Women's News from the Web

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Updated: 31 min 29 sec ago

Cutting foreign aid will put girls at risk

Sat, 12/26/2020 - 21:15

Now, mid-pandemic, would be the worst time to abandon our commitment to the world’s poorest countries

“The great strategic prize of the 21st century is the full economic, political and social empowerment of women,” said William Hague, when he was foreign secretary. “There are still large parts of the world who are undervaluing, under-utilising, under-developing half their population.” That was five years ago, and there is still a long way to go. I am speaking out now, because we are about to go into reverse.

Parliament’s women and equalities committee, which I chair, isn’t afraid to take the prime minister to task when his policies fall short in providing for the marginalised and under-represented. We’ve held the government’s feet to the fire on the domestic abuse bill, the role of women in the response to Covid-19 and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on BAME communities. But the need to level up society doesn’t stop at our borders, and many of the world’s poorest countries are also the most unequal.

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The menopause is ruining my sex life. How can I stop feeling so numb?

Sat, 12/26/2020 - 20:00

Losing your libido is a symptom, not a life sentence

The dilemma I am a 52-year-old woman who has had a difficult perimenopause. I have read extensively on the subject and tried various supplements to ease this transition. My experience has included hot flushes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, insomnia and heavy periods. I was suffering the most debilitating anxiety to the point where I could barely function. I am on bio-identical HRT (Oestragel and Utrogestan), but these had little effect in easing the symptoms. I had no choice but to take antidepressants even though my symptoms were due to hormone fluctuations.

As a side effect my libido fell drastically (a healthy sex life had been maintained until this point and I have always found it easy to orgasm). What I did not expect was that my clitoris physically shrunk and orgasms become almost impossible to achieve.

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Was this a tale of true love, or of a conman finding another mark? | Barbara Ellen

Sat, 12/26/2020 - 08:00
Christie Smythe reported on fraudster Martin Shkreli, then fell for him. The drama continues

Sometimes, your own passion can be hyped. Your feelings can become a corny, overwrought storyline you lose control over.

Christie Smythe, a Bloomberg News reporter, broke the story of the arrest of Martin Shkreli, controversial hedge funder, “Pharma Bro” and online provocateur, who became notorious for inflating the price of the lifesaving toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim by 5,000%. After Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in 2018 for securities fraud and conspiracy, Smythe visited him in prison and fell in love, losing her job and marriage. When she spoke to Elle magazine, in a story that went viral, Shkreli cut her off, saying: “Mr Shkreli wishes Ms Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavours”. She interpreted this as Shkreli being concerned about the fallout for her.

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Covid and climate of fear puts Italian birth rate at lowest since unification

Sat, 12/26/2020 - 02:00

With an estimated 400,000 new Italians this year to replace the 700,000 who have died, the fortunes of Europe’s fourth largest economy are looking ever more dire

Italy’s birth rate is expected to diminish further as the economic strife and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic exacerbate its demographic crisis.

Italy registered 420,000 births in 2019 – the lowest rate since the country’s unification in 1861 – while deaths totalled 647,000. The birth rate could fall to around 408,000 this year, while coronavirus fatalities will drive total deaths beyond 700,000, according to recent estimates from Istat, the national statistics agency.

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Sex at Christmas tends to be off menu until fireworks at new year – study

Tue, 12/22/2020 - 02:10

Stress and overconsumption of food and alcohol leave people feeling less amorous, find researchers

If Christmas leaves you feeling less than amorous, you’re not alone. Whether it’s the stress of last-minute present buying or overconsumption of food and alcohol, interest in sex drops off in the run-up to Christmas, research suggests. However, this is compensated for by a big spike in sexual activity over the new year.

Researchers have long noticed differences in birthrates at various times of the year, but whether this was the result of seasonal fluctuations in fertility or sexual activity was unclear. To investigate, Laura Symul at Stanford University in California and her colleagues turned to data from the Clue women’s health app, which included anonymous sexual activity logs from more than 500,000 women in the UK, France, Brazil, and the US. “It’s self-reported, but it is still the largest dataset of real-time reports of women’s sexual activities,” Symul said.

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Menstruation apps store excessive information, privacy charity says

Sun, 12/20/2020 - 20:00

Exclusive: Privacy International finds apps collect information on birth control habits or how hard it is for women to reach orgasm

Menstruation apps are unnecessarily storing personal data such as what medication women are on, their birth control habits and how hard women find it to reach orgasm, privacy campaigners have said.

A study of five leading apps by Privacy International, a UK-based charity, found that companies held intimate information on users including answers to questions about when they have yeast infections and how often they have sex or see a gynaecologist.

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Breastfeeding mothers will not be offered Covid vaccine, say regulators

Sat, 12/19/2020 - 22:15

Campaigners claim women face ‘impossible’ choice between feeding their child naturally or being inoculated against Covid-19

Women’s rights and breastfeeding organisations are challenging government and NHS guidance that the groups say forces mothers to choose between feeding their infants in the way that they choose and protecting themselves from Covid by being vaccinated.

The NHS website advises lactating mothers to wait until they have stopped breastfeeding before having the Covid-19 vaccine. It adds: “There’s no evidence it’s unsafe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. But more evidence is needed before you can be offered the vaccine.”

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