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June 29

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.


United Nations Statistics


QUOTES by Marge Piercy.

Some disturbing statistics from the United Nations (with one bright note):

      Women now constitute 40 percent of HIV-infected adults. By the year 2000, more than 14 million women may become infected with the virus. Each year at least half a million women die from complications due to pregnancy and another 100,000 due to unsafe abortions.
      Of the world's 1 billion illiterate adults, two-thirds are women; among women over 45 years of age, illiteracy rates in developing countries are usually 50 percent and exceed 70 per cent in Africa and Asia; approximately 500 million children start primary school, but more than 100 million children, two-thirds of them girls, drop out before completing four years of primary school.
      Women are increasingly entering colleges and universities. In 1990 the average ratio of women to each 100 men in tertiary education were in Africa (32), Asia and the Pacific (84), Western Europe and Other (94), Eastern Europe (104), and Latin America and the Caribbean (106).
      The total number of rural women living in poverty was estimated in 1988 to be 564 million. This is an increase of 47 percent above the numbers in 1965-1970.
      One-third of families worldwide are headed by women. The highest proportion of female-headed households in developing regions is recorded for Africa, followed by the least developed countries as a group.
      In the US almost half of all poor families are supported by women with no spouse present, and their average income is 23 per cent below the official poverty line.

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B. 06-29-1835, Celia Laighton Thaxter - U.S. poet. CLT enjoyed success in Boston literary circles. Her poems showed genuine emotions and vivid descriptions about the sea islands she so dearly loved. However, her husband disliked the sea, so as she said in her poems, she lived landlocked.

B. 06-29-1858, Julia Clifford Lathrop - U.S.social worker and reformer. JL was the first woman to head a federal bureau that needed U.S Senate confirmation. President William Howard Taft appointed her head of Children's Bureau of Department of Commerce and Labor. JL was another of the fabulous group of women who gathered at Jane Addams' Hull House to change the world. JL campaigned for humane treatment of the poor and the insane. At that time the insane were treated with less regard than people treated their livestock. With the Children's bureau she established a uniform birth recording system, studied infant mortality, campaigned for federal funds for maternity and infant care, etc., etc. A major player in the "feminization" or humanization of government.

B. 06-29-1867, Emma Azalia Smith Hackley - U.S. singer and choral director active in the musical life of Denver, then Philadelphia. She kept talented black musicians in the public eye as well as keeping alive traditional Negro folk music. She raised funds to send promising young Black musicians aboard to study.

B. 06-29(28?)-1871(4?), Luisa Tetrazzini, almost fabled Italian coloratura with stunning technique. A chef admirer named the dish Chicken Tetrazzini after her.

B. 06-29-1889, Elizabeth Steward Magee, director of the National Women's Consumer's League (1943). The highly influential Consumer's League was formed in New York City in 1896 with the mission to see that consumers realize and assume their responsibility for knowing the conditions of employment in the manufacture of their consumer goods. To the Consumer's leaguer, it was their duty to purchase those things produced under satisfactory labor conditions. (What would they think about us buying our athletic shoes manufactured under terrible conditions in third world countries?)

B. 06-29-1893, Helen Elna Hokinson - ironic cartoonist of the New Yorker magazine. Her biting comments on life usually showcased the naive, upper class matrons who were of rounded proportions wearing large hats. The women didn't quite understand life's complexities as they lived in the shadow of their husband's checkbooks and domination.

B. 06-29-1897, Frances Farmer Wilder - industrial relations and management expert who revamp CBS daytime radio.

B. 06-29-1908, Virginia Irwin, feature writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch received accreditation as a war correspondent and covered WWII in France, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, and Germany. Without permission she drove to Berlin in advance of American forces who had been stopped by agreement with Russia. She therefor was one of the few Americans to witness the last days of fighting in Berlin and the Russian raping of the women of the city. American military authorities held up her dispatches and rescinded her war correspondent credentials.

B. 06-29-1930, Oriana Fallaci, award winning Italian author, journalist, and feminist whose coverage of Viet Nam was "a blood wound."

B. 06-29-1963, Anne-Sophie Mutter, German concert violinist.

Event 06-29-1976: Charging rampant sex discrimination, Warrant Officer Jeannie A. Vallance resigns. She was the first woman graduate of the U.S. Army Helicopter Flight School.

Event 06-29-1994: The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirms its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on legal abortion, but its 5-to-4 ruling June 29 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey supports a Pennsylvania law limiting a woman's right to abortion. The Court also lets stand a Mississippi law requiring a 24-hour waiting period, which effectively bars many poorer women from obtaining legal abortions because they cannot afford overnight stays in cities far from their homes and jobs.

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      "I was trained to be numb, I was born to be numbered and pegged, / I was bred and conditioned to passivity, like a milk cow. / Waking is the sharpest pain I have ever known."
            -- Marge Piercy in her unforgettable "The Judgment."

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