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 |

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 –

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 –

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?