Women's News from the Web

Syndicate content The Guardian
Latest Women news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
Updated: 7 hours 32 min ago

We need to create diverse spaces that include Blak women. The time for invisibility is over | Shiralee Lawson for IndigenousX

Wed, 03/24/2021 - 16:37

As Aboriginal women we have to fight tooth and nail to be listened to, even in spaces where we are beyond capable

The invisibility of Aboriginal women is finally being noticed. The powerful words Professor Megan Davis shared at the Future Women x Witchery’s International Women’s Day event inspired me to write about my own experiences of invisibility as a Blak woman within the colony, until I reflected on the most important women in my life.

Instead of writing about our shared experiences of invisibility, I want to celebrate the strength, resilience and power of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Continue reading...

For years Liberal leaders have wheeled out female MPs like me to defend disgusting behaviour. Enough! | Catherine Cusack

Wed, 03/24/2021 - 06:30

Scott Morrison needs to be told why people are so furious. It’s up to us to make the case for change

I joined the Young Liberals in 1982 when things were definitely on the up for women. It was an exciting time – a youthful Nick Greiner was state leader, Rosemary Foot his deputy. I found an amazing peer group that was not bored to tears by my interest in politics. I met my future husband there – we are both former YL state presidents. When our sons, now aged in their 20s, joined, we were jokingly accused of trying to establish a monarchy inside the YLs. The Liberal party has been my life.

Related: I gave a press conference about women just the other day! What more leadership do these ghouls want? | First Dog on the Moon

Continue reading...

The Guardian view on women's football: the new deal is a gamechanger | Editorial

Tue, 03/23/2021 - 09:01

A decision by the BBC and Sky to invest £8m a year in the Women’s Super League puts the sport on a far stronger footing

In one sense it’s been a long time coming. Advocates of women’s football in England spent most of the last decade pushing for broadcasters and the Football Association to take the game more seriously. Nearly £20m of sponsorship investment by Barclays was a breakthrough. But regular attendances at matches have never taken off in the way that enthusiasts hoped, and longstanding clubs including the Doncaster Belles fell by the wayside when they were relegated.

Big television audiences and unprecedented levels of interest, particularly in the winning US team, ensured that the 2019 World Cup was heralded as a turning point. But the arrival of the pandemic meant that progress was checked. This week’s announcement of a £24m investment in women’s football over three years, by the BBC and Sky Sports, is the culmination of a process that has taken years. But the sheer difficulty of current circumstances, including the unfairness of pandemic rules that have seen girls’ football stopped while boys’ has continued, means that it has also come as a shock.

Continue reading...

Young mothers pin hopes on the American dream – in pictures

Mon, 03/22/2021 - 21:00

Dozens of families pass daily through the Brownsville immigration depot in Texas, nearly all women with small children, telling the same story. They make their way north from Central America through Mexico hoping for jobs in the US that are often on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, but better than anything back home, and leaving leaving behind endemic violence. Paul Handley documents their plight

Continue reading...

Calls to domestic abuse helpline in England up by 60% over past year

Mon, 03/22/2021 - 20:00

Exclusive: Covid lockdown contributes to surge in women seeking help, Refuge charity says

The conditions of lockdown in England and increased awareness about domestic abuse led to a 61% surge in calls and contacts logged by the official domestic abuse helpline in the past year, the charity behind the service has revealed.

Refuge, which runs the 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline as well as online alternatives such as live chat, said the increase peaked in the summer, when compared to the average calls and contacts logged above the January to March 2020 period.

Continue reading...

I'm a woman over 50, so why don't I conform to the stereotypes? | Alex Clark

Mon, 03/22/2021 - 04:00

I don’t want to have to choose between vibrant but tragically overlooked midlifer and embryonic lady gammon

I am a 52-year-old woman and, therefore, becoming accustomed to being invisible. And yet I feel anything but. In fact, it’s more like being a patch of contested ground.

On one side, a strikingly articulate army of well-organised activists march forward to reassure me that I do not have to fade into obscurity despite society’s best efforts to put a giant paper bag over my head; that I have my best years ahead of me, and that a host of sparkling platforms, websites and communities are there to bolster my identity as I enter middle age and beyond. Should I want to start my own business, wear sequins to the supermarket, learn Finnish or start sheep farming, age should be no barrier. Go me!

Continue reading...

Nawal El Saadawi, trailblazing Egyptian writer, dies aged 89

Sun, 03/21/2021 - 08:52

Award-winning feminist author of more than 55 books was a resolute challenger to Egyptian governments

Egypt’s trailblazing writer Nawal El Saadawi died on Sunday at the age of 89, after a lifetime spent fighting for women’s rights and equality.

