With only 38 per cent of infants around the world exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is calling for “concerted global action to support women in combining breastfeeding and work, whether in the formal, non-formal or home sectors.” Six months of paid maternity leave is crucial to this; unfortunately, many countries provide 14 weeks or less, with a few (INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES) not providing any statutory paid leave. Worldbreastfeedingweek.org
An interesting new application from the women behind Vitamin W, “the BUY UP Index is an app that helps you make purchasing decisions based on a company’s demonstrated commitment to gender equality.
“We rate everyday brands, products and the companies behind them, so you can look up your favorite brands to see how they measure up.
“The BUY UP index employs a proprietary methodology to score companies on four major areas: Women Employees, Women’s Leadership, Corporate Citizenship, and Marketing.”
Learn more and try it out! The BUY UP Index
A recent lecture given by Professor Lesley Regan, Vice President of the UK’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, focused on the critical role that healthcare professionals can, and should, play in improving healthcare and outcomes for women.
“The contributions made by mothers to society are far-reaching and countries that fail to protect women’s rights have the worst economic, educational, maternal and child health outcomes.
“Advocacy for women is an obligation for everyone engaged in reproductive healthcare. It is therefore crucial that all healthcare professionals understand how to embed human rights principles into every aspect of their delivery of care.”
A Guardian article by Julian Baggini - Julian discusses the advent of the Apple Watch, saying that “the smartwatch is going to normalise several things that should appal us.” He discusses the “quantified self,” a movement that I am starting to feel is self-obsessed naval-gazing. And best of all, he says “we now have running commentaries in place of reflection, ephemeral news headlines over lasting information that matters.”
Catalyst, a member organisation working to expand opportunities for women in business, analysed women’s share of board seats at stock index companies around the world. The research was divided into four regions: US, Canada, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Of course, it is no surprise that the headline result is that “Incremental progress [is] not sufficient to disrupt [the] status quo.”
Melinda Gates launched a blog at the end of 2014 to gather inspirational stories of women around the world and the ways they are making their communities and countries better places.
Better by Half says “Women make up half our entire population. When they’re held back, half the world’s potential goes unrealized.
“But when women and girls are empowered, we’re not just better by half. The world is twice as good.”
Anyone can contribute to the site, and it is an excellent resource for finding organisations working with women and girls.