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'I’m tired and desperate' – a disabled victim of domestic violence on her struggle to survive

Women | The Guardian

Disabled women are at higher risk of domestic violence than others, so why are there so few accessible refuges? As Sarah’s story shows, they are faced with an impossible system

To survive in the refuge, Sarah (not her real name) stores fruit and cereal bars to eat in her room. When we first talk in March, she has been there for a month after leaving her abusive husband. She had been sofa surfing with friends and family for a week while waiting for a place.

This is standard nowadays – research by Women’s Aid in 2017 found that 60% of referrals to refuges were declined, meaning that women escape abusive homes only to be turned away due to lack of space. But because Sarah is a disabled abuse victim, with several physical illnesses that leave her struggling to walk, as well as mental health problems, she at least got high priority.

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September 19th 2019, 5:13 am

'It's a violation': the war on (unwanted) dick pics has begun

Women | The Guardian

A web developer asked men to send her pictures of their genitals in order to build a filter that ‘recognises’ a penis and blurs it. Which raises the question: why haven’t tech companies taken this on yet?

Earlier this month, after waking up to find an unwelcome dick pic in her Twitter account’s DMs, web developer Kelsey Bressler, 28, co-created an AI filter she claims is capable of preventing over 95% of sexually explicit images from reaching her inbox.

To test the filter, Bressler solicited pictures of male genitalia en masse, receiving hundreds to the trial account @ShowYoDiq, “for science”.

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September 19th 2019, 1:40 am

Outcry at Indonesia draft criminal code that could see unmarried couples jailed

Women | The Guardian

New draft bill, decades in the making, could also criminalise insulting the president and tightens abortion laws

Indonesia is set to pass a new criminal code that could outlaw living together outside marriage and insulting the president, among a raft of controversial new measures that rights groups have decried as disastrous.

The Indonesian parliament has spent decades revising its colonial-era criminal code, creating a 628-article draft bill that could be passed in coming days.

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September 18th 2019, 11:40 pm

Women, looking unapproachable could be your greatest asset | Yomi Adegoke

Women | The Guardian

Meeting the world with a ‘resting bitch face’ may not be what society demands, but it protects you against unsolicited male attention in public

With girls as young as 13 years old now opting for Botox, it is clear that ageing is no longer the only thing women are trying to ward off. An article in the New York Post has noted a rise in women seeking plastic surgery to “fix” their so-called “resting bitch face”. This is a women-only affliction, where, even when wearing a neutral expression, you appear perpetually standoffish. In reality, it refers to any time that a woman’s facial expression is set in anything less than a smile.

According to one doctor quoted in the piece, the number of requests for the procedure have more than doubled in the past year. This isn’t exactly shocking – women are made to feel bad about just about everything in terms of their appearance – but to me it seems many of these women are getting rid of something that is actually a great asset.

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September 18th 2019, 2:48 pm

Lloyd’s of London boss pledges action on sexual harassment

Women | The Guardian

Results of survey into culture at insurance firm will be released this month

The Lloyd’s of London boss has said he was “devastated” by a report on sexual harassment against women working in the insurance market as he pledged decisive action to put an end to behaviour ranging from inappropriate comments to physical assault.

The world’s biggest insurance market commissioned a major survey into its culture after an investigation by Bloomberg in March detailed widespreadharassment. The results of the survey will be released in a report on 24 September.

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September 18th 2019, 12:59 pm

Rate of US abortions drops to lowest level since 1973

Women | The Guardian

The US experienced an 8% decline in the abortion rate in three years, to the lowest recorded level since abortion was legalized

The overall rate of abortions has dropped in the US to the lowest level since 1973, according to a new study, continuing a downward trend.

The US experienced an 8% decline in the abortion rate in three years, to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, the lowest recorded level since abortion was legalized in 1973. In 2017, an estimated 862,320 abortions were performed.

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September 18th 2019, 12:59 pm

US healthcare is booming. So why do one in five workers live in poverty?

Women | The Guardian

Employment in the industry is projected to grow, but women – particularly women of color – are being left behind

“One of the biggest challenges is explaining that you are not a maid. That your job is not to clean up after everyone,” said Marisol Rivera, who has been caring for elderly and disabled clients in their New York homes for 20 years.

Rivera is one of the millions of women now employed in the US’s fastest-growing job sector: healthcare. Driven by an ageing population and propped up by government funds, in 2017 healthcare jobs surpassed manufacturing and retail – once the two driving forces of employment in the US. And by all predictions it will keep on growing.

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September 18th 2019, 2:22 am

Libra ad depicting menstrual blood did not breach standards, watchdog rules

Women | The Guardian

Commercial showing a woman in stained underwear and another with blood running down legs had been deemed ‘offensive’ by some viewers

The advertising watchdog has dismissed hundreds of complaints about a TV commercial for sanitary products which depicts menstrual blood for the first time on Australian television.

The Libra ad included a woman’s legs in the shower with water and blood running down them, a woman in white lingerie with the bottom of the patterned underwear stained red and a teenage girl entering a bathroom holding a pad.

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September 17th 2019, 11:52 pm

Sheffield strip club keeps licence despite opposition by feminist coalition

Women | The Guardian

Spearmint Rhino dancers label covert filming, showing 74 breaches, ‘revenge porn tactics’

A strip club in Sheffield had its licence renewed after the council ruled covertly recorded footage of dancers breaking no-touching rules should not force its closure.

Dancers at Spearmint Rhino celebrated the ruling on Tuesday, made after eight hours of heated testimony from both sides on Monday. Dancers had accused campaigners who made the undercover recordings of “revenge porn tactics”. A coalition of feminist groups that had sought the club’s closure condemned the decision and said they would continue to fight for the venue’s licence to be withdrawn.

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September 17th 2019, 1:00 pm

Thousands demand Oxford dictionaries 'eliminate sexist definitions'

Women | The Guardian

Nearly 30,000 people have signed petition calling on the publisher to cut entries that ‘discriminate against and patronise women’

Almost 30,000 people have signed a petition calling for Oxford University Press to change the “sexist” definitions of the word “woman” in some of its dictionaries.

Launched this summer by Maria Beatrice Giovanardi, the petition points out that Oxford dictionaries contain words such as “bitch, besom, piece, bit, mare, baggage, wench, petticoat, frail, bird, bint, biddy, filly” as synonyms for woman. Sentences chosen to show usage of the word woman include: “Ms September will embody the professional, intelligent yet sexy career woman” and “I told you to be home when I get home, little woman”. Such sentences depict “women as sex objects, subordinate, and/or an irritation to men”, the petition says.

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September 17th 2019, 10:12 am

Protest held outside trial of Moroccan journalist accused of illegal abortion

Women | The Guardian

Hajar Raissouni says charges are fabricated and motivated by her work, which is critical of government

Demonstrators have staged a protest outside a court in Rabat to coincide with the latest hearing in the trial of a Moroccan journalist accused of undergoing an illegal abortion and having sex before marriage.

In a letter written from prison, Hajar Raissouni said the charges were fabricated and motivated by her work, which had been critical of the government.

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September 16th 2019, 11:11 am

NSW abortion bill: Sunrise and Seven News air false pro-choice chant claim

Women | The Guardian

Barnaby Joyce falsely claims rally chanted ‘put the foetus in the bin’ despite organiser confirming chant was ‘bigots’

Seven News and Sunrise have repeated a false claim that pro-choice activists campaigning in favour of the New South Wales abortion legislation chanted “put the foetus in the bin” as supporters and opponents of the bill clashed in Sydney on Saturday.

The actual words were “put the bigots in the bin”, but Sunrise co-hosts David Koch and Samantha Armytage allowed Barnaby Joyce to repeat the claim unchallenged on Monday morning in a live interview on the program.

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September 16th 2019, 12:10 am

Monica Lewinsky and Zadie Smith to headline new feminist ideas festival in Australia

Women | The Guardian

Helen Garner, Jia Tolentino and Aminatou Sow will also feature in November’s Broadside festival in Melbourne hosted by the Wheeler Centre

Monica Lewinsky will embark on her first ever speaking tour of Australia and Zadie Smith will return for the first time in nearly two decades to headline a new feminist ideas festival.

Hosted by Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre in November, the Broadside festival will feature more than 30 high-profile local and international guests, including Helen Garner, Mona Eltahawy, Ariel Levy, Courtney Barnett and Aileen Moreton-Robinson.

