Women's News from the Web

Mira Sorvino says she was date raped and calls for 'justice' for survivors

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 16:20

Oscar winner at forefront of #MeToo movement says she felt ‘ashamed’ and that incident was somehow her fault

The Oscar-winning actor Mira Sorvino has said she is a survivor of date rape, saying she was talking about it publicly to lend her voice to a push for stronger sexual assault laws in New York.

Sorvino, who was one of the first women to accuse the film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, spoke during a news conference with New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, in support of the push to drop the statute of limitations on rape allegations.

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How Kate Moss Close could pave the way to a better world

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 06:49

A drive for more streets to be named after women won’t solve sexism and racism – but it’s a start

A new initiative in Bradford is hoping women will take up more literal and figurative space in the UK. Through the Pioneering Bradford Lasses campaign, more streets and public spaces in the city will be named after women in order to correct the gender imbalance of the figures whose achievements are publicly honoured. Bradford will kick off by naming a new street – Lillian Armitage Close – after a local suffragette who campaigned for women’s right to vote.

I am under no illusion that more brown faces on bank notes, more women’s names on blue plaques or the toppling of the statues of colonialists we continue to celebrate will actually see minorities getting better-paid jobs, an increase in women climbing the ranks or somehow end white supremacy. I do, however, think that these can be brilliant and necessary moves. It is important that a city, town or country acknowledges not just the existence but the contributions of those who helped make it great.

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Kylie Jenner’s party was stupid. But it won’t curtail the power of The Handmaid’s Tale | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 21:00

Celebs can drink their Gilead cocktails. Margaret Atwood’s story remains a pertinent warning about misogyny’s mission creep

I felt a small spark of joy yesterday, as I imagined Margaret Atwood’s facial expression when confronted with the news that a member of the Kardashian family – Kylie Jenner – had provoked internet outrage by organising a Handmaid’s Tale-themed party. The novelist is known for taking no prisoners, and the footage, which shows Jenner and her friends squealing as they are confronted with Handmaid-themed costumes and cocktails, lays bare some of the most flagrant stupidity I think I have ever witnessed.

Was I particularly offended? Before anyone cries “snowflake”, I was not. But I was astonished at the ignorance and privilege of the women in the video, who will never suffer if Roe v Wade is repealed, abortion is outlawed in the US and women’s bodily autonomy is drastically curtailed. The Handmaid’s Tale is a TV series to them, a piece of pop culture iconography that can be stripped of its context, but even then it is not without its dark connotations. The first series was a brilliant and faithful adaptation of the book, before the next series descended into violence so disturbing and gratuitous, that many women I know stopped watching. Yet the rape and the female genital mutilation and the torture did not preclude this story from being chosen by a young woman as the theme of a glossy celebration ripped of its context and appropriated.

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Want to be a male ally? Start by helping to clean the house | Moira Donegan

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 20:00

Liberal men say they want to be equal partners in housework and parenting. But it hasn’t happened

Imagine if the dishes stopped getting done. Imagine if no one did the laundry, and it piled up, stained and mildewing in hampers and in piles on the floor. Imagine if no one fed the baby, or changed her, and imagine if no one made dinner. Imagine if no one scheduled grandma’s cardiologist appointment, and no one reminded her of the appointment after it had been scheduled, and if no one drove her to the appointment on the morning she was supposed to go. Imagine if no one vacuumed, or washed the windows, or picked up the various detritus that accumulates around the house.

Imagine that this goes on for a week, two weeks, two months. Imagine the domestic fights behind closed bedroom doors. Imagine the wailing infants. Imagine the hunger, and the injuries, and the infections. Imagine the paid work that happens at the shop or at the office that would be delayed, then phoned in, done badly and eventually not done at all.

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On World Day Against Child Labor: Put an End to Child Marriage

Women's eNews - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 13:36

Each year, on June 12, the International Labor Organization (ILO) commemorates the World Day Against Child Labor to focus global attention on the extent of child labor and the actions needed to eliminate it. 

