Top 3 Issues Women Voters Care About

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With the presidential election on the horizon, everybody wants to know which issues are going to be important and which voting blocs are going to be major players. As they make up approximately 50% of the population, it’s safe to say that women are going to play a significant role in determining the outcome of the election. So what exactly is it that women voters care about? Here are the top issues.

1.    Reproductive Rights

Though abortion has always been a hot-button topic, it seems like even the less controversial aspects of reproductive rights have been coming under attack in this election cycle. In what’s been branded a “War on Women,” certain politicians (I’m looking at you, Republicans) have been launching a full-on assault on women’s reproductive rights. In recent months, we’ve seen women who discuss the necessity of easily accessible birth control pills labeled as sluts, funding for rape counseling programs slashed, and the notion that pregnancy should be defined as beginning two weeks before conception seriously considered. Regardless of where women voters fall on the political spectrum, the majority of them don’t want other people (particularly men) dictating their reproductive health. We’ll see how the election pans out, but it appears that attacking women’s reproductive rights was a bad strategic move on the part of the GOP.

2.    Health Care

You might not know it, but women are routinely denied health insurance at much higher rates than men.[1] Even when women can find coverage, the cost is often astronomical. This is true even when accounting for gender-specific variables like prenatal care, which means that women are being denied health insurance simply based on the fact that they are women. Because of this, it follows that women are more likely to have a tangible, vested interest in improving health care access. Luckily, the health care reforms spearheaded by President Obama in 2010 made gender discrimination in health insurance illegal; in the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “being a woman will no longer be a preexisting medical condition.” However, the law doesn’t take full effect until 2014, and many Republican politicians are fighting to get it overturned in the meantime. Since health care is almost as essential as food and shelter in terms of survival, it seems like a bad idea to attack a woman’s right to it.

3.    The Environment

This might not strike you as an explicitly female-oriented issue, and it’s obviously true that people of any gender can care about the environment. According to a recent study from Michigan State University, however, women are more likely than men to believe in the reality of climate change, which means that they’re more likely to support environmental reforms that aim to address this potentially destructive phenomenon. What leads women to feel more invested in the environment? One possibility is that, since women have traditionally held the caretaker role when it comes to children, they’re more concerned about the future for the generation of tomorrow. Another is that women tend to be more empathetic; when they hear about poisoned water, or the true diamond value of our jewelry (i.e. Blood Diamonds), or just general exploitation of people, resources, or the environment, they’re more likely to have an intense response. If politicians want to win over women, they need to take the environment into account.

 

 


[1] http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/health-insurance-and-gender-discrimination

About Author: Madeline Marshall is a writer living in Santa Cruz, CA who cares about rights for women.

When Your Child is a Bully-Four Ways You can Help

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You receive a phone call from your child’s school. The counselor on the other end requests an urgent meeting where you and your spouse learn your child has been bullying another student. Both of you are shocked and devastated. Are there signs you have missed; what can you do? Fortunately the school counselor chooses wise words encouraging you both to remain calm and focus on some suggestions.

1. Talking With Your Child

It is important to find out why your child finds it necessary to bully. To do that, explore how he or she is feeling about himself or herself. Has someone bullied them? Ask if any of their friends are bullying. In general, invite discussion about bullying.

2. Model Acceptable Behavior

Children need to be keenly aware that everyone has feelings and those feelings matter. In your home teach empathy, compassion, and respect. Children learn by example so make every effort to model gentleness and kindness. For example, one of the most difficult life lessons for kids to learn is sharing. Sharing itself is hard, but so are all the emotions involved both prior to, during, and afterwards. What a great opportunity to affirm a person’s feelings. When a teen learns disappointing news or is involved in a car accident, he may experience anger, frustration, fear, or lack of self-worth. After you model empathetic responses, later go back and ask your student how he felt when you let him know your genuine concern. Also, choose entertainment that avoids sarcastic, put-down behavior or language. You can even discuss which programs your children enjoy and why.

