Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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Historic Rise of College-Educated Women in Labor Force Changes Workplace

By Likhitha Butchireddygari
Companies are restructuring their compensation and benefits packages to attract these qualified women.
This year is shaping up to be the first year that women make up the majority of the college-educated labor force, a milestone that is already altering benefits packages offered by companies and one that could influence family sizes in the future.
Women make up only 46.6% of the overall labor force, but they first reached 45% of the college-educated labor force at the turn of the century. Since 2013, the female share of college-educated workers has been around the 49% mark, with 2019 being the year that women cross into a very slight majority. Nicole Smith, chief economist at Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, said this development overall is a positive one.
“It is the culmination of a trend that started maybe over 40 years ago,” Ms. Smith said. “It’s going to give women a lot more earning potential. It’s going to give them more control over their finances, their own destiny.”
According to the Census Bureau, women-led households made up a little more than 26% of all households in 1980. By 2018, that number grew to 30.5%, although broader social changes contribute to this trend as well.
Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said that women also look to further their education just to get the same returns as men who achieve lower levels of education. In other words, the wage gap at different education levels might be pushing the female desire to earn advanced degrees.
College Gender GapNumber of people enrolled in a bachelor'sdegree program, in millionsSource: National Center for Education StatisticsNote: Years represent the academic calendar year.
The trend is likely to continue to rise. Since the 1980s, women have made up the majority of those seeking bachelor’s degrees. By 1999, women received 57% of bachelor’s degrees, and it has been that way more or less for almost two decades.
While 57% might appear to be a magic number for women with college degrees, it’s unclear whether the college-educated female workers will ever get to that point and how long it will take for it to do so. Ariane Hegewisch, program director of employment and earnings at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said several factors—including future demand for female-dominated professions, impact of automation on female-dominated professions and the child and elder care policy landscape—will shape the female share of the college-educated labor force.
The rise of these female workers is changing the way companies structure compensation and benefits packages to attract qualified women. According to human resources consulting firmMercer ’s 2015 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, 6% of employers with 20,000 or more employees covered egg freezing. In 2018, that number nearly tripled to 17%. Smaller companies have seen smaller but steady growth in coverage of fertility services in recent years.
“With greater numbers, HR departments are going to have to pay more attention to their female-educated workers,” said Richard Fry, senior researcher at the Pew Research Center. “For example, there’s evidence that female workers maybe more value flexible-work arrangements. They may value more highly generous parental-leave policies.”
Rising Paternal-Leave CoverageIn just three years, paid paternity leave hasgained a lot of traction, with two-fifths ofemployers now offering the benefit.Source: Mercer's Survey on Absence and DisabilityManagement
%20152018Birth ParentNon-Birth Parent010203040
Paid parental leave has also seen a growth. The percent of companies offering coverage increased from 24% to 40% between 2015 and 2018, according to Mercer’s Survey on Absence and Disability Management.
Mr. Fry also noted that since a college degree is required for promotions in many professions, this milestone signals an improving ability for women to move up the corporate ladder. McKinsey’s annual Women in the Workplace Survey shows gains—albeit small—in the share of women at almost all levels in recent years.
Still, the majors women choose in college, and their subsequent occupations, remain heavily skewed, acting as a significant caveat for women’s earning potential, Ms. Smith said. She noted that a disproportionate number of women still pursue professions like teaching or nursing. While those professions will continue to be in demand in the future, their salaries aren’t as high as some male-dominated professions.
More Female Corporate PipelineSince 2015, women have taken up a slightlylarger portion of companies at every level,seeing the most gains at the top in 2018.Source: Women in the Workplace Survey byLeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co.Note: This survey includes data from 279 companiesemploying more than 13 million people.
20152018Entry levelManagerSeniormanager/directorVicepresidentSenior vicepresidentC-suite0%10203040502015xSenior vice presidentx23%
That “puts women at a significant disadvantage not only in their first job, but the cumulative impact over a lifetime can be millions of dollars for a young woman,” she said.
Ms. Smith also pointed to a potential ramification on the fertility rate, which is the number of children a woman would have over her lifetime. Around the world, as female college-attainment rises, typically the fertility rate goes down as educated women delay starting families.
In the U.S., the total fertility rate has been below the replacement level of 2.1 since 1971 and hit a record-low of 1.7 last year. Low fertility levels in advanced nations can lower overall labor force growth and increase spending due to the cost of taking care of an aging population.

