Women’s Month

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY 2012: A GLOBAL INDEX AND RANKING. Economist Intelligence Unit. March 2012.

Women are the world’s greatest undeveloped source of labour: nearly one-half of working-age women are not currently active in the formal global economy. By working disproportionately in unpaid labour, particularly in developing countries, women traditionally have had less access than men to income and resources. Thus, they are often less productive than men, which holds back the overall economy. As governments worldwide seek short- and long-term fixes to waning economic performance, expanding opportunities for the 1.5bn women not employed in the formal sector will take on even greater importance. But simply increasing the number of working women will not be enough. The poorest regions of the world have among the highest levels of female labour force participation, and poverty in those regions persists. Rather, to realise greater returns from female economic activity, the legal, social, financial and educational barriers hindering women’s productivity need to be removed, according to the report. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 

ENTERPRISING WOMEN, THRIVING SOCIETIES. International Information Program, U.S. Department of State. March 2012.

This issue of eJournal USA encourages women to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. It cites the experiences of businesswomen around the world and features successful women entrepreneurs who can serve as role models. It also identifies barriers and best practices for overcoming them.

 

MAKING THEIR MARK: BLACK WOMEN LEADERS. International Information Program, U.S. Department of State. February 2012.

 The eJournal profiles African-American women of the 20th and 21st centuries who have made significant contributions to many spheres of American life. It also offers insights into how earlier generations of African-American women serve as touchstones for the present generation. The list of women featured here, while not comprehensive, is wide-ranging. It includes women who have devoted their talents and energies to business, civil rights, politics, academia and mass media. Each in her way has affirmed the American Dream not only for African Americans, but for women and men of all ethnicities.

 

Iran

Key Official US and IAEA Statements About Iran’s Nuclear Programs. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Anthony H. Cordesman. February 2, 2012.

There is a great deal of speculation about Iran’s nuclear programs that do not list sources or reflect the views of the U.S. intelligence community. According to the author, it is worth examining what top U.S. intelligence official have said during the last few years, and the details of the IAEA report published in November 2011, one that clearly reflected official inputs from the U.S. and a number of European intelligence services. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

Iran’s Influence in the Americas. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Stephen Johnson. February 27, 2012.

Through trade, assistance, and bilateral cooperation, the nations of the Americas are more globally connected than ever before. Not just to former colonial powers, but to such faraway places as Afghanistan, China, India, Russia, and Singapore. In 2007, Colombian police were training Afghan counterparts. China’s commerce with Latin America and the Caribbean has grown from about $12 billion in 2000 to some $176.8 billion in 2010. India’s trade is on track to double from $23 billion in 2010 to $50 billion in 2014. Russia has more extensive commercial and political ties in the hemisphere than it did during the Cold War. And Singapore is now Venezuela’s fifth-largest trading partner. Yet, another foreign power has made inroads and is provoking worries that for now are larger than its actual impact. It is the Islamic Republic of Iran. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

Turkey and the Bomb. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Sinan Ulgen. February 15, 2012.

Though most states that want a nuclear weapon can get one through determined effort, the fact remains that most choose not to proliferate. Turkey is no exception. Not even the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is likely to push Ankara to develop its own nuclear weapons. The only circumstance where such a scenario would acquire a degree of likelihood is a breakdown in Turkey’s security relationship with the United States, by the author. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

Public Takes Tough Line on Iran’s Nuclear Program: Support for Obama’s Afghan Troop Pullout. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. February 15, 2012.

Nearly six-in-ten (58%) of Americans say it is important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Just 30% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran. When it comes to the possibility that Israel may soon attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, as has been reported in news stories, 51% say the U.S. should remain neutral. But for those saying the U.S. should take a position, 39% believe it should support an Israeli attack compared to 5% who say it should oppose such action. [Note: contains copyrighted material].