3. Role Playing

Help your child understand what it’s like to be the other person in a situation where bullying occurs. Role playing might be a good idea in this instance. Both parents and children can play parts, the bystander, the person doing the bullying, and the bullied. Make sure to talk over the various feelings incurred at all levels and what suggestions the child has for dealing with them, why they would or would not work.

4. Clear Expectations and Consequences

Communicate to your child that under no circumstances will you tolerate bullying; it is never acceptable. Be specific about the consequences. Find consequences that will be meaningful to the child so he/she will be certain you are quite serious. And by all means take immediate action if you learn he/she is part of a bullying incident.
While you are expecting great things of your bullying kid, remember your own responsibilities. When you notice your child handling conflict well, shows compassion for others, or finds any number of positive ways in dealing with feelings, deliver appropriate, encouraging praise and recognition. As you anticipate constructive behavior changes, do remember times will come when a reaction is not acceptable; when this occurs, focus on the behavior, not the person. Keep your love and support in the forefront. In time your child will respond in kind; he or she will then grow to love themselves once again.

Auhtor: Ashley Cole is a stay at home mother, amateur gardener, and avid writer when she gets the chance. She always works with a grammar checker to ensure her work is professional, free of any embarrassing mistakes, and abides by all the necessary grammar rules.

How To Prevent Starvation In Africa By Increasing Food Production

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Starvation in Africa is a major problem that reoccurs on a consistent basis. One only need look at the news to see that millions are going without sufficient food due to drought, skyrocketing food prices and a general lack of alternative methods of feeding themselves. These issues have been going on for hundreds of years, and with steadily increasing populations, are not likely to stop without some serious changes to the way agriculture is approached in these countries. Several methods are seen as the most effective in dealing with the problem of insufficient food production, implemented either separately or, ideally, together.

Growing Difficulties

One of the main problems with low crop yields in African countries is the unavailability of quality fertilizers and seeds.  Better varieties of these essential items have been formulated to resist environmental elements such as drought and disease, as well as to produce higher-yield crops.  Fertilizers are especially important, in that the best chemical additives will allow for multiple harvests without the fallow time normally required to rejuvenate the land.

Removing The Obstacles

Another step in helping to increase food production is to increase the power of the marketplace.  By allowing farmers better access at cheaper prices, they will be able to get necessary materials.  The removal of trade barriers such as tariffs will help the process by allowing cheaper imports to African countries.  Those countries that are not undergoing difficulties should be encouraged to trade their surplus with those who have fallen on hard times.  This creates a system of interconnectedness that helps to maintain all of Africa through cooperation and trade.

The More You Know

Education is a fundamental part of this process.  The more that people understand about the measures they can undertake on their own to increase food production and offset harmful factors, the more capable they will be of dealing with problems on their own.  This information has the benefit of being handed down from one generation to the next, creating an economically viable solution.

Governments must also become more involved in the successful production of their citizens.  This can be achieved by both encouraging the private sector to become involved in investment and providing subsidies for farmers to cover their costs.  An increase in investment will produce new technologies to increase yields.  The private sector, however, can not be the only catalyst to increasing food production.  In the past it has been shown that using the free market fails in most cases unless governments offer incentives or otherwise push private investors to become involved.

Helping Hands

Unfortunately, things like fertilizer and better seeds are still very expensive and therefore out of reach to the average impoverished farmer.  The other measures are also investments of time and money that many countries are not willing to commit to.  Past examples, however, have shown that when small farmers are given help in these ways, crop yields increase dramatically.  People will need to be willing to invest and help their fellow man in order for food production to increase to a level where starvation no longer occurs on the massive scale that it currently does, and thus put an end to this horrible problem among the African nations.

This is a guest post from Vellag Ltd – import export experts who specialise in agricultural procurement in Africa. For more information on African farming or agricultural procurement, please visit the Vellag website.

Do You Need Website Blocking Software On Your Kids’ Computer?

