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‘The doctors in Northern Ireland knew my baby would die. But I was refused an abortion’

Sat, 10/05/2019 - 22:45

One grieving woman tells of the suffering the current ban caused her

Denise Phelan was denied an abortion three years ago in circumstances so extreme she still finds it harrowing to speak about it, and does so only because she is determined that no other woman should be forced to go through a similar experience.

“My anger wakes me up at night. It’s a deep, almost in-the-bone anger,” she says. She and her husband, Richard Gosnold, are also still grieving for the loss of their baby, Alenja. Their trauma has been prolonged and they feel it is too late now to try for another pregnancy.

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Pensions scandal: broken promises, cruelty and contempt

Sat, 10/05/2019 - 21:07
Despite the setback in the courts, few would dispute the injustice faced by those 1950s women who have lost six years of benefits

Last week, in a landmark case, the high court decided that almost four million women born in the 1950s would not be compensated for the money they lost – for some individuals up to £40,000 – when the female pension age was raised from 60 to 66.

Julie Delve, 61, and Karen Glynn, 63, from the campaign group BackTo60, challenged the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with a judicial review, arguing that raising their pension age “unlawfully discriminated against them on the grounds of age, sex and age and sex combined”. Previously, women could claim a state pension at 60, men at 65 (by 2020 both men and women will receive their pension at 66). Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple dismissed the claim, saying there was no discrimination as the decision did not treat women less favourably than men but corrected a historic discrimination against men.

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Is architecture at last breaking through its own glass ceiling? | Rowan Moore

Sat, 10/05/2019 - 08:00

A welcome gold award, and now the RIBA has begun to recognise that what matters is the team

Some kind of congratulations are due to the Royal Institute of British Architects for choosing as this year’s winners of the royal gold medal for architecture the Irish practice Grafton. For Grafton Architects is run by two women, Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell, which means that for the second time since Queen Victoria awarded the first such medal in 1848, it has gone outright to members of the same sex as the late queen-empress. On two other occasions, women have won the prize together with their husband-colleagues.

This year, the RIBA could hardly have done otherwise, given a campaign by an action group called Part W to highlight the scarcity of women among the winners of the gold medal and the world’s other top awards for architecture. It is flabbergasting that this conversation still has to be had now, in 2019. Still, baby steps. The choice of Grafton can’t be faulted, either – they are outstanding architects.

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