Wednesday Reads: Marta Superwoman, Viking Grill Bling, and a Women’s Revolution?

I have some interesting links for you this morning, so pour your cup of coffee and enjoy…

This first article is from a Dubai Newspaper:  gulfnews : Women’s rights — an unfinished revolution

Dubai: A hundred years ago, only two countries allowed women to vote. Today, it is a universal right, with a few exceptions. Yet, women around the globe still face a large number of unresolved issues.

Additional support is still needed, including more financial and legal support to women’s organisations — to increase women’s access to the legal system and their participation in both the judiciary and security systems — concluded a UN report on women titled Progress of the World’s Women in Pursuit of Justice.

“Implement gender-sensitive law reform” and “invest in women’s access to justice,” were also among the recommendations of the report, an advance copy of which was obtained by Gulf News and released this morning (4am UAE time).

“I think it is clear that despite all the enormous progress in the past 100 years on women’s rights and access to justice, there are still problems in every region,” said New-York based Laura Turquet, the lead report author from UN Women, the organisation which replaced Unifem.

There is more work to do, and one of the key areas that need to be addressed is legal protection in issues of Domestic Violence.

On another front, today there are nearly 600 million women around the world who don’t have the legal protection against domestic violence, and this is an awful reality in contrast to other “relieving” facts, Turquet said.

“Two-third of the countries in the world now have laws in place to outlaw domestic violence.
“It is a big step forward for women in every region, but I think that 66 countries still don’t have these laws which is also very shocking,” Turquet said.
Yet “violence against women is a grave issue, but it is not the only issue that is very important,” she added.

The women in western countries definitely have their own problems to deal with, and anyone reading this blog knows, we talk about the war against women going on here in the US…but read on as the article discusses the Fair Pay Act here in America:

Obstacles facing women exist there, too, though of a different nature. “The right of women to receive payment equal to that which men receive for the same work … is one of the challenges that still exists to a great extent in Europe and Northern America as well as other countries,” the lead author of the UN report said.

“What this shows us is that women’s rights is not an issue just for poor countries or one region,” Turquet stressed, adding, “it is actually an issue for all regions. I am from the United Kingdom and there are still big challenges for women rights in the UK as well.”

** Updated 9:33 EST**

Just wanted to add this link to an article in Guardian about the UN report:

UN Women justice report: get the data | Global development | guardian.co.uk

A woman folds her ballot paper at a polling station in Kampala, Uganda, during the 2006 election

A woman folds her ballot paper at a polling station in Kampala, Uganda. The UN Women’s report looks at how many women hold seats in parliament. Photograph: AP

How many women hold seats in parliaments around the world? Which countries have laws against domestic violence, including marital rape? The flagship report of the UN’s newest agency – UN Women – published on Wednesday, takes a close look at women’s legal rights around the world.

The 2011 Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice report is a global survey of women’s access to justice – looking both at legislation passed by governments and the steps taken (or not taken) to implement those laws. The “paradox” confronted by the report is that despite the recent and rapid expansion of women’s legal entitlements, what is written in the statute books does not always translate into real progress on equality and justice on the ground.

The report looks at which countries have passed special legislation on women’s political rights and economic opportunities and on women’s reproductive health and rights. It looks at which countries have laws against domestic violence, sexual harassment and marital rape. It catalogues data on development indicators related to women, and looks country-by-country at women’s participation in politics.

legal rights mapped Women’s legal rights interactive. Click image to see the map

**Updated to include new link to Guardian.

I found this next research study very interesting, and I believe that many of you will too…especially with the growing numbers of Autism affecting our children.  New Autism Study Implicates Environmental Factors – NYTimes.com

A new study of twins suggests that environmental factors, including conditions in the womb, may be at least as important as genes in causing autism.
The researchers did not say which environmental influences might be at work. But other experts said the new study, released online on Monday, marked an important shift in thinking about the causes of autism, which is now thought to affect at least 1 percent of the population in the developed world.

“This is a very significant study because it confirms that genetic factors are involved in the cause of the disorder,” said Dr. Peter Szatmari, a leading autism researcher who is the head of child psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at McMaster University in Ontario. “But it shifts the focus to the possibility that environmental factors could also be really important.”

Please click the link above to read more statistics about the study, and get a better understanding of what we are learning about other factors which could be involved in autism.

Susie Madrak has this to say about the Obama Administration Offers ‘Tens of Billions’ in Medicare, Medicaid Cuts in Exchange for Tax Increases | Crooks and Liars

While there’s certainly some pressure to get some kind of debt ceiling deal, does offering up Medicare as a human sacrifice seem like the smartest plan for a second term – especially when it’s the same issue the Republicans rode to victory in the mid-terms?

