Defence of gay rights ‘offensive,’ women’s group says. Sexism in Texas workplaces — including the Legislature.

SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

John Baird’s defence of gay rights ‘offensive,’ women’s group says Toronto Star OTTAWA—A conservative women’s group has slammed Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird for defending gay rights on the world stage, saying his views are at odds with Canadian values and even his own Conservative party.

In a sharply worded news release Wednesday, REAL Women of Canada took aim at Baird, saying the minister has abused his cabinet post “to further his own perspective on homosexuality.”

“He has certainly been an activist in Canada and abroad on this issue. He’s just put it out front and foremost,” Gwendolyn Landolt, national vice-president of REAL Women, said in an interview.

Should the Government introduce quotas for women on boards? Fresh Business Thinking\ Women 1st, the initiative that aims to increase the number of women in senior roles in hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism, is calling for views on whether or not the Government should introduce quotas for women on boards.

In 2011, a report by Lord Davies recommended all FTSE 100 companies should have 25% female representation on their boards by 2015 but recent figures suggest that the rate of appointments has slowed drastically, with female representation currently remaining at 17%. 

The hospitality and tourism industry faces a similar situation — women make up almost 60% of the workforce, but only around 6% of board level roles. In passenger transport, just 25% of the entire workforce is female.

Gender equality and prosperity The News International Imagine if two-thirds of the UK could not read. The impact would be immense – not just on people, but also on productivity, competitiveness, culture and society. Yet in Pakistan, right now, two-thirds of the 60 million women of working age (the size of the entire UK population) can’t read or write. 

No country can fully develop if so much of its population is left behind. Jinnah said in 1944, “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you”. It may be nearly 70 years ago, but he was right. The evidence shows that countries where women are equal to men have stronger growth and are more productive and prosperous. Investing in women and girls is the smart – and right – thing to do.

Senator Amplifies Her Voice to Referee Fiscal Showdown New York Times For the 20 women in the Senate, a record, the outcome of the coming spending fight will also be the latest test of chairwomen, who now lead nine committees, 


Sexism in Texas workplaces — including the Legislature Dallas Morning News (blog) …
So reading this article by Olivia Messer in the Texas Observer over the weekend, “The Texas Legislature’s Sexist Little Secret,” made me so sad — and then so mad. Messer writes about her experiences covering the 2013 regular session and what she encountered in terms of being “objectified or patronized.” Messer compared work to fending off advances “like I was in a bar.”She writes: “What surprised me was how many women who work in the Capitol — legislators, staffers, lobbyists, other reporters — felt the same way.  Everyone it seemed had a story or anecdote.”

Messer suggests that the makeup of the Legislature — women account for more than half the state’s population but only 20 percent of the Legislature — could be a contributing factor for the atmosphere. Houston Republican Joan Huffman put it this way: “It’s probably the last of the good ol’ boys clubs.”

The examples in the article range from porn on laptops to Sen Troy Fraser telling Wendy Davis that he couldn’t understand what she was saying because he “can’t hear women’s voices.” The following two examples seem to best capture Messer’s article:

During the House budget debate in April, Brenham Republican Lois Kolkhorst and Austin Democrat Dawnna Dukes were debating an amendment. As the debate intensified, their male colleagues in the chamber started meowing and making angry-cat noises. Several times each session, men in the House will make cat noises when two women are debating.

Push for gender mainstreaming Jamaica Observer DESPITE the fact that more women are making it to the top of their fields, minister with responsibility for information Sandrea Falconer said she hopes Jamaica will get to the point where women in leadership are not the exception, but the norm.

Falconer is among six women in the 21-member Senate and one of four women in the 19-member Cabinet, which is headed by Jamaica’s first ever female prime minister Portia Simpson Miller. However, she believes more efforts need to be made in gender mainstreaming the private sector and civil society.

“That is a step in the right direction, but it is not equal, it is not balanced,” said the minister in reference to the make-up of the government.

About psawomenpolitics

The UK Political Studies Association Women and Politics Specialist Group. Resource for researchers working on women and/or gender and for women in the PSA. The 2014 Specialist Group of the Year.
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