Women's News from the Web

It is a tragedy that women are being turned away from motherhood | Barbara Ellen

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 05/23/2020 - 06:30

Intensifying economic pressures have led to plummeting birth rates in Britain and America

Financial insecurity is one of the best, most sensible reasons not to have a baby. It’s also one of the saddest and creepiest.

The US birthrate is at its lowest for 35 years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The sharpest fall was teenagers, but rates dropped in almost every age and race group. There are indications that people are delaying having children until they’re older or don’t feel they should enlarge their families. There are similar drops elsewhere, including the UK in 2018, with the Office for National Statistics reporting a fall of 3.2% from 2017, down nearly 10% from 2012. In particular, millennial Britons appeared to be indefinitely deferring children because of practical considerations such as insecure work, low wages and unaffordable housing. Like I say, sensible, but sickening.

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On coronavirus, men are calling all the shots. We're seeing why it matters | Gaby Hinsliff

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 04:59

Women are naturally more cautious: would the government have made so many missteps over the lockdown if it was more inclusive?

Don’t go out alone in the dark. Don’t get carried away in the heat of the moment. Work twice as hard in order to be taken half as seriously, but don’t work so hard that you somehow forget to have a baby. Be nice, be good, but above all be careful.

To grow up as a girl is so often to grow up being told that the world is a perilous place full of chances to get it horribly wrong, where if something bad happens it will probably be your fault somehow.

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Gloria Steinem says TV drama of 1970s feminist history ‘ridiculous'

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 04:15

In interview for Hay festival feminist writer says Mrs America misrepresents equal rights movement

It stars Cate Blanchett and Rose Byrne in a glossy, big-budget TV account of 1970s feminist history but one key player who was there, Gloria Steinem, is withering: it is ridiculous, undermining and just not very good, she said on Friday.

Steinem, arguably the world’s most famous feminist, has revealed she is not a fan of the new Hulu TV show Mrs America, which premiered in the US last month and is coming to BBC2 in the UK later in the year.

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'Where are the women?' Outcry over all-male government meeting in Afghanistan

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 03:13

Tweet showed 12 male political leaders after Ghani promised women would be involved in high-level decision-making

People in Afghanistan protested on social media that no women were present at a high-level government meeting, despite assurances from the president that they would be involved in important decision-making roles.

The outcry followed a tweeted photo of a meeting of 12 political leaders at the presidential palace – all of them men.

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This pandemic threatens to undo what generations of feminists have fought for | Moira Donegan

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 05/21/2020 - 00:06

With schools and daycares closed, and employers embracing permanent work-from-home arrangements, women will be forced to pick up the slack

During this pandemic, a contracting economy, public health fears, and steadily reduced public services have shifted massive amounts of work and caregiving responsibilities to the home – and it is women who are picking up the slack. Even as lockdowns lift and the virus recedes, many of these needs that were previously met outside the home will still be left to families to try to meet within it, and women will be disproportionately affected. The result is a potentially long-term constricting of women’s lives to the domestic sphere. This threatens to undo a century’s worth of progress that women have made in claiming access to public life.

Some women are home because they’ve lost work. The economic recession that has been prompted by the pandemic has disproportionately hurt woman-dominated service industries, meaning that this time, unlike the 2008 recession, women make up the majority of the newly unemployed. In April, the unemployment rate climbed to 15.5% for women, with black women and Latinas facing even higher average unemployment rates.

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Gaslighting: Front and Center at Press Conferences

Women's eNews - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 04:36

Every couple of months, a new caper appears. It’s the lobbyist Jack Burkman and his alt-right sidekick Jacob Wohl trying to smear another high profile person to post a few points for themselves. It always fails; they’ve become a blight on the conspiracy theorist brigade, something I never thought possible. Journalists are actually torn about how to handle this — deciding whether to cover these press conferences to debunk them or ignoring them so that they don’t give more oxygen to the lies. 

There’s a reason to talk about these press conferences: they’re a case study in gaslighting, how to recognize it and how to protect oneself from it. 

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that makes victims question their own reality, perception, and judgment. Gaslighting makes a target think that she’s the problem when she’s not. It’s dishonest but it’s different from a regular lie. It’s an erosion of reality and a normalization of things that are not true. 

