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Japan Airlines scraps 'ladies and gentlemen' in favour of gender-neutral greetings

Tue, 09/29/2020 - 17:42

Airline becomes first in Japan to make move as part of commitment to tackle gender-based discrimination

Japan Airlines is replacing “ladies and gentlemen” in its in-flight and airport announcements with gender-neutral expressions, beginning in October.

The formerly state-owned airline will use phrases such as “all passengers”, “good morning” and “good evening” in its English announcements. The standard term used in Japanese “minna-sama” – an honorific form of “everybody” – is already gender neutral.

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Pantone launches new shade of red to end menstruation stigma

Tue, 09/29/2020 - 04:59

Campaign by colour matching company aims to ‘emboldens people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are’

Pantone has unveiled a new shade of red inspired by the colour of women’s periods, as part of a new campaign to end the stigma associated with menstruation.

The company, which has the biggest colour matching system in the world, relied on by the global design industry, from graphic design to fashion, product design to printing, said the new shade was “an active and adventurous red hue” that it hoped would “embolden people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are”.

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Most countries failing women and girls with Covid response, UN finds

Mon, 09/28/2020 - 19:00

Global gender tracker assesses how governments address violence, strengthen women’s economic security and support unpaid caring

Most countries are failing to adequately protect women and girls during the fallout from Covid-19, according to a new UN database that tracks government responses to the pandemic.

The global gender tracker has looked at how 206 countries and territories address violence against women and girls, support unpaid care workers and strengthen women’s economic security.

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Argentina president under pressure to keep election promise on abortion

Sun, 09/27/2020 - 20:15

Over 1,000 public figures call for Alberto Fernández to stay true to his election pledge despite distraction of coronavirus pandemic

Pro-choice campaigners are renewing pressure on president Alberto Fernández to make good on his electoral pledge to legalise abortion in Argentina.

More than 1,000 public figures, writers, journalists and artists added their names to an advert published in three Argentinian newspapers on Sunday, calling for the government to keep its commitment.

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Susan Ryan was a pioneer in the fight for Australian women. I was proud to help her | Anne Summers

Sun, 09/27/2020 - 16:42

With no other women around the cabinet table, Ryan delivered legislation that made sexual harassment unlawful, and it was a world first

In mid-1983 I received a phone call from Susan Ryan. Would I be interested, she asked me, in applying for the job of head of the Office of the Status of Women?

This was the women’s policy advice unit that had languished in low-status and non-powerful bureaucratic backwaters under the Fraser government, but which the newly elected Hawke government had given a boost in power and prestige by placing it within the top federal Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

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Amy Coney Barrett should be judged on her ability, not her faith | Kenan Malik

Sat, 09/26/2020 - 19:45

There are bigger issues at stake for Trump’s preferred successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg than her Catholicism

“I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic party’s candidate for president who happens also to be a Catholic.” So said John F Kennedy on the presidential campaign trail in 1960. It was a time when being a Catholic could be hazardous in US public life.

As expected, Donald Trump on Saturday nominated Amy Coney Barrett as Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the supreme court. Barrett has little judicial experience but one invaluable trait: a traditional Catholic, she is opposed to abortion.

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It's bosses who tell people how to dress who deserve a dressing down | Barbara Ellen

Sat, 09/26/2020 - 06:30

Imposing clothing codes is an insult to female and male professionals

As a homeworker, I’ve not done much work in offices. (Long story: words such as “disruptive” and “drunk” have been hurtfully bandied about.) Still, I find it amazing that any company would have the audacity to insist on an employee dress code, bar the obvious: “Cover yourself up in a half-smart way and give your clothes a generous squirt of Febreze when absolutely necessary.” Admittedly, for some journalists, my standards may be way too high.

Leading lawyer Ayesha Vardag’s 2019 email to employees at her legal firm, Vardags, has been leaked. At times, it’s less as though Vardag is addressing professionals and more that she’s remote-dressing Barbie and Ken dolls whose wages she happens to pay. No to jumpers, cardigans and woolly singlets. Yes to chignons, the “Savile Row look” and female trouser suits, the latter because her ex-husband didn’t like them. Hear that, female professionals: you must dress in a way that specifically annoys your boss’s ex.

