Canadian Social Research Newsletter
March 13, 2011

Welcome to the weekly Canadian Social Research Newsletter,
a listing of the new links added to the Canadian Social Research Links website in the past week.

The e-mail version of this week's issue of the newsletter is going out to 2,393 subscribers.

Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes, a disclaimer
and other stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with social policy...


Canadian content

1. Government ignores Parliamentary Committee call for a federal poverty plan (Canada Without Poverty) - March 11
2. [Ontario] Liberals urged to ‘put food in the budget’ (Toronto Star)
3. Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition
4. At Home/Chez Soi - homelessness demonstration project (Duration 2009-2013) - (Mental Health Commission of Canada)
5. Hunger Crisis : Report of the Hunger Inquiry (Recession Relief Coalition) - March 2011

6. Naufragés des villes - Radio-Canada (10-part series on welfare in Montreal and Canada) - available only in French (RDI)
What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Labour Force Survey, February 2011 - March 11
--- Violent victimization of Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces, 2009 - March 11
College enrolment, as of October 31, 2008 - March 10
--- College graduates, 2008/2009 - March 10
--- The financial knowledge of Canadians - March 8
--- Salary and salary scales of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities, 2009/2010 - March 7

8. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

International content
9. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
10. Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being (U. S. Government) - March 2011
11. [ U.S. ] The State of Working America (Economic Policy Institute) - February 14
12. [ U.S. ] Education is not the cure for high unemployment or for income inequality (Economic Policy Institute) - January 12

13. Microfinance in Bangladesh and India : FAIL? - March 2010

14. CRINMAIL (weekly children's rights newsletter)

Have a great week!

[ ]

1. Government ignores Parliamentary Committee call for a federal poverty plan - March 11
(Canada Without Poverty)

Canada Without Poverty

Government ignores HUMA
Committee call for a federal poverty plan

March 11, 2011
Last November a stellar report on poverty in Canada was released by the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities Committee (HUMA). Titled “Federal Poverty Reduction Plan: Working in Partnership Towards Reducing Poverty in Canada“ [see link below], the 300-page report highlighted 57 recommendations that would have helped to tackle obstacles to eliminating poverty such as adequate housing, Aboriginal education, childcare and early learning, and literacy. These critical needs have all been ignored by a government who has consistently pushed poverty under the rug.

Last Friday, an official response was released from the federal government [see link below] which avoided any comments on recommendations made in the HUMA report, and made no commitment to look into a poverty reduction plan. The response lamely reiterated federal investments in key areas such as housing, social assistance, and childcare, but provided no context to their numbers and maintained a belief in jobs as the answer to poverty.


The HUMA report:

Federal Poverty Reduction Plan:
Working in Partnership Towards Reducing Poverty in Canada
(PDF - 1.7MB, 316 pages)
Seventh Report of the House of Commons
Standing Committee on Human Resources,
Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Chair: Candice Hoeppner, MP
November 17, 2010
House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and
Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities ("HUMA"):


The Government response:

(PDF - 116K, 22 pages)
PDF file dated Feb. 23, 2011
Covering letter (small PDF file) dated March 7, 2011
"The Government of Canada shares HUMA’s objective of tackling poverty in Canada, and is addressing many of the challenges raised in Federal Poverty Reduction Plan: Working in Partnership Towards Reducing Poverty in Canada. (...) The Government will take the Committee’s recommendations under advisement* as it continues to find ways to help Canadian men and women succeed, and continue to evaluate the effectiveness of its programs with a focus on results for Canadians. The Government is constantly making improvements and adjustments to ensure that our investments are making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians and their families."
[Excerpt from the Conclusion of the govt. response]
[ * "under advisement" = "It'll be a cold day in Hell..." ]


Related links:

Government “NO” to Federal
Action Plan on Poverty Not Acceptable
(PDF - 447K, 2 pages)
March 9, 2011
Dignity for All: the campaign for a poverty-free Canada had its concerns confirmed yet again by the Government of Canada’s response, released this week, to the November 2010 Parliamentary report Federal Poverty Reduction Plan: Working in Partnership Towards Reducing Poverty in Canada.
Federal Poverty Reduction Plan is the result of three years of study by the House of Commons Human Resources Committee (HUMA), and represents a significant step towards eliminating poverty in Canada. “The multiparty collaboration that led to Federal Poverty Reduction Plan gave us hope that maybe this time the government would grasp the need for a comprehensive and coordinated federal poverty elimination plan in Canada,” said CWP director and Dignity for All co-chair Rob Rainer. “Sadly, they seem content to maintain the status quo.” Approximately 4.3 million Canadians live in poverty in a wide array of situations, from the visible homeless to the working poor and fall into many different groups, from recent immigrants to Aboriginal peoples to lone parents.
Canada Without Poverty is a federally incorporated, non-partisan, not-for-profit and charitable organization with a mission to eliminate poverty in Canada by promoting income and social security for all Canadians, and by promoting poverty eradication as a human rights obligation. Canada Without Poverty was founded in 1971 as the National Anti-Poverty Organization.

Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada is a national coalition of over 430 organizations and 7000 individuals co-convened by Canada Without Poverty, Citizens for Public Justice, and Make Poverty History. Together, we are calling for vigorous and sustained action by the federal government to combat the structural causes of poverty in Canada.

Citizens for Public Justice is a national organization of members inspired by faith to act for justice in Canada by shaping key public policy debates through research and analysis, publishing and public dialogue. Since 1963, CPJ has encouraged citizens, leaders in society and governments to support policies and practices which reflect God’s call for love, justice and stewardship.

The Canadian Make Poverty History campaign was launched in February 2005 with the support of a wide cross-section of public interest and faith groups, trade unions, students, academics and literary, artistic and sports leaders. Make Poverty History is part of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) a global campaign pressing for action on global poverty issues.


Toronto Star coverage:

Money spent on poverty report: wasteful or worthwhile?
March 11, 2011
By Laurie Monsebraaten
The Harper government’s refusal to act on a House of Commons plan to fight poverty this week was predictable. The Tories have rebuffed similar appeals from the Senate, the National Council of Welfare and the provinces. Numerous anti-poverty groups from across the country looking for federal leadership have also been ignored. And yet, MPs on the Commons human resources committee soldiered on. They devoted 63 meetings over three years to the issue and spent almost $230,000 travelling to nine cities and two northern reserves to hear from 260 witnesses.
To what end?
The Toronto Star

- Go to the National/Federal and International Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

2. [Ontario] Liberals urged to ‘put food in the budget’ - March 10
(Toronto Star)


Liberals urged to ‘put food in the budget’
March 10, 2011
By Laurie Monsebraaten
Back in 1995, the opposition Liberals scorned the Mike Harris government’s so-called “welfare diet,” which purported to show that a single person on social assistance could eat for $90 a month. Today that meagre Tory shopping list — which included pasta but no sauce and bread but no butter — costs $48 more. And yet since the Liberals took office in 2003, a single able-bodied person on welfare gets just $29 more in their monthly cheque for food. “It’s no wonder food bank use in Ontario is soaring,” said social policy expert John Stapleton, who used the 1995 shopping list to buy the welfare diet at a Scarborough discount grocery store in January. It is one more reason anti-poverty activists across the province are calling on Finance Minister Dwight Duncan to put a $100 monthly food supplement for welfare recipients in this spring’s provincial budget.


The Toronto Star

- Go to the Ontario Government Links page:

3. Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition

Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition (YAPC)
The Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition facilitates the elimination of poverty in the Yukon through awareness, advocacy and action. We currently have more than 160 members including members of the faith and business community, individuals, politicians and non government agencies.
- incl. links to : News and Events * About Us * Myths * Make a Difference * Contact Us

YAPC NEWS - links to over a dozen related articles from YAPC

- Go to the Provincial and Territorial Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

- Go to the Yukon Links page:

4. At Home/Chez Soi - homelessness demonstration project (Duration 2009-2013)
Mental Health Commission of Canada)

At Home/Chez Soi
[ Version française du site ]
The At Home/Chez Soi research demonstration project is investigating mental health and homelessness in five Canadian cities: Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. A total of 2285 homeless people living with a mental illness will participate. 1,325 people from that group will be given a place to live, and will be offered services to assist them over the course of the initiative. The remaining participants will receive the regular services that are currently available in their cities. As of February, 2011 - over 1,600 people have become project participants, and over 700 now have homes. The overall goal is to provide evidence about what services and systems could best help people who are living with a mental illness and are homeless. At the same time, the project will provide meaningful and practical support for hundreds of vulnerable people.