I can’t think of anything intelligent to say about this “proposal” from the Obama camp…just one thought keeps going through my head…”We’re F’d!”

Hubble has taking its millionth photograph. That is amazing isn’t it? This link has some cool pictures, give it a look see.  PICTURES: Hubble Space Telescope Hits Millionth Observation Milestone – Kenneth Chamberlain – NationalJournal.com

In its 21-year history, Hubble has recorded 50 terabytes of images and other scientific data, according to NASA. Despite Hubble’s usefulness to scientists around the world, its lifespan is coming to a close. Its last servicing mission from a space shuttle was designed to keep the telescope going only until about 2013.

But researchers won’t be without orbiting telescopes, which are often necessary to obtain the clearest observations in light that is filtered out by Earth’s atmosphere. In addition to other telescopes currently in orbit, NASA plans on launching Hubble’s successor, of sorts, the James Webb Space Telescope, in 2015. In preparation for that launch, NASA has requested about $373 million for FY2012, and plans on similar amounts in following years.

I hope that NASA gets the funding for this Hubble successor, it would be a shame to loose our eye on the edge of the universe.

Well, the Women’s World Cup is now taking place in Germany. So here is a cool look into one of the stars of this years World Cup.  Meet Marta, The Star Of The Women’s World Cup

Marta Vieira da Silva, also known simply as Marta, is probably the Women’s World Cup’s biggest star. Let’s learn a little more about the athlete sometimes called “Pele in a skirt.”

The article gives a cool bio and some examples of what an amazing athlete this woman is.

And lastly, this link from HNN to a Guadian article made me laugh…just thinking about Viking Grill flashing as they smile while welding their battle axes against helpless monks in Ireland….Incisor raiding: Viking marauders had patterns filed into their teeth | History News Network

The fashion for dental bling goes back 1,000 years, according to a new discovery by archaeologists. Long before contemporary trends for gold dental caps or teeth inlaid with diamonds became popular, young Viking warriors were having patterns filed into their teeth.

If their intention was to intimidate the enemy, they failed: the evidence has come from front teeth from a pit full of decapitated skeletons, found during roadworks in Dorset and now believed to be victims of a massacre of Viking invaders by local Britons.

The front teeth have horizontal lines that were so neatly filed, archaeologists believe it must have been done by a skilled craftsman rather than by their owners, and the process undoubtedly would have been excruciating….

Excruciating? Those Vikings are tough ass warriors. I am sure they were well intoxicated when getting etched or engraved, that moldy rye bread mixed with mead could really give you hallucinations and get you through almost any kind of physical pain…

What are you reading and thinking about today?


23 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Marta Superwoman, Viking Grill Bling, and a Women’s Revolution?”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for the great roundup, Minx. I loved the Viking story.

    Greg Sargent on the Medicare fiasco: Paul Ryan is in total denial.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/paul-ryan-is-in-total-denial/2011/03/03/gHQAE6WMzH_blog.html

  2. paper doll says:

    Thanks for the round up! …it’s nice to know the Brits occasionally gave as got as they got!
    Warriors whaling on farmers and monks….nothing seems to change

    Love the women’s world cup report

    The political lessons of Greece

    http://tinyurl.com/43qpf7y

    The European welfare state is to be torn to shreds in order to shore up the balance sheets of the European and international banks. A central demand of the banks incorporated into the new austerity package is the privatisation of state-owned industries and enterprises. Basic public services—heating, light, telecommunications—will be hived off to private companies to become a new source of corporate profit…..

    …..The plan would involve the dispatch of economic experts from Europe to organise the most effective (i.e., profitable) program of privatisation. As a result, Juncker said, “The sovereignty of Greece will be massively limited ” …..

    A dictatorship of the banks is being established in Greece, which is to be a model for all of Europe and beyond…

    coming to a nation near you …and why they want a tanked US economy

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    Guardian has an article about the UN report I talked about up top:

    UN Women justice report: get the data | Global development | guardian.co.uk

    How many women hold seats in parliaments around the world? Which countries have laws against domestic violence, including marital rape? The flagship report of the UN’s newest agency – UN Women – published on Wednesday, takes a close look at women’s legal rights around the world.

    The 2011 Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice report is a global survey of women’s access to justice – looking both at legislation passed by governments and the steps taken (or not taken) to implement those laws. The “paradox” confronted by the report is that despite the recent and rapid expansion of women’s legal entitlements, what is written in the statute books does not always translate into real progress on equality and justice on the ground.

