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Latest Activity: Feb 7, 2014
Started by Virginia (Ginger) Paque. Last reply by Virginia (Ginger) Paque May 9, 2011.
Started by Diplo IGCBP. Last reply by Virginia (Ginger) Paque Nov 25, 2010.
Started by Nadira Araj Dec 13, 2009.
Not very IG oriented, but very women oriented: Girls won all of the top prizes in the recent Google Science competition! The trophies were made of Legos :)
Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes has blogged about Women and ICT again. Here's part of her interesting speech:
I’ve blogged before about getting Every Woman Digital. I continue to find it troubling that women are under-represented in the ICT sector at every level, and particularly in decision-making positions. And the situation doesn’t seem to be getting better.
I’m worried when people assume that ICT careers wouldn’t offer exciting opportunities for women. But if women are going into the sector and not being made to feel welcome, well, that worries me even more.
Why? Because I believe in equality of opportunity. But also because we can’t afford to exclude anyone. If we want Europe to be world-class in ICT, we’ll need world-class ICT experts. But overall in Europe, not enough people are studying it or choosing it for their career.
Changes in the sector mean that it needs a wider range of skills than ever before. But we are at risk of a “skills gap”, a shortage to the tune of about half a million jobs. Faced with that challenge, we need to make sure we aren’t putting barriers in the way of anyone, in particular that we aren’t keeping women from fulfilling their potential. And in particular that girls and young women, at the stage of career planning, are aware of what they can achieve in this sector. If we only get 50% of Europe digital, that’s bad for the other 50%, and it’s also failing to make the most use of the talent on offer in Europe.
“The South African government has now offered progressive leadership, after years of troubling and inconsistent positions on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity. Simultaneously, the government has set a standard for themselves in international spaces. We look forward to contributing to and supporting sustained progressive leadership by this government and seeing the end of the violations we face daily”. (Dawn Cavanagh, Coalition of African Lesbians)
The resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and calls for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the study in a constructive and transparent manner, and to consider appropriate follow-up.
“That we are celebrating the passage of a UN resolution about human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation is remarkable, however the fact that gender identity is explicitly named truly makes this pivotal moment one to rejoice in,” added Justus Eisfeld, Co-Director of GATE. “The Human Rights Council has taken a step forward in history by acknowledging that both sexual and gender non-conformity make lesbian, gay, trans* and bi people among those most vulnerable and indicated decisively that States have an obligation to protect us from violence.”
"As treaty bodies, UN special procedures, and national courts have repeatedly recognised, international human rights law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.” (Alli Jernow, International Commission of Jurists)
The resolution is consistent with other regional and national jurisprudence, and just this week, the 2011 United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS recognised the need to address the human rights of men who have sex with men, and the Organization of American States adopted by consensus a resolution condemning violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Earlier in this 17th session of the Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, reported to the Council that: “[C]ontributory factors for risk of violence include individual aspects of women’s bodily attributes such as race, skin colour, intellectual and physical abilities, age, language skills and fluency, ethnic identity and sexual orientation.”
The report also detailed a number of violations committed against lesbian, bisexual and trans women, including cases of rape, attacks and murders. It is therefore regrettable that a reference to "women who face sexuality-related violence" was removed from the final version of another resolution focused on the elimination of violence against women during the same session.
"Despite this inconsistency, we trust the UN resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity will facilitate the integration of the full range of sexual rights throughout the work of the UN." (Meghan Doherty, Sexual Rights Initiative)
A powerful civil society statement was delivered at the end of the session, welcoming the resolution and affirming civil society’s commitment to continuing to engage with the United Nations with a view to ensuring that all persons are treated as free and equal in dignity and rights, including on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Now, our work is just beginning”, said Kim Vance of ARC International. “We look forward to the High Commissioner’s report and the plenary panel next March, as well as to further dialogue with, and support from, those States which did not yet feel able to support the resolution, but which share the concern of the international community at these systemic human rights abuses.”
CAL – Coalition of African Lesbians
Council for Global Equality
GATE - Global Action for Trans* Equality
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
Human Rights Watch
IDAHO - International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
IGLHRC - International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
ILGA- the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization STP 2012
International Commission of Jurists
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
Sexual Rights Initiative
Thailand's Sexual Diversity Network
Transgender Europe (TGEU)
Records of Vote and Co-Sponsorship
States supporting the resolution: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Thailand, UK, USA, Uruguay
States against the resolution: Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Moldova, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Uganda.
Abstentions: Burkina Faso, China, Zambia
Absent: Kyrgyzstan, Libya (suspended)
Co-Sponsors of the resolution: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, and Uruguay.
