News Round-Up!

Avoiding the news? No worries, here’s a recap of the Shoutout! Newsroom this week to keep you informed! 

Women underrepresented in local politics

A local Harrisonburg newspaper published an article this week on the underrepresentation of women in elected positions.  According to the article, despite women making up more than half of Rockingham County’s population, only 30% of elected officials are women. There are only two female mayors out of the eight in the area — one of them being Harrisonburg’s Mayor, Deanna Reed. Many female elected officials said that it’s often intimidating to run. They said representation for marginalized communities in local government is important because it gives examples to look up to. A lot of the local officials concluded that while 30% isn’t great, it’s better than nothing, and expressed hope for more women and people of color being elected in the future. If you want to know more about local women getting prestigious positions, The Breeze wrote a great article on a JMU Alumna, Lisa Matthews, who was recently inaugurated as the National Press Club President!

COVID-19 attacks women’s employment

Before Covid-19, women made up 50% of the workforce.  While men’s participation in the workforce has remained the same throughout the pandemic, the pattern of women in the workforce has dropped significantly.  The fact of the matter is, the perception of women’s roles in our society has included the responsibility of childcare.  With 21st century women starting to move into the labor force in greater numbers, the stigma behind women’s responsibilities hasn’t changed.  This pandemic has left women with the difficult decision of choosing between taking care of their children and earning money in the workforce.  This pandemic has highlighted issues within childcare policies, restraining women from particpating in the workforce.  Putting more federal funding into childcare services would stabilize this disparity.  For more information, read this CBS Article.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the World Trade Organization


The World Trade Organization has been struggling for stability this past year.  With the new presidency,  the WTO has finally found a new leader, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.  Dr. Okonjo Iweala is a Nigerian woman with a notable background in politics.  For 25 years, she worked at The Worl Bank, and is credited with turning Nigeria’s economy into one of the best in Africa.  She is a self-proclaimed patriot and honors Nigerian culture in her cooking as well as her style.  She brings a fresh perspective to the World Trade Organization, offering a lot of experience to the fight for equity in multilateral trade.  For more information, access this BBC Article.

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