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September 15th 2019, 10:35 pm

#MeToo: the ‘unprecedented’ movement that launched a wave of books

Women | The Guardian

After the published revelations against Harvey Weinstein, a flood of books has begun to reshape gender relations

The #MeToo movement can reasonably be described as kicking off on 5 October 2017, with a New York Times report Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades that contained the accounts of eight women who said they were sexually harassed or assaulted by the now-disgraced Hollywood producer.

Weinstein is now facing a trial for his alleged crimes. But what followed the Times’ story was a deluge of accusations of sexual misconduct toward women by men – often with a straight-forward power dynamic between older, professionally accomplished men and younger, often vulnerable, women trying to establish a career. Many of the biggest names in media, the arts and politics were brought down.

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September 14th 2019, 2:37 am

NHS to open specialist FGM support clinics across England

Women | The Guardian

Eight centres to aim to reach a broader group of women, including those younger and not pregnant

The NHS is opening female genital mutilation support clinics across England that will allow survivors to access expert care and treatment earlier.

More than 1,300 women are expected to benefit from the highly specialised FGM support being rolled out in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and five boroughs in London, according to NHS England.

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September 13th 2019, 8:05 pm

What do all these ‘economically unattractive men’ tell us about marriage? | Arwa Mahdawi

Women | The Guardian

Rush Limbaugh is wrong to blame feminists for the lack of ‘high-earning husbands’, but some women do have odd ideas about wedlock

I hope you feminists are happy! You’ve finally gone and done it. You’ve throttled the supply of high-earning husbands, and now there are severe mismatches in the marriage market. Yes, I regret to report that a study in the Journal of Marriage and Family (there truly is a journal for everything) has found that unmarried American women “face overall shortages of economically attractive partners”. Women are looking for husbands with an income 58% higher than those of the available men.

Hang on, I thought marriage was about love, not combined incomes? Sure, says Daniel Lichter, a Cornell professor and the study’s lead author, “but it also is fundamentally an economic transaction”. And, Lichter says, “Many young men today have little to bring to the marriage bargain, especially as young women’s educational levels … now exceed their male suitors.”

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September 13th 2019, 8:05 pm

Why you should think twice before sharing your sex life with an app

Women | The Guardian

Millions of women manage their menstrual cycles with period-tracking apps - and it’s emerged that some of the trackers have been sharing personal data with Facebook

Not content with knowing where you have been, who you’ve been talking to, which of your friends you want to date and who you are likely to vote for, it now looks like Facebook also knows when you have been having sex – if you have been using a period-tracker app, that is.

Research published by Privacy International this week found that apps used by millions of women to track their menstrual cycles, including MIA Fem and Maya, had been sharing personal data with Facebook and other third-party services. The information included contraception use, physical symptoms and, yes, when users had sex. (Mercifully, it seems who we have been doing it with remains out of Facebook’s sweaty grasp.)

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September 13th 2019, 8:05 pm

Japanese man sues Asics, saying he was punished for taking paternity leave

Women | The Guardian

Father says he was transferred from personnel to warehouse role and given ‘meaningless’ tasks after returning from leave

A worker at a major sportswear maker in Japan is suing his employer, claiming he was unfairly treated after taking paternity leave, in a rare legal challenge to the country’s conservative attitude towards gender roles.

The 38-year-old man, who has requested anonymity after suffering a backlash on social media, claimed at the Tokyo district court this week that Asics punished him for taking a year’s leave after the birth of his children, in 2015 and 2018.

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September 13th 2019, 8:05 pm

Women 'better than men at disguising autism symptoms'

Women | The Guardian

GPs would miss fewer diagnoses if ‘camouflaging’ was better understood, say researchers

Women may not be diagnosed with autism as frequently as men because they are better at hiding the common signs of the condition, according to new research.

Some autistic people use strategies to hide traits associated with the condition during social interactions, a phenomenon called social camouflaging. Scientists involved in the study say raising awareness of camouflaging among doctors could help reduce the number of missed autism diagnoses.

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September 13th 2019, 8:05 pm

Duchess of Sussex unveils fashion line for 'unemployed women'

Women | The Guardian

Patron of Smart Works charity at launch of collection meant to help women at job interviews

Her return from maternity leave coincides with the beginning of London fashion week, but after the furore that surrounded her trip on Elton John’s private jet, the Duchess of Sussex was not about to make the mistake of facing photographers from the glitz of a catwalk front row.

Instead, she entered John Lewis on Oxford Street in London via the back door, smart but low-key in a £120 pair of black trousers and an £85 white shirt with rolled-up sleeves, to launch the Smart Set, a collection of interview-appropriate clothing for unemployed women trying to enter the workplace.

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September 13th 2019, 8:05 pm

He, she, they … should we now clarify our preferred pronouns when we say hello?

Women | The Guardian

Pronoun introductions are seen as a positive step towards a better understanding of gender – but it’s complicated

The internet is an unforgiving place. Use the wrong words, express the wrong opinion, and you can quickly find yourself “cancelled”.

One of the latest victims of the internet cancellation machine is Natalie Wynn, a trans woman who has built a large following on her YouTube channel ContraPoints. Wynn is known for her smart, surreal, Wildesque video essays, which explore everything from incels to capitalism and frequently get more than a million views.

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September 13th 2019, 8:05 pm

More Handmaid's Tale sequels? 'Never say never', says Margaret Atwood

Women | The Guardian

Canadian author of The Testaments refuses to rule it out, saying she was pushed to writing the sequel by US moves to police women’s bodies

The growing similarities between the US and her fictional regime of Gilead, where women’s bodies are policed by a totalitarian state, helped prompt Margaret Atwood into writing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, the author has said.

The Testaments was released worldwide today, 34 years after the story of Offred ended in the first book. Speaking about it publicly for the first time, Atwood said that there had been “many requests for a sequel” over the intervening years, but she “always said no”.

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September 10th 2019, 12:34 pm

Marie Claire UK to cease print publication after 31 years

Women | The Guardian

Women’s title will continue online and overseas print editions are unaffected

The UK edition of Marie Claire is to cease publication after 31 years as the monthly women’s title joins a growing list of magazines that have succumbed to the shift to digital reading.

A version of the magazine – which is published by TI Media, the owner of titles including Country Life and Wallpaper – will continue online. The company, formerly known as Time Inc, has entered into consultation with the approximately 35 members of staff affected by the closure.

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September 10th 2019, 8:00 am

Iranian female football fan who self-immolated outside court dies

Women | The Guardian

Death of Sahar Khodayari, facing prison for trying to enter stadium, provokes outcry

An Iranian female football fan has died a week after setting herself on fire outside a courtroom, after learning she may face six months in prison for trying to enter a stadium, a news agency reported on Tuesday.

Sahar Khodayari’s death immediately ignited an outcry in Iran, where women are banned from football stadiums, although they are allowed to watch some other sports, such as volleyball.

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September 10th 2019, 8:00 am

NHS bosses apologise for calling single mothers a burden

Women | The Guardian

Body says sorry for offence caused by its justification for denying single women IVF

NHS bosses have apologised for justifying denying single women IVF treatment because they would be a burden to society and “unable to bring out the best outcomes for the child”.

NHS South East London has said sorry for the “offence and distress” it caused, which prompted 175 single mothers to complain about its “misguided and offensive” language.

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September 9th 2019, 2:04 pm

End NHS maternity charges for vulnerable migrants, say midwives

Women | The Guardian

Destitute women and their babies are ‘put at risk of avoidable harm’ by high fees

Midwives have called on the government to scrap NHS charges that can amount to tens of thousands of pounds for pregnant women who are refugees, migrants or visiting from overseas, amid concerns that “hostile environment” policies are making it hard for health workers to do their jobs.

The safety of vulnerable mothers and newborn babies is being put at risk by NHS fees that deter undocumented migrant women from accessing care, a new report from Maternity Action backed by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has warned.

