Women's News from the Web

Male NHS doctors earn 17% more than their female peers

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 03/28/2019 - 14:01

Biggest ever study of public sector gender pay shows female GPs earn a third less than men

Male doctors in the NHS earn 17% more, on average, than their female peers, the biggest ever study of gender pay in the public sector has found.

Female GPs experience the greatest disparity. They earn, on average, £75,600 – a massive £38,000, or a third, less than the £113,600 average salary among male colleagues.

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Greg Hunt pledged $2.5m for endometriosis research. We’re yet to see a cent | Kate Young

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 03/27/2019 - 15:59

The aim is to improve the lives of women with the painful condition. The burden to do so should not fall on their shoulders

Every day this month I have opened my social media to an ocean of yellow women’s surgical constellations and words of hope and frustration. It is Endometriosis Awareness Month, a useful time to reflect on what Australia has achieved in supporting women with the condition. And what we still need to do.

The national action plan for endometriosis was officially launched mid last year by the federal health minister, Greg Hunt. The government promised $4.7m towards implementing the priorities outlined in the plan. This consisted of a $2.5m grant program under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), $1m for a steering group to oversee the plan’s implementation, $1m to educate GPs and health professionals about endometriosis, and $200,000 to Jean Hailes for Women’s Health for an awareness campaign for women.

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Tampon tax: £1m to go to charity supporting grooming gang victims

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 03/27/2019 - 14:01

Changing Lives to receive £1m to help victims in Rotherham, Newcastle and elsewhere

Victims of sexual exploitation scandals in Rotherham and Newcastle are among those who will benefit from this year’s tampon tax disbursement.

The charity Changing Lives will receive £1m to support vulnerable women groomed by gangs for sexual exploitation in the north-east and Yorkshire, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced.

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Eleven female Saudi activists appear in Riyadh court

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 03/27/2019 - 01:06

Women are on trial for unspecified charges relating to human rights work

Eleven female Saudi Arabian activists have appeared in court in Riyadh for the latest hearing in their trial on unspecified charges relating to their human rights work and contacts with foreign journalists and diplomats.

Reporters and foreign diplomats were barred from entering the courtroom and escorted from the building despite petitioning the authorities to attend the trial, which has drawn sharp criticism in the west.

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Are sexual abuse victims being diagnosed with a mental disorder they don't have?

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 23:45

The lack of recognition for complex PTSD by the psychiatric establishment means it is difficult for sexual abuse victims who might suffer from it to receive the right diagnosis

Suppose, for the sake of a thought experiment, that a new psychological disorder was discovered. It is supported by dozens of studies and recognized by some of the world’s leading psychiatrists and psychologists, but not by the North American psychiatric establishment. And let’s say the refusal to accept this new disorder had devastating consequences for #MeToo survivors.

That claim is asserted by a growing number of sexual abuse victims, psychiatrists and psychologists worldwide.

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White Ribbon has ended up selling something that stinks | Van Badham

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 18:12

Its latest campaign ‘Cheese for Change’ is a river of dairy pouring through a chasm of staggering misjudgment

“The aim of marketing,” explained the corporate guru Peter Drucker, “is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself”.

If that’s the theory, I am more than intrigued to understand the practice which informed one Australian organisation’s recent “Cheese for Change” campaign.

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Trump expands global gag rule that blocks US aid for abortion groups

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 06:07

Policy bans aid going to foreign groups that support abortion rights as secretary of state Pompeo says: ‘This is decent and right’

The Trump administration has expanded its ban on funding for groups that conduct abortions or advocate abortion rights, known as the global gag rule, and has also cut funding to the Organisation of American States for that reason.

Related: How Trump signed a global death warrant for women | Sarah Boseley

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Nasa cancels all-female spacewalk, citing lack of spacesuit in right size

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 01:57

Space agency blames shortage of outerwear after first-of-its-kind mission falls through

Nasa’s plans for the first all-female spacewalk have fallen through – at least in part because the agency doesn’t have enough spacesuits that fit the astronauts.