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Reporter lost International Women of Courage award for criticising Trump

Sat, 09/26/2020 - 05:31
  • Jessikka Aro was to receive recognition in March 2019
  • Senator says administration ‘sought to stifle dissent’

The US state department “owes an apology” to a Finnish journalist who saw the International Women of Courage Award, bestowed in part for her work on Russia, taken away because she criticised Donald Trump on social media, a prominent senator said.

Related: Trump's public lands chief axed after court rules he was serving unlawfully

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Women are taught from childhood not to offend. It's still holding us back | Gaby Hinsliff

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 03:32

This week Theresa May let rip at Boris Johnson. It was liberating to see a female politician who no longer craves approval

There is something curiously powerful about a woman who doesn’t need to be liked. To watch Theresa May let rip in parliament this week – denouncing her successor’s casual willingness to break international law, with an authority that can come only from having confronted very similar choices – was to realise the advantages conferred by no longer craving other people’s approval.

That she chose to remain in parliament at all is testament to her particular brand of imperviousness. Given the humiliations heaped upon her by her own party during her time in office, she might have been particularly tempted to crawl off and lick her wounds rather than stick around as a jobbing backbench MP. But May does not seem troubled by that kind of pride.

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New Zealand is in a 'shecession' – so where is the much-needed 'she-covery'? | Claire Robinson

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 14:23

Both major parties are pinning their hopes on jobs for the boys to lead the post-coronavirus economic recovery

Some may have heard the terms “shecession” or “pink recession”; words associated with the worldwide trend for pandemic-related job and income losses to affect women more than men. In New Zealand, we saw it in the June quarter unemployment figures. Ninety percent of the 11,000 New Zealanders who had at lost their jobs due to Covid-19 were women.

These statistics were shocking but perhaps not surprising. New Zealand’s early pandemic response was gendered when it came to which industries were, and weren’t, considered “essential”. In the highest alert levels (3 and 4) work in the personal care industries (hairdressers, manicurists, beauticians, domestic cleaners, personal trainers, gymnasiums) – largely done by women – was not allowed. Business owners and workers in these industries were told they could not offer services which involved face-to-face or sustained close personal contact; the risk of Covid transmission was too great.

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French police investigate attack on woman, 22, for wearing skirt

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 09:17

Student says she was punched in face in Strasbourg by three men who said ‘look at that whore’

French police have opened an investigation after a young woman said she was attacked by three men and beaten in public for wearing a skirt.

The government denounced the “very serious” incident as unacceptable, which came amid growing anger in France at physical and verbal abuse towards women over their dress in public.

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El Salvador woman freed after six years in jail following stillbirth

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 03:50

Cindy Erazo was accused of aggravated homicide after an obstetric emergency

A woman sentenced to 30 years in jail after a stillbirth that was judged to be her fault has been released from jail in El Salvador.

Cindy Erazo, 29, from San Salvador, was granted conditional freedom on Wednesday after six years in jail.

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As a female broadcaster, I know how 'lookism' holds all women back | Afua Hirsch

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 20:00

The ridiculous idea that women become socially, professionally or aesthetically redundant after a certain age has not gone away

Every woman who works in broadcasting has stories about how her physical appearance is judged. When I first worked in TV, I learned a female colleague was – in a senior male’s opinion – “eating herself off the air”. For many onscreen women, the advent of high definition (HD) television was less about improving viewing quality for the audience, and more about a new level of scrutiny of their looks.

Warpaint-like makeup does not fly on HD, so there is nowhere to hide the multitude of sins it used to cover. And by “sins” I mean perfectly natural blemishes, wrinkles or signs of ageing. In theory, this could have presented an opportunity to change attitudes. Instead, I have witnessed women feeling new pressure to have cosmetic procedures, or even plastic surgery.

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Female voices 'drowned out' in reporting on Covid-19, report finds

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 19:00

Analysis of stories across six countries including UK found fewer than a fifth of experts quoted on the pandemic were women

Women’s voices have been “worryingly marginalised” in reporting of the coronavirus, partly due to the war-like framing of the pandemic, according to a report analysing stories across six countries.