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September 8th 2019, 7:17 pm

Jennifer Gunter: ‘Women are being told lies about their bodies’

Women | The Guardian

Dr Jennifer Gunter is the world’s most famous – and outspoken – gynaecologist. And she’s on a mission to empower women with medical facts, taking on wellness gurus, old wives’ tales, the patriarchy and jade eggs along the way

‘Dear Ms Paltrow,’ began Dr Jen Gunter’s open letter of 2017, regarding the jade eggs Paltrow was promoting on her website Goop. Paltrow claimed that inserting one into the vagina would improve a woman’s life, in at least four ways. “It is the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming. It’s even worse than claiming bras cause cancer. But hey, you aren’t one to let facts get in the way of profiting from snake oil.” And so it began. It was a war on wellness – an industry now worth more than $4.2tn (£3.5tn) – and every battle went viral, leading to Gunter becoming the most famous gynaecologist in the world.

When one of Goop’s “medical experts” wrote that Gunter was “strangely confident” in her thoughts on jade eggs, she replied: “I am not strangely confident about vaginal health; I am appropriately confident because I am the expert.” Many of her statements end with similar mic drops. It is a rare moment when a gynaecologist becomes an international celebrity, and it comes on a wave of misinformation, fear and continued attacks on the bodily autonomy of women. One Goop fan called Gunter the “vaginal Antichrist”.

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September 8th 2019, 5:53 am

Could Rihanna’s new lingerie line turn out to be her greatest hit?

Women | The Guardian

The star’s Savage X Fenty range is stealing the market from Victoria’s Secret

Flesh rolls, stretch marks and dimpled thighs aren’t a traditional mainstay of New York fashion week, nor are lingerie shows ever deemed to have a finger on the pulse. But if the hype around Rihanna’s new collection is anything to go by, the industry is bracing itself for a wobble.

This Tuesday the star, named the world’s richest female musician by Forbes, will be mounting her second Savage X Fenty show at an as-yet-to-be-disclosed Brooklyn venue. As per her debut last year, which was celebrated as a game-changing “festival of flesh of all skin tones” by Vogue, the spectacle is expected to be diverse, inclusive and attended by fashion and celebrity A-listers.

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September 8th 2019, 4:37 am

Women’s football must be played in more big stadiums

Women | The Guardian

Record crowds at this weekend’s WSL derbies proves the value of hosting matches at large venues – even if they are half-empty

Women’s football is having a lightbulb moment. With Manchester City hosting Manchester United at the Etihad stadium in the Women’s Super League in front of more than 31,000 fans, and Chelsea welcoming Tottenham to Stamford Bridge, change is afoot.

And the clubs are experimenting too: City charged for tickets, while Chelsea are giving them away. There are arguments for both plans. With around 40,000 tickets given out for the London game, even a 50% drop-off would see an impressive 20,000 people through the gates. But by not charging, Chelsea are choosing not to assign a value to a growing, competitive, elite sport played by international-level athletes.

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September 7th 2019, 2:43 pm

South Africa in a crisis of violence against women, says president

Women | The Guardian

Cyril Ramaphosa promises plan of action as protesters call for death penalty for perpetrators

The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has admitted the country is facing a national crisis of violence against women as protesters took to the streets for a third successive day.

Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Thursday evening with a plan of action to curb the scourge of gender-based violence, including a proposal to make a register of offenders public. He claimed laws would be reviewed in parliament imminently.

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September 6th 2019, 1:19 pm

To end online harms we must address misogyny | Letter

Women | The Guardian

MPs and activists call for straight talking and urge the government to protect and empower women

Women around the world are 27 times more likely to be harassed online than men. In Europe, 9 million girls have experienced some kind of online violence by the time they are 15 years old. In the UK, 21% of women have received threats of physical or sexual violence online. The basis of this abuse is often – though not exclusively – misogyny.

Misogyny online fuels misogyny offline. Abusive comments online can lead to violent behaviour in real life. Nearly a third of respondents to a Women’s Aid survey said where threats had been made online from a partner or ex-partner, they were carried out. Along with physical abuse, misogyny online has a psychological impact. Half of girls aged 11-21 feel less able to share their views due to fear of online abuse, according to Girlguiding UK.

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September 6th 2019, 1:02 pm

Does Boris Johnson’s government have a women problem?

Women | The Guardian

With a resolutely male inner circle and the sacking of four female aides, it’s no surprise that accusations of misogyny have been levelled by the opposition. The question is whether it makes a difference at the ballot box

Sonia Khan seemed exactly the kind of young woman likely to prosper under Boris Johnson. A passionate Brexiter who cut her political teeth campaigning for lower taxes, at 27 she was already a veteran of several Whitehall departments, including the Treasury. When he became chancellor, Sajid Javid snapped her up. Then, last week, her career ended in the most brutal of ways; escorted out of No 10 by the police, after being summarily sacked by prime ministerial adviser Dominic Cummings in a manner that her former boss Philip Hammond suggested could win her an employment tribunal case should she choose to bring one.

Worse still, Khan, whose loyalties were seemingly questioned because of her contacts with old friends in the rebellious Hammond’s camp, was the fourth female aide forced out by the new regime. “How someone could think that escorting a young Asian woman out with an armed police officer was good optics beggars belief,” says a female former Tory staffer. She points out that the idea of what one anonymous Tory source called “big thuggy bald blokes picking on girls” is a gift to opposition MPs busy painting Johnson’s wider regime as aggressive, unreconstructed and full of dubious attitudes to women.

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September 5th 2019, 1:08 am

When playing with the kids is hard work | Letters

Women | The Guardian

Janet Kay on how to enjoy time on holidays with children, Jeanne Warren on a generation that just got on with it – and got no credit, and Annie Tunnicliffe on the struggles of women in a poverty trap

In response to Lucy Mangan’s assertion (After six long weeks of unrelieved parenting, we’re on our knees, 31 August) that “you have no holidays that are worthy of the name after having a child”, I would suggest she stop moaning about the supposed horrors of the six-week holiday and enjoy her time with her child doing things together they can both enjoy. I am a grandparent carer, parenting second time around. I spent the bank holiday on an English beach in the sun with two of my grandchildren, swimming, digging in the sand and sharing a picnic with friends. What’s not to enjoy? If you’re too inflexible to adapt to the wonderful world of children, then don’t have them.
Janet Kay
Sheffield

• I am struck by how tiring your writers find the care of their children during the holidays. “At the end of three weeks of unbroken time with my children, a treacherous part of me was looking forward to returning to my desk,” says Emma Brockes (Journal, 31 August); “You have no holidays that are worthy of the name after having a child,” says Lucy Mangan. Those of us in my generation who just got on with it day after day, year after year, were never credited with doing anything particularly onerous. We “didn’t work”.
Jeanne Warren
Garsington, Oxfordshire

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September 1st 2019, 1:55 pm

Venice film festival: Saudi Arabian director praises 'momentum change' in her country

Women | The Guardian

Describing recent changes for women, prominent director Haifaa al-Mansour called for more and praised film as a tool for change

Saudi Arabia’s most prominent female film director says there is a “momentum change” in the country and that cinema is one of the most important tools in changing the fate of women, who are still are not considered legal persons there.

Haifaa al-Mansour – who is one of only two women in the main 21-film competition – premiered The Perfect Candidate, her drama about a young female doctor who runs for public office, at the Venice film festival on Wednesday.

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August 29th 2019, 12:33 pm

Roman Polanski attacks 'absurd' abuse accusations on eve of Venice premiere

Women | The Guardian

Director portrayed as persecuted victim of ‘neo-feminist McCarthyism’ in interview for latest film An Officer and a Spy

The figure of Roman Polanski hung once again over the Venice film festival on its second day after he released press notes for his new film that sought to discredit several women who claim he sexually abused them as minors, and suggested that he has been persecuted since the late 1960s, when the press insinuated he was a satanist after the murder, by members of the Manson Family, of his second wife, Sharon Tate.

In the press notes for his new film An Officer and a Spy – about the antisemitic Dreyfus affair – which has its premiere on Friday, the 86-year-old Chinatown director is portrayed as a persecuted victim of “neo-feminist McCarthyism” in an interview with the French polemicist Pascal Bruckner.

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August 29th 2019, 11:30 am

White men still make the decisions in film, says BFI festival boss

Women | The Guardian

Announcing details of London film festival, Tricia Tuttle says glass ceiling remains in place

White men are still the decision makers and gatekeepers for big budget commercial movies and the glass ceiling for women remains in place, the head of the BFI London film festival has said.

Tricia Tuttle welcomed an increase in the number of films directed or co-directed by women in this year’s programme as she announced details of the festival. The overall figure, including shorts, has gone up to 40%, from 38% last year. In the competition strands, 64% of the films are made by women.

