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Ivanka Trump on Obama’s Equal Pay Rule, Venice Film Fest Lacks Women, and Female Farmers in India

August 31, 2017, 7:43 AM UTC

Ivanka Trump on Tuesday said she supported a White House decision to stop a planned Obama-era rule that would have required companies to submit data on worker pay by race, ethnicity, and gender, after the Trump administration deemed the regulation too burdensome to business.

The rule, introduced by President Barack Obama’s administration in January 2016, would have forced all employers with at least 100 workers to disclose summary data on wages in an effort to enforce equal pay laws and expose discriminatory pay practices. It would have covered some 63 million workers.

The Trump administration called the regulation “enormously burdensome” and said that it wouldn’t “actually help gather information about wage and employment discrimination.”

Ivanka Trump agreed:

“Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results. We look forward to continuing to work with…all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”

The first daughter, who’s cast herself as a champion of women’s empowerment, has actually expressed interest in these types of laws before.

When she appeared alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a women’s entrepreneurship panel in Berlin in April, she mentioned an equal pay policy passed there.

“I know that Chancellor Merkel, just this past March you passed an equal pay legislation to promote transparency and to try to finally narrow that gender pay gap,” she said at the time. “And that’s something we should all be looking at—to see the efficacy of that policy as it gets rolled out.”

Germany’s law is similar to the Obama-era rule in what it asks of employers, though its bar for participation is higher. It requires companies with 200 or more employees to disclose information about salaries and to document any gender pay gap. Employers with at least 500 employees are encouraged—but not legally obligated—to report regularly on their equal pay efforts.

Manuela Schwesig, Germany’s minister for women and families who championed the measure, has said it’s meant to ensure that “wage determination is no longer a black box.”

That was the idea behind Obama’s rule, too. “We can’t know what we don’t know,” said former Labor Secretary Thomas Perez in support of it last year.



Princess Diana's legacyTwenty years after her death, Princess Diana's legacy is being re-examined. The tragedy and subsequent weeks of mourning are seen as reshaping the British monarchy and introducing a more emotional and expressive era in the U.K. New York Times


Screening process
Of the 21 films screening at the Venice Film Festival, only one—Vivian Qu's Angels Wear White—was directed by a woman. Organizer Alberto Barbera says it's not the festival's fault, telling The Hollywood Reporter that he screens films without knowing who the director is. "I'm sorry that there are very few films from women this year, but we are not producing films," he says. Qu agrees: "If more women were encouraged to work in film and had the opportunity to take on major creative roles, I'm sure we will see more and more films by women." 
Hollywood Reporter

Unholy matrimony
Lamido Sanusi II, Nigeria’s second highest Islamic authority, wants to end child marriage. In the nation's northwest where his state of Kano is located, 76% of girls are married before they turn 18. In his effort to eliminate the practice, Sanusi, a prominent religious figure, is going to great lengths to argue that child marriage is a social—not a scriptural—problem.


Think tanked
Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of left-leaning think tank New America and a former State Department official under Hillary Clinton, is at the center of controversy over the firing of a senior fellow who was critical of Google, a big donor to New America. A New York Times story says Slaughter accused fellow Barry Lynn, author of a blog post praising the European Commission's recent fine against Google, of "imperiling the institution as a whole." But on Wednesday, Slaughter said the Times' version of events leading to Lynn's ouster was false.

Tweet storm
Even a hurricane can't stop sexist stereotyping. A photo of a Houston Police SWAT officer carrying a mother and her child triggered an online debate about gender roles after conservative columnist Matt Walsh tweeted the image, stating: "Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says." Twitter lit up with rebuttals to his comment, including a response from an actual gender studies professor, who needed a 12-tweet thread to reply in full. 

On brand
In an new interview, Uber chief brand officer Bozama Saint John talks about how she wants to humanize the scandal-ridden ride-hailing app. Brands "are living, breathing things that are sometimes very happy, sometimes sad, sometimes angry," she says.
New York Times


Saving the farm
As more Indian men migrate to cities for jobs, female farmers are asking the government to honor their land rights and protect them from abuse. Women in India do two-thirds of all farm work but own just 13% of farm land. “At a time when there is rapid feminization of Indian agriculture, the data needs to reflect women farmers’ work,” says Soma Parthasarathy of the Forum For Women Farmers' Rights.

Beach bods
Photographer Sunmin Lee visited beaches in South Korea this summer and learned that women there are starting to push back against the country's narrow standards of beauty. You can see the photo essay here.


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"There are no politics in eight feet of water. There are human beings in eight feet of water.”
—Actress Sandra Bullock, who donated $1 million to the American Red Cross following Hurricane Harvey.