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Posted by on Apr 17, 2009 in Society | 0 comments

Maria Shriver effort will define “A Woman’s Nation”

Big kudos to Chris Cillizza’s Cheat Sheet for mentioning Maria Shriver’s effort, A Woman’s Nation:

A Woman’s Nation: Maria Shriver, California’s first lady and scion to the Kennedy political legacy, is lending her name to a nationwide effort to document the state of women in society — the first such major project since the Eleanor Roosevelt led a similar project for President John F. Kennedy. A Woman’s Nation, as the effort will be known, will combine the forces of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, the Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy at the University of Southern California and Shriver’s California Women’s Conference. The goal of the endeavor will be to produce a full report to Congress and the president, according to a release announcing the group’s founding.

For the formal read-it-for-yourself-and-decide stuff (and they definitely provide more details on the goal):

Press Release (pdf)

Center for American Progress announcement

And a blog entry by Shriver at The Huffington Post.  Salient parts:

“A Woman’s Nation” will be a multi-year, action-oriented project, focused on capturing an accurate and up-to-date portrait of the American woman and developing next steps to remove barriers to her success. A journalist by trade, I look forward to taking “A Woman’s Nation” on the road – We will host a series of roundtables with men and women on the front lines of this economic and cultural shift, and conduct frank and factual interviews with cultural icons and women leaders about their experiences and recommendations. In an effort to give people all over the country an opportunity to participate in this remarkable discussion, we will hold online town-halls to field and answer any questions about the project.

This on-the-ground reporting, combined with research data from a national poll, will result in a fresh and thorough initial report to be published in the fall of 2009. The report will be followed by a book, and we will then examine regulatory, legislative, business and cultural change that needs to take place to keep pace with the current needs of American women and families.

I don’t know that Shriver would be a candidate for appointment to the proposed President’s Commission on Women, though the primary sponsor, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier is from California, like Shriver (wife of CA Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger).   And I’m not sure whether what she’s proposing to do is in competition with, or complementary or supplementary to the Commission. But as far as I’m concerned, the more efforts out there doing this kind of intel gathering in this area, the better.  I wish her luck and I hope to keep an eye out for how I might be able to get involved, even if just at a netroots level.

My main concern from the start? Please, please, please – be sure to include plenty of women of color and very reliable proportions of women who reflect as many varieties of women in the U.S. as possible – along the entire spectrum of every metric to be covered.

Please.

Cross-posted from Writes Like She Talks.

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