July 8, 2010 by Ilene H. Lang
Do you want ketchup with your kroner? In Sweden, the Feminist Initiative party held a barbeque to highlight the gender wage gap. Forget about franks and burgers. They grilled up cash! One-hundred-thousand Swedish kronor went up in flames to protest the disparity between female and male wages. What an inspiring way to focus on inequity—the stunt garnered headlines across the globe and is the lead item in C This.
Money to Burn
Sweden’s Feminist Initiative political party made headlines when members barbequed 100,000 Swedish kronor ($13,000) to protest the gender wage gap. In 2008, Swedish women working full time earned 81 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. "It may seem desperate to burn 100,000 kronor," said Gudrun Schyman, leader of the party. "But the situation is desperate as well."
Girl (Spending) Power
In 2005, women under the age of 30 in America’s largest cities overtook men in earning power. In What Women Want, Paco Underhill examines what happens to companies that fail to keep this in mind. Comp USA and Circuit City bit the dust, while Best Buy—known for actively catering to its female client base—still thrives. Lesson learned!
Making It Worse?
Broadsheet, XX Factor and Jezebel are popular mainstays in the female blogosphere. But do these blogs exploit women’s insecurities to make money? Or do they help women by exposing sexism and shining light onto women’s issues?
Bangladeshi women are among the lowest-paid garment workers in the world, some earning only $25 a month. Now, Bangladesh’s government is considering an increase in the minimum wage. If wages increase, “that cute cheap dress may cost a fair amount more,” writes Naomi Wolf. “But it already costs too much to the women who can’t afford to feed and house themselves and their children.”
Baby in Baghdad
Is there a double standard for female war correspondents? Hannah Allam, a reporter for McClatchy Newspapers, is frequently criticized for working in a war zone while pregnant. “It's dangerous, yes, I am responsible for another life, but I don't see how it's that much different than a man who comes here while his wife is pregnant at home,” she said. “You are still putting a parent at risk, you are still putting your child's future at risk.”