Informing policy. Inspiring change. Improving lives.
1200 18th Street NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20036
202 785-5100
iwpr@iwpr.org

December 2008 RNR

RNR Logo

Below is the newest installation of Research News Reporter (RNR) Online. Previous editions can be viewed in the Archives.

December 2008

IWPR’s Research News Reporter is distributed to highlight informative, innovative, and sometimes controversial research related to women and their families.

Research Making News
1.“I Do Know How She Does It”
2. “Women Gain in Education but Not Power, Study Finds”
3. “Study Details Sex-Abuse Rates of Deployed Female Soldiers”
4. “Pregnant Women Still Face Job Discrimination”

Research Reports
1. State of the World Population 2008—Reaching Common Ground: Culture, Gender and Human Rights
2. Making Quality Child Care Possible: Lessons Learned from NACCRRA’s Military Partnerships
3. Hispanic Family Caregiving in the U.S
4. Low-Income Children in the United States: National and State Trend Data, 1997-2007
5. Women Help Solve Hunger. Why is the World Still Waiting?

Research Making News _____________________________

Each selection includes a short excerpt, link to the news article, and link to the research cited:

1. “I Do Know How She Does It”

The Wall Street Journal
By Hannah Seligson
November 17, 2008

Citing: Leaders in a Global Economy: A Study of Executive Women and Men by the Families and Work Institute, Catalyst, and the Boston College Center for Work and Family.

“How anomalous are women[...] who have titles that include CEO, president, chief and partner, and also have children?

According to a study conducted by the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit research organization that addresses the changing nature of work and family life, and Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that works to expand opportunities for women in business, 65% of women executives have children compared with 90% of male executives. The study examined the lives of the top 100 women and men at 10 major U.S. head-quartered global companies including Goldman, Sachs & Co., Eli Lilly and Company, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Proctor & Gamble.


The study also challenged conventional wisdom that executive women in high-status jobs tend to give up their personal lives. In fact, 70% of women who reported directly to the CEO or reported to someone who reported to the CEO had children.


To view the full article, visit The Wall Street Journal online.

To view Leaders in a Global Economy: A Study of Executive Women and Men, click here: http://www.catalyst.org/file/43/leaders%20in%20a%20global%20economy%20a%20study%20of%20executive%20women%20and%20men.pdf
For the related 2008 studies:
Leaders in a Global Economy: Finding the Fit for Top Talent, click here http://www.catalyst.org/file/140/globaltalentmgmt.pdf

Leaders in a Global Economy: Talent Management in European Cultures, click here http://www.catalyst.org/file/240/gtm2_web.pdf

2. “Women Gain in Education but Not Power, Study Finds”

Reuters
November 12, 2008

Citing: The Global Gender Gap Report 2008 by the World Economic Forum.

“Women still lag far behind men in top political and decision-making roles, though their access to education and health care is nearly equal, the World Economic Forum said Wednesday [November 12].

In its 2008 Global Gender Gap report, the forum, a Swiss research organization, ranked Norway, Finland and Sweden as the countries that have the most equality of the sexes, and Saudi Arabia, Chad and Yemen as having the least.

Using United Nations data, the report found that girls and women around the world had generally reached near-parity with their male peers in literacy, access to education and health and survival. But in terms of economics and politics, including relative access to executive government and corporate posts, the gap between the sexes remains large.


The United States ranked 27th, above Russia (42nd), China (57th), Brazil (73rd) and India (113th). But the United States was ranked below Germany (11th), Britain (13th), France (15th), Lesotho (16th), Trinidad and Tobago (19th), South Africa (22nd), Argentina (24th) and Cuba (25th).”

To view the full article, visit The New York Times online.

To view The Global Gender Gap Report 2008,click here

http://www.weforum.org/pdf/gendergap/report2008.pdf

3. “Study Details Sex-Abuse Rates of Deployed Female Soldiers”

Los Angeles Times
By Thomas H. Maugh III
October 28, 2008

Citing: Preliminary research results from the Burden of Mental Illness Associated with Military Sexual Trauma among Veterans Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan presented at the American Public Health Association’s 136th Annual Meeting & Exposition by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

One in seven female soldiers who were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan and later sought healthcare for any reason reported being sexually harassed or assaulted during their military service, according to a study by Veterans Affairs researchers.

In contrast, only 0.7% of male soldiers reported similar experiences.


Women who reported harassment or assault were 2.3 times as likely to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder as those who did not, and were also more likely to suffer from depression or engage in substance abuse. Men who reported harassment or assault were 1.5 times more likely to suffer PTSD or other disorders.

[...] The rates are lower than those of a similar study released last year by Street and her colleagues. In that study of all VA healthcare users in 2003, not just those deployed, the researchers found that 21.5% of females and 1% of males had reported suffering sexual assault or harassment.”

To view the full article, visit Los Angeles Times.