What should have been a giant leap for womankind has turned into a stumble after Nasa said on Monday night that they will only have access to one correctly sized spacesuit top by Friday when the walk was scheduled. One of the two women on the mission, Anne McClain, will now have to give up her place to a male colleague.

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‘I had a huge swelling’: why my life as a female cyclist led to vulva surgery

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 23:59

There needs to be serious, urgent research into better saddles for female cyclists, says Hannah Dines, who has endured years of pain and swelling caused by friction as she rides

The plastic surgeon, in that particularly endearing way of surgeons, was trying to reassure me that although he had never operated on an endurance cyclist before, he had seen “presentations” like mine. “I’ve seen chronic inflammation and long-term trauma to the vulva like this. You know …” he paused, “in patients who compulsively rub up against bedposts.” Silence.

I decided against explaining that the relationship with my bike saddle did not, perhaps, deserve to be in among the psychiatric cases in his cognitive filing system. However, he had a point. While there is no love lost between me and the necessary evil that is my saddle, I have continued to train, despite huge amounts of destruction to my body, pain and trauma.

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NASA Cancels All-Women Spacewalk

Women's eNews - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 14:09

(Updated 3/26/2019) On Friday, March 29, the world was going to experience a watershed moment with NASA’s first all-female spacewalk in history. Unfortunately, it was cancelled a few hours ago due to the lack of properly-sized spacesuits. This small step for women would have been a gigantic step for womankind. When flight engineers Anne McClain and Christina Koch were planning to step outside the International Space Station and into history, it would have been thanks to several decades of women and people of color who introduced diversity into space travel.

Diversity in Space

A report from SatelliteInternet.com on diversity in space travel found that gender diversity continues to rise but still has a long way to go. In the 1970s, approximately 8% of astronauts worldwide were women and only 8% of those who were active in space travel were people of color. By the time Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel to space in 1983, those numbers had risen steadily. Racial diversity rose dramatically during the ’90s to over 18%, but it wasn’t until 2010 that significant strides in racial and gender diversity were made, bringing the number of astronauts worldwide to nearly 24% people of color and 31.5% women.

While these rising numbers are encouraging, space travel still has a long way to go before the industry can put real equality in orbit. Since the ’50s, roughly 88% of astronauts have been white and an overwhelming majority have been men. While the USA has some catching up to do in terms of diversity, space programs in Japan and Canada lead the way with the most gender diverse teams of astronauts.

Why Diversity Matters

Beyond the symbolic importance of having those in space reflect the diversity of humanity, research has shown that diversity can drive innovation, becoming a compelling source for ‘outside the box’ thinking that’s essential in science and technology.

Kelly Johnson, professor of astronomy at the University of Virginia, argues that increasing the number of women in the science workforce should be mission critical. She writes, “Progress in science is fundamentally dependent on having a mix of backgrounds and experience in order to think about problems in new ways and come up with innovative solutions. Progress also depends on having people with both technical expertise and the ‘soft skills’ to build successful collaborations and maximize efficiency.” Certainly astronauts, who are often required to multitask and take on several different kinds of roles in space, could benefit from the insight diversity brings.

Momentum behind equal representation in space travel is mounting. In 2013, NASA announced that the new class of astronauts—who might be the first to lead an expedition to Mars—would be 50% women, and it has encouraged more diverse leadership among teams applying for space missions. Commercial space travel organizations have followed suit, with Virgin Galactic cosponsoring a symposium on increasing diversity in space travel in 2016.

Making History Again

As the all-female crew prepared for their walk outside the International Space Station, they would have done so almost fifty-six years after Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space in 1963. Since then, fifty-nine women have gone into orbit as astronauts, cosmonauts, scientists, and specialists.

Girls of 13 are lining up for Botox. Here’s why

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 08:29

Cosmetic surgeons are concerned that a growing number teenagers are trying to stave off wrinkles before they arrive – so what or who is really to blame?

