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Deadly silence: what happens when we don't believe women

Women | The Guardian

Not listening to women’s experience of abusive men – and of other areas from health to the economy – harms all of society

It’s become a grim ritual among the women I know: as soon as there is news of another mass shooting, we wait to hear the inevitable story about the shooter’s history of hurting women. (The shooter is always a man.) Sometimes he’s been violent to his mother or grandmother. More often, police reports reveal his history of abusing his girlfriend or wife.

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January 21st 2020, 4:40 am

The female body and the origins of patriarchy | Letter

Women | The Guardian

Many prehistoric societies were egalitarian, writes Hilary Knight, and women were honoured as the creators of new life

“Women have been conditioned to think their bodies are ‘dirty’ or abnormal since the beginning of time,” writes Arwa Mahdawi (, 18 January). Untrue. Human society (at least, most human societies) began to degenerate into patriarchy about 12,000 years ago, with the advent of agriculture and land ownership.

The previous hunter-gatherer societies were egalitarian; some were matrifocal and matriarchal. Women were honoured as the creators of new life, and the most important deities were female. The domineering and minatory male uber-god, memorably characterised by novelist Tom Robbins as “a neurotic prick”, is a johnny-come-lately.
Hilary Knight
Victoria, British Columbia

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January 20th 2020, 1:12 pm

World's 22 richest men wealthier than all the women in Africa, study finds

Women | The Guardian

Startling scale of inequality laid bare as Oxfam report highlights chronically undervalued nature of care work

The world’s 22 richest men have more combined wealth than all 325 million women in Africa, according to a study.

Women and girls across the globe contribute an estimated £8.28tn ($10.8tn) to the global economy with a total of 12.5bn hours a day of unpaid care work, a figure more than three times the worth of the global tech industry, claims an Oxfam report published on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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January 20th 2020, 5:09 am

Catcalls, cabs and classroom comments: how girls struggle to find a safe place in the UK today

Women | The Guardian

Blackpool comes bottom of all UK local authorities for girls’ human rights and quality of life, according to research by Plan International

Blackpool is the hardest place to be a girl in the UK, according to new research which campaigners say should act as a wake-up call for the government. The north-western town comes bottom among all local authorities for key indicators of girls’ human rights and quality of life, a report by children’s charity Plan International UK found.

Local authorities in the bottom 10 were mainly in the north of England or Midlands, the charity found: Nottingham and Hartlepool are in the bottom three with Blackpool, considered England’s most deprived local authority. While three of the 10 highest-ranked local authorities (Orkney Islands, East Renfrewshire and Shetland) are in Scotland, the rest are in the south of England. “Right across the UK, there are challenges in being a girl,” said Plan CEO Rose Caldwell. “Even in top-performing areas, we would expect it to be much better than it currently is.”

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January 19th 2020, 2:55 am

Sexual harassment victims to take part in government survey

Women | The Guardian

Minister reveals she was once harassed as she encourages people to share experiences

Ministers are to survey thousands of victims of sexual harassment to strengthen protections for workers.

Victims of sexual harassment are being urged to share their experience in what the Government Equalities Office has described as one of the largest surveys of its kind ever to be carried out.

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January 17th 2020, 5:08 am

Long-Bailey says abortion limit should not be different for disability

Women | The Guardian

Long-Bailey ‘unequivocally supports woman’s right to choose’ but believes disability and non-disability should be treated equally

Rebecca Long-Bailey has said she does not agree with allowing abortion on the grounds of disability after the standard limit of 24 weeks, but stressed that this was a personal view.

The Labour leadership candidate confirmed her position after an interview with representatives of Salford’s Catholic cathedral from the 2019 election campaign was highlighted by the Red Roar website.

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January 16th 2020, 9:24 am

This is what midlife looks like for women

Women | The Guardian

Guts, blood, hair, sex and love – it’s time to reclaim menopause as a time for self-discovery

Middle-aged women have long been treated as the punchlines of jokes in popular culture – as the crazy witches at the end of the street, or worse, as invisible members of society who cease to exist once their reproductive years are over. But a host of artists have recently focused their attention on the experiences of women in midlife, from Darcey Steinke’s Flash Count Diary to Susan P Matterns’ The Slow Moon Climbs.

This new wave of attention is joined by photographer Elinor Carucci’s Midlife. In her introduction to the book, Kristen Roupenian writes that Carucci’s photographs invoke the “intense, exhausting self-monitoring that can feel like an inescapable part of owning a female body”.

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January 16th 2020, 4:08 am

Readers on the pain of miscarriage: ‘In my head I was already a mum and then suddenly I wasn’t’

Women | The Guardian

According to a new study, a third of women experience PTSD after losing a baby in early pregnancy. Guardian readers describe their experiences

I had three miscarriages in 2018, all under 12 weeks. I became very anxious to the point that it was impacting every area of my life. It affected my sleep and I had very negative thoughts. I spent a lot of time crying and kept having flashbacks to the third, most traumatic miscarriage – I had such severe bleeding that I was rushed to hospital in an ambulance – particularly when I was trying to sleep or relax. My family struggled to understand the impact it had on me. Only one friend, who had also had a miscarriage, seemed to get it. The professionals who dealt with me when I was admitted were clearly ill-equipped to cope with any mental health implications, which was not their fault. It was only when I self-referred for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) months later that I was able to get the support I needed.

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January 15th 2020, 12:26 pm

Being Jo March: Little Women finally has an ending grown women deserve

Women | The Guardian

For independent women, Jo March is an icon but until Gerwig’s Little Women there has always been a catch

Long before internet quizzes asked women to reduce themselves to female archetypes by finding out “which Sex and the City character are you?”, generations of girls grew up reading Little Women and playing, in their own imaginations, “which March sister are you?”

Like the creative, tomboyish heroine of Louisa May Alcott’s semi-autobiographical novel about four very different sisters, I was a Josephine who went by the more boyish name Jo, the second daughter in a big family of girls. The choice seemed pre-ordained.

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January 15th 2020, 11:38 am

Hugh Grant defends Prince Harry: 'The tabloids effectively murdered his mother'

Women | The Guardian

The actor and activist has backed up Harry’s desire to ‘protect his family’, while Stormzy has said there is no ‘credible’ reason to dislike Meghan

Hugh Grant has defended Prince Harry’s decision to “step back” from formal royal duties and seek a self-financed life based partly in Canada.

Speaking on Andy Cohen’s Radio Andy show on Sirius XM, Grant said: “I’m rather on Harry’s side. The tabloid press effectively murdered his mother, now they’re tearing his wife to pieces.”

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January 15th 2020, 8:08 am

Forget cat ladies: the real tribes of modern dating, from fantasists to routiners

Women | The Guardian

Finding a mate now involves navigating the perils of sword enthusiasts, 9/11 ‘truthers’ and the risk that it’s your beagle they really want, rather than you

Ten years ago, in my second year at university, I threw a Lord of the Rings-themed party. I would be embarrassed about committing this to print had it not been in New Zealand, where all parties are Lord of the Rings-themed.

I was a Ringwraith, having spent an unfeasible amount of money on eBay for a hobby horse. Some guests on the way to my house in costume, were accosted by strangers of about our age, who asked: were they going to a Lord of the Rings-themed party?

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January 14th 2020, 6:19 am

‘AA’s rules are for men’: Holly Whitaker on how women can stop drinking – and get happy

Women | The Guardian

When she decided to quit drinking, Whitaker turned, like many people, to Alcoholics Anonymous. She didn’t like what she found there, so she decided to create her own unique approach

When Holly Whitaker looks back on the many nights that would disappear in a boozy haze, it wasn’t the anxiety and regret that made her realise she needed to get help for her drinking, but sheer exhaustion. Each weekend, while hungover, she would wearily erase all evidence of her drinking binges: the stains on her bed, the empty bottles, the rubbish bags. She was holding it together with a lucrative job as the director of a healthcare startup, had a great flat in San Francisco and a busy social life, but suddenly she just couldn’t do it any more.

