Girls Are 'Out of Control'. [England] Teenage girls are now more likely than boys to
drink, smoke, steal and take drugs, a survey has shown. In a disturbing confirmation of
the spread of the 'ladette' culture, it found violence, aggression and self-destructive
behaviour has spread alarmingly among girls over the past 20 years. While boys appear less
likely to be drawn towards crime or drugs than they were, psychological and social
problems are stacking up among teenage girls, who are now expected to compete on equal
terms with boys for educational opportunity and jobs. The study of 14 and 15-year-olds was
conducted by questionnaire, in schools under exam conditions, and the results compared
with a similar one from 1985. Professor Colin Pritchard, who led the research, said:
'Girls now significantly smoke and binge-drink more than boys. They truant, steal and
fight at similar rates, and start under-age sex earlier than boys.'
First Woman Foreign Secretary. [England]
Margaret Beckett, who once briefly led the
Labour Party -- the first woman to do so -- has become Britain's first woman foreign
secretary following a major Cabinet reshuffle. The far-reaching ministerial changes, which
also saw the appointment of Geoff Hoon as secretary of state for Europe, were announced
Friday after Labour suffered heavy losses in local council elections
in England. Beckett,
who replaces Jack Straw who is now leader of the Commons, is a gritty left-winger who
eased herself into the center ground under Tony Blair's leadership. The 63-year-old is one
of the great survivors of the Blair era. After Labour won the 1997 election, she became
trade and industry secretary and then, as leader of the Commons, her humor and toughness
earned her respect in all parts of the House.
Women 'Drive Online Music
Market'. [England] More than three quarters of women aged 16-45 in the UK now own an
MP3 player or mobile phone that plays MP3s, research by media group Emap found. The report
said women spend longer listening to music than men, discover more music and listen to
more podcasts. Sophie Watson Smyth of music magazine Q said the internet gave women the
freedom to widen their musical tastes. The digital music market is booming, with download
sales up more than 150% in the first three months of the year, compared with the same
period in 2005. Some 80% of women spend now more time listening to music than they did
before they got their MP3 player - compared with 75% of men, according to Emap. Eight out
of 10 also say they have rediscovered lots of old artists and albums, compared with 72% of
men. And 72% of women say they spend more time on the internet looking for new music, 7%
higher than the figure for men. Emap said the popularity of downloading music was behind a
boom in the number of women reading music magazines.
Men Waste More Time at Work.
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time, said Bertrand Russell. Many men, it seems,
think along the same lines as the philosopher. According to a study published today, they
waste more time than women at work - an average of two hours and 10 minutes each day.
Telewest's nationwide survey found that of the 1468 British office workers questioned
about what they were really doing when they were supposed to be working, 39% of men
admitted they spent time e-mailing friends (compared with 36% of women); 19% of men
followed sport online at work (4% of women did the same); 29% admitted they arranged their
social life in the office (compared with 21% of women); and 21% indulged in online
shopping during office hours (14% women did the same). The study also found that of the
two hours 10 minutes wasted each day at work, one hour 38 minutes of that was due to
communication technologies not being used properly. Waste factors include over-reliance on
voicemail when returning or making phone calls, having to wait for people to call back,
plus waiting for e-mails to be answered.
Female Sails West Around World. [England] Dee Caffari, 33, a former British school
teacher, has circumnavigated the globe against prevailing winds and currents in 178 days.
She began the 29,000-mile voyage in November and crossed the finish line
off Cornwall, England,
on Thursday, the BBC said. Her mother presented her with a medal when she arrived in
Village, Southampton. "There were
a few moments during the voyage when I really
didn't think this day would come, so this is a very special feeling," Caffari said at
a press conference in South Hampton, the BBC reported. "The journey was one of
extremes and while there were times when it got so tough I didn't think I could carry
on," Caffari said, "I was also privileged to experience some magic moments with
the ocean all to myself," she added.
|Fire Career Drive Targets Women.
[England] The national advertising drive urges women not to be put off by the macho
stereotype of the fire service. New Fire Services Minister Angela Smith launched the
initiative at the London Fire Brigade training ground. She said women were
under-represented in front-line roles in the service mainly because many of them believed
it was a career just for men.
in Science and Technology: the Business Perspective. [EU] Companies benefit from
making better use of their women researchers. This was the key conclusion of a
report on Women in Science and Technology (WiST), presented yesterday at a conference in
Vienna, organised by the Austrian EU Presidency and the European Commission. The report is
based on 12 months of work with multi-national companies. Janez Potocnik, European Science
and Research Commissioner said: If Europe is to become a world-class destination for
science, then we need to make better use of our female scientists. Industry needs them,
our education institutions need them, and our policy choices need them. If we dont
create a fairer system, where all can participate equally, we lock out a huge pool of
talent and potential that we just cant afford to lose. The objective of the
conference, and the WiST report, wass to examine what can be done to attract more women
researchers into industry. In 2003 the European Commission published The Wake-Up Call for
European Industry. In order to realize Europes ambitions in achieving a competitive
knowledge-based society, the number of researchers must be increased. Business is a
crucial partner for mobilising talent and women are obviously the source of untapped
potential. Increasing the participation of women is fundamental to achieving the European
Women Work Longer
Women work longer hours than their male counterparts, often believing they have to do more
to justify their role in the workplace, according to a new report today. A survey of 3200
employees found that women work an average of 46 hours a week, almost two more than men.
The longest hours are put in by workers in London, with women toiling
for up to 64 a week,
three more than men, the study by law firm Peninsula showed. Clare Gunnell,
said: "Some women believe they have to work that little bit harder to justify their
role. But people who enjoy their job are bound to work longer hours than people who are
stressed or not happy."
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spain's self-described "feminist" prime
minister, has begun his most ambitious effort yet to guarantee equality for women in
business and politics, demanding that women make up at least 40 percent of the candidates
from any political party and 40 percent of the members on corporate boards. The
initiative, which is expected to go before Parliament in June, is a signature proposal of
Zapatero's campaign to make Spain a world leader in the expansion of civil liberties and
the promotion of gender equality. His government says that the initiative is necessary to
combat the stubborn vestiges of the patriarchal society over which General Francisco
Franco presided until his death 30 years ago. "Society cannot prosper if you ignore
the talent of half the population," said Soledad Murillo, secretary general for
gender policies at the Institute of the Woman, an agency within the Labor Ministry.
"Countries that commit themselves to gender equality are the most competitive, and
their citizens are the most motivated," she added during an interview by telephone.
The bill would prohibit either sex from making up more than 60 percent of the candidates
from any political party wishing to participate in national or local elections. It would
also demand, but not require, that companies seeking government contracts appoint women to
40 percent of the positions on their boards of directors over the next four years. Women
already occupy 36 percent of the seats in the lower house of the Spanish Parliament, so
the impact of the bill on national politics may be limited. But some parties at the
regional and local levels of government are highly uneven in terms of gender, according to
government officials. The bill's biggest impact would most likely be in corporate board
rooms, where in 2005 women made up only 3 percent of the members at the companies included
in the Ibex 35, Spain's
benchmark stock index, according to the Labor Ministry.