Category Archives: Economic development

Commentary: Gender Pay Gap persists in 2014

“America’s gender pay gap is at a record low, but hold the celebration”

By: Heidi Hartmann

Summary: In this September 22 commentary published on, Heidi Hartmann the president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research critiques a recent U.S. Census Bureau report regarding the “gender pay gap”. Explaining that the recent findings are “not statistically significant” she offers a variety of measures that can be taken to decrease the pay disparity between men and women and result in the boost of the overall economy, as well as, reduce the number of families that live at or below the current poverty threshold in the United States.

Article Link:

U.S. Census Report:

Board of…Women?

In this Harvard Business School article, researches ponder the question why there are so few women holding board seats at the 1500 S&P businesses (only 14% of board seats are held by women).  The results of their research are very interesting in some aspects (the similarities in how men and women in business think) and was completely not surprising in other aspects (men don’t think there are enough qualified women to fill board seats while women think the board seats are often filled by ultra-traditional methods).  I definitely think this is an interesting investigation of women in business and the perceptions of women in business.

board room

Women Making a Difference in Haiti’s Recovery

Two years ago, a monumental earthquake struck Haiti and killed 220,000 people, injured 300,000 and left a million people homeless. A recent CNN article documents how Haitian women at the local level are leading the way to recovery. Oxfam, for example, has trained 1600 women in literacy and budgeting skills so that they can obtain grants to start businesses to aid their families. Another Haitian woman implemented a new technique for rice cultivation that saves on fertilizer and water. These are positive signs that empowering women at the local level does make a positive difference in the welfare of a nation. To read more, go to:


Increasing Food Supply by Improving Women’s Rights

If you are hearing the news about increasing food prices, now is a good time to think about how women can be the solution rather than the problem, as the book Half the Sky claims:

Bias Against Female Farmers Shrinks Food Harvests

What do you think? Would global gender equality in agriculture potentially offset these intermittent crises in food security set off by such dependent trends as the rise in oil prices?

Susan Pearce

Focus Placed on Education as UN Women’s Commission Begins Annual Session

The UN Commission on the Status of Women’s  annual session kicked off today with opening remarks that address the necessity of educating women and girls as a tool of economic and personal empowerment. This is a recurrent theme throughout the literature regarding women’s issues worldwide, and I look forward to seeing what progress is made over the next two weeks as the session continues.

Of particular interest is the creation of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which is an organization that aims to bring women into the fold in regards to decision-making at the policy level around the world.

Posted by Jennifer O’Neill