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There is no arguing against the fact that the Internet is a great tool for kids to use for learning and staying in touch with friends and family. With that being said, there are inherent dangers to Internet use that children should be protected from. The way to get this protection is by using website blocking software. Below are some of the most common problems that your kids may run into while online.

The dangers go beyond kids seeing adult websites

There are sexual predators online who attempt to manipulate kids by pretending to be someone else. This is usually done through social networking websites or instant messaging. They talk to kids, build up a certain level of trust and then usually try to arrange an in-person meeting. Using a website blocking software like Action Alert allows you as a parent to monitor your child’s activity so you can be aware of each person they are talking to. If you see that they are interacting with someone suspicious you can quickly put a stop to it. If this happens you can use it as a learning opportunity to teach your kids how they can be more safe online.
Many children today are sharing too much information through social networking websites. Many of them do not realize that their information is completely public and virtually anyone can access it. It is important to prevent this from taking place as sharing too much information could not only put your children in danger but could damage their reputation.

The advantages of the Internet are balanced by the dangers.

The Internet is full of useful content, but a lot of it is damaging as well. Adult websites are easier to access today than ever before and your kids may even come across them without trying to. Adult websites can be automatically blocked by the software like Action Alert so your children cannot view them.
Gaming is a big part of why kids use the Internet. This can be a great thing when done in moderation. Many kids today are getting addicted to online gaming. This addiction typically begins to negatively affect other parts of their lives after a while. For instance, many children begin doing poorly in school when they are playing too many games online. They do not have time for studying and homework because all of that time is taken up with playing games. With the right online monitoring software you can see just how much time you kids are spending playing online games and set limits for future use.
These are just a few of the hidden dangers of Internet use for kids. It is important for you to have a very clear picture of what your kids do online. Website blocking software like Action Alert can help you to do this effectively.

Brian Lawson Co-created the award winning, 100% Free Parental control software – Action Alert.  This easy to use software gives parents the tools they need to create a safer online experience for their kids.  Parental Control software is just one of the steps parents should take to keep the family computer safe.

Green Business is Big Business in Europe

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A recent report titled, ‘SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets’ offered some interesting insight into the future of green businesses and the green market in Europe. In general, the report revealed that more and more business are involved in some sort of green activity or are actively manufacturing or selling green products or services. The report also highlighted areas where business can improve on their green activities and how governments can assist businesses in joining the green revolution.

Green Workers in Small and Medium Sized Businesses

According to the green business report, over a third of all European SMEs have at least one full or part time worker who has a green role. Also, green jobs were more likely to be created in small and medium sized businesses compared to larger organisations. This year, one in every eight firms had an employer in a green role. This means that 13% of all small and medium sized business jobs where held by green workers. On the other hand only one in every thirty three large business had a green employee, accounting to a mere 3% of large business jobs.

For those considering a career in green business, the report estimates that green jobs in small and medium sized businesses is expected to rise by an incredible 35% over the next two years. However, there are some obstacles that are currently preventing businesses from going green. For starters, the green business is tied up in highly bureaucratic procedures. In particular international administration processes and logicalities are complex.

The Green Market in Europe and the Globe

Compared to elsewhere in the world including the United States, Europe has far more business going green or selling green products and services. However, according to an analysis of the report very few green businesses in Europe are currently extending their reach to overseas markets. A massive 87% of all small and medium sized business operate in their national economies only. Considering that overall, the EU makes up one third of the world market for green industries, there is massive opportunity for green businesses to grow. This growth can only result in more competition between business, an increase in green business ideas, the up skilling of employees and more jobs.

Small businesses were also asked what would help them go green in the future. Common answers were technical advice, the simplification of administrative tasks and accessible guidelines on small business green practices. Finally the best initiative for small businesses going green was the opportunity to receive government grants. Overall, the report showed that green business is big business in Europe, and that certain structures need be put in place to fully benefit from the green economy.

Penny Munroe is an avid writer in business related news and topis. Articles range from how to make serviced offices more energy efficient to sourcing the best serviced offices Manchester has on offer.

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