51% Show #1328

Jan 2, 2015

On this week’s 51%, a young woman in England is out to combat sexism worldwide. Then we’ll hear from a doctor about cancer prehab. And women on the fire brigade in France are far from numerous.

Laura was sick of rude comments and inappropriate groping on crowded buses, so the young Londoner has been sending a clear message to other women: You do not have to tolerate sexism. Joanna Impey reports from London. 

 Cancer rehabilitation is perhaps more commonly known than cancer prehabilitation. Dr. Julie Silver, a breast cancer survivor, says cancer prehab leads to better outcomes and a better quality of life. Dr. Silver is the founder of Oncology Rehab Partners and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Physical Medicine. She is co-author of a review on cancer rehabilitation in an American Cancer Society journal and the author of the first comprehensive review on cancer prehabilitation, published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She starts by describing cancer prehabilitation. 

For most of its history, the Paris fire brigade has been all male. A branch of the French armed forces started accepting women in 2002. Today the 8,500-member brigade counts 400 active-duty female firefighters. Sarah Elzas meets one of them, who is keenly aware that she needs to adapt in what remains a male-dominated force. 

Sarah Elzas produced this report for Radio France International.  (:05)

Firefighter Lucille Morel next to an ambulance
Credit Sarah Elzas

Another place where some want to see changing faces is the New York City Fire Department. Members of the New York City Council are urging the Fire Department of New York to step up its hiring of female firefighters. Currently, just 44 out of 10,500 firefighters are women — less than half of 1 percent. City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley called those numbers unacceptable. She chaired a hearing recently on barriers to increasing the ranks of women firefighters. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told her and the other Council members he has worked to improve diversity at the department in the six months he has held the job. Nigro said the goal is to strive for a firefighting force that is 15 to 17 percent female. He said he is confident the department can maintain its standards while ensuring that the hiring process is fair. 

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And that’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.