This week, a full-page advertisement appeared in The New York Times. It was in the form of a letter addressed to the newly inaugurated President of the United States, Joe Biden.
“Dr President Biden,” it read. “You know this well: Mums are the bedrock of society. And we’re tired of working for free.”
The ad is part of a campaign called “The Marshall Plan for Mums” led by author, activist and founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani.
It’s backed by 50 high-profile women who co-signed the letter, including the founder of the #metoo movement Tarana Burke and actors Alyssa Milano, Connie Britton, Charlize Theron, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore and Eva Longoria.
Together, they are calling for the US government to pay mothers for parental labour and to introduce a raft of family-friendly policies that could help rebuild the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Motherhood isn’t a favour, and it’s not a luxury. It’s a job,” the letter read.
The appeal judge criticised “tone deaf and inappropriate” comments about Denise Lee by the sentencing magistrate, along with media reporting of the case.
Women who are resuscitated from cardiac arrest are less likely to receive two common treatments once they arrive at the hospital, and are much more likely to die while hospitalized than men, a new study finds.
It turns out that in the United States, the survival rate of infants, the most dependent age group of all, has gone way up during the pandemic. There are reports that premature births, one leading cause of infant mortality, fell significantly in the early months of lockdowns, when women in their final trimester of pregnancy were able to do something many of them cannot afford to do in normal times: Stay home from work.
“Harmful” gender stereotyping has helped fuel the UK mental health crisis afflicting the younger generation, an influential report has warned, adding that it is at the root of problems with body image and eating disorders, record male suicide rates as well as violence against women and girls.
Stereotyped assumptions also “significantly limit” youngsters’ career choices, in turn contributing to the gender pay gap, according to the findings of an influential commission set up by the leading gender equality campaigning charity the Fawcett Society.
Warning that stereotyping persists in parenting, education and the commercial sector – notably toys, books and fashion – the commission is calling on the government to “take meaningful steps” to better support teachers and parents and challenge simplisic “pink and blue” labelling in the corporate sector.
Gabbard argued her bill will “ensure women and girls in sports have the opportunity to compete and excel on a level playing field.”
Landmark report ‘Wiyi Yani U Thangani’ into the challenges and aspirations of Indigenous women and girls in Australia recommends an urgent focus on healing from intergenerational trauma and a national plan of action to advance wellbeing.
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) report, launched today in Perth by Ms Oscar, made five major findings and seven recommendations.
They include the implementation of a national action plan on advancing the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, and a national summit with the establishment of a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Girls advisory body.
Other recommendations include national action to eradicate racism, and an urgent focus on healing from intergenerational trauma.
The report found Indigenous women report higher rates of anxiety and depression than their male counterparts, and that 32.8 per cent of First Nations people report high or very high rates of psychological distress.
The rate is 13 per cent for other Australians.
It also found discrimination and social, economic and political marginalisation has trapped generations in cycles of poverty and trauma, and it highlighted that Indigenous women are Australia’s fastest-growing prison population, being 21 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Indigenous women.
Women make up a tiny proportion of the international art auction market, says art historian Griselda Pollock, keynote speaker at this week’s NGA’s Know My Name conference. Last year, the international art world was scandalised when two journalists, Julia Halperin and Charlotte Burns of Artnet, revealed work made by female artists accounted for just over two per cent — US$4 billion — of the entire market over 11 years.
Pollock says that the limited market is a direct result of decisions made by museums and galleries. “There is an intimate relation between financial and symbolic value. If the work of women is not valued by scholars and curators art historically, the market reflects that low estimation.
Renee Adams, professor of finance at the Said Business School at Oxford, has done the numbers. In a paper she wrote in 2017 (but so far not published in the traditional finance academic journals despite having won awards), she and her colleagues made a remarkable finding.
“We looked at auction prices, secondary market art prices. And what we show is there’s a roughly 40 per cent discount for paintings painted by women relative to paintings painted by men.”
[T]hey also performed an experiment. They showed participants five paintings by women and five paintings by men. Nothing high end, nothing too famous. Participants were asked to guess the gender of the artist just by looking at a painting. No names, no provenance. Participants couldn’t. As the researchers concluded: “Women’s art appears to sell for less because it is made by women.”
For centuries, nations, societies and cultures have relied on the unwaged work of people, mainly women, to ensure that the young, the elderly and others unable to fully care for themselves are looked after. Society has relied on unwaged caring work to ensure that successive generations are produced, educated, and socialised. Nations depend on unwaged caring work for the existence, health, and well-being of their waged workforce. Three quarters of the world’s unwaged caring work is done by women undertaking 12.5 billion hours every day and representing a contribution to the global economy of at least $10.8 trillion a year.
Care income describes an end to this system. It describes a wage, paid in cash or access to land, beginning with mothers and other primary carers, and including those who care for and protect the soil, water, air and natural world. The care income values and recognises the life-giving and life-sustaining work of reproducing and caring for the entire human race. It recognises caring as fundamental to all human relationships and the need to invest in those who do care work for the survival of us all. It recognises that there is no human reproduction without the natural world on which we all depend – the care of the land, the air, the oceans and the rivers. It demands a reversal of priorities: from an economy aimed at profit which enriches some to the detriment of all, to an economy aimed at protecting and enriching all life.
The demand for a care income has grown out of the International Wages for Housework Campaign (IWFHC) started in 1972 by Selma James. The IWFHC is an ongoing campaign that begins with those with least power internationally – unwaged workers in the home, mostly mothers, and unwaged subsistence farmers and workers on the land and in the community. The demand for wages for caring work is also a way of organising from the bottom up, of autonomous sectors working together to end the imbalance of power relations among us. The IWFHC succeeded in getting the UN to pass path-breaking commitments that acknowledge the contribution of unwaged caring work that women do in the home, on the land, and in the community. Since 8 March 2000, the IWFHC has become more widely known as the Global Women’s Strike (GWS).
Like other aspects of COVID-19, the impact was gendered with a far greater decline among women. There were 86,000 fewer women enrolled to study in May 2020 than in May 2019, compared with just over 21,000 fewer men.
These data remind us caring responsibilities not only affect careers or work-life balance, but also education. The sharp decline in female enrolments over the age of 25 suggests it was likely because of caring responsibilities.
The data also highlight the gendered complexities of COVID-19 on education. Women’s enrolments were disproportionately affected, whereas the data showed significant increases in men over the age of 25 enrolling in university in May 2020 compared with 2019. Male enrolments in this age group increased by about 26,000.