The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood Federation of America on behalf of Alabama abortion providers, seeks to block the near-total abortion ban before it can take effect.
Children are the new VIPs, say organisers of a nursery to help festival-goers balance deal-making with childminding
Away from the hustle of the Croisette, some Cannes film festival attendees are busy taking a nap. You might surmise that they are recovering from one of the festival’s many afterparties, but you’d be wrong. Alongside them, other “delegates” are busy singing nursery rhymes, or having their nappies changed.
For the first time, a daycare centre has been installed at Cannes, as part of Le Ballon Rouge, an initiative designed to make the festival more accessible to parents of young children. As well as childcare services, a breastfeeding and nappy changing room has been installed in the Palais, and free passes are available for children, nannies, carers or family members. The centre, which is open from 10am to 6pm until 24 May, costs €50 per day.
The US is becoming more diverse and progressive, but white men’s grip on power is being exercised via the courts, gerrymandering and dark money in politics
The exercise of political power by legislative majorities of white, male elected officials in ways that disproportionately exclude or harm women and people of color is such a familiar part of the American political landscape that it sometimes goes underremarked.
That was not the case last week after 25 white Republican men in Alabama voted for a near-total abortion ban in the state, an act that focused the national attention and sparked fears of a broader assault on women’s rights.
Ministers urged to revist ‘mistake of fact’ defence amid claims police and legal attitudes persistently frustrate prosecutions
Lawyers and women’s advocates say Queensland’s archaic sexual consent laws have created a system in which victims face hostility from the police and courts, amid a renewed push for legal reform.
Hundreds of letters have arrived on the desks of state ministers this week, calling for changes to sexual assault laws, particularly the “mistake of fact” defence. Accused rapists in Queensland can beat a charge by claiming they honestly believed a sexual encounter was consensual, even when it was not.
Virtual assistants such as Google Home and Siri only encourage the attitude that women exist merely to aid men in getting on with more important things.
When women are over-represented in the workforce, it tends be in industries of assistance – cleaning, nursing, secretarial work and, now, in the world of virtual assistants. Research by Unesco has shown that using default female voices in AI – as Microsoft has done with Cortana, Amazon with Alexa, Google with Google Assistant and Apple with Siri – is furthering the belief that women exist merely to aid men in getting on with more important things.
There is no real reason for AI technologies to be gendered at all, but we are at the mercy of tech companies “staffed by overwhelmingly male engineering teams”, fixed on living out a Captain Kirk fantasy and delegating to the subservient, silky-voiced computers of Star Trek. These systems are unapologetically built by men, for men. They can even struggle to understand the “breathy” voices of women as software is often developed with male voice samples.
Benefits reform forcing women to sell sex for cash, food or shelter, MPs’ committee told
Women are increasingly forced to take up sex work to get money for food and rent after becoming desperate over financial hardship caused by universal credit, an MPs’ committee heard.
A series of witnesses from specialist charities which work with women involved in prostitution told MPs on the work and pensions committee that there was a strong link between benefits reform and so-called “survival sex”.
Pregnant women in jail are revered by other inmates – but the question of what will happen to the child is never far away
Prison is full of mothers. Mothers of adult children, who visit at weekends bringing grandchildren in tow; mothers whose motherhood is on pause because their children are being looked after by foster families; mothers whose mothers are doing the mothering for them – an army of grans and nanas collecting children from school and footing bills for food and clothes; and mothers whose children, passed from pillar to post by the care system, have followed in their footsteps and live just up the corridor.
There are also, often, mothers-to-be. Pregnancy seems to happen more rapidly in prison, as though life is hurtling towards the surface faster than anyone could prepare.
Data shared with the Guardian reveals that 21,000 women requested abortion medication between October 2018 and March this year from the charity Aid Access. Between a third and a half of the women who made the requests were then sent abortion pills in the mail. The majority of the recipients live in states with hostile abortion policies.
Images of 12 women from Southwark diocese capture variety of a priest’s work
Joyce Forbes looks after her grandson five days a week and campaigns for affordable housing. Susie Simpson absorbs the anger and pain of young men locked up in prison. Helen Harknett fights for social justice and LGBTI inclusion. At 92, Ann Gurney lives quietly these days.
The link between these four women is their membership of a growing band: female priests in the Church of England. Along with eight others, they feature in an exhibition of photographs, Here Am I, celebrating this year’s 25th anniversary of women’s ordination. It opens at London’s Oxo Gallery on Wednesday.
Data reveals 39% rise in women over 65 seeking financial help as Red Shield Appeal nears
The Salvation Army has warned that older women have become the “unexpected face of poverty in Australia”, revealing figures showing a 40% increase in demand for financial help.
Data released on Wednesday to support the Salvos’ Red Shield Appeal found the number of people receiving financial counselling from the charity had increased from nearly 13,000 in the 2013-14 financial year to about 18,000 in 2017-18.
About 400 events are set to take place across the US in what groups are describing as a Stop Abortion Bans Day of Action
US abortion-rights campaigners, including several Democrats running for president in 2020, are set to rally in front of the supreme court on Tuesday to protest against new restrictions on abortion passed by legislatures in eight states.
According to the website #StoptheBans, about 400 events are set to take place across the country. Bernie Sanders, Representative Eric Swalwell and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, are among the presidential candidates expected to speak at the supreme court rally in Washington DC, according to media accounts.
Starting in June, advertisers running ads “using keywords related to getting an abortion” will first have to distinguish themselves as an organization that “either provides abortions or does not provide abortions”, according to the new policy update.
Three local publications devoted their Sunday editions to essays from women, ranging from fear to grappling with personal beliefs
Three major Alabama newspapers devoted their Sunday editions to letters from women across the state, offering an expansive look into the reactions after a nearly all-male state legislature passed the nation’s strictest abortion ban last week.