“When I binged, I would close my eyes while I did it,” she says. “I was trying to not see how horrific it was. I would go through this process of scrubbing it away, then presenting myself to the world and pretending that nothing was wrong. Then I had this moment when I couldn’t not see it.”

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January 14th 2020, 4:49 am

Steve Coogan and Sarah Solemani to explore #MeToo in comedy drama

Women | The Guardian

Channel 4’s Chivalry will take a satirical look at gender politics in today’s film industry

Steve Coogan is shining a light on gender politics after the rise of the #MeToo movement in a new Channel 4 comedy drama in which he plays a successful “ladies’ man” film producer who has to reshoot his sexist film in order to save his career.

Chivalry looks at the changing nature of the film industry after the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, in the form of an unlikely attraction between Coogan’s character, Cameron, and a liberal director called Bobby played by Sarah Solemani.

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January 12th 2020, 8:50 pm

‘Body positivity’ has had its day. Let’s find peace with ourselves

Women | The Guardian

Women are now told to feel good about their bodies – whatever their shape – but it’s not as simple as that

If the beginning of the decade in bodies was defined by “size zero”, clavicles worn proudly by tanned celebrities as if Cartier necklaces, and the end was defined by a loudly proclaimed yet slippery embrace of “body positivity”, where are we right now on the body hatred spectrum?

Much came in between the two, of course, and little of it good. There were the eating disorders (hospital admissions for which continue to rise sharply), which sistered a worldwide obesity epidemic, and the pills that helped desperate women defecate fat. There was the speed at which it had become familiar to see an actress turn to the side on a red carpet and simply disappear. In January 2010, three diet TV shows competed for ratings: Fat Families, Generation XXL and My Big Fat Diet Show, an “interactive diet-along”.

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January 12th 2020, 4:24 am

This Girl Can steps up taboo-busting campaign to boost female activity

Women | The Guardian

• Advert will show women overcoming period pains and cramps
• ‘We can shine a spotlight on issues that need to be talked about’

The original This Girl Can campaign broke the mould by showing women of all shapes and sizes sweating to get active. Five years on the award-winning campaign is seeking to move the dial again by embracing some of the most taboo subjects in women’s sport.

A new television commercial, to be launched on Tuesday, will show women overcoming challenges such as severe menstrual cramps or coping with menopausal symptoms. In one notable scene, a woman is seen with her tampon string visible while getting changed for yoga - hardly a common sight on television screens - having taken the activity up to help her tackle debilitating period pains.

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January 11th 2020, 5:15 pm

Samira Ahmed verdict further damages BBC's reputation on equal pay

Women | The Guardian

Decision means corporation is likely to face more cases and further public embarrassment

Samira Ahmed’s employment tribunal victory is the latest blow to the BBC in a gender pay gap row that has engulfed the corporation since it was forced to reveal the salary details of its top earners in 2017.

Published at the behest of the government under the BBC’s new royal charter, the list showed that only a third of its 96 top earners were women and the top seven were all men.

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January 10th 2020, 1:58 pm

Samira Ahmed wins sex discrimination equal pay claim against BBC

Women | The Guardian

Presenter took broadcaster to tribunal arguing she was owed almost £700,000 in back pay

Samira Ahmed has won her sex discrimination equal pay claim against the BBC, a judge has ruled.

The tribunal ended in early November, and the judgment has just come out.

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January 10th 2020, 9:36 am

Bafta to review voting system after diversity row

Women | The Guardian

Film academy admits change needed after lack of female and BAME nominees for awards

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) is reviewing its voting process after criticism over the lack of female directors or black and minority ethnic actors nominated for its main categories on Monday.

Marc Samuelson, head of Bafta’s film committee, told Variety that there would be a “careful and detailed review within and outside the membership”.

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January 9th 2020, 10:01 am

Half of British women 'have poor sexual health'

Women | The Guardian

Research highlights need to reverse cuts to NHS sexual health services, experts say

Almost half of women in Britain have poor sexual health – almost three times the rate in men – researchers have said.

Women’s sexual problems have been found to be more varied than those experienced by men. Nearly a third of all women were found to experience difficulties rooted in a lack of interest in sex – a problem associated with distress and dissatisfaction with their sex life.

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January 9th 2020, 2:19 am

Record high in Hollywood films with female lead characters

Women | The Guardian

Annual study finds 40% of 2019 blockbusters featured a female lead – with women’s involvement behind the camera a vital factor

In what is likely to be seen as a boost for Hollywood’s drive to redress decades of male dominance on screen, a new report suggests that a record percentage of leading characters in successful American films are female.

The new edition of It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World, an annual report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, finds that 40% of the 2019’s high-grossing US films contained a female lead character, compared with 43% male (with the remaining 17% having ensemble or equal male-female leads). This is the highest proportion that the survey has recorded, with the earliest figures, from 2002, at 16%. The lowest year was 2011, when the figure was 11%.

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January 8th 2020, 10:24 am

Greggs, guilt and glucose: what I've learned from a life of dieting

Women | The Guardian

I’ve spent decades trying every fad and detox, looking for the magic formula for weight loss

Since I’ve been a journalist, I’ve done a ton of diets for one article or another. I never had to justify it, or explain what I think about my own body, and how that relates to other women’s body images, and how the tension between living as a feminist and living as a woman in the world is resolved – because it was always for a piece.

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January 4th 2020, 8:29 am

Broadest ever therapeutic HPV vaccine to be tested in clinical trial

Women | The Guardian

Treatment could clear up persistent infections and reduce risk of cervical cancer

The broadest vaccine yet that could clear up persistent HPV infections and reduce the risk of women developing cervical cancer is to be tested in a clinical trial.

Human papillomavirus infections are common and are generally cleared by the body. However, about 10% of infections are not cleared, with persistent infections of certain types of HPV known to increase the risk of a number of cancers, including cervical cancer.

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January 3rd 2020, 6:33 am

Faster, higher, longer: how women ultra-athletes started to beat men

Women | The Guardian

From swimming the Channel four times to outrunning every man, we meet the women at the top of their game

At the top of a wind-scoured hill outside Edinburgh, Jasmin Paris’s dog, Moss, patiently waits for his owner. He is, I think, wondering what on earth is taking her so long. The answer, I’m afraid, is me.

We are in the Pentland Hills near her home – easy terrain for a skilled fell runner. For me, it’s a painful reminder that road marathons and track races do not help in the hills. I spend my clumsy descents looking at my feet, and each time I look up, Paris is defying gravity – not so much dropping as floating down.

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January 3rd 2020, 3:19 am

More than 200 members of Congress urge US supreme court to reconsider Roe v Wade

Women | The Guardian

Appeal in an amicus brief in a Louisiana case was signed by 205 Republicans and two Democrats

More than two hundred members of Congress have urged the US supreme court to reconsider the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling which legalized abortion nationwide.

The appeal came in an amicus brief in a Louisiana case, and was signed by 205 Republicans and two Democrats, and calls on the high court to revisit the ruling, which affirmed that access to safe abortion is a constitutional right.

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January 2nd 2020, 6:24 pm

More women than ever working in film – but men still dominate key roles

Women | The Guardian

Men outnumber women 4 to 1 in roles such as director and cinematographer, study finds

The number of women working in the film industry reached a historic high in 2019, but men still outnumber women 4 to 1 in key roles.

Women made up 20% of behind-the-scenes roles on the top 100 domestic grossing films of 2019, a sharp uptick from 16% in 2018, a study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego University revealed. However, when it comes to key jobs like director and cinematographer, men continue to dominate.

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January 2nd 2020, 4:40 pm

BBC seeks to settle equal pay cases ahead of Samira Ahmed tribunal verdict

Women | The Guardian

Broadcaster in apparent attempt to avoid repeat of tribunal embarrassment

The BBC has approached women who are bringing equal pay cases against it to discuss potential settlements, in an apparent attempt to head off a repeat of Samira Ahmed’s employment tribunal in which embarrassing details of the corporation’s inner workings were made public.

