Women's News from the Web

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Latest Women news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
Updated: 6 hours 28 min ago

'Women-only' housework questions on Italian Covid form spark ridicule

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 04:08

Health authority in Lombardy withdraws questionnaire for patients after sexism complaints

A health authority in Italy’s Lombardy region has come under fire after distributing a questionnaire to recovering Covid-19 patients that included questions about cooking and housekeeping aimed solely at women.

The questionnaire, issued by the ASST Rhodense health authority in Milan and intended to capture the lingering symptoms of coronavirus, was being given to patients invited back to hospitals for check-ups.

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Flowers and tributes to Sarah Everard in Clapham – in pictures

Wed, 03/17/2021 - 21:00

Hundreds of people have left floral tributes in the park near the route Sarah Everard walked before she went missing. Mourners arrived from across the capital to leave flowers and cards on the bandstand at Clapham Common, south London

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Long-term funding and public campaign needed to end violence against women

Wed, 03/17/2021 - 07:54

Campaigners ask for £393m to fight domestic abuse alongside regulation of pornography

The government should stop seeking high-profile “quick fixes” to tackle violence against women, and instead launch a major public health campaign, provide long-term funding for the women’s sector and tackle violent pornography, according to campaigners.

Plans to introduce plainclothes police officers in bars to stop perpetrators, as well as better street lighting and more CCTV were derided as “bizarre” and “performative” by campaigners, who implored ministers to listen to those with expertise in the sector to create a long-term plan.

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National Portrait Gallery to feature more women in its collection

Wed, 03/17/2021 - 06:09

Curators will increase representation of female artists and sitters and seek overlooked stories

The National Portrait Gallery has pledged to significantly increase the number of women represented in its collection, with regard to both artists and sitters.

On Wednesday it announced details of a three-year project to improve representation and dig out “overlooked stories” of women who have helped shape British history and culture.

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Gender equality is a choice – one the Morrison government doesn’t seem to be willing to make | Richard Denniss

Tue, 03/16/2021 - 15:55

The refusal to fix Australia’s employment, retirement and care systems is a key reason why so many women are unable to leave the men causing them harm

The anger rightfully displayed around Australia on Monday comes after more than a century of failure by the men who dominate Australian politics to address the problems that dominate the lives of Australian women.

Women are far more likely to experience violence at the hands of men than the other way around. That includes sexual violence, physical violence and controlling psychological behaviour. Policies to make it easier to report abuse, escape abuse, and adequately punish perpetrators of abuse would disproportionately help women. Maybe that is why so many powerful men have been so apathetic about implementing them.

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We marched fuelled by anger and sickened by grief | Jo Dyer

Tue, 03/16/2021 - 15:11

Attempts to discredit our friend Kate are disgraceful. At this vaunted moment of reckoning, women have been let down by leaders and (mostly) male members of the media

Last month’s strong words from political leaders about tackling the power imbalance at the heart of our democracy between men and women, bosses and staffers, have long since been drowned out by the brutal echoes of “lying cow” and “mob rule”. The initial pledge of action for women, the commitment to change a damaging culture, was apparently abandoned at the first hint that allyship comes at a cost.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. It was Scott Morrison, after all, who used an International Women’s Day address two years ago to assure us he supported women’s rise but not “on the basis of others doing worse”. Yet there he was, basking in Grace Tame’s star wattage at the Australian of the Year awards, speaking of the power of women coming forward, until mere weeks later when a woman came forward, posthumously through her friends, with an accusation of a violent crime alleged to have been committed against her by his attorney general.

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The Guardian view on urban insecurity: build a feminist city | Editorial

Tue, 03/16/2021 - 09:09

The design of our cities and towns must make women’s wellbeing and safety a priority

The way our cities and towns look and work reflects political priorities. In mid-19th century Paris, when Baron Haussmann was seeking public money for building his boulevards, he told the government that wide, open avenues would make it harder to riot and build barricades. In an age of urban insurrections at the heart of the French capital, that quickly opened up the public purse.