We’re living in an age where messages of “self-love” are everywhere: from high-street stationery to pop music. Yet young women’s self-esteem is abysmally low, with cosmetic surgeons becoming increasingly concerned at a spike in girls as young as 13 getting Botox. Doctors cite mental health problems and, of course, the ever looming bogeyman of “celebrity culture” as being responsible. “Girls are having treatment at an age when they don’t need it,” Dr Nick Lowe, the dermatologist who helped to pioneer the injections in the 1990s, told the Sunday Times. “We’re seeing body dysmorphic syndromes and a terrible loss of self-confidence. They’re convinced that looking like a celebrity is going to make them happier and more successful.”

While it is particularly troubling that tweens are smiting smile lines before they can feasibly form, the very idea that Botox is “needed” at any time in a woman’s life is as much a part of the problem as anything else. Young girls are trying to preempt a grim reality: that their worth dwindles as their age increases. Yet it seems that the horror of an older woman is still greater than that of needles jutting from baby faces – there are still no legal age restrictions on Botox and the industry remains woefully unregulated.

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Women’s lib freed us from domestic drudgery – so what’s with today’s competitive cleaning? | Suzanne Moore

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 07:43

Forget about gleaming worktops and shiny showerheads. Life is for living, not for tidying your cutlery tray

The world is a mess. Pollution and all that eco-jazz. Your body is also a mess, full of toxins that need cleansing. Your skin is ungodly and needs a good hot-cloth treatment and expensive cream. And your house? Well, it’s an absolute tip.

Foxes have eaten my recycling, so rubbish is strewn all over the road. A card was popped through my door offering to steam my carpets, a treatment that seemed more expensive than buying some new carpets. The last man who cleaned my windows disappeared after a complicated divorce and, quite frankly, I can’t be bothered any more.

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Just Watch How Women Build Peace

Women's eNews - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 14:43

In a year when American women mobilized, ran for office, and were elected to Congress in unprecedented numbers, the documentary series Women, War & Peace returns today, Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26, 9-11 p.m. on PBS with powerful stories of women’s role in dramatic conflicts and peace settlements across the globe.

Series II demonstrates how some of the biggest international stories of recent memory are shaped by women. An all-female cast of directors present four never-before-told stories about the women who risked their lives for peace, changing history in the process: Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs (Eimhear O’Neill), The Trials of Spring (Gini Reticker), Naila and the Uprising (Julia Bacha), and A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers (Geeta Gandbhir and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy). Women, War & Peace II is executive produced by Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker for Fork Films and Stephen Segaller for THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. The original groundbreaking documentary series Women, War & Peace premiered on PBS in 2011. “We are at a very fortuitous moment,” says Abigail Disney. “We are starting to feel the changes of women in power.”

“Women play a central role in ending conflicts and building peace, but their stories are often left untold,” adds Stephen Segaller, vice president of programming, WNET. “As women continue to gain political momentum in the U.S., with more women elected in this year’s election than any point in U.S. history, Women, War & Peace II, shares four remarkable stories of brave women facing tremendous obstacles to pursue significant political change.”

About Women, War & Peace II

If today’s movements signal a future marked by gender equality, Women, War & Peace II looks to the past to see exactly—and how effectively—women can make that happen. The first two films look at two movements: one in Northern Ireland, the other in Palestine, in the late twentieth century.

Directed by Eimhear O’Neill, Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs follows the all-female political party in Northern Ireland, where years of violent strife compel a group of Catholic and Protestant women to demand a seat at the negotiating table for the Good Friday Agreement—a deal that stands to this day.

Emmy®-winning and Oscar® nominated filmmaker Gini Reticker then transports the series to Egypt in 2011, where the euphoria of the Arab Spring quickly runs into headwinds. In TheTrials of Spring, the film follows the journeys of three Egyptian women as they fight for the goals of the popular movement: “bread, freedom and social justice” for all. But caught between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, the women soon find themselves being pushed backwards.

Peabody-winning director Julia Bacha takes us to 1980s Gaza, where, as shown in Naila and the Uprisinga non-violent women’s movement formed the heart of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. The film revolves around the tragic and remarkable story of Naila Ayesh, a student organizer and activist who joins a secret network of women in a movement that brings together the disparate organizations protesting Israeli occupation.

