Celebrate Women’s Equality Day One Week From Today!














Thanks to Dearborn-branch-member Pat Vom Steeg who forwarded these advertisements via email, we have a great reminder of how the mad men of ad agencies depicted societal expectations for women. Historian Howard Zinn sums up this insidious socialization: “Men could use, exploit, and cherish someone who was at the same time servant, sex mate, companion, and bearer-teacher-warden of his children.” What a difference the awakening of women’s consciousness has made over the past few decades! However, one might consider the old saw too: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Raise minimum wage; help working families, help the economy

Race/ethnicity of affected workers if minimum wage is raised to $9.80 by July 1,2014

Income inequality in the United States is growing rapidly. Stratospheric incomes for the top one percent of earners eclipse the failure to help the lowest paid earners gain a fair wage.
The Economic Policy Institute has released a study that indicates women would  make up more than half of the workers affected by a raise in the federal minimum wage. Seventy percent of those affected would be families that earn less than $60,000 a year. Currently, the federal minimum wage stands at $7.25/hour.

Raising the minimum wage would increase the economic security of working women and their families, the same workers staggering under the burden of recession. Key findings in the study include:

~Women would be disproportionately affected, comprising nearly 55 percent of those who would benefit.
~Nearly 88 percent of workers who would benefit are at least 20 years old.
~Although workers of all races and ethnicities would benefit from the increase, non-Hispanic white workers comprise the largest share (about 56 percent) of those who would be affected.
~About 42 percent of affected workers have at least some college education.
~Around 54 percent of affected workers work full time, over 70 percent are in families with incomes of less than $60,000, more than a quarter are parents, and over a third are married.
~The average affected worker earns about half of his or her family’s total income.

Surprisingly, this study is finding support on both ends of the political spectrum. “Corporations are taking huge advantage of the slack in the labor market—they are in a very strong position and workers are in a very weak position. They are using that bargaining power to cut benefits and wages, and to shorten hours,” states American Enterprise Institute scholar Desmond Lachman, a former managing director at Salomon Smith Barney. According to Lachman, a conservative, that strategy “very much jeopardizes our chances of experiencing a real recovery.”

National unemployment seems stuck at 8.3 percent and is not expected to return to pre-recession levels for years. A higher minimum wage would boost the earnings of working families, spur economic growth, and create about 100,000 new jobs. Raising the minimum wage to $9.80 by July 1, 2014, is an opportunity that America’s working families cannot afford to lose.

Preventive Services for Women

With all the niff-nawing, and political posturing going on during this election season, it is little wonder that confusion abounds regarding health care provisions under the Affordable Care Act. 

Insurance-industry lobbyists and some members of Congress have tried repeatedly to overturn the healthcare law in the last two years. One might conclude some are even engaged in promoting mis-truths in order to build support for overturning this new approach to healthcare.

Rather than allowing confusion and rumor to rule the day, visit HealthCare.gov to get factual information. As of this August, eight new prevention services for women are now in effect!

22 Covered Preventive Services for Women
The eight new prevention-related health services marked with an asterisk ( * ) must be covered with no cost-sharing in plan years starting on or after August 1, 2012:
~Anemia screening on a routine basis for pregnant women
~Bacteriuria urinary tract or other infection screening for pregnant women
~BRCA counseling about genetic testing for women at higher risk
~Breast Cancer Mammography screenings every 1 to 2 years for women over 40
~Breast Cancer Chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk
~Breastfeeding comprehensive support and counseling from trained providers, as well as access to breastfeeding supplies, for pregnant and nursing women*
~Cervical Cancer screening for sexually active women
~Chlamydia Infection screening for younger women and other women at higher risk
~Contraception: Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling, not including abortifacient drugs*
~Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling for all women*
~Folic Acid supplements for women who may become pregnant
~Gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes*
~Gonorrhea screening for all women at higher risk
~Hepatitis B screening for pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
~Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) screening and counseling for sexually active women*
~Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA Test: high risk HPV DNA testing every three years for women with normal cytology results who are 30 or older*
~Osteoporosis screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors
~Rh Incompatibility screening for all pregnant women and follow-up testing for women at higher risk
~Tobacco Use screening and interventions for all women, and expanded counseling for pregnant tobacco users
~Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) counseling for sexually active women*
~Syphilis screening for all pregnant women or other women at increased risk
~Well-woman visits to obtain recommended preventive services for women under 65*

Update: Senate Bill 3317

August 15, 2012

Anne Gautreau, President
AAUW-Dearborn Branch

Dear Anne,

Thank you for contacting me about equal opportunities for promotions in the workplace. I understand your concerns.

As you may know, Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) introduced the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act (S.3317) to establish alternative legal methods that groups of employees can use under federal law to bring class-action lawsuits against an employer for discrimination. Currently, this bill is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which I am not a member. Should this legislation come before me for a vote, I will keep your views in mind.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please continue to keep me informed about issues of concern to you and your family.

Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator

Women selected to moderate two debates

Jim Lehrer (PBS), Candy Crowley (CNN) and Bob Schieffer (CBS) will host three debates between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney.

Martha Raddatz (ABC) will host the debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Representative Paul Ryan.

For the first time in two decades, women have been selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host debates!

“We picked the people we thought were the best…,” said Co-chairman on the Debate Commission, Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. “This is a two-year process, and all the way through we looked at new ideas, new people. But historically, we have stayed with television journalists, because the moderators have to be experienced.”

Janet Brown, the executive director of Commission, declared: “You have to look at how journalists handle pressure, how they think on their feet. There is a very fine art to mastering the material, moving in real-time while a producer is in your ear, and having the confidence to tell presidential candidates they’re over time or not answering the question. That takes a lot of skill, and the people best-suited to do this are people with experience. Without it, in real time, moderators are taking a significant risk, which is a disservice to the American people and the candidates.”

Selecting moderators voters can trust is becoming increasingly tricky.
As racial and ethnic diversity continues to grow and a younger demographic comes of age, all decisions become more complex when representing the viewing public.

The Commission strives to select moderators who “have nothing left to prove and are not moving to make a name for themselves.”

Today, women constitute more than half of the electorate and over ninety percent of women are online. AAUW hopes to hear candidates discuss: health care, childcare costs, pay equity and access to higher education.