The feminist author of more than 55 books first spotlighted the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) with The Hidden Face of Eve in 1980. A trained doctor, El Saadawi also campaigned against women wearing the veil, polygamy and inequality in Islamic inheritance rights between men and women.

Continue reading...

Biden rebukes Turkey after it quits accord protecting women

Sun, 03/21/2021 - 06:52

US president calls move ‘deeply disappointing’ as women’s rights advocates say convention is crucial

Joe Biden has joined European leaders in condemning Turkey’s withdrawal from a landmark international accord designed to protect women from violence.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a decree early on Saturday annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul convention, a landmark European treaty protecting women from violence that it was the first country to sign 10 years ago and that bears the name of its largest city.

Continue reading...

Covid has made life far harder for lone parents, says UK activist

Sun, 03/21/2021 - 06:24

Call for single parents to be protected by equality law to end ‘systematic discrimination’

The mother who lobbied Dominic Cummings to support a change in lockdown restrictions for single parents allowing support bubbles has said the economic future of one-parent families such as hers risks being set back years by the pandemic if they do not receive targeted help.

Ruth Talbot, the founder of the campaign group Single Parent Rights, said “systematic discrimination which goes back generations” would worsen as a result of the impact of coronavirus unless urgent action was taken. That included adding single parents to the Equality Act as a protected characteristic, she said.

Continue reading...

Nottingham women welcome 'victory' in bid to treat misogyny as hate crime

Sun, 03/21/2021 - 05:01

Local pilot scheme led to a change in government policy on police data to help tackle abuse

The women behind the UK’s first pilot project to treat misogyny as a hate crime have welcomed as “a major victory” the news that the government is to require police forces across England and Wales to collect data on crimes apparently motivated by hostility towards women.

The story of how Nottingham police force’s pioneering scheme generated a UK-wide movement – and secured this success the week after a national outpouring about epidemic levels of street harassment – bridges community activism, institutional openness and the power of women educating men about their everyday experiences.

Continue reading...

Just what will it take to get our judges to see sense on violence against women? | Catherine Bennett

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 21:45

It’s been another week of tone-deaf ministers and unenlightened court judgments

Less than a day separated the arrest of a serving Metropolitan police officer on suspicion of Sarah Everard’s murder from the first suggestions that women calm down and put it in perspective. The Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick, wanted to stress that actual kidnap is “rare”.

A professor of criminology, Marian FitzGerald, thought it important to tell other women – twice – on the BBC, not to get “hysterical”. She was being interviewed by a senior man in an organisation which has evidently shared her reservations about women’s fallibility – were they worthy, even, of being paid the same as men? – and it duly went unchallenged.

Continue reading...

From the archive: did men's friendship still have a place in 1969?

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 20:00

Sociologist Lionel Tiger felt male bonding was endangered, since women now shared most sides of British life

The Observer Magazine looked at friendship between men for their issue of 29 June 1969 (“The male bond – does all-male society still have a place in modern life?”), though, less charitably, it was simply male chauvinism.

“One of the most obvious distinguishing characteristics of men is their great ability, even urge, to get together with their own sex,” wrote the author of Men in Groups, the Canadian sociologist Lionel Tiger (oh, come on!).

Continue reading...

£525,000 raised in memory of Sarah Everard will go to grassroots charity groups

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 09:40

The women behind Reclaim These Streets and Clapham vigil have announced the funds will go to the charity Rosa

Less than two weeks ago they were strangers, furious and sad about the killing of Sarah Everard. Then they connected online to organise a vigil.

Two weeks later, the women behind Reclaim These Streets have challenged the Metropolitan police in the high court over the right to protest, and raised over half a million pounds for women’s causes.

Continue reading...

Protests as Turkey pulls out of treaty to protect women

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 08:30

Women take to streets to demand President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reverse withdrawal from European pact

Thousands protested in Turkey on Saturday calling for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to reverse his decision to withdraw from the world’s first binding treaty to prevent and combat violence against women.

In Istanbul’s Kadıköy neighbourhood, protesters with purple flags and banners took to the streets chanting: “We are not scared, we are not afraid. We shall not obey.”

Continue reading...

Angela Rayner backs Labour’s Hartlepool candidate after old sexist tweet

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 06:30

Deputy party leader insists GP and former MP is best man for ‘red wall’ byelection seat

Angela Rayner has insisted that Labour has the “best candidate” to fight the crucial Hartlepool byelection in May, after a senior figure suggested he should be replaced because of a sexist tweet he made in 2011.