People have become more aware of gaslighting since Donald Trump became president because of his countless misrepresentations and insistence on alternate facts. Before Trump even ran for office I counseled countless clients who were victims of gaslighting behavior, so much so that I had written a book about it: The Gaslight Effect

That’s how I can see it’s an essential tool for Burkman and Wohl. The only way they’re even able to create these staged accusations is that they convince someone to make the false claim, however specious it is. To try to take down former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, they hoodwinked a woman named Carolyne Cass. In an attempt to humiliate then presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren, they snagged a former Marine who misrepresented his military career. For former presidential candidate and Sound Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, they found another inexperienced young man who was so controlled by the two men in a short period of time that he felt he couldn’t leave their meeting place — Burkman’s home.

From their stories in the press, past victims describe not only being lied to, but also the experience of losing their agency as they go along with plans, not exactly sure of their footing or roles in them.

But the most recent example of Burkman and Wohl’s work — a woman who fabricated about Dr. Anthony Fauci named Diana Andrade —  is the most instructive because we have a transcript of the conversation between the two men and their most recent dupe (I use that word in defense of her) because she recorded a call between the three of them.

The call demonstrates many of the techniques that my clients have experienced being gaslighted. 

For example: “What could be wrong, Diana?” Wohl asks her. “You did a good job, you got paid. What’s the problem? What seems to be the issue? You’re freaking out. You’re texting me late at night. What’s the issue?”

“What’s the problem? What’s your problem?” Burkman continues. “Tell me what the problem is? What’s your problem?”

Rather than addressing her concern, Wohl and Burkman take a turn in the conversation to make it about what’s wrong with Diana even though she knows they are the troubled ones in the trio. 

Her problem, of course, is that she doesn’t want to be involved. But she was, which the duo readily remind her. You “readily volunteered” they tell her. To her clearly justifiable legal and ethical  concerns they diminish her with: “Grow up, for Christ’s sake.” 

I don’t know how you do it, but you find a way to make me go along with your little plans,” Diana says, which is classic gaslightee fatigue. After continuous gaslighting, Diana is worn down. The more people give in to the reality spin, the more likely they are to grant the request they initially declined and the less they are to remain their same, clear-sighted self than they were when they first engaged. 

Ongoing gaslighting results in confusion, an uncomfortable feeling that you just can’t put your finger on, ongoing rumination, alienation from others who would not agree with the gaslighter — and, eventually depression and personality changes, so much so that  friends often don’t recognize the person, and bad dreams may populate their nights. 

We’re kidding ourselves if we don’t think that stopping these two is a women’s issue. Sure, the false allegations against Mayor Buttiiegieg involved two men but 75% of this pair’s antics victimized women. They were either falsely accusing a woman or using a woman to make the false allegations. 

Because gaslighting is a power game, women are far more likely to be victimized by it.

The decision of whether to cover these fraudulent fiascos is a fraught one, for sure; it’s that unimaginable that reporting the truth would come so close to constituting fake news. 

But the more we expose their methods the more people can be aware and not get involved with them; they need a willing accomplice for each ruse. The way to make an otherwise rational person who wouldn’t partake in these games is to undermine their reality to create a new one where these actions are justifiable.

There is a risk that heightening Burkman and Wohl’s profile will negate any effects of exposing the gaslighting they engage in; people are attracted to fame and may just go along with these stunts without having their realities challenged. 

But journalists can’t correct people’s morality. They can provide them with facts. And the story of Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl contains real representations of how effective and insidious gaslighting can be — and recognizing the techniques can help unwitting victims avoid it.

Dr. Robin Stern  is the co-founder and associate director for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and an associate research scientist at the Child Study Center at Yale. She’s also the author of The Gaslight Effect, the foremost book on gaslighting. 

Jane Roe’s deathbed confession exposes the immorality of the Christian right | Arwa Mahdawi

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 04:06

The plaintiff in the landmark supreme court case revealed she was paid to change her mind about abortion. Have anti-abortion activists no shame?

What would you do for almost half a million dollars? Would you very publicly denounce your past life and pretend to be an anti-abortion, born-again, ex-gay Christian?

Related: Roe v Wade plaintiff admits abortion rights reversal ‘was all an act’ in new film

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UK women bear emotional brunt of Covid-19 turmoil – poll

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 05/19/2020 - 20:00

Results show women disproportionately affected by employment and risk concerns amid pandemic

Women in the UK are bearing the emotional brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, experiencing greater anxiety about its impact than men, polling has found. Although men are more likely to die from Covid-19, research by Ipsos Mori and the Fawcett Society found women were disproportionately affected in other ways.

