Saturday, July 28

The mother of all cookie brands. Dad's.

This blog post represents a round-up of various "commuter clicks" of interest

Women and Cookie Baking: Baking cookies? Just another sexist assumption The Liberal backroomer got himself in a spot of bother this week by suggesting on his blog that a female Conservative MPP was bored senseless whilst in attendance at some political function or other (she'd be a strange duck if she wasn't) and would sooner be somewhere else. "Baking cookies perhaps." Naturally, there followed a blast of wrath and indignation – "Old boy's club," "Outrageous and appalling," "Sexism 101" – and Kinsella issued the requisite apology.

  • U.S.-Violence against aboriginal women: In the U.S. the. House of Representatives authorized $1 million in funding to combat sexual crimes against American Indian and Alaska Native women, in a 412-18 vote on a budget amendment, the Inter Press Service reported July 26. ..........The measure follows an April report by London-based Amnesty International on high rates of sexual crimes committed against Native women, with a large portion committed by non-Native men. An Indian woman is at least two and a half times more likely than other U.S. women to be raped. (“Maze of Injustice: The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA”,)
  • Canada-.Violence against aboriginal women: Hubert O'Connor, the disgraced Roman Catholic bishop, has died of a heart attack in Toronto. He was 79. He resigned as bishop of the British Columbia diocese of Prince George after being charged with sex crimes in 1991 authorities agreed to drop the rape charge after the former bishop apologized to his accuser in 1998 at a traditional native healing circle held at Alkali Lake, a small native village near Williams Lake in the B.C. Interior.
  • Women and AIDS According to a recent UN report, HIV/AIDS is having a greater effect on women in developing countries than men. Young women, for example, are three times more likely to be infected as men in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, the report notes, "women know less than men about how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and how to prevent infection, and what little they do know is often rendered useless by the discrimination and violence they face."
  • Women, the Church and Abortion: Amnesty has dropped its neutral stance on abortion because it sees rape as a tool of war that results in unwanted pregnancies. Now a leading cardinal has called on Catholics to withdraw their longstanding support from the rights' group
  • Women and Unions: The Communications Workers of America--representing more than 700,000 individuals in 1,200 chartered local unions--expanded its 19-member executive board to include four "diversity" seats on July 17 and at least two will be women. The seats will represent four geographic regions. Currently, the board includes four women.
  • Women and Peace: The Economist Intelligence Unit released the Global Peace Index--the first study to rank countries according to their level of peacefulness--on May 30, but failed to measure the level of violence against women and children in their calculations, reported the Christian Science Monitor July 26. The exclusion meant that such human rights violations as female genital mutilation, honor killings, female infanticide, domestic violence, sexual abuse and systematic medical neglect of girls were disregarded.
  • Women and Politics: We need more Janes than Dicks, "It goes something like this - see Jane run, see Dick run. See Dick win," "To put it bluntly, we need more Janes and less Dicks."

5 comments:

Red Jenny said...

Great post. You fit a lot of info into a short number of words, showing that it's not all about words (although they are important too!). Womens' lives are at stake, and the old boys club doesn't have much inclination to do anything about it.

rabbit said...

Why would you make woman and children a distinct group in the Global Peace Index? Surely violence against men is equally "unpeaceful".

In other words, there is no justification for separating out women and children, as if violence against them is somehow more grievous. All humans deserve security of the person.

left-clicked said...

In answer to "rabbit's" post:

Some nations that rank well in the Global Peace Index are notorious for violence against women and children.See:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0726/p09s01-coop.html

The Economist Intelligence Unit released the Global Peace Index--the first study to rank countries according to their level of peacefulness--on May 30, but failed to measure the level of violence against women and children in their calculations, reported the Christian Science Monitor July 26. The exclusion meant that such human rights violations as female genital mutilation, honor killings, female infanticide, domestic violence, sexual abuse and systematic medical neglect of girls were disregarded.

Instead, the index is based on 24 indicators--measuring ongoing domestic and international conflict, militarization, and safety and security in countries--such as the number of wars fought, level of respect for human rights, the size of the jailed population, level of violent crime, number of armed services personnel and ease of access to weapons. Of the 121 countries studied, the United States ranked 96th while Libya, Cuba and China all received better scores. Chile was ranked 16th.

According to the Global Peace Index Web site, the study has been endorsed by individuals and groups such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President Jimmy Carter and Amnesty International "as a groundbreaking piece of research that demonstrates the urgent need to study peace." The Economist Intelligence Unit is a research firm affiliated with the British newsmagazine, the Economist.

http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/3260/context/archive

left-clicked said...