Following the killing of Sarah Everard, a different kind of revolution should be uppermost in our politicians’ minds. As an avalanche of female testimony over recent days has underlined, our public spaces do not sufficiently prioritise the wellbeing and safety of women. In a 2019 talk entitled The Feminist City, Dr Ellie Cosgrave, associate professor of urban innovation at University College London, said: “It is the multiple and constant threats that young women experience that tell us that the city is not a place where they belong.” The death of Ms Everard must be a watershed moment in generating the public will to change that reality.

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Charities warn over 'frightening' plan to put plainclothes police in nightclubs

Tue, 03/16/2021 - 07:21

Scheme distracts from rightful criticisms of police response to Clapham vigil, campaigners say

Plans to protect women by putting plainclothes police officers in nightclubs are bizarre, frightening and “spectacularly missing the point”, campaigners and charities have said.

The plans were outlined by the government as part of the steps it was taking to improve security and protect women from predatory offenders. Called Project Vigilant, the programme can involve officers attending areas around clubs and bars in plainclothes, along with increased police patrols as people leave at closing time.

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Women killed: 118. Statues 'killed': 1. So guess which is the national priority? | Marina Hyde

Tue, 03/16/2021 - 03:38

The government wants tougher sentences for attacks on statues than on women: its culture war gets ever more absurd

Such a strong look for the government’s police, crime, sentencing and courts bill to allow for longer sentences for attacking statues than are handed down for attacking women. What if the victim of crime is one of those living statues who busk in public spaces – a Queen Victoria, say, or a Statue of Liberty? Do you prosecute the defendant as though he’s merely harmed a woman, or do you go for the fullest force of law and treat him as if he has defaced an inanimate object?

Doesn’t have to be a female living statue, of course. There’s sometimes a living statue of Winston Churchill outside Covent Garden tube station. If a load of drunks set upon him – and living statues are constantly set upon, by their own accounts – do you close the investigation within about six hours owing to lack of resources? Or do you act as though someone has scrawled “is a racist” on a pedestal beneath 12 foot of insensate bronze, and push for 10 years in jail for a crime so supposedly emotive the perpetrator will be begging to be transferred to solitary after he’s endured three days of HMP Frankland’s welcoming party?

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The Guardian view on policing dissent: Johnson plays politics with protest | Editorial

Mon, 03/15/2021 - 09:29

A new bill will allow ministers who have failed to address violence against women and girls to curb their right to protest about it

In Britain, executive government has often, and with good reason, been seen as the main source of tyranny. Parliament and the courts developed to restrain it, usually in response to public outrage. Boris Johnson’s administration legitimately gained sweeping powers to run the country during the pandemic. But this seems, unfortunately, to have given ministers a taste of ruling by decree. The government appears all too often unwilling to compromise, to shape laws as inoffensively as possible to the opposition, or to abide by parliamentary norms like truth-telling. Instead, Mr Johnson seems encouraged to get rid of checks and balances by polls that give the Tories a growing lead thanks to a successful vaccine rollout.

The purpose of government legislation seems frequently designed to polarise debate and create social divisions. The government’s own analysis of the key measures in the new police, crime, sentencing and courts bill says there is little evidence they will reduce crime. By Whitehall’s own reckoning, the proposals will entrench racial inequalities. In the Commons, the message from Priti Patel, the home secretary, was that her bill would see sexual offenders face longer sentences and new crimes. What she skipped over was that the legislation would give police powers to tackle non-violent protests that have a “significant disruptive effect on the public or on access to parliament” – including setting conditions on the duration of protests, maximum noise levels and locations. These would have a chilling effect on peaceful protest.

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Priti Patel tells MPs she had 'extensive' talks with Met chief about policing of Sarah Everard vigil – as it happened

Mon, 03/15/2021 - 08:34

Home secretary says 78,000 people have responded to government consultation on gendered crime since it was reopened on Friday

6.20pm GMT

I had been in touch with the Metropolitan police commissioner on Friday and throughout the weekend and we have had extensive discussions in terms of planning, preparation for the vigil at the weekend.

I should, however, emphasise that on Friday there was legal action under way so until that legal action has been determined - and the commissioner and the Metropolitan Police themselves were engaging with the organisers with the vigil - there were various plans the police were working on.

I’m shocked at the way in which Saturday night’s vigil was policed, the situation demanded sensitivity and compassion, something which was evidently lacking.

