Recent stories

Online Work Has the Potential to Drive Social Revolution and Gender Equality

Advances in technology will cause a loss of more than 7 million jobs in the world’s biggest economies within the next five years, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report released to coincide with its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. And because of their low participation in computer and engineering-related fields, women are expected to lose out the most.

Podcast: Women and the Circular Economy, A Chat with Dr. Alice Kaudia and Dianne Dillon Ridgley

Two leading promoters of female equality, Dr. Alice Kaudia, Kenya’s environment secretary and Dianne Dillon Ridgley, acclaimed women’s rights activist and environmentalist, discuss why many women are already practicing circular economy, how women’s associations can help achieve gender parity and why women still need affirmative action.

We Need to Talk About Non-Gender-Conforming Media Workers, Too

Women’s magazine Marie Claire announced last July the addition of a new name to its masthead: author Janet Mock was named contributing editor. The news received wide media attention, not just because of Mock’s résumé but because of her gender identity as well. Mock is a professional writer who happens to be a transsexual woman. In the stories about her appointment, her gender identity and her new job were talked about in the same breath. Student Reporter talked with transsexual and intersex journalists about their perspectives on having a presence, voice and career in the media.

different playing field

The Discreet Power of Blogging Is Allowing Women to Express Their Expertise

No longer simple online diaries, blogs offer a platform for women to find their voices as experts and opinion-makers. LONDON, U.K—The media environment is mostly male-dominated. News is written by men and about men, and female journalists, experts and sources remain underrepresented. Data show how media organizations—in the U.K. and the Western world generally—perpetrate a systematic marginalization of women, and an increasing number of them have turned to the digital sphere to claim a public space through personal channels, social media and blogs. Blogging has often been praised for validating female voices, allowing them unprecedented freedom to publish original and unfiltered content, regardless of mainstream agendas and focuses.

Empowering Muslim Women, One Treadmill at a Time

Istanbul – where the East and the West collide – is the only city in the world to sit on two continents. This city has seen scores of people fighting to call this land their home, shining light on another great battle that is being waged all over Turkey today. Currently, the vast majority of the population is Muslim – obviously to varying degrees of piety. Also, due to its position as a conduit of trade and culture between the East and the West, it has also developed a strong secular mentality. Thus, it is hard to differentiate which norms are based in religion, and are thus more difficult to alter, and which are social, and consequently more amenable.

Feminist Economics – The Pinker Shade of Green

Rio+20 is not just another conference. Its sheer immensity can be felt all over the vast agglomeration of Rio de Janeiro and literally dominates the cityscape. Military police secure the orderly course of events and so do naval frigates along Ipanema Beach. Hotels charge exorbitant rates, delegates and representatives from every corner of the world roam the streets of Rio in their native costumes; even the statue of Christ that watches over the city from Mount Corcovado is flooded in a very appropriate green light. The International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) has seized this unique opportunity to organize its XII Biennial Conference in parallel, tapping the immense pool of Rio+20 attendees to foster dialogue with a broader audience.

Green Growth, Water and Gender: An Interview with Marcia Brewster

The World Water Forum provided a unique opportunity for some of the authors and directors of wH2O: The Journal for Gender, Water and Sanitation at the University of Pennsylvania to meet face-to-face for the first time. StudentReporter.org Editor Caroline D’Angelo, co-chair and Editor-in-Chief of wH2O, sat down with Marcia Brewster, an wH2O author, to discuss green growth, water and gender. Ms. Brewster is a phenom in the water and development world: she has worked with the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Water Association, Gender and Water Alliance and the World Water Council. She also is a contributing author to UNESCO’s World Water Development Report, and chaired the IANWGE Task Force on Gender and Water. While much of her work and expertise lies in gender and water, she has recently been a part of the Water and Green Growth Project.

Basic Sanitation & Hygiene for All: Reaching the MDG for Women & the Disabled

The United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for sanitation is “to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.” There are an estimated 2.5 billion people who currently lack access to basic sanitation, with more urban people lacking basic sanitation than rural people.  These statistics alone make you realize what a challenge it is to reach the MDG, but what about the things we don’t usually think of?  What about people with disabilities?  What are their challenges to achieve basic sanitation? How do they gain access to a toilet without a ramp? How do they wash their hands when the tap is too low or too high? What about puberty-age school girls?  How do they achieve basic sanitation when there are no proper facilities or disposal methods at school? Disability and gender issues don’t get nearly as much attention in the global conversation, but they are two very important issues that must be addressed to achieve the MDG for sanitation and hygiene.  Basic sanitation for females and the disabled is linked to a whole host of socio-economic issues, including education, poverty, career choice, and ability to leave the home, even for the shortest and most basic trips.  Increasing access may be as simple as adding a ramp so people in wheelchairs or on crutches gain access to toilets; increasing size of the toilet stall so a wheelchair will easily fit into the space; raising or lowering the height of the tap; providing disposal units for sanitary napkins; and providing a sink and soap for washing reusable pads.

A Global Water Connection: My Experience Modeling on the Catwalk

Ladies from all corners of the world dressed in a rainbow of colors of their national dress to create the most diverse modeling catwalk  you’ve ever seen. On Wednesday morning, I walked with these women (and two gentlemen) down the “catwalk” at the Women for Water Partnership (WfWP) “Presenting New Thinking New Challenges” session of the World Water Forum. The room was packed with both genders and people from around the world, which was exciting. WfWP is a strategic “alliance of local, national and international women’s organizations and networks, active in the areas of sustainable development, water & sanitation, poverty, and gender”, chaired by Alice M. Bouman-Dentener. My University of Pennsylvania Master of Environmental Studies colleagues work with WfWP Communications and Advocacy Chair Kusum Athukorala on Penn’s new journal on women and water issues, wH2O.