On September 14, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution aimed at creating a single U.N. body to promote the advancement of women around the world. Also in today's Cheers and Jeers, a report released on September 18 details how the sex industry in the United Kingdom serves as a major threat to women's equality at work.
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Here's today's update:
CHEERS AND JEERS OF THE WEEK
New U.N. Women's Agency; Sex Enters U.K. WorkplaceBy Kimberly St. Louis
On September 14, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution aimed at creating a more potent women's agency, a single U.N. body to promote the advancement of women around the world. The decision came after three years of negotiation. Supporters of the new agency say it will serve as a landmark in the struggle for women's equality and rights, reported Reuters.
The move would merge four existing U.N. offices that all deal with women's affairs--the United Nations Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM; the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women; the Division for the Advancement of Women; and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women.
These groups will be put under a single office, forming a full-fledged new agency perhaps by the middle of next year, reported Inter Press Service. The agency will be headed by an under-secretary-general, the third highest ranking position within the U.N. The under-secretary-general will represent the interests of women in senior policymaking bodies, serving as a watchdog for women. This change should bring both greater coordination and accountability, reported Global Post.
Donor countries will need to pledge approximately one billion dollars to support the agency in order to help it fulfill women-related promises by governments and the U.N., Inter Press Service reported.
More News to Cheer This Week:
A report released on September 18 details how the sex industry in the United Kingdom serves as a major threat to women's equality at work. "Corporate Sexism: The Sex Industry's Infiltration of the Modern Workplace," indicates that this type of conduct violates the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975.
Conducted by the Fawcett Society, the research identified 319 lap dancing clubs in the United Kingdom. It found that 177 of these clubs have active Web sites and 41 percent of them contained marketing targeted towards a corporate audience. It also showed that 86 percent of lap dancing clubs in London provide 'discrete receipts,' which enable employees to claim expenses without it being evident that the money was spent at a club.
"The sex industry is increasingly targeting the corporate market, with lap dancing clubs marketing themselves as ideal venues to host meetings and client entertaining. Yet lap dancing clubs are a form of commercial sexual exploitation and fuel sexist attitudes towards women. Their use in a work context discriminates against female employees and undermines women's status at work," said Kat Banyard, campaigns officer at the Fawcett Society and co-author of the report.
The study also found that 26 percent of trade unions received inquiries from members that have been exposed to the sex industry at work--including pornography. A previous study revealed that 20 percent of men admit to accessing pornography at work, the Fawcett Society reported.
More News to Jeer This Week:
Kimberly St. Louis is an editorial intern at Women's eNews through the New York Arts Program. She is a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University studying journalism and politics and government.Women's eNews welcomes your comments. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.