October 11, 2004

Economics, women's studies expert coming to SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. - - A well-known professor of economics and women's studies will examine women's changing roles through time and the future for both women and men during a presentation at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Marianne A. Ferber will present "Women: Their Past, Present and Future," at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 19, at the Museum Auditorium in Faner Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Ferber is a professor of economics and women's studies, emerita at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

She will also review the situation for women in various parts of the world today, and "where do we go from here?" Ferber will look at education, labor force participation, occupational segregation and the earnings gap. Ferber will also look at the status of legal rights for women throughout the world.

Ferber suggests getting men to do their share of homemaking will reduce differences in many areas including the labor force, earnings gap and perhaps even political representation. She will also touch on the main threats to those changes.

College of Liberal Arts Dean Shirley Clay Scott said she is extremely happy that Ferber is presenting a lecture. Ferber recently gave lectures entitled "Women are Working, but Men Aren't Cooking" and "Family Friendly Policies," dealing with the day-to-day facts of contemporary women and contemporary families, Scott said.

Ferber is "both a subtle researcher and a down to earth thinker, so she takes up the traditional questions asked by economists and she also takes on questions that might be more keenly felt by women," Scott said.

Ferber is well known in the area of feminist issues and has written extensively on economics, said professor Sajal Lahiri, Vandeveer Professor of SIUC's Department of Economics.

Ferber is co-author of "The Economics of Women, Men and Work," now in its fourth edition.

Ferber obtained her bachelor's degree at McMaster University in Canada in 1944 and her doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1954. She has been a distinguished visiting professor at Radcliffe, president of the Midwest Economic Association and president of the International Association for Feminist Economics.

The United Nations Association - USA, Southern Illinois Chapter, and the SIUC economics and history departments are co-sponsoring the event in commemoration of the 2004 United Nation's theme, "Women's Rights and Empowerment: Gender Equity in the New Millennium."

Promoting programming for the University community and region that involves individuals with national or international distinction is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.