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‘Many girls have been cut’: how global school closures left children at risk

Women | The Guardian

Covid-19 lockdown made children vulnerable to abuses including FGM and child marriage say NGOs, as schools in England prepare to reopen

Covid-19 school closures have exposed children around the world to human rights abuses such as forced genital mutilation, early marriage and sexual violence, child protection experts say.

Globally, the World Bank estimates that 1.6 billion children were locked out of education by Covid-19. As schools in England and around the world prepare to reopen this week, NGOs warn that millions of the world’s most vulnerable children may never return to the classroom, and say that after decades fighting for girls’ education the pandemic could cause gender equality in education to be set back decades.

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June 1st 2020, 3:27 am

Covid-19 crisis could set women back decades, experts fear

Women | The Guardian

Concerns 50 years of progress could be put into reverse unless government intervenes

The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating effect on gender equality and could set women back decades, experts have said on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. 

In a week during which it was revealed that women are bearing the brunt of extra childcare and housework and are losing jobs in greater numbers than men, campaigners, politicians and work experts said a dearth of female voices at the heart of government also risks putting 50 years of progress into reverse. 

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May 29th 2020, 2:36 am

'We are losers in this crisis': research finds lockdowns reinforcing gender inequality

Women | The Guardian

Campaign groups warn women across Europe risk being pushed back into traditional roles

Life during the coronavirus lockdown has reinforced gender inequality across Europe with research emphasising that the economic and social consequences of the crisis are far greater for women and threaten to push them back into traditional roles in the home which they will struggle to shake off once it is over.

Throughout the continent, campaign groups are warning that the burdens of the home office and home schooling together with additional household duties and extra cooking, has been unequally carried by women and that improvements made in their lives by the growth in equality over the past decades are in danger of being rolled back by the health crisis.

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May 29th 2020, 12:19 am

Argentina's abortion campaign launches virtual events to revitalise movement

Women | The Guardian

Activists seemed on the brink of victory when they were stalled by the pandemic and a historic bill wasn’t formally introduced

Feminists in Argentina like to say: “la lucha está en la calle” — the battle is in the streets.  But with the country under a strict coronavirus lockdown, the women’s movement can no longer flood the streets.

So on Thursday, activists have planned a series of virtual events to mark 15 years of their campaign to legalize abortion – and inject new momentum into a campaign which was stalled by the pandemic, just as it seemed on the brink of victory.

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May 28th 2020, 12:44 pm

MPs bring bill to ban late abortions for cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot

Women | The Guardian

Cross-party group proposes ending UK abortions after 24 weeks for minor disabilities

Abortion laws in Britain could be changed under cross-party proposals to ban late terminations on the grounds of minor physical abnormalities.

The abortion (cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot) bill, led by the Conservative MP Fiona Bruce and supported by 13 MPs, will be presented in parliament on 3 June.

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May 28th 2020, 11:58 am

Working mothers interrupted more often than fathers in lockdown – study

Women | The Guardian

Mothers are more likely to have lost jobs and are doing more childcare and housework

Working mothers have been able to do only one hour of uninterrupted paid work for every three hours done by men during lockdown, according to a study that exposes the work imbalance between men and women. 

A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the UCL Institute of Education also says mothers are more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs during lockdown, increasing fears that the coronavirus crisis has exacerbated inequality and could lead to the gender pay gap increasing.

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May 27th 2020, 7:25 am

Gloria Steinem says TV drama of 1970s feminist history ‘ridiculous'

Women | The Guardian

In interview for Hay festival feminist writer says Mrs America misrepresents equal rights movement

It stars Cate Blanchett and Rose Byrne in a glossy, big-budget TV account of 1970s feminist history but one key player who was there, Gloria Steinem, is withering: it is ridiculous, undermining and just not very good, she said on Friday.

Steinem, arguably the world’s most famous feminist, has revealed she is not a fan of the new Hulu TV show Mrs America, which premiered in the US last month and is coming to BBC2 in the UK later in the year.

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May 22nd 2020, 10:41 am

'Where are the women?' Outcry over all-male government meeting in Afghanistan

Women | The Guardian

Tweet showed 12 male political leaders after Ghani promised women would be involved in high-level decision-making

People in Afghanistan protested on social media that no women were present at a high-level government meeting, despite assurances from the president that they would be involved in important decision-making roles.

The outcry followed a tweeted photo of a meeting of 12 political leaders at the presidential palace – all of them men.