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August 29th 2019, 6:28 am

Why are so many men are afraid to interact with women at work? | Arwa Mahdawi

Women | The Guardian

A new study has found US men appear to be following Mike Pence’s lead. Maybe they’re angry that #MeToo ever happened

It looks like Mike Pence is quite the trendsetter. The US vice-president famously refuses to have dinner alone with any woman who isn’t his wife – and now working men across corporate America appear to be following his lead.

Related: NYT columnist quits Twitter after daring critic to 'call me a bedbug to my face'

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August 29th 2019, 1:10 am

The G7 was the final straw – world leaders’ wives should refuse to travel with their spouses

Women | The Guardian

Over the last week, these women have been depicted as a useful way to boost their husbands’ standing, rather than as powerful people in their own right

It was Donald Tusk on Instagram that did it. Four wives of world leaders – Melania Trump, Brigitte Macron, Małgorzata Tusk and Akie Abe – dressed in a spectrum from white to cream, skirts aflap, were enjoying the sea views at Biarritz during the G7 summit. It was a delineation of the acceptable limits of women on the world stage: they look like brides and it is their backs – their backs! – that are demurely captured on film. It would have been just about bearable were it not for the European council president’s caption: “Melania, Brigitte, Małgosia and Akie – the light side of the Force.” It is a statement that says so much: these women are the summer to the winter of us men, the fragility to our strength, the light side of our force. It was the first time I wanted to leave the EU.

Maybe Tusk was having an off day. Surely, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, does not see his wife, Brigitte, as the “light side of his force”. Yet the patriarchy has many tendrils – and a much greater reach even than Tusk’s Instagram account.

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August 28th 2019, 1:20 pm

I shaved off my afro because I felt like it. That's all

Women | The Guardian

Black women’s hair isn’t public property: but the styles we choose are too often seen as statements for others to judge

Last week, I joined a club of black British girl bosses who have decided to go bald. From the founders of Black Girl Fest – the first arts festival to celebrate black women and girls – to gal-dem magazine’s Liv Little, shaving off our hair has become the busy black woman’s equivalent of Steve Jobs wearing the same polo neck and jeans combo every day, given how long our hair can take to prep. Black women’s hair is known for its versatility (the recent viral #DMXChallenge, which saw countless video montages of black women flawlessly rocking various different styles, can attest to this) – so a shaved head is easy and eliminates an overwhelming range of choice.

Since my afro was large and healthy when I shaved it off, the assumption was that something must have gone wrong: traction alopecia from the tight hairstyles black women endure is a common reason for a drastic cut. Many women do a “big chop” to be rid of hair damaged by heat and chemicals. A bad breakup is often assumed, or a quarter-life crisis (as my dad still suspects). These are all valid reasons, but mine was far less interesting – I simply decided to cut it because I thought it would suit me.

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August 28th 2019, 12:05 pm

We need to talk about the menopause as loudly as we can, says campaigner

Women | The Guardian

Meg Mathews, once a fixture on the Britpop scene, had no idea what was going on when she became perimenopausal

“I consider myself a woman of the world and I didn’t know what being perimenopausal was,” says Meg Mathews, the former music PR. But since launching a blog about the menopause in 2017, she has become a prominent campaigner on the subject.

Mathews believes the subject is not discussed as much as it should be. “We need to talk about the menopause as loudly and as much as we can because we have to get past the stigma and shame our society places on the menopause,” she says. “We have to break the taboo.”

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August 28th 2019, 4:15 am

Federal judge blocks Missouri's law banning abortions after eight weeks

Women | The Guardian

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU sued the state last month over the law, arguing it would cause ‘significant and irreparable’ harm

A federal judge has blocked Missouri from enforcing a law banning abortion in the state after eight weeks except in cases of medical emergency.

A day before the law was set to take effect, US district judge Howard Sachs ruled that the state not enforce it, pending litigation or further order of the court, according to a court document.

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August 27th 2019, 2:07 pm

Mexico's 'glitter revolution' targets violence against women

Women | The Guardian

Protests called in response to alleged rape of girl by police officers aim for change in a country where 10 women are murdered every day

Sandra Aguilar-Gomez remembers an atmosphere of camaraderie and celebration when thousands of Mexican women took to the streets for the “violet spring” protests of 2016.

Three years later and the demonstrators are back to demand an end to violence against women – but this time the mood has soured.

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August 26th 2019, 9:47 am

Menopause experts say compounded HRT is unsafe

Women | The Guardian

Women told not to use cBHRT because of concerns over ‘purity, potency and safety’

Women are being warned not to use a form of hormone replacement therapy marketed as being “more natural” than that available from NHS doctors, with experts saying it is unsafe, expensive and could increase the risk of developing cancer.

Compounded bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (cBHRT) is tailor-made for each person, using hormones identical to those produced in a woman’s body. The hormone combinations are put together, usually as creams or gels, by pharmacists working in private clinics. The dose of the different hormones used varies from one woman to the next.

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August 26th 2019, 7:15 am

What is the menopause and when does it strike?

Women | The Guardian

It’s a natural part of the female life cycle – so why don’t we talk more about the menopause, its debilitating effects and possible mitigation?

The menopause is when a woman’s fertile period comes to a halt. This is generally a gradual process over months or even years, but technically the menopause is defined as when a woman has gone 12 months without a period. In the UK, the average age for this happening is 52 years, but about one in 100 women have a menopause before the age of 40.

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August 26th 2019, 2:24 am

G7 leaders told to scrap discriminatory gender laws from statute books

Women | The Guardian

Gender equality advisory council says states must begin enshrining equal rights in law

The G7 leaders have been told to get rid of discriminatory gender laws that still exist on their statute books and begin enshrining equal rights in the legal system.

All G7 countries, including the UK, still have discriminatory laws on their statute books or substantial loopholes that allow discrimination, the G7’s gender equality advisory council said at a key summit session attended by all leaders, including the US president, Donald Trump.

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August 25th 2019, 2:19 pm

Workplaces must protect women going through menopause, say MPs

Women | The Guardian

Action urged as research shows the impact of symptoms on large proportion of workforce

British MPs are pushing for clear workplace policies to protect women going through the menopause, which exacts a hefty personal and professional toll on as many as one in four females.

A menopause policy should be as commonplace as maternity schemes in businesses and organisations, said the MPs, some of whom want legislation to force through the reforms.

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August 25th 2019, 11:37 am

HRT shortage leaves thousands of UK women without treatment

Women | The Guardian

Doctors say HRT is becoming difficult to prescribe because of the crisis

Medical experts are calling for action to resolve the national shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patches used to treat menopausal symptoms.

The shortage is causing difficulties for thousands of women in the UK, medical experts have said.

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August 24th 2019, 5:51 am

Taylor Swift: Trump thinks his presidency is an autocracy

Women | The Guardian

Exclusive: songwriter discusses her political awakening in a Guardian interview

Taylor Swift has spoken of her disillusionment with American values in an exclusive interview with the Guardian.

The 29-year-old songwriter said she began feeling conflicted about what the US stood for when “all the dirtiest tricks in the book were used and it worked”. The Pennsylvania-born musician described the atmosphere in her home country as “gaslighting the American public into being like, ‘If you hate the president, you hate America.’”

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August 23rd 2019, 8:23 am

Australia to get its first gallery showing only female artists

Women | The Guardian

Melbourne’s Finkelstein Gallery opens this month with exhibition featuring 10 women

In the age of viral feminist hashtags and global movements against gender discrimination, it’s perhaps surprising that it has taken until now for Australia to open its first contemporary art gallery focusing exclusively on female artists.

Finkelstein Gallery, which opens in Melbourne on 29 August, might be the first, but its founder hopes it won’t be the last. The gallery is the brainchild of the art consultant Lisa Fehily, whose 15 years of experience in the field led her to the project.

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August 23rd 2019, 5:54 am

'It was like a red-hot poker': why the extreme pain of vulvodynia is going untreated

Women | The Guardian

For 16% of women, using a tampon or even sitting down can be agony – and sex is impossible. Why do so few doctors know how to diagnose and treat it?

The first time I tried to have sex I was 16. I knew it might hurt and that perhaps I would bleed. I was OK with that: it was part of the mythology. I imagined that, afterwards, I would stare at myself in the bathroom mirror, like the heroine in my own coming-of-age drama.