More for rabbit

Some nations that rank well in the Global Peace Index are notorious for violence against women and children.
By Riane Eisler
from the July 26, 2007 edition

Page 1 of 2


Paul LachinePacific Grove, Calif. - The first-ever study ranking countries according to their level of peacefulness, the Global Peace Index, was recently published by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Sensibly, its basic premise is that "peace isn't just the absence of war; it's the absence of violence."

The index uses 24 indicators such as how many soldiers are killed, the level of violent crimes, and relations with neighboring countries.

Yet it fails to include the most prevalent form of global violence: violence against women and children, often in their own families. To put it mildly, this blind spot makes the index very inaccurate.

Glancing at the list shows why. Out of 121 countries studied, the United States ranked 96; Israel was 119. But Libya, Cuba, and China – not exactly paragons of human rights – rank 58, 59, and 60.

A closer examination reveals some of the sources of distortion:

•For example, Egypt was ranked 73. But more than 90 percent of Egyptian girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation. This gruesome practice causes many lifelong physical problems and claims the lives of countless women. It's a terrible form of violence, but it wasn't included in the index, otherwise Egypt would have ranked much lower.

•United Arab Emirates is 38, but this does not count the jockey slave trade of little boys for the camel races that are a favorite sport in this area. It is well known that these children are often treated worse than the camels, subject to whippings and other violence, as well as given little to eat so they won't weigh much.

If this violence, as well as the violence of "honor killings" of girls and women in the Middle East were included, such nations would rank much lower.

•China ranked 60, but female infanticide is still a major problem, as shown by the imbalanced ratio of males to females there.

•Chile ranked 16, but as in many Latin American nations (and nations worldwide), the incidence of wife battering is extremely high. For example, although this violence is still rarely prosecuted or officially reported, 26 percent of Chilean women suffered at least one episode of violence by a partner, according to a 2000 UNICEF study.

The authors of the Global Peace Index expressed hope that it will lead to a new approach to the study of peace. They also said they plan to expand their criteria for future indexes. This expansion must start with major changes in the 10 "measures of societal safety and security."

The current index rightly seeks to measure the "level of disrespect for human rights." But according to the report's methodology, this level was based on the "Political Terror Scale" – a scale that ignores the fact that the most ubiquitous human rights violations worldwide are, as a UNICEF report noted 10 years ago, violations of the rights of women and children.

That the index fails to include this violence is particularly shocking in light of the longstanding availability of international statistics such as:

• Twenty percent of women and 5 to 10 percent of men have suffered sexual abuse as children.

• Between 100 million and 132 million girls and women have been subjected to genital mutilation worldwide. Each year, an estimated 2 million join their ranks.

•Female infanticide, selective female malnutrition, and medical neglect of girls are far too common. In India's Punjab State, girls between the ages of 2 and 4 die at nearly twice the rate of boys.

Similarly, while the index rightly includes "level of violent crime," it fails to take into account that much of the violence in families is still not considered a crime in many nations – and hence not reported, much less prosecuted, as such.

It's unrealistic to expect "cultures of peace" so long as children grow up in families in which the use of violence to impose one's will on others is considered normal, even moral.

The good news is that not every one growing up in such families perpetuates violence. The bad news is that many people do – be it in intimate or international relations.

Intimate and international violence are inextricably interconnected. But we can only see this once we include in studies of violence the majority: women and children. If we are serious about peace – not just about measuring it but about creating more of it – we have to look at the whole picture. We must pay particular attention to those formative experiences when young people first learn either to respect human rights or to accept human rights violations as just the way things are.

Only as we leave behind traditions of domination and violence in the human family will we have solid foundations on which to build global peace.

Riane Eisler is the author of "The Chalice and the Blade" and "The Real Wealth of Nations." She is president of the Center for Partnership Studies and cofounder of the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence. Her website is www.rianeeisler.com.

rabbit said...

A good and thoughtful response, but I think the solution for the Global Peace Index would be to include these types of violence into their current statistics, rather than create a separate category.

Perhaps the reason they did not consider these examples is because there are likely no or poor statistics on these types of violence, since they are often not considered (or tend to be overlooked as) crimes there. Had reliable statistics been available, The Economist might have included them.

Not much of an excuse, but The Economists lives and dies by the numbers.