Kai Selwa works in the MSU Formula Racing Shop on March 27, 2018.

Women in the skilled trades face obstacles

The number of women in the skilled trades has been slowly rising. The traditionally male-dominated field has seen increased interest from women. Both Grand Rapids Community College and Macomb Community College have programs for the skilled trades that have seen rising numbers of women. According to Scott Mattson, program manager of job training and construction trades, there has been a large jump in the last five years. Macomb’s student population for skilled trades now is 15 percent female.

Women in local government break up the boys’ club

Local government is vital to an area’s survival and prosperity. Government can still be a “boys’ club,” but women are gaining more positions of power and trying to improve their communities. Despite the progress, inequality and sexism remain. Patricia Spitzley, at-large councilmember in the Lansing City Council, went into government work because she likes being able to see her work help her community. “My philosophy is don’t complain, get involved,” Spitzley said.

Michigan’s female religious leaders overcome obstacles for their calling

Despite most religious vocations being dominated men, many Michigan women continue to step up as religious leaders. A call to a life dedicated to God transcends gender, but many religions continue to restrict positions to men only. Even when women find a denomination that allows them to go into any position, societal perceptions create barriers. Some mid-Michigan women have chosen to follow their calling despite facing obstacles. Even at a young age, Rev. Kit Carlson of the All Saints Episcopal Church, was discouraged from “getting the wrong idea” that she may be called to be a pastor.

Abortion clinics and pregnancy help centers in the Lansing area

The topic of reproductive health can be taboo and often a difficult thing to discuss. This makes finding the right center to help very difficult. Everybody has unique needs, schedules, belief systems, and economic situations. This chart breaks down some of the details to make a woman’s choice between clinics a bit easier. “Having the ability to get counseling about these difficult decisions makes life as a woman just a bit easier,” Taylor Conrad said. [infogram id=”infographic-modern-1hzj4owp8zq72pw”]

Tampons, pads cost money in Michigan’s women’s prison

Despite being a necessity for women’s health and personal hygiene, menstrual pads/ tampons continue to be out of reach for some of the most vulnerable members of society in the United States. Not only do the poor have to learn to deal with these less than ideal conditions, but women in American prisons face the same struggle. Menstrual products in federal prisons became free the summer of 2017, but women in state prisons across the country aren’t as lucky. Lack of menstrual hygiene products do more than make women uncomfortable during their period. They cause staining of their clothes, and there are health risks involved.