Women's News from the Web

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Revealed: Spice Girls T-shirts made in factory paying staff 35p an hour

Sun, 01/20/2019 - 08:00

Workers producing tops sold to raise money for Comic Relief receive far below a living wage

Spice Girls T-shirts sold to raise money for Comic Relief’s “gender justice” campaign were made at a factory in Bangladesh where women earn the equivalent of 35p an hour during shifts in which they claim to be verbally abused and harassed, a Guardian investigation has found.

The charity tops, bearing the message “#IWannaBeASpiceGirl”, were produced by mostly female machinists who said they were forced to work up to 16 hours a day and called “daughters of prostitutes” by managers for not hitting targets.

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I’m not 50, but it’s a relief to be invisible to men like Yann Moix

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 22:59

The French novelist’s sexist, ageist, racist remarks caused offence – yet there’s some unexpected comfort in what he said

I’m writing this standing up in an Apple store in New York, here in the city for 24 hours without a charger. Nobody has said a word to me, as I furtively steal their power while carefully keeping my face in neutral. The shop is busy with teenagers upgrading their iPhones and aggressively friendly staff, and the only still points are me and a man wearing three coats and broken flip-flops playing Candy Crush on an iPad. It is a quite lovely feeling to be, if not invisible, then at least translucent.

A book called An Unexplained Death came out last month, and I reread it on my journey – it appears to be a true crime thriller about a man’s final days, but quickly and sneakily reveals itself to be a memoir of the writer, Mikita Brottman. Years before starting it, Brottman went to see a psychoanalyst because she’d started to feel invisible. “I appeared to be completely forgettable,” she writes. To be “invisible”, she elaborates, “feels a little like being a ghost – people don’t seem to notice or acknowledge my presence, or look right through me. This has its advantages, though. I often feel as though I can learn people’s secrets, and get away with anything.”

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Bill bans ‘abhorrent’ quizzing of domestic abuse victims in court

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 19:59
Landmark draft legislation also includes measures to raise awareness and support survivors

Domestic abusers will no longer be able to cross-examine their former partners in family courts under a comprehensive government package of reforms to tackle the issue.

The landmark draft domestic abuse bill, published tomorrow after an 18-month delay, will prevent victims from being subjected to the “abhorrent practice” of being interrogated in court by their abusers, alongside other measures designed to raise awareness, support survivors and tackle perpetrators.

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Thousands rally at Sydney Women's March in shadow of Aiia Maasarwe's death

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 18:31

Author and sexual assault survivor Bri Lee tells crowd it’s ‘so hard to keep an olive branch in the palm of your hand when you need your keys between your fingers’

“We march today and think of Aiia,” the writer Bri Lee told more than 3,000 people at the Sydney Women’s March on Sunday.

The coordinated worldwide protests, held in dozens of major cities, sought to highlight an extensive patchwork of women’s rights issues.

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Women around the world march against austerity and violence

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 10:07

Tens of thousands take to city streets to protest against violence and the impact of austerity on their lives

Propelled by a mass public rendition of Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves and accompanied by a thudding police helicopter overhead, hundreds of protesters have rallied in central London in solidarity with an estimated 89 Women’s Marches worldwide.

In Athens, Berlin, Washington DC and Los Angeles, to name just a few, tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out to protest against violence against women and the impact of policies of austerity. They also had some choice words for Donald Trump and Theresa May.

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Women's March 2019: Tens of thousands take to streets across the world – video

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 09:27

Demonstrators march on the streets of Washington, Berlin and London on Saturday as part of the global Women's March to protest against violence against women and the impact of policies of austerity

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Thousands join Women's March across US as controversy dampens turnout

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 06:01

Rallies take place in cities from Washington to Los Angeles but an antisemitism row has overshadowed the buildup

The first Women’s March, held the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration as president in 2017, was the largest single-day protest in US history, drawing millions to the streets to reject Trump in a colourful riot of placards, fury and pink “pussy hats”.