To view the Burden of Mental Illness Associated with Military Sexual Trauma among Veterans Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan’s abstract, click here http://apha.confex.com/apha/136am/techprogram/paper_175173.htm

To view the press release, click here http://www.apha.org/about/news/pressreleases/2008/AM_presentation_military_sexual_trauma.htm

4. “Pregnant Women Still Face Job Discrimination”

Time
By Belinda Luscombe
October 31, 2008

Citing: “Pregnancy Discrimination Charges” compiled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and The Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Where We Stand 30 Years Later by the National Partnership for Women and Families.

“October 31 marks the 30th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which outlawed employment discrimination against women who are pregnant. But the news that pregnant women need to be treated as would any employee with a broken leg or other temporary disability—i.e., not get fired or demoted—seems to have not quite sunk in. Complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are on a decade-long rise, up 65% from 1992 to 2007. And the number of cases the EEOC has decided to take on has quadrupled in the same period.

[...] A new study by the non-partisan National Partnership for Women and Families looked closely at the EEOC's figures for the decade between 1996 and 2005 and found that more than half of the complaints came not from the more traditionally chauvinistic mining or building trades but from five female-heavy industries: retail, services, finance, real estate and insurance.

[…] ‘One of the most ironic cases was that of a maternity store that had a policy of not hiring pregnant employees,’ says Jocelyn Frye, General Counsel for the Partnership.

While it seems reasonable that the highest number of complaints would come from the industries with the most women, it's also true that the percentage of the work force made up by women has only increased marginally in the same period—from 57.8% to 59.3%—not nearly enough to account for the jump in claims of pregnancy-related dismissals. Especially worrying is that 75% of the claims were made by women of color.

What then lies behind the rise? ‘There seems to be an underlying assumption that a woman will not be as interested in her work or as committed to her work once she's pregnant or has had a baby,’ says Frye. This remains true even though studies show more women, including governors of Alaska and TV stars, are working later into their 40 weeks. What goes unspoken, of course, is that while pregnancy is a temporary disability, motherhood could be considered a permanent one, dividing women's attention for at least the next 18 years.”

To view the full article, visit Time.com.

To view “Pregnancy Discrimination Charges,” click here http://www.eeoc.gov/stats/pregnanc.html

To view The Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Where We Stand 30 Years Later, click here http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/DocServer/Pregnancy_Discrimination_Act_-_Where_We_Stand_30_Years_L.pdf?docID=4281



Research Reports
_________________________________

Each selection includes a short excerpt from the research and a link to the report:

1. State of the World Population 2008—Reaching Common Ground: Culture, Gender and Human Rights

United Nations Population Fund
November 2008

“Culture is and always has been central to development. As a natural and fundamental dimension of people’s lives, culture must be integrated into development policy and programming. This report shows how this process works in practice.

The starting point of the report is the universal validity of the international human rights framework. The focus is therefore on discussing and showcasing how culturally sensitive approaches are critical for the realization of human rights in general and women’s rights in particular.

The report gives an overview of the conceptual frameworks as well as the practice of development, looking at the everyday events that make up people’s experience of development. Culturally sensitive approaches call for cultural fluency—familiarity with how cultures work, and how to work with them. The report presents some of the challenges and dilemmas of culturally sensitive strategies and suggests how partnerships can address them.

[…] Conclusions:

  • International development agencies ignore culture—or marginalize it—at their peril. Advancing human rights requires an appreciation of the complexity, fluidity and centrality of culture by intentionally identifying and partnering with local agents of change.
  • Approaches based on cultural knowledge provide viability to policymaking—and enable the “cultural politics” required for human rights.
  • Cultural fluency determines how systems of meanings, economic and political opposition, or supportive policies develop—and can be developed.
  • To develop cultural fluency, UNFPA proposes a ‘culture lens’ as a programming tool.
  • Culturally sensitive approaches investigate how variables such as economic status, politics, law, class, age, gender, religion and ethnicity intersect and lead to divergent understandings and manifestations of power.
  • Culturally sensitive approaches call for different analytical and operational frameworks, and for introspection within the development community.”

To view the full report, click here http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2008/presskit/docs/en-swop08-report.pdf

2. Making Quality Child Care Possible: Lessons Learned from NACCRRA’s Military Partnerships

By Linda K. Smith and Mousumi Sarkar
National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
November 2008

“The Military Child Development Program has been recognized by Congress and the Executive Branch for its contributions to military families and as a model for the nation to follow in improving the quality of child care for civilian families. The transformation of the military program from what was once called the ‘ghetto of American child care’ to a model for the nation has lessons that communities, states, and Congress should consider for the civilian child care community.

Congress set the stage for the military’s success in improving its child care program by passing the Military Child Care Act of 1989. Policy makers should consider revisiting those requirements and using them, where appropriate, to reframe the requirements for the states when the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is reauthorized. During the last four years, NACCRRA has worked with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the military services to make quality child care available to military members in civilian settings. This report examines the challenges and successes that NACCRRA, local CCR&Rs and the military services encountered in developing and implementing these programs.