As it turned out, I had to stop the sex before it properly began. An excruciating pain at the opening of my vagina shocked me into total stillness – it felt like burning and ripping at once. I was so consumed with shame that I couldn’t have looked at my reflection if I had tried.

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August 22nd 2019, 3:22 am

Council ban on protests outside abortion clinic upheld by court of appeal

Women | The Guardian

Anti-abortion activists argued Ealing’s buffer zone around Marie Stopes clinic was unjustified

Anti-abortion activists have lost a court of appeal challenge against a council’s decision to ban protesters from gathering outside a London clinic.

Judges on Wednesday dismissed an appeal against an earlier ruling that restrictions imposed by Ealing council in west London on protests outside a Marie Stopes clinic were justified.

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August 21st 2019, 7:43 am

NSW abortion bill delayed until September amid Liberal division

Women | The Guardian

A vote on the bill to decriminalise abortion had been expected this week but opponents have campaigned furiously against it

Opponents of a bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales have successfully delayed a final vote on the legislation until next month.

The parliament’s upper house is due to begin debating the reproductive healthcare reform bill on Tuesday, almost two weeks after it passed its first hurdle in the lower chamber.

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August 20th 2019, 2:23 am

Why are women obsessed with true crime? Rachel Monroe has some answers

Women | The Guardian

Monroe, the author of Savage Appetites, reckons with women, crime and obsession: ‘I like my true crime a bit problematic’

Why are so many women obsessed with true crime – and what does it say about our society?

In Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime and Obsession (Scribner, 20 August), journalist Rachel Monroe weaves crime reporting, cultural criticism and personal essay into a study of true crime and its seductive power.

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August 20th 2019, 2:23 am

Planned Parenthood withdraws from federal program over Trump rule

Women | The Guardian

Group’s acting president and CEO said centers would remain open but predicted many women would ‘delay or go without’ care

Planned Parenthood said Monday it is withdrawing from the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting clinics from referring women for abortions.

Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s acting president and CEO, said the organization’s nationwide network of health centers would remain open and strive to make up for the loss of federal money.

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August 19th 2019, 6:34 pm

Mums-to-be reject baby showers for ‘mother blessings’

Women | The Guardian

Increasingly popular spiritual gatherings controversially borrow from Navajo traditions

First there was the baby shower, then came the gender-reveal party. Now parents-to-be are embarking on a new way of celebrating imminent parenthood: the “mother blessing”.

Unlike other baby events, where the emphasis is on gifts for the newborn, these gatherings are focused on nurturing the mother-to-be and wishing her love and luck. Controversially, they are said to derive from the Navajo tradition of “blessingway” – and have been condemned as cultural appropriation.

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August 18th 2019, 4:09 am

Inside the centers where women are persuaded to carry pregnancies to term

Women | The Guardian

Know as ‘fake clinics’ by pro-choice activists, ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ give counseling, pregnancy tests – and outnumber abortion providers three to one in Georgia

In her office at the Crossroads Pregnancy Center in Milledgeville, Georgia, Pam Alford hung a picture of a grave-filled cemetery in memory of the thousands of the abortions taking place every day in America. Or so says the caption.

Other indications of the center staff’s attitude to abortion fill public areas of the building. Someone has stenciled “life is beautiful” in a hallway. Figurines of Jesus and the cross line the lunch area walls.

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August 16th 2019, 3:31 am

Union boss Dave Prentis accuses Labour of meddling with female shortlists

Women | The Guardian

Unison boss Dave Prentis urges Jeremy Corbyn to intervene to protect safe seats intended for women

The boss of the UK’s largest trade union has accused the Labour leadership of “trading” seats intended for female candidates in order to allow “favourite sons” to take up the safest Labour seats set to be vacated at the next election.

In an extraordinary broadside at senior party figures, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis urged Jeremy Corbyn to intervene, alleging that the party was covertly using all-women shortlists (AWS) as “bargaining chips” and was stitching up selections in favour of chosen men.

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August 15th 2019, 5:14 pm

Asylum seeker locked out of home in London despite active claim

Women | The Guardian

Gambian woman, 46, has no access to possessions after being evicted without notice

An asylum seeker with an active case has been locked out of her Home Office accommodation in west London by a government contractor who told her: “When you’re asked to leave this country you have to leave.”

The woman, 46, who fled her country in west Africa after refusing to perform FGM on young girls, has an active asylum claim. She said her life will be at risk if she is forced to return to Gambia where FGM is prevalent because she defied her community by opposing the practice.

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August 15th 2019, 1:58 pm

Bosses force female workers making jeans for Levis and Wrangler into sex, report claims

Women | The Guardian

Women at garment factories in Lesotho owned by Taiwanese firm say jobs and promotions are jeopardised if they refuse advances

Women producing jeans for American brands including Levi Strauss, Wrangler and Lee have been forced to sleep with their managers to keep their jobs or gain promotion, an investigation into sexual harassment and coercion at garment factories in Lesotho has found.

Brands have responded to the “extensive” allegations by the the US-based Worker Rights Consortium by signing enforceable agreements with labour and women’s rights groups to eliminate gender-based violence for more than 10,000 workers at five factories owned by the Taiwanese company Nien Hsing, one of the southern African country’s largest employers.

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August 15th 2019, 12:30 pm

How ‘bridezilla’ became this summer’s biggest sexist slur

Women | The Guardian

They tell bridesmaids to lose weight, force fiances into second jobs – and one reportedly asked a friend to have an abortion. Bridezilla stories are tabloid catnip, but what do they tell us?

It is wedding season, and as surely as an Ed Sheeran-soundtracked first dance follows a street-food-truck meal, stories of brides behaving badly are keeping the internet stoked. There is a whole group on the forum Reddit devoted to tales of so-called bridezillas. Newspapers devour them like a slice of naked wedding cake. Last month, a screengrabbed picture of a text conversation between a bride trying to force her cousin to be a bridesmaid before telling her she was “too fat anyways” was posted. Another post related how a woman had tried to force her fiance to get a second job to fund their wedding. There was also the story of a woman who posted the picture of her engagement ring – which once belonged to her partner’s grandmother – complaining it wasn’t what she had wanted, and the woman who complained her bridesmaids didn’t want to pay for their dresses. Earlier this year was the story of the bride-to-be who asked her pregnant bridesmaid to consider having an abortion so as not to complicate the dress fittings, and the bride who forced her friends to take a polygraph test. She wanted to find out which one of them had leaked details of her planned dress code, in which colours were allocated according to weight. Whether or not these tales – usually anonymous – are true, in WhatsApp groups over the country, women are prefacing any request of their bridesmaids with “not to be a bridezilla or anything, but …”

“I won’t stand for it,” says Mark Niemierko, a wedding planner, of outlandish demands. Only recently, he says, he took a bride-to-be to one side and asked her to stop being so rude to his suppliers. When he talks to other people in the industry, they do share stories of overly-demanding brides, though he adds it has become such a well-worn – and feared – stereotype that the bridezilla has started to die out. It came about, he thinks, with the advent of celebrity weddings. He blames David and Victoria Beckham, and their 1999 wedding – with its golden thrones, outfit changes, balloon release and fireworks – for starting the modern trend for wanting the biggest and flashiest do, along with all the stressful organisation and cost that entails. The worst behaviour he has seen from couples “comes from being somewhat insecure and more so, keeping up with the Joneses”.

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August 15th 2019, 5:42 am

NSW abortion law backers unlikely to support calls for sex selection ban

Women | The Guardian

Supporters of bill to decriminalise abortion confident it can pass despite opponents’ campaign

Supporters of a historic bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales remain confident it will make it through parliament unscathed despite the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, caving in to calls for bans on so-called “sex selection” terminations.

The bill’s passage through the lower house last week prompted a backlash from rightwing MPs, religious leaders and conservative figures in the media who have mounted a concerted campaign to derail the legislation ahead of the upper house vote.

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August 15th 2019, 2:07 am

She fights every 'troll, psycho and perv' she can find – and uses the law to do it

Women | The Guardian

After grappling with a ‘psycho ex’ of her own, lawyer Carrie Goldberg takes a stand for victims of online harassment, deepfakes and revenge porn

In 2012, Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer, met a man she calls her “psycho ex”. The man swept her off her feet and treated her like royalty, which is why it took a while for her to notice how he had began to slowly violate her privacy: he took photos of her without her consent, demanded to know her whereabouts constantly, and grew furious when she would not respond to his calls. She broke up with him.