Six out of 10 women said they were finding it hard to stay positive day-to-day, compared with just under half of men. Half of women were very concerned about the risk the virus posed to the country, compared with a third of men. Women were also more likely to have their employment impacted, with a third saying their workplaces had been closed, compared with a quarter of men.

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From Mrs America to Rodham, America's in love with feminist paper dolls | Jessa Crispin

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 05/19/2020 - 00:21

Pop culture has embraced good-girl versions of complex figures in stories that undermine real feminist ideology

In the Hulu show Mrs America, there’s a scene where a fictionalized Gloria Steinem is dancing around her apartment, relishing her solitude and independence, remembering the time her back-alley abortionist made her promise him that after the procedure was over, “You will do whatever you want to do with your life.”

That scene took up about 90 seconds, so I guess it’s understandable that they didn’t have time to cover all those years she worked for the CIA, which gave her the money to start Ms Magazine in the first place.

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Announcing: The Amy Ferris Fellowship To Champion Women Writers

Women's eNews - Mon, 05/18/2020 - 14:58

As the world continues to adjust to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Women’s eNews’ is enhancing its commitment to amplifying the voices of women by announcing workshop and training opportunities that will help you learn how to strengthen your own voice, via virtual/online settings, as Women’s eNews has been doing for the past 20 years:

Cape Cod Story Summit Will Celebrate Women’s Voices

“I want all women to use their voices – to be loud and audacious; to be heard, to be recognized, their words seen and read” – Amy Ferris

“I want all women to use their voices — to be loud and audacious; to be heard, to be recognized — their words seen, read, talked about, words that come alive in the world so others can grab hold of those words,” says Amy Ferris in announcing her Fellowship. “I am a huge fan of women telling their stories. Women writers, changing the proverbial game, through our words, our writing, our voices. Our stories matter. Our stories save lives, and change hearts and yes, Goddess yes, shake and rattle and move the universe.”

The Amy Ferris Fellowship will financially enable qualified women writers to be able to attend Cape Cod Story Summits this summer and fall.

To enter, please go to the application form via the link below, fill it out, include a writing sample of 1500 words, and enter. Please note that your personal story is measured at equal weight with your writing sample. Please be thoughtful and expressive in the writing of your personal story. It matters! Within ten days, you will be notified by email or by phone as to whether or not, you have been accepted as a fellow.

The first winner will be announced on June 15, 2020.

As long as you are 18 years of age or older, you may apply. You may not apply if: you have already applied for a scholarship in 2019 or 2020, or you are a graduate of the 2020 Winter Story Summit. If you are a Summiteer who requires additional financial assistance, please reach out to John Gatsos and we will see what might be done.


Amy Ferris is an author, editor, playwright, and screenwriter. Her memoir, Marrying George Clooney, was adapted into an off-Broadway play in 2012 and ran at CAP21 Theater in NYC. She wrote two feature films, Funny Valentines (Julie Dash, Director) and Mr. Wonderful (Anthony Minghella, Director). Amy has contributed to numerous anthologies, edited one anthology, and co-edited another. She serves on the Board of Directors at Peters Valley School of Craft, on the Advisory Board of The Women’s Media Center, and on Faculty at Kauai Writers Conference. In 2015, she co-founded The Milford Readers & Writers Festival along with Sean Strub, Robert Levine and Suzanne Braun Levine. In 2018 , Amy was honored by Women’s eNews as one of its 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for her activism, her passion and her commitment to women’s voices.

Huge FGM rise recorded in Somalia during coronavirus lockdown

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 05/18/2020 - 09:53

Female genital mutilation being inflicted on girls stuck at home as circumcisers go door to door

Somalia’s coronavirus lockdown has led to a huge increase in female genital mutilation (FGM), with circumcisers going door to door offering to cut girls stuck at home during the pandemic, according to Plan International.

The crisis is undermining efforts to eradicate the practice in Somalia, which has the world’s highest FGM rate, with about 98% of women having been cut, the charity warned.

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Battling COVID-19: How Women’s Leadership Saves Lives

Women's eNews - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 14:38

“Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”  Professor Henry Higgins asks in a not-so-veiled sardonic recitative.  The subject—his charge, Eliza Doolittle—is the protagonist of the classic musical ‘My Fair Lady.’ 

Ushering in a fresh waft of today’s Zeitgeist is an article in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Cindy Gallop.  The piece is a paean to political leadership, coinciding with how women have taken charge of a dangerous and disruptive pandemic.

The two authors describe the kind of leadership we have seen in victorious heads of state and other political leaders, disproportionately female, battling the disease. 