What's happening in each of the five participating cities?

Moncton: one of Canada’s fastest growing cities, with a shortage of services for Anglophones and Francophones.

Montreal: different mental health services provided to homeless people in Quebec.

Toronto: ethno-cultural diversity including new immigrants who are non-English speaking.

Winnipeg: urban Aboriginal population.

Vancouver: people who struggle with substance abuse and addictions.

Mental Health Commission of Canada


Related links:

What? Another study?
Study on homeless unlikely to tell us anything we don't know

By Kelly Egan
March 11, 2011
(...) OK. See if we get this straight. One group of homeless will be given permanent homes, help with social and health problems, support with daily living. The other group will not be given homes and will have to navigate the patchwork of services available, which are obviously inadequate or they wouldn't be sleeping in shelters or cardboard hotels.
For $110 million, we want to know "which approach works best." Well, call me Einstein, but I'm going with Door No. 1...
Ottawa Citizen


Facing facts about poverty
March 7, 2011
Poverty is not a choice. In fact, a deeply-ingrained sense of hopelessness, of a continuing lack of choices, is both a result and a cause of the continuing cycle that traps about three million Canadians – about one of every nine of us. Being poor is miserable. It is demoralizing, unhealthy, stigmatizing and stressful. It is frustrating and it is discouraging. No one in poverty – or, crucially, the professionals who work to combat poverty – see being poor as a “holiday” from personal responsibility or from work. And yet a survey commissioned by the Salvation Army, as part of its new Dignity Project initiative, shows that half or nearly half of Canadians believe that if people really want to work, they can always find a job; that a family of four can “get by” on $10,000 to $30,000 a year; that people who live in poverty in Canada “still have it pretty good.” One out of every four Canadians blames poverty on laziness and low moral values.
Reducing poverty is not going to happen by trying to change the people who are poor. It is going to happen when we all fully understand the benefits not just to society but to our economy by removing roadblocks, shattering the stereotypes, allowing people to build on assistance without penalizing them immediately for it. There are success stories in Hamilton’s poorest neighbourhoods, where innovative programs are focusing not just on employment skills but on self-confidence, self-education, physical and mental health. What the Salvation Army initiative does is try to make Canadians recognize the realities of poverty; that clarity could lead to better understanding of what is needed to reduce it.
Hamilton Spectator

- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page:

5. Hunger Crisis : Report of the Hunger Inquiry - March 2011
(Recession Relief Coalition)

Hunger on the rise in Canada, report warns
March 3, 2011
By Isabel Teotonio
The number of malnourished and chronically hungry people in Canada is “growing at an alarming rate,” according to a report to be released Thursday. And people should be able to buy their own food rather than rely on charity, the report says.“Immediate changes are needed in provincial and federal income security programs in order to ensure that all people have the resources required to buy nutritious food,” according to the Recession Relief Coalition’s report. Titled Hunger Crisis, it follows a public inquiry the coalition organized in late November 2010. A panel of experts heard evidence from social service providers, researchers studying the issue and people who have experienced hunger.

Complete report:

Hunger Crisis:
Report of the Hunger Inquiry
(PDF - 1MB, 21 pages)
March 2011
The Recession Relief Coalition (RRC) held an all day Hunger Inquiry in downtown Toronto on November 23, 2010. The RRC now presents Hunger
Crisis: Report of the Hunger Inquiry (2011). This report contains shocking testimony about hunger in Ontario as well as recommendations to help resolve this preventable crisis.
Recession Relief Coalition
The Recession Relief Coalition is a Toronto-based group of organizations and individuals concerned about the impact of the recession on Canada’s most vulnerable and marginalized residents

- Go to the Food Banks and Hunger Links page:

6. Naufragés des villes - Radio-Canada

Available in French only (see English text below):

Naufragés des villes *
Série de dix émissions hebdomadaires débutant lundi le 24 janvier à 20h, heure de l'est à RDI.
Les dix émissions seront diffusées tous les lundis à 20h et rediffusées les samedis à 21h 30.
Peut-on vivre à Montréal avec 19,47 $ par jour?
Autrement dit, est-il possible de survivre avec une prestation d'aide sociale?
Cette question est à l'origine de la série documentaire Naufragés des villes qui suit pendant deux mois deux volontaires livrés à eux-mêmes au coeur de Montréal avec la somme de 19,47 $ par jour.
[ * Cliquez le lien ci-dessus pour plus de renseignements au sujet
de la série et pour visionner les épisodes en entier sur votre ordinateur. ]



