March 8th, 2012


Rush Limbaugh: a vicious clown.

When somebody is paid to say the worst possible thing, it allows someone else to say the next worst thing and sound sane.

Before I arrived in the United States, I thought that Rush Limbaugh was a special American legend, like the headless horseman, or meritocracy.

Before this week, I thought the real Rush Limbaugh -- bile-spitting Conservative radio wingnut, professional despiser of women, workers and minorities and peddler of frothing crypto-fascist hatespeech to millions of listeners -- had long ago imploded under the pressure of his own hot air.

I thought of Limbaugh as a fairytale, the sort that liberal parents use to frighten their children into eating up all their alfalfa. It turns out that the beast is alive and embarrassing Republicans everywhere by saying what they really think about women in plain, paranoid English.

More under cut...

Collapse )


OP: Excellent opinion piece from UK left-wing blogger Laurie Penny. I would suggest you follow her on Twitter at @PennyRed if you want more of this sorta thing as I do.
Scientist Salarian :: Mordin Solus

ARIZONA: Tries to Legislate Medical Practices, but Really Just Wants Women to Die

The Arizona Senate has approved a bill that would shield doctors and others from so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuits.

Those are lawsuits that can arise if physicians don’t inform pregnant women of prenatal problems that could lead to the decision to have an abortion.

The Senate’s 20-9 vote Tuesday sends the bill to the state House.

The bill’s sponsor is Republican Nancy Barto of Phoenix. She says allowing the medical malpractice lawsuits endorses the idea that if a child is born with a disability, someone is to blame.

Barto said the bill will still allow “true malpractice suits” to proceed.

If the bill becomes law, Arizona would join nine states barring both “wrongful life” and “wrongful birth” lawsuits.

Opponents of the bill say it’s unnecessary and would infringe on reproductive rights.



I just. WHAT? You're not going to inform women of potential issues with their babies? You do realize that's not how medicine works, right, senator?

I removed an inciting comment that this may cause the mother's death due to poster's explanation here. If we're going specifically by legal cases of 'wrongful birth,' this wouldn't happen as the only 'fetal defect' that I can think of off the top of my head that would threaten the life of the mother is carrying a dead fetus to term, which while some women might still be judged for, I assume the majority of pro-lifers would not care. Sorry about not doing more research before I posted this!

Racism, gender and jealousy: Yumi's copped enough

Backstory: Yumi Stynes is on a popular breakfast program in Australia. She made fun of an Australian war hero (Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith) and implied he was stupid and her co-host George Negus made fun of him as well (personally I thought what he said was far more offensive). You can see it here:

Anyway, later she apologised personally to the war hero and he accepted it and made a public apology. But Australia just won't let it go and she's still getting a hard time for it.

It is possible, if only just, to imagine that the hateswarm engulfing Yumi Stynes this week has nothing to do with her being an attractive Asian woman, but unfortunately my imagination doesn’t stretch that far. So I’m gonna say it – most of the vitriol being spewed in her face over the comments she made about Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith on The Circle are motivated by racism, gender and jealousy.

Collapse )

oh holy shit
  • chaya

Portland nursing assistant sent to jail after posting dying patient’s buttocks on Facebook

"Nai Mai Chao banned from using social media sites as part of punishment"

A disgraced Portland nursing assistant has been banned from Facebook and other social media sites after posting a photo of a dying patient's buttocks.

In addition to being fired from her job, Nai Mai Chao also recently spent eight days in jail and had her nursing license revoked following a two-day trial.

Convicted of invasion of personal privacy, Chao was found to have posted graphic photos of patients on Facebook and to have written derogatory comments about them.

A coworker, who recognized the dying patient by the bandages on his bedsores, reported Chao to her supervisors and she was arrested in September, according to

The 26-year-old Chao denied taking the pics, but admitted posting them.

"It's a good lesson that we need to be responsible about things we are posting online," Kelley Cloyd, a prosecutor assigned to the Multnomah County's Gresham office, told

During the trial, jurors were shown a handful of photos including two that contained human feces, according to the Oregon news website. The jury deliberated for just 30 minutes.

As part of her conviction, Chao must avoid all social media sites, including Facebook, Google+, Twitter and MySpace. She also cannot take pictures of anyone without their "explicit" consent, according to

Her name was entered into a national database that prohibits her from obtaining a nursing license anywhere else in the U.S.