The ILO, which was founded a hundred years ago in the aftermath of World War I, is using the occasion of this year’s World Day Against Child Labor to urge accelerated action on Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which calls on all “to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor … and secure the prohibition and elimination of all forms of child labor.”

These are noble and important goals, but we also urge the ILO to direct its focus on SDG Target 5.3, which calls for the elimination of “all harmful practices, such as child, early, and forced marriage.” For the truth is obvious: Child marriage is child labor within the ILO’s own definition.

The reality of day-to-day life for girls living within child marriages is one of servitude. They carry out all of the household chores, perform demanding agricultural work, and cook with fire and heavy pots of boiling water over unventilated cookstoves. They also work from dusk until dawn, waking at night to breastfeed, tend to sick kids, and care for elders; and they are forced into a sexual relations before the age of consent.

Consider the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) criteria for the worst forms of child labor: Work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous or harmful to children; work that exposes children to physical or sexual abuse; work that forces children to work long hours, which unreasonably confines them to the premises, and could result in a child’s death, injury, illness or disability.  Yet, many child “marriages” are still excluded from the ILO’s child labor statistics. 

The dots simply need connecting: A marriage to a minor who is too young to give her legal consent is by definition a forced marriage, creating a non-consensual relationship between a child and the man posing illegally as her “spouse,” which results in a forced labor situation. Forced labor is the worst form of child labor. Therefore, child marriage is child labor. 

AIDS-Free World concurs that anyone under 18 should be defined as a minor child, but we also recognize that the Convention on the Rights of the Child left it to individual governments to set the age at which a child becomes an adult and can legally consent. As a first step, while advocates for children work to raise the age to 18 in every country, it must be acknowledged that any “marriage” to a child who is too young to consent under her or his country’s existing laws is, by definition, in a forced marriage that results in child labor. 

There is no need to change any treaties or conventions. The legal basis for finally beginning to count child marriage as the worst form of child labor is solidly in place. The ILO statistics are no small matter. Bad data makes bad policy, and vice versa.

Undercounting the number of girls forced into child labor by omitting all those at work within illegal marriages is discriminatory. It means that critical resources, policies, and programs are being misallocated. People who are genuinely devoted to ending child labor worldwide are unaware that their goal cannot be reached unless we also end child marriage. Recent studies estimate that of the 12 million child marriages that take place every year, at least 7.5 million are illegal in the countries where they occur. This means a minimum of 7.5 million girls are missing from each year’s estimated total of child laborers, rendering the data inaccurate and skewing policy decisions.

It takes strength to abandon old habits and outdated perspectives; it takes courage to agree to a recount that will put the ILO farther from the finish line of eliminating child labor worldwide. But the world needs that strength and courage from the International Labor Organization and, more importantly, and urgently, so do millions upon millions of girls hidden in plain sight.

As the ILO outlined in its founding constitution one hundred years ago: “Universal peace can be established only if it is based on social justice.”

Paula Donovan is Co-Director of AIDS-Free World.

Nancy Meyers: focusing on my movie kitchens is sexist

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 00:25

Director of It’s Complicated and Something’s Gotta Give says male directors who make ‘gorgeous’ films don’t face similar criticism

Nancy Meyers, the multimillion-dollar grossing director of The Intern and It’s Complicated, has hit out at critics who focus on the lavishly designed domestic interiors featured in her films, saying the attention is sexist and that male directors would not be criticised in the same way.

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Kylie Jenner’s Handmaid’s Tale party was tasteless, but is the TV show any better? | Arwa Mahdawi

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 22:59

The Kardashian scion completely missed the point of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, but the small-screen adaptation seems to revel in violence against women

Praise be, ladies. The world may be a dismal place at the moment, but Kylie Jenner is here to remind us that there is a bright side to everything – even torture, rape and oppression. The 21-year-old reality TV star and cosmetics mogul recently had the bright idea of throwing a Handmaid’s Tale-themed party for one of her BFFs. The book and TV show may be a downer, but, hey, the bright-red gowns look great on Instagram! Guests sipped “praise be vodka” and “under his eye tequila” cocktails while taking selfies – and completely missing the point of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel.