The second two films of contemporary women activists and organizers chart the path forward for international peacebuilding and security. A Journey of a Thousand Milesdirected by two- time Primetime Emmy® winner Geeta Gandbhir and two-time Academy Award® winner and two-time Emmy® winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, follows one of the world’s few all-female peacekeeping units. As 160 Bangladeshi women embark on a UN peacekeeping mission to Haiti following the devastating 2011 earthquake, they confront extreme poverty and devastated healthcare systems in their effort to build peace.

Seven years after the original debut of the award-winning series, Women, War & Peace II premieres at a critical political moment where women are calling for a seat at the table. In uncovering untold histories of those who have made that possible, the series reveals their transformative power and the long road ahead for contemporary peacebuilders around the world.

Women, War & Peace II – Four New Episodes / Documentaries
Discover how some of the biggest recent international events have been shaped by women in a showcase of four, female-directed films that tell never-before-told stories about women who risked their lives for peace, changing history in the process.

Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs – Debuts Monday, March 25 at 9:00 p.m.
Discover the story of the Catholic and Protestant women who come together during Northern Ireland’s bloody conflict to form an all-female political party and fight to ensure that human rights, equality and inclusion shape the historic Good Friday Agreement peace deal.

The Trials of Spring Debuts Monday, March 25 at 10:00 p.m.
Follow three Egyptian women as they put their lives and bodies on the line fighting for justice and freedom. The film tells the story of Egypt’s Arab Spring, the human rights abuses that came to define it and the women willing to risk everything.

Naila and the Uprising – Debuts Tuesday, March 26 at 9:00 p.m.
Discover the story of a courageous, non-violent women’s movement that formed the heart of the Palestinian struggle for freedom during the 1987 uprising, known as the first Intifada. One woman must make a choice between love, family and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers Debuts Tuesday, March 26 at 10:00 p.m.
Embark on a risky year-long UN peacekeeping mission into earthquake-ravaged Haiti with an all-female Bangladeshi police unit. Leaving their families behind, these police officers shatter stereotypes as they rise in the name of building peace.

Lady Hale: at least half of UK judiciary should be female

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 03:55

Supreme court president calls for full equality at event for centenary of women in law

At least half of the judiciary should be women, Britain’s most senior judge has said.

Speaking at an event in the supreme court to mark the centenary of women’s entry into the legal profession, Brenda Hale, president of the supreme court and the first woman to take on that role, made the call for full gender equality across the judiciary.

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Kellyanne Conway is no 'badass' – and she's certainly no feminist | Arwa Mahdawi

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 05:42

Conway plays an integral role in Trump’s racist and misogynist agenda. She’s no feminist – she’s simply a bad person

Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter​ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday.

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Gripping refugee tale wins Waterstones children's book prize

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 05:17

Anti-trafficking campaigner Onjali Q Raúf was inspired to write adventure story The Boy at the Back of the Class by a Syrian mother and baby she encountered in a Calais camp

Onjali Q Raúf has won the Waterstones children’s book prize with her debut novel, which she wrote while recovering from life-saving surgery.

Raúf is founder of the charity Making Herstory, which fights the trafficking and enslavement of women. After botched surgery for endometriosis left her vomiting and in crippling pain, she was told she had only three weeks to live. Further major surgery saved her life, but forced Raúf to spend three months recovering in bed.

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Mary Warnock embodied the best of Britain’s ruling class before Thatcher | Andrew Brown

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 04:18

Her ambition was harnessed to a kind of patriotism and an ideal of serving society that is much less widely believed in today

In many ways Mary Warnock, whose death was announced on Thursday, represented the best of Britain’s ruling class as it was between the war and the rise of Margaret Thatcher.

The kind of tough-minded, realistic and self-confident liberalism that she embodied was once a quality that foreigners admired in Britain. It was elitist and not particularly democratic: she and her husband rose to the very top of the Oxbridge system, he as vice-chancellor of Oxford University, she as the head of colleges in both universities. When I went to see her in her semi-retirement, in a village on the edge of Savernake Forest, Wiltshire, she was unashamed about collecting her attendance allowance from the House of Lords. She needed the money, she said, and she earned it – she did the work.