Individuals with knowledge of the equal pay cases said that some women who were preparing to follow Ahmed and take their cases to tribunal, having exhausted internal BBC processes, were being approached and asked if they would be interested in a settlement.

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January 1st 2020, 8:15 am

Manchester gives Women's Institute revival a modern twist

Women | The Guardian

After years of waning popularity organisation regains its appeal by blending traditional pastimes with progressive events

For decades now, the reputation of the Women’s Institute has been somewhere between endlessly supping tea, baking homemade sponges in a twin set with pearls, and discussing the latest village scandal.

But long before this cliched image took hold, the WI was actually established in Britain to help with the war effort, bringing together generations of women who worked together embodying a real sense of community spirit.

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December 30th 2019, 2:17 am

From renewables to Netflix: the 15 super-trends that defined the 2010s

Women | The Guardian

It was the decade of austerity, fracking, populism and internet lies. But not everything about the 2010s was terrible

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December 27th 2019, 5:15 am

'Everybody is talking about it': women's rights to take centre stage in 2020

Women | The Guardian

Campaigners hail year of key global gatherings and events as vital opportunity to secure ‘bold, accountable commitments and action’

World leaders, civil society and the private sector are preparing to make 2020 the biggest year yet for the advancement of women’s rights.

Over the course of the year, thousands of people are expected to attend high-level UN events and forums in Mexico City and Paris to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing platform for action, a landmark agreement to end gender inequality.

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December 27th 2019, 2:13 am

Single woman sues Chinese hospital for refusal to freeze eggs

Women | The Guardian

Teresa Xu says doctor told her to hurry up and get married before having children

At the end of last year, Teresa Xu visited a hospital in Beijing to discuss options for freezing her eggs. The doctor said she could not help Xu, a single woman, because it went against regulations. Then she gave the 31-year-old some sisterly advice: hurry up and get married, and have children now.

Xu was shocked and disappointed. “I had no way to express my anger,” she said. She felt like she was being treated like a wayward child. “Like I was an intruder, delaying other couples … like my demands were too much. I felt powerless and depressed.”

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December 24th 2019, 7:58 am

Gloria Steinem meets Gloria Allred: ‘Donald Trump has made us woke’

Women | The Guardian

The feminist activist and the US attorney trade notes on the president, Prince Andrew and abortion, then and now

Gloria Steinem, 85, is a feminist icon, in trademark black leather trousers and turtleneck top, hair streaked blond and back straight as a ballerina’s. Gloria Allred, sitting beside her on a green velvet couch, is, at 78, small and ferocious, one of the best-known attorneys in the world, with a four-decade history of defending women’s rights and an avowed “fangirl” of Steinem. We are in Steinem’s house on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where the women have convened to talk about recent high-profile cases brought by women – many of them represented by Allred – against Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Cosby, as well as the forthcoming US presidential election, attacks on abortion legislature, and the history of women’s rights in the US.

The women’s careers exist, to some degree, in tandem, with Steinem’s decades-long work as an activist changing public consciousness that Allred may then convert into victories in court. Hers has been a controversial career, defending victims of sexual harassment in class action suits, and going after powerful men in a way that has occasioned accusations of publicity-seeking. When a high-profile story breaks featuring allegations of sexual misconduct against celebrated men, Allred’s name is often not far behind. But she has also won victories in hundreds of unglamorous suits that represent the grunt-work of legal activism. In 2004, Allred successfully filed the first lawsuit in California challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage; in 2008, she secured a $15m payout for 200 women in an anti-age discrimination suit against a giant electronics chain. This month, she won a sexual harassment case against Alki David, a billionaire accused of harassing a former employee. And so it goes on.

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December 23rd 2019, 7:14 am

'No galaxies collapsed': Jodie Whittaker on being first female Doctor

Women | The Guardian

Opening episode of new Doctor Who series will feature in BBC One’s New Year’s Day schedule

When Jodie Whittaker was cast as the 13th incarnation of the eponymous star of Doctor Who it made headlines everywhere because she was the first woman. Now, finally, that “gender question” is going away.

Whittaker will star in her second series of Doctor Who in 2020 with the opener being a highlight of BBC One’s New Year’s Day schedule.

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December 23rd 2019, 1:09 am

'Hey, beautiful ladies': Rotterdam man cleared of street harassment

Women | The Guardian

First man convicted under catcalling law entitled to free speech, appeal court rules

The first man convicted under Rotterdam’s new street harassment laws, also referred to as the catcalling ban, has been cleared by a court of appeal on the grounds that he has a right to freedom of expression.

The 36-year-old had approached two women making kissing gestures as he called out: “Hey, beautiful ladies. Where are you going?”

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December 20th 2019, 6:10 am

Two Northern Ireland women to get abortion costs compensation

Women | The Guardian

European court orders UK government to reimburse mother and daughter forced to travel to England for abortion

A mother and daughter from Northern Ireland who were forced to travel to England for an abortion are to be compensated by the government over their costs.

The European court of human rights has instructed the government to reimburse the women for the cost of travel and the termination at a private English clinic seven years ago.

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December 19th 2019, 11:42 am

Low-cost breast cancer drug 'could save lives in low income countries'

Women | The Guardian

World Health Organization approved cheap version of ‘essential medicine’ Herceptin

A cheap version of the groundbreaking breast cancer drug Herceptin has been approved by the World Health Organization, raising the possibility of lifesaving treatment for the first time for women in low-income countries.

Herceptin is the brand name of trastuzumab, a drug which by 2006 in the UK was the subject of a huge battle for access for the 20% of women with the type of cancer, called HER2+, that it targets. Trial results released at a conference in the United States fired up campaigners. There were marches in the streets, legal actions and an unprecedented political decision by the then UK health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, to pay for the drug regardless before any cost-effectiveness assessment had been completed.

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December 18th 2019, 1:51 pm

Shiori Ito, symbol of Japan's MeToo movement, wins rape lawsuit damages

Women | The Guardian

Civil court rules in favour of reporter, two years after she alleged a bureau chief date-raped her

A Japanese woman whose rape accusations against a prominent TV journalist turned her into a symbol of the country’s fledgling #MeToo movement has been awarded 3.3m yen [$30,000] in damages.

Shiori Ito went public in 2017 with allegations that Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a former Washington bureau chief for the TBS network with close ties to the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, had raped her two years earlier.

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December 18th 2019, 12:25 am

Little Miss Period: the manga character challenging Japan's menstruation taboos

Women | The Guardian

Film praised by women in Japan where talking about periods in public is considered dirty or embarrassing

A manga character shaped like a pink blob with bright red lips and leggings is challenging taboos surrounding menstruation in Japan, but not everyone is convinced that Seiri-chan – Little Miss Period – is a force for good.

The anthropomorphised period, now the star of an anime movie of the same name, has received a largely positive response from women in Japan where talking in public about menstruation is often seen as dirty or embarrassing.

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December 17th 2019, 7:21 pm

Trans reforms will not diminish women's rights, says Holyrood

Women | The Guardian

Draft bill would make it simpler for trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate

Reforms aimed at simplifying how transgender people change the sex on their birth certificates will not diminish the rights of women, the Scottish government has pledged as it seeks to strike a balance on an issue that has polarised opinion and divided the Scottish National party.

Holyrood’s social security secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville, acknowledged in her opening remarks to the draft bill, which opens for consultation today, that some organisations have made women feel “uncomfortable and less safe” in their attempts to be trans-inclusive.

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December 17th 2019, 11:29 am

Hopes rise for statue of pioneering fossil hunter Mary Anning

Women | The Guardian

Mother’s fundraising campaign in Lyme Regis has been backed by likes of David Attenborough

Evie Swire was nine years old when she first heard the story of a woman who had lived near her home in Dorset and, in her own way, changed the world.

Mary Anning was born into a humble family in Lyme Regis in 1799 and grew up hunting for fossils in the area’s cliffs to supplement their meagre income. When she was 12, she and her brother discovered one of the first ichthyosaurus skeletons, and she would go on to make many other pioneering finds and become immensely knowledgeable in the emerging field of palaeontology.