He then tried getting into her apartment, sent her hundreds of threatening messages, and sent emails attaching photos of her in compromising positions – cc’ing judges and lawyers she knew. The police responded to her concerns with a pattern she would encounter repeatedly throughout her career: they shrugged and told her there was nothing they could do.

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August 13th 2019, 1:22 am

Northern Irish doctors’ group to fight abortion pill prosecutions

Women | The Guardian

Pro-choice organisation opposes medics being forced to report women to the police

A new pro-choice doctors’ organisation has been established in Northern Ireland to defend physician-patient confidentiality over the use of banned abortion pills.

Doctors for Choice Northern Ireland said they were opposed to healthcare professionals in the region being forced to report women and girls to the police if they procured abortion pills.

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August 11th 2019, 2:37 pm

The story of The Dress: how a £40 Zara frock stole the summer

Women | The Guardian

This year’s unexpected viral fashion hit is suitable for all weathers and sizes, as comfortable as a nightie and currently unavoidable. But why are its fans so happy to be seen in the same outfit as someone else?

The dress is very good friends with leather jackets, red lipstick, Birkenstocks, Veja trainers, totes and cross-body shoulder bags. It does not have time for the performance of modern femininity – an embarrassment of Lycra, neon and scratchy lace. It can be worn when the weather is intolerably warm and your day stretches ahead of you – work, drinks, dinner – and it won’t chafe or itch. The dress is on your side.

You will have met the dress by now, even if you don’t remember it. Perhaps it was on a train platform, or at a summer barbecue. This £39.99 Zara polka-dot midi dress has become this year’s unexpected fashion success, worn by women across the country and feverishly discussed online.

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August 11th 2019, 10:20 am

Menopausal women in the UK facing severe HRT shortage

Women | The Guardian

Half of common treatments out of stock, but suppliers not ‘honest’ about reason, says GP body

A national shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could affect almost all menopausal women in the UK.

Around half of the most commonly prescribed HRT products, which replace hormones that naturally decline during menopause including oestrogen, are out of stock.

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August 11th 2019, 8:50 am

Edinburgh fringe gets to the heart of modern dating

Women | The Guardian

The Bumble app is staging a comedy night which aims to give women confidence to make the first move

The popular dating app Bumble regularly brings people together for sex, or love, or professional networking – or for all three. But now the social media platform that gives heterosexual women priority in making contact with men is to bring together a much bigger group of people. The app will stage a comedy night devoted to navigating the perils of romance at the Edinburgh fringe festival this month.

Bumble, which is free and has more than 60 million users worldwide, has joined forces with the fringe venue Gilded Balloon to host How to Make The First Move (The Good, The Bad and The Funny) on 19 August.

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August 11th 2019, 4:17 am

Repeat after me: you don't need to get fit to get married

Women | The Guardian

A recent article advised women on how to ‘tone up’ and ‘eat right’ for their wedding day – another sign we just can’t win

If you think women can finally live a day without being reminded of their place in the pecking order (if you’re a woman, you’re laughing right now) – think again.

All you need do is look around, and you will find countless examples of bog-standard, thoughtless sexism. The comforting sort that we grew up with. A tepid bath of double standards, if you will.

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August 9th 2019, 1:52 pm

Kenyan MP and baby ejected from parliament session

Women | The Guardian

Several colleagues walked out of parliament after Zuleikha Hassan was forced to leave

Some Kenyan lawmakers are protesting against a decision by the temporary speaker of parliament’s lower house to eject their colleague who was holding her young child during a session of the legislature.

Zuleikha Hassan was ejected from the floor of the National Assembly on Wednesday with her five-month-old baby.

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August 8th 2019, 10:52 am

Female knife possession crimes in England rise by 73%

Women | The Guardian

Police data shows quarter of offences involve girls under 18, with the youngest aged seven

Knife possession offences involving females in England have increased 73% since 2014, police figures show.

There were 1,509 offences recorded in 2018, data obtained by the BBC through freedom of information requests shows.

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August 8th 2019, 8:21 am

Books about ‘kick-ass’ women might be a pain in one – but we need to hear these wondrous stories

Women | The Guardian

Just like men, women want the freedom to be utterly mediocre and then heralded for years to come. But until we have equality, we need as many books on great forgotten women as possible

The ever-insightful late Toni Morrison once famously said: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” The publishing industry’s appendage to that is: “And even if it has, write it anyway.” This week, it was announced that Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea will publish The Book of Gutsy Women – about the women who have inspired them and are “leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done”.

Over the past few years, a slew of similar books has attempted to fill the yawning gaps left in recorded history regarding women’s contributions. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and its sequel taught girls to aspire to something more than tiaras and coma-kisses. Books aimed at adults such as 100 Nasty Women of History, the Forgotten Women series, Bloody Brilliant Women and A History of the World in 21 Women inspired but also educated, focusing on the many pioneering women who were rubbed out of school textbooks. There are several more titles dedicated to the strides many wondrous, hitherto invisible women have made in specific fields, countries, and time periods. The Little Leaders children’s series, for example, profiles “bold black women” in history.

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August 7th 2019, 1:42 pm

Monsters, men and magic: how Trump awoke a powerful, angry new wave of feminist witches

Women | The Guardian

Whether it’s hexing the president, chatting in WhatsApp covens or featuring in TV reboots, radicalised women have been finding strength in the ancient pagan arts

‘This is the time for getting scary,” the writer Andi Zeisler told Elle magazine on the eve of the 2017 Women’s March. “We need to go full witch.”

At the dawn of the Trump administration, witches were suddenly everywhere in the US. Neo-pagans used blogs and social media to circulate popular rituals for hexing Brock Turner (who served less than three months in jail after he was convicted of sexual assualt), the supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh (accused of sexual assault, which he denies), and Donald Trump himself. The Trump curse was enacted by thousands of people, including the singer Lana Del Rey. “I’m a witch and I’m hunting you,” declared Lindy West in the New York Times; Jess Zimmerman and Jaya Saxena wrote a self-help book, Basic Witches, in which they explained: “If you speak when you’re told to be quiet, take pride when you’re told to feel shame, love what and who you love whether or not others approve, you’re practising witchcraft.” Half the women I know called their group chats “covens”. Trump developed a penchant for tweeting the phrase “WITCH HUNT” in caps whenever he felt persecuted, which the conservative political cartoonist AF Branco dramatised exactly the wrong way around, with the Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi depicted as gun-toting witches on the hunt for a helpless mortal man.

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August 7th 2019, 10:40 am

Cancer researcher becomes first woman to win 4,000km cycling race

Women | The Guardian

Fiona Kolbinger, 24, rode from Bulgaria to France in 10 days, two hours and 48 minutes

A German cancer researcher has become the first woman to win one of the world’s toughest cycling races in her first ultra-distance event.

Fiona Kolbinger, 24, from Dresden, said she was “so surprised to win” the Transcontinental, which traverses 2,485 miles (4,000km) from Burgas in Bulgaria to Brest in France.

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August 6th 2019, 10:26 am

Emma Watson launches workplace harassment legal advice line

Women | The Guardian

Free service backed by Time’s Up UK aims to help women exercise their rights at work

The actor Emma Watson has urged women to understand their rights as she launched a legal advice line for those experiencing sexual harassment at work.

The Harry Potter star and Time’s Up UK activist said it was “completely staggering” that the free helpline for women in England and Wales was the only service of its type.

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August 5th 2019, 5:18 am

New medical procedure could delay menopause by 20 years

Women | The Guardian

Operation could benefit thousands of women who experience serious health issues

A medical procedure that allows women to delay the menopause for up to 20 years has been launched by IVF specialists in Britain.

Doctors claim the operation could benefit thousands of women who experience serious health problems, such as heart conditions and bone-weakening osteoporosis, that are brought on by the menopause.

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August 4th 2019, 9:51 am

'We feel empowered': Saudi women relish their new freedoms

Women | The Guardian

New laws on travel, divorce and applying for documents have largely been embraced

Saudi women have largely embraced new laws allowing them to travel, divorce, and apply for official documents without the permission of a male guardian, and claimed conservative resistance to the sweeping decrees is doomed to fail.

