Media Round Up, January 30-February 5

Re-paving the way for women on the Hill …yet again

The Globe and Mail, February 3rd 2012

This thought-inspiring piece from the Globe and Mail discusses the state of affairs for women in Canadian parliament. The piece shows that vestiges of sexism and exclusionary practices still exist, and tries to ascertain how far Canadian politics needs to come in order to treat women equally. To this effect, the author interviews Laurin Liu, an NDP MP, and asks her about her experience as a young woman in politics. Her commentary, and outlook for the future are somewhat bleak, but she definitely discusses some elements of progress as well. This piece is a great read because it paints a frank portrait of the Canadian political climate, and illustrates how far we have come, and how far we still have to go.

Deb Matthews hopes to save money by reorganizing health system

Toronto Star, January 30th 2012

 This Star article discusses the recent plan proposed by Health minister Deb Matthews to reorganize the healthcare system in order to save money. Her plan revolves around using specialized not-for-profit clinics, which can often do the job faster and cheaper while saving hospital beds. One great example is creating five midwife clinics for low-risk births. This could save money that would have been spent on expensive obstetricians, and extra time spent in precious hospital beds. Matthews is utilizing outside the box thinking to come up with solutions to make Canadian healthcare dollars go further, and she should be applauded for her innovative approach. This article is a great read for anyone who wants to read about a Canadian woman in power who is willing to come up with new ideas, and if that’s not your style, then what are you doing on this blog, anyway?–deb-matthews-hopes-to-save-money-by-reorganizing-health-system

Girl Scouts launch leadership campaign after study finds many girls still avoid taking charge

Washington Post, January 31st 2012

Ever wondered how we end up with women who don’t feel ready for politics? The answer is obvious, the negative messages start at a young age. This article discusses a new program through Girl Scouts aimed at changing the culture of leadership around young women, and making them feel more comfortable with taking charge. The ambitious goal of the program is to have equal participation in all fields of science, politics, and economics within this generation. The article discusses the research that went into the program, and reveals some fairly bleak perspectives on how girls view their chances of taking on leadership roles. This program is designed to give young women the confidence they need to succeed in all aspects of their lives, the upshot is that it should also help to develop a class of politically active and mobilized young women all through North America. If we’re trying to fix a problem, what better thing to change than the culture? And if we want to change a culture, what better place to start than the youth? This article illustrates an excellent means of doing just that.

We need more of the fairer sex in politics

Toronto Sun, January 31st 2012

This Toronto Sun article discusses the need for more women in politics. In typical Sun style, the piece is very grounded and uncomplicated in it’s argumentation, but nevertheless succeeds in drawing out some alarming facts about the number of female lawmakers worldwide. The author uses the recent topless protest at the World Economic Forum to illustrate the challenges facing women in the political arena. He also interviews Enza Anderson, a prominent female politican, and has her weigh in on the stumbling blacks and successes of females in political office within Canada. If you’re willing to wade through a somewhat bluntly written article, the information at hand is well worth your effort.

Please, spare us the ‘women’s politics’

The Telegraph, February 2nd 2012

This piece by Ruth Porter from The Telegraph questions to validity of women’s politics as it is being presented in the English media. She argues that the idea of “women’s politics” homogenizes women into a single unitary group, and defines them as a narrow interest group to be appeased rather than as a part of society. Her argument is that it is absurd that women on the right and left side of politics would agree on fundamental feminist principles as often as they do. She claims that conservative politicians need to focus on conservative means of helping women (and people in general), while liberal politicians should focus on the liberal means. Her overall argument is that because the discussion is homogenized, the actual needs of women (which are not to be isolated from the needs of everyone) are not being brought up and debated in an appropriate way. Whether you agree with her or not this controversial piece will make you think about the state of women’s politics, and is worth your time as a result.

Meet The Senate’s First Female “Umpire”

The Jane Dough, February 1st 2012

This short biography by The Jane Dough discusses the recent appointment of Elizabeth MacDonough to the position of Senate Parliamentarian, a position not unlike a referee in contentious senate debates. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. The piece briefly discusses her role, and is worth a quick read to learn a bit about Elizabeth and a bit about American politics.

Nadine Morano, Nicolas Sarkozy’s super-sniper, takes on all comers

The Guardian, February 1st 2012

This article from The Guardian talks about the role of Nadine Morano, one of the last women surrounding Nicolas Sarkozy, and how her support factors into his chances of reelection. According to the article, Nadine has made a number of mistakes, but has distinguished herself with her ability to speak to working class issues and show loyalty to her party. The article is also interesting because of the portrait it paints of modern France, and it’s ever present demand for females in positions of visibility and power. Should Canada be more vigilant about parties putting women in important positions within political parties? This article shows some of the good, and some of the bad that can arise from such a decision.


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