Saturday, February 27, 2010

Preparing for Equal Pay Day

Later today, a couple of us are meeting to plan for Equal Pay Day on April 20th. In preparing, I came across this little video from The Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas.

What will you be doing this year to raise public awareness of the wage gap? I'll keep you posted on our plans.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who shall I blog about on Ada Lovelace Day?

March is Women in History month and I just took the pledge to post about a women in science or technology on March 24th-- Ada Lovelace Day. If you blog, have you taken the pledge?   This is a good way to highlight the many unsung women who serve as role models for girls considering STEM careers -- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

I'd really like to post about someone local so I'm soliciting suggestions for women from the Hudson Valley who might make good candidates.  Here's the guidance provided by the organizers of the event.

  • * Your tech heroine can be alive or a historic figure
  • * She doesn't need to be famous, just someone you admire or who has influenced you
  • * Our definitions of 'tech' and 'science' are deliberately vague, so feel free to stretch them!
  • * If you still can't think of anyone, just take a look around you and write about a colleague, mentor, friends or just someone whose blog you like reading!"
Born Augusta Ada Byron, but now known simply as Ada Lovelace, Lovelace wrote the world’s first computer programs for the Analytical Engine, a general-purpose machine that Charles Babbage  invented in the 1830's.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments, thanks.
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    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Book group cancelled today (2/23)

    Note: Our Feb. book group is cancelled due to the weather.
    For our March 16 book discussion, we'll meet downtairs at the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street, to talk about The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines. ViVi Hlavsa will present background on the author. At the beginning of the meeting, we will watch an 18-minute video called The Psychological Residuals of Slavery. We have watched this before, but it makes several points that we can again ponder.

    For women in America, equality is still an illusion -

    American cultural icons, apple pie, baseball, ...Image via Wikipedia
    From Jessica Valenti at the Washington Post:

    For women in America, equality is still an illusion - "We have no problem condemning atrocities done to women abroad, yet too many of us in the United States ignore the oppression on our doorstep. We're suffering under the mass delusion that women in America have achieved equality.

    And why not -- it's a feel-good illusion. We cry with Oprah and laugh with Tina Fey; we work and take care of our children; we watch Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice proudly and sigh with relief, believing we've come so far. But we're basking in a 'girl power' moment that doesn't exist -- it's a mirage of equality that we've been duped into believing is the real thing.

    Because despite the indisputable gains over the years, women are still being raped, trafficked, violated and discriminated against -- not just in the rest of the world, but here in the United States. And though feminists continue to fight gender injustices, most people seem to think that outside of a few lingering battles, the work of the women's movement is done.

    It's time to stop fooling ourselves. For all our 'empowered' rhetoric, women in this country aren't doing nearly as well as we'd like to think."

    Valenti provides some statistics and tackles the question 'why the blinders?' Yes, American women are better off than many women around the world, but this isn't an either/or situation.

    "And perhaps if the pay gap here were closed, women would have more money to spend on causes overseas. It's time to do away with the either-or mentality that surrounds domestic and international women's rights."
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    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Congressman Miller and Lilly Ledbetter talk about the Fair Pay Act

    This brief video highlights the importance of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. When you see the number of cases handled in just the year since its passage, you'll understand that pay discrimination against women and minorities is still with us and legal protection and redress, critical.

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    Feb. Branch Meeting: A New You from the Outside In

    Scholarship Fundraiser: Open to all

    Haircut makeover
    Image from the Oprah Great Hair Makeover

    At AAUW, we tend to be a pretty cerebral group -- bridge, book clubs, breaking through barriers -- but that doesn't mean that we don't care about how we look. A compliment about our appearance can make us stand up a bit straighter, put a smile on our lips, and a twinkle in our eye.

    Join us on Saturday, February 13, when Joel Ludlow, Hairdresser to the Stars, will demonstrate and talk about things we can do to look our best.

    Joel practices his craft, making women and men from all walks of life look their best, at the well-known Kenneth's Salon in Manhattan. Joel's client list has included women as varied as Katherine Graham and Madeleine Albright; Debra Messing (Will & Grace) and Dana Delaney (Desperate Housewives). He has worked fashion shows for Mary McFadden and Missoni, VIP weddings, and  innumerable photoshoots.

    Invite your daughters, grand-daughters, friends and neighbors. This should be a fun afternoon. When Joel shares the tricks of the trade, he's very entertaining.

    The New You -- from the Outside, In
    Joel Ludlow, Hairdresser to the Stars

    Saturday, February 13, 2010

    Kingston Library Community Room
    1:00 Registration and refreshments
    !:30 Program

    Non-members - suggested $10 donation to the Branch scholarship fund

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    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    Celebrate the progress we've made: girls and women in sports

    Twisted Girl  (SUKMA XII 2008, Terengganu)Image by Shutterhack via Flickr
    Wednesday, Feb. 3 is National Girls and Women in Sports Day

    Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, female participation in college sports has increased 400 percent; female participation at the high school level more than 800 percent. 
    Female athletes are more likely to develop positive school and lifestyle habits.  High school girls who participate in sports are less likely to experience an unintended pregnancy or to smoke or use illicit drugs, while they are more likely to have a positive body image than girls who don't play sports.
    What fostered that increase? Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities. It is one of the country's greatest success stories and AAUW was instrumental in in its passage.
    Despite the significant gains girls and women have made since its enactment  lack of data reporting presents a significant drawback to the law's enforcement at the high school level.  The U.S. Department of Education does not require high schools to make athletic opportunity, participation, and funding statistics publicly available, even though they already collect this data. It's estimated that female high school students have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than do male students. But nationally there's no way to know for sure.  
    Colleges are required to report this data; it's time our high schools are, too. There are two things we can do:
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