Jenner’s bash, which she shared on social media (naturally), has prompted a backlash. It does seem remarkably tone-deaf to treat The Handmaid’s Tale like a hilarious joke when the US is becoming more like the fictional Gilead by the day. If you think that is an overdramatic comparison, just take a look at Alabama, which recently became the latest state to pass an extreme abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest. Not only does the bill force women to have their rapist’s babies, but Alabama law means the rapist can get parental rights and sue for custody. Meanwhile, any doctor caught performing an abortion could get 99 years in prison.

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A Letter from Men…to Men: Stand Up For Women’s Reproductive Rights!

Women's eNews - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 12:05

According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of women and 57 percent of men say abortion should be legal in “all or most cases.” But “checking a box on a questionnaire doesn’t tell us much, because polls don’t measure intensity,” noted Katha Pollitt in The Nation recently. “There is no box for “Sure, babe, whatever” or for “Yes! Abortion rights is the hill I would die on.”

When it comes to speaking up for women’s reproductive health and voices, pro-choice men’s voices have been more or less mute. It’s a tricky conversation but it shouldn’t be. While not everyone believes men should have a seat at the reproductive rights table, would excluding men really be in women’s best interests? In their Girls’ Globe article, “What do men have to do with women’s reproductive rights?”, Gary Barker of Promundo, an international NGO engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality, and Serra Sippel of Change, a 25 year-old center for health and gender equity, argue that it would be a disservice to women to exclude men from sexual and reproductive rights conversations because it “…keeps the burden for contraception on women. It halts efforts that encourage men to support the reproductive choices of their female partners, and perpetuates a culture in which no man is perceived to be, or engaged to be, an ally in ensuring reproductive rights of all people.”

For many men who believe in gender equality, me included, there’s been little of a sustained, consistent men’s pro-choice effort. We heard the maxim, “women’s bodies; women’s choices” and nodded. Consequently, many of us backed off from actively working to protect Roe v. Wade, believing we could always re-engage if circumstances became dire—if Roe was being threatened, right? After all, we reasoned, Roe’s been settled law since 1973. Well, it is now more than unsettled—it is unraveling. In the face of vicious anti-choice laws sweeping through southern and mid-western states, men cannot afford to stay silent. 

Before the 2006 mid-term elections, I was among hundreds of volunteers who went door to door across South Dakota canvassing to overturn what was then the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation. For weeks, pro-choice legions criss-crossed the state. I stood on residents’ doorsteps on leafy streets in small Dakota towns explaining why I’d come all the way from Massachusetts. “I have a son, 18, and three daughters all in their twenties,” I’d begin. “Imagine if even one parent in South Dakota had a daughter who’d been raped and became pregnant. Must that family follow a state law that forbade the young woman from aborting the rapist’s child? One that compelled her to bear his baby?” Often enough my comments struck a nerve. We won that battle (55 to 45 percent) and South Dakota’s law was overturned by the will of the people. Nevertheless, vigorous efforts to restrict a woman’s right to choose continue unabated to this day all across South Dakota.

I can come up with a half-dozen reasons why I didn’t maintain as active an involvement in the reproductive rights movement as I might have; but none hold water. It’s painful to admit that I have fallen short, missed the mark—that I have not been a better ally to women in the struggle to maintain their reproductive rights.  After all, as a man who believes in gender equality, I have always been able to enjoy and manage my own body knowing that the same is not true for women. I now know I cannot remain silent.  How can I ask other men to speak out for women’s reproductive health and rights if I‘m not willing to do so as well?  Men need to encourage other men to step up. 