Chao, released from jail on Friday, must also write a 1,000-word letter of apology. The victim won't be able to read it - he died two months after the incident.

Source didn't need another dang thing to worry about when going to a hospital... Glad to see she was completely shut down and banned for life, though - exactly what needed to happen imo.

Avoid comments at the source. There aren't many yet, but so far they are largely composed of Asian jokes. Oh, internet trolls.

McDonnell signs state rape bill.

McDonnell signs state rape bill.

Bob McDonnell, Virginia Governor, Signs Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Into Law
Source: HuffPo

WASHINGTON -- Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a controversial mandatory ultrasound bill into law Wednesday afternoon, making Virginia the seventh state to require women to have an ultrasound procedure before they can legally have an abortion.
A previous version of the bill would have forced women to undergo an invasive, likely painful transvaginal ultrasound procedure if she was too early into the pregnancy for a more typical transabdominal one to detect fetal age. After that bill sparked widespread protests, McDonnell and House Republicans worked together to write a new bill that would allow women to opt out of the more invasive procedure in favor of an external one.
Democrats are still not pleased with the compromise. Critics of the bill say that it's medically unnecessary and constitutes an egregious government overreach into personal medical decisions that women should make with their doctors.
The bill, which some Democrats are comparing to state-sponsored rape, has sparked several protests at Virginia's state Capitol in Richmond.
"We have taken out the state-required rape from the bill, but the way it is now is still an assault because it's an unwanted touching," state Sen. Janet Howell (D) told HuffPost in an interview, "and the woman is being coerced to have that happen in order to exercise her constitutional right to an abortion."
Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group that wrote a model ultrasound bill on which Virginia Republicans and lawmakers from several other states have based theirs, called Virginia's new law the "gold standard of medical care" on Wednesday.
"Abortion advocates engaged in a vicious campaign of misinformation against a proposal that would require a life-saving ultrasound test before giving women an abortion-inducing drug or an abortion procedure," AUL CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said in a statement on Wednesday. "We know that women with ectopic pregnancies have died when given life-ending drugs, which makes it particularly egregious that abortion advocates fought to prevent women from having all the medical information they need for informed consent. Ultrasounds are the gold standard of medical care, and women deserve to have such testing." 

The Rachel Maddow Show had a great segment on this last night explaining how the "new" bill isn't much different at all. It leaves the possibility of mandatory and medically unnecessary vaginal probing (i.e. legislated rape) quite open and perhaps even probable Maddow explains how the amended bill still requires proof of gestational age. Thus although it removes the 'mandate' for the Vaginal Probe, it still does mandate the "bell jelly" (external) ultrasound of AND that ultrasound can't determine the gestational age.   So  the the woman has to be "offered" the internal vaginal probe ultrasound. What happens if she says NO? The law DOES NOT clarify. Thus leaving it open for interpretation by whatever fuckhead local doctor, or official.  I can't help but believe that this law will ultimately be found unconstitutional if only for the vague language. 


KONY 2012 Info Post

Mods: With the KONY 2012 meme going around, I thought it might be a good idea to make a post about it including the original and some additional perspectives.

KONY 2012
In case you haven't seen it already, this video has been circulating social networks:

It has over 36,000,000 views since its posting on March 5th. The description:

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.

Donate to Invisible Children:
For info on Invisible Children:

The Invisible Children Facebook page has over 2 million likes. People in cities all over the world are planning to cover the streets with KONY 2012 to get the message out so the government will continue its military intervention.

Not everyone is sure this is a good thing, or that Invisible Children is running squeaky clean.

Collapse )

Collapse )

Again, here is a quick link to Invisible Children's financial documents. Anything that doesn't say "Annual Report" is paperwork they sent to the government.

So, what do you all think? Is this legit? Will you take part or be too distracted by shiny objects on 4/20?

Feel free to suggest articles, videos, and tags in the comments.

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )
dexter embarrassing

Rush Limbaugh Gets Support From Sugar Daddy Website

America’s most impotent man and radio host, Rush Limbaugh, has been tortuously treading dangerous water following his seemingly slanderous attack on Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke. A total of around 28 advertisers have left Limbaugh and many more are considering dropping the rotund host faster than Sarah Palin drops a gaffe. But it looks like the mountainous misogynist maybe have found some equally scumbaggy company.

