Women's News from the Web

‘There’s no end and no escape. You feel so, so exposed’: life as a victim of revenge porn

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 09/22/2019 - 03:00

This ever-evolving crime rages almost unchecked. Three women talk about the devastating effect it had – and still has – on them

Ruth King (not her real name) can still remember the call coming through on her mobile. She thinks of that moment as “the start of hell”. “It was four years ago, but I remember it clear as day,” she says. “It was my friend warning that there were videos of me everywhere. Her husband worked at a local factory and pornographic videos of me were being shared between all the workers.”

King’s instant response was to vomit. “I was working with my dad – he’s an old-fashioned type of guy, so what could I say? I told him I wasn’t well and went home.” Almost as soon as she got there, another friend, a builder, called to tell her the same videos were being passed around his building site. “He said: ‘I didn’t believe they were of you, Ruth, but I looked and they are.’”

Continue reading...

From the archive: the women miners of Virginia

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 09/21/2019 - 19:00

It’s 1980, and American female miners are facing all the hardships of life down the pits, plus sexual harassment, too

In 1980, Anthea Disney went to Virginia for the Observer Magazine to talk to female miners about their experiences of the brutal working conditions and the sexual harassment and discrimination (27 July, ‘Where a woman’s place is down the mine’).

When Brenda Salyers, 29, first applied for a job at a Consol coalmine, she was told no woman would ever work there. But in 1974, a sex-discrimination lawsuit opened the pit gates to women and she reapplied. ‘A few years later they were forced to give me a job,’ she said, ‘and a cheque for backpay and seniority as well. It was my turn to laugh in their faces.’

Continue reading...

Our relationship is perfect – except we don’t have sex | Dear Mariella

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 09/21/2019 - 18:59

Don’t compromise on such a vital element of a committed relationship, says Mariella Frostrup

The dilemma I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year and it’s been near perfect, if not for the fact we don’t have sex. It dwindled after three months and I attempted to initiate it – even though it’s not really my character – to no avail. Now it’s not only barely existent but unenjoyable for me as he feels obliged to do it. I’ve always had a high sex drive and at the moment it’s all I think about. I really care about him and feel this is the man I could marry and have children with – he’s voiced several times that this is what he wants, too. I’ve brought the issue up no less than five times now and each time he either changes the subject or blames stress at work. The problem is, he wants me to move in with him, so this has well and truly come to a head. I need to make him see that this is a huge issue for me. I would have considered moving in and seeing how it went, but we don’t live close so this will be a big upheaval. How do I tactfully broach the subject?

Mariella replies Is there a tactful way to say, “Over my dead body?” You have to ask yourself an important question: why would an intelligent, functional, rational, human being expect you to opt for a sexless future with a person who can’t even communicate why they’re unable to engage with you physically?

Continue reading...

The Mean Girls have had their day. Welcome to the new Machiavellians | Barbara Ellen

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 09/21/2019 - 07:12
Young women deserve better than to be classed in an outdated, demeaning category

Fifteen years after the release of Tina Fey’s cult film Mean Girls, where Lindsay Lohan’s central character battled her peers, the all-powerful Plastics, is it time to move on from the Mean Girls caricature?

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University found that, far from being ostracised, Mean Girl types are the most popular social group. FAU followed more than 560 pupils aged around 13 for two years, placing popular adolescents into three categories: “prosocial (outgoing) popular”, “aggressive popular” and the “bistrategic popular”, or “Machiavellian”, with this latter group noted for being feared and loved. All very intriguing and it’s good to see the Machiavellian label covering both sexes, perhaps finally putting the Mean Girl where she belongs – on a dusty shelf with other oversold pop-culture relics.

Continue reading...

Labour will make firms offer menopause-friendly measures

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 11:30

Dawn Butler, shadow women and equalities secretary, will launch policy at conference

Larger companies will be obliged to introduce policies for women experiencing the menopause, such as flexible working hours and better awareness for managers, under a Labour policy to be announced at the party’s annual conference.

The plan, to be outlined by Dawn Butler, the shadow women and equalities secretary, in a speech to the conference in Brighton, will apply to all firms with more than 250 staff, and is intended to help tackle stigma attached to the menopause.

Continue reading...

Pakistani women's rights activist flees to US

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 00:26

Gulalai Ismail escapes after months in hiding and seeks political asylum

A prominent Pakistani activist, whose campaigns to empower girls have won her international awards and recognition, has defied a travel ban and fled to the US.

Gulalai Ismail said she feared for her life after speaking out against sexual violence and disappearances allegedly carried out by the army in north-western Pakistan.

Continue reading...

Alison Rose to become first female RBS chief executive

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 21:31

Deputy head of retail banking arm will also be first woman to lead one of UK’s big four banks

Alison Rose will be the first woman to lead one of Britain’s biggest banks after Royal Bank of Scotland named her as its new chief executive.