Hopefully Father’s Day, 2019, will jumpstart some important conversations among men and between women and men. More than a new grill or tickets to the ballgame—and certainly beyond the demeaning dad stereotypes that get aired every June—there are practical ways men can stand with women at this perilous time. Whether you’re a father, stepdad, father figure, brother, uncle, nephew, coach or mentor, we need you, not just on Father’s Day, but every day!

Here are some actions men—not just fathers—can take: 

Volunteer at a clinic, including escorting patients inside.

For fathers: in lieu of a gift ask your family to make a donation to a local clinic, Planned  ParenthoodNARAL, or all three.  

–  Urge your faith community’s leader to deliver a sermon supporting a women’s right to choose (or be the guest speaker yourself).

–  Write a letter to the editor stating your unequivocal support for women’s reproductive rights.

–  Invite a group of men over to talk about the threat women face and why men need to break their silence.

–  Urge researchers to accelerate work on developing male birth control methods.

–  If you have a son old enough, talk with him about respecting women’s autonomy.

–  Let your daughter know you unequivocally support her right to control her body.

–  Alert anti-choice legislators that you won’t just vote to unseat them, you’ll work to elect pro-choice candidates.

Katha Pollitt has other suggestions, beginning with noting the economic advantage most men have: “That dollar you earn compared with the average woman’s 80 cents? Put it to work by donating today to an abortion fund in one of the abortion-ban states,” she suggests. Among possible recipients could be Missouri’s Gateway Women’s Access Fund, which helps people in this state with more than six million people, but only one clinic, and where the latest super-restrictive “heartbeat bill” was recently passed. (To support the Missouri fund, along with many others, go to abortionfunds.org).

Women are facing a full-blown emergency. The clock is ticking; a test case to overturn Roe v. Wade could soon be before the Supreme Court. With the flames of intolerance rapidly approaching our sisters’ windows, men must join the bucket brigade to put out the fire. NOW!

Quotes from Men about AbortionFrom the Political to the Personal:

“Among the scores of pro-feminist, anti-violence men’s organizations Voice Male magazine has written about and partnered with over the past three decades, are committed colleagues who champion gender equality, working both in North America and around the world. Their overarching goal of transforming masculinity takes many forms, including (but not limited to) advocating to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault; educating young men about respectful relationships; involving actively fathers in caregiving; consulting with NGOs around the world on projects to advance gender equality; and training early childhood educators on strategies for raising healthy boys. Their projects are representative but by no means exhaustive among efforts aimed at advancing a new expression of manhood, a new vision of masculinities. Recently, six colleagues that have been engaged in pro-feminist men’s work for decades shared with me some of their thoughts about men’s role in supporting women’s reproductive rights. The edited excerpts below range from the political to the personal.”—Rob Okun

“Although we are making progress in helping men and boys understand their role in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the vast majority of men, including many working to engage men and boys, are still unsure, largely silent on the question of a woman’s access to abortion and reproductive rights.  Could abortion still be viewed by most men as a “woman’s issue?”  We were able to break the barrier when it came to gender-based violence and gender equality, so why are we stuck on abortion?  Removing access to safe abortion is a form of gender-based violence. Controlling a woman’s reproductive choices—including access to abortion—is a form of individual and state-sponsored control over a woman’s body.  If men are speaking out against all other forms of violence against women, then we should speak out against this form of violence, too. Men and boys need to join women advocates. We owe it to the women’s movement, and we owe it to ourselves.” —Humberto Carolo, executive director, White Ribbon, board co-chair MenEngage Alliance

“Political analysts say that pro-choice women, outraged by the abortion ban legislation sweeping through state legislatures, will be an important political force in 2020, perhaps more than in any single previous presidential election. The idea that threats to women’s reproductive freedom are also an issue for men is only mentioned—if at all—as an afterthought. This has to change. Liberal and progressive men need to hear loud and clear that their support for women’s right to comprehensive health care services—which includes access to safe, legal abortion—needs to be an absolute first-order priority, because without it there is no gender equality. And without gender equality, there is no real democracy.”     — Jackson Katz, cofounder, Mentors in Violence Prevention and author of The Macho Paradox

“In the mid-1960s my mother had an abortion. I was 12 years old and didn’t know that it happened until decades later. Because abortion was illegal in the United States, my mom and dad had to sneak around like criminals. They ended up in Puerto Rico where abortion was also illegal, but more common. Luckily they found a safe and compassionate doctor. My dad was by my mom’s side throughout the process,supporting her decision. The systematic erosion of women’s reproductive rights happening now should be ringing alarm bells for men around the country. Control of our own bodies is the most basic human right. Erosion of this right moves us steadily into a world where we are no longer free to make our own choices.  Will we speak out on behalf of mothers, sisters, wives and lovers? Will we stand up on behalf of all of our freedom.” Steven Botkin, coordinating committee, North America MenEngage

“Men who support gender equality must join with women and people of all genders in supporting women’s reproductive right to choose. Men also need to take their share of responsibility for birth control, as many unplanned pregnancies are the product of sexual abuse, reproductive coercion or mere irresponsibility on the part of men. If as a society, we want to reduce the number of abortions, men have to do their part.” Juan Carlos Areán, director, children and youth program Futures Without Violence

“Men’s participation in reproduction is minimal. Minutes of pleasure; our desire fulfilled. Then what?  If, despite precautions, the woman accidentally becomes pregnant, what should men do? It’s simple: assist her in whatever way she decides. Support her right to choose. It’s her life; not ours. A growing number of state governments are insisting theycan determine what she does with her body and her life. What should men do? Basking in our male privilege, remaining quiet in the face of immoral impositions upon women’s basic human rights is unacceptable. There is no neutrality when there is oppression. Men must speak out publicly. Join women in support of their right to decide—for themselves—what they will do if they become pregnant. Do not sit quietly by. Women’s reproductive rights are not just a woman’s issue; they are an issue of justice and democratic freedom.” Chuck Derry, cofounder Gender Violence Institute

“When I was still a teenager, I was having unprotected sex with my girlfriend. I was ignorant and irresponsible; I assumed she was taking measures to avoid a pregnancy Why? My reasoning was shallow. I thought, well, she’s the woman, and she’s had more experience in these matters since she was mother to a four year-old. When she told me she was pregnant, I freaked out. I was about to start my first year of college. I “convinced” her to abort the pregnancy. I played the victim; guilt-tripping her, saying something like, “How could you do this to me when I’m just starting college?” I acted as if I was not co-responsible for the pregnancy. Feeling alone, she got the abortion. I was not even present. My “excuse?” She was living in another city and did not let me know where and when it would occur. All these decades later, the question remains: When women face an unplanned pregnancy and all the complex decision-making it requires, where are the men? A few years later, after I was lucky enough to be exposed to feminism, I became active in the profeminist men’s movement in my native Nicaragua. That was in the late eighties and nineties. Then about 20 years ago, our Managua-based profeminist men’s collective, Grupo de Hombres contra la Violencia, drafted a statement about men’s responsibility regarding abortion. Here’s an excerpt: As brothers, parents, boyfriends, husbands, and friends of women who at some time have needed or may need a therapeutic abortion to safeguard their life and health, we reject the claim of criminalizing therapeutic abortion… Men have no right to demand that women put their lives at risk… It is the right of women to put their own health and well-being first. If therapeutic abortion is penalized, then men should also be imprisoned. Men are the cause of many abortions, particularly when we behave in the following ways: 

               – Pressure or force women to have sex.

               – Refuse to use condoms or other male contraception. 

               – Prevent a partner from using her preferred contraceptive method. 

               – Inflict physical, sexual or emotional violence on a partner. 

               – Deny responsibility for her pregnancy.

               – Fail to comply with legal and moral obligation to support our children. 

               – Strong-arm and/or threaten our partner to abort.

Abortion is a very complex, delicate issue. But what is clear is women are the ones who experience pregnancy and abortion. Women must always have the last word.”