Notorious hooker (not to be confused with gals that use birth control) website,, known for being the world’s largest “sugar daddy” and “sugar baby” website, appears to be taking an active interest in Rush. Yes, I just wrote that.

Just in case it’s not enough that the adulterer website,, is salivating at the corpulent agitator’s vacant ad space, a website that exclusively panders to older, successful, wealthy men hooking up with a younger, beautiful women wants Rush’s business. Ironically enough, Rush Limbaugh, disgusting and morbidly obese and ugly though he may be, managed to parley his riches into snagging a younger, attractive wife who was willing to withstand his appalling personality and horrific appearance for more than five consecutive seconds if the money was right.

Rush Limbaugh is one of the greatest examples of the modern day Sugar Daddy,”says Brandon Wade, Founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement.Com. “We wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t come forward and support him in his time of need.” (Source:

I think it’s safe to assume that womankind collectively uttered “ew” upon discovering Wade’s intentions.

“Many will question why we are supporting Rush Limbaugh even though he is guilty of using the same terms that many in mainstream media have used to describe Sugar Babies,” says Wade, who holds a BS and an MBS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “But we think he is being treated unfairly. While many in the mainstream media have yet to apologize for mistakenly calling Sugar Babies ‘prostitutes,’ Rush Limbaugh did. Sugar Daddy or not, the right to free speech should never be boycotted.” (Source:

Although there hasn’t been any confirmation yet from Limbaugh, perhaps only Oxycontin would be a more apt sponsor for the shock jock.


Comedy gold, people!
oh holy shit
  • chaya

NSA whistle-blower: Obama “worse than Bush”

Thomas Drake, the whistle-blower whom the Obama administration tried and failed to prosecute for leaking information about waste, fraud and abuse at the National Security Agency, now works at an Apple store in Maryland. In an interview with Salon, Drake laughed about the time he confronted Attorney General Eric Holder at his store while Holder perused the gadgetry on display with his security detail around him. When Drake started asking Holder questions about his case, America’s chief law enforcement officer turned and fled the store.

Collapse )
Source at Salon.
Gryffindor corgi

Women's HERstory Month Day Eight: The First Woman to Run for President

If you spliced the genes of Hillary Clinton, Madonna, Heidi Fleiss and Margaret Thatcher, you might have someone like Victoria Woodhull.
- Steve Murray, Star-Telegram review of America's Victoria

legal contender....
Victoria C. Woodhull
first woman to run for president

a brief historical sketch by Susan Kullmann

On the 150th anniversary of her birth, September 23, 1988, Victoria Claflin Woodhull was largely lost to history. She still is. Few Americans even recognize her name. Yet "The Woodhull" was once one of the best known women in America -- the first woman to run for President and the first to open a bank on Wall Street. Nineteenth-century Americans thrilled to news stories about her exploits. Admirers pored over her weekly newspaper and scooped up her books, pamphlets, and photographs. Her lectures left thousands spellbound.

Collapse )


As you can probably tell, Victoria Woodhull is a personal hero of mine. What the article doesn't mention is that she also had a sense of racial justice. The first time she attempted to run for President, she stepped aside because Frederick Douglass was also running, and she wanted to see a Black man be just as advanced as she thought women should be. She also accurately predicted that a Black man would be President before a woman of any race.

The guidelines of sex education she set down in her speeches and publications were incredibly advanced for the time, and in some more conservative areas would still be considered so today. She supported the right of complete personal, sexual freedom for women, gay people, and polyamorous people.

Basically, she was one of the most awesome women to ever be, and she needs more historical appreciation.
van Gogh
  • rjdaae

'Sexist trousers' are below the belt

This weekend, as I attempted to tidy to my house, I happened to notice the label inside my boyfriend’s trousers – which he had strewn across the floor of our bedroom.

Upon picking them up, to throw them firmly onto ‘his chair’, (my weekly way of telling him that he needs to put his clothes away), this large white label happened to catch my eye.

As expected, it detailed what temperature the trousers should be washed at. But then, I noticed, stitched in capital letters no less, the usually inoffensive washing instructions tag, offered a rather less appropriate cleaning option: “OR - GIVE IT TO YOUR WOMAN, IT’S HER JOB”.
Collapse )
The Gang

Can we get money out of politics? No.

The experience of campaign reform laws over the past four decades raises the question of whether reforms for "getting money out of politics" will tackle the problem.