RBS ended months of speculation when it confirmed Rose, the favourite for the job, will take over from Ross McEwan on 1 November.

Continue reading...

It’s no surprise that a woman was the first to swim the Channel four times | Alexandra Heminsley

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 19:01
Sarah Thomas’s incredible feat points to a uniquely female resilience – and the healing capacity of wild swimming

On Tuesday morning, 37-year-old Sarah Thomas from Colorado, US, became the first person to swim the Channel four times without stopping. In just over 54 hours of swimming, and 130 miles, she redefined what an endurance athlete could be for a generation: until this week, only four swimmers had ever managed to make the journey three times without stopping.At an age when most of us are thinking about how little exercise we can get away with, and only a year after going into remission from breast cancer, she completed the feat with minimal fuss, emerging to a treat of champagne and M&M’s, with the comment, “I’m pretty tired right now.” Rather more tartly, her mother called her “a freak of nature”.

But those of us who follow outdoor swimming will understand that it isn’t actually that surprising that it was a woman who accomplished something so dramatic. Because women have been quietly dominating outdoor endurance swimming for some time now. A combination of obvious and not-so obvious factors currently means that across average times of male and female Channel crossings, the average female time is faster than men’s.

Continue reading...

The ERA: How It Will Equalize Access to Healthcare

Women's eNews - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 13:52

Imagine a woman in a silent room all to herself. She is trembling from excitement and her eyes are filled with tears. In her hand is a pregnancy test that reads a positive result and, in that moment, she realizes that she has roughly seven months to prepare for a new life to come into the world. But what she doesn’t know is that she only has seven more months to live the rest of hers.

This is the reality for women like Kira Dixon Johnson, 39, of Los Angeles, California. She was scheduled to have a cesarean-section to give birth to her second child at Cedars-Siani Medical Center, a top-ranking healthcare facility. The procedure went smoothly, and the mother and father were able to spend time with their two sons as a family immediately following. But just hours after the birth, Johnson started to feel lethargic and winced in pain as her uterus became more sensitive to the touch. When blood began to appear in her catheter, Johnson’s husband sought help. A CT scan was ordered to check for internal bleeding, but it never took place. He was told his wife was not a priority. Johnson died the following day.

Charlene Flores, 27, of San Fresno, Ca. had been suffering from a heart ailment. When Flores went into labor in October of 2018, a difficult decision had to be made. She was bleeding internally and her physician decided that the safest way for delivery was via cesarean section. Although this birthing procedure is routine, it is still a high-risk surgery that can cause complications such as hemorrhaging and infection at the incision site. Aware of the potential risks, Flores still put her trust in the doctors. A healthy baby girl was born minutes later, but the mother and daughter never met. Flores’s heart gave out on the operating table.

Several months later in May 2019, Sara Sewald, 26, of Colorado Springs, Co. was expecting twins. Throughout her pregnancy, Sewald suffered from preeclampsia, a condition during the gestational period that results in high blood pressure and fluid retention. It can cause hands and feet to swell which can also affect circulation and cause blood clots. Doctors had recommended a cesarean-section during a routine check-up ,and the following day Sewald gave birth to a boy and a girl. The moment between the mother and her newborn children would not last beyond the delivery room, however. Sewald died from internal bleeding after the surgery.

Johnson, Flores and Sewald represent just two of approximately 700 women who die from childbirth each year in the United States. But an estimated 50 percent of those deaths could have been prevented, according to the Center for Disease Control. Unfortunately, however, quality care in the U.S. is not guaranteed, particularly for women.

Although the US spends the most money on healthcare compared to other nations ($3.5 trillion), it is the also the most dangerous country to give birth in the developed world. This is compounded by recent figures showing that 82 million Americans are either uninsured or do not have access to an adequate health care plan. This disparity makes women, especially those who are pregnant, increasingly vulnerable. If she has aged out, divorced, or became widowed, many of these women will no longer have access to insurance. Further, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families, black women are even more likely to be uninsured, face greater financial barriers to care when they need it and are less likely to access prenatal care.

Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment would help to change that. According to the National Organization of Women (NOW), “Without the ERA, equality in pay, job opportunities, political structure, education, health care, including reproductive health care, and education will remain elusive. With an ERA, it would become significantly more difficult to roll back progress on women’s equality.” 

Further, without the ERA laws prohibiting discrimination against women are subject to the whims of Congress, which is of particular concern in today’s current political climate where we have already witnessed laws protecting women being changed, gutted, or even eliminated with a majority vote and the simple signature of the President. As ERA activist Alice Paul once said: “We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government.”

Examples of how women’s healthcare has recently been turned back include:

*The state of Alabama has enforced an abortion ban as of May 2019. Doctors are not allowed to perform abortions unless the mother’s health is at risk.

*Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Utah, Mississippi and Georgia are in favor of a “heartbeat” bill. Once a fetal heartbeat is detected, commonly occurring at the six-week mark when women typically first find out that they are pregnant, undergoing an abortion would be considered an illegal offense that could be punishable by prison time. This is of even more concern for women in Georgia, since they are more likely to be homeless than men in that state. Should these women may not be able to afford a pregnancy test, they may have to wait until a missed menstrual cycle to discover they could be pregnant. By the time help is sought, it may be too late, and causing her to suffer in silence not only for nine months, but beyond.

Although there are options available, like the National Network of Abortion Funds, which can provide financial assistance for women who are homeless or making a low income, it often proves difficult to gain access to these medical offices since they are more likely to be located within a metropolitan area, making travel difficult and expensive. “A pregnant women might have to drive 50 miles, sometimes 100 miles just to get to an OBGYN,” said Dr. Krystal Redman, a public health doctor and executive director of, Spark Reproductive Justice Now, located in Atlanta, Ga. “That’s why in the state of Georgia, it is safer to have a legal abortion than it is for a woman to carry out a full-term pregnancy and have a c-section. “It’s dangerous when a doctor is not nearby,” she continued. Compounding this is systematic oppression “Studies show that the black mortality and morbidity rate in black women in higher and more prominent in the south because that’s where systematic oppression has been rooted,” she added.

Black women earn $21,698 less than the median wages for non-Hispanic white men, according to a 2018 study from the National Partnership for Women and Families. This gap makes it harder to obtain food, shelter and healthcare. The can cause the body to internalize greater stress by having a lack of resources. “Women of color go through weathering,” Dr. Redman said. Weathering is when a body prematurely deteriorates and becomes more susceptible to health issues. “If a woman has high blood pressure or hypertension, she is more likely to have risks during pregnancy. If she is not close to a doctor or is not receiving quality care, then she is at greater risk of maternal mortality.”

Comparatively, countries that have already ratified an ERA such as Denmark, Italy and Japan guarantee free and equal access to healthcare and have been reported to have the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world. Unfortunately, in the US, women’s healthcare has been increasingly challenged under the Trump administration. “We cannot decrease the maternal mortality rate or other issues that pertain to pregnancy until we have discussions that are about systematic injustice while having a healthcare plan for all as an equitable resource.”

Tatyana Turner is a student at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is a 2019 fellow in the Sy Syms Journalistic Excellence Program* at Women’s eNews, funded by the Sy Syms Foundation. The Sy Syms Journalistic Excellence Program at Women’s eNews fellowship supports editorial and development opportunities for editorial interns in the pursuit of journalistic excellence.

Sy Syms Journalistic Excellence Program

The Sy Syms Journalistic Excellence program at Women’s eNews was launched in 2014 with support from the Sy Syms Foundation. The fellowship provides support and development opportunities for editorial interns in the pursuit of journalistic excellence.

“For a democracy to flourish all voices must be heard.” said Marcy Syms, a founding Trustee and President of the Sy Syms Foundation. “Through its investigative reporting Women’s eNews gets at the essence of good journalism. The Sy Syms Foundation is proud of this collaboration to support today’s newest women journalists.”

As part of it’s mission to create social change for women and girls through investigative reporting, Women’s eNews helps foster, train, and support the career development of new journalists with a focus on social justice and women’s rights.

Only 2% of global art auction spending is on work by women, study finds

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 05:56

A new report finds women’s work still underrepresented in the art world, with only 11% of art purchased by institutions female-made

A new study has found that despite perceived signs of progress, the art world remains overwhelmingly male-dominated.

According to a report assembled by In Other Words & artnet News, the last 10 years has found a lack of growth for female representation in art with just 2% of global art auction spending on work by women. This figure is also unevenly distributed, with five artists making up 40.7% of this figure and Yayoi Kusama in particular accounting for 25% alone.

Continue reading...

Girls should be taught at school how to ask for pay rise, says female CEO

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 05:38

Females ‘lack confidence’ to demand wage parity, says one of UK’s best-paid charity bosses

Girls should be equipped at school with the skills to ask for a pay rise in the workplace and accept nothing less than salary equality, according to one of the UK’s highest paid charity bosses.

Cheryl Giovannoni, who is paid more than £270,000 for her role as the chief executive of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), told a conference of headteachers that girls and young women must learn to be “financially independent and clear about their own worth”.

Continue reading...

Number of women dying in childbirth way off track to meet worldwide targets

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 04:48

UN figures show slow decrease in maternal mortality rate, with rates on the rise in countries including the US

The number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth has fallen by more than a third since 2000, according to new UN figures, but the rate of decline remains way off track to meet global targets to cut maternal deaths.

In the US maternal death rates have increased by over 50% and progress in reducing deaths in the 10 countries with the highest rates has slowed since 2000.

Continue reading...