The measures, announced late on Thursday, amount to a partial dismantling of guardianship laws that have long confined women in Saudi Arabia to narrow gender roles and marginalised their role in society. Such moves have been long awaited and are a centrepiece of the kingdom’s much-touted reform programme, which has pledged to overhaul rigid laws and customs that have made the country one of the most oppressive in the world.

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August 3rd 2019, 12:09 am

Saudi women can now travel without a male guardian, reports say

Women | The Guardian

Okaz newspaper reports key step in dismantling strict controls over nation’s women

Women in Saudi Arabia will no longer need the permission of a male guardian to travel, according to local news reports. The policy, if confirmed, would mark a key step in dismantling controls that have made women second-class citizens in their own country.

Saudi women over the age of 21 will be able to apply for a passport and travel outside the country, without approval, Okaz newspaper reported on Thursday. The change would put them on an equal footing with men. They would also reportedly be able to register births and deaths, a right previously restricted to men.

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August 1st 2019, 2:51 pm

Why Carrie Symonds is the embodiment of the Boris Johnson brand

Women | The Guardian

Greenish and economically rightwing, No 10’s first live-in girlfriend is recognisable to many young Tories, and legitimises Johnson as a lustful law unto himself

Carrie Symonds is not some ingenue blond playmate of a rich and powerful older man. It is almost worse than that. As the partner of the new prime minister, she has become the visible authentication of the Boris Johnson brand: that’s Boris the priapic, convention-busting, law-unto-himself, human bulldozer; a man of as many conflicting opinions as wives and mistresses and more children than principles. For him, moving his girlfriend into Downing Street while he is still married to someone else is one more way of saying that the normal rules don’t apply.

I’m only guessing, but it seems realistic to assume that Symonds knows all this and is ready for the role as the first ever live-in girlfriend at No 10. She is in the communications business herself, after all. She did eight years at Conservative party headquarters, peaking with a year as boss of party communications. Hardly a role she’s likely to submit for the public affairs category of PR Week’s 2019 awards, but then, in the lipstick-on-a-pig challenge, selling the Tories after the catastrophe of the 2017 general election must come pretty near the top.

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August 1st 2019, 6:17 am

Alex Greenwich hits back at incorrect claims about NSW abortion bill

Women | The Guardian

Conservatives opposed to historic reform should do their homework, independent says

The architect of a historic bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales has hit out at opponents of the legislation, after a conservative MP wrongly claimed the bill would allow unrestricted abortion “until the moment of birth”.

The independent MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, will table the bill on Thursday after it was delayed by a week by resistance within the Coalition government.

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July 31st 2019, 6:55 pm

Shana Grice was killed by her ex-boyfriend – and thoroughly let down by the police

Women | The Guardian

It is commonplace for women to placate those who may harm or kill them. Until the police recognise this, more women will be at risk

Of all the horrific details of teenager Shana Grice’s murder by her ex-boyfriend in 2016 – her reporting him to authorities five times over six months, her throat being slit in her bedroom and his attempts to burn her body afterwards – there is another that particularly disturbs. Grice was fined £90 by Sussex police for wasting police time, after it emerged she initially failed to disclose that she had previously been in a relationship with her eventual killer.

On Tuesday, a misconduct panel found that former officer Trevor Godfrey’s behaviour amounted to a breach of police rules. But, during the two-day hearing, he maintained that in the lead-up to her death, Grice wasn’t being harassed as she had sent her ex texts punctuated with kisses. He also claimed she had lied as a “smokescreen to disguise her affair”, so her new boyfriend did not find out that she was still seeing her ex; Godfrey considered the latter relationship to be consensual.

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July 31st 2019, 1:34 pm

Cambridge sexual misconduct rule change branded 'unlawful'

Women | The Guardian

Two students have lost internal means of pursuing complaints of sexual assault and rape

Lawyers and women’s groups have condemned a decision by Cambridge University to not investigate some students’ complaints of sexual misconduct, including rape, warning it was potentially unlawful.

Their comments came after a ruling this summer that sexual misconduct should no longer be covered by the university’s general disciplinary regulations for students.

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July 31st 2019, 1:28 am

NSW abortion decriminalisation delayed after conservatives resist

Women | The Guardian

Bill with cross-party support was due to be introduced on Tuesday, but Coalition conservatives complain it has been rushed

A bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales has been delayed by a week after resistance from the conservative wing of the Coalition government.

The historic bill, co-sponsored by 15 MPs from across the political divide, had been due to be introduced into the parliament on Tuesday before being debated this week.

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July 30th 2019, 1:41 am

Children in Pacific suffer 'shockingly high' levels of violence, report finds

Women | The Guardian

Aid organisations call out ‘dramatic underinvestment’ by Australia and other donors in tackling ‘endemic’ problem

Violence against children in the Pacific region has reached “endemic” levels, with children subject to brutal physical discipline in the home, as well as sexual violence, a new report has found.

More than 4 million children across the region had experienced violent discipline in the home and in Papua New Guinea 27% of parents or caregivers used physical punishment “over and over as hard as they could”, the report by leading NGOs working in the region found.

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July 30th 2019, 12:41 am

Let men be free to admit vulnerability | Letter

Women | The Guardian

Responding to Lucy Mangan’s review of I Am Nicola, Susan Seager argues that Adam’s failure to make his partner happy does not make him a monster

I was struck by a possibly generational divide in my response to I Am Nicola, awarded five stars by Lucy Mangan (23 July). I cannot deny the acting was impressive and it was an absorbing 60 minutes, but I cannot agree that Adam is a controlling monster.

He is tormented by jealousy and insecurity – common human failings – but he admits he has a problem and expresses the desire to change.

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July 29th 2019, 1:17 pm

Anti-abortion group uses US federal grants to push controversial fertility app

Women | The Guardian

The Femm app which sows doubt about the birth control pill is being used by Obria group that was awarded $1.7m in funds by the Trump administration

US federal grants intended to help poor women obtain contraceptives are being used to promote a menstruation tracking app funded and operated by anti-birth control and anti-abortion campaigners.

The Femm app sows doubt about the birth control pill and promotes itself as a natural way for women to “avoid or achieve” pregnancy. The app collects women’s most intimate data, including details on menstruation, sex, mood and prescription drugs. Its developers say it has been downloaded more than 400,000 times.

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July 29th 2019, 1:59 am

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian will support a bill to decriminalise abortions

Women | The Guardian

Coalition MPs will be given a conscience vote on the bill which is due to be introduced into the NSW parliament this week

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian says she will support a bill which could see abortions decriminalised and regulated as a medical procedure in the state.

Abortions in NSW are at present dealt with under the Crimes Act.

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July 28th 2019, 10:57 pm

A controlling woman in our lives is turning my girlfriend against me

Women | The Guardian

The best way to react is to do absolutely nothing, says Mariella Frostrup

The dilemma My girlfriend and I have been together for four years. A year ago we moved from London to a smaller city where we met a woman in a bar who seemed eager to become friends. As time went on it became apparent that she often lures men and women in relationships to have sex. It wasn’t long before she made advances towards me, which I rejected. Since then she has turned nasty and ignores me. She is also verbally toxic towards others. My girlfriend has suffered from mental illness and struggles with guilt and shame. This means she has issues saying no to people. The woman has her buying her dinner and sharing information about our relationship – mainly to do with sex. She puts pressure on her to catch up many times a week. I’m trying to be supportive, but my girlfriend defends her and is sceptical of her coming on to me, saying I miss the attention. It feels as if she’s been reeled in and can’t see her behaviour is causing an issue. I’m starting to feel like a ranting boyfriend, which is making it worse.

Mariella replies Understandable. The annoying thing about partners is that all too often they completely disregard our opinions about friends and family. You’d think that sharing someone’s bed and life would put you in pole position to dictate, or at least influence, their choices, but when push comes to shove, all they plough is their own flawed furrow. I can feel your pain, but unfortunately there’s little I can do to assuage it.

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July 28th 2019, 2:00 am

Why has the charge rate for rape fallen in England and Wales?

Women | The Guardian

Always difficult to prosecute, cases now require police to sift through big volume of digital data

Fewer rape complaints resulted in a charge or summons last year, police figures show. The decline comes against a backdrop of falling prosecutions and a row about the amount of sensitive personal information requested from alleged victims of rape.

