Report Finds Women Discriminated Against in Science and Technology Fields
Women face discrimination from academic institutions in science and technology fields, according to a new report released Monday from the National Academy of Sciences. The report, “Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering,” finds that women’s lack of participation within science and technology fields in academia can be attributed to gender bias and barriers within hiring and promotion practices in research institutions. Emphasized in the report is the important role that women scientists play in keeping the US competitive in science and engineering fields.
“Women are capable of contributing more to the nation’s science and engineering research enterprise, but bias and outmoded practices governing academic success impede their progress almost every step of the way,” said Donna Shalala, chair of the committee that wrote the report and current president of University of Miami, in a National Academies release accompanying the report. Four times more men serve as full-time faculty than women among those who hold Ph.D.s in science and engineering fields, according to the report.
To decrease gender bias, the report suggests that an inter-institutional organization be established, which could monitor academic institutions and set guidelines for hiring and promotion practices. It also suggests that individual institutions develop policies that allow faculty greater flexibility in research and tenure timetables, allowing more working mothers to meet these deadlines.
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. . . .