Happy International Women’s Day

From the IWD web site:

International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.

I remember in the 1980s passing through Nairobi on or about IWD during the Year of the Woman (a UN thing) and seeing slogans on all the busses noting that “A crime against a woman is a crime.

Kenya has lots of misogyny and many women there are treated very badly. On the other hand, there are piles of women in elected and unelected major positions of power, as there are in many African countries. There is a real effort at some levels to support Gender Equity.

At a recent meeting of the Minnesota Atheists, PZ Myers pointed out the dismal state of women as speakers (or writers/bloggers) in the Skeptics community. Stephanie Zvan has written about this as well, as have some others, in recent days. At that meeting, Mike Haubrich suggested that organizations like Mn Atheists should consider doing what the Minnesota DFL does: Have a full-on gender-equity policy. When delegates are elected, half are women. Period. It is not hard, there are lots of women involved (at least there are these days) so there are plenty of nominees. As any man who knows his history can explain to you, Gender Equity policies such as this work.

My point: Kenya and Zaire were way beyond the US in having women in power as far back as the mid 1980s. There are fewer women in Congress today than at various times in the past in the US. So WTF?

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