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December 16th 2019, 12:23 pm

Finland’s all-female coalition roll up their sleeves to tackle ... sexism

Women | The Guardian

The Finns have just elected their youngest female prime minister, but the challenges she faces – from abuse to discrimination – are daunting

Just off Helsinki’s main shopping drag, toddlers in glitter paint whirl round their mothers, who are somehow managing to listen intently to a lecture on how to boost their careers with LinkedIn. No one bats an eye at the intermittent shrieks.

It’s business as usual at this Christmas networking meeting in the country that has come closer than perhaps anywhere else to making “having it all” a feminist reality, rather than an impossible goal to torment exhausted, overstretched women.

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December 14th 2019, 12:56 pm

UK elects record number of female MPs

Women | The Guardian

Commons will have 220 female MPs but almost two-thirds of seats still represented by men

A record 220 female MPs will take their seats in parliament after this election, but the House of Commons will still fall far short of being gender balanced.

The proportion of female MPs will reach 34%, the highest portion of either chamber in parliament to date. However, there are stark differences across the party divide: just a quarter of Conservative party MPs are female, whereas the Labour party will now be represented by more women than men – with a record 104 female MPs.

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December 13th 2019, 6:57 am

Activists protest at ‘sidelining of social justice’ at UN climate talks

Women | The Guardian

Campaigners frustrated at how women and indigenous people have struggled to have voices heard

Youth climate activists have called for a global strike on Friday to protest that human rights and social justice have been sidelined at the UN climate talks in Madrid, where governments look set to wrap up two weeks of negotiations without a breakthrough on the pressing issue of greenhouse gas reduction.

Campaigners have been frustrated not only at the slow progress of the talks but also that groups representing women, indigenous people and poor people have struggled to have their voices heard within the conference halls where the official negotiations are taking place, even while 500,000 people took part in a mass protest in the streets outside last Friday.

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December 12th 2019, 1:55 pm

Johnson’s casual misogyny has kept women out of the election campaign | Zoe Williams

Women | The Guardian

The macho imagery has been all diggers and oven-ready Brexits. There’s no room for female Tories to get a look-in

Does Boris Johnson have a problem with women? The Conservative campaign has certainly been very male: Matt Hancock and Michael Gove the most prominent voices besides the prime minister. Liz Truss ranking 65th among media presence of cabinet and shadow cabinet ministers, with a mere 0.2% of appearances.

In the interests of fair-mindedness, it should be pointed out that all female Conservatives who are halfway decent – in the sense of stringing effective sentences together that aren’t composed mainly of lies – have left the party. Amber Rudd, Anna Soubry, Nicky Morgan, Justine Greening, all supposedly the faces of the new, caring Cameroonianism, all gone. You could say that to lose a couple was natural wastage, but to lose them all signals that the party had taken a masculinist turn that its female futures couldn’t support. You could say that if the prime minister had any serious commitment to gender diversity, he would have worked harder to keep them, maybe even to the point of brooking some ideological compromises. What you can’t say is that he has a rich pool of female talent in his cabinet to draw from that he’s ignoring. I cannot call it misogyny to keep Priti “52 extra murders a year under Jeremy Corbyn” Patel out of the dead centre of the limelight. The longer she speaks, the greater the risk of her doing a Jacob Rees-Mogg.

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December 12th 2019, 6:50 am

What can we learn from a vagina museum?

Women | The Guardian

From 12th-century carvings to 90s coy euphemisms, women and their sexual organs have been on a journey, and a new space invites further contemplation. Like: who would wear a pussy pendant?

‘There’s nothing wrong with that word: it’s not a dirty word.” Sarah Creed, curator at the Vagina Museum in Camden Market, north London, is ending a story about a gynaecologist friend whose child at nursery was told it was inappropriate to say “vagina”. Obviously I know there is nothing wrong with it. But would I wear a pussy pendant, by the Dutch artist Denise Rosenboom, which are apparently flying off the shelves? Would I have Sam Dawood’s period sculpture in my house? (I can see that this is quite a philistine criterion for appreciating art). Or a model of the vulva, identifying all the parts?

A lot of myths are busted in the opening exhibition, titled Muff Busters, at this new museum: what we tend to call the vagina is actually the vulva, for example. There is only one word that describes the whole kit and it was appropriated some centuries ago as an expletive. Discharge is not effluent, it is a sign of self-cleaning. The hymen is not like a wall that you punch through. Most moderately competent feminist adults will know all this, plus, you know, Google. Which is not to say that it doesn’t need saying; rather, that there is something deeper going on here than the correction of an information deficit.

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December 12th 2019, 6:06 am

The Women’s Equality party has taken on abuse in Westminster – and won | Mandu Reid

Women | The Guardian

The party I lead has proved that politicians have a mandate to do right by women. It’s up to all of us to hold them to that

As people go to the ballot box today in one of the most important UK elections in recent history, you might expect the leader of a political party to be obsessively checking the polls. I am not doing that. That’s because I am in a unique position – as the leader of the Women’s Equality party, I can proudly say that we have already won.

That’s not to say that we are happy with predictions about the overall outcome of the election, or the toxicity and polarisation that has infected our politics. Nor have we won in terms of seats; although we are still running three amazing candidates and hope they do well, for us this election has never been simply about vote share. We have won because we campaigned with the aim of moving the issue of violence against women and girls up the political agenda – and we have succeeded in making every other party take notice.

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December 12th 2019, 4:48 am

Hannah Dines on going public with her labia surgery: ‘It started a big conversation’

Women | The Guardian

The Paralympic cyclist wrote about the damage the sport had caused her. The article caused an outcry, others with similar experiences contacted her – and manufacturers finally began designing saddles for women

The day after I wrote in the Guardian about how my life as a female cyclist, and Paralympian, led to me having reconstructive surgery of my vulva – all because saddles are not designed for women – a book arrived in the post. It was The Vagina Bible by Dr Jen Gunter. It was a gift from my mum, who had read the searing details about my labial surgery. She has always had a good sense of humour.

The response from other people was overwhelming. That is the thing when you share – people share back. When the first professional cyclist contacted me to tell me she had gone through the same thing, the relief was so profound that I cried. I can now say with certainty that there are other people like me who, due to the wrong kind of pressure, experienced a cycle of chronic inflammation and swelling. These are people for whom cycling is as necessary to life as breathing and they face an impossible dilemma.

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December 11th 2019, 1:32 am

Pro-choice activists launch abortion initiative in Poland

Women | The Guardian

Abortion Without Borders to offer women advice and funds to seek treatment abroad

An international group of pro-choice campaigners will launch an initiative in Poland this week to provide advice and funding for women to travel abroad to have abortions.

Poland has some of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws, and proposals backed by the rightwing government to introduce a total ban on abortions in 2016 were scrapped only after large-scale protests.

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December 10th 2019, 9:34 am

Phoebe Waller-Bridge: I was not hired for Bond because of my gender

Women | The Guardian

Fleabag creator says she was never told 007 script role was to help with female characters

Phoebe Waller-Bridge will be only the second woman ever credited on a Bond movie script but she has insisted gender was not the reason she was hired.

The Fleabag creator said it was “mad” and “exciting” to work on No Time to Die, in which Daniel Craig will play 007 for the final time. But there was never a conversation about her being there to help with the film’s female characters.

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December 9th 2019, 8:42 am

'Now I have to check your hymen': the shocking persistence of virginity tests

Women | The Guardian

In the US, it is still perfectly legal to doctors to perform ‘hymen checks’ as proof of virginity

Michelle Northcote doesn’t remember her paediatrician’s face, but she does remember the ceiling in his office. It was covered with large tiles probably made of foam or cork-board. Each tile was large and rectangular, an off-white color flecked with grey.

