Women's News from the Web

China to clamp down on abortions for ‘non-medical purposes’

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 09/27/2021 - 06:40

Policy uses women as tool for economic goals and could endanger their lives, says rights group

China’s pledge to limit abortions puts women’s bodies under the state’s control just as the one-child policy did and could endanger the lives of women seeking abortions, rights groups have said.

The Chinese government announced on Monday that it would seek to reduce abortions for “non-medical reasons” – a move seen as being in line with its attempts to accelerate birthrates.

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Japan urged to abolish third-party consent from abortion law

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 09/26/2021 - 22:30

Restrictions amount to ‘sexual assault’ on women by Japanese state, say rights campaigners

Women’s health campaigners have urged Japan’s government to amend a law that forces married women to seek consent from their husbands before they can have an abortion.

Japan is one of only 11 countries that require third-party consent for abortions, despite calls to end the practice by the World Health Organization and other groups.

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San Marino referendum ends with 77% voting to end abortion ban

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 09/26/2021 - 10:29

Over 40% of residents of landlocked state in central Italy voted to end total ban in place since 1865

Residents in San Marino have voted overwhelmingly to legalise abortion.

Over 40% of the population of about 33,000 in the tiny state, which is landlocked within central Italy, participated in the referendum, with 77.3% voting in support of allowing abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, according to results published by San Marino TV.

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Australian anti-harassment website given ‘woefully inadequate’ budget

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 09/26/2021 - 07:30

Tanya Plibersek criticises lack of funding for a Respect@Work portal compared with the government’s controversial $3.8m ‘milkshake and taco’ site

A key part of the Respect@Work program to prevent sexual harassment has a “woefully inadequate” budget, especially compared with the $3.8m dedicated to the widely panned “milkshake and taco” site, shadow minister for women Tanya Plibersek says.

A website to help workplaces tackle sexual harassment was the 48th of 55 recommendations in sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins’ landmark report on making workplaces safer.

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UK urged to resettle fleeing Afghan women’s football team

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 09/26/2021 - 03:26

Leeds United have offered support but players face return to Taliban regime unless accepted soon

The UK government is being asked to urgently resettle female players from Afghanistan’s girls development youth football team who fled the Taliban and have been offered a new life with Leeds United.

The 35 young women – many of whom are in their teens – their families and football coaches are in Lahore, Pakistan, on 30-day visas. But the 136-strong group face returning to Afghanistan unless they are accepted by a third country soon – they have to leave Pakistan by 12 October.

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It’s not just the right who can admit feeling uncomfortable about ending a pregnancy | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 09/26/2021 - 01:00

By allowing women space to talk about difficult abortions, we may be able to improve access to them

Like many people, I’ve been thinking about the women in Texas, a US state that is now in the business of forced births. When you consider how pregnancy is dated from the first day of a woman’s last period, its newly imposed six-week limit on abortion essentially amounts to a ban, leaving such a tiny window for a woman to arrange a termination. As well as being horrified by this cynical assault on human rights, I find myself once again counting my lucky stars that I live in England, a country that – unlike many others, including Northern Ireland, where women are still being forced to travel due to a postcode lottery – has access to safe, legal abortion free of charge.

For as long as the assault on women’s reproductive rights continues around the world, it feels taboo to talk about abortion in any other way. It is a privilege to be able to make an appointment, take the pills (if it is early enough), and get on with our lives. But what has become difficult to acknowledge is that for some women, even a legal, safe abortion can be a traumatic experience. This is a story that we have surrendered to the right, when it is an experience that deserves to be heard and could even serve to strengthen the case for better access.

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‘White feminists’ are under attack from other women. There can only be one winner – men | Sonia Sodha

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 09/25/2021 - 21:00
Undermining female solidarity serves only to strengthen the grip of the patriarchy

Blaming women for the ills of the world might appear an odd feminist call to action. But an idea gaining traction is that the “white feminism” dominant in the United States and the UK is not only a driving force of societal racism, but responsible for a host of other bad things, from the war on terror to the hypersexualisation of women in popular culture, to the dreadful abuses of power we see in international aid. It’s part of a growing tendency on the left to look for scapegoats at the cost of building the solidarity needed for social change.

This is not to downplay the extent of racial inequalities in the UK, the way they affect women of colour and the structural racism that lies behind them. But it’s quite a jump to move from the observation that women are no more immune to racism than men to holding the feminist movement accountable for the plight of women of colour around the world. A new book, Against White Feminism, by Rafia Zakaria, makes precisely this case. To stack up the argument, she stereotypes feminism beyond recognition as a shallow, consumerist and exclusionary movement dominated by selfish white women who care little about scrutinising the male violence perpetrated by white men.

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Prison guards, but not mother, get counselling after baby dies in cell

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 09/25/2021 - 06:03

Exclusive: Report from the ombudsman found that the guards who failed to help were offered bereavement support but not the grieving teenager

A vulnerable 18-year-old whose baby died after her calls for help were ignored as she gave birth alone in a prison cell was not provided with bereavement support – but the prison guards who failed to get her medical assistance were offered counselling, the Observer can reveal.

The details were buried in a devastating report from a prison watchdog published last week that described how the teenager was found in bed cradling her dead baby more than 12 hours after pressing her cell bell and telling staff at the privately run HMP Bronzefield that she needed an ambulance.

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Cop26: Women must be heard on climate, say rights groups

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 20:00

Those worst hit by global heating are left out of talks, says feminist coalition calling for systemic change

Women must be enabled to play a greater role at the Cop26 summit, as the needs of women and girls are being overlooked amid the global climate crisis, a coalition of feminist groups has said.

The Global Women’s Assembly for Climate Justice has laid out a call for action at the UN general assembly, including demands that world leaders meeting at Cop26, in Glasgow this November, must end fossil fuel expansion and move to 100% renewable energy.

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House Democrats vote to establish federal right to abortion

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 06:31

Women’s Health and Protection Act is part of strategy to push back against rush of state laws but unlikely to advance in Senate

House Democrats voted on Friday to establish a federal right to abortion, moving swiftly to advance the measure after the supreme court declined to stop a Texas law effectively outlawing the procedure and as they await a separate ruling next year that could further erode access.

The legislation, named the Women’s Health and Protection Act, is part of the party’s strategy to push back against the rush of state laws restricting abortions and to show their determination to defend reproductive rights, an issue they believe will resonate ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Joe Biden has urged support for the measure, but Republican opposition in the Senate all but ensures the bill will not reach his desk.

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Cosmetic procedure industry is like the ‘wild west’, say campaigners

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 06:12

Non-surgical treatments can cause serious injuries when they go wrong, with poor regulation exacerbating risks in UK

The non-surgical cosmetic procedure industry is like the “wild west”, say experts and campaigners, who are calling for the government to stop ignoring increasingly urgent pleas for the regulation of non-invasive procedures.

The call comes after former supermodel Linda Evangelista said she had been “permanently deformed” after a non-surgical cosmetic procedure went wrong.

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Immersion tank study will explore impact of space travel on the female body

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 02:44

Experiment aims to address a gender gap where most space medicine research has been carried out on men

It may sound like a prolonged spa break but when 20 women tuck themselves into a waterbed in the south of France for five days this week, it will be under the guise of a scientific study into the impact of space flight on the female body.

The experiment, by the European Space Agency, will simulate the impact of microgravity on the musculoskeletal system, immune and cardiovascular health and hormone levels. With an increasing number of female astronauts participating in long-duration missions the immersion study is aimed at addressing a gender gap where the vast majority of space medicine research has been carried out on men.

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‘I haven’t looked back’: the women who discovered cycling in lockdown

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 01:44

Quieter lockdown roads inspired a 50% rise in women trying cycling in England. For some riders it turned into more than a new hobby

Fiona Forster had never felt comfortable cycling on the busy roads near her home in St Albans, but when the cars disappeared during lockdown last year it opened up a whole new world.

“I would never have gone out in the traffic levels like they are now. I was too worried that I’d get knocked off by a car or someone would drive past me too quickly, I just never had the confidence,” said the 40-year-old who is self-employed. “But I never saw a car probably for most of April.”

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Liz Truss accused of treating equalities role as ‘side hustle’

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 09/23/2021 - 13:02

Foreign secretary’s ‘day job’ risks sidelining hard-won rights, chair of women and equalities committee says

The chair of a group of MPs has accused the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, of treating her second role as minister of women and equalities as a “side hustle”.

A damning report from the women and equalities committee accused the government of sidelining the push for equality, and said it risked “regression on equal rights after decades of progress”.

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Fear of more baby deaths as ministers stand firm on jailing pregnant women

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 09/23/2021 - 06:16

Critics condemn failure to end practice despite tragedies in Kent and Cheshire prisons


Experts have warned that more babies could die in prison owing to the government’s expansion of female prison places and ministers’ refusal to grant multiple requests to end the incarceration of pregnant women.

The warning comes after an investigation report published by the Prisons & Probation Ombudsman on Wednesday, revealed in chilling detail how in September 2019 an 18-year-old prisoner at HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Kent, was forced to deliver her baby alone in her cell. The baby did not survive.

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Woman with Down’s syndrome loses UK abortion law case

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 09/23/2021 - 01:37

Heidi Crowter has argued allowing terminations up to birth if foetus has Down’s syndrome is discriminatory

A woman with Down’s syndrome who took Sajid Javid to court over the UK’s abortion law has lost her case in the high court.

Heidi Crowter, who brought the case alongside Máire Lea-Wilson, whose son Aidan has Down’s syndrome, and a child with Down’s syndrome identified only as A, had argued that allowing pregnancy terminations up to birth if the foetus has Down’s syndrome is discriminatory and stigmatises disabled people.

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Black Caribbean girls in England ‘twice as likely to be excluded from schools as white girls’

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/22/2021 - 19:01

Data also shows that school exclusions for girls are growing at higher rate than for boys

Some Black and minority ethnic girls in England are more than twice as likely to be excluded from school as their white counterparts, according to a report.

Equality campaigners have raised the alarm at the findings, which show that the number of girls excluded from education is growing at a significantly higher rate than boys.

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Woman punched in face by Sydney man who had conviction erased says she’s cheered by support

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/22/2021 - 12:21

Response has been ‘overwhelming’, woman says after decision in case of former Knox Grammar student

Punched in the face by a man who admits the crime but avoided a conviction, a Sydney woman says she feels “some sort of justice” after a groundswell of public support.

Nicholas Drummond, almost 21, was kept on a 14-month good behaviour bond but had his convictions erased last week for assaulting the woman and a bystander on Sydney’s lower north shore in December.

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SATURDAY 9/25: Global Day of Solidarity Action For and With Women of Afghanistan To Take Place Worldwide

Women's eNews - Wed, 09/22/2021 - 11:40
Events in Mexico, Croatia, Eswatini, Congo, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Italy, UK, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jamaica, Guatemala, Thailand, Nigeria, Portugal, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Zambia, Austria, and the United States.

Cycling trips made by women in England rose 50% in 2020, study finds

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/22/2021 - 06:54

Quieter roads of lockdown thought to explain dramatic increase among traffic-wary demographic

The number of cycling trips made by women in England rose by more than 50% in 2020, official statistics show, as the quieter roads of lockdown seemingly helped to tempt a demographic known to be more wary of traffic danger on to their bikes.

While for men there was a 12% overall rise in the average number of cycle “stages” – rides that formed part of a greater journey – made per person in 2020 compared with the year before, for women the increase was 56%, Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show.

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