The Alabama Media Group, which operates the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press-Register, filled their Sunday papers with 200 essays from Alabama women of various backgrounds, ages and political leanings. The essays were also available as a package online under the title “It’s time to hear Alabama’s women”.
Politicians saying ludicrous things while arguing for extreme abortion restrictions seems to be common
On Friday Missouri became the latest state to enact extreme abortion restrictions, passing a bill that bans abortion after eight weeks. The ban provides no exceptions for rape or incest which, according to Republican congressman Barry Hovis, is fine because most rape is “consensual” anyway.
Hovis told the Missouri House that most of the rapes he’d encountered in his previous role in law enforcement were “date rapes or consensual rapes”. While Hovis noted that these were “all terrible” he also stressed they were very tricky “he-said-she-said” situations. In any case, the lawmaker said, his real point was that, if someone was sexually assaulted they could simply take the morning after pill. Although, to be clear, he wouldn’t be very happy about that either.
Some have chosen not to have a baby, others can’t, or have lost them: five women talk frankly about being childfree
I grew up in a single-parent family: my mother raised four girls on her own. I watched her struggle and from an early age I knew I didn’t want to do that. I’ve faced hostility for not having children – I’ve been called a barren freak and even had people tell me that I’ll never understand what love is until I have a child.
Legislation passed the Republican-led state house of representatives and now heads to the desk of the governor, who is expected to sign it
Missouri lawmakers on Friday approved legislation to ban abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy, becoming the latest state to put severe restrictions on the procedure.
The legislation passed the Republican-led state House of Representatives on Friday afternoon after being approved by the Senate early on Thursday, and now heads to the desk of Missouri’s Republican governor, Mike Parson. Parson is expected to sign it.
Class of 2019 will include 34 female African America graduates, the largest in the military academy’s history, and 19 Hispanic women
The US Military Academy at West Point is set to see a record number of black women graduate this spring. The group of 34 female African American graduates is the largest in history according to the prestigious military academy, following last year’s 27.
The class of 2019 will also include 19 Hispanic women, the largest number so far.
State senate’s near-total abortion ban prompts demand for genre to treat issue as ‘a normal part of life, not a moral lesson’
Dip into the fast-moving world of romantic fiction and it quickly becomes clear that very few of the fictional couples enjoying mind-blowing sex have any idea how to use a condom. The number of novels that use an unplanned pregnancy as a major plot point is almost as staggering as the sex they contain.
Take The Greek’s Pregnant Cinderella, in which a hotel maid is “utterly pleasured” by a Greek tycoon but “discovers her midnight mischief had nine-month consequences!” Or Her Forgotten Lover’s Heir, where “brooding Pietro Agosti is stunned when his sizzling fling with vibrant teacher Molly Armstrong results in her pregnancy”. Was it really that much of a surprise?
Co-working spaces such as Blooming Founders seek to break the mould for self-employed women
When 32-year-old Kylie Griffiths wants to unwind, she heads to the sea. The Londoner loves the city she grew up in, but says it can quickly become claustrophobic. She turned to surfing in her late 20s to get away from it all, and soon other women were reaching out to join her on her trips to the beach. “It was the only time I felt like I wasn’t in my phone and was fully in the moment,” Griffith says. “You’re something so small in something so great.”
Griffiths would go on to found London Girls Surf Club, which encourages landlocked city women to escape the concrete and submerge themselves in the sea. It is one of many clubs for women to flourish in London and across the UK in recent years. The Wing, which was established in New York in 2016, is the latest women’s co-working space to announce a London venture.
The Trump administration has taken its war on abortion worldwide, cutting off all funding to any overseas organisation or clinic that will not agree to a complete ban on even discussing it.
The Mexico City policy, dubbed the ‘global gag’ by its critics, denies US federal funds to any organisation involved in providing abortion services overseas or counselling women about them. It was instituted by former US president Ronald Reagan and has been revoked by every Democrat and reinstated by every Republican president since.
America on a par with India and Turkey, with almost half finding abortion unacceptable
The US is much more hostile to abortion than other countries in the developed world, with more Americans opposed to terminations than supportive, according to a survey of 23 of the world’s biggest countries.
Pro-choice groups see an increase in donations and are mobilizing supporters and resources in several states to combat the laws
As strict anti-abortion laws spread across the US, pro-choice Americans are organizing on multiple fronts to protect women’s access to abortions: from local women’s rights groups boasting record donations to high-powered national organizations planning legal action and electoral strategies, to economic boycotts of states passing the laws.
The strictest of the recent laws – an outright ban in Alabama that would make providing an abortion a felony punishable by prison – was signed into law by the state’s governor, Kay Ivey, on Wednesday.
James Bartholomew also criticised culture of majority-black US cities in 1993 article
A candidate for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party in the European elections described majority-black inner cities as being dominated by “a culture of physical violence, selfishness and predatory sex”, it has emerged.
James Bartholomew, a journalist and author who is standing in the south-east region, called black neighbourhoods of US inner cities“a Lord of the Flies culture” where “uncontrolled male adolescent values” are the norm.
She has accosted Anna Wintour, been hired by Vogue and has a custom Burberry wardrobe made especially for her small stature. Meet the woman who insists design should be for everyone
One of the rumours that swirls around the disabled activist, advocate, educator, Vogue contributing editor and lifelong fashion-obsessive Sinéad Burke is that she has a complete Burberry wardrobe. Not a collection tailor-made for her, but clothes personally selected off the rack by Burke and then customised for her 3ft 5in (1.04 metre) frame. It turns out that the truth is even better than the gossip. “I’m very fortunate to have a wardrobe full of beautiful, well-made clothes,” she says. “Not just from Burberry, but Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, Christopher Kane … As a teenager I’m not sure I could even have visualised it.”