WHEN I first started to form my political opinions, I read an appeal from the campaign finance reform organization Common Cause. It argued that the "most radical" thing we could do was to support the reform that Common Cause was promoting. Because of the decisive influence of money on politics and government, enacting this reform would radically alter the U.S. government.

I don't remember what the specific proposal was, so I don't recall if it ever passed. It may have. But it's worth pointing out that I read this appeal sometime during the Carter administration. Now, three-and-a-half decades later, a number of campaign finance laws have come and gone, but the influence of big money is seemingly worse than ever. And many activists are again attracted to the idea of "getting money out of politics."

The recognition that the richest 1 percent controls the government, usually in opposition to the wishes of the rest of us, makes "getting money out of politics" one of the most unifying themes of the Occupy movement. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which essentially equated the ability to funnel corporate cash to political candidates with free speech, it's not hard to see why this is the case.

But "getting money out of politics" means different things to different people. Some activists call for more of the kinds of reforms that Common Cause first put forward in the 1970s: "clean elections," public financing of campaigns and the like. Others seek to reverse Citizens United through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn the 19th century Supreme Court ruling that defined corporations as persons.

While many of these reforms would be worthy in at least throwing a few obstacles in the way of complete corporate domination of the American political system, there are good reasons to ask if they will actually help to transform U.S. politics or to empower "the 99 percent."

Collapse )

avatar, lin

Pregnant 8th Grader Outed To New Mexico School Assembly

Shantelle Hicks, a 15-year-old from Gallup, N.M. claims she was first forced to leave the Wingate Elementary School and then publicly outed as being pregnant in front of all students and employees, KOB-TV reports.

Wingate Elementary is a public boarding school for Native American children from kindergarten through 8th grade.

Now, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Hicks has filed suit against the school, claiming they violated her constitutional rights. According to the complaint, school officials kicked Hicks out of school after learning of her pregnancy, but readmitted her four days later when the ACLU of New Mexico informed the school that it's illegal to deny a student access to education for being pregnant.
Collapse )

source has a video

Sorry, Rush Limbaugh: A response from the writer he called ‘b-i-itchy’

I think I’m becoming Rush Limbaugh.

For more than a year, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, for more than three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Mr. Limbaugh ...

I’m sorry, wrong apology.

Collapse )


Tbh, I'm more surprised that Alexandra Petri (pronounced "pee-try") is now famous enough to be slandered by Rush Limbaugh than anything else.

Republican strategy to disenfranchise begins to take effect.

86-Year-Old Ohio Veteran Can’t Vote After Government-Issued ID Is Rejected At Poll

Source: thinkprogress

By Travis Waldron on Mar 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Paul Carroll, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who has lived in the same Ohio town for four decades, was denied a chance to vote in the state’s primary contests today after a poll worker denied his form of identification, a recently-acquired photo ID from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The poll worker rejected the ID because it did not contain an address, as required by Ohio law.

Carroll told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he got the ID from the VA after his driver’s license expired because he doesn’t drive anymore:

“My beef is that I had to pay a driver to take me up there because I don’t walk so well and have to use this cane and now I can’t even vote,” said Paul Carroll, 86, who has lived in Aurora nearly 40 years, running his own business, Carroll Tire, until 1975.

“I had to stop driving, but I got the photo ID from the Veterans Affairs instead, just a month or so ago. You would think that would count for something. I went to war for this country, but now I can’t vote in this country.”

A local Veterans Affairs employee told the Plain Dealer that the decision not to include the address was likely made at the federal level, and because VA IDs are accepted at any location, “the actual address of a veteran isn’t as critical to us.” Carroll was offered a provisional ballot, but the type was too small for him to read and “I was kind of perturbed by then,” he said.

Republicans across the country have pushed voter ID laws to address a voter fraud “problem” that rarely, if ever, exists. Multiple laws have been challenged in court over claims that they disenfranchise voters, particularly minorities and the elderly. Carroll’s story isn’t altogether unique — Tennessee voter authorities denied a 96-year-old woman a voter ID last year because she didn’t have an original copy of her marriage license.

Sen. Nina Turner introduces bill to protect men from dangers of Viagra

An important piece of legislation was introduced in the Ohio State Senate yesterday. It seems that in all the fuss to protect women from making poor decisions about their bodies, we forgot about the men. But Senator Nina Turner didn’t forget.