Naufragés des villes (available in French only)
nofficial translation : Urban Castaways

Ten-part series (starting January 24, Monday nights on RDI) about life on welfare in Montreal.
All programs in the series will be broadcast on Mondays at 8pm Eastern Time on RDI and re-broadcast on Saturdays at 9:30pm
If you click on the program website link, you'll find a link to each episode after it's broadcast, so you can watch anytime on your computer.
If you understand French, I highly recommend the series, because there will be many comparisons throughout the ten programs between life on welfare in Montreal and elsewhere in Canada.
English abstract:
What exactly does it mean to be poor in Canada today?
We find out as two volunteers leave behind their status, résumé, network of friends and bank cards. Throughout the two-month experiment, they will have no financial resources except the $19 a day we provide them – the equivalent of welfare benefits for a person living alone. With handpicked experts and social workers watching and analyzing, their journey will be the main focus of a 10-episode series documenting their efforts to find housing, food, medical care, clothing, jobs . . . and deal with prejudice. Using hidden cameras and daily check-ins, we document their progress.
Radio-Canada (French home page)

- Go to the Québec Links (English) page:

- Rendez-vous à la page de liens de recherche sociale au Québec:

7. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Labour Force Survey, February 2011 - March 11
--- Violent victimization of Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces, 2009 - March 11
College enrolment, as of October 31, 2008 - March 10
--- College graduates, 2008/2009 - March 10
--- The financial knowledge of Canadians - March 8
--- Salary and salary scales of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities, 2009/2010
- March 7

What's new from
The Daily
[Statistics Canada]:

March 11, 2011
Labour Force Survey, February 2011
Employment edged up in February (+15,000), bringing total gains over the past three months to 115,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8%. Over the past 12 months, employment has risen by 1.9% (+322,000).
- includes links to three tables:
* Labour force characteristics by age and sex
* Employment by class of worker and industry (based on NAICS)
* Labour force characteristics by province

Related report:
Labour Force Information, February 13-19, 2011
1. Highlights - includes a chart showing Employment and unemployment rates, Canada, seasonally adjusted
2. Analysis — February 2011
3. Tables
4. Charts
5. Data quality, concepts and methodology
6. User information
7. Related products
8. PDF version (461K, 59 pages)

[ earlier reports in this series ]

Labour Force Information - main product page*
This publication provides the most current monthly labour market statistics. Each month, this publication contains a brief commentary highlighting recent developments in the Canadian labour market. It also includes a series of charts and tables on a variety of labour force characteristics, such as employment and unemployment for Canada, the provinces, metropolitan areas and economic regions.
* On the product main page, click "View" to see the latest issue
of this report online; click "Chronological index" for earlier issues.

Related subjects:
Employment and unemployment


March 11, 2011
Violent victimization of Aboriginal people in the provinces, 2009
According to the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization, Aboriginal people age 15 years and older reported 173,600 incidents involving sexual assault, robbery or physical assault committed by someone other than a spouse or common-law partner. This represents 12% of Aboriginal people in this age group who were living in the provinces. This proportion is more than double the 5% of non-Aboriginal people who reported that they had been a victim of one of these violent crimes.

Complete article:

Violent victimization of Aboriginal
people in the Canadian provinces, 2009
By Samuel Perreault
March 11, 2011
HTML version
PDF version
(1MB, 35 pages)
Selected content:
* Aboriginal victimization higher than non-Aboriginal victimization
* Non-spousal violence
* Spousal violence
* Reporting victimizations to police
* Impacts of violent victimization
* Perceptions of personal safety
* Summary
* Detailed data tables
* more...

Juristat - main product page*
This periodical is intended for those with an interest in Canada's justice system as well as those who plan, establish, administer and evaluate justice programs and projects. It provides analysis and detailed statistics on a variety of justice-related topics and issues. Five issues of Juristat are produced each year. Each issue contains several articles on variety of topics, including crime, homicide, the court system, and correctional services.
* On the product main page, click "View" to see the latest issue of this report online; click "Chronological index" for earlier issues

Related subjects:
* Aboriginal peoples
* Crime and justice


March 10, 2011
College enrolment, as of October 31, 2008

March 10, 2011
College graduates, 2008/2009

Related subjects:
* Education, training and learning
* Educational attainment
* Fields of study


March 8, 2011
Canadian Social Trends : March 2011 online edition

The March 2011 online issue of Canadian Social Trends, released today, contains one article.

