven people in the world. In addition to Nobel laureates and heads of state, honorees are human rights activists, like Kasha Jacqueline, who have fought tirelessly against oppression; they are scientists, like Ian Frazer, who have developed life-changing technologies for women; and they are midwives, like Imtiaz Kamal, who save the lives of women and babies.

“Activists, doctors, journalists, teachers, business women, politicians: the women and men on this list do more than inspire. They change lives for the better, they create, they innovate and they fight for more fair, more inclusive, more fulfilled societies,” said Graca Machel, an honoree and founding member of the Elders. “Their achievements reinforce my conviction that when women thrive, our world does too.”

Many individuals on the list have seen little public attention, and are the unsung heroes of women everywhere. Many have moved mountains amidst civil strife and endemic poverty, some have risked their lives for their work, and others continue to face pressure and stigma for their efforts.

“The work of these heroes is informed not just by boundless vision, but also by pragmatism,” said Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women and Chair of the Women Deliver 2010 conference. “They both understand and defy current power structures – and they will stop at nothing to make changes that improve the daily existence of women everywhere.”

The list is global in reach, signifying the breadth of work being done to improve girls’ and women’s lives. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest representation, with 26 honorees. The Middle East and North Africa have 20 honorees, while 15 are from Asia, and 11 hail from Latin America and the Caribbean. Nineteen North Americans were also selected for the list.

The full list, with profiles of each honoree, can be found at www.womendeliver.org.

Some of the inspirational individuals featured in the Women Deliver 100 include:

Somaly Mam, Cambodia: Orphaned during the Khmer Rouge, Mam survived forced prostitution as a child, later escaping to France. She then returned home to start a network of sanctuaries aiding thousands of other trafficking survivors across South East Asia.

Kakenya Ntaiya, Kenya: As a Maasai villager, Ntaiya made two extraordinary deals with her father and her community elders: by agreeing to undergo female circumcision, she was allowed to delay marriage and attend high school. In exchange for a university education in the US, she has returned to Kenya to build a school for other Maasai girls, now in its third year.

Rebecca Gomperts, Netherlands: The intrepid Dutch doctor anchors her small ship off the coasts of countries where abortion access is restricted to provide safe medical abortions and medically-sound counseling in international waters. Her efforts are credited with helping to push Portugal to legalize first-trimester abortions.

Hawa Abdi, Somalia: Abdi and her daughters, all doctors, have stood their ground against Somalia’s militias, guarding one of the country’s only remaining safe havens: they run a complex with a hospital, farms, and a school, providing shelter to more than 90,000 women and children.

Casimira Rodriguez, Bolivia: Forced into domestic labor as a child, Rodriguez went on to become a firebrand labor organizer and most recently, Bolivia’s Minister of Justice – the first indigenous woman to serve in that position.

Chief Kwataine, Malawi: Chief Kwataine learned of the high maternal death rate in the 89 Malawian villages under his traditional authority and launched a community-wide, grassroots initiative to educate women on maternal health and bring women to the hospital to give birth; in the last three years, not a single mother has died.

About Women Deliver: Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization that brings together voices from around the world to call for improved health and well being for girls and women. Launched in 2007, Women Deliver works globally to generate political commitment and financial investment for fulfilling Millennium Development Goal #5 — to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health. Building from the groundbreaking conferences Women Deliver convened in 2007 and 2010, the initiative harnesses commitments, partnerships, and networks to help prevent the approximately 350,000 deaths of girls and women from pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes that occur every year. Women Deliver’s message is that maternal health is both a human right and a practical necessity for sustainable development.  Invest in women—it pays.

10. Message by Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women: Time to Make the Promise of Equality a Reality

NEW YORK, March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is a message by Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women:

A hundred years ago today, women across the world took an historic step on the long road to equality. The first ever International Women’s Day was called to draw attention to the unacceptable and often dangerous working conditions that so many women faced worldwide. Although the occasion was celebrated in only a handful of countries, it brought over one million women out onto the streets, demanding not just better conditions at work but also the right to vote, to hold office and to be equal partners with men.

I suspect those courageous pioneers would look at our world today with a mixture of pride and disappointment. There has been remarkable progress as the last century has seen an unprecedented expansion of women’s legal rights and entitlements. Indeed, the advancement of women’s rights can lay claim to be one of the most profound social revolutions the world has seen.

One hundred years ago, only two countries allowed women to vote. Today, that right is virtually universal and women have now been elected to lead Governments in every continent. Women, too, hold leading positions in professions from which they were once banned. Far more recently than a century ago, the police, courts and neighbors still saw violence in the home as a purely private matter. Today two-thirds of countries have specific laws that penalize domestic violence and the United Nations Security Council now recognizes sexual violence as a deliberate tactic of war.

But despite this progress over the last century, the hopes of equality expressed on that first International Women’s Day are a long way from being realized.  Almost two out of three illiterate adults are women. Girls are still less likely to be in school than boys. Every 90 seconds of every day, a woman dies in pregnancy or due to childbirth-related complications despite us having the knowledge and resources to make birth safe.

Across the world, women continue to earn less than men for the same work. In many countries, too, they have unequal access to land and inheritance rights. And despite high-profile advances, women still make up only 19 per cent of legislatures, 8% of peace negotiators, and only 28 women are heads of state or government.

It is not just women who pay the price for this discrimination. We all suffer for failing to make the most of half the world’s talent. We undermine the quality of our democracy, the strength of our economies, the health of our societies and the sustainability of peace. This year’s focus of International Women’s Day on women’s equally access to education, training, science and technology underscores the need to tap this potential.

