Women's News from the Web

The Guardian view on lockdown creativity: a freedom for female musicians? | Editorial

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 07:25

For some the domestic space has offered artistic liberation at odds with the home’s reputation as a place of constraint for women

The coronavirus pandemic has reconfigured the home as a site of creativity, one glimpsed through webcams and headphones. The format will surely vanish when arts venues reopen. But for some female musicians in 2020, before and during lockdown, the domestic space has offered artistic liberation at odds with the home’s reputation as a place of constraint for women.

Some have long understood the benefits of recording in isolation, away from an industry that prizes looks over sounds. Lockdown’s most highly rated album is perhaps US songwriter Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters. As a 90s teen prodigy, she was dogged by media intrusion, which by her own admission took a lasting toll. But Apple has centred herself by recording in the California home she has seldom left in 20 years. From there, she addressed her past on the album with biting humour and deep feeling.

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Women's prize for playwriting longlist is 'politically charged', say producers

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 07/31/2020 - 03:05

The £12,000 prize is a galvanising moment for industry that must ‘rejuvenate rather than regress’ after the Covid-19 pandemic

The longlisted writers for a new prize for female playwrights have created “satisfyingly puzzling” characters and “ambitious, politically charged” plays, say the award’s producers.

The Women’s prize for playwriting, open to writers in the UK and Ireland who identify as female, was launched last year. Submissions closed in early March and the prize has grown in significance in the wake of coronavirus, which led venues to close that month and has since devastated the theatre industry. Producer Ellie Keel, whose company launched the prize with Paines Plough (run by Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner), warned that fewer creative risks will be taken by the industry after the pandemic. “It is a historically well-trodden path that work by women can be seen as risky,” said Keel, who wants to “force the theatre industry to rejuvenate rather than regress”.

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Is the #ChallengeAccepted trend simply a Miss Instagram pageant or something more? | Nadine von Cohen

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 07/29/2020 - 13:16

The glamorous photos seem to be the latest in performative western pseudo-feminism. But the tide is turning

In 2020, as a global pandemic enters its eighth deadly month, Black Lives Matter protests continue across the world and the US presidential campaign nobody wants ramps up, cutting through the noise of social media with a campaign is near impossible.

So it was with incredulity that this Tuesday past I watched as a rapidly increasing number of women on my Instagram feed posted beautiful photos of themselves. Of course, hot selfies are the bricks upon which the house of Instagram is built, so this alone wouldn’t have piqued my interest.

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Democrats introduce bill to repeal anti-abortion rule for US overseas aid

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 07/29/2020 - 04:00

Critics of the Helms amendment, which currently prevents the use of aid to fund abortion services abroad, say it is ‘deeply rooted in racism’

The first bill to repeal a US law preventing aid from funding abortion services overseas was introduced to congress on Wednesday.

Democratic congressswoman Jan Schakowsky said the Helms amendment, a policy introduced in 1973, was “deeply rooted in racism” and must be replaced to allow US money to be used to support safe abortion services worldwide.

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Gisèle Halimi, trailblazing French feminist MP and lawyer, dies aged 93

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 07/29/2020 - 03:20

Instrumental in decriminalising abortion in France, Halimi spent her life fighting for women’s rights

The Tunisian-born French feminist MP and lawyer Gisèle Halimi, described as a “trailblazer” and a “rebel”, has died one day after her 93rd birthday.

Halimi was instrumental in the decriminalisation of abortion in France and spent her life fighting for women’s rights. “Injustice is physically intolerable to me. All my life can be summed up with that,” she once said.

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Mexico’s activists brace for landmark supreme court abortion ruling

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 07/28/2020 - 23:00

The ruling could set a precedent; in states that have restrictive regulations, injunctions could be granted to allow the procedure

Activists on both sides of Mexico’s abortion debate are bracing for a potentially historic supreme court hearing on Wednesday, which could lead to decriminalisation across the country.

The case before the five judges of the high court’s first bench involves an injunction granted in the eastern state of Veracruz, which ordered the local legislature to remove articles from its criminal code pertaining to abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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Announcing: The Loreen Arbus Accessibility is Fundamental 2020 Fellows

Women's eNews - Tue, 07/28/2020 - 16:28

Women’s eNews is thrilled to announce its selection of The Loreen Arbus Accessibility is Fundamental* Fellows for 2020! This inaugural fellowship has been created to train women with disabilities as professional journalists so that they may write, research and report on the most crucial issues impacting the disabilities community.

