More Jobs for Women in Latin America, But Few Good Ones
Latin America's labor force is becoming increasingly feminized as 33 million women joined the labor market between 1990 and 2004, according to a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report. However, these women are typically confined to traditionally gendered roles that pay less money, earning 20 to 30 percent less than their male counterparts. Up to 60 percent of Latin American women cite childrearing responsibilities as reasons to leave, or not even enter, the labor market, UNFPA reports.
Citing family obligations as a factor in keeping women out of the labor force, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said at a women's rights conference in Ecuador, "Women have taken on responsibility for caring for others, and people have assumed that this is natural, whereas it is not," Inter Press Service reports. "It is essential to develop policies to address society's public responsibility," she continued. Fernandez de la Vega emphasized the need to do away with unpaid domestic labor. While poverty is rampant in Latin America, its devastating effects are exaggerated for women living in the region's poorest countries like Bolivia, Guatemala and Haiti, where informal economies thrive and birth rates are high, UNFPA reports. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet emphasized the need for more representation of women in public offices to promote gender equity, reports the Inter Press Service. Currently, women hold only 5.3 percent of local government offices and 20.2 percent of parliamentary posts, according to a UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women report. An increase in female policymakers could help Latin American women curb sexual discrimination and demand a more equitable division of domestic labor.
Media Resources: United Nations Population Fund 8/10/07; Inter Press Service 8/7/07; United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women 3/1/06
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .