Women's News from the Web

The Guardian view on the limits of economics: people are priceless | Editorial

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 07:25
Human beings have a value in themselves that can’t be measured

A McKinsey report this week estimates that one in five women’s jobs in Britain and the US will be automated away in the next 10 years. Although men’s jobs will disappear at about the same rate, the study says, they will do so in a different way: women may face particular difficulties in the transition to the future. It is striking that the report, like others of its kind, values women’s work entirely in terms of money.

There are two problems with this. The first, well-known, is that women’s work is valued less by the market than men’s. The second and larger question is how to think about the value of women’s lives, and men’s too.

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Brexit effect forces women to go to Netherlands for abortions

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 04:57

Charity says visa delays making it harder for immigrant women in Ireland to travel to UK

A pro-choice charity that for decades has helped thousands of Irish women access abortions in England is sending foreign nationals to the Netherlands due to tighter UK visa regulations and the effects of Brexit.

The Abortion Support Network (ASN) said it was guiding immigrant women in Ireland towards Dutch abortion facilities because it was taking too long to obtain visas for English clinics.

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Is the new James Bond film cursed – or just losing the plot?

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 01:20

Explosions, injuries, rewrites … Bond 25 seems beset by crisis. The result of intense media scrutiny, or a sign that the series is struggling to find a new direction?

The new Bond film is tearing the roof off – literally, it would seem. Reports emerged this week from Pinewood Studios that an explosion on the film’s set on Tuesday destroyed part of a sound-stage roof and tore off large chunks of exterior panelling, as well as causing a “minor injury” to a crew member.

The explosion is the latest setback to affect production of the film known as Bond 25, the 25th and latest in the hugely profitable series based on Ian Fleming’s books that began in 1962 and has earned over $7bn worldwide. The UK’s Health and Safety Executive has announced it is to make inquiries into the incident, though it as yet has stopped short of a full investigation.

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The Ovary Office: This is No Time for ‘Polite’

Women's eNews - Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:22

Women have been told to sit down and keep quiet, to stand off to the side and stay out of view. 

In other words: Be Polite.

We have witnessed and watched, with absolute disgust and horror, how women who have run for office have been dragged through the mud, hung out to dry, vilified, verbally and emotionally assaulted and put in their “place”—that “place” being a corner—or shushed, told to stand in the background, or ordered to stand behind because we all know that old saying: Behind every great man…is a woman, being told to be polite. 

To say that women are judged unfairly is an understatement. We are judged from every single angle: from the way we talk, to the way we dress, to the way we wear our hair, to the shoes on our feet, to the clothes on our back. We are judged for being strong, being determined, being smart, being gutsy, and being persistent.

Nevertheless, We Run!

Women candidates are put under a different microscope than their male counterparts are; women candidates are pulled apart at the seams and admonished for emotional outbreaks, instead of being hailed for their passion and compassion and empathy, which are qualities women have in abundance. Our anger is equated with hormonal imbalance, not inequality, and our frustration, we are told ad nauseam, comes from either menstruation or menopause—period. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, is one of the six Democratic women who have stepped into the Democratic presidential ring, all knowing beforehand that they will get pummeled many times, got into a bit of verbal tussle with Chris Wallace at a FOX News town hall meeting where he reminded her that she had been invited and she needed to be a bit more polite.

More Polite.

When is the last time you heard someone tell a male candidate to be more polite? Let me tell you what being polite does. It shrinks our soul, diminishes our shine, and it keeps us wedged—tucked—into a corner. We can’t ride a wave because being polite would prevent us from making waves. It keeps us fresh and tidy, discouraged from speaking our truth or declaring our truth, because if we speak our truth or declare our truth and someone gets offended…and we all know someone is bound to get offended when a woman speaks her mind.

“Mind Your Business is what we’re told.

Being polite is agreeing and acquiescing when every fiber in our being is shouting and screaming, “Do not agree and do not acquiesce.” It keeps us quiet and in the background, preventing us from being seen, being heard, and being loud.

It is waiting until everyone else gets served, waiting until everyone else is seated even if it means sitting on the floor. It is letting so much crap eat away at us—at our soul, at our heart, at our spirit, at our life force—allowing others to make claims on what is ours, allowing others to cut ahead in line, allowing others to steal our thunder. Polite is risk free, no sharp edges, no noticeable scars; blemish free. 

It is trying to be perfect.  It is tasteless and bland. 

Polite is a first cousin to being nice; both are rooted in fear and worry, preventing us from standing tall, standing up and standing for who and what we believe in, allowing others to get ahead at our expense. Polite may give us the shirt off its back, but it will never allow us to stand on it, and it most certainly won’t have ours. Polite will never have our back.

Now is not the time for women to be POLITE. Now is the time for women to be POLITICAL.

Welcome to The Ovary Office.

The Ovary Office is a new Women’s eNews series covering the women who are running for the presidency, to counterbalance the patriarchal slant that currently exists in much of the mainstream media. While there are six Democratic women vying to become the party’s presidential nominee, their male counterparts have attained about eighty percent of the media’s coverage, thus drowning out women’s platforms and their viability as presidential candidates. The Ovary Office plans to turn this narrative upon its head.

The Ovary Office is the brainchild of Amy Ferris, a highly accomplished author, screenwriter, television writer, and editor. She was also honored by Women’s eNews as one of its 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2018. Amy is also known for championing, encouraging, and inspiring women to awaken to their greatness, as only she can, through passion, truth, hope, and humor—along with a heaping side of activism.

NHS drive for diversity in key roles ‘going backwards’

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:01

Study finds fewer woman and BME people in key jobs at NHS trusts, despite initiatives to improve representation

Fewer women and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are being given key roles running NHS trusts, prompting claims that the health service is going backwards on diversity and inclusion.

The proportion of chairs and non-executive directors of NHS trusts in England who are from an ethnic minority has almost halved from 15% in 2010 to just 8%, research shows.

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Edinburgh LGBT+ committee resigns in row over speakers at feminist meeting

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 06/06/2019 - 08:36
  • University network says opposition to event was censored
  • Speaker Julie Bindel left ‘shaken’ after alleged abuse

All 12 members of Edinburgh University’s staff pride network committee have resigned after accusing the university authorities of “failing to take a stand against transphobic hate on campus”.

The committee claims the mass resignation was prompted by the university’s attempts to censor its opposition to a feminist meeting, held on Wednesday evening, which included speakers who have previously been critical of proposed reforms to transgender rights.

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Watch Elizabeth Warren blast Biden for his stance on abortion funding

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 06/06/2019 - 05:00

‘We do not pass laws that take away freedom from women who are most vulnerable’ Warren said, in speech against Hyde amendment

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren delivered a scorching criticism of her fellow candidate in the 2020 election and former vice-president, Joe Biden, and his continued support for the Hyde amendment, a provision of federal law that restricts abortion access for poor and disabled women on public health insurance.

The Hyde amendment bars the federal government from paying for abortion care through Medicaid,the government program that provides health insurance to roughly 17 million US women of reproductive age. An abortion costs roughly $600 in the US.

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'Femtech' startups on the rise as investors scent profits in women's health | Gene Marks

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 06/06/2019 - 00:00

Venture capital firms – mostly male-led – are starting to overcome their wariness over women-orientated products

What if a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle could be turned into a diagnostic tool that warned of potential medical problems or even fatal diseases? That’s what one young company is trying to prove. One of a new generation of “femtech” companies that are finally attracting serious attention, and money.

Nextgen Jane, an Oakland, California-based startup, is using its technology to determine whether a woman has endometriosis (a medical condition of the uterus that affects millions of women and causes pelvic pain which could in some cases lead to infertility) as well as cervical cancer and other potential medical problems. The company raised more than $9m this past April to fund the further development and clinical testing of what it calls “smart tampons”. The custom-made product – assuming it can one day get Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval – would be worn for about two hours and then placed inside a test tube that’s part of a home kit sent to a lab for testing.

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Listen to Japan’s women: high heels need kicking out of the workplace | Summer Brennan

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 22:41

The #KuToo campaign against the requirement to wear high heels at work reflects a long history of women’s repression

We’re used to talking about high heels in terms of fashion, fantasy and even feminism. But we’re somewhat less accustomed to speaking about them as business etiquette and workplace obligation – even though, to many women, that’s exactly what they represent.

Related: High heels at work are necessary, says Japan's labour minister

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It's time for men to step up and share responsibility for birth control | Moira Donegan

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 20:00

Why does the onus of birth control always fall on women? With access to contraception and abortion under threat, men must do their part

A woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant can take a pill, or wear a patch or insert a hormone-filled ring into her vagina. She can have hormone-secreting implants inserted into her arm or her uterus, or she can have a copper IUD inserted, which prevents pregnancy without hormones. She can get a shot. She can place a spermicide-soaked sponge next to her cervix prior to sex, or she can have herself fitted for a diaphragm or cervical cap that acts the same way. If all else fails, she can use the morning-after pill, Plan B. If she never, ever wants children, she can undergo major, irreversible surgery to get her tubes tied.

She does all of these herself, booking the doctor’s appointment (none of these birth control methods are available over the counter, with the exception of Plan B), and paying out of pocket for the appointment or using her insurance benefits, if she has them. The site of the birth control is on her body, and she alone will experience the side-effects, which in the case of hormonal methods can be numerous and severe. She can’t get pregnant alone – for that, she needs a male partner – but she prevents pregnancy alone. Birth control is perceived to be her responsibility, not his.

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Makeup millionaires show how women are taking control of the beauty industry

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 07:24

Forbes’ list of the richest ‘self-made women’ in the US has includes 10 in the skincare business, including Rihanna and Kylie Jenner. But is it something to celebrate?

In 2019, if women want to earn big bucks, fashion and beauty is the way to do it. Forbes has released its fifth annual list of the US’s richest so-called “self-made women”. Of the 80 women on it, 10 are from the makeup and skincare industries. Those who have reached millionaire and billionaire status through their own beauty brands and fashion lines include Kylie Jenner, Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills, the Gap co-founder Doris Fisher, Forever 21’s Jin Sook Chang and the creator of Spanx, Sara Blakely.

Rihanna, bolstered by her Fenty Beauty brand, has become the world’s richest musician – despite not having released any music since 2016. Fenty Beauty, which she launched in 2017 with the luxury goods group LVMH, generated an estimated $570 million in revenue last year.

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Madonna’s age isn’t relevant. Her music is | Fiona Sturges

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 05:52

Like many female artists, the singer has to put up with constant references to how old she is. It’s a double standard

When the carping over Madonna’s age began in earnest, the focus wasn’t on her singing, or songwriting, or even her stagecraft. The problem, according to certain sections of the press, lay with her hands. “Why do Madonna’s hands look older than her face?” asked the Daily Mail in 2006. Such was the paper’s concern over the then 47-year-old’s apparently awful paws, a plastic surgeon was drafted in to provide professional analysis. “As a person ages [the] plumpness goes, making the hand look bonier and more veiny … less elastic,” he said sagely. Since then, close-ups of Madonna’s hands have been as much a tabloid staple as Victoria Beckham’s scowl or Amanda Holden’s sideboob.

Music critics tend not to pass comment on a musician’s appearance – to do so would undermine the seriousness of their endeavour. But the assessments of Madonna’s 14th album, Madame X, have nonetheless brought more subtle kind of disparagement. “Perhaps the erstwhile Queen of Pop should be content with the role of Queen Mother of Pop now,” said the Daily Telegraph’s critic, going on to note that a woman who has shifted 350m units and broken every record for a female artist going hasn’t had a Top 10 hit in a decade. Even in the Guardian’s review, which was mostly positive, the theme of her age was never far away.

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High heels at work are necessary, says Japan's labour minister

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 05:23

Ministry responds to #KuToo petition calling for end to women having to wear heels at work

Japan’s health and labour minister has defended workplaces that require women to wear high heels to work, arguing it is “necessary and appropriate” after a petition was filed against the practice.

The remark came when Takumi Nemoto was asked to comment on a petition by a group of women who want the government to ban workplaces from requiring female jobseekers and employees to wear high heels.

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On World Environment Day

Women's eNews - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 05:16

“Girls and Rhinos Have The Same Enemy”

Today, on World Environment Day, we hope you’ll listen to what some girls in East Africa have to say about the link between girl’s rights and conservation.

In May 2019, twelve girls from Kenya and Tanzania came together as part of UNEARTH Kenya, a joint project between GlobalGirl Media, BRAVE,  and Samburu Girl’s Foundation. UNEARTH began with a week-long media and leadership training for girls living on the perimeters of some of East Africa’s most remote and wildest places, teaching them to become digital storytellers, girls’ rights advocates and champions of conservation. 

In the second week, the girls hit the road, traveling to wildlife reserves and staying in lodges that usually only foreign tourists frequent. On this road trip, the first of its kind in Kenya, the girls got behind the camera, writing, directing, filming and editing two short video reports. Female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage are still practiced in the communities the girls are from, with only 19% of girls receiving a secondary school education. But these girls are part of a growing movement to change these harmful cultural practices. In an area where a wild rhino’s rights and protection might seem more important than a girl’s, they asked some tough questions and got some answers.

The short video, Girls’ Rights or Conservation?, (link belowaims to change the narrative for girls living alongside wildlife, and provide opportunities for those working in the field of conservation to embrace these young women as leaders and change makers.

Thank you to these amazing budding journalists and conservation advocates!  


*This video is part of a collaborative project with South Africa’s BRAVE, Kenya’s Samburu Girl’s Foundation and GlobalGirl Media, in Kenya.

‘The models have bellies, hips and thighs that jiggle’: the rise of body-positive swimwear

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 03:44

From larger-cup bikinis to modest beachwear, fashion is finally beginning to cater for a range of women’s bodies

If there’s one thing Sasha Khan loathes, it is shopping for swimwear. Which makes it a strange coincidence that, on the day we speak, Khan has just been bikini shopping. “I buy swimwear about once every 10 years,” she says. The 23-year-old charity worker from London is flying to Ibiza tomorrow. “I always put it off. I hate it. It’s like having to go to the dentist or get your eyes tested.”

The reason Khan hates bikini shopping is because she is a size 10-12, with a 32FF bust, and few retailers design swimwear for women with relatively narrow backs and larger cup sizes. Khan isn’t alone. “I heard at least two or three other people in the changing rooms today saying: ‘Oh God, I can never find anything.’”

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Women born in 1950s take fight against rising pension age to court

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 02:33

BackTo60 group says women were not given time to adjust to new retirement age

Women born in the 1950s whose retirement age was increased from 60 to 65 have gone to court seeking a judicial review of how the government raised the retirement age and to try to force the government to repay their lost pensions.

Nearly 4 million women have been forced to wait up to an extra six years to get their pensions after changes to bring women’s retirement age into line with men’s.

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Miley Cyrus speaks out against man who groped her in public

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 06/04/2019 - 22:35

Pop star says a woman ‘can be wearing what she wants … She can’t be grabbed without her consent’

Miley Cyrus has spoken out after a man grabbed and kissed her following a festival performance in Barcelona last weekend. She posted footage of the incident to her Instagram and Twitter feeds, which shows the man grabbing at her hair, then pulling her towards him by wrapping his arm around her neck, and kissing her head. Clearly rattled, she breaks free and moves quickly away.

Captioning the footage, Cyrus wrote: “She can be wearing what she wants. She can be a virgin. She can be sleeping with 5 different people. She can be with her husband. She can be with her girlfriend. She can be naked. She CAN’T be grabbed without her consent. #DontFuckWithMyFreedom.”

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The Derry Girls are right – a boycott won’t change Northern Ireland abortion law | Anna Cafolla

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 06/04/2019 - 21:00

Concentrating on entertainment industry boycotts only lets politicians off the hook and hurts those who can least afford it

“You can be sure I will fight tooth and nail to move Insatiable to a state that will protect our rights,” Alyssa Milano said recently, referencing her Netflix series that currently films in Georgia. From Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox, to Don Cheadle, Amy Schumer and Alec Baldwin, the threat of Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” – which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks into pregnancy – has galvanised actors, activists and the creative industries to boycott the state.

Related: Abortion law 'harsher in Northern Ireland than in Alabama'

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The taboo around menstruation and menopause doesn't only hurt women | Karen Pickering

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 06/04/2019 - 15:59

We all came from the same place: a uterus. Demeaning and despising the process that gives us life diminishes everyone

Telling people you’re writing a book on menstruation and menopause is a great litmus test for the strength of the menstrual taboo. Most often, people skip a beat and force a weird smile, before saying something non-committal like “good for you”. Or they laugh nervously (especially men) and say, “Oh wow, OK, not something I know too much about ha ha ha.” They rarely say, “I am completely disgusted by this” but you can usually tell if there’s a reluctance to delve deeper, or a squick factor at work.

Conversely, other people (mostly women) practically pin me down and launch into their own TED talk comprised of every thought they have ever had about periods. I love it when this happens, but I also sense a desperation that comes from me giving permission. “I’ve been DYING to talk about this” is a common refrain. And I know what they mean. Outside of close friendships, it can still feel a little risque to bring up menstruation and menopause in “polite” conversation.

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Men built this system. No wonder gender equality remains as far off as ever | Ellie Mae O’Hagan

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 06/04/2019 - 00:30

With not a single country on track to achieve gender parity by 2030, it’s clear that radical overhaul is required

I’m not going to lie; it’s annoying to start one’s week with the news that no country in the entire world is set to achieve gender equality by 2030. Given that our world leaders seem to continually miss targets on every measure put forward to improve things, from climate change to poverty, I’m starting to suspect they don’t really care about anything.

In any case, the UN reports that all but 10 countries have men as heads of government, so I’m tempted to paraphrase Greta Thunberg: we’re not here for you to tell us what you consider is politically possible in the society that you have created. The modern world was created by men, and it shows. The pay gap remains 23%; women are more likely to be in vulnerable work; we have less access to financial institutions; we’re less likely to have workplace protections and benefits; and we spend 2.5 times more of our time on unpaid work – in fact, women do so much unpaid work that if it were paid, it would account for between 10% and 39% of GDP.

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