The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brinkexamines why one-third of all American women - 42 million - and the 28 million children who depend on them, are living on the brink of poverty. The report looks at the wage gap, which currently leaves women earning only 77 cents to a man's dollar, and even less for black and Latina women, and other inequalities that contribute to women's financial insecurity. For example, women make up two-thirds of minimum-wage workers, and they are more likely than men to work in poorly paid "pink-collar" service and caregiving occupations that offer few or no benefits. With women comprising half of the United States workforce and two-thirds of the primary or co-breadwinners in families, their lower earnings affect everyone.
"Leave out the women, and you don't have a full and robust economy," said Maria Shriver in her opening chapter. "Lead with the women, and you do."
Beyond reducing general unemployment and soaring income inequality, the report suggests that the US adopt policies that would specifically help lift women out of poverty. Closing the wage gap would cut the poverty rate in half for women and add half a trillion dollars to the economy. Creating a higher minimum wage, strengthening public programs like food stamps, providing affordable child care, and guaranteeing paid sick and family leave - possibly through the recently introducedFamily and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) - would also significantly boost women's earning potential and improve the financial security of millions of women and families.
Media Resources: Center for American Progress 1/12/14; The Shriver Report 1/9/14; Feminist Newswire 12/12/13
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .