The US just dropped to 90th in the study of female elected officials. USA used to be 78th, but we lost traction in the last election.
@Gail Evans that is a great point Gail. Wonder how many men would agree that it isn't about them losing, but rather sharing in the experience
One of the top ranked countries is Rwanda. I think its 55% of the elected officials are female.
The reason why Rwanda is so highly ranked is that after the genocide, the women said "never again."
re: the iPad thing. There were a lot of jokes when it hit the market and to me it was a sign that there were no women in the room when they named it. But the power of Apple is that the primary association we have for the word "pad" has changed in only a few short months :P
@Gail Evans I hope it doesn't take quotas.
@James - The Russian Federation is #40.
@Carla Jones I for one would. Many I hang with do, too.
@rick.king I know, you are a rare breed my friend!
Carla: i do think that part of why we are stuck is that all of us see this as a zero sum game. If one side wins, the other has to lose. I think we dont make change until we see it as something bigger than us today. Look at the countries where there are constraints against women farmers. Why wouldnt we want as many people in the world as possible adding to the harvest and feeding the hungry. Somehow we are all going to have to think beyond our own small worlds. Thats a tough recipe for many people.
I do not know about quotas. There is a great resistance to them over here in North America. They may work in some places but it is a hard sell here. But North American women are not participating in traditional democratic institutions with any parity at all and we have to figure out a way to make that happen.
@tracey mollins Heard some of the same remarks about our talent program's tag lines and both sexes were in the room creating those. Naming is tough - especially across all languages and cultures not to mention various groups.
Isnt it interesting that Russia is 40 when they have the history of women working all through the Soviet era. May be the proof that it doesnt coome naturally.
@James - there are 134 countries in the ranking.
@Carla Jones not that rare.....i hope.
going to grab some lunch now. back later. great dialogue.
I know that it can happen, but it will take everyone of us giving up a little of our culturally held views. And it will take education, education, education. We want all of this to happen naturally, but at best progress has been 'creeping incrementalism'
Today... we are thankful... because we are able to do so much more that what our mothers, grandmothers were able to do... thus our daughters and future generations will have a brighter future if we continue to mentor, encourage and support each other’s dreams... today and everyday lets be thankful we can do so much more!
Why does the rest of the world celebrate Internalional Womens Day with more verve than the US. I dont even think i heard it mentioned on the morning news this morning!
@Gail Evans For many years, IWD was considered a bit of a socialist holiday and we know how we in the U.S. have a horror of socialism ;-)
In terms of the rankings, it is interesting to see how countries move over time. Canada was #5 in 2005, down to #25 last year and pipped up 5 spaces this year. Like the United States, Canada’s strength lies in educational attainment and economic participation. Our weaknesses are in income gap, political power gaps and "glass ceilings." that is where the Scandinavians are doing better than us. The US was #31 in 2009 btw. So moving in the right direction.
Meercedes: i love your view, but i worry we have said that for every decade for the past 50 years. And the numbers look like we are working harder, but not doing that much better. The idea that women will not have pay equity until 2056 is a joke rather than a government projection. I want my granddaughters to get the same part of the pie as my granddsons.
@james I do think that sometimes equality does happen naturally, but mostly I think it's because of market pressures. Things don't improve because they should, they improve because there is some other reason that drives the improvement.
Laura: you got the answer. i never thought of the origins of womens day
@Gail Wikipedia used to claim that it came about because of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire but the first IWD predates that. But it was definitely a worker-oriented event and its continued popularity in Eastern Europe, etc., supports that to some extent.
I have a different view of education. In the matter of gender and race, we dont have honest open discussions. We declare that we are not sexist or racist and assume that sexism and racism will naturally disappear. I dont think until we understand difference, will we be able to get to sameness.
@James - i am trying to figure out Russia's rank - it seems that they are strong in educational attainment and in having women working across many fields. I need to read more to be sure why. But you know what they say about statistics...
Tracey: remember that women worked in every field during the soviet era. Some of that history has to still be ingrained in the society,
As a statistician, I love the numbers, but I don't want us to forget that in many countries where women hold a large % of what we consider desirable jobs, those jobs are less desirable in those countries which is why the women are able to hold them.
@Gail There has been a lot of fascinating work done on implicit bias. Having sat in an 8th grade English classroom and watched the male teacher fail to call on a single girl over the course of an hour's lesson, I could see the message it sent to the girls (you're not worth hearing from) but I'm quite sure the teacher, if asked, would not have even realized that he did it.
Laura: i think an important part of teachers education has to be understanding gender. Do you know that boys hearing is not as acute as girls in those early years. If the elementary school teacher is a soft spoken woman and the boys sit together in the back, is it surprising that they get in trouble for not paying attention. I actually think that if the teachers were more aware of gender differences in children, we would have many fewer children who were identified as ADD or ADHD.
I taught sociology of education for a fews years at U of Michigan. You don't have to convince me that our education system does not favor our girls - especially in math and science. Personally frustruating for me because I have a 6th grade daughter.