Thursday, October 22, 2009

Girl power...

Awhile back, during the throes of yet another 80-hour work week, I told my mother I would not mind being a step-side Escalade driving, Versacci sweatsuit wearing, book club hosting, 2.5 kid and purebred dog having trophy wife like all the women I drove past on the way to my job. I'm fairly certain Gloria Steinem suffered heart palpitations at that statement, and I am definitely certain my mom was speechless with indignation.

Here was this little upstart railing against all the advances the women of my mother's generation made; however, I would like to point out I wanted merely to relax. Now I have a 40-hour week and the freedom to choose how to spend those "extra" 40 hours, I fully appreciate all those steps away from the kitchen and the husband's thumb.

Which is why I liked seeing the following story on Yahoo! the other morning. While far less conservative than other emirates, Kuwait took another step forward in women's rights when its highest court granted women the right to a passport without their male guardian's approval. The law, buried in the 1962 constitution which was supposed to grant equality to the sexes, was declared unconstitutional. The court said the law "undermines [the plaintiff's] free will and compromises [the plaintiff's] humanity."

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's website highlighted another woman who pushed the boundaries of her time - Amelia Earhart. In advance of the Hilary Swank biopic "Amelia," the Plain Dealer connects the female aviator to the International Women's Air & Space Museum at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. The museum celebrates the contributions of all women pilots, including Earhart.

A program in Mexico is giving women a little more freedom in another form of transportation - taxis. A fleet of pink cabs driven by women and which only stop for women was recently launched in Puebla, Mexico, according to MSNBC. The taxis are kitted out with a beauty kit, a GPS system and an alarm button which is connected to local emergency services. The pink paint isn't doing much for the cause, but women passengers have reported feeling safer from leering male drivers, and the taxi service has opened up to women a previously male-dominated profession.

Finally, Nicole Kidman is doing her part for all the women in other countries who don't have the right to drive or travel alone or even leave the house. The actress was part of a delegation testifying in front of Congress on behalf of the United Nations Development Fund for Women. As reported in the New Zealand Herald, Congress is deciding whether to support the International Violence Against Women Act. It seems to me the name of the act is poorly worded, but the point of it is to work towards eliminating violence committed against women everywhere.

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