Lloyd’s of London boss vows to stamp out sexual harassment

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 23:26

Results of survey into culture at insurance market will be published next week

The Lloyd’s of London boss has said he was “devastated” by a report on sexual harassment against women working in the insurance market as he pledged decisive action to put an end to behaviour ranging from inappropriate comments to physical assault.

The world’s biggest insurance market commissioned a major survey into its culture after an investigation by Bloomberg in March detailed widespread harassment. The results of the survey will be released in a report on 24 September.

Continue reading...

'I’m tired and desperate' – a disabled victim of domestic violence on her struggle to survive

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 23:00

Disabled women are at higher risk of domestic violence than others, so why are there so few accessible refuges? As Sarah’s story shows, they are faced with an impossible system

To survive in the refuge, Sarah (not her real name) stores fruit and cereal bars to eat in her room. When we first talk in March, she has been there for a month after leaving her abusive husband. She had been sofa surfing with friends and family for a week while waiting for a place.

This is standard nowadays – research by Women’s Aid in 2017 found that 60% of referrals to refuges were declined, meaning that women escape abusive homes only to be turned away due to lack of space. But because Sarah is a disabled abuse victim, with several physical illnesses that leave her struggling to walk, as well as mental health problems, she at least got high priority.

Continue reading...

The war on (unwanted) dick pics has begun

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 19:00

A web developer asked men to send her pictures of their genitals in order to build a filter that ‘recognises’ a penis and blurs it. Which raises the question: why haven’t tech companies taken this on yet?

Earlier this month, after waking up to find an unwelcome dick pic in her Twitter account’s DMs, web developer Kelsey Bressler, 28, co-created an AI filter she claims is capable of preventing over 95% of sexually explicit images from reaching her inbox.

To test the filter, Bressler solicited pictures of male genitalia en masse, receiving hundreds to the trial account @ShowYoDiq, “for science”.

Continue reading...

Outcry at Indonesia draft criminal code that could see unmarried couples jailed

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 17:23

New draft bill, decades in the making, could also criminalise insulting the president and tightens abortion laws

Indonesia is set to pass a new criminal code that could outlaw living together outside marriage and insulting the president, among a raft of controversial new measures that rights groups have decried as disastrous.

The Indonesian parliament has spent decades revising its colonial-era criminal code, creating a 628-article draft bill that could be passed in coming days.

Continue reading...

Women, looking unapproachable could be your greatest asset | Yomi Adegoke

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 08:29

Meeting the world with a ‘resting bitch face’ may not be what society demands, but it protects you against unsolicited male attention in public

With girls as young as 13 years old now opting for Botox, it is clear that ageing is no longer the only thing women are trying to ward off. An article in the New York Post has noted a rise in women seeking plastic surgery to “fix” their so-called “resting bitch face”. This is a women-only affliction, where, even when wearing a neutral expression, you appear perpetually standoffish. In reality, it refers to any time that a woman’s facial expression is set in anything less than a smile.

According to one doctor quoted in the piece, the number of requests for the procedure have more than doubled in the past year. This isn’t exactly shocking – women are made to feel bad about just about everything in terms of their appearance – but to me it seems many of these women are getting rid of something that is actually a great asset.

Continue reading...

Rate of US abortions drops to lowest level since 1973

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 06:54

The US experienced an 8% decline in the abortion rate in three years, to the lowest recorded level since abortion was legalized

The overall rate of abortions has dropped in the US to the lowest level since 1973, according to a new study, continuing a downward trend.

The US experienced an 8% decline in the abortion rate in three years, to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, the lowest recorded level since abortion was legalized in 1973. In 2017, an estimated 862,320 abortions were performed.

Continue reading...

Why do one in five home health aides live in poverty?

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 20:01

Employment in the healthcare industry is projected to grow, but women – particularly women of color – are being left behind

“One of the biggest challenges is explaining that you are not a maid. That your job is not to clean up after everyone,” said Marisol Rivera, who has been caring for elderly and disabled clients in their New York homes for 20 years.

Rivera is one of the millions of women now employed in the US’s fastest-growing job sector: healthcare. Driven by an ageing population and propped up by government funds, in 2017 healthcare jobs surpassed manufacturing and retail – once the two driving forces of employment in the US. And by all predictions it will keep on growing.

Continue reading...

Libra ad depicting menstrual blood did not breach standards, watchdog rules

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 17:26

Commercial showing a woman in stained underwear and another with blood running down legs had been deemed ‘offensive’ by some viewers

The advertising watchdog has dismissed hundreds of complaints about a TV commercial for sanitary products which depicts menstrual blood for the first time on Australian television.

The Libra ad included a woman’s legs in the shower with water and blood running down them, a woman in white lingerie with the bottom of the patterned underwear stained red and a teenage girl entering a bathroom holding a pad.

Continue reading...
Syndicate content