>>the daily grind

Women produce 80% of all food in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet men receive 90% of credit extended to small farmers.

In rural Tanzania, women spend, on average, five hours a day walking to perform chores.

Italy has the highest percentage of women managers and administrators, with 54%.

Estonia has the highest proportion of women in professional and technical positions, with 67.5%.

Tanzanian and Vietnamese women who work in nonagricultural jobs are closest to pay equity than any other women in the world. They make more than 90% of male wages.

Graham crackers were invented in 1829 by clergyman Sylvester Graham, who believed that they, along with a vegetarian diet, cold baths, and fresh air, could curb young men's urge to masturbate.

The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1980. The World Health Organization didn't stop listing it as an illness in the International Classification of Diseases until 1993.

Seventy-one percent of U.S. women are likely to have an annual checkup, while only 52% of men are likely to do the same.

>>silver belles

The average Japanese woman lives to be 83 years old, which is the longest average life span in the world.

Women make up 72% of the U.S. population age 85 and older. As much as half of this group has Alzheimer's disease.

>>something old, something new

In the nineteenth century, if two women shared a household the arrangement was called a "Boston marriage." * No country allows same-sex couples the full privileges of marriage. However, seven countries have created a new marital status--registered partnership--that confers most of the benefits of marriage. Denmark was the first, in 1989, followed by Norway, Greenland, Sweden, Iceland, the Netherlands, and Finland.* The average Swedish woman marries at age 29. The average Yemenite woman marries at 16.

Major Sources: American Psychiatric Association; Central Statistical Organization, Yemen; Council of Europe; Encyclopaedia Britannica; The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex (Cleis Press, 1994); International Labour Office; Journal of the American Medical Women's Association; Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; National Conference of State Legislatures; Parade Publications; United Nations; World Health Organization