Equal Time with Martha Burk

Well we did it.  Made it through another year. Women have had some good news, and some bad news. And what with wars, floods, domestic violence, police shootings and all the rest, we’ve probably missed a few things. So let’s review some items that didn’t make the front pages in 2014.

Direct download: EqualTime_12272014.mp3
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This time of year the world celebrates peace – or claims to.   Radical Islamist Taliban insurgents have intensified their attacks on the Afghan capital with brazen bombings and afternoon raids. They’ve gone after Kabul’s police chief and an outspoken women’s rights activist.  That may be because Afghan women are actively agitating for a place at the peace table.  According to the international aid group Oxfam, women are being left out of government efforts to start peace talks with the Taliban.

Direct download: EqualTime_12202014_No_Peace_for_Afghan_Women.mp3
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We celebrate a lot during the holiday season – family, faith, giving.  But since 2012 the season is not all about celebrating. It’s also about remembering one of the darkest days in decades, December 14, 2012  – when 20 first graders and 6 educators at Sandy Hook elementary school were gunned down by an ex-student wielding a shotgun.

Direct download: EqualTime_12132014_Celebrating.mp3
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The last of the turkey’s gone to hash, and Black Friday is behind us.  We’re now into a  full-on month of shop till you drop.  Consumers are snapping up mountains of plastic soon-to-be-junk from toy stores and big boxes alike. Is it stuff we need?  Will we love it in January? And what's the message we're sending our kids? There's a better way, and here it is.

Direct download: EqualTime_12062014_Rules_for_Getting_Rich.mp3
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A replay of “What Price the Princess Cult? Toys, our kids, and harmful messages” from December 2012.  Listen to it again here!

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A replay of  "No Turkey, Just Thanksgiving Trimmings" from November 2013.  Listen to it again here!

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After a drubbing in the elections President says he wants to work with the new Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.  Let’s they don't shake hands on the Trans Pacific Partnership, which McConnell has named as a priority.  What is it?  A giant  trade agreement between the US and twelve  Pacific Rim nations now being negotiated in secret -- and it's a disaster for U.S. workers.  

Direct download: EqualTime_11152014_Say_No_to_This_Partnership.mp3
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When it comes to how we treat our veterans, we do pretty well in some areas, but fall down in others. Homelessness is one of the worst.  It’s way too high for both male and female vets – and this is one area where women are catching up to men.

Direct download: EqualTime_11082014_Our_Female_Vets.mp3
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Women are the majority of the population, of registered voters, and of those who actually show up at the polls, meaning they can control any election.  The gender gap is alive and well -- women usually go for Dems and men stick with the good ol' boys in the Republican party.  But if candidates listen, getting the female vote is just not that complicated.

Direct download: EqualTime_11012014_Its_an_Election_Year.mp3
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Ebola panic is sweeping the nation, and politicians, always eager to take advantage of voters’ fears, are jumping on the bandwagon hoping it will pay off at the ballot box. Most female voters aren't buying the baloney -- Gallup polls show equal pay is the number one issue.

Direct download: EqualTime_10252014_Ebola_or_Equal_Pay.mp3
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It’s been a rough couple of years for reproductive rights – not only with the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision granting corporate control of contraception, but in Congress and statehouses around the country.  Females are the majority of voters, and a super-majority when they’re joined by men who support them. Women can control any election, and we’d better make it happen.

Direct download: EqualTime_10182014_Vote_Your_Rights.mp3
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We’re in the countdown to the mid-term elections, so let’s talk about what’s at stake for the majority of voters – women.  Unfortunately women also make up another majority -- those working for our pathetic $7.25 an hour minimum wage.

Direct download: EqualTime_10112014_Whats_at_Stake_II.mp3
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First of five broadcasts on what's at stake for women in the upcoming elections.  Today's topic: Some candidates are promising to repeal Obamacare if elected.  What does it mean for women if the system goes away?

Direct download: EqualTime_10042014_Elections_and_Women.mp3
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A replay from May 2012

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The Census Bureau's latest report says poverty is down.  Sounds like good news -- just not for women. The poverty rate for them is the highest rate in 20 years.  But we can't raise the minimum wage (majority female workers).  We have to pay for those unending wars in the Middle East.

Direct download: EqualTime_09202014_Povertys_Down.mp3
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The Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland, votes September 18 on whether to admit women. If the measure passes, the club will be firmly planted in the 20th century.  They're following in the sexist footsteps of Augusta National, where it took 10 years of activism and nearly $80 million in legal settlements to break the Green Dinosaurs. Women knew all along it wasn’t about golf.

