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home : features : thinkaboutit February 26, 2015

ThinkAboutIt May 2014
This photo of the Overland (Colo.) High School soccer team went viral on Twitter.

Soccer spunk
A Muslim soccer player was banned from playing in a high school game in Colorado because of her hijab, which a referee deemed as dangerous. Next game, Samah Aidah's teammates all wore scarves, and she was allowed to play. Meanwhile, a teammate's photo of the girls went viral on Twitter. Coincidentally, the international soccer body, FIFA, had recently revoked its ban on hijabs and turbans during games.
Source: The Huffington Post, Upworthy


"We are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids. Under no circumstances should girls be told that their clothing is responsible for boy's bad behaviors. ... And if the sight of a girl's leg is too much for boys ... to handle, then your school has a much bigger problem to deal with. We really hope that you will consider the impact of these policies and how they contribute to rape culture."
- Juliet and Kevin Bond, parents of a seventh-grade girl at a middle school in Evanston, Ill., after the school instituted a confusing ban on leggings and yoga pants because they were too distracting to male students.
Source: Alternet

Wage gap in ... baby-sitting?
Fewer than 3 percent of all baby-sitters are male, but they still earn more than females. The blog Priceonomics found that the going rate (with regional variations) averages $14.50 an hour for young women, but $15 an hour for young men. Priceonomics also asks: Is this because men are more confident and negotiate higher wages? Or are they just uniquely qualified because, say, they're master fort-builders?

Or maybe it's just institutionalized bias. Even in female-dominated professions like administrative assistants, teachers and nurses, men who choose these jobs tend to make as much as 10 percent more and get promoted faster, according to a study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research.
Sources: The Atlantic, Priceonomics

Background checks save lives
Domestic-violence homicides jump when background checks aren't required for gun buyers, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, which examined Missouri's 2007 repeal of a permit law.

In states that have mandatory background checks, such as Hawaii, Illinois and Massachusetts, 38 percent fewer women are killed by intimate partners, FBI data show. (Minnesota requires checks for handguns bought from licensed dealers.) South Carolina, on the other hand, which does not have mandatory checks for private sales, had the nation's highest rate of female homicide in 2011: 61, or 2.54 per 100,000 women - including a rate of women killed by intimate partners double the national average.
Source: Al Jazeera America/Fault Lines blog

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"Rape culture is when ... "
Using the "#rapecultureiswhen" hashtag on Twitter brought powerful, poignant examples, such as:
• ... we make a million lists of "prevention tips" for WOMEN but fail to teach men not to rape.
• ... 50 teenagers saw what was happening in Steubenville and chose to do nothing.
• ... rapists are likely to graduate on-time with their college class, but victims are likely to drop out, delay or transfer.
• ... people respond to horrible rape cases by saying they hope the perp "gets raped in prison."
• ... you have to create a hashtag for it to be taken seriously.
Source: Feministing

Global gains
A record number of women won seats in parliaments worldwide in 2013, a 1.5-percentage-point increase, thanks partly to quotas that are improving women's access. Some highlights:
• Rwanda leads the list, with women comprising over 60 percent of the Parliament.
• Latin America had the most gains; Ecuador, Grenada and Argentina joined 36 other countries with women comprising at least 30 percent of the government.
• Asia and the Pacific showed almost no progress.
• The United States ranks 83rd out of 189 countries; women hold only 18.5 percent of seats in Congress.

In Tunisia, meanwhile, a new constitution guarantees equality between men and women, along with mandating protection for the environment and declaring health care a human right.
Sources: Feminist Majority, Watchdog.net





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