Friday, February 7, 2014

What We've Been Reading...

Happy Weekend, MWPC Friends!

This Wednesday, Politico’s Robin Marty asked a question those of us at the MWPC have been asking for years.  Why are there so few women in politics? Marty posed this question in response to the news that Sandra Fluke, well known activist and advocate for reproductive rights, would not be running to fill the state Senate seat in the wake of veteran lawmaker, Henry Waxman’s retirement. Marty states that there were many factors that contributed to Fluke’s decision not to run including pressure from members of the Democratic Party that she should “wait her turn” and that the “wait your turn” mentality has been one of the biggest challenges in encouraging young women to run for office.  Marty’s full take on the situation can be seen here.   
Janet Yellen officially took the reigns as Chair of the United States Federal Reserve on February 1, 2014  marking a historic moment for women everywhere. According to U.S. News and World Report, she has hit the ground running. With today’s job report being classified as disappointing once again, Yellen is expected to call for an economic policy shift almost immediately upon taking office.   Read more about her projected policy decisions and upcoming challenges here.   
Since President Obama emphasized the importance of a quality preschool education, the topic of early childhood education has become the topic of much bipartisan discussion. Many states have been forging ahead with public preschool programs recognizing not only the benefits to our nation’s children, but for American women and families as well.
The 90th Winter Olympic Games opened in Sochi this week, but not without controversy.  Amongst the issues being debated on the international stage, a lack of parity for female athletes has made its way to the forefront.  This is the first time that women’s ski jump will be included in the Olympic Games.  This is not only a milestone for women skiers, but also a measure of process in gender equality in elite sports.  While the Sochi Games offer more opportunities for female athletes of any Winter Games yet, many such as Maura Grogan, columnist for USA Today, believe that there still is not parity.  Currently, od the 93 individual events in Sochi, 43 are for women while 50 are for men.  Grogan believes that “The reasons for the unequal treatment of women, like concern over women's health, are anachronistic and sexist.”  
Along with the controversy regarding a lack of parity, there has also been a tremendous amount of discussion regarding an interesting ad campaign released by the Russian Olympics Team.  The ad features scantily clad female Russian athletes.  In theory, the campaign was meant to empower female athletes, but many around the world believe that this portrayal of female athletes was more degrading than empowering.   Read more about this controversial campaign here.   

Caucus season officially starts tomorrow. Good luck to everyone participating!