Did you know today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women? We didn’t – though WVFC has long been watching  “Say No to Violence” campaign, headlined by Nicole Kidman. Now,  Kidman will present the million NO! signatures to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. First, at a press event live as we write, Kidman joins UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi and Marie Nyombo Zaina, coordinator  of RENADEF (National NGO Network for Women and Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo), Grantee of the UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence against Women.

And in case you think the subject is a little outside WVFC’s purview, we note recent studies indicating that sexual assault and domestic violence among boomers are both of increasing concern to advocates for women. According to the Affilia Journal of Women and Social Work, Older women are likelier than younger women to experience violence for a longer time, to be in current violent relationships, and to have
health and mental health problems.

Smells like 1929? Maybe I can help. Meanwhile, the woman who literally wrote the Encyclopedia Britannica section on the Great Depression, Berkeley economist Christina Romer, is now slated to chair the Council of Economic Advisers.   “Christina has done ground-breaking research on many of the topics our administration will confront, from tax policy to fighting recessions,” said President-elect Obama in announcing her appointment. “I feel comfortable knowing that Christina’s going to be there,” added economist Larry Eichengreen, a longtime colleage of Romer’s.  “The fact that she’s done fundamental work on US economy in the 1930s I think is solid qualification, and a really good signal from the point of view of putting the economic team together,” said Lawrence Eighengreen, who has taught with Romer at Berkeley for 20 years.

WVFC would love to be a fly on the wall when Romer sits down with the rest of the new economic team, many of them with a long record of involvement in the same Wall Street that’s been busy melting down. We’d especially love to see her chat with Harvard’s Larry Summers, whose famous remarks about girls and math may have doomed his possible appointment.  If there’s anything we’ve learned from the past year, after all, it’s that words have consequences.

— Chris L.