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Web Letter

I find it curious that the author didn’t find it newsworthy to include the United States ranking of 31. In looking for the 2009 report, I found the 2007 report, in which the United States is also 31. Was it an overly cautious attempt to avoid the appearance of ethnocentrism that lead to the exclusion?

Darin Zimmerman

Cedar Rapids, IA

Mar 8 2010 - 11:31am

Web Letter

It would seem clear that any study that attempts to rank the position of men, women, or children, based on education, political representation, etc., across both Iceland as well as Lesotho, is absolutely ludicrous.

People live in mud huts in Lesotho. Iceland just rallied against a bank bailout.

This study that Pollitt writes about places the effective well-being of women in Lesotho higher than that of women in Canada. Apparently we are to believe that in Lesotho, which endures a quasi-civilian government accused of rigging elections (last armed assault on Prime Minister's residence: April 2009), women have better political representation than in Canada. Or women apparently have better education in Lesotho than they do in Canada.

The Nation is a really great political journal with a lot of informed, thoughtful journalism and commentary. I don't understand how commentary based on this "study" made the cut.

(Average life expectancy for women in Canada: 74.2 years. Average life expectancy for women in Lesotho: 56 years.)

Seymour Friendly

Seattle, WA

Mar 7 2010 - 7:56pm

Web Letter

Pennsylvania has a comparatively small proportion of women in its legislature and political structures.

As a person with forty-seven years of political activism in the commonwealth, I am somewhat puzzled by this. I have supported many women in campaigns, and opposed others.

But there is not any general, overall popular viewpoint opposing women. It comes down to two factors. First, fewer women decide to run. Then fewer of them are chosen by the voters in November.

Some of the major past gains for female officerholding have come from antiaborton groups getting more people to run in elections.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Mar 6 2010 - 2:18am