The financial knowledge of Canadians [ HTML version ] [ PDF version - 127K ] uses data from the 2009 Canadian Financial Capability Survey to explore, for the first time in a national Canadian context, how financial knowledge is related to the socio-demographic characteristics and to other financial behaviours such as having a budget or having investments.
Canadian Social Trends - Product main page*
This publication discusses the social, economic, and demographic changes affecting the lives of Canadians
[ * Click "View" for the latest issue of this periodical; click "Chronological" index for earlier editions. ]


March 7, 2011
Salary and salary scales of full-time teaching
staff at Canadian universities, 2009/2010

Related subjects:
* Education, training and learning
* Education finance
* Teachers and educators
* Income, pensions, spending and wealth
* Household, family and personal income


The Daily Archives
- select a month and year from the drop-down menus and click on a date for that day's Daily


35,000 Census jobs across Canada (April-August 2011)
Looking for Enumerators and Crew Leader/Supervisors in your community!

1,200 jobs in the Census Data Operations Centre in Gatineau QC (April-September 2011)
NOTE : these 1,200 positions are open to Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec residents only.

2011 Census of Canada
The next census will take place in May 2011.


The Daily
[Statistics Canada]

- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs) page:

8. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

What's new from the
Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)


March 12, 2011

What's new online:
[This section archives documents that
have been featured on the CRRU homepage..]

Reality check: Women in Canada and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action -- Fifteen years on
9 Mar 11
- Report from the Canadian Labour Congress and FAFIA says there has been a systematic erosion of the human rights of women and girls in Canada. Once ranked 7th in the world for closing the gender gap, Canada is now ranked 73rd.

Coalition calls for investment in child care and women's equality in federal budget
9 Mar 11
- Media release from the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights calls on the federal government to take women into account in its upcoming federal budget.

Educated, employed and equal: The economic prosperity case for national child care
7 Mar 11
- Report from YWCA Canada says "Canada needs early learning and child care services, not a social policy gap that is decades behind reality".

A tale of two Canadas: Implementing rights in early childhood
7 Mar 11
- Report from the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada explores how Canada is doing at protecting the rights of young children and to what extent public policy in Canada recognizes the social and economic changes and challenges facing families today.

Presentations from "Early childhood policy, provisions and practice: Critical questions about care and education. A symposium"
2 Mar 11
- PowerPoints are now available from a recent symposium at Ryerson University. Presentations by Peter Moss, Martha Friendly and Kathleen Flanagan now online; more to follow.


child care in the news
[This section features interesting and noteworthy
news about ECEC and related issues in Canada and internationally.]

· On-campus flash mob rallies in support of a national child care system
10 Mar 11

· Activists, parents rally for Canadian National Child Care System
[CA-ON] 9 Mar 11

· Young women: They're angry and unafraid
[GB] 8 Mar 11

· Childcare 'patchwork' not enough: YWCA
[CA] 7 Mar 11

· Fate of all-day kindergarten in hands of Ontario voters
[CA-ON] 7 Mar 11

· Canada will suffer without national childcare plan: report
[CA] 7 Mar 11

· Saskatchewan worst province in Canada for child care availability
[CA-SK] 7 Mar 11

· Lack of child care costing Canada: report
[CA] 6 Mar 11

· Feminism's many successes don't mean the job is yet done
5 Mar 11

· Women's contributions in unpaid work unrecognized: study
4 Mar 11

· Global women's voices: Messages for UN Women
2 Mar 11

· Canadian women's rights in decline, report says
23 Feb 11



Subscribe to the CRRU email announcements list
Sign up to receive email notices of updates and new postings on the CRRU website which will inform you of policy developments in early childhood care and education, new research and resources for policy, newly released CRRU publications, and upcoming events of interest to the child care and broader community.

Links to child care
sites in Canada and elsewhere

CRRU Publications - briefing notes, factsheets, occasional papers and other publications
ISSUE files - theme pages, each filled with contextual information and links to further info

Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)
The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) is a policy and research oriented facility that focuses on early childhood education and child care (ECEC) and family policy in Canada and internationally.