From the age of six to 13, Northcote spent a long time staring at it. Once a year, for the longest two minutes in history, she would force herself to concentrate on those tiles right after her doctor repeated the familiar phrase:

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December 9th 2019, 5:06 am

Police files on Queen Victoria's suffragette goddaughter to go on display

Women | The Guardian

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was deemed a danger to the state and heavily surveilled

She loved parties, dogs and, as Queen Victoria’s goddaughter who lived in a grace and favour royal apartment, she was fabulously well connected.

But Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was also a suffragette and therefore marked down as a danger to the state.

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December 9th 2019, 1:13 am

How to look after your vulva

Women | The Guardian

Forget soap, shower gel and douching. And absolutely never steam

When it comes to putting anything near the vulva, as natural as possible is best. This means no soaps, shower gels or feminine washes – essentially any product that foams, because they can dry the skin, get rid of the good bacteria and increase the likelihood of developing bacterial vaginosis (BV) and thrush.

The vagina itself is self-cleaning, so all you need to do is clean it with water or an emollient. You can also apply an emulsifying ointment or olive or coconut oil – not inside – to act as a moisturiser. When we wash, anything we’re using elsewhere on the body such as shower gel and shampoo tends to run down between the legs, so having an oil over the vagina reduces the risk of an allergic reaction or irritation. Just rinse it off at the end. Douching is an absolute no-no as it removes lactobacilli, which are there to prevent infections. And absolutely never steam.

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December 8th 2019, 11:17 am

Record number of over-45s giving birth in England

Women | The Guardian

More than 2,000 women in this age group had babies last year, ONS figures show

The number of women aged 45 and over giving birth is at the highest level since records began 80 years ago, figures show.

The number of live births in this age group rose from 1,619 a decade ago to 2,366 in 2018. In 1938, when records began, there were 2,085 births to women over 45, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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December 6th 2019, 1:01 pm

Chilean anti-rape anthem becomes international feminist phenomenon

Women | The Guardian

A Chilean protest song about rape culture and victim shaming has become a viral anthem for feminists around the world.

Related: Chile security forces' crackdown leaves toll of death and broken bodies

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December 6th 2019, 3:09 am

Labour's Jon Ashworth pulls out of Question Time over all-male panel

Women | The Guardian

Shadow health secretary steps aside in favour of Oxford East candidate Anneliese Dodds

Labour’s Jon Ashworth has pulled out of the final pre-election episode of BBC Question Time, after the programme was criticised for featuring an all-male panel.

The shadow health secretary said he had “no idea” it was an all-male line-up when he agreed take part in the programme, so has agreed to step aside in favour of the Oxford East Labour candidate Anneliese Dodds.

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December 5th 2019, 12:20 pm

Amy Dunne on her lonely, harrowing abortion fight: 'I was told I would be done for murder'

Women | The Guardian

At 17, Dunne was pregnant with a baby who had a fatal abnormality. She was given a pseudonym and became the focus of a landmark Irish legal case – but now she is reclaiming her story

The week Amy Dunne turned 17, she was several months pregnant and made two discoveries – one devastating and the other incomprehensible. A hospital scan showed something badly wrong in her womb. The foetus had anencephaly, a fatal abnormality. Doctors said the baby, a girl, would die soon after birth.

Although she was living in foster care and still a child herself, Dunne had looked forward to becoming a mother and building a new life with her boyfriend. Distraught, she shared the news with her social workers and said she needed to travel to Britain from Ireland for an abortion. That’s when Dunne discovered something badly wrong in her country.

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December 5th 2019, 1:22 am

Boris Johnson claimed children of working mothers 'more likely to mug you'

Women | The Guardian

Exclusive: PM made comments about low-income families in 2006 collection of essays

Boris Johnson made claims that children of working mothers in low-income families were “unloved and undisciplined” and more likely to “mug you on the street corner”, it has emerged.

In a 2006 collection of journalism, entitled Have I Got Views for You, Johnson bemoaned the increasing tendency of women to work, saying they had been “socially gestapoed into the workplace”.

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December 4th 2019, 9:44 am

TikTok's soft girls: could a hyper-cute aesthetic be a symbol of empowerment?

Women | The Guardian

The soft girl’s vision of femininity can be seen as retrograde – but there’s more going on than simply blush and Bambi eyes

Everyone knows the familiar high-school subcultures – the populars, rebels and artsy weirdos who comprise the basic foundation of teen archetypes.

Now new subcultural types distinctive enough to be intelligible to adults have emerged, in large part via trend superconductor TikTok. You can read about VSCO girls (beachy and eco-conscious and inconspicuously rich) and e-girls (emo types who are very online) in publications such as the New York Times and the Columbia Journalism Review.

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December 4th 2019, 8:44 am

Peloton faces backlash over 'sexist, dystopian' exercise bike advert

Women | The Guardian

In ad man buys his partner an exercise bike for Christmas and she vlogs her grateful thanks

The exercise bike company Peloton has been widely criticised for a Christmas advert described as “sexist” and “dystopian” by social media users.

In the advert, a woman is seen receiving the gift of an exercise bike from her partner. There follows a series of vlog-style clips of her filming herself on the bike. In the course of it, she says: “Five days in a row, are you surprised? I am!” and: “A year ago I didn’t realise how much this would change me.”

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December 4th 2019, 7:45 am

Unnecessary appendix surgery 'performed on thousands in UK'

Women | The Guardian

Third of women who enter theatre end up having normal appendix removed, study finds

Thousands of people in the UK, particularly young women, are having their appendices removed unnecessarily because of inadequacies in the way appendicitis is diagnosed, surgeons say.

A study has found that almost a third of women and 12% of men in the UK who undergo surgery for suspected appendicitis end up having a normal appendix removed.

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December 4th 2019, 12:24 am

I'm 50 and disillusioned about love. How should I be in my next relationship? | Leading questions

Women | The Guardian

Changing the things you love about yourself to avoid being alone seems like a trade off, writes Eleanor Gordon-Smith, but its really a trade off between two ways of being alone

I am an energetic, capable, intelligent woman of 50. I earn a good salary, I am good at DIY and all other household chores. I am loving, caring and supportive with a good sense of humour. However, I have had a 20-year marriage and an eight-year relationship both end. Men (or at least the ones I choose) say they love independent women, but all they really seem to mean is they love women who will support them. How should I be in my next relationship? Should I pretend to be a pathetic helpless female who needs a man to save her? I am so disillusioned, I wonder what I am doing wrong.

There’s a Japanese folk story about a crane who tricks a man into marrying her by pretending to be a woman. She knows that her beloved won’t want her if he discovers she’s a bird, so at night she stays awake and tears out her feathers with her beak. CJ Hauser wrote a beautiful memoir recently that called on the story: “To keep becoming a woman is so much self-erasing work.”

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December 3rd 2019, 9:20 pm

Time's Up says NBC has pattern of punishing women after firing of Gabrielle Union

Women | The Guardian

Time’s Up chief executive says NBC punished the America’s Got Talent judge for speaking out about inappropriate behavior

The advocacy group Time’s Up has accused NBCUniversal of protecting powerful men and punishing women who speak out, following the departure of Gabrielle Union as a judge on the variety show America’s Got Talent.

Union, an actor, was reportedly fired from the show last month after experiencing what was described as racially insensitive situations and, along with fellow judge Julianne Hough, being subjected to “excessive notes” on their physical appearance.

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December 3rd 2019, 10:42 am

Daughters of women with PCOS face five times greater risk

Women | The Guardian

Polycystic ovary syndrome is believed to affect about one in five women of reproductive age

Daughters of women with polycystic ovary syndrome, a common disorder that can cause excessive body hair, acne and fertility problems, are five times more likely than the average woman to develop the condition, a major study has found.

Researchers in Sweden examined the medical histories of nearly 30,000 women and their mothers. The records from national registries showed that 3.4% of women born to mothers with PCOS were later diagnosed themselves, compared with only 0.6% of women whose mothers did not have the condition.

