A campaign group in the US has launched an online petition demanding that President Obama NOT nominate Larry Summers. The campaign group is called UltraViolet and it “fight[s] to expand women’s rights and combat sexism everywhere – from politics and government to media and pop culture.” Here is what their action says:
Summers would be a terrible pick. Summers has a long history of making sexist comments–like saying girls don’t have the genetic gifts to do well in math and science like boys do. And the World Bank has a lot of power over the education and training of women and girls in developing countries. We need a nominee who believes girls have the same potential as boys.
No mention of a candidate that UltraViolet supports, nor what they think a fair process looks like, but they make a fair point. With the latest World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development, and pressure from major shareholders that the Bank do more on women’s economic empowerment, Summers would look like a strange nomination. Of course criticism has rained down on the WDR for its faults and ommissions, but I doubt the critics had in mind that the WDR focussed too little on the biologicial differences in skills at math and science!