- Go to the Non-Governmental Early Learning and Child Care Links page:

9. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
(Institute for Research on Poverty - University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Poverty Dispatch (U.S.)
- the content of this link changes several times a week
- scan of U.S. web-based news items dealing with topics such as poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, education, health, hunger, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.

Latest issues of Poverty Dispatch:

March 11:
Earned Income Tax Credit - Wisconsin, Kansas
State Budget and Medicaid - Ohio
Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program - Wisconsin
Community Development Block Grants

March 10:
Kids Count Report - Colorado
States and Medicaid Costs

March 9:
Jobless Benefits - Florida
Schools and Standardized Testing

March 8:
Schools and Poverty - Nebraska
Microfinance in India
Ohio Family Health Survey
Low-Performing Schools and Turnarounds - New York City

March 7:
State Budget and Medicaid Programs - Florida
Chronic Homelessness and Housing
State Budget Cuts and School Class Sizes


Past Poverty Dispatches
- links to dispatches back to June 2006

Search Poverty Dispatches


To subscribe to this email list, send an email to:


Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)
[ University of Wisconsin-Madison ]


- Go to the Links to American Government Social Research page:

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (A-J) page:

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (M-Z) page:

- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:

10. Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being - March 2011
(U. S. Government)

White House marks Women's History Month with 50-year progress report
Women's History Month began Tuesday, and the White House released the
'first comprehensive federal report on the status of women' since 1963
March 1, 2011
By Daniel B. Wood
Young women in America are more likely than men to have a college degree, and women’s earnings constitute a growing share of household income, but their wages still lag significantly behind those of men with comparable education, according to a report on the status of women released Tuesday by the White House. The White House released the report, which it called the “first comprehensive federal report on the status of women in almost 50 years,” on the first day of Women’s History Month.

NOTE : This article includes links to:
* Gallery: Real-life wonder women
* Gallery: Top 10 countries where women make less than men
* Gallery: Top 10 countries where women's pay comes closest to men's pay
* Surprise! Women started more firms than men.
* Big winners right now in the job market: older white women
* Homelessness besets more women. How to respond?
Christian Science Monitor


From the
White House:

The report:

Women in America:
Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being
(PDF - 2MB, 97 pages)
Prepared by
U. S. Department of Commerce
Economics and Statistics Administration
Executive Office of the President
Office of Management and Budget
March 2011
This report provides a statistical picture of women in America in five critical areas: demographic and family changes, education, employment, health, and crime and violence. By presenting a quantitative snapshot of the well-being of American women based on Federal data, the report greatly enhances our understanding both of how far American women have come and the areas where there is still work to be done.
[Excerpt from the Foreword]

Related links:

February 28, 2011
Presidential Proclamation--Women's History Month, 2011
During Women's History Month, we reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of women and honor their role in shaping the course of our Nation's history. Today, women have reached heights their mothers and grandmothers might only have imagined. Women now comprise nearly half of our workforce and the majority of students in our colleges and universities. They scale the skies as astronauts, expand our economy as entrepreneurs and business leaders, and serve our country at the highest levels of government and our Armed Forces. In honor of the pioneering women who came before us, and in recognition of those who will come after us, this month, we recommit to erasing the remaining inequities facing women in our day.

Women's History Month (U.S. Government website)

- Go to the Links to International Sites about Women's Social Issues page:

11. [ U.S. ] The State of Working America - February 14
(Economic Policy Institute)

Economic Policy Institute publishes State of Working America
Press Release
February 1, 2011
The Economic Policy Institute today published The State of Working America, a website that provides academics, policymakers, the media and the public with comprehensive data on the economic condition of working Americans. The State of Working America presents data in eight broad issue areas: jobs, wages, income, mobility, wealth, poverty, health and international comparisons. It also allows users to view data by the demographic factors of race and ethnicity, gender, age, education level, family type, immigration status and union membership. The website address is below.

Key State of Working America findings include:

* The Great Recession saw job loss twice as severe as the three recessions prior to it.
* This job loss, combined with growth in the working-age population, means that roughly 11 million jobs need to be created to return the unemployment rate to pre-recession levels.
* There has been a “lost decade” for typical American households, as median income has declined.
* The top 1% of Americans have benefited disproportionately from economic growth over most of the past 30 years.
* Poverty no longer falls when the economy grows—the two have become de-linked in the past three decades.

