Friday, May 30, 2014

What We've Been Reading- May 30th

Please enjoy the first "What We've Been Reading" post from our summer interns!

In a similar vein to one of the articles explored in our last  post, this week a PolicyMic article titled “New Research Reveals The Troubling Reality Women Face After High School” further confirms the wage gap faced by women. In this research, the correlation between a high GPA and future earnings is studied, and the results are troubling. The findings from this research, conducted by a team at the University of Miami, shows that a female high school student who graduated with a 4.0 GPA is predicted to earn as much as a male high school graduate with a 2.0 GPA. Past high school, a female must receive a Ph.D. to earn as much as a man with a Bachelor’s Degree. This study also showed that although women begin their careers earning 93% of what males at the same level make, the gap only widens as women ascend the rungs of their career’s ladder. Clearly, the institutional inequalities women are subjected are evidenced by many factors, and the issue of gender discrimination must be confronted at multiple levels.
According to a Washington Post blog article, women aren’t projected to reach political parity until 2121. This assertion is based on a new report conducted by the non-partisan group Political Parity, which contains a survey with responses from 200 female participants whose careers are in politics. While there is no male statistic to provide a means of comparison, a lowly 18% of those female state legislators surveyed said that they would consider running for a higher office, even though they would certainly have the proper credentials. The previous statistic can perhaps be explained through examining the discriminatory challenges faced by women that were most cited in the survey. These were found to be political parties, legislative colleagues and peers, and the “old boys” political network. Perhaps most telling is a graph in the report depicting the representation of women in both Congress and in State Legislature. Although the number of women in State Legislature is still rising albeit at a slow pace, since approximately 2005, the number of female politicians in Congress has remained virtually the same.
The Association of Psychological Science recently published a study linking fathers’ involvement in household chores to their daughters’ future career ambitions, and Jezebel outlines this connection in a recently published article. In households where fathers completed a share of chores, their daughters were more likely to covet jobs in traditionally male dominated fields. Conversely, when mothers completed the majority of household tasks, their daughters were more likely to aspire to be stay-at-home moms, nurses, or other jobs in more traditionally female dominated career paths. Although this correlation doesn’t provide a definitive means by which to break down gender barriers, it provides interesting insight into subtle and everyday ways in which families can work to disintegrate these barriers. released the 100 Most Powerful Women in Politics celebrating a group of people that is often overlooked. 20 women were involved in  international politics and three of the top five women are politicians. German Chancellor Angela Merkel ranks first, a spot she has held for nine of the past ten years. Janet Yellen, new to the list, received the number 2 spot for her new position of Chair of the Federal Bank. Other women to note: First Lady Michelle Obama (#8), President of South korea Geun-hyke Park (#11), Minority Leader of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (#26), and Minister of International Cooperation and Development of the United Arab Emirates Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi (#55).

CNN and Time Magazine both covered the tragic story of Farzana Parveen, a 25 year-old woman from Pakistan, was killed in Lahore on May 27th, 2014. She was stoned to death by members of her family in an extremely public place - outside a courthouse - with a group of 20 people watching. The articles describe how she was murdered because she chose to marry the man she was in love with instead of marrying her cousin, who her family chose to be her husband. Her father made chilling remarks regarding the incident: “I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it” (TIME). Her death is considered an “honor killing” in Pakistani culture, which means she was killed because she brought shame upon her family. The “so-called honor killings often originate from tribal traditions in Pakistan, but are not a part of Islam” (CNN). Her death, therefore, represents a greater culture that allows for violence against women. Farzana Bari, a human rights activist, spoke to CNN and explained her opinion: “I think honor killing has nothing to do with religion; I think it’s all about patriarchy, it’s all about men control over women’s bodies, all about male domination in culture and tradition.” These articles offer insight into what her death really represents in terms of the disempowered position women in society.