Entries by Debra Fitzpatrick

Union Organizing is a Gender Justice Issue

The Democratic Party released its Better Deal platform in June that included a call for a higher minimum wage, better jobs, and worker training.  Conspicuously absent, however, was any mention of unions. This was quite a stunning departure from the original New Deal that had unions and labor organizing at its very core. Last week the Democrats finally released a new plank that focuses on labor law reform, under the banner of “Give Workers the Freedom to Negotiate a Better Deal.”  While no one expects the proposals to pass anytime soon, their inclusion signals that the Democrats may wrap workers’ freedom to organize into the 2019 platform.  Will the Democrats stick with labor law reform this time around?  For women workers’ sake, let’s hope so.  After all, workers’ right to freely form unions and bargain collectively is a gender justice issue; unions help women close the wage gap, rise out of poverty, and address power issues on the job.

Who Didn’t Apply for DACA and Why it Matters

Even without attacks from the White House, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has already been restricted in many ways. This becomes immediately apparent when we consider how—and which—immigrant youth have been represented in relation to it. Amidst, or perhaps because of, limited engagement with Asian youth directly, immigrant advocacy on behalf of Chinese youth in particular has largely relied on presumptions of gendered and racialized vulnerability. Though not often considered, these (mis)representations matter, impacting youths’ trust in policy and further underscoring the contingent nature of DACA’s duration and success.

The Gender Policy Report Welcomes New Education Curator: Fran Vavrus

The Gender Policy Report is pleased to announce that Fran Vavrus has joined our team as a curator for our Education page. Fran Vavrus is a professor for the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she serves in the Comparative and International Education Development (CIDE) program. With her background in comparative and international education, Vavrus will bring a global comparative perspective to the Gender Policy Report’s Education page.


Mobility and Flexibility Expand Working Mothers’ Success

In the U.S., women have historically had less access to cars, but their traditional, gendered family roles have increased their share of household-related trips—think daycare pickup, grocery shopping, and the like. The mismatch between women’s mobility constraints and burdens has, in turn, created significant restrictions in women’s labor market choices. As a result, employed women’s work commute trips were, for decades, shorter in both distance and time than those of employed men.

The US Withdrawal from UNESCO: Undermining Girls’ Education

The Trump administration has made yet another devastating decision undermining girls’ and women’s education, and this time its effects will be felt throughout the world. Last week, the White House revealed that the U.S. would withdraw its support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an institution established in 1945 with the inauguration of the United Nations itself. It is sadly ironic that the UNESCO announcement was made the day after the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl Child, an annual event on October 11th that draws attention to the challenges facing girls around the world and to advances in the achievement of their human rights. Claiming the decision is due to UNESCO’s “anti-Israel bias,” it also provides further evidence of an administration opposed to multilateralism and ignorant of the vital role of UNESCO in promoting gender justice in education.