[…] As we call attention to what we learned about civilian child care, we will connect our findings to strategies that have been successfully used by the military to overcome these challenges. We will identify lessons from the military child care transformation that we believe can have significant impact on the quality of child care for all of America’s children.

[…] the Military Child Care Act (MCCA) is almost stunning in its simplicity. In crafting the MCCA, Congress paid attention to the basics, especially accountability, something completely lacking in CCDBG. Congress gave the DoD responsibility—in fact, the requirement—to oversee the enforcement of child care health and safety standards and to report life-threatening situations back to Congress. NACCRRA has learned that if Congress merely replicates many of the basic requirements of the MCCA in the upcoming CCDBG reauthorization, much is possible.”

To view the full report, click here http://www.naccrra.org/policy/recent_reports/lessons_learned/docs/LesnsLrnd%20Rprt-m2.pdf

To download the press release and support documents, click here http://www.naccrra.org/policy/recent_reports/lessons_learned/

3. Hispanic Family Caregiving in the U.S.

Evercare and the National Alliance for Caregiving
November 2008

“This study’s objective was to develop a detailed profile of Hispanic family caregivers, to determine how they differ from non-Hispanic caregivers, and to explore their information and service needs. […] This study will be the first comprehensive, nationwide look at the Hispanic caregiver, the fastest growing ethnic group in our society.”

Some Key Findings:

  • “One-third of Hispanic households report having at least one family caregiver (36%). With an average of 1.83 caregivers per household, there are an estimated 8,147,000 Hispanic caregivers in the U.S.
  • Just under three-quarters (74%) of Hispanic caregivers are female, with an average age of 43, caring for a loved one whose average age is 62. Most of the care recipients are female.
  • Hispanic family caregivers tend to be in more intensive caregiving situations with 63% in high burden situations compared to 51% of non‑Hispanic caregivers. And Hispanic caregivers spend more hours per week giving care (on average 37 hours vs. 31 hours) and provide a greater number of Activities of Daily Living, known as personal care (2.6 vs. 1.9). A high percentage of Hispanic caregivers live with their loved one (43%)—this is versus 32% of non-Hispanic caregivers.
  • Yet despite these factors, Hispanic caregivers are more likely to rate their caregiving situation as not at all stressful (34% vs. 22%). In fact, 50% said they had little or no stress. They are more likely than non-Hispanic caregivers to feel fulfilled in their caregiving role (88% vs. 76%) and more likely to say that they are very satisfied with their social life outside of caregiving, including getting together with friends and going out (49% vs. 37%).”

To view the full report, click here http://evercarehealthplans.com/pdf/HispanicCaregiversStudy.pdf

To view key findings, click here http://evercarehealthplans.com/pdf/HispanicStudyFactSheet.pdf

4. Low-Income Children in the United States: National and State Trend Data, 1997-2007

National Center for Children in Poverty, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
November 2008

“After nearly a decade of decline, the number of children living in low-income families has increased significantly since 2000. This data book provides national and 50-state trend data on the characteristics of low-income children over the past decade: parental education, parental employment, marital status, family structure, race and ethnicity, age distribution, parental nativity, home ownership, residential mobility, type of residential area, and region of residence.”

To view the full report, click here http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_851.pdf

5. Women Help Solve Hunger. Why is the World Still Waiting?

Sandra Bunch and Rakha Mehra
International Center for Research on Women
October 2008

“Today, more than 862 million people in the world go hungry. In developing countries, nearly 16 million children die every year from preventable and treatable causes: 60 percent of these deaths are from hunger and malnutrition. A key failing of past efforts to reduce hunger and increase rural incomes has been the lack of attention paid to women as farmers, producers and entrepreneurs in their communities. Are we poised to make the same mistakes again?

It’s not too late to integrate the lessons learned from the past four decades of international development work. To avoid the same pitfalls, we must look with fresh eyes at women’s role in the agricultural economy and see women, not merely as subsistence farmers and caretakers of their own families, as often comes to mind, but also as vital actors in the agricultural economy and the expanding world of commercial agriculture.

[…] Part of the problem is that until recently, the international development community has failed to recognize that “women farmers” as a group are not homogenous. Donors, policy-makers and other experts have thought that simply including women in programs would be enough to make a difference. It’s not. Like men, women enter and engage in the agricultural sector in varied and distinct ways.

[…]Within agriculture, women also face many complexities that differ from those faced by men. Gender norms, or the roles societies create for the two sexes, prevent women in many countries from accessing land, resources and technology.

[…] An important, yet less recognized obstacle that many women farmers face is the international development community’s inability to see women as economic actors in their own right, not as assistants to their husbands, brothers or other male relatives. If the global community is to increase agricultural productivity and income-generating activities in hunger-prone communities, it must be willing to adjust its vision and see women as central to both food security and agricultural economic development.”

To view the full report, click here http://www.icrw.org/docs/2008/Women_Help_Solve_Hunger.pdf

[ top ]

Go to Home Page