But I’m also shocked that what started as a peaceful and important vigil turned into a protest with photographs showing ‘ACAB’ signs, which stands for ‘All Cops Are Bastards’.

There is something about perpetrators and their serial offending that has to be addressed. There is no question about that at all. This does link, predominantly, to many of the criminal justice outcomes and the wider debate that this house will be having - not just later on today but over future weeks as well. I will be very candid: we will look at all measures and rightly so.

Related: Coronavirus live news: European Medicines Agency says benefits of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh risks

5.48pm GMT

The UK has recorded 64 further Covid deaths and 5,089 new cases, the government’s dashboard says.

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Voices raised in anger are echoing throughout the land, but it seems Morrison still can’t hear | Katharine Murphy

Sun, 03/14/2021 - 23:06

Behind the noisy women in the streets are others watching how small the prime minister has been in a moment when he needed to be big

It was a sea of black outside the parliament, with a sprinkling of masks and a smattering of hot pink pussy hats – a human sea tumbling down the forecourt back towards the old parliament.

But Brittany Higgins wasn’t cloaked in black. The former Liberal staffer, tracking towards the stage, quietly, without fuss, wore suffragette white.

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Women's March 4 Justice: Brittany Higgins addresses Canberra protest as crowds mass in Sydney and Melbourne – as it happened

Sun, 03/14/2021 - 18:47

Tens of thousands of people marched in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to demand action in response to allegations of workplace abuse

4.47am GMT

So that’s where we might leave it for today.

We have had tens of thousands of people turn out for hundreds of events, everywhere from Parliament House in Canberra to the tiny town of Talbot.

4.46am GMT

Farima Forooziya, 42, was one of thousands who attended today’s rally in Adelaide’s Victoria Square along with her 11 and 2-year-old daughters.

I’m a survivor of sexual assault. I survived when I was 11 and now my daughter is 11,” Farima said.

The last few weeks have been so traumatising for survivors. My daughter asked me what can she do about it? So we had a big chat about consent. She had heard the words “toxic masculinity” and wanted to know what it meant, so we talked about that. It was amazing how well she understood consent even though she is so young.”

I’m very happy for her to miss school today to be a part of this. I think this is an important experience for her to learn she has a voice. I certainly was not expecting this crowd. I was blown away. I think the organisers were a little late in putting the information on Facebook and that this many people still came is incredible.

It says a lot. It says enough is enough. That we need to be heard.

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'Enough is enough!' Where, when and why March 4 Justice protests are taking place across Australia #march4justice

Sun, 03/14/2021 - 12:58

Rallies against gender discrimination and violence will take place on 14 and 15 March. From Melbourne to Sydney, Canberra and beyond, here are the details attendees need to know

Across Australia, survivors and their allies will be calling for gender equality, and justice for victims of sexual assault, through a series of protests under the banner March 4 Justice.

Related: Women's March 4 Justice live: protests in Melbourne, Sydney, at Parliament House and across Australia

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Sarah Everard vigils: Cressida Dick says she will not resign – as it happened

Sun, 03/14/2021 - 10:49

Dick ‘not considering position’; investigations ordered by Priti Patel and Sadiq Khan; government adviser says policing ‘from handbook of abusive men’. This live blog is now closed

8.48pm GMT

We’ll be shutting down this blog shortly. Thank you for reading along.

8.32pm GMT

A group of five from Edinburgh Reclaim These Streets laid flowers and candles at a vigil for to remember Sarah Everard on Sunday evening.

Two members of the group, Kat Cary and Chloe Whyte, walked up the Royal Mile to light candles at the door of Edinburgh Castle.

I’ve been in the military for 12 years where I couldn’t forget I was a woman and couldn’t forget I was different. It’s been a few years but this has jogged my memory.”

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Parliament Square crowd protests against policing of Sarah Everard vigil

Sun, 03/14/2021 - 09:19

Officers take a hands-off approach to event on Sunday called in response to tactics used the previous day

More than a thousand people streamed into Parliament Square in London on Sunday evening to make their voices heard outside the seat of government following clashes at a vigil for Sarah Everard, with police this time taking a hands-off approach.

Calling for the resignation of the Met commissioner, Cressida Dick, and the scrapping of the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, the crowd initially congregated around the statue of the suffragist Millicent Fawcett.