As the eldest of five children, she grew up “envious of my sisters, who were average height. They had access to what I saw as the entirety of the fashion industry, even though they had far less interest than I did.” And now? “They look at my wardrobe and are like: ‘Would that fit me?’” She laughs.
The abortion legislation, the strictest of its kind in the country, is one of several recent abortion restrictions enacted at the state level designed as a direct challenge to Roe v Wade, the supreme court ruling that legalized abortion across the US four and a half decades ago.
Women can face jail sentences up to life in UK due to Victorian legislation, say campaigners
Alabama’s near total ban on abortion mirrors the situation in one corner of the UK: Northern Ireland. But pro-choice campaigners in the region say Northern Irish anti-abortion laws are actually stricter than the legislation Republican senators have introduced in the southern US state.
They point out that, unlike under Alabama’s new law, women in Northern Ireland can face jail sentences up to life because the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act remains in place. Under this piece of Victorian legislation, anyone procuring an abortion – medical staff or pregnant women – can face life imprisonment.
Alabama will debate the most restrictive abortion ban in the US as more than a dozen states this year tried to outlaw the procedure
Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday are expected to debate the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation, which, if passed, would outlaw abortion from the point of conception with exceptions only if the woman’s life is seriously at risk.
The law is one example of a severe clampdown on women’s reproductive rights spreading across Republican-led states. The White House has stoked anti-abortion campaigners’ fervor, with conservative court nominations and a litany of bureaucratic changes restricting reproductive freedom and related funding.
Jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu takes aim at Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies
A familiar trio of topics – Netflix, gender disparity and Donald Trump – were on the agenda as the this year’s Cannes film festival got under way.
At the press conference introducing this year’s festival jury, its president, Birdman and The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu, took aim at Trump and offered suphttps://www.theguardian.com/world/series/the-new-populismport to theatre chains battling the dominance of the streaming service. Another jury member, Happy as Lazzaro director Alice Rohrwacher, criticised the film industry for failing to promote female film-makers.
Many women are finding the new style not just comfortable but empowering, too
This season in fashion, size matters – but not in the way you might think. With temperatures set to reach the 20s in the UK next week, there’s a new larger-than-life dress shape billowing across the horizon aiming to capitalise on the warm weather.
The cut is non-specific, but the tent dress – as it is loosely known – is united by three things: size (very wide), shapelessness (there is no waist), and fabric (natural, such as linen, cotton or calico). Proof can be found on the summer catwalks at Valentino and Molly Goddard, on the high street at Zara and H&M, and even on the red carpet: last week’s Met Gala was a case in point, with Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow ditching the usual flesh flashing for silhouettes of truly impressive girth.
Film event adds family-friendly initiative yet for female directors it looks to be business as usual
This year, the Cannes film festival is rolling out an initiative called Le Ballon Rouge – named after a children’s film by Albert Lamorisse – which offers a package of services aimed at making the festival more attractive to families.
There is a breast-feeding and baby-changing area; a dedicated kids’ pavilion; an accreditation process providing two free additional badges for a nanny and baby; priority and easy access for parents with young children and prams; plus something called Le Ballon Rouge baby VIP kit, which includes a list of certified nannies for after-hours care.
Online dating is good in theory but it relies on people to respect boundaries. On apps, as in real life, that doesn’t seem to be happening
Last week I got a message on LinkedIn from a man I’ve never met. This was weird enough to begin with – like most millennials, I go on LinkedIn approximately never – but he wasn’t reaching out with an exciting new job opportunity. Instead, he’d written to proposition me. This man had seen me on Tinder and, (correctly) suspecting we wouldn’t match, had found my last name, sought out my profile on a professional networking website and used it to try to pick me up.
I posted a screenshot of the message on Twitter and was met with an avalanche of sympathetic replies. Women around the world told me their horror stories, detailing the times men they’d already rejected on dating apps somehow found their Facebook or Instagram accounts and asked them out. One told me about a woman who’d received a phone call at her office from a hopeful suitor, who had apparently Googled her work contact number. Later that day a friend of mine was frightened and frustrated when she got home to find a stranger had printed a shirtless photo of himself and slid it under her front door, in some sort of profoundly misguided attempt at getting her attention.
Women’s groups say pledge to donate hypothetical earnings to victims of grooming is insulting
Tommy Robinson’s pledge to donate his hypothetical European parliament salary to child victims of sexual grooming has been criticised as “an insult to survivors of abuse” by women’s groups who said he was “no ally for the children he claims to stand up for”.
More than 40 women and charities including the End Violence Against Women and Girls Coalition declared in a letter to voters and community leaders that they would not accept money from the English Defence League founder, criticising Robinson for “factually incorrect messages about grooming”.
Alabama politicians have scheduled a vote on the nation’s strictest abortion bill on Tuesday – but only after a shouting match broke out in the state senate.
The bill would implement a near-total ban on abortions in Alabama, with no exemptions for rape or incest.
Talking with Sen. Del Marsh, he’s says Lt. Gov. @willainsworthAL acted within his power as president of the Senate. Marsh says many senators were caught off guard by the roll call vote to strip the rape and incest amendment. pic.twitter.com/fslxJcgbPt
Paul Manafort news: Trump’s former campaign chairman and ostrich coat enthusiast will no longer be able to be a lawyer in Washington DC.
Paul Manafort officially can no longer practice law in Washington DC according to a Thursday court filing.
A panel of judges for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals found that Manafort’s criminal convictions for obstruction of justice through witness tampering and conspiracy to commit fraud were enough to disbar him in DC.
