In the Mail

Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, Jan Vermeer

Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, Jan Vermeer

Here are a few things we’ve learned from recent correspondence:

Kentucky Women’s Book Festival

News has come from the Women’s Center at University of Louisville about the Kentucky Women’s Book Festival, Saturday, May 16, 9:00 – 5:00 p.m., at the Ekstrom Library on the University of Louisville Belknap Campus. The Festival will feature Kentucky authors like opening speaker Bethany Griffin, luncheon keynote speaker Sena Jeter Naslund, and independent publisher Kate Larken of Motes Books, along with others, speaking on their work and other issues of interest to readers and thinkers. (Our Acting Director Heather Thiessen think’s it’s particularly thoughtful of the Women’s Center at U of L to organize something like this for her birthday!)

Alliances for Social Justice Conference

Our role-models at the Barnard center for Research on Women sent us word on the National Council for Research on Women’s annual conference, “Igniting Change: Activating Alliances for Social Justice”, to be held June 10-12 in New York. A glance at the program indicates that it will be an interesting, exciting and informative three days for anyone with some time to spend in New York and an interest in social justice and women (i.e., like Wimminwise readers).

News from the Benedictines

We’ve gotten the latest Benedictine Bridge, the newsletter of the Benedictine Women of Madison, where our friend Lynne Smith, OSB, works and lives. We took a particular interest in the article about “green roofs” — a way to save energy by covering all or part of a building’s roof with soil and planting it with grass or other vegetation, and began speculating about the fact that White Hall, where the Women’s Center at LPTS lives, has a pretty flat roof . . .

Global Media Monitoring Project

An invitation to learn more about the Global Media Monitoring Project, which monitors the presentation and positioning of women in the world’s news media. This project began in 1995, and since then has uncovered the striking absence of women, women’s viewpoints and women’s voices from the “factual” presentation of the world’s news. According to the project’s website:

GMMP 2005 showed that news paints a picture of a world in which women are virtually invisible. Women are dramatically under-represented in the news. A comparison of the results from the three GMMPs in 1995, 2000 and 2005 revealed that change in the gender dimensions of news media has been small and slow across the 15-year period. Only 21% of news subjects – the people who are interviewed, or whom the news is about – are female. Women’s points of view are rarely heard in the topics that dominate the news agenda; even in stories that affect women profoundly, such as gender-based violence, it is the male voice (64% of news subjects) that prevails. When women do make the news it is primarily as ‘stars’ or ‘ordinary people’, not as figures of authority. As newsmakers, women are under-represented in professional categories. As authorities and experts, women barely feature in news stories. While the study found a few excellent examples of exemplary gender-balanced and gender-sensitive journalism, it demonstrated an overall glaring deficit in the news media globally, with half of the world’s population barely present.

The leaders of the project are now gearing up for the Fourth Global Media Monitoring Project, which will take place in November, 2009, and we are considering how the Women’s Center at LPTS might be able to participate in the project.

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