The many faces of *****-disciplinarity

Definitions of types of multiple disciplinaties

Women’s Studies is implicated in all these types of ****disciplinariness. Can we actually say that Women’s Studies is a discipline? Meta-discipline more like. This type of vagueness is not an easy fit in most of our Academies of Higher Education. Been struggling with this in trying to determine the information skills needed by students in WGSS. Requires an Interdisciplinary method for Information Literacy. Any ideas?

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AKIMBO — After Rio+20, Women’s Voices Loud and Clear

I recently encountered an organization new to me — the International Women’s Health Coalition whose offices are on 7th Ave in New York City. They seem well positioned, well thought out, and very engaged in their work. In the section on who we are, it says:

We are passionate and tenacious professionals who, together with our international Board of visionaries and leaders, work with hundreds of partners worldwide to secure every woman’s right to a just and healthy life. We are funded by private foundations, UN agencies, European governments, individuals and corporations. We do not accept funding from the U.S. government. (emphasis mine)

As you can see from my little “shout out” of the last line, I was very surprised at that statement and had never seen it stated so bluntly before. If any of my readers know of other organizations that refuse money from the US gov’t, please let me know. Of course, I can understand this. The strings attached and the control over actions that come with “Bush” money were outrageous and lacking in a sense of the world and human rights. But is that still in effect now? This puzzles me.

The IWHC has a blog — AKIMBO. Most recently, Alex Garita covered the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20″) held in June of 2012 and I offer you a short excerpt which shows the quality of the blog and its clarity of thought:

Since the inter-governmental negotiations began in December 2011, feminist organizations were told by key countries, including Brazil and South Africa, that the Group of 77 (a group that represents “developing countries” in United Nations negotiations) would not break over differences of position on “controversial issues” such as gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights because “more important issues were at stake”.

Disappointingly, this was Brazil’s consistent position throughout the process as it sought to affirm its leadership within the Economic South and obtain gains on other issues such as the green economy and trade. Our allies remained vocal throughout the process and helped secure the language that we will use for enshrining reproductive health and human rights in future development agreements. These critical positions came from: Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, the United States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Israel and Mexico.

If you would like to read the final document, see “The Future We Want”.

via Akimbo — Standing Strong for a Woman’s Right to a Just and Healthy Life.

Half the World: Perspectives on the Power of Women

Mobility Is a Problem; Now What? – Up Front Blog – Brookings Institution

I highly recommend this article, especially for those working with young adults. Links to data based reports about what young people can do to change their status — in either direction or stay put — economically. What they choose in those critical years makes all the difference. Below is one paragraph. The link to the entire post below that.

But I want to call attention to factors beyond programs that invest in human capital. In our 2009 book Creating an Opportunity Society, my Brookings colleague Isabel Sawhill and I conducted an analysis based on Census Bureau data on a representative sample of Americans. We asked the data to tell us how adult Americans were doing if they followed three elementary norms of growing up in a modern society: finish high school, get a full-time job, and wait until age 21 and get married before having children. The results were astounding: young adults who followed all three norms had a 2 percent chance of winding up in poverty and a 74 percent chance of winding up in the middle class defined as earning roughly $50,000 or more. By contrast, young adults who violated all three norms had a 76 percent chance of winding up in poverty and a 7 percent chance of winding up in the middle class.

via Mobility Is a Problem; Now What? – Up Front Blog – Brookings Institution.

More from the Guttmacher Institute

100 years of activism and change – International Women’s Day

First celebrated in 1911, International Women’s day gives us all a time to think about the women of the world who have been working locally, nationally, and globally to create better, fairer, healthier, more educated lives for all people on the planet.

UN Women was formed in July, 2010. The video below, created by UN Women, celebrates women’s activism, accomplishments, and continuing efforts spanning these 100 years.

Women’s Rights are inextricably linked to Human Rights.  The 1979 UN Treaty “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” (CEDAW, or the Treaty for the Rights of Women)  defines discrimination against women as any “distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of marital status, on the basis of equality between men and women, of human rights or fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil, or any other field.”  One-hundred and eighty five countries worldwide so far have ratified this treaty — but not the United States. Amnesty International states:

The United States is among a small minority of countries that have not yet ratified CEDAW, including Iran and Sudan. The United States has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the Western Hemisphere and the only industrialized democracy that has not ratified this treaty.

Women’s organizations are taking this year’s International Women’s Day to call for action from our President and Senate. The National Organization of Women (NOW) is calling on Congress and President Obama to vigorously defend the health and dignity of women everywhere. Along with many other organizations, they are calling for the long-overdue U.S. ratification of CEDAW — the most complete international agreement on basic human rights for women.

The right to equal education is one of the fundamental principles of CEDAW. Research has shown that as the lives of women improve, countries become more prosperous. Keeping 50% of the population uneducated or unable to work and improve themselves keeps areas of the world in poverty.

More access to education of women has resulted in decreasing infant mortality rates across many countries. Yes, slight in some cases, but the two are inextricably linked. This chart linked below (created at Gapminder World) shows, in the two axes : Mean years in school (women of reproductive age 15 to 44) by Infant mortality (per 1,000 births). Be sure to click the “Play” button at the bottom to see the effect over time. You’ll see a lot of movement in most countries. War-ravaged Afghanistan on the far left has seen little improvement. Not surprising.

Increases in Women’s Education affect Infant Mortality rates

Every day is International Women’s Day. As women’s lives improve, the lives of men and children will improve as well. Yes, progress is being made — sometimes two steps forward and one back, sometimes the opposite — but it takes efforts all year long all over the world. We can all make a difference.

Reposted from my original post on http://uconnlibrary.wordpress.com

From PNAS: Understanding current causes of women’s underrepresentation in science

Shirl Kennedy has a great new blog — Full Text Reports…. and nothing but! Great new resource. I’ve added it to the list of blogs on the right menu of this page. Reports from great sources, all full text and — I believe — open access for everyone.

Understanding current causes of women’s underrepresentation in science
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Explanations for women’s underrepresentation in math-intensive fields of science often focus on sex discrimination in grant and manuscript reviewing, interviewing, and hiring. Claims that women scientists suffer discrimination in these arenas rest on a set of studies undergirding policies and programs aimed at remediation. More recent and robust empiricism, however, fails to support assertions of discrimination in these domains. To better understand women’s underrepresentation in math-intensive fields and its causes, we reprise claims of discrimination and their evidentiary bases. Based on a review of the past 20 y of data, we suggest that some of these claims are no longer valid and, if uncritically accepted as current causes of women’s lack of progress, can delay or prevent understanding of contemporary determinants of women’s underrepresentation. We conclude that differential gendered outcomes in the real world result from differences in resources attributable to choices, whether free or constrained, and that such choices could be influenced and better informed through education if resources were so directed. Thus, the ongoing focus on sex discrimination in reviewing, interviewing, and hiring represents costly, misplaced effort: Society is engaged in the present in solving problems of the past, rather than in addressing meaningful limitations deterring women’s participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers today. Addressing today’s causes of underrepresentation requires focusing on education and policy changes that will make institutions responsive to differing biological realities of the sexes. Finally, we suggest potential avenues of intervention to increase gender fairness that accord with current, as opposed to historical, findings.

Full Paper (PDF)

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