Philipps reveals her own abortion at age 15 on her talkshow
Governor Brian Kemp signed highly restrictive law on Tuesday
The actor Busy Philipps condemned Georgia’s six-week abortion ban, signed into law yesterday, on her talkshow Busy Tonight by revealing the story of her own abortion at age 15.
“I had an abortion when I was 15 years old, and I’m telling you this because I am genuinely really scared for women and girls all over this country,” she said, her voice full of emotion. “And I think that we all need to be talking more and sharing our stories more.”
Babies cannot speak for themselves, so we have to, writes Naomi Stadlen
Hadley Freeman argues that breastfeeding is “the maternal ideal” (Weekend, 4 May). But breastfeeding is why women have breasts. British women find it difficult because they rarely see mothers breastfeeding. It’s a visual art, passed on often wordlessly from one generation to the next. Freeman’s article mentions women and mothers 13 times, but babies only five times. Breastfeeding is a two-person activity. Babies cannot speak for themselves, so we have to. Their mothers’ breastmilk is their birthright. It’s not a question of “judging” mothers who find it difficult but of ensuring that health services have enough resources to support them. With better support, more mothers can breastfeed, more girls and women can see them, and more babies can enjoy being breastfed. Naomi Stadlen London
In the church women’s magazine, Lucetta Scaraffia exposed rape and secret abortions. Then, she and her team quit. She reveals what happened
On 26 March, Lucetta Scaraffia sent a letter to Pope Francis. She was, at the time, the editor of the Vatican’s glossy women’s magazine Women Church World: a title that in its seven years had taken aim at misogyny in the church, exposed the shocking sexual abuse of nuns and the secret abortions priests had paid for to get rid of the evidence.
“We are throwing in the towel,” she told the pope. “Because we feel surrounded by an atmosphere of distrust and progressive delegitimisation.” The “we” was the 11-strong editorial team, all but two of whom quit on the same day, accusing the church elders of attempting to gag them. Of the decision to appoint a new editorial team, she says: “A vital initiative has been reduced to silence and there has been a return to the antiquated and arid custom of choosing women considered trustworthy from on high, under the direct control of men.”
Facing down intimidation, women all over this traditional region are speaking out about sexual harassment and violence
Ali Zafar is famed across South Asia for his pop music, romantic comedies and even the occasional toothpaste advert. But last weekend he gave a particularly emotional performance on Pakistani television, tears welling in his eyes as he spoke of the effect sexual harassment allegations has had on his life. For the past year, the actor and musician has been embroiled in the country’s most high-profile #MeToo case: his initial accuser was the actress and singer Meesha Shafi.
Last April she issued a statement claiming that Zafar had sexually harassed her “on more than one occasion”. He responded by “categorically denying” the allegations and promising to sue.
Kersti Kaljulaid criticised by far-right minister for leaving swearing-in ceremony of minister accused of domestic violence
Estonia’s new interior minister has called the country’s first female president, Kersti Kaljulaid, an “emotionally heated woman” for walking out during the swearing-in of a cabinet minister accused of domestic violence.
Mart Helme made the sexist remark at a news conference where he also accused domestic news outlets of applying a double standard in covering abuse allegations against a former minister from his far-right party.
Former inmates at a California prison allege a range of sexual abuses by employees – from overt assault to subtle misconduct – made easy by the toxic power dynamics
In 2011, Michele Infante was incarcerated for close to six months at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California, a small city adjacent to Compton and Watts. The facility is Los Angeles county’s only jail designated for women and sprawls across an industrial zone in the shadow of the Imperial Highway.
Infante, now 58, says she was sexually assaulted and sexually abused by two different employees at Lynwood, as the jail is known locally.
Parliamentary committee grills company representatives over violent and misogynistic abuse
Twitter and Facebook have been accused by a parliamentary committee of failing to do enough to protect female MPs and other public figures from violent or misogynistic abuse.
Representatives of the two social media giants appeared before the joint human rights committee on Wednesday, where one member – Joanna Cherry, an SNP MP – showed examples of the type of abuse that female MPs faced.
Award honours the movement that has changed the way society understands and talks about sexual violence
Tracey Spicer, the joint winner of the 2019 Sydney Peace prize, is calling for an incoming federal government to overhaul Australian defamation laws to ensure sexual harassment survivors are not condemned to silence.
Single parents say they face a particular kind of isolation – especially when the world of parenting apps is dominated by ‘nuclear families’. One single mother has set out to change that
I became pregnant at 21. It wasn’t planned. I was weeks away from my dissertation deadline, in the final months of a fashion journalism degree at the London College of Fashion. I was going through the fallout of a painful breakup (we are great friends now), and I searched for healing in all types of ways, including the brief fling that led to my pregnancy.
I want to say my decision to have my daughter was firm from the beginning, but that would be a lie. It took me a few days to realise that being a mother was something I wanted, and just because it wasn’t how I imagined – meet “perfect” man, marry said man, procreate on a predetermined schedule – it didn’t mean it wouldn’t still be fine.
Riding an imaginary horse is a galloping success with young girls in the Scandinavian country – and the trend is taking off elsewhere
Perhaps one of the more surprising articles to be widely circulated this month has been a New York Times feature on the girls of Finland and their fondness for hobbyhorsing.
Hobbyhorsing is not a metaphor, nor indeed the repurposing of some veterinarian-standard tranquiliser by the nightclubbing youth of today. It is, in fact, the act and art of riding a rudimentary toy horse – a toy that is, to put it bluntly, a stuffed fabric horse’s head attached to a stick.
Hairy armpits are in fashion – but a Nike ad featuring a model with a small amount of visible hair attracted thousands of critical comments
Julia Roberts: America’s sweetheart, Hollywood royalty – and an early pioneer of armpit-hair acceptance. Her look at the 1999 premiere of Notting Hill, beaming in a red sequined Vivienne Tam dress, arm raised to reveal a dark tuft, was immediately celebrated as a subversive feminist bird-flip against female beauty standards. Except it wasn’t: 20 years later, she confessed that the look hadn’t been a statement at all, rather that she had forgotten to shave and miscalculated the sleeve length of the dress.
