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
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. . . .