Each woman’s voice in news coverage of the crisis is “drowned out” by at least three men, it said.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn't solve sexism in America. But she died trying

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 00:18

A generation of women who admire the Notorious RBG work, in ways large and small, to emulate her

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday was gutting, especially for American feminists. Even before her death, Ginsburg was not just a supreme court justice; she was a feminist icon, the Notorious RBG. She represented the kind of path to influence and power that today’s young women can imagine emulating, succeeding because of her own hard work, her meticulousness, and her intelligence (and, it should be said, to her excellent decision to marry a man who saw her as his intellectual and professional equal). She wasn’t on a soapbox with a megaphone; she was a quieter sort of dissident, always cool and collected even when she was clearly enraged, a kind of sharp fury that occasionally came across in her dissents – ice so cold it burns.

Ginsburg is celebrated, first and foremost, for what she accomplished. As a law professor, lawyer, and judge, she practically created the legal concept of gender discrimination, and then set about challenging that discrimination wherever it lived. Sometimes, the beneficiaries of her work were men; more broadly, though, her work and her own barrier-breaking (she was often the only or one of few women in any given room) meant that generations of women after her had an easier time getting into law school, getting legal jobs, arguing cases in court, and asserting their rights in the workplace and outside of it.

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Australian teenager to address UN about Covid hardship among young women

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 14:17

Exclusive: Mayela Dayeh, 16, a secondary school student, says ‘there’s been an absolute decline in mental health’

A 16-year-old Australian student, Mayela Dayeh, will address the United Nations general assembly on Wednesday night to present the findings of a survey that shows young women and girls are shouldering a greater economic, domestic and emotional load and working harder during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study, released by humanitarian organisation Plan International as part of a report called “Halting Lives – The impact of Covid019 on girls and young women”, surveyed more than 7,000 15-to-24 year-olds across 14 countries.

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Misogyny 'should become a hate crime in England and Wales'

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 13:01

Law Commission, which recommends legal changes, calls for sex or gender to be protected trait

Misogyny should be made a hate crime in England and Wales, according to the independent body that recommends legal changes, as part of an overhaul of legislation.

The Law Commission is proposing sex or gender should be made a protected characteristic in hate crime laws, primarily to protect women, in a consultation launched on Wednesday.

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Younger women 'bearing brunt' of second wave of Covid in UK

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 06:00

Exclusive: Figures show big rise in number of women aged 20 to 40 admitted to hospital

Younger women are “bearing the brunt” of the UK’s second wave of coronavirus infections, according to a fresh analysis of hospital admissions prepared by government science advisers.

Hospital records reveal a substantial rise in the number of women aged 20 to 40 admitted for serious coronavirus infections since the beginning of August, a country-wide trend that suggests younger women are now more exposed to the virus.

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‘A weird liberation’: why women are exposing the wild truth about midlife and menopause

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 23:00

The edgy, angry, upbeat reality of life as a woman in your 40s and 50s has long been hidden. Now a new wave of writers are telling all

Sitting at the bar, martini in hand, Kristin Scott Thomas rolls her eyes briefly heavenwards.

And then she declares, in one of the most memorable monologues of the cult BBC drama Fleabag, that menopause is the “most wonderful fucking thing in the world. And yes, your entire pelvic floor crumbles and you get fucking hot and no one cares. But then – you’re free! No longer a slave, no longer a machine with parts. You’re just a person, in business.” When an entranced Fleabag says she has been told the whole thing is horrendous, Scott Thomas’s character responds: “It is horrendous, but then it’s magnificent. Something to look forward to.”

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death means pro-choicers have a fight on their hands | Zoe Williams

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 22:00

The issue of abortion is now centre-stage in the US presidential election. Campaigners must seize the opportunity

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg raises the immediate question of whether or not President Trump will be able to successfully install a new supreme court justice before the election, or be thwarted. There are electoral benefits to him in either case: he gets his replacement through – among the names touted are Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa, both candidates representing a further lurch to the right – or his failure to do so motivates his base.

Either way, it makes the 2020 election, among many other things, into a referendum on abortion. Trump’s explicit promise in 2016 was that any supreme court judge he nominated would “automatically” overturn Roe v Wade. Four years ago, that statement was a box-ticking exercise; to oppose abortion as a Republican candidate is a minimum entry requirement, not a campaign slogan.

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