Armpit hair remains a bizarre sticking point for anti-feminists. A few days ago, Nike uploaded a picture on Instagram showing the model and musician Annahstasia Enuke with a small amount of underarm hair visible; in response, thousands of commenters expressed outrage and disgust. Just a day later, the deodorant brand Nuud responded to a backlash against its own online advert that had featured underarm hair. The cynic in me has no doubt that the engagement all the hate-clicks and outrage drum up on social media is the main driver for brands’ recent love affair with body hair (two years ago Adidas featured a model with hairy legs to much ire and press reaction). But it is also an important reminder of just how upset people become when women are not scraping and cutting off bits of themselves in order to be pleasing to the public’s eye. The amount of vitriol, anger and hate that can be garnered by something that does not affect anyone apart from the individual woman is incredible – even more so when you compare it with the non-reaction to men doing the exact same thing.
Health district responsible for hospital that employs Dr Christopher Kwan Chen Lee says it takes ‘professional misconduct’ seriously
The health district responsible for the hospital which employs an emergency doctor who said “some women deserve to be raped” has ordered the doctor be stood down while they investigate.
Earlier in April Dr Christopher Kwan Chen Lee was suspended by the Tasmanian health practitioners tribunal for six weeks after he admitted to posting a series of sexist and racist remarks online. While Lee previously worked in Tasmania, in 2018 he began work at Box Hill hospital in Victoria as an emergency doctor, and the suspension bars him from working anywhere in Australia.
Exercise for mothers-to-be has many benefits – just avoid the high-intensity workouts and new PBs
A new study has found that exercising during pregnancy can protect offspring from obesity later in life – the first time that has been demonstrated for non-obese women. Dr Daghni Rajasingam, consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says there are many benefits for the mother-to-be, including weight maintenance, improving sleep and mood, helping to cope with labour, and reducing high blood pressure. At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, in bouts of at least 10 minutes, based on fitness level and comfort, is advised throughout pregnancy. Rajasingam also recommends seeking medical advice, especially for women with health conditions.
Girls with autism are often misdiagnosed, but a new graphic novel aims to put them in the picture
At secondary school, they become the “leftover girls”, drifting, alienated and often miserably lonely because the other teenage girls won’t accept them. It’s not that autistic girls don’t want friends – they are as desperate for friends as any teenager – but in a world which denies, rejects and ignores them, they are simply not wired to understand the only social role available to them: that of a neurotypical girl living an ordinary life.
Dr Sarah Bargiela wants to reach these girls. With illustrator Sophie Standing, she has written Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women, a graphic novel that transforms the growing mass of dry, scholarly research on autism and women into intriguing science facts and moving personal accounts.
Repetitive tasks can help with anxiety, but can we trust them to safeguard women’s mental health?
Good morning, how are you, the world is ending. Evidence: in three days, “cleanfluencer” Mrs Hinch sold more than 160,000 copies of her first book, revealing “How a spot of cleaning is the perfect way to cleanse the soul.”
Working backwards, it’s clear the end started not with a bang, but with a cupcake. Those were gentler days, malleable and doughy, when, without anybody really noticing, fairy cakes graduated from children’s party snacks to fancy ladies’ treats. They looked the same – a soft, disembodied knee of dough, painted blue and scattered with sugar beads – but fundamentally, cupcakes were a very different proposition. They were playful but naughty, camp nods to childhood from the lofty lifeguard’s chair of adulthood. They were comically feminine, like tiny iced drag queens.
Mandu Reid, the new leader of the Women’s Equality party (WEP), has spoken publicly about the impact of her abortion and why it compelled her to enter politics.
In an interview with the Observer, Reid said her decision to have a termination at 33 had not been “an easy choice” but one made because she “couldn’t balance being a single mother and hold on to my career aspirations”.
‘Heartbeat bills’, which would make the procedure illegal at about six weeks into gestation, are misleading and unconstitutional
Destinee Marett was less than two years sober when she got pregnant. She already had three children, her first when she was 13 years old.
At the time, she was waitressing at a diner in Cleveland, Ohio, surviving on tips alone. Employers in Ohio pay servers only $4.30 (£3.31) per hour, and between taxes and child support her check was often for nothing.
A viral photo of female anatomy has highlighted the far-reaching effects of treating the male of the species as the default
It has taken a viral tweet for thousands of people to realize that all human bodies are not male bodies – and that women’s muscular systems look different from men’s.
To be fair, the image, which displays milk ducts in all their raw, floral detail, is indeed a new one for many of our eyes (my own included). That isn’t out of personal ignorance, or at least not entirely. It’s also because American scientific and medical education – and, troublingly, research, treatment and standards – presume the male body is the default.
The Royal Navy is committed to the tradition, but academics say it could betray a ‘patriarchal view’
Anachronistic and patronising, or benign nautical tradition? The appropriateness of referring to ships as “she” has been challenged by the Scottish Maritime Museum’s decision this week to adopt gender-neutral signage for its vessels.
The move has provoked debate over when, if ever, it is acceptable to use the feminine pronoun for inanimate things.
Complaints were made about Dr Christopher Kwan Chen Lee when he was a University of Melbourne student
A doctor who was suspended after repeatedly calling for women to be raped and making racist remarks online also shared patients’ medical records, including X-rays of the chest of a four-year-old girl suffering from pneumonia and an X-ray of a broken arm.
Dr Christopher Kwan Chen Lee, an emergency medicine doctor, was this month suspended from practising for six weeks after the Tasmanian health practitioners tribunal found he made numerous posts in online forums promoting violence against women and racism.