Turner has introduced a bill that would make sure that men, seeking prescriptions to potentially dangerous therapies to treat male sexual disorders, receive the same type of information and options as women confronting difficult decisions about their reproductive health.

From Turner’s press release:
“When a man makes a crucial decision about his health and his body, he should be fully aware of the alternative options and the lifetime repercussions of that decision,” Senator Turner said today. Men will be more easily guided through the process of obtaining treatment for impotence so they can better understand and more effectively address their condition.

Senate Bill 307 protects men by requiring the following prior to receiving a prescription to treatment for erectile dysfunction:

*a signed affadavit from at least one sex partner confirming the man has indeed experienced the symptoms of impotence in the past 90 days
*a psychological screening to ensure the condition is, in fact, medical in nature
*ongoing cardiac stress tests and outpatient counseling about potential side effects
*information from the prescribing physician about risks, complications as well as non-medical options including counseling and celibacy
*copy of medical rationale for treatment filed in patient’s medical record

And, with that summary, I give you what may be the greatest co-sponsor request ever to appear on Ohio State Senate letterhead:

TO: All Senate Members
FROM: Senator Nina Turner
DATE: March 2, 2012
RE: Co-Sponsor Request

I will be introducing a bill to address an issue that has gone unaddressed for far too long. The diligence with which men in state legislatures across the nation have considered the fragile health and feeble minds of women has prompted me to reflect on the welfare of the more powerful breed: men. This legislation will take strong steps to protect men from the harmful effects of PDE-5 inhibitors (phosphodiesterase type 5). PDE-5 inhibitors are prescribed to men who are experiencing symptoms of male impotence and carry serious side effects such as priapism, hearing loss, and vision loss. Such medications should be considered with the utmost concern and caution. These medications can be seriously detrimental to men with heart problems, including heart pain (angina), heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), high or low blood pressure, a history of stroke within the last six months, eye problems such as retinitis pigmentosa, sickle cell anemia, or leukemia.

The legislation will implement procedures that will ensure the vigorous reproductive health of men who experience non-psychological erectile dysfunction symptoms. This means that men will have to certify their impotence, confirm their comprehension of risk, and undergo outpatient counseling services to inform them of alternative treatment options to PDE-5 inhibitors.

Please join us in this fight to protect those who are our greatest protectors. The men in our lives generously devote time and debate to fundamental female reproductive issues; the least we can do is return the favor.

If you would like to be included as a co-sponsor, please contact Matthew Adair at [redacted]. The deadline to sign on to this legislation is 5:00pm on Monday, March 5, 2012. Thank you for your consideration

Harry Potter fan till the end

New Obama campaign video: what it may say about his reelection strategy

The Tom Hanks-narrated video, as judged from the just-released trailer, sheds light on the Obama campaign's likely themes. Among them, that voters should take the long view.

By Peter Grier

President Obama’s reelection campaign released a two-minute trailer Thursday for “The Road We’ve Traveled,” an upcoming short film about the Obama presidency. If the trailer is any guide, the full movie will depict a determined chief executive handling big problems during difficult times.

Narrated by Tom Hanks and directed by the Academy Award-winning Davis Guggenheim, the trailer is also a reminder of the resources that incumbent presidents command. Sure, Ron Paul’s campaign videos are snappy, with quick-cutting computer animation, but can he get the voice of Woody from “Toy Story” to read them? No he can’t.

Collapse )

Source: CS Monitor Video

Future winner of Best Short Film!
MISC - moustache

Entire nation of Kiribati to be relocated over rising sea level threat

In what could be the world's first climate-induced migration of modern times, Anote Tong, the Kiribati president, said he was in talks with Fiji's military government to buy up to 5,000 acres of freehold land on which his countrymen could be housed.

Some of Kiribati's 32 pancake-flat coral atolls, which straddle the equator over 1,350,000 square miles of ocean, are already disappearing beneath the waves.

Most of its 113,000 people are crammed on to Tarawa, the administrative centre, a chain of islets which curve in a horseshoe shape around a lagoon.

"This is the last resort, there's no way out of this one," Mr Tong said.

"Our people will have to move as the tides have reached our homes and villages."

Mr Tong said the plan would be to send a trickle of skilled workers first, so they could merge more easily with the Fijian population and make a positive contribution to that country's economy.

