"The Wal-Mart case reviewed by the Supreme Court [in June] is a classic example of how far attitudes must still come. The facts of the case support the view that over a million women were systematically denied equal pay by the nation's largest employer."
- U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, on her re-introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. House of Representatives, June 22, 2011. The amendment has been re-introduced in every session of Congress since 1982, but only received a floor vote in 1983. Source: www.msmagazine.com
Milestones for women
Thailand elected Yingluck Shinawatra its first female president in July. She's a 44-year-old businesswoman and the niece of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Christine Lagarde of France is the first women to be named director of the International Monetary Fund. She replaces Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was forced out because of his alleged sexual attack on a female hotel employee in New York.
Women's Equality Day is Aug. 26, marking the 91st anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in the U.S.
Study of sexual abuse victims
A 24-year study that followed 80 sexually abused girls from the age of 11 tracked hormone levels, cognitive development and physical development of the girls into adulthood and parenthood.
Overall findings were that these victims were likely to face decades of health issues, both mental and physical. One physical finding showed that the stress hormone, cortisol, was elevated when the subjects were young girls, whereas when they became adults the chemical level was significantly lower when compared to other women. Cortisol levels are related to sleep, weight and depression. The study was done by the University of Southern California and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Beyoncé a role model?
Beyoncé Knowles has been lauded for her new girl power anthem, "Run the World (Girls)." It's been praised as girl and women affirming. Lyrics include:
Girls, we run this motha (yeah!)
Who run the world? Girls!
Who run this motha? Girls!
Who run the world? Girls!
It's also been criticized as artificial by those who think girls can't rule because they don't have power. Others have complained that her music video shows power only through sexuality and getting men to do what she wants, sending the message that for a girl to run the world she must do it with her body.
Shape-Ups for girls
Marketers at the Skechers shoe company have a new campaign: Sell Shape-Ups to young girls. They have initiated a cartoon-form advertisement to entice girls as young as 7 to think about body image. Shape-Ups were originally developed for adult women, supposedly to tone and shape the lower body. Go to http://hubpages.com/hub/Skechers-Shape-Ups-for-Girls.