Margaret Davis, Gail Hall, Janet Mansfield and Dr Carole Ulanowsky join the debate over the NCT and bottle-feeding
Re Zoe Williams’ article (The ‘breast is best’ lobby has failed women, 23 April), babies should have tummies full to the brim at the end of every feed. Persevering with breastfeeding may be an admirable aim, but an underfed baby will be in danger of developing symptoms of anxiety in adulthood as well as addictions to smoking, drinking unhealthily and overeating. The physiological benefits of breast milk versus those of formula milk fade into insignificance when compared with the long-term consequences if the chosen method of feeding prevents a baby from developing that vital sense of security and confidence, from a satisfying feed, that its survival is guaranteed. Margaret Davis Loanhead, Midlothian
• Thank you, Zoe Williams. I have breasts but they were not the best. That hasn’t stopped my non-breastfed daughters from growing into strong, healthy women. I wish I had read this article 20 years ago, as I would have felt less of a failure as a mother, less apologetic and more able to deal with the breastfeeding lobby’s intolerance. Gail Hall Denstone, Staffordshire
Black graduates also paid significantly less on average than white peers, data shows
Women in England with postgraduate degrees still earn less than men with only bachelor’s degrees, while salaries for graduate men are growing at a faster pace than for their female peers, according to the latest official data on graduate earnings.
The figures from the Department for Education’s graduate labour market statistics show that women with postgraduates degrees, including master’s degrees and doctorates, earn a median pay of £37,000 a year. But men with first degrees earned an average of £38,500 in 2018, while men holding postgraduate degrees were paid £43,000.
Young women and girls also worry about bullying and gender stereotypes, research finds
Climate change and tackling sexual harassment are the biggest concerns for girls and young women, a major research project has found.
The consultation with 76,000 girls and young women aged from four to 25 in the UK by the Girlguiding organisation, also found bullying, gender stereotypes and pressures to look a certain way were among primary concerns.
I salute women who wait to have children, writes Roz Treadway. Plus responses from Jan Dubé and Kirtana Chandrasekaran to Zoe Williams’ criticism of breasfeeding campaigners
Zeynep Gurtin (The myths behind late motherhood, Journal, 18 April) omits one reason why there appears to be atrend for women to leave having babies until their late 30s/early 40s: that in their 20s and early 30s they may not have decided whether they want children at all, rather than just delaying having them. They may be enjoying life free of the ties and responsibility of children, working at jobs they love and have studied for and struggled to obtain – jobs they know will be touched by having children in ways that a man’s career won’t.
Women are more than their biological ability to give birth, and I salute those who choose to explore and reach their own potential before deciding if they want to undertake the huge task of producing and raising another human being. Roz Treadway Sheringham, Norfolk
Misuzu Ikeda becomes first assemblywoman in Tarumizu city as record numbers of women elected nationwide
Misuzu Ikeda has struck a rare blow for Japanese women in politics by becoming the first female candidate to be elected to the local assembly in the southern city of Tarumizu.
Ikeda hugged supporters on Sunday night when she finished third out of 17 candidates for the 14-seat assembly in Tarumizu, which is officially recognised as a city despite its relatively small population of 15,000.
23 April 1968 Prejudice against the boys’ doll has been overcome with dolls shaped like young men, anatomically ‘all there’
Writing about the martial emphasis of the boys’ dolls and their equipment last year I commented that only a large toy firm could swing the emphasis away from modern destruction through a different kind of wardrobe. I did not expect a reaction. But Palitoy, no less, the makers of Action Man were thinking on the same lines though perhaps for a different reason. Their designers produced several historical uniforms, spectacular items such as a knight in armour and a crusader, also some sportsmen’s outfits – both themes which had been suggested to me by mothers. The prototypes were tried out on a large panel of schoolboys. The young consumers showed no interest in the past. They voted only for the modern sports clothes. So at least these will be available in the shops for parents who give in to the purchase of boys’ dolls with the proviso “no military equipment.”
Women especially affected, with relationships and ability to conceive impacted, say experts
Cuts to sexual dysfunction services risk leaving thousands of people without help for problems that can affect their wellbeing, relationships and ability to conceive, the Guardian can reveal.
Experts say funding cuts to sexual health clinics and clinical commissioning groups have led to the decommissioning of services that tackle sexual dysfunction. This, they say, is leaving men and women with dwindling support for problems ranging from erectile trouble to pain during sex – a situation that not only impacts people’s quality of life, but could mean they miss their chance to start a family.
The institution of marriage shouldn’t look like a Victorian mental asylum, not built for modern life
I would like to be taught how to fight. Not boxing or karate or anything you need a costume for, just lessons in common basic argument, between people who love each other. New York magazine interviewed a collection of couples, asking what they wish their partner would say in a fight. “What I need him to say is: ‘Yes, [my family] are assholes and they are snobs and I can’t imagine how much it sucks to hang out with them when you’re not biologically obligated to, but please, I need you there with me, and I’ll buy you a huge thank-you present for it.’” I wanted a stream of these truths, hooked straight to a vein. “She said I was disempowering her in front of her children and taking her voice away. I wish she said: ‘Shit, you know what? You’re right. I took it too far. I’ll check myself next time.’” MORE. “I just snapped. I said, ‘If I miscarry, it’s because you didn’t take good care of me.’ He was, like, ‘You are awful. Listen to what you just said…’ I wanted him to say, ‘Jesus Christ, get off your feet right now. You’re not lifting a finger until we know this pregnancy is healthy. I forbid you from taking any risks because I love you and our future baby too much.’” Raw, irrational, so real they sting like menthol shower gel, and reason enough, if more reason was needed, to question why we tie ourselves together, and in knots, and forever.