Meet the 2020 Fellows

Cheyenne Leonard: “Where society and others may see my disability as a tragedy, I have always seen my disability as an opportunity. My disability has afforded me the opportunity to travel the United States to compete in the Jr. Paralympics in track for 12 years, to change laws in my school district to allow for disabled students to be on their high school track teams, and to be a model and actress bringing diversity and disability representation to the media where it is severely lacking. I have had a lot of opportunities in my life, but being a Latina woman in a wheelchair, I have always had to fight for my rights, my voice, and my place in every room I’ve been in. I have two bachelor’s degrees from UNLV in Psychology and Criminal Justice, but my passion has always been disability and media representation. I never saw disability representation in the media growing up and the few times that I did, it was mostly white and male. Because of that, I want to be and/or create the representation I never had.”

Katrina Janco: “I can’t recall many times in my life where I wasn’t the only autistic female in the room, let alone the only openly disabled person. In this position, I always feel an extreme burden in properly representing my community. One way I have been able to relieve that is by writing about my experiences in this position. Seeing people respond to my writing is the most amazing feeling. It’s why I want to be a journalist. This wasn’t always true. For years, I was in denial about this desire. A major turning point was writing my first feature for 34th Street, the student-run magazine at Penn. I wrote about how, while Penn may lead in autism research, it failed to support autistic students such as myself. It was extremely difficult, especially with having to meet impossible expectations. It won awards and critical acclaim from students, alumni, and most importantly, other autistic people who finally felt seen. I then truly realized my voice’s value and continued to write.”

Natalie Doggett: “I am a rising senior at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. At Gallatin, I created my own concentration entitled Globalization of Local Media and Community, which concerns the political and cultural functions of journalism and media within grassroots activist organizing. I have honed my academic interests in my work as an aspiring journalist and educator, writing about pop culture and politics for a variety of publications, including: Washington Square News, Embodied Magazine, and SONKU Magazine. In the fall of 2018, I created an interview-series podcast hosted on WNYU 89.1, called Bad Radical Radio. Bad Radical Radio is a free educational resource that features scholars, student activists, and local grassroots organizers discussing social issues affecting people of color, by people of color. As a young Black woman, I am invested in seeking and amplifying news stories that investigate the intersection of race, disability, and gender orientation.”

Loreen Arbus

The Loreen Arbus Accessibility is Fundamental Fellowship with Women’s eNews provides vital employment opportunities for women with disabilities to report on the issues that significantly impact the disabilities community.

Loreen Arbus is the President of The Loreen Arbus Foundation, The Goldenson-Arbus Foundation and Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc. Through these organizations and in her personal endeavors, Ms. Arbus is a tireless advocate for women and girls; a champion for one of the world’s largest minorities, people with disabilities; and is passionate about encouraging equal opportunities in television, film, communications, and the arts.

Keeping score of gender inequalities | Brief letters

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 07/28/2020 - 06:48

Women’s representation | Cricket | Garlic | Fake news and moths

It isn’t surprising that women are getting such a raw deal and feeling left out during the pandemic (UK working mothers are ‘sacrificial lambs’ in coronavirus childcare crisis, 24 July). Priti Patel is the only woman in the upper echelons of the government. Where it matters, there’s virtually no one to speak up for women and little recognition of the huge contribution they make to the country’s economy.
Dr Sylvia Dunkley
Sheffield

• Unlike Margaret Waddy (Letters, 27 July), my early cricketing experience was of my twin brother being allowed in the exciting score box as my dad played, while I was expected to help my mam make the sandwiches. My angry refusal led to the first stirrings of feminism and an abiding dislike of cricket.
Dyllis Wolinski
Mossley, Greater Manchester

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Venice becomes first major film festival to return after coronavirus lockdown

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 07/28/2020 - 03:48

Festival reveals 2020 line-up for physical event, with Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland one of eight films by female directors to compete for the Golden Lion

Helen Mirren, Shia LaBeouf and Greta Thunberg are among the big names due to be on display at the 2020 Venice film festival, as it gears up to be the first major festival to stage a physical event in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Inevitably the lineup has a slimmed-down feel, with many films delayed or held back, meaning there is little in the way of Venice’s traditional dose of Hollywood glamour.