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May 22nd 2020, 9:26 am

UK women bear emotional brunt of Covid-19 turmoil – poll

Women | The Guardian

Results show women disproportionately affected by employment and risk concerns amid pandemic

Women in the UK are bearing the emotional brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, experiencing greater anxiety about its impact than men, polling has found. Although men are more likely to die from Covid-19, research by Ipsos Mori and the Fawcett Society found women were disproportionately affected in other ways.

Six out of 10 women said they were finding it hard to stay positive day-to-day, compared with just under half of men. Half of women were very concerned about the risk the virus posed to the country, compared with a third of men. Women were also more likely to have their employment impacted, with a third saying their workplaces had been closed, compared with a quarter of men.

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May 20th 2020, 3:06 am

FGM risk in Somalia 'heightened by coronavirus crisis'

Women | The Guardian

Female genital mutilation being inflicted on girls stuck at home, say campaigners

Somalia’s coronavirus lockdown has led to a huge increase in female genital mutilation (FGM), with circumcisers going door to door offering to cut girls stuck at home during the pandemic, according to Plan International.

The crisis is undermining efforts to eradicate the practice in Somalia, which has the world’s highest FGM rate, with about 98% of women having been cut, the charity warned.

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May 18th 2020, 4:08 pm

Florence Pugh and Simon Armitage record lockdown poem together

Women | The Guardian

Collaboration is a recording of the poet laureate’s Lockdown set to music, with proceeds donated to the domestic abuse charity Refuge

Simon Armitage, the poet laureate, has joined forces with the actor Florence Pugh for a charity release of his poem about coronavirus crisis. Lockdown, first published in March, has been set to music and will be sold to help raise money for the domestic abuse charity Refuge.

It features Armitage and Pugh reading the lines to music that starts ominously, and becomes more hypnotic and euphoric. Armitage has been making tracks of his poems with collaborators Richard Walters and Patrick K Pearson, collectively known as LYR, for a couple of years. The involvement of Pugh – nominated at the Oscars and Baftas for her role in Little Women this year – was wonderful, he said. “She brings such intelligence and crackle.”

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May 14th 2020, 12:19 am

Portrait of studious woman revealed to be of Millicent Fawcett

Women | The Guardian

Painting of suffragist working at her desk was misidentified as Royal Holloway ex-principal

A Victorian painting of a studious young woman working at her desk has emerged as a lost portrait of one of the most important figures in the British women’s rights movement history, the suffragist Millicent Fawcett.

The artwork in the collection of Royal Holloway, University of London, has long been identified as a depiction of another pioneer, but far less well-known figure, Dame Emily Penrose. There is even a plaque on its frame saying it is Penrose.

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May 13th 2020, 9:53 am

Naming of Pinochet's great-niece as Chile women's minister sparks outrage

Women | The Guardian

Macarena Santelices has praised the ‘good side’ of the 1973-90 dictatorship in which over 300 women were raped under torture

Chile’s rightwing president, Sebastián Piñera, has prompted a firestorm of criticism after naming an open supporter of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship as the country’s new minister for women’s rights and gender equality.

Controversy over the appointment of Macarena Santelices – who is also the dictators’s great-niece – has focused on a 2016 interview in which she praised the “good side” of the 1973-90 dictatorship in which more than 3,000 people were murdered or disappeared by security forces and many thousands more imprisoned and tortured.

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May 8th 2020, 5:14 am

My four miscarriages: why is losing a pregnancy so shrouded in mystery?

Women | The Guardian

After losing four pregnancies, Jennie Agg set out to unravel the science of miscarriage. Then, a few months in, she found out she was pregnant again – just as the coronavirus pandemic hit

I stepped out of Oxford Circus tube into mid-morning crowds and cold, bright sunshine. The consultant’s words were still ringing in my ears. “Nothing.” How could the answer be nothing? This was January 2018, six months since my third miscarriage, a symptomless, rather businesslike affair, diagnosed at an early scan. The previous November, I’d undergone a series of investigations into possible reasons why I’d lost this baby and the two before it.

That morning, we had gone to discuss the results at the specialist NHS clinic we’d been referred to after officially joining the one in 100 couples who lose three or more pregnancies. I had barely removed my coat before the doctor started rattling off the things I had tested negative for: antiphospholipid antibodies, lupus anticoagulant, Factor V Leiden, prothrombin gene mutation.

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May 5th 2020, 1:13 am

Specialist support centre for female offenders to open in Wales

Women | The Guardian

MoJ to work with Welsh government with the aim of opening site by end of 2021

A specialist centre providing accommodation and support to female offenders is to open in Wales as part of the government’s strategy to send fewer women to prison, the Ministry of Justice has said.