The current iteration of divorce requires formally trash-talking the person you once loved
She’s crossing lines and you need to let her know, says Mariella Frostrup. It’s high time you two talked
The dilemmaI have a good friend I have known since before I could walk. We were at school and college together and share many friends. Our parents and older siblings are friends, too. We also lived together for years, although I moved out recently. This woman is charming, charismatic, very clever and funny. She lights up a room. But over the past few years, I have found her increasingly difficult. She dominates every social situation. But because we’re considered a double act and I am more introverted, I feel like the lesser of two halves. I find myself shrinking. She constantly repeats things I’ve told her in confidence. From when I was young, she’s put down friends I make independently of her. Now I have just found out she wants to apply for a job where I work. I’m very upset. It’s a small company and we’d have to work together closely. I know this would be toxic. When we lived together, I poured a lot of energy into work. That space felt untouchable. Now she’s trying to move in on it and I feel very angry.
Mariella replies Me too! Friends are only friends as long as they act like them. There’s no point maintaining an intimate relationship with somebody who doesn’t have your welfare at the forefront of their priorities. There are plenty of acquaintances and strangers who can rustle up a put-down, break your trust, envy your success or relish your failures. A friend does none of these and the minute they do it’s time to re-evaluate your union.
The Pussy Riot co-founder, 29, on talking politics with her daughter, how prison changed her and her capitalist phase
I went through a capitalist phase because of my mother. In the 90s, when our economy collapsed, we lost everything. My mum started to do all of these crazy businesses. She was selling cosmetics and I would attend seminars on how to sell your product even though you know they’re useless.
It sucks to write a song and think, “How many years could I get for this?”Two or three times a week, I have nightmares about being in prison again.
Lauren Miranda says what should have been an innocuous photo spun out of control – and would have a different outcome for a man in her position
Lauren Miranda’s nightmare began as a school day like any other. She was teaching math during first period at Bellport middle school on Long Island, New York, when she received a text from a friend in another building. There was a nude photo going around, and kids were saying it was her.
“I just thought it was impossible,” Miranda told the Guardian. “I was almost offended that she thought it was a picture of me.”
Move follows calls for female representation in discussions aimed at ending 17-year war
Women will be included for the first time in the Taliban delegation for talks this month with US officials and Afghan representatives in Qatar on the future of Afghanistan, the movement’s main spokesman has said.
She was labelled a man-hater, anti-sex and ugly. But she predicted both the ascent of Trump and #MeToo – and her unapologetic attitude is more relevant than ever
‘I can’t come here as a friend, even though I might very much want to.” These are the words of Andrea Dworkin, addressing an anti-sexist men’s organisation in 1983, in her acclaimed speech I Want a 24-Hour Truce in Which There Is No Rape. “The power exercised by men, day to day, in life is power that is institutionalised. It is protected by law. It is protected by religion and religious practice. It is protected by universities, which are strongholds of male supremacy. It is protected by a police force. It is protected by those whom Shelley called “the unacknowledged legislators of the world”: the poets, the artists. Against that power, we have silence.”
With teenage girls a particular target of street harassment, Farah Benis is on a mission to document incidents and raise awareness
CatcallsofLdn is an Instagram account that raises awareness about street harassment using chalk art. Inspired by and working with @catcallsofnyc, founder Farah Benis collects submissions from the public then chalks them onto the pavement in the place where they happened. The hope is that chalking, documenting and sharing images of the words will help to raise awareness of street harassment and ultimately prevent it.
72% of submissions are from under 17-year-olds, 60% of those were wearing school uniforms and 100% of the perpetrators were adult men
Figures from England and Wales show long-term rise in pregnancies to women over 30
The number of pregnancies among women aged 30 and above in England and Wales has surpassed the number among women in their 20s for the first time since records began, the latest figures show.
The long-term rise in pregnancies of older women, which have more than doubled for those aged 40 and over since 1990, has been driven by women spending more time in education and in work, and by the rising opportunity costs of childbearing, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Legal & General fund managers voted against more than 100 chairmen in 2018
The UK’s biggest fund management group voted against more than 100 chairmen last year, at firms including Barclays, Ted Baker and Sports Direct, for failing to boost the number of women in their boardrooms.
Legal & General Investment Management, which manages more than £1tn in assets, more than doubled the number of protest votes cast in 2018 over a lack of gender diversity. A year earlier the asset manager only voted against 37 UK chairmen.
The story of Ilana and Abbi in Broad City is one of female friendship at its best
I’m not a poo joke kind of girl. No thank you. Yesterday I retched when someone described a smell. And yet the wild, warm effluviant humour of Broad City only made me like it more. This was a platonic love story about two women who adored each other. Rather than compete over boys or success, they supported each other unconditionally, and their very best days were spent yomping through the hot streets of New York complimenting each other’s bodies and/or choices. In the final episode, the two paused to stare out over the river, and Ilana told Abbi: “I’ve never felt so cool as when I’m with you.” Despite the fact that a filthy toilet they’d been dragging across town sat between them as they said goodbye, this was the first scene in 48 episodes that made me cry.
And it shouldn’t have taken me this long to realise it, but of course, of course, the gross moments were never just cheap jokes, never just plopped in for effect. It took five series to reveal to me the real role of poo jokes in this beautiful show but, yep, I realised that by opening the toilet door they offered two things. The first, an appreciation of women’s bodies as something other than sex-meat to be gazed at. In fact, as working machines, but ones that sometimes fart, and without shame. The second thing was a new authenticity, which reflected the grand honesty of the characters’ lives, and their insistence on being free. You saw it in their yomping, the way they danced down the street, and you saw it in the way they each had sex, both intimate and regrettable, but mostly in the way they’d decided to prioritise each other, their main relationship, despite all conventions advising otherwise. And not the kind of authenticity we often talk about today in relation to social media, with its careful absences and earnest crops, but a lifting, playful thing that leans into the vulnerability of youth. A way of being that is fearless and easy, if sometimes unhygienic.