Oswaldo Montoya, Networks associate, MenEngage Alliance; cofounder, Grupo de Hombres contra la Violencia, Managua

Rob Okun is editor of Voice Male magazine and a member of the steering committee of North America MenEngage. He was one of Women eNews “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” in 2018, receiving the Gordon Gray Male Leadership award. He can be reached at rob@voicemalemagazine.org.

The CPS is denying justice to thousands by secretly changing rape prosecution rules | Rachel Krys

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 06/09/2019 - 21:00

Reported rapes have soared, but cases reaching court have plummeted. That’s why women’s groups are taking legal action

Rachel Krys is co-director of End Violence Against Women Coalition

This is a sad day. I belong to a national coalition of women’s organisations that have finally been forced to launch a legal challenge against the Crown Prosecution Service for its failure to prosecute rape.

We believe the CPS has altered its approach in how it makes decisions on whether to charge or drop rape cases. For almost a decade, the CPS used a “merits-based” approach to building rape cases. This meant working from a thorough consideration of the law on rape (the seeking as well as the giving of consent, and being in a fit state to do so) and building a case that assumes the jury will make a decision without relying on “rape myth” prejudices.

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Fighting to protect women at work | Letters

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 06/09/2019 - 06:58
Signatories including Helen Pankhurst, Sadiq Khan and Harriet Harman say the International Labour Conference in Geneva presents an opportunity to end violence and harassment against women, and call on the UK government to use its influence wisely

Over the last few years, we have come together around #March4Women to demand action to end violence and sexual harassment in the workplace. This week, world leaders have a crucial chance to answer this call, and turn the wave of global outrage following #MeToo into systemic change for women in the workplace. We call on the UK government not to waste this opportunity to champion a strong global law that protects all women.

Governments, employers and workers are meeting in Geneva for the International Labour Conference to negotiate a new global convention to end violence and harassment in the world of work. We urge them to remember the 235 million women around the world who work without any legal protection because one in three countries have no laws against sexual harassment at work. It is the poorest women who are the most vulnerable – domestic workers, factory workers, those women living hand-to-mouth who cannot afford to risk their jobs by standing up for themselves and for each other. An international law is urgently needed.

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Canadian volunteers scour river for missing Indigenous women

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 06/09/2019 - 00:00

Drag the Red searches for human remains in the Red River as a report recently concluded Indigenous women face a ‘genocide’

As a government inquiry compiled its landmark report on the epidemic of violence against Canada’s Indigenous women, Bernadette Smith and a group of volunteers continued what they have done for years – scouring Manitoba’s Red River for human remains.

Since 2014, Smith and her team at the Drag the Red initiative have used a small motor boat to drag the murky waters in the faint hope providing closure to grieving families.

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Natalie McGarry deserved to be punished but did we really have to lock her up? | Kevin McKenna

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 06/08/2019 - 19:00
The imprisonment of the ex-MP was greeted with howls of glee that ignored her plight and that of others like her

Social media is a place to be avoided when it’s time for a public execution. At these times, it becomes something savage, as an assortment of semi-literate grotesques gather to yell insults and throw eggs.

On Thursday, it was Natalie McGarry’s turn to face these gargoyles. The former Scottish Nationalist MP, who has an 18-month-old child, was jailed for 18 months for embezzling more than £25,000 from pro-independence campaign groups during and after the 2014 independence referendum. She is a first-time offender.

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Like May, the first woman in cabinet faced a lonely battle in a male-dominated world | Rachel Reeves

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 19:00
Ninety years after Margaret Bondfield was appointed, the challenges for female politicians are different but real

The imminent departure of Britain’s second female prime minister reminded me of Margaret Bondfield. Unlike Theresa May, the former shop worker and union organiser is far from a household name – but she should be. Her story tells us much about the battle women fought to secure political representation and the way they were treated when they arrived in Westminster. It also tells us something about women in politics today.

Ninety years ago today Bondfield made history when she became the first female cabinet minister.

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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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