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December 2nd 2019, 11:25 am

'We've been robbed': how women hit by rise in pension age intend to vote

Women | The Guardian

Some lifelong Conservative supporters are abandoning the party and voting Labour

Almost 4 million women born in the 1950s, whose retirement age was increased from 60 to 66, have been weighing their voting intentions since Labour announced a £58bn compensation plan to pay back the “historic debt of honour”.

Jeremy Corbyn has said affected women could receive up to £31,300 in compensation, depending on their age. Boris Johnson, who previously pledged to consider the impact of the policy, now says he “cannot promise I can magic up that money”. The Liberal Democrats have committed to providing some compensation but offered no detailed plan or costings.

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December 2nd 2019, 11:13 am

One-stop shops needed for women's health services

Women | The Guardian

Women often required to visit multiple clinics for routine procedures, says report

One-stop shops should open in the high street, where women can go to get contraception, screening services, menopause advice and help with other health needs, while the morning-after pill should be sold off the shelf without consultation, say leading UK experts.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which has been working on a blueprint for women’s health services for more than a year in conjunction with other groups and government, says services for women need to be completely overhauled to give them far more control over their health.

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December 1st 2019, 7:15 pm

Sudan dissolves ex-ruling party and repeals public order law

Women | The Guardian

Transitional authorities pass key demands of protest movement that toppled Bashir

Sudan’s transitional authorities have approved a law to dissolve the former ruling party and repealed a public order law used to regulate women’s behaviour under the rule of the former president Omar al-Bashir.

The two measures were in response to key demands by a protest movement that helped overthrow Bashir in April.

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November 29th 2019, 5:08 am

Bill orders doctors to ‘reimplant ectopic pregnancy’ or face 'abortion murder' charges

Women | The Guardian

Ohio introduces one of the most extreme bills to date for a procedure that does not exist in medical science

A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus, or face charges of “abortion murder”.

A procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy does not exist in medical science, and this is the second time practicing obstetricians and gynecologists have tried to tell the Ohio legislators that the idea is currently medically impossible.

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November 29th 2019, 3:37 am

Theresa May unveils statue of pioneering MP Nancy Astor

Women | The Guardian

Former PM pays tribute on Plymouth Hoe to first woman to take up seat in Commons

A bronze statue of Nancy Astor, the first woman MP to take up a seat in parliament, has been installed in Plymouth exactly a century after she was elected to represent the Devon city.

Theresa May unveiled the memorial, paid for through a crowdfunding campaign, on Plymouth Hoe outside Astor’s former home, watched by hundreds of schoolchildren and students.

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November 28th 2019, 11:55 am

US abortion rate lowest in last nine years, new data shows

Women | The Guardian

CDC examined abortion rate from 2007 to 2016 and found abortions dropped 26% over the period of the study

Fewer women in the US are having abortions than in any time in the last nine years, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC collects data on abortions by contacting the central health agency for 48 states. The study excludes California, one of the most populous states in the nation. This study examined the abortion rate from 2007 to 2016.

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November 27th 2019, 1:25 pm

TRNSMT festival boss: 50-50 gender balance is 'a while' away

Women | The Guardian

Geoff Ellis blames a dearth of female acts for the lack of women on the Scottish festival’s initial 2020 lineup

The director of Scotland’s TRNSMT festival has said “it will be a while” until there is a 50-50 gender balance on festival bills “because there’s far, far less female artists”.

Lewis Capaldi and Liam Gallagher will headline the festival in 2020. Of the 13 acts announced so far, only two are women, pop star Rita Ora and rapper Little Simz.

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November 27th 2019, 6:04 am

Woman trying to visit Indian temple attacked with chilli spray

Women | The Guardian

Police ‘looked on and watched’ during assault as activists tried to enforce right to visit shrine

Female activists in India were violently attacked by protesters and stopped by police as they attempted to make a pilgrimage to a Hindu temple which was controversially ordered to open its doors to women.

A group of seven women, led by the gender equality activist Trupti Desai, arrived at Cochin airport in the early hours of Tuesday to exercise their right to visit the holy Sabarimala temple, in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

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November 26th 2019, 9:14 am

Spain's far-right Vox blocks violence against women declaration

Women | The Guardian

Vox refusal to sign joint all-party statement outrages civil rights groups and embarrasses allies

Spain’s far-right Vox party has refused to sign an all-party declaration condemning violence against women, drawing outrage from civil rights groups and embarrassing its allies in the conservative People’s party.

Vox’s refusal to sign the declaration by Madrid city council on Monday meant that for the first time since a landmark 2004 law on gender violence, local authorities in the Spanish capital were unable to issue a joint all-party statement.

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November 25th 2019, 2:30 pm

French PM on back foot over domestic violence amid fury over inaction

Women | The Guardian

Critics say government response is not enough and shows indifference to victims

The French government has announced a series of measures aimed at tackling domestic violence as anger grows over inaction and indifference to victims.

At least 137 women have been killed in incidents of domestic violence so far this year and protesters took to the streets at the weekend to demonstrate against the authorities’ response.

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November 25th 2019, 9:58 am

Black babies die at twice the rate of white babies in the US. One woman wants to change that

Women | The Guardian

Christin Farmer is on a mission to address the shocking racial disparity in infant mortality in America. Farmer is one of the inspirational grassroots organisers that are transforming the lives of people in one of America’s most segregated cities

Rachel is a college-educated professional pianist who lives in a middle-class leafy Cleveland suburb with her husband and their baby boy.

The 34-year-old is fit and healthy with good medical insurance and a close-knit family network, but these socio-economic advantages were not sufficient insurance to insulate her from the racial disparities that characterise America’s infant and maternal mortality rates: African American babies are twice as likely to die before reaching their first birthday than white babies, regardless of the mother’s income or education level.

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November 25th 2019, 5:13 am

Gender health gap: Australian medical research ignoring drugs’ side effects in women

Women | The Guardian

Clinical trials often failing to report results for sex and gender, despite the fact many drugs cause adverse effects in women

Women are being ignored in medical trials and reports, according to a report which calls for more Australian medical research to include gender-specific data.

Failing to account for the different effects a drug may have on men and women compromises quality of care for women, according to the report published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday.

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November 24th 2019, 7:19 pm

'Life should mean life': Italian activists call for tougher femicide laws

Women | The Guardian

Swift judicial processes and more funding for shelters are badly needed, say campaigners

Sara Di Pietrantonio was 22 when she was strangled and burned to death by an ex-boyfriend who couldn’t accept the relationship was over. Her smouldering body was found at the side of a road on the outskirts of Rome by her mother, Concetta Raccuia. The police officer leading the case said Pietrantonio’s murder in June 2016 was the most heinous crime he had ever seen. Four months later, Stefania Formicola, 28, was shot dead in Naples by the husband she was trying to leave. Her two sons are being cared for by their grandmother, Adriana Formicola.

As more than 10,000 people marched in Rome on Saturday to mark the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Raccuia and Formicola shared their stories with the Guardian. More than three years have passed since their daughters were murdered but Italy is still struggling to protect women from violent men. Official figures released last week showed 142 women were murdered in 2018, up from 123 in 2017. Of that number, 119 were killed by their husband, boyfriend or former partner. In more than 30% of the cases, the perpetrators described themselves as jealous and possessive.