Direct download: EqualTime_09132014_No_Dogs_or_Women_Allowed.mp3
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College students are hitting the road back to school this month.  There’s no doubt it can be a wonderful experience. But for some, college will be a nightmare.  Specifically the nightmare of sexual assault for one in five female coeds.  Congress is proposing new ways to curb the mayhem, but it's not enough.  Here's a controversial but effective remedy.

Direct download: EqualTime_09062014_College_Can_Be_Dangerous.mp3
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A replay from August 2013

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A replay from August 2013

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A replay from August 2012 about Women’s Equality Day

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August 14 marks the day in 1945 when President Truman announced Japan’s surrender in World War II. The war was over, but now Japan had to be rebuilt, including changes to the constitution.  There was one little-remarked provision that was unheard of in Japan, and to this day goes beyond even the U.S. Constitution. Women were given equal rights with men. How did that happen?  A woman on the drafting committee of course.

Direct download: EqualTime_08092014.mp3
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More than a month after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision allowing corporations to refuse birth control coverage for female employees, the brouhaha has not died down. Anger is building -- and at precisely the time the Democrats are counting on single females to push them to victory in November.

Direct download: EqualTime_08022014.mp3
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When the U.S. space program was launched, women were tested for astronaut duty -- and passed.  But male astronauts candidates and NASA big-wigs objected, and the women's program was shut down.  So we literally put a man on the moon.  That giant step should have been for womankind too.

Direct download: EqualTime_07262014.mp3
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A replay from May 2013

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This is the time of year when "good guy" awards are given out like candy to corporations supposedly good for women and minorities.  Working Mother magazine just listed "Best Companies for Multicultural Women."  But behind the scenes these companies aren't so great for women.

Direct download: EqualTime_07122014.mp3
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A replay from July 2013

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On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.

Meant to end race discrimination in employment, a ban on sex

discrimination was tacked on at the last minute.  Laughter broke out on

the floor of Congress.  Many thought adding sex was a joke.

Direct download: EqualTime_06282014.mp3
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A replay from June 9, 2012 with tennis star Billie Jean King on the anniversary of Title IX (June), the law that opened sports to women in 1972.

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A replay from June 9, 2012 with Joe Kelly, founder of Dads and Daughters

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There’s a new twist on forced arbitration that goes far beyond the workplace.  It literally affects everybody – because it’s aimed at people who buy food.  General Mills, maker of Cheerios and Chex, Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has added language to its website telling consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they interact with it in any way.  Never mind if the cake mix contains ground glass or there’s a few mouse droppings in the cracker box.  According to corporate reasoning, you signed away your rights merely by buying the product.  Other companies are sure to follow.

Direct download: EqualTime_05312014_Watch_What_You_Eat.mp3
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A replay from May 25, 2013

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The GOP has picked Obamacare as the so-called “hottest” election year issue.  They say it's a failure.  Trouble is, they have to tell lies to back up their claim. Prices are down, enrollments are up, and people think it's generally a good idea.  Come election day, we may see some liars turned out of office.

Direct download: EqualTime_05172014_The_Big_Lie_About_Obamacare.mp3
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A replay from from May 11, 2013

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Michael Bloomberg spent $12 million last year trying to get members of the Senate to vote for background checks, but his return on investment was lousy.  So this year Mr. Bloomberg has as a new strategy.  Instead of trying to change lawmaker’s minds, he’s going to try and change their faces.  Borrowing a page from the NRA playbook, his new group, Everytown For Gun Safey, will campaign against lawmakers who don’t support their agenda.

Direct download: EqualTime_05032014.mp3
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The Senate has passed a bill to restore benefit payments to the long-term unemployed,but Speaker John Boehner says he won’t bring it up in the House until the cost is paid for, meaning spending cuts somewhere else.  Fair enough.  Here are a few suggestions for cutting welfare to save taxpayer money.

Direct download: EqualTime_04262014.mp3
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Workers– women and men alike -- are increasingly forced to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of getting hired.  That means if they learn about pay discrimination or they are sexually harassed on the job, they can’t go to court – they’re forced to go to arbitration instead.  And most of the time the arbitrator is chosen by -- you guessed it --the company of course.

Direct download: EqualTime_04192014.mp3
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Way back in the '70s there were country songs bemoaning taxes. Things have changed a lot since then -- for the worst.  In those days the rich paid their fair share.  Now ordinary workers pay far more than those who don't go to work at all -- fat cats living off dividends and capital gains.  And many major corporations pay zero taxes too.  To paraphrase another '70s ditty -- "they got the gold mine, we got the shaft."

Direct download: EqualTime_04122014.mp3
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A unique kind of bracket was created this year by the American Association of University Women. They ranked schools on how big the head coaching pay gaps were between men's and women's teams.  Coaches of women's teams are getting shortchanged -- by a lot -- at every school in the tournament.  UConn's women’s basketball squad has a better record than the men's team, but women’s head coaches get only 49% the dollars showered on their male counterparts.   Florida pays women’s team coaches only 21% of what the men’s coaches get, Kentucky 22%, and Wisconsin 26%.

