Today marks the celebration of the first Jane Addams Day — Illinois’ first statewide holiday honoring a woman. The first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Addams
co-founded the social settlement Hull-House in Chicago in 1889. She
went on to campaign for suffrage and supported the founding of the
NAACP and the ACLU. Visit the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum for more information.

Today is also the last day of the 16 Days Campaign of Activism Against Gender Violence. Read more about the annual international campaign here or at the United Nations Population Fund.

"Women Tripped 2007 Literary Light Fantastic" — that’s the headline of this Women’s eNews story on women in the literary limelight this year, including J.K. Rowling, Doris Lessing, Edwidge Danticat, Ann Enright, Amy Bloom and Susan Faludi. Plus, Sara Seltzer also offers recommendations for 12 good reads this holiday season.

Ever wonder what happened to GreenStone Media, the radio network aimed at women? Kristal Brent Zook has the story.

We’ve mentioned Naomi’s work at the blog A Little Red Hen to educate women over 50 about the risk of HIV infection and safe sex practices. Naomi has now launched Knit a Condom Amulet, a blogzine featuring a number of amulet designs by different knitters — all perfect for carrying your favorite condom of choice. You can
even add your own design here.

Why bother with all this? As Naomi writes:

We need new ways to start conversations about Safe Sex. I wear a
Condom Amulet to fiber festivals, meetings, and parties. "That’s
pretty!" a woman comments as she peers to look closer. "It’s an
amulet…a condom amulet," my reply, and another chance to explain.
Yes, I began knitting them when I learned about the crisis in HIV for
women over 50. The 50-plus women are always surprised, ask questions.

The L.A. Times reports that the number of female coaches in women’s sports has sunk to an all-time low. Ken Fowler writes:

According to the latest available statistics, the percentage of women coaching women at the college level is shrinking.

And while the number of female coaches has increased slightly since 1972, it is mostly because the number of women’s teams has nearly tripled, to about 8,700.

Dig deeper, as researchers R. Vivian Acosta and Linda Jean Carpenter have, and the percentage of female head coaches of women’s teams falls from more than 90% in 1972, as Title IX became law, to an all-time low of about 42% in 2006. Indeed, according to NCAA statistics, which are based on a 74.2% response rate from its 1,054 schools, the number is only about 40%.

In soccer, the sport that has enjoyed perhaps the greatest growth at the college level since Title IX, only about 37% of the coaches are women.

"Even today, athletic directors are not willing to go the extra mile to really recruit quality female coaches," said Acosta, professor emerita at New York’s Brooklyn College.

"The old boys club?" she asked. "That’s alive and well."

Continue reading here.

Christine

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