Related: What has the Women’s March accomplished, beyond mere visibility? | Jessa Crispin

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What has the Women’s March accomplished, beyond mere visibility? | Jessa Crispin

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 01:00

Amid a storm of criticism surrounding the organization’s leaders, we should also look at what political action, if any, the group has taken to create structural change

In two short years, the Women’s March has gone from amassing good will (and hefty donations) to amassing suspicion. Once heralded for organizing the single largest protest in America’s history, now the only thing anyone wants to talk about is the leaders’ association with antisemitic, homophobic, transphobic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

This weekend, the third women’s march on Washington, with corresponding local marches in cities across the United States, will be taking place, but it risks being overshadowed by the storm of criticism that has arisen about alleged antisemitic rhetoric within the group’s leadership and investigations by the Daily Beast and Tablet into the possible mishandling of funds.

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Women's March 2019: thousands to protest across US

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 20:00
  • Policy platform to be revealed at main event in Washington DC
  • Movement has suffered infighting over antisemitism claims

Thousands of protesters will take to the streets across the US on Saturday to resist Donald Trump and stand up for women’s rights at the third annual Women’s March.

Though this year’s event has been marred by controversy, participants will seek to channel the spirit of the first massive march in 2017 that saw hundreds of thousands of protests take over the nation’s capital the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, spurring activism and political campaigns by women around the country.

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Women's March: 30 countries set to take part in third global protest

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 06:57

Women to march against violence and austerity with UK rally likely to have anti-Brexit tone

Women in more than 30 countries around the world are expected to gather on Saturday as part of the global Women’s March, to protest against violence against women and the impact of policies of austerity.

In London thousands are expected to gather outside Portland Place in central London at 12.30pm and march to Trafalgar Square by 1.30pm, ending in a two-hour rally.

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Woman denied abortion in Dublin despite new legislation

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 03:33

Hospital’s decision has raised questions over introduction of abortion services in Ireland

A hospital in Dublin has refused an abortion to a woman with a fatal foetal abnormality, raising questions over Ireland’s recent introduction of abortion services.

The Coombe hospital, a leading maternity facility that has signed up to the service, reportedly declined to terminate the pregnancy because it did not “fall neatly” into a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis.

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Women's March to take to streets after controversy divides movement

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 02:51

Saturday’s event set to be smaller after several major sponsors withdrew following allegations of antisemitism

Just two years after leading the largest recorded protest in US history, the third annual Women’s March on Saturday is set to proceed under a cloud of controversy.

Related: Theater project lets women who accused Trump tell their stories

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Ultrarunner Jasmin Paris on her gruelling 83-hour win: ‘I just had one job to do'

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 02:20

The winner of the brutal Montane Spine Race on how hiking with her baby helped her to smash the men’s record – despite having to express milk along the way

It is Britain’s most brutal running race – 268 miles non-stop along the Pennine Way, from Edale in Derbyshire to the Scottish Borders, in January. Jasmin Paris, who is still breastfeeding her 14-month-old daughter Rowan, and was expressing milk along the way, this week beat 136 other competitors – including 125 men – from 15 different countries, to win the Montane Spine Race outright. In the process, on Wednesday, she smashed the men’s course record by more than 12 hours.

Paris, who is a vet working at the University of Edinburgh and studying acute myeloid leukaemia, told the Guardian she had planned to wean her daughter before the race began, but two back-to-back viral infections meant baby Rowan refused to take anything except milk for five days, and so by the time of the race she was still breastfeeding to avoid mastitis.

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Victim-blaming outcry as Japan pop star says sorry for alleging fans assaulted her

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 19:55

Band manager criticised for silence after Maho Yamaguchi, a singer with NGT48, said she was attacked at her home

Japan’s harsh treatment of its female celebrities has again come under scrutiny following outcry over the music industry’s handling of an alleged assault on a member of a popular girl band.

Social media users and TV commentators have joined the barrage of criticism targeting AKS, a music management agency, after Maho Yamaguchi, a singer with NGT48, went public this month with allegations she had been assaulted by two obsessive fans at the end of last year.