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'She's rebellious': actor on giant Plymouth sculpture she inspired

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 23:40

Nicola Kavanagh says crude criticism of Messenger may be fuelled by fear of the unknown

An actor who was the inspiration behind a giant bronze sculpture of a female figure has described her sense of awe at the scale of the piece, and suggested crude criticism of it may be fuelled by fear of the unknown.

Nicola Kavanagh said she found the 7-metre-high, 9.5-tonne statue, Messenger, which was delivered in suitably dramatic fashion to the Theatre Royal Plymouth this week, striking and beautiful.

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It’s a Booming Business: Trafficking Myanmar ‘Brides’ to China

Women's eNews - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 08:31

Nang Seng Ja was just 19 and living in Myanmar’s northern Kachin State when her aunt invited her on a trip to see her three cousins who live in China. About a month into the visit, Nang Seng Ja fainted. She awakened in a strange house surrounded by a Chinese man and his family. “I heard from them that I was trafficked,” she told Human Rights Watch.

Nang Seng Ja, whose name I’ve changed for her protection, fled to a nearby police station, and begged for help. “The police then took 5,000 yuan [$800] from the family,” she said. “Then they sent me back to the family.”

They locked her in a room where the man raped her repeatedly. They forced her to take what they said were fertility drugs. “The family’s mother and father told me, ‘We bought you. You must stay here,’” she said. After 14 months, one of her cousins, angry that she received a smaller share of the “bride” money, told Nang Seng Ja’s parents where she was. They paid another trafficking survivor half of the family’s property to recover her.

Each year, traffickers through deceit or force, transport hundreds of women and girls from northern Myanmar to China and sell them to Chinese families struggling to find brides for their sons due to the country’s gender imbalance.

Myanmar’s internal armed conflict in the North has been ongoing since achieving its independence in 1948, but dramatically escalated in 2011 when the government ended a 17-year ceasefire. More than 100,000 people, predominantly ethnic Kachins, have been displaced. Many trafficking survivors said that they live desperate lives in displaced people’s camps, with little opportunity to earn a living. The Myanmar government blocks aid to the camps. Women and girls often become the sole breadwinners for their families, with their husbands and brothers away fighting.   

Across the border in China, the percentage of women has fallen steadily since 1987. Researchers estimate that China has 30 to 40 million “missing women.” The imbalance is caused by a preference for boys, exacerbated by the “one-child policy” in place from 1979 to 2015, and China’s continuing restrictions on women’s reproductive rights.

Trafficking survivors usually said that trusted people—in some cases their own relatives–promised them work in China, then sold them for amounts ranging from $3,000 to $13,000. Survivors said buyers often seemed more interested in a baby than a bride. The women and girls were typically locked in a room and raped repeatedly.  After giving birth they could sometimes escape, but usually only by leaving their children behind. Several women said they were so desperate to see their children that they returned to China to the families who had held them captive.

Law enforcement officials on both sides of the border make little effort to stem trafficking and, as Nang Seng Ja’s story illustrates, are sometimes complicit in the business. Families of trafficked women described begging the Myanmar police for help repeatedly and being turned away. The families—and experts—described police demanding bribes to act. Police operating as part of the opposition force, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), were no better.

Women who escaped and made it to the Chinese police were often jailed and deported, while their traffickers and buyers remained free. There is little effective coordination between police in Myanmar and in China, and even the most essential tools to facilitate such cooperation— interpreters, for example—are not in place.

Back in Myanmar, survivors have little access to services and grapple with stigma as they try to rebuild their lives. The Myanmar government provides a few services, but these are narrow in scope and miss most of those who need them. A number of civil society groups help survivors, push for justice, and work—with or without law enforcement help—to recover victims, but they have few resources.

All three police forces in the region should do more to prevent trafficking, recover and assist victims, and pursue both the traffickers and the buyers. International donors should fund nongovernmental groups’ efforts to help women and girls caught between Myanmar’s abuses against the Kachin and China’s war on reproductive rights.

Heather Barr is acting co-director for women’s rights at Human Rights Watch and author of a new report about bride trafficking in the region.

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