Quick Reads

On the 2nd Annual Ada Lovelace Day, here's a quick round-up of women's news from around the globe:

* A new book by Columbia University Professor Jane Waldfogel claims that, despite widespread belief that Britain's welfare programs are broken, the U.K. is actually eclipsing the U.S. in successfully fighting poverty. Waldfogel told the Guardian: "It's just not right. Progress in the United States stalled in 2000 and then child poverty rises again. The gloom and doom about the state of children and families in Britain is not justified by the data."
Britain leads in war on poverty, according to US academic

*A new law for the Iraq parliament mandates a one-fourth majority of its seats for female politicians. As the final results of the March 7 election trickle in this week, some female candidates are questioning whether the new quota will really advance women in Iraqi politics: "As long as there is a quota, people perceive women as gap-fillers and not deserving members of parliament," Maysoun al Damlouji told the Christian Science Monitor. "The perception of a man is as an individual, but for women it's as a bloc. So if one woman failed, it's as if the entire womanhood has failed."
Iraq election increases women in parliament – regardless of vote count [The Christian Science Monitor]

*The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by U.S. President Barack Obama March 23, is getting mixed reviews by feminist activists. Some say it will limit access to abortion, while others claim it will provide more opportunities for family planning options.
N.O.W. Health Care Reform Victory Comes with Tragic Setback for Women's Rights [N.O.W. President Terry O'Neill via OpEd News.com]
Health Reform: A Victory for Reproductive Justice [Jill Morrison via womenstake.org]

*Liz Carpenter, former aid to American President Lyndon Johnson and co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus, died of pneumonia at age 89.
Liz Carpenter, Texas humorist, women's rights crusader and aide to Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, dies at 89 [Dallas News]