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November 24th 2019, 9:25 am

Pushed to the limit: six birth stories from around the world

Women | The Guardian

From pop songs to warm pools, Candice Pires hears six very different accounts of women’s experience in labour

My mum fainted with excitement the day I gave birth. I came home from hospital to find her and my dad waiting outside our flat and, as I got out of the car and they embraced me, she collapsed into our group hug. That’s the story most of my friends and family know about my birth experience. It’s sweet, it’s censored, it deflects from the stitches, the rollercoaster emotions, the stuff that’s harder for everyone to say or to hear. Our birth stories get lost when our newborns are put into our arms. There’s no time to look back as we hurtle headfirst into caregiving. But birth is a miracle, right? Another person grows inside you and then gets out of your body and lives its own life. It is objectively, painfully, hilariously awe-inspiring. As traumatic as it is hopeful. And interesting, too. So why don’t we make more room to talk about it? And why is discussion of the topic generally confined to women who are about to give birth or have recently done so? As part of an ongoing project, I spoke to women around the world to hear different stories that were also in many ways universal. Here are six of them…

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November 24th 2019, 6:53 am

I live as a feminist, but I’m tired of being so furious all the time | Dear Mariella

Women | The Guardian

Raging is easy but is neither good for your sanity, nor the best way to effect change, says Mariella Frostrup

The dilemma Ever since I made the conscious decision to live my life fully as a feminist, it has been fraught with conflict and stress. I’m determined to make a mental note of any discrimination against my gender, to open my eyes and stop editing out instances – on the television, internet, radio and day-to-day life – of women being treated differently to men. I’ve also stopped putting a man’s psychological comfort ahead of my own – at work, in the street, in a queue, at home, in the pub, everywhere. My conflict and stress don’t originate in interactions or arguments with others, but from the mental effort of attempting not to live in a dreamlike state, ignoring evidence everywhere, all the time. What advice do you have so that I can manage the fury of being downgraded daily because I’m female, and at the same time endure women being ridiculed, ignored or simply laughed at by men who just dismiss it as an angry made-up “female” thing?

Mariella replies There’s a challenge! You vividly conjure up the reality of the path you’ve chosen, alert to every slight and misdemeanour and gloves on ready to battle back rather than simply let the buggers get away with it. Believe it or not, despite experiencing the slow, simmering rage brewed up by simply existing in the face of so much obvious injustice, you’ve taken the easiest path. Assuaging male egos and entering into negotiation is a more time-consuming business than being woke to the #everydaysexism that weaves itself into our lives like a jellyfish tentacle, barely perceptible but no less painful when we brush into it.

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November 24th 2019, 1:03 am

Labour pledges £58bn for women caught in pension trap

Women | The Guardian

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell says party ‘owes debt of honour’ to 3 million over changes in retirement age

More than 3 million women who believe they have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket after steep increases to the state pension age are being promised compensation by Labour as part of a £58bn scheme designed to end a “historic injustice”.

Related: ‘The Tories stole my state pension when I was 60, now I want it back’

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November 23rd 2019, 5:41 pm

‘The Tories stole my state pension when I was 60, now I want it back’

Women | The Guardian

Thousands of women have had their pension age raised from 60 to 65. Now Labour is making a £58bn pledge to compensate them

Ten years ago Catherine Williams made a big decision: in order to spend more time with her family, she would reduce her hours as a nurse and take a pay cut at the age of 55. The move was based on the assumption that she would be entitled to her state pension at 60. “I did fewer hours and voluntarily went down to a staff nurse level,” said Williams, from Barrow-in-Furness. “Unfortunately, I shouldn’t have really done that. At 62, I just couldn’t do it any longer. I was expected to do 13-hour shifts, work nights. So I left work without my state pension.”

Related: Labour pledges £58bn for women caught in pension trap

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November 23rd 2019, 5:41 pm

'France's shame': thousands protest against gender violence

Women | The Guardian

More than 100 women in France have been killed by a current or former partner this year

Several thousand people marched in France on Saturday to protest against alarming levels of deadly domestic violence against women, which the president, Emmanuel Macron, has called “France’s shame”.

The biggest rallies were in Paris. The streets of the capital became a sea of purple and white as thousands marched carrying banners, placards and flags calling for an end to femicide.

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November 23rd 2019, 2:38 pm

Anti-abortion group ‘joins with Christian organisation’ to attack pregnant Labour candidate

Women | The Guardian

Stella Creasy say members of Muslim community are being sent leaflets in a bid to sway vote in her Walthamstow constituency

An anti-abortion group under investigation by the police has been accused of trying to interfere in the general election by working with a religious organisation to target a prominent Labour MP.

The Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) distributed fresh leaflets on Friday in an apparent attempt to turn the Muslim community in the London constituency of Walthamstow against its pro-choice MP Stella Creasy.

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November 23rd 2019, 12:21 pm

Concern over use of ‘rough sex gone wrong’ defence in UK courts

Women | The Guardian

Lawyers and women’s groups demand action as researchers find tenfold increase in usage

Senior lawyers and women’s organisations have condemned the increasing use of “rough sex gone wrong” as a courtroom defence to the murder of women and called for a change to the law in the UK.

In the wake of the conviction of British backpacker Grace Millane’s killer in New Zealand, researchers have revealed a tenfold rise over the past two decades in the number of times similar claims have been made in UK courts.

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November 22nd 2019, 2:35 pm

Pregnant in prison: 'I could feel the blood but didn’t put the light on to see'

Women | The Guardian

Polly cried for help when she began bleeding heavily in her cell, but no one answered

Polly was alone in her cell at night when she started bleeding heavily. Doubled over in pain, she rang her bell over and over again, but nobody answered her cries for help. She was four months’ pregnant and terrified she would lose her baby while locked in a cell.

“I tried to sit it out in my cell, all night nearly,” she says. “I got no sleep at all, the pain was awful and I knew without looking the bleeding was worse, I could feel it but I didn’t put the light on to see. I was terrified, I thought: ‘I’m going to lose this baby here in this bloody cell.’

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November 22nd 2019, 11:05 am

HMP Bronzefield baby death casts light on string of incidents

Women | The Guardian

At least four prisoners have given birth in potentially unsafe circumstances since 2017

The death of a newborn baby girl in a cell at HMP Bronzefield in September came after a string of concerning incidents involving pregnant women at the prison in the past two years, the Guardian has learned.

On at least four occasions in this period, women held at the privately run Surrey prison have given birth in distressing and potentially unsafe circumstances, including one woman who gave birth in her cell and another who was left in labour at night-time supported only by another pregnant prisoner.

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November 22nd 2019, 11:05 am

Latina women will finally earn the same as white men – in 2224

Women | The Guardian

Latina women in the US get paid 53 cents to a white man’s dollar. On current trends it’ll be a very long time before there’s equality

Yesterday, nearly 23 months after the start of 2018, the average Latina woman in the US finally earned what a white man earned in a year.

That’s because Latina women were paid barely half of what a white man was in 2017 – earning 53 cents to every white man’s dollar. That pay gap has also widened at an alarming rate: in 2016, Latina women were paid 67 cents to every white man’s dollar.

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November 21st 2019, 4:21 pm

‘I’m not going to be bullied into silence.’ The women defying abuse to stand as MPs

Women | The Guardian

There has been a well publicised exodus of senior female MPs, yet more women than ever are standing in this election. They explain why

Tucked away in the office of Labour candidate Natalie Fleet is a pop-up wendy house, meant to keep the children of campaign volunteers happy. But on the morning I visit, nobody can play there. In the middle of the night, someone smashed in the windows of her campaign headquarters in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, showering everything in broken glass. Now the office is out of bounds for volunteers until it can be made safe.

“It’s deliberate, it’s targeted and it’s not very nice; and, unfortunately, in this climate it’s also predictable,” sighs Fleet, sipping a mug of tea amid the wreckage. Yet the prospective Labour MP for Ashfield is still out daily knocking on doors for Labour because for her, the prospect of her home town – which voted heavily for Brexit and where the anger at the failure to deliver it is palpable – turning Tory is both unimaginable and a real possibility.

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November 21st 2019, 6:24 am

Australian women win landmark vaginal mesh class action against Johnson & Johnson

Women | The Guardian

The case was launched on behalf of 700 women who had pelvic mesh and tape products implanted to treat common complications of childbirth

Hundreds of women left in debilitating pain by faulty transvaginal mesh devices have won a landmark case against multinational giant Johnson & Johnson.

The Australian class action against companies owned by Johnson & Johnson – watched closely across the world – was launched on behalf of 1,350 women who had mesh and tape products implanted to treat pelvic prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, both common complications of childbirth.

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November 20th 2019, 9:03 pm

Induction recommended for women still pregnant at 41 weeks

Women | The Guardian

Swedish study shows that induction of labour at or beyond term gestation is safer for babies

Inducing birth for women whose pregnancy lasts to 41 weeks could reduce the death toll from stillbirths, say experts, following publication of the results of an important trial in which six babies died after spending longer in the womb.