Paul Williams, the GP and former Stockton South MP, has apologised for a historical tweet in which he used the term “milf”. Shami Chakrabarti, the Labour peer who was shadow attorney general until last year, said the tweet was misogynistic and that a new candidate should be found. Her comments came after internal criticism that Williams had been the only candidate placed on the party’s longlist.

Continue reading...

Spare me the excuses for the latest Angry White Guy's killing spree | Arwa Mahdawi

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 03:00

When police tell us the man who confessed to killing eight people around Atlanta was having ‘a bad day’ it goes way beyond one cop making an idiotic comment

Continue reading...

Putting undercover police in Britain's bars and clubs won't make women safer | Micha Frazer-Carroll

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 00:00

For women and marginalised people, nightlife can offer a place of freedom. Boris Johnson’s proposal will do the opposite

Amid a national reckoning about women’s safety, the government has shown that it has little understanding of what actually makes women safe. In response to an outcry following the abduction and death of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, No 10 has announced new measures to protect women from sexual harassment and assault, including a proposal from Boris Johnson that plainclothes police officers will patrol bars and clubs at night to “identify predatory and suspicious offenders”.

Few women have requested these measures, which seem bizarrely irrelevant to the issue at hand. Increasing the presence of undercover police in bars and clubs would have done nothing to prevent the conditions of Everard’s death as we currently understand them; her killing took place during a pandemic, she was not in a bar or a club, and the man charged in association with her kidnapping and murder wasn’t a civilian, but a serving police officer. In light of all this, how could the presence of more police, invisibly woven into the fabric of women’s everyday lives, possibly make us feel safer?

Continue reading...

We always speak of women's safety. Let's talk about male violence instead | Anne Enright

Fri, 03/19/2021 - 20:00

‘Violence against women’, ‘an abusive home’ ... too often, men are removed from discussions of male violence – because that is the way they like it, writes Anne Enright

Rapists are not a talkative lot. They don’t discuss the deed much, after they have been caught. And you might think this is because they feel remorseful, but often they don’t seem to know that they have done something wrong. Or they know that they have done something illegal, but the act itself is fine by them. They admit to nonconsensual sex “but not rape”. They admit to rape but not to blame: “I felt I was repaying her for sexually arousing me,” a man in one of the few studies says.

On a Reddit forum where, at the onset of the #MeToo revolution, my soul went to die, men wrote “from the other side” of sexual assault. Their accounts implied covert participation – “She just had this unusually sexual way of carrying herself” – or active reciproca­tion: “In my mind, at the time, she wanted it.” This man looked at the woman’s face and realised he had been mistaken.

Continue reading...

Women are harmed every day by invisible men | Rebecca Solnit

Fri, 03/19/2021 - 00:24

When men harm women, we obscure their role. Instead, we blame women for the injustice that happens to them

The alleged murderer of eight people, six of whom were Asian American women, reportedly said that he was trying to “eliminate temptation”. It’s as if he thought others were responsible for his inner life, as though the horrific act of taking others’ lives rather than learning some form of self-control was appropriate. This aspect of a crime that was also horrifically racist reflects a culture in which men and the society at large blame women for men’s behavior and the things men do to women. The idea of women as temptresses goes back to the Old Testament and is heavily stressed in white evangelical Christianity; the victims were workers and others present in massage parlors; the killer was reportedly on his way to shoot up Florida’s porn industry when he was apprehended.

Related: Why do so many straight men come to resent the women they find attractive? | Moira Donegan

Continue reading...

Tea breaks should be made compulsory – archive, 19 March 1928

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 19:30

19 March 1928: Government backed body finds that a cup of tea acts as a powerful but harmless stimulant to flagging energies of workers, boosting output

The report of the Industrial Fatigue Board, issued to-day, on the rest pause in an unbroken working spell of five hours for women, may lead to a compulsory provision, as it sums up heavily in favour of the arguments for it. It would not, it is admitted, “always be possible in the case of continuous or semi-continuous processes to give such a rest to the whole of the workers simultaneously.” The pause – with opportunity for refreshment – should come fairly near the middle of the work-spell, and ten minutes is suggested.

“The rest pause increases the efficiency of the workers, for in various occupations (with 4½-hour work spells) the immediate effect of introducing a rest was to increase output by 2.8 per cent, whilst the improvement in other groups of workers who were tested some months after the introduction of the rest amounted to 6.2 per cent. Also the introduction of the rest appeared to reduce the labour turnover greatly.” The rest pause is advocated for physiological reasons – the distance of the worker’s home from the factory which means that often the period between breakfast and dinner is six hours; and psychological reasons, dependent on the relief from monotony.

Continue reading...