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WMC News: #HireHer, Climate change, tech companies, New Delhi, WMC Live & more!

June 2, 2017

#HireHer: Hire a women to anchor CBS Evening News

For most of television history, the anchors of the weekday evening network newscasts -- ABC, CBS, NBC -- have been men. In fact, only two women, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer, have ever been solo anchors.

This week, CBS News announced that Couric’s replacement, Scott Pelley, is done as the ‘CBS Evening News’ anchor. It’s time for the network to close the gender gap in nightly news and choose a woman to be the next anchor.

Will you sign our petition asking CBS to hire one of the many competent women journalists to be the next full-time anchor of CBS Evening News?

Journalism legends Barbara Walters, Connie Chung, and Carole Simpson have served as co-anchors on the weekday evening network news, and Maria Elena Salinas is the current co-anchor for Noticero Univision.

However, men still dominate media across all platforms—television, newspapers, online and wires—with change coming only incrementally. Women are not equal partners in telling the story, nor are they equal partners in sourcing and interpreting what and who is important in the story.

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Climate Change: a feminist issue  

By Devi Lockwood | May 30, 2017

In Tuvalu, climate change is a feminist issue.

Asita Moloti has been leading workshops on gender equality and climate change in the tiny nation of Tuvalu since 2004. “While men’s and women’s lives are both impacted [by climate change], they are impacted differently,” Moloti said. “We have learned that women are more at risk than men.”

Following traditional roles, Tuvaluan women are responsible for cooking, monitoring water usage, and managing family welfare with whatever resources are available.

“Caring roles for immediate and extended families within the homes are more difficult during frequent shortage of water,” Moloti said. “Women’s workload of primary responsibility to feed the crowd on many occasions, including during mobilization in any disaster situation, could be doubled.” More >>

Photo: Devi Lockwood. Angelina Anderson in Funafuti, Tuvalu (far right)

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Why women leave tech companies

By Patricia Valoy | May 23, 2017

The tech industry is known for rolling out promising diversity campaigns that aim at making the industry more inclusive and welcoming for women and people of color. In 2013 Facebook hired a global director of diversity and over the course of a few years improved its unconscious-bias training and faced up to the dismal diversity statistics of its company. Similarly, Google invested $150 million to recruit underrepresented minorities, train its staff in unconscious bias, and give its employees more time to focus on diversity projects. Until recently, the conversation has been focused on the reasons women and people of color are not entering tech fields, but tech company culture must be examined if any change is to happen.

Diversity issues in the tech sector have been studied, with research showing that bias starts as early as K-12 education, with girls who excel in math and science still reporting lower self-confidence in their intellectual abilities than boys who underperform, a phenomenon that is aided by the belief that intelligence is fixed and biology is destiny. This bias continues through college and into the workplace. From an outside perspective, it seems that tech companies are genuinely doing their best to recruit and retain women and people of color in their industry. But the sector remains notoriously homogenous. Even among the top technology companies, such as Apple, Google, and Facebook, the combined number of Latinx and Black employees is estimated to be between 3 percent and 5 percent—dismal statistics for companies that advocate for innovation, diversity, and employee satisfaction.

What we have not known well is what leads employees to call it quits. But a new study from the Kapor Center for Social Impact on why people leave tech jobs shows that the situation is much more dire than many of us suspected. More >>

Photo: Woman with crossed arms sitting in an office with red walls.

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Creating a model for helping women thrive in Wikipedia  

By Kelly Doyle | June 2, 2017

How are young women on college campuses using their voices to contribute to the knowledge base about women and women’s issues? Young women within this demographic are finding increasingly diverse ways to amplify their voices and advocate for themselves and the causes they care about. Editing Wikipedia has become one of these things. Young women are taking to Wikipedia to provide fact based, free information about causes that they seek to advocate.

Wikipedia, just over sixteen years old, is the seventh most visited website in the world. However, Wikipedia has a glaring gender gap issue in which less than 18% of biographies on the online encyclopedia are about women. On average, only 10% of the volunteer editor base that creates and contributes to these articles are women. Furthermore, many Wikipedia articles about women contain bias, emphasizing notability as related to their husbands or fathers, rather their own individual accomplishments, noteworthy on their own.

In an effort to find creative solutions to its gender gap problem, in 2015 the Wikimedia Foundation launched a series of Inspire grants. More >>

Photo: A group of women sitting around a table with their laptops.

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In Delhi, women’s councils deliver justice outside the legal system

By Pamposh Raina/Guest Blogger | June 1, 2017

New Delhi, India—Every Wednesday at half-past one, in the narrow lanes of the southern Delhi slum of Dakshinpuri, a group of local women congregate in a windowless room. They are members of the “Mahila Panchayat,” or “female village council.” They are bound by a common cause—justice for women who suffer violence and harassment in their homes.

“My husband tried to strangle me with his bare hands,” 35-year-old Nirmala tells the two women presiding over her hearing. “I could have died if my sister-in-law had not rescued me.”

Sitting next to her on the floor is her husband. This isn’t the first time the couple has been here—three years ago, Nirmala accused him of beating her, after he’d been out drinking. She moved out after the most recent attack.

The council has no legal powers. But for more than two decades, thousands of women of all ages have approached the council to seek intervention in cases of verbal and physical abuse by their partners or in-laws, instead of filing a complaint with the police or a local magistrate. More >>

Photo: In southern Delhi, married women who are physically or verbally abused can approach the local female village council for help. (Bodhisattva Dasgupta)

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WMC Live #210: Ahd Niazy, Dominique Crenn. (Original Airdate 5/28/2017)

Robin on the escalating physical attacks against journalists, Trump's misadventures abroad, and his regime's chaos at home. Guests: Ahd Niazy, founder of Saudi feminist literary magazine Jahanamiya; Dominique Crenn, 2-Michelin-star chef and feminist. Listen here >>

 

This week WMC SheSource features experts on President Trump’s likelihood of pulling out of the Paris Agreement, investigations revealing Jared Kushner’s meeting with an ally of Vladimir Putin’s, the upcoming International Economic Forum in Russia, scientists warning about coral reefs dying, President Trump’s communications director Michael Dubke resigning, June being LGBT Pride month, and June 2nd being National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

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The views expressed in this commentary are those of the authors alone and do not represent WMC.

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