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen defended her country against the virus in neighboring China with a strategy of early action. Before their first case was confirmed, the Taiwanese government mobilized its Central Epidemic Command Center. Well beyond tactical border closures and aggressive testing, President Tsai ramped up an arsenal of face masks and mandated more than 100 other measures.  The result: her government has held the number of deaths to .03 per 100,000; in the U.S. the rate is more than 750% that. 

As another example, despite a common culture, the Scandinavian experience is especially striking as the four nations led by women—Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Norway—stand in stark contrast to male-governed Sweden. Although Sweden might be faring better than the U.S., its reliance on citizens to “behave like adults” has led to more than three times as many deaths as the other four countries combined. The most powerful woman in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has spoken plain truth to her people, protecting them with aggressive measures.  As the virus attacked Europe, a graph illustrating mortality rates showed Germany almost flat-lined along the bottom. The hardest-hit EU nations, male-led Italy and Spain, rose up on that same chart like mountainsides.  

Gender differences related to times like these have intrigued some of Harvard’s most prominent scholars. Former assistant secretary of defense Joseph Nye (Soft Power), and world-renowned psychologist Steven Pinker (Our Better Angels) are among them, boldly asserting that the world is safer and more humane where women are in charge. Neither is a gender apologist, and they are joined by other rigorous academics, top military officers, and heads of major corporations in naming one of the world’s worst kept secrets: women tend to be aware of their limitations and less likely overconfident. (Think of the men vying for Supreme Misogynist currently running the US, UK, Italy, and Russia). Less overconfidence means more self-awareness, an openness to learning, and room for inclusion of the most talented despite diverse outlooks and outputs.

The Harvard Business Review authors maintain that women emphasize emotional intelligence along with intellectual prowess. They tend to forge bonds with their constituents as they make difficult decisions. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern guided her country through a protracted lockdown while using her bully pulpit to help children understand that this could be a tough year for the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. The island nation has since “won the battle” against the coronavirus, with no widespread undetected community transmission.

And here at home, one after another woman has put her political career on the line.  San Francisco’s London Breed was among the first US mayors to order her city to shelter in place. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly faced major blow-back as she banned Easter services to maintain social distancing. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has invited not only the wrath of Donald Trump but also angry protestors he has encouraged as they congregate around the state capitol chanting, “Lock her up. Lock her up.” She told CNN she lost sleep after the president attacked her. Why? Because, she has said, she feared his response could affect the well-being of the people of her state. Nevertheless, she persists. 

In a compelling conversation with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright noted how in this crucible traditional female traits take on new importance. She cited women’s roles as caregivers informing their leadership throughout this crisis. 

There’s no silver lining to indescribable suffering that may disrupt the world order. But in 20 years of working in conflict zones, I’ve seen how chaos can crack open a culture. Who knows the lasting effects when, as a group, women are outperforming a legion of men who are their peers or outrank them.

Ironically, even as they demonstrate greater capacity to deal with COVID-19, what many women possess above all is humility—a quality that informs all others. In contrast to the blustering hubris too often obvious in male leadership, humility makes possible the courage, the vision, the nimbleness, the relatability, and other time-honored female traits that enable good governance, especially in crises. So, in the face of a life-and-death pandemic demanding the best, why can’t a man be more like a woman?

Former US ambassador to Austria Swanee Hunt founded the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, where is she the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer.  Her non-profit Inclusive Security has for 20 years advanced women’s leadership in the face of conflict.

Florence Pugh and Simon Armitage record lockdown poem together

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 05/13/2020 - 18:00

Collaboration is a recording of the poet laureate’s Lockdown set to music, with proceeds donated to the domestic abuse charity Refuge

Simon Armitage, the poet laureate, has joined forces with the actor Florence Pugh for a charity release of his poem about coronavirus crisis. Lockdown, first published in March, has been set to music and will be sold to help raise money for the domestic abuse charity Refuge.

It features Armitage and Pugh reading the lines to music that starts ominously, and becomes more hypnotic and euphoric. Armitage has been making tracks of his poems with collaborators Richard Walters and Patrick J Pearson, collectively known as LYR, for a couple of years. The involvement of Pugh – nominated at the Oscars and Baftas for her role in Little Women this year – was wonderful, he said. “She brings such intelligence and crackle.”

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Portrait of studious woman revealed to be of Millicent Fawcett

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 05/13/2020 - 03:29

Painting of suffragist working at her desk was misidentified as Royal Holloway ex-principal

A Victorian painting of a studious young woman working at her desk has emerged as a lost portrait of one of the most important figures in the British women’s rights movement history, the suffragist Millicent Fawcett.