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India or Pakistan? Kashmir a test for Gulf diplomacy

The unfolding situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where India’s Hindu nationalist government has abruptly ended the state’s autonomous status, puts the Arab Gulf states’ balancing act in South Asia to the test. By raising tensions with Pakistan and increasing the likelihood of a local insurgency breaking out, India has created a zero-sum situation for the Gulf states. While Pakistan is likely to interpret neutrality as an implicitly pro-Indian position, India would probably react vociferously against any foreign pressure on what it considers to be an internal Indian affair.
The fate of Jammu and Kashmir currently hangs in the balance. The federal government has revoked the state’s autonomous status under Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution, turning it instead into two union territories controlled by the central government. In anticipation of large-scale violence, the central government has arrested the state’s elected officials and deployed tens of thousands of paramilitary troops. Phone and Internet services have also been suspended, in effect isolating Jammu and Kashmir from the rest of the world.
Historically, Pakistan could count on near-unanimous support among the Arab and Muslim-majority states for its position on Kashmir. Since its creation during the Cold War in 1969, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has served as a platform for pro-Western Pakistan to rally Arab and Muslim support against Soviet-aligned India on Kashmir. Even after the Cold War ended, the Arab Gulf states continued to condemn India’s heavy-handed response to growing insurgency and to advocate for Kashmir’s right to self-determination. In 1994, for instance, Saudi Arabia co-sponsored a Pakistani resolution on Kashmir at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, illustrating the extent of the Gulf states’ support for Pakistan.

However, as they improved their bilateral relations with India from the early 2000s onward, the position of the Gulf states on Kashmir began to change. To appease the two sides, Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab Gulf nation, has adopted a dual policy on Kashmir. At the OIC, Saudi Arabia takes a pro-Pakistani position, echoing the majority sentiment in the organization. In its regional approach to South Asia, however, Saudi Arabia considers the Kashmir conflict to be an Indo-Pakistani issue that the two sides must resolve through dialogue, which is how India sees it too.
Saudi Arabia’s dual policy was on full display during Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan and India in February, as military tensions flared between the two sides across the Line of Control (LOC). In joint statements with Pakistan and India, Saudi Arabia called for comprehensive dialogue between the two, including over Kashmir, a message received with jubilation by the Indian press. Riyadh also dispatched emissaries to act as a back channel. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia joined the other members of the OIC’s Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in condemning India’s heavy-handed security practices while praising Pakistan for its restraint.
It can be argued that Saudi Arabia’s dual policy on Kashmir is tenable as long as tensions in the Indian-administered valley remain under control. However, as the Indian government risks exacerbating an already volatile situation, the prospect of a large-scale insurgency resulting in scores of civilian deaths stands to place Saudi Arabia in a difficult position over relations with India. Conversely, failure to oppose India’s decisions over Jammu and Kashmir, even if there is no insurgency, is likely to be interpreted by Pakistan as a sign of acquiescence to India.
Pakistan and India have both embarked on a frenzied diplomatic effort to reach out to the Gulf states
In the meantime, Pakistan and India have both embarked on a frenzied diplomatic effort to reach out to the Gulf states. At an emergency meeting in Jeddah of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted a request to the OIC “to show solidarity through action with the people of IoK [Indian-occupied Kashmir].” The leaders and foreign ministers of the two sides have raced to contact their counterparts in Gulf capitals to try to nudge them one way or the other.
While Saudi Arabia has refrained from taking a position on the unfolding situation in Kashmir, the United Arab Emirates has not held back at all. The UAE’s ambassador to New Delhi, Dr Ahmed Al Banna, described India’s decision as an “internal matter” that would “improve social justice and security and confidence of the people in the local governance and will encourage further stability and peace.” Not only does this express support for India, it also reflects the stellar state of Indo-Emirati relations, which in 2018 were elevated to strategic-partnership level.
Unlike the UAE, Saudi Arabia can ill afford to take a one-sided view in favor of India – not while Pakistani troops are involved in Saudi border operations against the Houthis in Yemen. Moreover, the Saudi crown prince has developed a warm personal relationship with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who attended the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh in October last year. in February, the crown prince announced investments of up to US$20 billion in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia also regards Pakistan as a gateway to building closer relations with China by participating in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), among other things.
At the same time, Saudi Arabia will be reluctant to alienate India, a major market for Saudi oil and a growing economic partner. In New Delhi, Mohammad bin Salman announced investments of up to $100 billion, spanning areas such as oil refining, food and technology.
The unfolding situation in Kashmir therefore presents the Gulf states with a difficult choice. The UAE appears to have gone for India over Pakistan. Other Gulf nations are weighing their options. But Saudi Arabia’s position is starkly different and much more delicate. As the home of Islam’s holiest sites, its position over the Kashmir conflict could have grave consequences in a hotly contested race for the leadership of the Muslim world.