The State of Working America
February 14, 2011
The State of Working America, an ongoing analysis published since 1988 by the Economic Policy Institute, includes a wide variety of data on family incomes, wages, jobs, unemployment, wealth, and poverty that allow for a clear, unbiased understanding of the economy’s effect on the living standards of working Americans.
- covers the following subjects :
* Economy Track * Health * Income * International * Jobs * Mobility * Poverty * Wages * Wealth
...and the following demographics:
* Age * Education Level * Family Type * Gender * Immigration Status * Race & Ethnicity * Union Membership

Economic Policy Institute
The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Today, with global competition expanding, wage inequality rising, and the methods and nature of work changing in fundamental ways, it is as crucial as ever that people who work for a living have a voice in the economic discourse.

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (A-J) Links page:

12. [ U.S. ] Education is not the cure for high unemployment or for income inequality - January 12
(Economic Policy Institute)

Also from the
Economic Policy Institute:

Education is not the cure for
high unemployment or for income inequality
(PDF - 287K, 26 pages)
EPI Briefing Paper #286
By Lawrence Mishel
January 12, 2011
With signs pointing to persistent high unemployment and a recovery even weaker than those of the early 1990s and 2000s, it is becoming common to hear in the media and among some policy makers the claim that lingering unemployment is not cyclical but “structural.” In this story, the jobs problem is not a lack of demand for workers but rather a mismatch between workers’ skills and employers’ needs. Another version of the skills mismatch is also being told about the future: we face an impending skills shortage, particularly a shortfall of college graduates, after the economy returns to full employment.
Economic Policy Institute

Related link:

Degrees and Dollars
By Paul Krugman
March 6, 2011
It is a truth universally acknowledged that education is the key to economic success. Everyone knows that the jobs of the future will require ever higher levels of skill. That’s why, in an appearance Friday with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, President Obama declared that “If we want more good news on the jobs front then we’ve got to make more investments in education.” But what everyone knows is wrong. (...) The fact is that since 1990 or so the U.S. job market has been characterized not by a general rise in the demand for skill, but by “hollowing out”: both high-wage and low-wage employment have grown rapidly, but medium-wage jobs — the kinds of jobs we count on to support a strong middle class — have lagged behind. And the hole in the middle has been getting wider.
So if we want a society of broadly shared prosperity, education isn’t the answer — we’ll have to go about building that society directly. We need to restore the bargaining power that labor has lost over the last 30 years, so that ordinary workers as well as superstars have the power to bargain for good wages. We need to guarantee the essentials, above all health care, to every citizen. What we can’t do is get where we need to go just by giving workers college degrees, which may be no more than tickets to jobs that don’t exist or don’t pay middle-class wages.
New York Times

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (A-J) Links page:

- Go to the Education Links page:

13. Microfinance in Bangladesh and India : FAIL? - March 2010

Microfinance in Bangladesh and India : FAIL?

The crisis of microfinance
Once hailed as a solution to poverty, microfinance lenders are criticised for profiting from exploitative usury.

By Shashi Tharoor
11 March 2011
The recent ouster of the Nobel Prize-winning Bangladeshi economist Mohammed Yunus as Managing Director of the Grameen Bank, which blazed a trail for microfinance in developing countries, has thrown a spotlight on the crisis engulfing a business that was once seen as a harbinger of hope for millions.

[ See "Banking pioneer challenges sacking", March 3.]
Yunus's tussle with the government of Bangladesh, which had tried to retire him on grounds of age (he is 70) before firing him from his own board, is entangled in his country’s complicated politics.
But Bangladeshi President Hasina Wajed’s remark that Yunus had "spent years sucking the blood of the poor" echoes similar charges being made in neighboring India against companies and banks that sought to emulate Grameen.
Indian regulators are sorting out the tangle of issues that have plunged India’s microfinance industry into crisis. Ironically, none of these problems seems to have befallen Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, which survives largely on donor grants and sustainable repayments. Yunus’s ouster, it is suggested, has much more to do with his having once expressed political ambitions. But association with a suddenly tarnished industry cannot have helped

[ Writer Shashi Tharoor, a former Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and UN Under- Secretary General, is a member of India’s parliament. ]
Al Jazeera English