The agenda to secure gender equality and women’s rights is a global agenda, a challenge for every country, rich and poor, north and south. It was in recognition of both its universality and the rewards if we get this right that the United Nations brought together four existing organizations to create UN Women.  The goal of this new body, which I have the great privilege to lead, is to galvanize the entire UN system so we can deliver on the promise of the UN Charter of equal rights of men and women.  It is something I have fought for my whole life.

As a young mother and a pediatrician, I experienced the struggles of balancing family and career and saw how the absence of child care prevented women from paid employment.  The opportunity to help remove these barriers was one of the reasons I went into politics. It is why I supported policies that extended health and childcare services to families and prioritized public spending for social protection. As President, I worked hard to create equal opportunities for both men and women to contribute their talents and experiences to the challenges facing our country. That is why I proposed a Cabinet that had an equal number of men and women.

As Executive Director of UN Women, I want to use my journey and the collective knowledge and experience all around me to encourage progress towards true gender equality across the world. We will work, in close partnership, with men and women, leaders and citizens, civil society, the private sector and the whole UN system to assist countries to roll out policies, programs and budgets to achieve this worthy goal.

I have seen myself what women, often in the toughest circumstances, can achieve for their families and societies if they are given the opportunity. The strength, industry and wisdom of women remain humanity’s greatest untapped resource. We simply cannot afford to wait another 100 years to unlock this potential.

About the author: Michelle Bachelet is the first Executive Director of UN Women, a newly formed UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. She is the former President of Chile.

11. Men Vs. Women: Who Wears The Finance Pants?

PHILADELPHIA, PRNewswire/ — The Great Recession has caused a disconnect between affluent couples on personal finance issues and how they plan and discuss money, according to survey findings by PNC Wealth Management, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC).

PNC’s “Love and Money” findings, as part of its Wealth and Values Survey, revisited a ground-breaking study first conducted five years ago on relationships and finances. The result: men and women aren’t on the same page with regard to the impact of the recession on their financial planning and many differences remain in how they view their money.

Forty-nine percent of women, versus 39 percent of men, say “we are planning our financial affairs more carefully than we used to,” whereas 51 percent of men and 38 percent of women say “nothing has changed.”

PNC, which is among the nation’s top 20 wealth management firms, found that women worry more than men about a wide range of financial issues.

When asked to rate their degree of concern, more women than men express worry about the recession (69 percent versus 54 percent of men); inflation (51 percent versus 44 percent of men); money to support lifestyle (46 percent versus 40 percent of men); declining real estate values (45 percent versus 35 percent of men) and not being able to support lifestyle in retirement (45 percent versus 34 percent of men).

“The findings confirm a fundamental need for couples: open communication between spouses is critical to financial harmony,” said R. Bruce Bickel, senior vice president of PNC Wealth Management. “One spouse’s perception must equal the other spouse’s intention in order to have successful communication. The only way for that to happen is if husbands and wives openly communicate their views and listen to what the other is saying.”

PNC Wealth Management also found insights on the following issues:

  • Disconnect on Investing: Four in 10 (41 percent) men describe themselves as high or moderate risk investors versus only 27 percent of women who tend to describe themselves as balanced (46 percent) or conservative/no-risk (27 percent).
  • Who’s in Charge?: The majority of men perceive themselves as driving the financial decisions whereas women say they share responsibility for these decisions. Seven in 10 (73 percent) women and 45 percent of men say they share responsibility for financial decisions.  Half of men (53 percent) and only 17 percent of women say they are the ones who are mostly responsible.
  • Money and Happiness: More men (55 percent) than women (45 percent) say they derive pleasure from wealth accumulation. This represents a slight shift from five years ago when an equal number of men (52 percent) and women (50 percent) shared that sentiment.
  • Agreement on Kids: Mothers and fathers agree equally that the recession has had an impact on their children’s future financial prospects. More than half (57 percent of mothers and 55 percent of fathers) believe the recession has fundamentally changed the way their children will manage their finances in the future.  The financial crisis has led many to openly talk about money: 44 percent of fathers and 49 percent of mothers agree “the events surrounding the recession have prompted me to have discussions with my children about finances and money.”
  • Kids and Their Future: There is rising concern among parents that their children may have a tougher time making it financially, as seven in 10 (71 percent) wealthy parents share this concern. In 2006 just over half (57 percent) of parents agreed with the statement, “I am worried that my children will have a tougher time making it financially than I did.”

For Bickel, this means parents need to be talking to their children earlier and more often about money, starting as early as the first grade.

“Helping children create budgets and discussing the principles of earning, giving, saving and spending instills discipline early in life and they are more likely to carry these values forward,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how much money a family has, this approach is indispensible and helps assure future success with finances.”

An online media kit containing survey highlights and background information is available on PNC’s website at http://www.pnc.com/go/presskits.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC.

Survey Methodology

The Wealth and Values Survey was commissioned by PNC to identify attitudes about wealth among high-net-worth individuals, how it affects their lives and their needs in managing wealth. The survey was conducted online within the United States in September and October 2010 among a nationwide cross section of 1,097 adults (age 18 or over) with over $500K in investable assets and a minimum annual income of $150K (if less than $1 million in investable assets and not retired).  Findings are significant at the 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.

The survey was designed and managed by HNW, Inc. (www.hnw.com), a strategic marketing services firm focused on the high net worth segment. The survey was supported by Artemis Strategy Group (www.ArtemisSG.com), a communications strategy research firm specializing in brand positioning and policy issues.

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