Police say 94 incidents reported last year for offence now punishable with jail term
Upskirting has become a specific criminal offence in England and Wales, punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment.
The scale of the problem has been laid bare by an investigation that reveals allegations reported by police have increased over the last four years, with an older person and schoolchildren as young as seven among the victims in 2018.
Colorism is more than being called a cockroach, having guys compare my nether regions to a medium rare steak, or seeing my crush preferring lighter-skinned women over me. No, it goes deeper than that. Colorism has programmed me to view myself as everything but beautiful, or even a woman.
Masculinity, ugliness and undesirability are traits that I have identified with since early adolescence. I was a tomboy, and being a dark-skinned black girl only added another layer to any discomfort I had regarding my appearance.
As a young teen, I was never comfortable wearing anything too feminine or skin-revealing. Hoodies, jeans, and sneakers were the only things in my closet. And yet, my bedroom was the opposite of this attitude: I had posters of the Jonas Brothers and the Twilight cast plastered over my walls, a large hot pink Hello Kitty blanket laid across my bed and a vast collection of Barbie and Bratz dolls. It was a stark contrast to the girl who mainly hung out with boys to play video games and football, and who liked riding bikes around Philadelphia.
Released last year, Gosnell (full title: Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer) follows the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a doctor prosecuted in 2013 for first-degree murder. Gosnell ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphiawhere he performed illegal late-term abortions for disadvantaged women and was convicted for the killing of three babies born alive. Investigators noted a wealth of health code violations in the clinic, calling it a “house of horrors”.
The woman at a Khartoum demonstration ‘was trying to give hope,’ says eyewitness
The image is striking: a young woman, alone, standing above the crowd, urging them on with songs of revolution.
Taken on Monday night in the centre of Khartoum, as tens of thousands thronged the roads in front of the heavily-guarded complex housing the headquarters of the military and the feared intelligence services, the picture of the woman in white with gold circular earrings has become an icon of a protest.
Development secretary vows government will ‘hold a strong line’, after attempts by Trump administration to weaken commitments
Britain’s international development secretary has promised to stand firm in her support for abortion rights in the face of growing opposition.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Canadian embassy on Monday, Penny Mordaunt said: “Leadership means not shying away from issues like safe abortion when the evidence shows us these services will save women’s lives.”
Women living with crippling pain experience average eight- to nine-year diagnostic delay
After allocating $4.7m in 2018 towards a national action plan to tackle endometriosis, the health minister on Tuesday announced a further $10m towards researching and raising awareness about the crippling and chronic menstrual condition.
Growing up in the DC metro area, I was cute with a caveat: I had chocolate skin.
When I was six years old, a close relative quipped that if I continued to play in the sun, I would end up “looking like a tar baby”. It was like touching a hot stove for the first time: I hadn’t even thought about the color of my skin before that moment, even though I went to an all-white school.
9 April 1929 Wifehood and motherhood are not jobs; like husbandhood and fatherhood they are personal relationships
Perhaps no argument against the combination of marriage and a career is quite so popular as the familiar cliché that wifehood is a profession. “I was always taught that marriage was a career in itself,” disapprovingly remarked a young woman at the close of a recent lecture in which I had maintained that if wives preferred employment outside their homes they should be free to make the choice. Shortly afterwards I opened the pages of Dr. Meyrick Booth’s newly published treatise Woman and Society to find the old confusing argument stated with all the old naive simplicity. “The occupation of wifehood,” remarks the author, “is the largest of all the careers open to the young citizen of our country. And this career is a female monopoly … Being a husband is not an occupation by which a man earns his living. But 5,000,000 women secure their economic existence by being wives.”
Money is still a taboo subject for women and they are the poorer for it. But it’s easy to invest in stocks and shares, starting with £25 a month
Fourteen years ago, I edited a magazine for investors. I took over the job from another woman, many of the journalists I commissioned were women, and most of the press officers I spoke to were women. But when it came to the fund managers we interviewed, almost all were men. The readership, too, was overwhelmingly male. Women clearly understood how the stock market worked; they just weren’t investing in it themselves.
An adage in the financial sector goes that women save and men invest – and this still rings true. It seems that even women who have money to put aside tend to squirrel it away rather than try to grow it. In 2015/16, the last year for which data is available, 892,000 women invested in the government’s stocks and shares Isas (which allow you to invest up to a fixed amount with potential tax-free returns) as against 1.1 million men. In contrast, when it comes to much safer cash Isas, 5.2 million women invested in the same year against 4.4 million men.
Open letter from Women’s Resource Centre says current allocation damages ‘fragile women’s charity sector’
The struggling women’s charity sector is suffering further damage as a result of the way funds raised from the tampon tax are being allocated, it has been claimed.
In an open letter to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, more than 100 women, including academics and representatives of women’s charities, have urged the government to ringfence cash raised from the unpopular levy to be donated to organisations dedicated to women.
Whether you want to lessen your reliance on standard tampons for the sake of the environment or your health, or simply for a change – here are some options
Made of medical-grade silicone and typically available in two sizes, menstrual cups can hold up to 12 hours’ flow, compared with four to eight hours with a tampon – and as they are reusable and can last up to 10 years, they are much better for the environment. Though the Mooncup may still be the best-known, there is now an abundance of menstrual cups, from Intimina’s Ziggy, which claims to be the only one that can be worn during sex, to the FemmyCycle designed specifically for low cervixes. However, Dr Leila Frodsham, a consultant gynaecologist and spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, warns that menstrual cups are not suitable for women who have been advised not to use tampons.