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The Guardian view on the Met and protests: police need reform, not more power | Editorial

Sun, 03/14/2021 - 08:32

The service cannot win back public trust without a fundamental change in culture

The anger sparked by images of police pinning protesters to the floor at Clapham Common in London yesterday is matched for many by sheer disbelief. How could the Met have got it so wrong? This was a peaceful vigil to mourn the death of Sarah Everard and highlight endemic violence against women. That the man charged with her abduction and murder is one of its officers made it even more necessary for the service to police sensitively and appropriately. Yet instead of working with organisers hoping to create a safe and socially distanced event, they threatened them with large fines. The vast majority of attendees were masked and acting responsibly. The Met compounded the anger with a statement blaming the participants, which both a government adviser and a Tory MP suggested was redolent of the language of male abusers. Hundreds more protested today.

In a tone-deaf statement likely only to increase public distrust and inflame outrage, the Met commissioner, Cressida Dick, brooked no questions about its actions. She said that each decision sets a precedent. But the case for treating protest separately to other gatherings was already a strong one. In any event, the police response should always be proportionate; this was anything but.

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'If it had been lawful, I'd have been there,' says Cressida Dick after Sarah Everard vigil – video

Sun, 03/14/2021 - 08:08

The Met police commissioner says she has not considered resigning after the police response to the vigil at Clapham Common on Saturday and defends the actions of police. 'None of us would have wanted to see the scenes we saw at the end of yesterday’s event,' she says. 'If it had been lawful, I’d have been there, I'd have been at a vigil.' After the actions by police on Saturday many called for Dick to resign

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Waking up to New York: secrets of the world's most famous women-only hotel

Sun, 03/14/2021 - 02:00

From Grace Kelly to Joan Crawford and Sylvia Plath… Many of the residents of the Barbizon hotel went on to change the world

The Barbizon guest list reads as a who’s who of Hollywood and literary royalty. Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford, Tippi Hedren, Liza Minnelli, Ali MacGraw, Jaclyn Smith and literary stars Sylvia Plath and Joan Didion were among the household names who arrived as young unknowns. So it’s surprising that we’ve heard so little about it. While New York’s rock’n’roll Chelsea hotel has been endlessly documented, the Barbizon’s story has never been told. But that is about to change with the publication of a fascinating new book, The Barbizon, The New York Hotel That Set Women Free, by award-winning historian Paulina Bren. And with any luck, we can anticipate a binge-worthy mini series. HBO has secured the TV rights in a six-figure deal, after a closely fought bidding war, with Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones on board to produce. (If the book is anything to go by we are in for a real treat. It has enough smouldering glamour to make Mad Men look dreary.)

Bren’s captivating book tells the story of this women’s residential hotel, from its construction in 1927 on Manhattan’s 140 East 63rd Street, to its eventual conversion into multimillion-dollar condominiums in 2007. But it is also a brilliant many-layered social history of women’s ambition and a rapidly changing New York throughout the 20th century.

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How can women get equality? Strike!

Sat, 03/13/2021 - 23:10

The domestic burden – heavier in lockdown – falls mainly on female shoulders, yet Iceland’s housewives showed change is possible

On 24 October 1975, 75,000 women in Iceland left their jobs, children and homes and took to the streets for a general strike that was billed “Women’s Day Off”. In Reykjavik, 30,000 women marched up the Laugavegur (wash road), as a women’s brass band played the marching tune from Shoulder to Shoulder, a British TV series about the suffragettes which had recently aired in this small Nordic nation. Flyers fluttered against clear autumn skies: “We march because it is commonly said about a housewife: ‘She is not working, she is just keeping house’,” they read. “We march because the work experience of a housewife is not considered of any value in the labour market.”

For Icelandic men, this day became known as the “Long Friday”. With no women to staff desks and tills, banks, factories and many shops were forced to close, as were schools and nurseries – leaving many fathers with no choice but to take their children to work. There were reports of men arming themselves with sweets and colouring crayons to entertain the swarms of children in their workplaces, or bribing older children to look after their siblings. Sausages (easy to cook, of course, and a hit with children the world over) were in such demand that shops sold out; children could be heard giggling in the background while male newsreaders reported the day’s events on the radio.

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