Obama moves on gender identity

imgresTucked away in a document on reducing sexual assault at school – part of an unprecedented effort by the Obama administration to address such abuse – the Department of Education included a historic guideline extending federal civil rights protections to transgender students on Tuesday.

Title IX – the civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities – also bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity, announced the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, marking a major victory in the fight to codify LGBT protections into federal law.

“Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation,” reads the 46-page document. “Similarly, the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of the parties does not change a school’s obligations. Indeed, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth report high rates of sexual harassment and sexual violence. A school should investigate and resolve allegations of sexual violence regarding LGBT students using the same procedures and standards that it uses in all complaints involving sexual violence.”

Though aimed at clarifying how Title IX relates to sexual violence, the guidance carries far broader implications. LGBT advocates note that transgender students will not just be explicitly protected from physical or sexual abuse under Title IX, but from all forms of discrimination in education.

“It certainly would be our view that transgender students should be given the ability to participate in sex segregated activities, like sports teams, consistent with their gender identity,” said Ian Thompson, legislative representative at the American Civil Liberties Union, to msnbc. “Failure on part of the school to allow that would be discrimination against that student.” Continue reading “Obama moves on gender identity”

50 shades of gender inequity

Not only does the gender wage gap have real staying power, but it’s alive and kicking in all 50 states.

As reported in Huffington Post, “according to a new report released earlier this week by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the gender pay gap — which had significantly narrowed since the 1970s — has slowly plateaued in recent years.

“Compiling data from the Census Bureau, the Department of Education and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, AAUW calculated the median salaries for full-time employment in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In the U.S., women are paid 23 percent less than men on average. Although down from a 2012 figure of 91 percent, Washington, D.C. maintains the smallest wage gap in the U.S., with women earning 90 percent of what their male counterparts do ($66,754 vs. $60,116). Also consistent with last year’s results, Wyoming came in last with women taking home a shocking 64 percent of men’s average earnings ($51,932 vs. $33,152).

“While it remains important to note that geography and local industry have a large influence on differing salaries, there are other major factors that come into play — namely education level, race/ethnicity and age. AAUW analyzed the pay gap by looking at full-time, year-round workers over the age of 15. Beyond comparing salaries of all men to salaries of all women, the report broke down wage imbalances between the sexes along three additional demographics: race/ethnicity, education level and age. Asian-American women had the largest gender wage gap while Hispanic or Latina women’s earnings were most comparable to their male counterparts.  Continue reading “50 shades of gender inequity”

Not just about girls

If this 5-foot high schooler could create anything, it would be a machine. “The machine would remove the sexist attitudes of boys,” Sophie tells me. Males walk in one end and come out the other free of macho thoughts. imagesShe laughs. As Richard Liu writes on MSNBC.com,

“That was after years of crying. Sophie had a tough childhood. She was the daughter that her parents gave away. Now the 14-year-old fights for gender equality, recently helping a friend with a 32-year-old man who was making advances.

“Sophie is part of Plan International’s “Because I am a Girl” campaign to empower and educate girls about their equal rights to education, health care, and violence-free environments. One of the campaign’s lessons is that the solution is not only in Sophie’s or other girls’ hands. Men and boys have a crucial leadership role in the fight for gender equality. One half of it. A half that is widely untapped.

“Noah, a high school graduate, is one exception. “I am part of society,” he says. “If I change, I change society.” Noah started a group for high school guys to speak out against gender violence. He believes the problem and solution starts with him – that stopping gender violence means stopping boys and men.

“Understanding gender inequality also means understanding political and economic power dynamics that favor men. Men control 81% of Congress. Men hold 95% of Fortune 500 CEO titles. Men occupy 70% of state judge seats. It’s men and boys (soon to be men) in the driver’s seat. It’s men who are obligated to help create change. This isn’t a gender war. Gender equality is not about women fighting men, about women taking from men, or men losing parts of themselves. When men speak out against gender inequality brought on by disadvantageous economic, cultural or legal contexts, it’s a declaration that equality must be the result of a joint – not antagonistic – leadership effort. Continue reading “Not just about girls”

GLAAD reports on gender equity on TV

The total number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters remains steady on U.S. television for a second year, but is represented more equally between males and females, gay rights group GLAAD said on Friday, according to Voice of America

“There will be 112 LGBT characters in regular or recurring roles on scripted television shows across the United States in 2013-2014, and half are played by women, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said, adding that it indicates networks are making more effort to diversify storylines.

“In 2012, the majority of LGBT characters tracked by the GLAAD report were male.

“Last year saw a record number of LGBT characters across U.S. scripted television, with 31 regularly on the five main primetime networks. GLAAD releases a report annually tracking gender and ethnic diversity on television over the past year and in the coming year. This year has seen a drop in LGBT characters on primetime networks due to the cancelation of shows such as “The New Normal” and “Go On,” with 26 regular LGBT cast members and 20 recurring. On cable television, LGBT characters rose to 42 from last year’s 35, HBO leading the way with 11 characters. LGBT characters featured in leading or recurring roles in new shows this year include Fox police comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” NBC sitcom “Sean Saves the World” and CBS thriller “Under the Dome.”

“ABC and FOX were the only primetime networks to increase the percentage of LGBT roles in shows, and NBC came in last among the five primetime broadcast networks. While last year there were no regular transgender roles on primetime broadcast shows, “Glee” upgraded transgender character Unique to regular this year.”

 

More at: http://www.voanews.com/content/reu-gender-representation-equal-among-gay-us-tv-characters/1767718.html

Europe examines gender equity in science

What is the proportion of female to male researchers in Europe, and how is this proportion evolving over time? In which scientific fields are women better represented? Do the career paths of female and male researchers follow similar patterns? Are statistics on women in science comparable across Europe? How many women occupy senior positions in scientific research in Europe?

Published every three years since 2003, She Figures replies to these questions. She Figures ” presents human resource statistics and indicators in the research and technological development (RTD) sector and on gender equality in science. The report is recommended reading for all policymakers, researchers and their employers, citizens with a vision of a participative, competitive and innovative Europe.

“The latest update, She Figures 2012 ( 4.32MB), shows that despite progress, gender inequalities in science tend to persist. For example, while 59 % of EU graduate students in 2010 were female, only 20 % of EU senior academicians were women. The publication also gives an overview of the scientific fields where women are better or less represented, and compares the research workforce in different economic sectors (e.g. higher education, government, and business sectors).

“The She Figures 2012 booklet has been published in March 2013 and uploaded on this website. All She Figures volumes, in addition to other relevant documents, are available through the e-Library

More at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.topic&id=1282