Festival director Alberto Barbera announced the main list of titles on Tuesday, which drew together films by the likes of Alex Gibney, Chloé Zhao and Luca Guadagnino. Zhao’s film, Nomadland, is arguably the most prized: following her indie hit The Rider, Zhao has adapted Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction account of older Americans forced on to the road by economic crisis, with Frances McDormand acting as producer as well as taking the lead role. In a sign of the pressures on film festivals, Nomadland will simultaneously premiere at the Toronto film festival, as well as subsequently filling the prestigious Centrepiece screening at the New York film festival.

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Free pads and tampons now available to all Victorian public school students in Australian first

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 07/27/2020 - 20:29

The initiative aims to boost inclusivity and break down ‘the stigma of periods’

Victorian public schools are the first in Australia to offer free pads and tampons to students as part of an attempt to boost inclusivity and break down “the stigma of periods”.

The initiative is aimed at “reducing discomfort and embarrassment around periods for girls” at school, and will provide pads and tampons for free in bathrooms at the more than 1,500 government schools in Victoria.

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Egypt jails women for two years over TikTok videos

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 07/27/2020 - 07:06

Court sentences Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three others for ‘violating public morals’

An Egyptian court has sentenced five female social media influencers to two years in jail each on charges of violating public morals, a judicial source said.

The verdict against Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three others came after they had posted footage on the video-sharing app TikTok. The ruling, which can be appealed, included a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds (£14,600) for each defendant.

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Cheshire prison worker warned of problems before death of baby

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 07/27/2020 - 05:47

Manager of mother-and-baby unit at Styal Prison wrote to politicians about her concerns for pregnant inmates

The former manager of a prison mother-and-baby unit warned just months before the stillbirth of a baby there that such a tragedy was likely to happen because of concerns about conditions for pregnant women at the prison, the Guardian has learned.

Tamsin Morris, a lawyer, who previously managed the mother-and-baby unit at Styal Prison in Wilmslow, Cheshire, wrote to the MP for the area, Esther McVey, to the Ministry of Justice and to the mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, in February of this year, raising concerns about conditions for pregnant women at the prison in the wake of the stillbirth of a baby at HMP Bronzefield last September.

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In Case You Missed It: The Americans with Disabilities Act – 30th Anniversary

Women's eNews - Sun, 07/26/2020 - 10:39

As the nation celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA30) on July 26, 2020, the 50-member ADA Lead On “Core Production Team” (in front of and behind the camera/keyboard) and 22 ADA Generation bloggers, influencers and signal boosters were focused and determined to set the record straight, and flip the script on educating, entertaining and empowering people with (and without) disabilities with the creation and production of ADA30 Lead On: Celebration of Disability Arts, Culture, Education & Pride. This two hour, 15 minute entertaining, educational and empowering journey chronicled the five titles of the Americans with Disabilities Act, landmark civil rights legislation!

All too often ignored by Hollywood and media employers, ADA30 Lead On Production Team created and presented an all-star ensemble cast of deaf and disabled performers, artists, filmmakers, storytellers, disability leaders, policymakers and key influencers who boldly own this narrative and created this show – meeting weekly for months – all from their own homes, across the country during this pandemic (instead of our original plan at the Kennedy Center) – with Disability Power & Pride.

Because of past erasure from history, it is very important that during this celebration, voices of deaf and disabled talent, ADA Generation bloggers, social media influencers and signal boosters of color from multiply marginalized communities were amplified to make sure that BIPOC voices, contributions, ideas and aspirations are part of this celebration, and of future events.

Appearances included: Danny Woodburn, emcee; Tony Award-winner Ali Stroker; Academy Award-winner Marlee Matlin; Comedian/performers Maysoon Zayid, Geri JewellKathy BuckleyNic Novicki, Nina G., Andy Arias, Shannon DeVidoSelene Luna, and Michael Beers. Check it out on BROADWAY WORLD.

The event was such a success that ADA30 Lead garnered the following results on its Facebook page, thus far:
54,372 people reached (up from 28,671) – organic, not paid
20,326 views
17,806 unique views
10,353 engagements 
2,523 total reactions
1,735 comments
620 shares

ADA30 wants to especially thank Lead Sponsor AT&T for its awesome blog – “The ADA is a beacon for progress that can only happen when determined activists, people like you and me campaign and lobby for change,” said Chief Compliance Officer David Huntley of AT&T, Inc. “At AT&T, we’re committed to the ADA mission and ensuring that we are providing equal employment opportunities to people with disabilities makes us a better company.”