Microfinance struggles to restore its reputation
By Erika Kinetz
March 7, 2011
Long heralded as a way to lift the downtrodden out of poverty, microfinance is under a cloud. The stories of lives being changed by a $27 microloan and picture perfect scenes of smiling women with colorful handlooms, empowered by affordable credit, have been replaced by headlines about borrowers driven to suicide. At best, microfinance seems to be failing to achieve its most noble goal: poverty alleviation. At worst, some lenders are contributing to a cycle of indebtedness and abuse, just like the loan sharks they sought to replace.
The Boston Globe


India’s poor need help to help themselves
By Sarika Bansal
March 7, 2011
Until recently, microfinance has been the golden child of international development. Microfinance companies would lend small amounts of money to poor women who would, in the ideal scenario, use them to start small businesses. Their interest rates were typically lower than loan sharks’ but still high enough to make a profit. Around the world, development experts believed microfinance was an ideal way to alleviate poverty, a smart way to ‘do good’ while also ‘doing well’. How times have changed
The Guardian (U.K.)


The links to the Boston Globe and Guardian
articles above appeared in the Poverty Dispatch
from the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

- Go to the Asset-Based Social Policies Links page:

(Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

From the
Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

Latest issue of CRINMAIL
(children's rights newsletter):

10 March 2011, CRINMAIL issue 1216
In this issue:
* Special report: HRC: Day on the Rights of the Child
* Latest news and reports:
- Update on State violence in MENA: Libya, Yemen, Egypt
- Children's freedoms: Azerbaijan & Lebanon
- Children's rights in policing: Israel, HRC & Pakistan
- Challenging blasphemy laws: Pakistan
- Child marriage persists: Saudi Arabia, India & Kenya
- Working children's rights: Bolivia
- Highlighting "youthcides": Mexico
- Pushing for siblings' rights: United States
* Employment
* Weekly quiz!
Also includes:
* World news * Reports * Events * Laws * Issues
* Advocacy * Challenging breaches * Take action * Campaigns * Toolkits

NOTE: see
for the table of contents for, and links to, several months' worth of issues of CRINMAIL.


Links to Issues of CRINMAIL (from CRINMAIL)
- links to earlier weekly issues, many of which are special editions focusing on special themes, such as the 45th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the launch of the EURONET Website.

CRINMAIL(incl. subscription info)
[ Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) ]

- Go to the Children's Rights Links page:


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<>If you’ve ever looked up words in a dictionary, you’ve contributed to the noble cause of understanding English.
Up to the highest levels of our society, the intricacies of vocabulary occasionally escape our grasp.
Check out this list of most looked up words for an idea of what vocabulary words weren’t covered in English class.

1. anomaly – an irregularity; an abnormality
Example: If I get struck by lightning, I’ll be a statistical anomaly!

2. ethereal – something lacking physical substance; light and intangible
Example: This ambient music is so gentle, so ethereal!

3. loquacious – talkative
Example: For someone with such limited vocabulary, you’d think she’d be less loquacious!

4. empathy – an understanding of and identification with the feelings or experience of another
Example: I empathize — I’ve been there!

5. agnostic – the position that God’s existence cannot be proven or disproved; one who doesn’t confirm or deny God’s existence
Example: A: “Are you religious?” B. “No.” A: “You don’t believe in God?” B: “I didn’t say that.” A: “Oh, you’re agnostic!”

6. ambiguous – vague; allowing for many interpretations
Example: I’m sorry for the misunderstanding; my explanation was ambiguous.

7. fascist – a person who believes a dictator should be in control of a nation’s economic and social policies
Example: A: “You shouldn’t be trusted to take care of yourself.” B: “You fascist!”

8. sycophant – one who prostrates himself before and flatters another as a means to personal gain
Example: He thought I would go on a date with him if he told me how undeserving of my company he was — what a sycophant!

9. facetious – a remark or attitude characterized by insincerity and humorousness
Example: When he said that nobody likes a liar, I facetiously remarked that the guy who sets liars’ pants on fire probably likes them.

10. capricious – acting impulsively
Example: Here’s a hundred bucks, kid; go be capricious!



And, in closing...

What if Stephen Harper’s previous views were used against him?


The World's Billionaires


Massive earthquake hits Japan (photos)
Our thoughts and prayers  go out to our Japanese brothers and sisters who  perished in the tsunami
and to those who are still suffering...