The results of the trial in Sweden, revealed last month in the Guardian, may change practice around the world. They confirm what experience and smaller studies have suggested – that there is a small increased risk of stillbirth for babies after 41 weeks’ gestation. The trial was stopped early after five babies of women who were more than 41 weeks’ pregnant were stillborn and one died shortly after birth.

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November 20th 2019, 6:46 pm

Stuck for ideas on the lesbian tourist trail? Welcome to Halifax!

Women | The Guardian

Yorkshire town rivals Lesbos as popular destination thanks to TV series Gentleman Jack

The Greek island of Lesbos has long been a magnet for gay women, attracted by the poetry of Sappho, literature’s most famous lesbian, who wrote an ode to the goddess Aphrodite in the 7th century BC.

Now Lesbos has a rival on the sapphic tourism circuit. Halifax in Yorkshire is rapidly becoming a popular destination for lesbians thanks to the BBC/HBO series, Gentleman Jack.

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November 19th 2019, 1:12 pm

Ego trip: why are some male runners so threatened by a speedy woman?

Women | The Guardian

Being overtaken by a woman seems to get under some men’s skin, as elite athlete Lily Partridge pointed out last week. But the intimidation tactics need to stop

At this time of year, many women stop running in the dark. The same quiet roads that are great for training are precisely those that can make you feel vulnerable. Attacks, fortunately, are rare – but intimidation is not.

I don’t know a single female runner who hasn’t been heckled or mocked while out pounding the streets. And, yes, always by men. But there is something else you also occasionally see, too: male runners reminding you of their power.

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November 19th 2019, 2:29 am

More fathers are taking paternity leave, but mothers are still doing all the work

Women | The Guardian

A survey found 62% of fathers took time off for their newborn, but women saw a greater damage to future job prospects

Attitudes towards paternity leave have drastically changed in America in the last five years as more fathers feel comfortable taking extended time off, but gender stereotypes persist when it comes to career prospects and the home, according to a new study of working parents.

Research by the Boston College Center for Work & Family, which surveyed new parents at four large US companies who were eligible for at least 6 weeks paid parental leave, found that 81% of the 1,240 employees surveyed said the notion of fathers taking leave has become more acceptable.

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November 18th 2019, 4:19 am

Watford FC’s loos are top of the league | Brief letters

Women | The Guardian

Women’s toilets | Hangover cures | Narrow boat offer | The Queen

Great to see the call to architects and planners for potty parity (The queue for the ladies’ loo is a feminist issue, Journal, 14 November). Maybe we can also ask them to situate the pan off centre in each of the ladies’ cubicles, so the user’s thigh doesn’t have to have such a close relationship with the sanitary bin.
Alison Whitehouse
East Barnet, London

• One place where I gleefully skip past a very long line of men queueing for the loo in the knowledge that my own wait will be considerably shorter is at Watford FC. The women’s loos there are spotlessly clean, provide free sanitary products, and, most intriguingly, no mirrors! They’re top of the league in my books.
Liz O’Connell
St Albans, Hertfordshire

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November 15th 2019, 12:30 pm

Young women and older men lead Oscars gender equality

Women | The Guardian

Exclusive: Analysis of this year’s awards contenders reveals three youngest best actor hopefuls have never made a film with a female director

Striking contrasts in the choices of male and female awards contenders – and their potential impact on gender parity in Hollywood – have been uncovered by the Guardian.

The three youngest men likely to be in the race for next year’s best actor Oscar have never worked on a film directed by a woman, while the category frontrunner, Joaquin Phoenix, has worked with a female director only once during his 34-film career.

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November 15th 2019, 11:01 am

World's first vagina museum to open in London

Women | The Guardian

Muff Busters exhibition begins in Camden in hope of tackling myths on ‘taboo’ body parts

In a bright indoor space in Camden’s Stables Market, a giant tampon is flanked by giant menstrual cups. Illustrations of female genitalia are dotted around the walls and some underwear is in a glass case.

This is the world’s first vagina museum dedicated to gynaecological anatomy, which opens this weekend in north-west London.

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November 15th 2019, 7:46 am

Suffragist outrage: Winston Churchill struck with a dog whip - archive, 15, November 1909

Women | The Guardian

15 November 1909: Suffragist attacks the President of the Board of Trade at Bristol railway station, cutting his face with a lash

Mr Winston Churchill was the victim of a disgraceful outrage by a militant suffragist at Bristol on Saturday, when a woman, said to be Miss Theresa Garnett, of Leeds, broke through a cordon of police on the railway station platform and struck Mr Churchill with a dog-whip. She aimed the first blow at his head, the lash cutting his face. Mr Churchill seized her and was able to secure the whip after a struggle. The police then took the woman into custody.

Related: From the archive: Another scene at the Commons

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November 15th 2019, 12:58 am

Missouri took ‘extreme actions’ to limit reproductive rights, House panel hears

Women | The Guardian

Tracking patients’ periods and medically unnecessary pelvic exams amount to ‘state-sponsored abuse’, says congresswoman

Missouri health officials’ efforts to shut down the last abortion clinic within state borders are “a denial of basic healthcare services”, the New York congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said at a House oversight committee hearing on Thursday.

Missouri took “extreme actions” to limit reproductive rights, the panel heard. Tactics included tracking patients’ periods and medically unnecessary pelvic exams, amounting to “state-sponsored abuse”, Maloney said.

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November 14th 2019, 4:33 pm

Who's the daddy? Paternity mixed up in cities, study finds

Women | The Guardian

Illegitimacy more likely among urban poor in 19th-century, say geneticists, who warn of shocks from home DNA tests

The Romans had a phrase that summed it up nicely: mater semper certa est, pater semper incertus est. The mother is always certain, the father is always uncertain.

Now, researchers have found that some people have more reason to doubt their fathers than others, or at least have had over the past half millennium.

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November 14th 2019, 12:27 pm

US will not support abortion even in cases of rape, says senior official

Women | The Guardian

Campaigners urge global action on reproductive rights as US comments embolden anti-choice groups at Nairobi summit

The US would not support abortion when a woman or girl has been raped and family planning programmes should offer alternatives to terminations, a senior policy adviser has told a conference in Nairobi.

In a statement that has emboldened anti-choice groups in the city, Valerie Huber, the US special representative for global women’s health, told a summit on population and development that her country sought to combat gender-based violence by investing in programmes that respected the rights of women and girls, but didn’t compromise “the inherent value of every human life – born and unborn”.

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November 14th 2019, 8:43 am

Joana Choumali wins 2019 Prix Prictet photography prize

Women | The Guardian

Artist becomes first African to win the prestigious prize, for embroidered pictures created following terrorist attack

See a photo essay of the Prix Pictet 2019 shortlist

Joana Choumali, a 45-year-old photographer from Ivory Coast, has become the first African artist to win the Prix Pictet. The announcement was made this evening in a ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for the opening of an exhibition of the 12 shortlisted artists.

The theme of the eighth Prix Pictet, a global award for photography and sustainability, was Hope. The jury, which included last year’s winner, Richard Mosse, praised Choumali’s “brilliantly original meditation on the ability of the human spirit to wrest hope and resilience from even the most traumatic events”.

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November 13th 2019, 3:12 pm

The female problem: how male bias in medical trials ruined women's health

Women | The Guardian

Centuries of female exclusion has meant women’s diseases are often missed, misdiagnosed or remain a total mystery

From the earliest days of medicine, women have been considered inferior versions of men. In On the Generation of Animals, the Greek philosopher Aristotle characterised a female as a mutilated male, and this belief has persisted in western medical culture.

“For much of documented history, women have been excluded from medical and science knowledge production, so essentially we’ve ended up with a healthcare system, among other things in society, that has been made by men for men,” Dr Kate Young, a public health researcher at Monash University in Australia, tells me.

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November 13th 2019, 12:28 pm
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