    I am going to add the link in the post because there is an interactive map and some other cool things…but wanted to put the link here for those who may miss the updated post.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      From the link:

      Some highlights from the report:

      • 139 constitutions guarantee gender equality, 117 countries have equal pay laws, and 115 countries guarantee women’s equal property rights
      • globally, 53% of working women are in vulnerable employment and women are paid up to 30% less than men in some countries
      • 125 countries outlaw domestic violence, but 127 countries do not explicitly criminalise rape within marriage
      • around the world, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime and more than 2.6 billion live in countries where marital rape is not a criminal offence
      • 61 countries severely restrict women’s rights to abortion
      • 50 countries have a lower legal age of marriage for women than for men
      • Rwanda has the highest share of women in parliament (51%), followed by Sweden (45%). In the UK, only 21% of parliamentarians are women, and in the US that figure is down to 17%
      • the first woman elected to parliament was in Finland, in 1907

  4. madaha says:

    Loving the medieval stuff MM!

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Isn’t it cool? Just think what those teeth would look like with the silver inlay…pretty extreme stuff. 😉

      And the medieval history links are a personal indulgence. Since that was what I studied at college. I am glad you like it.

      • madaha says:

        I’m actually a classical archaeologist/art historian (unemployed, and not likely to be in my field – dithering too much on my diss… psychological breakdown, crippling perfectionism, etc) – just to overshare.

        I’ve taught art history ancient – modern, so got to dunk my feet in the medieval. Awesome awesome stuff. Did you focus on literature or material culture or straight history or what?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Hey, some of us here can identify. It took me about 7 years to finish my dissertation. The dithering part is very familiar to me.

      • dakinikat says:

        count me among the ditherers too!

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        @Madaha My thesis was on Irish Celtic Literature as it relates to the treatment and perceptions of women in early medieval Ireland. My plan was to continue my education and get my masters and doctorate, but it never panned out.

      • madaha says:

        That’s fascinating, MM! (can I call you MM?) I had *just* been reading about Tristan and Isolde on http://bettermyths.blogspot.com/search/label/Arthurian which are freaking hilarious, which I found out about through you! Because you linked gotmedieval, and ze gave bettermyths a shout out.

        Anyway, there is SO much going on in these stories! love them, love folklore and fairy tales (same thing) etc.

      • Beata says:

        Minx, do you like the Sister Fidelma mystery series? It is a favorite of mine.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Nope I haven’t heard about those mysteries Beata. Need to check it out.

        Madaha, check this out:

        Complete Cattle Raid of Cooley, Irish and English

        The Tain Bo Cuailgne was the main focus in my thesis. With some other stories and poems, ancient law codes and some chronicles… As you read the story, you can see the little jabs against women that were added later on. I was able to read many versions of the story from different time periods. The earlier copies (700 AD) did not have those sexist jabs as the ones from (1100-1300 AD) did.

        The children got their names from the mother, example Cuchlain of Ness is the hero, and Ness was his mother. Lots of other interesting things too…but don’t want to go into the whole thing…enjoy it.

      • madaha says:

        I’ll def. check that out! Thanks – and sounds fascinating.

    • madaha says:

      thanks for understanding. It’s the hardest, when you’re your own worst enemy. sigh. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

      But am trying to figure it out, and you guys inspire me, and am so glad you’re all here. 🙂

      btw, Salon just put something up on how Nancy Grace needs to step off.

      http://www.salon.com/news/media_criticism/index.html?story=/ent/tv/feature/2011/07/06/nancy_grace_caylee_anthony_verdict

  5. madaha says:

    just saw this – environmental factors on the cause of autism – should be controversial for many, I bet

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/04/MNG01K5FK7.DTL#ixzz1RDTQAF93

    • dakinikat says:

      fascinating … I’ve always thought the prenatal environment was important for a lot of things and that we should spend a lot more resources ensuring women have access to what they need in terms of low stress, good nutrition and health care

  6. dakinikat says:

    In Cong. Bachmann Turned Down Chances 2 Help Foster Kids Unless It Was Made Easier 2 Indoctrinate Them http://ow.ly/1unaJc

  7. dakinikat says:

    Thanks for the international flair today Minx! It’s nice to see there’s some countries that are moving forward instead of backward.

  8. foxyladi14 says:

    seems we are going backward here 👿

  9. Back Bay Style says:

    Welcome Madaha!

    • madaha says:

      hey thanks! actually I’ve been around since the TC days – and followed D and BB and Wonk, et al. to this fabulous place…. just don’t comment much anymore. Or hadn’t been.