Responding to notable declines in female faculty following the 1996 implementation of Proposition 209—the amendment to the California constitution prohibiting affirmative action in public employment, education, and contracting, the University of California (UC) recently launched new initiatives to increase the number of tenured women professors, according to the San Francisco Chronicler. Included in the new measures were delayed probationary periods for tenure as well as lightened teaching loads after the addition of one or two children. Still, some women leaders criticized that UC continues to inadequately publicize the changes, in turn preventing more women from taking advantage of the options.
Low numbers of female faculty is not just limited to California—- it is a phenomenon witnessed by colleges throughout the nation. According to a study done by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), women comprised just 36% of overall faculty in 2001. Of that number, only 21% held full professorships. At Northwestern University, lectureships—- positions with lower salaries that do not receive research compensation or support-— are most widely held by women while full-time professorships are held by a small female minority. At the University of Illinois, the faculty gender gap prompted a group of female graduate students in 2000 to address the Board of Trustees, saying that “the low number of female University professors isolates graduate students because fewer female role models are able to set an example,” according to The Daily Illini.
The gender gap remains prevalent in other areas of the workforce. Despite constituting almost 47 percent of the US labor force, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in 2002 account for only 15.7 percent of corporate officers in Fortune 500 companies, reported Catalyst, a New York-based women’s advocacy and research group. More over, women working full-time earn only 73 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to statistics released by the US Census Bureau on September 25, 2001. Minority women earn even less, with African-American and Latina women earning 65 cents and 53 cents, respectively for every dollar earned by white males.
Media Resources: The Daily Northwestern 2/10/03; San Francisco Chronicler 2/19/03; The American Association of University Professors statistics 2001; The Daily Illini 9/18/00; Feminist Daily News Wire 12/2/96
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .