July 19, 2010 by Ilene H. Lang
Where is the women’s movement heading? What can we do better? Philosopher Nina Power outlines ten areas feminists should focus on. We must “campaign for fairer and better work, even in the midst of an economic crisis,” she writes. More of her points plus news about the gender pay gap, The Catalyst Canada Honours, and the new UN agency for women in C This.
British philosopher Nina Power charts a new path for feminism. One suggestion: Don’t fixate on female firsts. “Feminism should not be misled by the successes of individual women at the top of their professions (politicians, CEOs, etc.),” she writes. “Feminism would do well to remember how the struggle for real equality and fair income can sometimes be disguised by the purported success of the odd individual woman.”
The latest data from the US Department of Labor reveals almost zero progress on closing the gender wage gap for women ages 16–19. The gap persists because young women still start and stay behind equally skilled men.
Financing UN Women
The new UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women—now called UN Women for short—has an initial annual budget of $500 million, less than 1 percent of the $27 billion budget for the entire UN in 2008. “With the UN’s own working group proposing that by 2015, 15 percent of overall development assistance will be allocated toward gender, why is that not happening?” said Daniela Rosech of Oxfam International.
Secrets to Success
The recipients of The Catalyst Canada Honours share some insights with The Toronto Star. “You just have to understand, we would not be what we are if we did not recruit the best people,” said Ed Clark, President and CEO of TD Bank Financial Group. “If you don’t do this you will not be a high performing company 20 years from now.”
A survey by The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education revealed that male academics are more satisfied with their work than their female colleagues. The differences, noted COACHE Research Director Cathy Trower, “cut across disciplines and, in fact, are most evident in disciplines in which women are relatively well represented.” Physical sciences and humanities professors reported being most satisfied with their positions, while those in visual and performing arts and education reported being least satisfied.