ADA30 also wants to thank AT&T, its Lead Sponsor, Google our Gold Sponsor, plus sponsors: The Ability Center, AT&T, Bus Door Films, Deraney PR, Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, EIN SOF Communications, Exceptional Minds, Foundation for Global Sports Development, Google, Kessler Foundation, Lights! Camera! Access!, michaels.adams., Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, Mulberry Tree Group, Point 360, PolicyWorks, TransCen, Wells Fargo, and Woman of Her Word.

Council of Europe 'alarmed' at Poland's plans to leave domestic violence treaty

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 07/26/2020 - 04:37

Rights body condemns move to withdraw from treaty aimed at stopping violence against women

The Council of Europe has said it is alarmed that Poland’s rightwing government is moving to withdraw from a landmark international treaty aimed at preventing violence against women.

Poland’s justice minister, Zbigniew Ziobro, said on Saturday that he would begin preparing the formal process to withdraw from the Istanbul convention on Monday. The treaty is the world’s first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women, from marital rape to female genital mutilation.

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The fight to clear Johnny Depp’s name exposes an altogether nastier agenda | Catherine Bennett

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 07/25/2020 - 21:15

Playing out at the high court is nothing less than a festival of misogyny


Two weeks into the Johnny Depp libel hearing, a subset of supporters arrived with a giant mobile Fathers4Justice advert reading, over a picture of the actor and his ex-wife Amber Heard: “Ditch the Witch”.

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Betty, Gloria and Shirley… we can learn so much from Mrs America's pioneers | Natasha Walter

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 07/25/2020 - 20:45

As the TV drama shows, solidarity is forged by being in the room with rivals, not by cancelling them

If you try to learn what it’s like to be a feminist from many of the popular narratives you get right now, the books about “gutsy women” or “awesome women”, the films about black female scientists or white suffragettes, you might consider it a pretty straightforward life. A life characterised by a sense of destiny, which moves pretty swiftly along the clear road to progress. I’m sure – I hope, anyway – that many activists do recognise that rhythm to their lives.

I, not so much. Particularly over the past few years, being politically active has often felt more like being lost in a dark field without a torch. Are we going forwards or backwards? Who the hell put that boulder in our path? Why is everyone fighting over the map? Does anyone even have the map?

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UK working mothers are 'sacrificial lambs' in coronavirus childcare crisis

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 07/24/2020 - 05:00

Exclusive: Survey reveals lack of childcare played role in almost half of female layoffs

Women are being treated as “sacrificial lambs” as the UK economy contracts, with half of working mothers unable to access the childcare they need to return to work, according to a survey exposing the scale of the UK’s childcare crisis.

As the government was accused by MPs from both sides of the political divide of ignoring and sidelining women in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the survey revealed a lack of childcare played a role in the job losses of almost half of the women made redundant since the pandemic hit.

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Book of the Week: HE THREW THE LAST PUNCH TOO HARD

Women's eNews - Thu, 07/23/2020 - 13:47

When Los Angeles based photographer and former Hollywood stuntwoman Hannah Kozak was nine years old, her mother left Hannah and her family after falling in love with another man. He turned out to be violent. From the age of nine to fourteen, Hannah witnessed him abuse her mother on the weekends she spent with them. In 1974, he beat Hannah’s mother so badly she sustained permanent brain damage. After caring for her for six years, Hannah’s father moved her mother into an assisted living facility at the age of forty-one, where she lived for thirty-five years. She has spent the last five years at a different, much improved facility. She is partially paralyzed on one side and cannot walk on her own, cloth or feed herself.

Hannah had early, fond memories of her mother as a beautiful, passionate, vivacious, fiery Guatemalan Sophia Loren-type brunette who loved to dance the Flamenco. But because her mother left her, she carried tremendous feelings of abandonment and rage towards her mother and ignored her for decades in an attempt to distance herself from her own pain.

Preferring to stare fear in the face than be paralyzed by it, and to further escape from reality, Hannah spent twenty-five years in the film industry as a Hollywood stuntwoman (her dream job since childhood), performing high falls, stair falls, train falls, car hits, bike hits, fights, driving and fire burns. In October of 2004, she broke both of her feet jumping out of a helicopter onto the tallest building in Los Angeles. While recovering from the stunt accident, she experienced a spiritual epiphany. “I realized when I couldn’t walk and was crying in my bedroom, I needed to forgive myself for judging my mother for leaving.” – Hannah Kozak

Hannah began photographing her mother in 2009, twenty-nine years after she was forced to spend the rest of her life in a nursing home, as a way to process her feelings towards a mother that she had never truly known. “I hoped by photographing her I could bring closure to an open wound I had my entire life. In the process, I grew to love my mother and discover the power of forgiveness,” Hannah says. He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard is the story of our reconciliation.”