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Anti-abortion film Roe v Wade releases first footage online

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 02:02

A trailer for the controversial film from rightwing entrepreneur Nick Loeb references Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the supreme court

The first footage has emerged of Roe v Wade, a controversial anti-abortion film, which is part of conservative efforts to overturn the landmark 1973 US supreme court ruling that deemed abortion a fundamental right under the US constitution.

Co-written and co-directed by entrepreneur Nick Loeb, who sued his former partner Sofía Vergara in an attempt to gain control over their frozen embryos, Roe v Wade is an explicitly pro-life statement that its makers claimed was shot in secret fearing harassment from pro-choice activists. This is an entirely separate project from one recently announced by UK producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward, which will focus on lawyer Sarah Weddington, who represented “Roe” AKA Norma McCorvey, the Texan woman who challenged state law denying her an abortion.

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When escaping an abusive employer is a crime: the trap Britain sets for Filipino domestic workers

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 21:00

Enticed to the UK with promises that never materialise, many women face exploitative or abusive employers – and a government that just wants to deport them

You see them sometimes in the kitchens and nurseries of wealthy people – women, mostly Filipino, rarely introduced by name. They come to the UK with a promise of income and regular hours, working as housekeepers or nannies to send money back home to their own families; but for many of them the reality is shockingly different.

There are nearly 19,000 people on overseas domestic visas in the UK, according to a Freedom of Information request from the Home Office seen by the Guardian; and together they make up, like the Windrush generation, a population of migrants under threat.

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GPs could use breast cancer 'calculator' to predict risk to women

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 20:01

Scientists devise method using genetic data and lifestyle to work out who should be screened

Women may be able to go to their GP to find out their risk of getting breast cancer and choose whether or not to be screened, if a new online calculator devised by scientists is successful.

Related: Women with BRCA gene mutations given clearer picture of breast and ovarian cancer risk

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Another day, another reason to be elated by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 07:54

The newly sworn-in Democrat has taken aim at CBS News for its lack of black journalists. She is exactly what the world needs.

Another day, another reason to be elated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This time the newly sworn-in congresswoman – who in a matter of weeks has reshaped the political conversation in her own party and a country hit by the longest government shutdown in US history – aims squarely at CBS News. For its lack of black journalists.

Tweeting to her 2.4 million followers, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “This [White House] admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet CBS News hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election.” In true AOC style – bold, snappy, forthright, instantly meme-able – she added: “Unacceptable in 2019. Try again.”

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What would make a woman go back to Boko Haram? Despair | Azadeh Moaveni

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 20:00
In northeastern Nigeria, the militant group exploits a broken social system. There are lessons here for the rest of the world

Zahra and Amina seem like lucky survivors of the scourge of northeastern Nigeria, the jihadist movement known as Boko Haram. Both were wives of fighters. Zahra escaped by agreeing to detonate an explosive vest that the militants strapped to her. After walking miles to her intended target, a government checkpoint, she turned herself over to soldiers. Amina fled with her three children after her husband was killed in battle.

Today, both women live in a camp for survivors of the conflict in the northeastern city of Maiduguri. When I met them on a recent research trip to the city, the last thing I expected to hear was that they wanted to rejoin the insurgents. Conventional thinking and security policies that aim to dissuade women from extremist groups tend to focus on ideology, presuming that only brainwashing could compel them to voluntarily join radical, violent militias. But here in the northeast, some women have largely been compelled to affiliate with Boko Haram by social and political conditions. Perversely, the group offers them respite from insecurity and the limited opportunities afforded them in a deeply patriarchal society riven by poor governance.

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Rahaf al-Qunun lands in Toronto after long journey to safety

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 06:42

Saudi teen was granted asylum by Canada after flying to Thailand to escape her family

The Saudi woman who barricaded herself in a Thai hotel room in a desperate attempt to flee abuse landed in Canada on Saturday, capping a tumultuous and uncertain journey towards safety.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun arrived in Toronto, the country’s largest city. As she entered the airport’s arrivals area, she was accompanied by Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, Chrystia Freeland, who has been a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia’s jailing of female dissidents.

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