Women Face Obstacles in Technology Education and Employment
"Balancing the Equation," a recent report by the National Council for Research on Women, reveals the deficit of women in the fields of science and engineering. In the early 1990's, 54 percent of female students at top colleges and universities quit majors in engineering, science and math, as compared with 39 percent of male students. In 1999, women earned less than 20 percent of computer science bachelor degrees. The report encourages professors to interact more with female students, and criticizes "the first year 'killer' computer courses designed to weed out students rather than invite their participation."
Women earning degrees in science also face obstacles in their career path. While women earn approximately 25 percent of science doctorates, less than 10 percent of full professors in science and technology are women. Linda Basch, executive director of the National Council for Research on Women explains that "Women are 50 percent of the labor force, but represent only 12 percent of professional scientists and engineers." Basch hopes industry and academia will make additional efforts to recruit women to the sciences and aid their advancement.
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. . . .