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July 26th 2019, 1:46 pm

Medievalists excited at parchment fragment of 'vagina monologue'

Women | The Guardian

Find in Austrian abbey dates poem to 200 years earlier than previously thought

It has been called the earliest form of the Vagina Monologues – an argument in verse between a woman and her vulva, originating in the Middle Ages.

Now a fragment of the text, about who gives more pleasure to men, dates the poem to 200 years earlier than previously thought.

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July 26th 2019, 11:00 am

Doctor claiming to 'reverse' abortion was told to stop using medical school's name

Women | The Guardian

For years, Dr George Delgado falsely claimed an affiliation to a prestigious US medical school and his assertions about ‘reversal’ procedure have been denounced

A doctor who has said he invented a procedure to “reverse” abortion has for years falsely claimed an affiliation to a prestigious US medical school, the Guardian can reveal.

A medication abortion or “self-managed” abortion, is an FDA-approved procedure and is administered through two doses of medicine over 48 hours. Medication abortions now represent nearly one-third of all abortions nationally, according to the Guttmacher Institute. There is no reversal procedure.

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July 25th 2019, 2:31 am

Is it grossly sexist to propose to your girlfriend at her graduation ceremony?

Women | The Guardian

Surprise proposals are more and more popular – but they look dated and run the risk of denying women their moment

Remember when people simply got engaged to one another, and didn’t feel the compunction to record and disseminate the news How I long for those days. The public proposal video has been an online mainstay for years now, but its relative merits and faults continue to be a talking point on social media, especially when it comes to the male tendency to make it all about him.

The latest man to annoy the internet is 27-year-old Edgaras Averbuchas, who chose his girlfriend Agne Banuskeviciute’s graduation ceremony to get down on one knee. She was in the process of receiving her English masters from the University of Essex when Averbuchas sauntered on stage – rather stealing the spotlight, some might argue. The university posted the clip on Twitter before deciding it to remove it when it proved unpopular. One user said it was “bad form”: “Years of hard work and now we’re all supposed to be pleased for her. Not because of her achievement, but because she got her man.”

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July 24th 2019, 11:32 am

How to practise good post-sex hygiene

Women | The Guardian

To steer clear of infection, use a condom, avoid harsh soaps and douching, and empty your bladder within 15 minutes of intercourse

The most important rule for any sexually active woman is to empty their bladder within 15 minutes of sex. Whether it is same-sex, with a sex toy or heterosexual intercourse, unless you empty your bladder you are more likely to get a urinary tract infection (UTI), which can be very uncomfortable and can lead to bigger problems. The reason that women get UTIs after sex is that the urethra is very short and the bladder is close to it, so during penetrative sex you are allowing bacteria direct access to your bladder.

We don’t know why some people are more susceptible to UTIs than others, but post-menopausal women should be extra-careful, because as a reduction in oestrogen leads to the tissue being thinner, making it harder to fight infection. Even if your partner is a clean person you are still at risk; using a condom or being circumcised doesn’t make a difference. Penetrative sex upsets the natural balance of your body so always make sure to go to the bathroom afterwards.

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July 21st 2019, 10:24 am

Like a natural woman: why taboos about discussing the female body are dying

Women | The Guardian

Periods, miscarriage and menopause were traditionally ‘private topics’. A raft of new books is changing that

When comedian Eleanor Thom first decided to write about her life with endometriosis, a long-term and often incredibly painful gynaecological condition, she did so because “I felt that this was the sort of thing I needed to read when I was a teenager.

“There’s a lot of medical stuff out there but it’s very much ‘this is what happens; these are the theories behind it’. They don’t tell you how to live with it day after day.”

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July 20th 2019, 10:24 am

Sharon Stone: I was forgotten like Princess Diana after I had a stroke

Women | The Guardian

Actor says it took seven years to recover from illness that first struck in 2001, during which time the actor says she was treated with ‘brutal unkindness’ by Hollywood

Sharon Stone has accused Hollywood of being “brutally unkind” in its treatment of her as she struggled to recover from a stroke in 2001.

Stone made the comments to Variety magazine at an event to raise awareness for the Women’s Brain Health Initiative in Los Angeles, after explaining she had had a “massive stroke … a nine-day brain bleed”.

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July 19th 2019, 1:39 pm

Cost of global push to prevent women dying in childbirth to increase sixfold

Women | The Guardian

As Trump funding drought continues, UN figures show billions more will be needed to meet global target on maternal mortality

The cost of preventing women from dying in childbirth is projected to increase sixfold by 2030, requiring billions of dollars to achieve global targets, according to the UN.

The estimate was released by the UN population fund (UNFPA) on Thursday, offering a snapshot of the scale of the challenge the agency has set itself to end preventable maternal deaths by 2030.

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July 19th 2019, 4:19 am

‘Women don’t need to bleed’: why many more of us are giving up on periods

Women | The Guardian

With recent confirmation that periods have no health benefit, an increasing number of women are using contraception to stop them altogether

For some, it is about bringing an end to debilitating pain or dark thoughts. For others, it is as simple as being liberated from the sinking realisation that you need a tampon – but you left them in your other handbag.

When a new wave of feminist authors and activists are calling on women to embrace their periods, the idea that some do not want a monthly bleed and are seeking to avoid having them altogether can seem radical.

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July 18th 2019, 5:17 am

KLM tells breastfeeding women to expect to be asked to cover up

Women | The Guardian

Airline provokes outcry with response after woman said its staff asked her to cover herself

The Dutch airline KLM is facing a storm of protest after warning that women who breastfeed their babies on its flights may be asked to cover up to avoid offending other passengers.

The company’s policy emerged after a woman claimed on Facebook she had been asked to shield herself from view while feeding her one-year-old on a flight between San Francisco and Amsterdam last month.

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July 17th 2019, 1:31 pm

Feminist queen: show explores Victoria's transformation of monarchy

Women | The Guardian

Queen Victoria began some of our best-known traditions, says curator of exhibition at Buckingham Palace


Queen Victoria was responsible for a “feminist transformation” of the monarchy and initiated some of its best-known traditions, according to the curator of a new exhibition at Buckingham Palace.

The story of how Victoria and Prince Albert rebuilt the palace into the most glittering court in Europe is explored through paintings, sketches and costumes, and includes a Hollywood-produced immersive experience bringing to life the balls for which she was famed.

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July 17th 2019, 1:18 pm

Pro-choice groups raise concerns over possible delays of Northern Ireland abortion law

Women | The Guardian

No 10’s document suggests it may take up to 18 months to implement legislation

Pressure groups have warned against lengthy delays to extending abortion rights to Northern Ireland following a landmark legal amendment last week, after a government document said the process could take as long as 18 months to implement.

Downing Street has committed to introducing the abortion plan after an amendment to a separate Northern Ireland bill by the Labour MP Stella Creasy was overwhelmingly passed by the Commons.

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July 17th 2019, 11:26 am

Adventuring while female: why the relationship women have with nature matters

Women | The Guardian

Going camping alone, I was reminded that the great works of environmentalist female writers are often overlooked – and it’s our loss

It’s Monday in the Adirondack state park. I’m driving through little towns, passing junk stores, lumber businesses, small cafes and adventure outfitters. I have heard people call this part of New York state “poverty with a view”. The Adirondacks are a collision of hardship and wealth, but mostly wilderness. Six million acres of it.

It’s almost LaBastille Day, and to celebrate, I’m going to camp alone for the first time in my life.

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July 17th 2019, 3:22 am

Why automation is a feminist issue

Women | The Guardian

Working women are twice as likely as men to lose their jobs to AI, according to a thinktank. Which perhaps isn’t surprising, given that most of that work is menial and badly paid

According to a new study from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), nearly 10% of women work in jobs with a high potential for automation, compared to only 4% of men. So what, I hear you say. Substitute “robots” for “austerity”, “the demise of unionisation”, “public-sector pay freezes”, “modern life” – pick any of these and women always come off worst. Except maybe this time the pointy heads are on to something: perhaps better understanding what the risks are from various directions will give us all some agency, even to the extent of being able to direct the future.

As Carys Roberts, the author of the IPPR report, tells me: “We don’t even talk about risks in this area, because there are so many different factors. The primary argument that we make is that this could go in different directions. Technology is not destiny.”

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July 16th 2019, 11:55 am
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