The first residential women’s centre will help women who otherwise would have been sent to jail by providing services that deal with underlying causes of offending, such as substance misuse and mental health problems.

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May 4th 2020, 7:25 pm

Women launch legal action to stop military courts trying UK rape cases

Women | The Guardian

Exclusive: Two women from army and one from navy point to much lower conviction rate at courts martial

Three women serving in the armed forces have begun legal action aimed at preventing the military courts from trying UK rape cases, complaining that the conviction rate is five to six times lower than in civilian courts.

They are seeking a judicial review after the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said in February he was ignoring a recommendation that rape and other serious cases involving the military in the UK should routinely be handled by the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

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May 3rd 2020, 11:51 am

Russian author defends gulag-era story as TV series provokes backlash

Women | The Guardian

Literary star Guzel Yakhina shocked by emotional ‘cabin fever’ response to dramatisation

The Russian novelist Guzel Yakhina had learned to live with the persistent buzz of controversy surrounding her bestselling debut novel, Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes.

Her coming-of-age story of a young woman deported to Siberia during the Stalin-era purges of wealthier peasants, or kulaks, had been picked over for its portrayals of Soviet repressions and national identity in the largely Muslim region of Tatarstan ever since it was published in 2015.

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May 3rd 2020, 3:44 am

New York mother dies after raising alarm on hospital neglect

Women | The Guardian

Amber Rose Isaac died less than four days after tweeting that she should write an exposé on ‘dealing with incompetent doctors’

Amber Rose Isaac tweeted on 17 April about how she would write an exposé on “dealing with incompetent doctors” in the Bronx while pregnant with her first child.

Less than four days later, she was pronounced dead after a caesarean section went wrong. She died alone as New York City battled with coronavirus.

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May 2nd 2020, 1:18 pm

Boots to provide help for domestic abuse victims

Women | The Guardian

Pharmacies to provide safe spaces during coronavirus lockdown after rise in calls

Domestic abuse victims will be able to access safe spaces at Boots pharmacies across the country from Friday under measures to improve access to support during the coronavirus lockdown.

Multiple support services for domestic abuse have reported a surge in calls to helplines since the lockdown was imposed, while the Metropolitan police said it was making an average of about 100 arrests a day for offences linked to abuse in the home.

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April 30th 2020, 7:31 pm

PM's baby can help ease coronavirus pregnancy fears, says top doctor

Women | The Guardian

Obstetrician cites health of Carrie Symonds and son as reassurance for mothers-to-be

The healthy birth of Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’s son can help provide reassurance for anxious pregnant women, a leading obstetrician has said.

Giving birth can be a cause of anxiety even without a worldwide pandemic. There has also been data – albeit inconclusive – from China suggesting Covid-19 could be increasing the rate of premature births.

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April 29th 2020, 1:12 pm

Three women killed in Spain as coronavirus lockdown sees rise in domestic violence

Women | The Guardian

A steep drop in police reports indicates isolation may be making it harder to get help

It was 2.30am when Daniel Jiménez was woken by his neighbour’s screams. When he went outside his home in the Los Pajarillos neighbourhood of Valladolid in north-east Spain, he saw a woman being dangled from a third-storey window by her husband. Another neighbour rushed out with mattresses to help break her fall but he was too late. She fell to her death.

Although the circumstances of the killing of the 56-year-old woman are still under investigation, the interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, declared it a crime of gender violence, making the woman the third victim of femicide since Spain’s strict lockdown came into force on 14 March.

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April 28th 2020, 9:58 am

Author of book about victim blaming bombarded with misogynist abuse

Women | The Guardian

Dr Jessica Taylor has been speaking about her book Why Women are Blamed for Everything, but has received thousands of abusive messages and seen her computer hacked

A British academic whose new book is about why women are blamed for crimes committed against them has been subjected to thousands of coordinated attacks from alt-right trolls over the last week, culminating in her personal computer being hacked.

Dr Jessica Taylor, a senior lecturer in forensic and criminal psychology, is due to publish her exploration of victim blaming, Why Women are Blamed for Everything, on 27 April. Looking into what causes society to blame women who have been abused, raped, trafficked, assaulted or harassed by men, the book has drawn increasing publicity, including an appearance on Woman’s Hour.

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April 24th 2020, 10:56 am

Sexism on the Covid-19 frontline: 'PPE is made for a 6ft 3in rugby player'

Women | The Guardian

Health professionals, experts and unions say poorly fitting equipment is risking lives of female workers

Some talk of abrasions on their faces caused by having to pull masks too tight, others about having to roll up the sleeves of their fluid-repellent gowns. Some have been left barely able to see, while others have used micropore tape to seal gaps around their jawline. The thing they all have in common? They are trying to save lives – and they are women.

