Blog Post List
April 23, 2012
The 40 th anniversary of Title IX is coming up in June. There is cause to celebrate the advances in gender equity that Title IX has brought to intercollegiate athletics, but the words “athletics”, “sports,” and “athlete” are not even mentioned in the statute. The purpose of Title IX was to open classroom doors to women, and the fact that gymnasium doors opened as well is kind of incidental, especially today. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just released a report on college enrollment and employment among 2011 high school graduates, and the numbers raise special concerns for young...
May 25, 2011
A new study for the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) estimates that Philadelphia’s proposed paid sick days legislation would cost employers between $350 million and $752 million annually. Both the factual basis and the assumptions underlying this study are seriously flawed. The totals derive from two presumed costs: the amount for new paid sick days coverage, estimated at between 34 and 42 cents per worker hour in direct labor costs, and 38 cents per worker hour in compliance costs for employees who already have paid sick days. Consider the new paid sick days coverage. The...
May 9, 2011
Every few years, we get a recycling of old explanations for women’s underrepresentation in traditionally male fields, and these inevitably circle around babies and biology. Either women “just want to have kids,” so cannot hold down serious jobs, or women are wired to be less capable in certain fields. Most recently, these arguments were recycled as an explanation for women’s low representation in science and engineering fields by Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams. They argued that there is no longer evidence of sex discrimination, so we should switch our policy focus to “make institutions...
March 18, 2011
Is it that men tend to engage in reckless behavior while women are more cautious in the face of risk? A new poll shows that women in the U.S. are much less inclined than men to build new nuclear facilities in the country in the wake of the current Japanese crisis. Why would someone build six nuclear reactors 150 miles away from the center of metropolitan Tokyo, putting more than 30 million people in harm’s way? I could be wrong, but doubt that women were responsible for the decision to locate the reactors in Fukushima. I do not think women are inherently smarter or more responsible than men,...
March 12, 2011
Cross posted from IWPR A year ago today, the District of Columbia legalized same-sex marriage, and according to the Washington Post , the number of marriages soared from 3,100 in the year prior to 6,600 in the year since. According to a court representative, the number of marriages usually varies by less than 100 from one year to the next, suggesting the increase was mainly due to same-sex couples (the District does not track the gender of marriage partners). In fact, it is likely that the difference of 3,500 additional marriages understates the marriages of same-sex partners, because the...
MomsRising Education Fund
December 17, 2010
Progressives have always had mixed emotions about breastfeeding. We support a healthy diet and natural living, and breastfeeding is as natural as it gets. We also have a low tolerance for chemical additives, including those found in infant formula. On the other hand, breastfeeding has been used to oppress women. Feminists recognized this in the 1960s, and labeled infant formula “liberation in a can.” With formula, daddy could get up in the middle of the night for feedings and mom could get some sleep, and the infant could be fed while in child care during the day, so mom could work for pay...
December 16, 2010
Education, and particularly higher education, provides many individuals with hope for a better future. The power of this simple truism was brought home to me while working on Striking a Balance , when I discovered that the union for hotel workers in San Francisco ( HERE Local 2 ) had developed a scholarship program to fund prep courses for college admissions tests. The catch? The program was for the daughters and sons of union members, and not the members themselves. The members are mainly immigrant women, and their vision for a brighter future involves higher education for their children. A...
October 29, 2010
by Robert Drago and Jeffrey Hayes New data collected for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) by Precision Opinion finds widespread support across party lines, gender, race and ethnicity for policies that will assist working families and protect workers’ rights, especially for low income workers. The majority of registered voters favor political candidates who will promote policies that increase workplace protections from unfair treatment, and provide paid leave and flexibility to meet family care giving demands—and women consistently show greater support than men. “To excite...
September 28, 2010
The U.S. Government Accountability Office’s new glass ceiling report on women in management was just released by the Joint Economic Committee , and the news is bad. In a comparison of the years 2000 and 2007, women comprised 49% of non-managerial workers in both years, but their representation in management rose slightly from 39% to 40%. Although the report does not say why things are still so bad, the numbers hint that marriage and children are part of the problem – but only for women. In 2007, 74% of the men in management were married, while that only held true for 59% of the women. While...
September 13, 2010
Study findings released on September 1st claimed that women’s median earnings are higher than men’s in 147 out of 150 American communities. The claim comes with a few caveats, including the fact that the difference is all of 8 percent, and only holds for unmarried, childless women under 30. By Thursday, a report from IWPR on occupational segregation and the gender wage gap reached the opposite conclusion: women’s labor market gains have stalled in the last 15 years or so and, since 2002, have reversed for young women. What is going on here? It is not the data. Both studies compared women’s...
August 8, 2010
IWPR estimated the costs and benefits of paid sick days legislation currently under consideration in New York City. The analysis found the legislation would save around $11m annually due to a reduction in the spread of seasonal flu. That isn’t exactly chickenfeed for most New Yorkers, but the public health benefits associated with paid sick days are likely much higher. Let’s start with the H1N1 pandemic. According to the CDC, around 61 million Americanswere infected by H1N1 during the last year, and 274,000 individuals had to be hospitalized due to the outbreak. We estimate that during the...
July 20, 2010
Back in the day, the average American thought of unions as mainly involving white guys who work in factories, pull down enough income to support a wife at home raising children, have two cars and a house in the suburbs, and look forward to a comfortable retirement at the end of the road. That stereotype was always inaccurate, as it ignored the fact that most unions have and do struggle to represent the rights of relatively powerless workers. And that myth is, if anything, more exaggerated in the media today due to the current battle between the wealthy owners of the National Football League...
October 24, 2008
The presidential candidates and the media have recently been caught up in economic issues, including the stock market upheaval, credit crunch, housing crisis, and rising unemployment. Women’s issues, on the other hand, have faded from the media spotlight.
July 9, 2008
by Robert Drago and Arlene Holt Baker Many voters and pundits see John McCain as a maverick, someone willing to cross party lines on important issues. Maybe that is so in some ways, but his record on family issues is consistent. He opposes what American families need (see Take Care Net Summary).
June 13, 2007
My younger daughter is graduating high school, and my older daughter just graduated from Penn State, so this fathers’ day is a good time to reflect on past successes… and failures. So here’s some advice for young men contemplating fatherhood today: Marry well . Find someone you can talk to about almost anything; you’re going to spend a lot of time talking after children arrive... And find someone who isn’t planning to stay at home for 20 years raising kids. Sure, there are great parents who pull off the breadmaker/homemaker stuff, and I know and admire them. But most involved dads have partners who have a job or a career; it gives us more time with the kids, and more say in decisions about the kds.