The artwork in the collection of Royal Holloway, University of London, has long been identified as a depiction of another pioneer, but far less well-known figure, Dame Emily Penrose. There is even a plaque on its frame saying it is Penrose.

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Women are on the Covid-19 frontline – we must give them the support they need | Mark Lowcock and Natalia Kanem

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 02:15

An effective response to the pandemic means tackling the violence and inequality faced by women

After a week in which people in some parts of the world have been given cause for optimism that they may have passed the peak of the pandemic, we have seen how extraordinary actions of individuals can change the trajectory for a whole nation.

Retired doctors putting themselves back on the frontline, nurses making their own face masks, parents voluntarily separated from their children so they can care for the sick.

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The Concept of “Safe Spaces” under COVID-19

Women's eNews - Sun, 05/10/2020 - 15:36

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, legally mandated restrictions promoting public health followed suit. To this day, we continue to be advised to maintain physical distancing, to work from home where possible, or, in some places, not leave our homes at all. These restrictions have inevitably made me think about the concept of safety. On the one hand, staying inside one’s home naturally increases safety in relation to the spread of this life-threatening virus. On the other hand, what about the danger from domestic violence that many people face inside the home? 

Domestic violence is an ongoing global crisis. The World Health Organization estimates that about one-third of all women globally experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner during their lifetime. This is a shocking statistic, worsened when you appreciate that the prevalence of violence is even higher in women’s lives when you account for domestic and family violence perpetrated by other family members. Perhaps unsurprisingly, soon after the first COVID-19 related lockdowns and curfews were implemented, reports about steep increases in domestic violence followed. For example, during February 2020, at the height of the crisis in China, the number of domestic violence reports tripled compared to February 2019. In Kosovo, the Ministry of Justice recorded a one hundred percent increase in domestic violence in one city after the pandemic broke out and a 17% increase in cases overall, compared with the same time period in 2019. 

Domestic and family violence is a crisis for LGBTIQ people, too. In our report “Violence Through the Lens of Lesbian and Bisexual Women and Trans People in Asia,” OutRight established that it is the most common form of violence that LGBTIQ people experience. 

So with the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns, we feared what the impact would be on LGBTIQ people stuck at home or LGBTIQ people having to return to family homes after job loss. We know that LGBTIQ people are disproportionately represented in the informal sector; that we already experience barriers to accessing healthcare; and that there is a history of blaming LGBTIQ people for crises ranging from the Haiti earthquake to Hurricane Katrina or the Ebola outbreak.  And so, we immediately set out to understand how LGBTIQ people globally were affected by this pandemic. 

On May 7th, we released our research findings in a new report, “Vulnerability Amplified: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on LGBTIQ People”.  Our findings confirmed our suspicions and opened our eyes to just how much more vulnerable an already vulnerable section of society becomes during a pandemic. Indeed, domestic and family violence rang loud and clear in the results. The degree to which physical safety is compromised for LGBTIQ people during COVID-19 is evident in nearly every interview we conducted. Interviewees reported either feeling at increased risk themselves or knowing others at increased risk of violence and abuse within their homes due to forced cohabitation with unsupportive, hostile family members or abusive partners. 

We heard about a 24-year old trans woman in the Caribbean, whose mother insisted that she wear men’s clothing and cut her hair while in her mother’s house, “or she will put her out during curfew”, which would mean facing arrest and even greater danger in imprisonment. Raksha in Singapore told us that her organization has received numerous “emergency requests for housing by lesbians who are scared to live at home because of emotional and physical violence from their parents”. Tatiana in Russia also told us that requests for the LGBT shelter in Moscow have grown exponentially in this time. 

What amplifies the vulnerability even further is the fact that the places where LGBTIQ people are most safe are now off-limits, such as LGBTIQ community centers, bars, bookstores, and community events. These spaces have been closed because of COVID-19, and now our research shows that they are struggling to survive under the economic strain resulting from the crisis. Virtual spaces exist, in fact, in ever more creative ways. But for many, even those are impossible to access under the constant presence of unsupportive family members. For example, Catherine Sealys, who supports LGBTIQ people with social services in St. Lucia, told us that, “Some of the persons whom we support through remote therapy have to hide in the closet during counseling, so they are not overheard”. COVID-19 containment measures have taken away the ability of even momentary escape, quite literally pushing LGBTIQ people back into the closet. 

