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Women & Society

Progress and Perils: New Agenda for Women
Center for the Advancement of Women (www.advancewomen.org)
Jun 2003. “Since 1998, polls conducted for the show that a majority of women believe more effort is needed to improve the status of women in the United States today. More than 6 in 10 also agree that, the United States continues to need a strong women’s movement to push for changes that benefit women.” Executive Summary in PDF. Index and links to full reports in HTML

The Motherhood Study:
Fresh Insights on Mothers’ Attitudes and Concerns

Martha Farrell Erickson and Enola Aird, The Motherhood Project of the Institute for American Values (www.motherhoodproject.org), May.05. An ideologically-slanted but still interesting survey tracking the attitudes and concerns of a nationally-representative sample of American mothers. Executive Summary; full report, 52 pages in .pdf; annotated questionnaire, 38 pages in .pdf

Women’s Status and Social Capital Across the States
Amy Caiazza, Ph.D., and Robert D. Putnam, Ph.D., Institute for Women’s Policy Research (www.iwpr.org), IWPR Publication #I911. Jul 2002. “Like many other indicators of well-being in the United States, the status of women is directly related to levels of social capital. As a result, it may also be directly (and negatively) affected by the decline in social capital … Alternatively, efforts to improve women’s status may improve levels of social capital.” Issue brief in PDF

Listening to Mothers II
Report on the Second National Survey of Women's Childbearing Experiences

Eugene R. Declerq, Carol Sakala, Maureen P. Corry, and Sandra Applebaum, Childbirth Connection, Oct 06. Although the report exhibits a bias toward non-medicalized, low-intervention childbirth and exclusive breastfeeding (the survey was conducting in partnership with Lamaze International), the detailed information in the full report is useful for understanding variations in U.S. mothers expectations and experiences of pregnancy and childbirth and the stresses and health concerns women experience during the post-partum period.
Executive Summary, 11 pages in .pdf

Safeguarding the Rights and Well-Being of Birthparents in the Adoption Process
Susan Smith, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Nov 06. The report corrects misperceptions about the characteristics of women who place their infants for adoption and calls for greater legal protection for birthparents. Includes a number of important findings and recommendations, such as the finding that more adoptions take place in the U.S. than is commonly perceived or reported. Executive Summary or Full Report, 68 pages in .pdf

Families Left Behind:
The Hidden Costs of Incarceration and Reentry

Jeremy Travis, Elizabeth Cincotta McBride, Amy L. Solomon, Urban Institute, Jun 05. More than half of the 1.4 million adults incarcerated in state and federal prisons are parents of minor children. The vast majority of incarcerated parents are male (93 percent); among the men held in state prison, 55 percent report having minor children. Among women, who account for 6 percent of the state prison population, 65 percent report having minor children. Over half (58 percent) of the minor children of incarcerated parents are less than 10 years old. Full report, 12 pages in .pdf

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Women & Social Movements

Called to Speak:
Six Strategies That Encourage Women's Political Activism

Amy Caiazza, Ph.D., Institute for Women's Policy Research, Apr 06. Groups can successfully encourage political activism by providing women ways to feel comfortable expressing anger and outrage in public life, something women report they are often afraid to do. This activism goes beyond voting and can include trying to influence and negotiate with public officials, building coalitions, and public speaking in political venues such as city council meetings or community forums. Issue Brief, 7 pages in .pdf or Full Report, 76 pages in .pdf

Say You Want a Revolution
Stephanie Wilkinson, Brain, Child Magazine (www.brainchildmag.com), Fall 2005. An investigative feature story surveying individuals and organizational leaders on the various motives and ideological perspectives driving the movement's formation, and the practical and political challenges to mobilizing an effective grass-roots base. The result is an accurate and well-balanced snapshot of where the mothers' movement is today, where it wants to go, and what it will take to get there. Full article in HTML

Trashing the Hallmark card mom
By Katy Read for Salon (www.salon.com). May 2004. “Weary of saccharine stereotypes, a diverse group of women is demanding that society do more than pay lip service to mothers.” Full article in HTML

Mothers Press for Care-Giving Work Credit, Respect
By Luchina Fisher for Women's eNews (www.womensenews.org). Apr 2004. “In the United States, mothers are calling for more attention to the employment constraints they face and the work they do as caregivers. Web sites, organizations and books are springing up around the country to demand more benefits and recognition.” Full article in HTML

Three High-Power Moms Unite to Push Pro-Mom Agenda
By J. Trout Lowen, Women’s eNews (www.womensenews.org). 2002. “Three prominent authors have decided to band together to create a new organization that would lobby Congress and otherwise push to end what they call the Mommy Tax.” Full article in HTML

American Democracy and Inequality
American Political Science Association Taskforce, Dissent, Spring 2005
Some argue that the Internet will be a democratizing force because it heralds a new frontier of virtual participation and new forms of citizen-to-citizen communication. The Internet, however, appears to be reinforcing existing inequalities because it is disproportionately accessible to -- and used by -- the affluent, non-Hispanic whites, and the highly educated. Using the Internet to participate in politics generally entails knowing in advance that one wants political information, or that one wants to enter a discussion or to make a monetary contribution. People who are ambivalent about politics or not already involved may not be drawn in simply by the availability of the Internet. In short, the Internet may "activate the active" and widen the disparities between participants and the politically disengaged." Full text i n HTML

Rethinking gender in a new age
Kathryn Kish Sklar, Inside Binghampton University, Dec 1999. “During the past two hundred years between 1800 and 2000, the social construction of gender has changed dramatically in the United States and throughout the world. Changes in female and male identities have been shaped by profound social, economic and political transformations — particularly changes in family life, in labor force participation and in public culture. …Even more important than these abstract social forces are the social movements that have interpreted and contested the meaning of our gendered identities.” Full article in HTML.

Women and Social Movements in the United States
A Web resource published by the Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender at SUNY Binghamton. The site offers a collection of scholarly papers on the history of women’s activism from 1775 to the present. Index in HTML

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