5 Fluctuating Forms of Gender-Specific Language
Posted: 07 Jun 2011 02:22 PM PDT
The English language is riddled with suffixes that specify gender, and efforts to mirror the slow-but-sure improvement in gender equality are reflected in shifting usage in this area. Such progress, however, is inconsistent. Here’s where we stand with various treatments:
Words altered to include an -ess ending to specify reference to a woman are generally going by the wayside: Often, a female movie, television, or theater performer is identified as an actor (though performing-arts awards retain best-actress categories), whereas terms for female members of royalty such as princess and duchess, in keeping with the anachronistic survival of the concept, persist.
Likewise, there’s no reason to genderize host or waiter, or author or poet, but we hold on to enchantress, goddess, and mistress. (And, if we have any sense, we hold on to enchantresses, goddesses, and mistresses.) In addition, as you know, stewards and stewardesses were transformed into flight attendants long ago. (The U.S. Navy, by the way, no longer uses steward as an official term for an officers’ attendant.)
English preserves a few terms derived from French in which an e is appended to the end of the masculine form of some words to refer to a woman, including fiancee and confidante. Conversely — and obscurely — a man who divorces his wife is a divorce (like the feminine form, pronounced “di-vor-say” and, in print, with an acute accent mark over the e).
Another French form, -trix, is obsolete when referring to a female aviator, but English preserves the form in dominatrix, even though one rarely refers to a dominator (not in polite company, anyway).
Hero applies to male and female do-gooders alike (and retiring heroine avoids the accidental misspelling as heroin). But what about those heroes of the US government, the drug czars and the energy czars and their ilk? (The word czar is the more modern Russian form — the older variant is tsar — of Caesar.) No president has appointed a female czar, but if that happened, would we refer to her as a czarina? Not likely, except in jocular usage.
The same folks who bristle at being scolded when they refer to humankind as mankind will no doubt fuss about this next point, but don’t use the suffix -man unless you’re referring to a man: It’s not necessary to employ the cumbersome term chairperson to refer to a female presiding or administrative officer or the position itself, or to distinguish between a chairman and a chairwoman; just say chair. (No, chair is not just the word for a piece of furniture; it’s the time-honored term, on its own, for an elected or appointed position.)
Unfortunately, no such shortcut exists for referring to members of legislative bodies, but congresswoman and assemblywoman are no-brainers. The nonspecific terms congressmember and assemblymember are attested but fairly rare; the open forms (with Congress and Assembly capitalized) are more common. (“Member of Congress” is also frequently employed, but “member of the Assembly” is not.)
But what do you call a woman who likes to fish (other than, um, a great catch?). Fisherwoman may seem awkward, but that’s just because we’re not used to it yet. As is the case with chairwoman or congresswoman, it’s a matter of only one more small syllable inserted in an already lengthy word. If you’re a man who washes clothes for a living, do you want to be referred to as a washerwoman, just because that’s the dominant usage? By rejecting gender-neutral language, you’re subjecting half the population to the same indignity.
This isn’t political correctness run rampant; it’s inevitable — and inexorable — usage correction, part of the evolution of language (with the obligatory Neanderthal-like branch stubs on the evolutionary tree like waitron and waitperson as gender-neutral forms of waiter).
The report of the fifty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of
Women is now available. It includes the agreed conclusions on access and
participation of women and girls in education, training and science and
technology, including for the promotion of women's equal access to full
employment and decent work, the report of the Working Group on
Communications concerning the Status of Women and the resolutions adopted
by the Commission.
To view the report (in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or
Spanish), visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/55sess.htm .
CSW55 Website: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/55sess.htm
From Shaila Mistry at the UN Status of Women meeting in New York:
55 Th Commission on Status of Women, United Nations New York 2011
Caucus on Science and Technology
Given that this was the year of Science and Technology, I naturally went up to seek information on the Science and Technology Caucus. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there wasn’t one! Well, my true entrepreneur spirit kicked in and I set about organizing one. So, in collaboration with the NGO committee we set about organizing a room and a time and place, which was no mean task because all the rooms and time slots were taken.
The short of it is that we now have fliers made and printed. We have gathered enough people who are interested in this Caucus; I have announced it at several key meetings such as the IFUW briefings, the NGO briefings and several key workshops. Many delegates have come up to me asking me questions about the goals of the Caucus and expressing interest in participation.
The thrust of the Caucus is to create a platform to create bridges of collaboration and mentoring between for women in science and technology and policy makers and educators. We hope to start a three way discussion between governments, private sector and civil society.
Please join us on Thursday Feb 24, 2011 in Room B North Lawn Building at 5.00 pm.
This room requires passes so please pick up you passes at the Caucus table in the GA building.
We know that you are all keen to attend the launch of the UN Women, so am I, we will break in plenty of time so we can all get to a good seat for this momentous event.
Shaila Rao Mistry
Blogging from 55 Session of CSW New York.
Feb 23, 2011
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