It doesn’t stop there. Access to health and support services after experiencing domestic violence is tricky even without COVID-19. In 68 countries same-sex relations are still criminalized. So-called “conversion therapy” is a reality across the globe, and healthcare providers, including psychologists, are among the top perpetrators of these harmful practices. So seeking help after experiencing domestic violence can lead to secondary victimization or subjection to “conversion therapy”. 

OutRight’s global programming on gender-based violence develops resources and conducts trainings for both service providers and first responders to be LGBTIQ-inclusive. In the Philippines, for example, we have trained thousands of frontline service providers across Quezon City on how to support LGBTIQ victims of family violence. Across the Caribbean, we are training service providers and mental health professionals, ensuring there is some LGBTIQ-inclusive service provision available. But resources like these are by no means widespread and, in the current state of crisis, access to health and supportive services are even more restricted, as even the service providers who have been trained on inclusivity are either closed, overwhelmed, or prioritizing COVID-19 responses. 

COVID-19 will affect every one of us. Those of us in vulnerable groups, such as LGBTIQ people, become even more vulnerable, because while we try to stay safe from the virus, we are exposed to other dangers, especially at home. In response to urgent needs facing LGBTIQ people at this time – made evident in “Vulnerability Amplified” – OutRight launched an emergency fund to support LGBTIQ organizations as they resource their communities amid this global health crisis. We will also use our findings to advocate for governments to ensure inclusivity of LGBTIQ people in their crisis response. At the moment, that inclusion is sorely lacking, and without immediate interventions, LGBTIQ will suffer disproportionate harm from COVID-19. 

Jessica Stern is the Executive Director of OutRight Action International

Working with women makes the world a better place | Torsten Bell

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 19:30

Research finds that both male and female judges are more likely to employ female clerks if they have worked with women

Discrimination over jobs is bad. Bad for those discriminated against, and bad for society, as talent is wasted and divisions sown.

Women reaching senior leadership positions in organisations is generally a sign of success for gender equality – but it can also lead to increased equality elsewhere. That is the important finding from new research on the (not famously diverse) world of judges. The study looks at the hiring of law clerks by senior judges in the US.

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Pass judgment on Adele's talent, not on how much she weighs | Barbara Ellen

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 06:30

It’s depressing that the singer’s new skinny look matters more to some than her extraordinary voice

It seems that Adele’s weight is fast becoming a feminist issue, although not in the way people usually mean. Last year, images of the singer’s extreme weight loss rocked the world. When she released a photo to mark her 32nd birthday last week, the internet exploded all over again. Some people thought her new look was great; others considered it a (whisper it) betrayal. Some accused her of having a gastric band; others bitched that she would soon pile it all back on again. “She looks good.” “She looks bad.” “She looks weird.” And on it goes.

Adele isn’t new to this: her weight was also discussed (admiringly, critically, endlessly) before she lost it. In the modern musical landscape, where female artists specifically are viciously pressured to be perma-slim, the message seemed to be that she was one of those rare talents who were “allowed” to be bigger. At other times, the focus on her weight verged on patronising and reductive, as though her BMI-based “relatability” was the main draw and her talent a poor second.

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Naming of Pinochet's great-niece as Chile women's minister sparks outrage

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 05/07/2020 - 23:00

Macarena Santelices has praised the ‘good side’ of the 1973-90 dictatorship in which over 300 women were raped under torture

Chile’s rightwing president, Sebastián Piñera, has prompted a firestorm of criticism after naming an open supporter of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship as the country’s new minister for women’s rights and gender equality.

Controversy over the appointment of Macarena Santelices – who is also the dictators’s great-niece – has focused on a 2016 interview in which she praised the “good side” of the 1973-90 dictatorship in which more than 3,000 people were murdered or disappeared by security forces and many thousands more imprisoned and tortured.

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Science and Journalism: The Great Divide

Women's eNews - Thu, 05/07/2020 - 17:17

In this episode of Women’s eNews Live, Executive Director Lori Sokol speaks with Claudia Dreifus, an American journalist, educator and lecturer, producer of the weekly feature “Conversation with…” in the Science Section of The New York Times, and is known for her interviews with leading figures in world politics and science, particularly emerging women leaders.

Dreifus talks about the need for science education, and how, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Much of the Press, like everyone else, is grasping at straws.”

“We are experiencing a golden age in science journalism showing how illiterate people are in science. Otherwise, people would be taking this pandemic more seriously.” – Claudia Dreifus


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