Posts Tagged ‘equality’

wealth-change-epi

 

$28 / Hour

” If minimum wage workers saw the same massive increases in income that the America’s richest have enjoyed since the 1970s, the lowest-paid worker in America today would be making $28 an hour. ”
Rethinking Our Minimum Wage

 

 

Google Searches Show Sexism

Posted: October 19, 2013 in -
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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 Google Searches to Show the Scope of Sexism Worldwide

 

NicoleKidmanUN

After some ideological sniping the other day, concerning Miley Cyrus, here is something to actually take note of: Nicole Kidman fighting to help impoverished women around the world.  Notice the complete absence of ideology, and the simple practical nature of the struggle to improve the lives of women and push for equal treatment…

 

I am proud to represent UN Women on this wonderful occasion. Thank you Variety and Lifetime for acknowledging the work done by this important organization. Simply put, UN Women works so that half of humanity–women–can finally enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men.

I became involved because I was raised by a feminist mother who planted the seed early in me to speak out against the fact that women are so often treated differently than men. She was very clear with me: she said stand tall, do not settle for less than what is fair. Discriminating against more than 50 per cent of the population just because they are female is terribly unfair.

But it is also not very smart.

We know that when women have money, they invest more in their children, and therefore in our future. But in many countries, women cannot own land and have no access to credit. And almost everywhere they earn less than men for the same work. We also know that where women have a say in politics, they put more emphasis on social issues, on education and the environment. But only one in five Parliamentarians worldwide is female. And by the way: companies –and this includes the film and television industry, of course– with more women in management positions turn a significantly higher profit. Only 21 women, however, lead Fortune 500 companies.

UN Women is a smart organization, and I have seen with my own eyes what they can do: they go and work directly with women in countries around the world. They support women to get elected into office and help them to have viable options to earn a living for themselves and their children. Right now, in conflict zones like Syria, where women and children are particularly affected, UN Women is rendering much-needed assistance to respond to women’s humanitarian needs. UN Women supports women in Syria and elsewhere to make their voices heard.

I have also seen UN Women address what to me is the greatest injustice and outrage of all: violence against women. No matter how long I devote my time to this, I will never be able to comprehend and I will never accept that one in three women and girls will be raped, beaten or otherwise abused in their lifetime. UN Women supports local organizations, right at the grassroots, to provide shelter and support for survivors of violence. It works to change laws so that there can be no impunity for violence and it works with youth to prevent violence from happening in the first place.

I am asking you today: join me in advocating for women’s rights, wherever you are, whatever you do. Support UN Women to fulfill its mission and vision of a world in which women can live free from discrimination and violence.

Thank you!

 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VAJ-5J21Rd0

Self Evident Truths

 

Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel of the same name is brought to life using modern cinematography, set design and all the accoutrements of today’s filmmaking.  The stunning Mia Wasikowska is actually tamped down a few notches and plained up to become the average Victorian governess character.

What is truly remarkable about both the film and the novel is the political spine embedded throughout the story.  Written prior to Marx’s Manifesto, this class-conscious tale of equality and gender parity is an historical achievement.  It was written under a pseudonym and viciously attacked by the Victorian arbiters of taste and decency.

Jane originates from a “tale of woe” as was common and expected.  What isn’t common or expected is her unflinching sense of equality with men and her attitudes toward class and the inherent inequities in the power relations which govern society.  Jane seeks perfect parity, to transcend the class boundaries which restrain people, and to become a true equal.  The plot evolves toward a turn of fate and Jane the governess becoming an equal with a lord of the manor.  As he falls, she rises, and she even surpasses her lover in both class and capability.

There is much to think on concerning the power struggles between men and women, employers and employees, the rich and their servants.  As a governess, Jane held the position of an in-between free agent.  She wasn’t part of the servant class, and was more highly educated than those would-be peers.  Nor was she accepted as part of the ruling class, and clearly not a part of the family dynasties, which controlled the wealth and decision-making.  This left Jane as a disembodied entity, not truly attached to either class and able to float away at a moment’s notice.  With her skills and knowledge, she is able to survive elsewhere and be fulfilled in simply teaching children.

A wild card element enters though, that of passion and love.  As determined and true to herself, Jane is still a budding young woman.  Wrapped up in the societal mores and religious diktats of the time, Jane is in constant conflict with her own emotions, her aspirations, her sense of daring and her moral code.

I’m glad the film was so realistically presented with plausible characters and a story worth telling.  That it brings to life a deeply-felt idea about equality and sharing is a bonus.