Direct download: EqualTime_04052014.mp3
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According to a couple of case coming up before the Supreme Court, the United States, which was founded on the principle of religious freedom, has now become a bastion of religious persecution.  The oppressed group?  American business.  Hobby Lobby and others are claiming they’re being persecuted for their faith.  Didn’t know a business could be a member of a church?  I didn’t either. I Never saw one being baptized, celebrating a bar mitzvah or making a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Direct download: EqualTime_03222014.mp3
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There’s some new news for women on the job front -- and as usual, it’s good and it’s bad.  The good? Unlike men, women have actually regained more jobs than they lost in the recession, and their unemployment rate is under 6.4 percent.  The bad news is they’re lousy jobs.

Direct download: EqualTime_03152014.mp3
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This year on International Women’s Day we honor two female members of the Resistance during World War II, who were imprisoned in the Ravensbrück women's concentration camp. Germaine Tillion Geneviève de Gaulle and will be interred in the Pantheon. They will join 72 men and only two other females -- Marie Curie, and the wife of a French politician who was buried with her husband. The motto above the door states: "To great men, a grateful country."  At long last, it may now also become a monument to great women.

Direct download: EqualTime_03082014.mp3
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If you look only at the categories for acting, women come in for an equal share of the Oscars.  But peeking behind the velvet curtains, a different picture emerges.  Women are still a tiny minority in the movie business overall -- so much so the lack of opportunity has been dubbed the "celluloid ceiling." An interview with Women and Hollywood founder Melissa Silverstein.

Direct download: EqualTime_03012014_The_Academys_Celluloid_Ceiling.mp3
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Football star Michael Sam made a bit of Black history when he came out as gay this month.  To do that ahead of the NFL draft took a lot of courage.  Sam will no doubt be remembered as a groundbreaker, but he couldn’t have done it without groundbreakers before him – like Coretta Scott King.  Remembered for civil rights marches in the ‘60s alongside her husband, most don’t realize she was an early advocate for gay rights as well.  Includes audio from one of her speeches.

Direct download: EqualTime_02222014.mp3
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In the all the years we've celebrated President's Day, we've never honored a female president, because we've never had one.  It's not that women haven't tried, starting with Victoria Woodhull in 1870.  Eleven more women have run since then.  Could it be time for a female in the White House? 2016 might be our lucky number.

Direct download: EqualTime_02152014_Presidents_Day.mp3
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For the first time in history, women outnumbered men on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, and even bested the men in gold medals.  This year in Sochi the gender ratio slipped a little. With 105 women and 125 men, women make up 45% of the team, even though ski jumping is open to females for the first time.

But if you look behind the numbers for women athletes, you see that the Olympics are still very much an old boys club when it comes to the ruling bodies that control the games, and that may be why sexism is still rampant.  

Direct download: EqualTime_02082014_The_Men_Behind_the_Olympic_Curtain.mp3
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President Obama had some inspiring words for women in this year's State of the Union Speech.  But we've heard good words before. Can he turn rhetoric into reality?

Direct download: EqualTime_02012014.mp3
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According to the latest statistics available, one teen or child is killed with a gun every 3 hours 15 minutes, many by their peers.  It's time for some prison time.

Direct download: EqualTime_01252014.mp3
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Roe v. Wade has been under constant attack since the Supreme Court declared abortion legal in 1973.  Right now it looks like opposition forces are winning.  More restrictions have been put in place since 2011 than during the entire previous decade.

Direct download: EqualTime_01182014.mp3
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Love it or hate it, we're now in an election year.  This is good news for women, because they are the majority of voters, and candidates know it. If they listen, getting the female vote is just not that complicated.

Direct download: EqualTime_01112014.mp3
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In January 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the War on Poverty. Much has changed, but much has stayed the same.  Did we win or lose the War on Poverty announced in Lyndon Johnson's State of the Union address in 1964?  Poverty is down, but not by much, and we seem to be getting stingier, not more generous with the poor among us.  So was Johnson's domestic war worth it?  (Contains audio of Johnson's speech as part of the  2 1/2 minute commentary.)

Direct download: EqualTime_01042014.mp3
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The recent budget deal had plenty for war contractors, but jobless Americans were left in the cold. For them, it's going to be a very Unhappy New Year.  Christmas is over, but the tree won’t be the only thing kicked to the curb with the new year.  As of December 28, long-term unemployed Americans will lose some or all of their already paltry benefits, courtesy of Scrooges on Capitol Hill.

Direct download: EqualTime_12282013.mp3
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