Recent Sex equality Articles

Report: Feminists integral in tackling violence against women

by Sarah McAlpine     October 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm

The largest global study into Violence Against Women has revealed that strong feminist movements were more important for instigating change than the wealth of nations, left wing political parties or the number of women politicians.

The study, published in the latest issue of the American Political Science Review, was conducted over four decades in seventy different countries. It found that feminist movements, autonomous from political parties and the state, were able to organise around top priorities for women without having to answer to wider organisational concerns or men’s needs. Such movements were able to effectively urge governments to debate and approve global and regional agreements on violence.

Autonomous feminist groups would often be the first to articulate the problem of Violence Against Women and were found to be key catalysts for government action. They were able to command public support and the attention of the media, whereas other organisations were found to be more averse to prioritising a ‘women’s issue’.

Mala Htun, co-author of the study, said, “Social movements shape public and government agendas and create the political will to address issues. Government action, in turn, sends a signal about national priorities and the meaning of citizenship. The roots of change of progressive social policies lie in civil society”

The study is unprecedented in its scope and scale- it covers every region of the world, a myriad of world religions and varying degrees of wealth and democracy. Altogether it accounts for 85% of the world’s population. The data took five years to analyse.

Htun’s co-author, S.Laurel Weldon, warned that Violence Against Women was not isolated to individual countries or cultures. “Violence against women is a global problem. Research from North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia has found astonishingly high rates of sexual assault, stalking, trafficking, violence in intimate relationships, and other violations…in Europe it is a bigger danger to women than cancer, with 45 per cent of European women experiencing some form of physical or sexual violence.”

For a limited time, the study can be accessed for free here

Exclusive: How the government is exaggerating the cost of abortions

by Unity     November 25, 2011 at 11:02 am

Last week the Telegraph revealed ‘new figures’ from the government that put the cost of abortions £30m ‘higher than previously thought’.

Lord Alton, the crossbench peer who obtained the new figures, said: “I have written to Lord Howe setting out a number of concerns about how Parliament came to be so very badly misled about the costs to the NHS associated with abortion.

I think the most pressing concern Lord Howe needs to address is why Lord Alton’s can’t understand his own bloody correspondence.
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Notes from a male dominated media industry

by Jennifer O'Mahony     March 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm

In the last two months I’ve been working as a freelance journalist for the first time, and I had an interview at a national newspaper for a job.

Scenario 1: During my group interview for the job, there were around 6 male editors and executives present, and one woman. The people interviewed were evenly divided: 6 men and 6 women.

Scenario 2: Yesterday, I interviewed Ed Balls and John Denham at a video games lab in Liverpool. The Labour representatives organising the event were all male. So was the councillor present. The one woman in the room, Angela Eagle MP, left as I arrived, so there was a local journalist, Ed Balls, John Denham, Liam Byrne, and their special advisers, all male.
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The attack on Child Benefit is an attack on women

by Cath Elliott     October 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm

George Osborne’s announcement today that from 2013 Child Benefit payments will be axed for any family with a parent earning enough to put them in the 40-50%  income tax bracket is neither “fair” nor “right” as some commentators would have us believe: it’s actually an attack on the basic principles of the welfare state, and it’s an attack on women.

Before I get into how and why that is this though I just want to make something clear.
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Contrary to the media, the sex industry doesn’t empower women

by Sian Norris     July 25, 2010 at 10:30 am

We live in a society that has very successfully sold the sex industry to us as an empowering ‘lifestyle’ choice where women exploit men’s ‘need’ for sex in order to extract money from them.

We are told that it’s a free choice and feminists who criticise that choice are prudes, anti sex and anti women.

This cultural narrative is a chimera that disguises the real story of the sex industry, a story that involves PTSD, sexual assault, drug abuse and sex trafficking.
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Modern day pre-emptive genocide against women

by Guest     July 20, 2010 at 11:45 am

contribution by Adam Grace

The mass sterilization of women in Uzbekistan, as reported this weekend by the Associated Press, is a shrieking reminder that the battle for the global liberation of women is being lost.

It was reported by Mansur Mirovalev that Uzbek health officials are “threatened with salary cuts, demotion or dismissal if they do not persuade at least two women a month to be sterilized.”
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It was my baby too

by Guest     July 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm

contribution by Anonymous

Way before we had a kid, my husband agreed that the kid’s middle name would be my last name.

Then we had the kid, and he pretended he never agreed.

In the hospital, filling out the forms, I’m having this giant argument with the man whose baby I just gave birth to.
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Tory dismissal of rape victims is only the start

by Guest     July 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm

contribution by Jaine Doe

This week the leader of Croydon Council, has announced his decision to cut Croydon’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre budget by £27,000 a year, while awarding themselves a big pay-rise.

Firstly, it’s outrageous and almost unbelievable that Croydon’s RASASC is one of only two in the whole of London, the other being newly established in Ealing, meaning that, for however long, Croydon’s RASASC has been the only one of its kind in the capital.

All the story really serves to do is to foreground an emerging trend that has gathered haste since the election in May.
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A drug to ‘cure’ lesbianism?

by Guest     July 11, 2010 at 10:31 am

contribution by Elly

This week Newsweek reported that a doctor at Florida International University has been experimenting with a drug to treat pregnant women, whose unborn female foetuses show signs of a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH).

This condition can result in the babies being born intersex.

The drug, Dex, is supposed to reduce the likelihood that the babies will be born with ‘ambiguous’ genitalia.
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The Daily Mail and its constant ‘cry rape’ stories

by Hannah     June 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Alison Clarke is making a plea to the Daily Mail to stop featuring stories about false rape claims.

So, this is a plea to the Mail. Yes, we know that women make up stories about sexual assault. But – and please note this – they are very few and far between.

The fact is that at least 50,000 women are raped every year in the UK, but only a tiny percentage result in convictions of the rapist.

She’s not the only one. A while back I wrote about the way that papers like the Mail report rape cases – nearly every time it will be case where ‘an innocent man’s life has been ruined’ or ‘a woman made sickening claims in a revenge attack on her ex’ or some such tale.
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