#Pakistan - Gulf States Shrug as India Seizes Kashmir

By Walter Russell Mead
New Delhi is a major trading partner and powerful friend in a dangerous region.
The Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed a unique status in predominantly Hindu India for more than 70 years. No more. Both houses of the Indian Parliament have approved legislation to divide Kashmir into two “union territories” and allow non-Kashmiri Indians to move freely into the region, open businesses and buy land. Many Kashmiris fear the result will be a wave of migration that ends any hope of Kashmiri independence or autonomy.
Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India over Kashmir, reacted with rage, but it isn’t getting much support from its purported Muslim allies in the Persian Gulf region. As hundreds of Kashmiri intellectuals, journalists and activists were arrested, and as telephone and internet service to much of the state was cut, Saudi Aramco announced a $15 billion investment in an Indian oil company. On Sunday evening, after stone-throwing crowds confronted security forces in Srinagar, Kashmir’s capital, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the United Arab Emirates next week to receive the country’s highest civilian honor. From the U.A.E., he will travel to Bahrain on the first-ever visit to that country by a sitting Indian prime minister.
Civil libertarians and human-rights activists in India and around the world have condemned the crackdown in Kashmir, but a recent opinion poll found 57% of Indians wanted Kashmir to lose its special status. Sixty-five percent said they thought Mr. Modi could solve the Kashmir problem in five years.
In a previously scheduled visit to New Delhi to attend this weekend’s annual India-U.S. Forum sponsored by the Ananta Centre (which also paid my travel expenses), I heard worries but few regrets from well-connected Indians in government, business and the academy. People told me that for decades, India has been lavishing money on Kashmir, but the money has gone nowhere. The Kashmiri economy is a disaster, the radicalization of unemployed and underemployed young people continues to worsen, and Pakistan has no interest in helping to stabilize the situation. Yes, I heard from many Indians, the new policy is risky and could set off another round of violence, but what are the alternatives?
Many hope that if Kashmir is opened to more Indian investment, the economy will grow, young people will have better things to think about than jihad, and the political culture will become less inward-looking and more open to participation in the broader life of India.
Meanwhile, I was told, Indian security forces have become much more sophisticated when it comes to identifying the areas and families from which many of the security threats emerge. By concentrating the efforts of the security forces and law enforcement on a relatively limited high-risk population, Indian policy makers hope to reduce both the danger of terrorism and the impact of counterterrorism activities on everyday life.Perhaps. Estimates vary, but tens of thousands of people have died in Kashmir since resistance to Indian rule exploded into violence in the 1980s. Anticipating another round of violence, Indian authorities have shut down the region, closing schools and government offices and imposing curfews. Indian authorities had hoped to begin easing restrictions this weekend, but in the face of mounting protests and confrontations between security forces and stone-throwing crowds, many restrictions remain in place.
Critics worry that more violence in Kashmir will exacerbate sectarian violence across the subcontinent. Lynchings and mob attacks on minority religious communities, Christians included, have increased in India, and local officials haven't always been zealous in bringing perpetrators to justice.
That may not affect India’s relations with the hardened realpolitikers of the Gulf. As Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar reminds visitors, the economic ties between India and the Gulf are deep. Of India’s 10 largest trading partners, three are Gulf states. Roughly two-thirds of India’s energy imports come from Gulf nations, and more than half of India’s remittances come from workers there. As a growing market for Arab oil and gas, as a source of highly trained and competent personnel, and as a friendly country with a powerful military and a strong interest in geopolitical stability, India is a valuable neighbor in a dangerous part of the world.
From one angle, the willingness of the Gulf states to overlook Kashmir in dealing with India, or the Xinjiang internment camps when dealing with China, looks cynical. Yet pragmatism also has its virtues. That India and the Gulf states are setting religious and cultural differences aside to build partnerships based on common interests isn’t the worst thing that could happen in the region. Too much moral righteousness in international politics often leads to fanaticism and conflict—though too little integrity can lead to the corruption and oppression out of which new conflicts arise.


#Pakistan - #Kashmir was ‘sold off’ as ‘very weak’ Khan did nothing

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ex-wife claimed that he knew beforehand about India’s plans to abolish the autonomy of Kashmir and even tried to negotiate a “deal” with New Delhi.
Earlier this month, India revoked the decades-old self-governing status of the Jammu and Kashmir state, part of the disputed Kashmir region that it has controlled since the late 1940s. Pakistan, which considers the whole of Kashmir to be its territory, heavily criticized the move, and vowed to seek support at the UN.
Imran Khan’s ex-wife, Reham, now claims that the prime minister had known about New Delhi’s plans to strip Kashmir of its autonomy and even attempted to make a “deal” with Indian leader Narendra Modi.
“I would say that Kashmir has been sold off,” she said on Tuesday, as quoted by the New Indian Express. A British-Pakistani journalist and author, Reham Khan was married to Imran for 10 months in 2015.
Your PM Imran Khan, the day he was to give a policy statement [on Kashmir], he got up to say, ‘I knew he [Modi] was going to do this,’” Reham Khan alleged in an interview. “Imran said, ‘I knew this when I met him in Bishkek [during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization event in June] and he was rude to me.’”  
And when you knew all this, and did nothing, then it means that you are incapable of doing anything, or you are very weak.
It is not the first time that Reham Khan has criticized her former husband. In a June interview with newspaper the Hindu, the journalist called Imran Khan “the ideal puppet” of the military, who “has no knowledge of a lot of complex issues.” Last year, she authored a controversial tell-all memoir, containing multiple salacious claims about Imran Khan’s political and personal life.
Indian PM Modi has defended his government’s decision to strip Kashmir of its special status, pledging to restore the region to its “past glory” with “more and more development.” Pakistan, meanwhile, believes India’s decision violates international law and will even result in "ethnic cleansing."