My mother, circa 1970.

“I have been deeply invested in photographing my mother for ten years. Her complexity continues to beckon me: I will not avert my eyes from the truth of her condition no matter how difficult it is to see. Someone must be witness to her life. In addition, I want my photographs to make people pause and question the nature of the human condition and assess their own will to live.”

“My mother is my muse. I feel our connection without fear as I create photos meant to take me out of my comfort zone. These photos tell my mother’s story of isolation, loneliness, abuse, connection, compassion, forgiveness, family, humanity, grace, joy and above all, love.”

My mother, December 15, 2009

“My mother is a symbol of perseverance. Even though she suffered permanent disability from domestic violence; she never lost her kindness, belief in love and hope. As my mother’s body deteriorated; her right hand turning in more, her soul flourished. What happened to my mother also fractured my persona yet we both grew from the trauma and she refused to be covered with a veil of pity. She is comfortable in silence and is fully present in the moment. I never planned to show these photos when I made them, but I’ve learned that by sharing myself and my process of healing, that in turn helps others on their path to healing.”

Mom dancing a day after my birthday, July 27, 2015

Nursing homes during the pandemic:

The facility where Hannah’s mother lives has been in lockdown for five months. No family members are allowed inside the building to visit their loved ones. Back in March, when the lockdown was initiated, Hannah’s mother became confused and agitated when her daughter stopped coming to see her. To mitigate the situation, Hannah wrangled a compromise with the facility. Since April 22, she has been pre-approved to visit her mother twice a week for 25 minutes behind a gate outside in the blazing sun with the traffic whizzing by. In an NPR story titled “Banned From Nursing Homes, Families See Shocking Decline In Their Loved Ones” (June 9, 2020) NPR correspondent Ina Jaffe writes that “Advocates for residents say it’s time to rethink the outright ban.”

About the Photographer: Hannah Kozak was born to a Polish father and a Guatemalan mother in Los Angeles, California. When she was ten years old, her father, a survivor of eight Nazi forced labor camps, gave her a Kodak Brownie camera. With a camera in hand, she began to explore her fascination with photography. In her twenties, her hustle and fearlessness led her to a twenty-five-year career as a Hollywood stuntwoman where she also would make photos with her camera on sets. Although she continued to photograph over the decades it wasn’t until her forties that she turned full tilt towards personal projects in photography, as a passion, and her desired profession. Photography became a way for her to explore and reveal her internal world. Kozak holds degrees in Liberal Studies with a Spanish concentration (B.A.) and Psychology (M.A.).

“Photography has served as a means for coping with emotional pain and has subconsciously been an effort to transform and heal. My self-portraits are a search for self-knowledge that provide me with a coherent sense of self and are the mirror I never had from my mother. Our relationship was derailed so early in my life. My early mothering experiences were associated with unavailability, loss and rejection. Photography has reworked this relationship and it’s the only arena where I can express my conflicts in the separation of our relationship and use my heart to rework who we can be to each other.” – Hannah Kozak

All the images are copyright © Hannah Kozak from the book He Threw The Last Punch Too Hard published by FotoEvidence. The book is edited by Régina Monfort. For further information, visit: http://hannahkozak.com For book purchases, visit hannahkozak.com/bookstore/

Jenni Murray to quit BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 07/23/2020 - 13:01

‘It’s time to move on,’ says broadcaster after 33 years presenting the show

Dame Jenni Murray, whose mellifluous voice has graced the airwaves as the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour for more than three decades, is to leave the programme.

Murray, 70, who is the longest-serving presenter in Woman’s Hour’s 74-year history, would be “moving on to a new stage in her long and distinguished broadcasting career”, the BBC said.

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Of course birthrates are plunging – the Tories have created a child-unfriendly society | Polly Toynbee

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 07/23/2020 - 06:06

Austerity-era cuts to pre-school help, education and benefits have put parenthood out of reach for many

The austerity decade has diminished us in many ways, and this week there came news of a new one: the birthrate is plummeting. The Office for National Statistics has revealed a fall of 12.2% since 2012. That’s a replacement rate of just 1.65 children per woman – lower in Wales.

Cue panic. Who will look after the old? Who will do the jobs to pay for their pensions? Some think fewer humans are good for the environment, others that it signifies national decline: size means status and strength among wealthier nations.

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