"We don't want 100,000 people from Kiribati coming to Fiji in one go," he told the state-run Fiji One television channel.

"They need to find employment, not as refugees but as immigrant people with skills to offer, people who have a place in the community, people who will not be seen as second-class citizens.

"What we need is the international community to come up with an urgent funding package to deal with that ambition, and the needs of countries like Kiribati."

The land Kiribati wants to buy is understood to be on Vanua Levu, Fiji's second largest island.

Collapse )

model: dusky
  • myrana

Hamid Karzai backs clerics' move to limit Afghan women's rights

New Islamic code would allow husbands to beat wives and encourage segregation of the sexes.

Afghanistan's president has endorsed a "code of conduct" issued by an influential council of clerics which activists say represents a giant step backwards for women's rights in the country.

President Hamid Karzai's endorsement of the Ulema Council's document, which allows husbands to beat wives under certain circumstances and encourages segregation of the sexes, is seen as part of his outreach to insurgents including the Taliban.

Both the US and Karzai hope that the Taliban can be brought into negotiations to end the country's decade-long war. But activists say they are worried that gains made by women since 2001 may be lost in the process.

Collapse )

source: The Guardian

Just in time for International Women's Day... :/

You can read an English translation of the declaration here. Actual quote: "men are fundamental and women are secondary".
The Gang

Don't be a politician. It makes you evil. Period

A Green Party mayor crack down

Brian Kelly reports on the steps by New Paltz, N.Y., Green Party Mayor Jason West to shut down that city's Occupy encampment.

GROWING UP in the Hudson Valley under the reign of conservative George W. Bush, Green Party Mayor Jason West stood out as someone who seemed willing to stand up for principle. He violated New York State law when, in his capacity as mayor of New Paltz, N.Y., he married lesbian and gay couples, becoming part of a nationwide debate on marriage equality that continues to this day. In a conservative environment like upstate New York, this was very significant, especially for LGBT youth who suffer from depression and high suicide rates.

When Occupy Wall Street led to a Occupy movement that spread across the country this fall, an encampment was set up in New Paltz, gaining steam from the already strong Occupy Poughkeepsie camp on the other side of the Hudson River.

On December 15, 2011, in response to the birth of Occupy New Paltz, Mayor West wrote: "The [New Paltz Village] Board is...unanimous in our opinion that, given the clear First Amendment protections covering the occupation, we do not have the authority to remove the encampment. By any measure, Occupy New Paltz has the community's blessing."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a similar position during the first month of Occupy Wall Street, when on October 10, 2011, he was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying he'd allow Occupy Wall Street to stay indefinitely: "The bottom line is--people want to express themselves. And as long as they obey the laws, we'll allow them to."

West reversed his position last month when he capitulated to calls for "law and order" and evicted Occupy New Paltz, having several of its members arrested. In doing so, he put himself in step with Democratic Party mayors across the country--as well as billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg--whose ruling class offensive shut down most Occupy encampments around the country.

Collapse )

  • rjdaae

Five Surprisingly Good Places to Be a Woman

When we think about the best places in the world to be a woman, Northern Europe typically springs to mind. And, indeed, countries such as Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden are perennial heavyweights in rankings of gender equality. Sweden, for goodness' sake, offers women (fine, men too) 480 days of paid maternity leave -- at 80 percent of salary -- which can be taken at any point until the child is 8 years old. But the picture is more diverse than you might think. As the Independent recently pointed out, Rwanda is the only nation on the planet in which females make up the majority of parliamentarians, while Burundi is the only country where women have higher labor-force participation (92 percent of working-age females) than men (88 percent).

During the 101st International Women's Day on Thursday, March 8, there will no doubt be much talk of the work that must still be done to achieve greater gender equality. Women, Oxfam notes, earn only 10 percent of the world's income but clock two-thirds of the world's working hours. They hold a mere 14 percent of the world's parliamentary seats (see this great visualization of women in politics) and make up more than two-thirds of the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty across the globe.

Yet the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s 2011 ranking of 135 countries by the economic, educational, health, and political gaps between men and women also surfaces a handful of nations that are doing surprisingly well when it comes to narrowing gender disparities. Here's a look at five that jumped out to us.

Collapse )

Obviously, these still aren't the best places to be a woman, but it's good to see some of the positive things that are happening even in countries that aren't generally considered havens of women's rights.

Happy International Women's Day,  ONTD_P!