NHS professional bodies, experts and trade unions have warned that female healthcare workers’ lives are being put at risk because personal protective equipment is designed for men. As one frontline NHS worker put it: “PPE is designed for a 6 foot 3 inch bloke built like a rugby player.”

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April 24th 2020, 9:03 am

'Every abuser is more volatile': the truth behind the shocking rise of domestic violence killings

Women | The Guardian

In the UK, the number of domestic killings has doubled during lockdown and frontline services report record-breaking cries for help. Here’s why the violence has increased – and what you can do to help victims

Alison Young lived in lockdown long before Covid-19. For most of her eight-year marriage, her controlling husband only allowed her to leave the house for “authorised trips”. “That was invariably food shopping and, when I got back, he always checked the receipts, the mileage and searched the car for crumbs in case I’d eaten when I was out, which I wasn’t allowed to do,” she says.

“If you bent the rules or argued back, you didn’t know how he’d react. Sometimes, he’d let me laugh it off, other times, he’d have a knife at my throat – so the fear never left. It was either just under the surface or spilling out of every pore.”

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April 22nd 2020, 5:09 am

Polish parliament delays decision on new abortion restrictions

Women | The Guardian

Proposal would ban terminations even on grounds of serious foetal abnormalities

Poland’s parliament has deferred a final decision on a bill that seeks to tighten the country’s already strict abortion legislation.

The bill would outlaw abortion on the grounds of serious foetal abnormalities, one of a small number of exceptions to a near-total ban on abortion currently in place in the country. It has been sent back to a parliamentary committee for further work.

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April 16th 2020, 1:30 pm

UK cases of domestic abuse by female family members double

Women | The Guardian

Despite rise of ‘Cinderella’ abuse offences, men are predominant perpetrators

Cases of “Cinderella” abuse involving attacks by women and girls on family members have risen twice as fast as those by men, new figures show.

The figures from the Metropolitan police, who are investigating a rise in the number of domestic abuse offences committed by female family members, show that domestic abuse offences committed by sisters have doubled from 641 in 2010 to 1,325 in 2018. The numbers have quadrupled for stepsisters and half-sisters from 33 to 142.

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April 14th 2020, 9:05 am

South Korea's first feminist party holds out hope of election miracle

Women | The Guardian

Formation of the Women’s party comes after campaigns to end spy cam porn and rebellions against strict beauty standards in the conservative nation

Two years year after South Korea became the centre of Asia’s #MeToo movement, the country’s first feminist party is hoping to keep women’s issues on the political agenda by winning seats in Wednesday’s national assembly elections.

In a campaign dominated by the government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic, the newly formed Women’s party has warned that South Korea’s poor record on sexual discrimination and violence risked being overlooked.

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April 14th 2020, 1:58 am

Thousands lose last hope of having a baby as lockdown closes IVF clinics

Women | The Guardian

Women tell of ‘bereavement’ because they will be too old for fertility treatment when the coronavirus shutdown ends

Coronavirus – latest updates

See all our coronavirus coverage

Thousands of couples may have missed their last chance of conceiving via IVF as fertility clinics shut their doors to patients on Wednesday. Some women who are only just young enough to be eligible for treatment will be too old in a few months’ time.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates Britain’s fertility industry, has ordered private and NHS clinics to stop treating patients who are in the middle of an IVF cycle by 15 April. All new treatments have already been banned, a decision which is likely to prevent the births of at least 20,000 desperately wanted babies if it remains in place for 12 months.

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April 12th 2020, 3:29 am

Four men jailed in first year since upskirting law was introduced

Women | The Guardian

Work is still needed to raise awareness about the problem, campaigners say

Four men have been jailed in the year since the upskirting law was introduced in England and Wales, figures show.

Campaigners said the legislation offered a route to justice for victims, but said more work was needed to raise awareness about the seriousness of the issue.

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April 10th 2020, 7:24 pm

The more I stay at home, the more grubby it seems | Coco Khan

Women | The Guardian

I want a life bigger than my mother’s, yet with her household standards of cleanliness

Recently, while practising yoga at home, I had a realisation. I’d like to say it was a spiritual awakening of some sort but unfortunately it was just that my floor was really quite dirty.

The more I stay home, the more grubby it seems; I notice how the wardrobes bulge and shoes languish. I balk at the use-by dates of tins forgotten on kitchen shelves, repulsed not only by their age but their texture (“Why are things in my kitchen sticky?” I shamefully type into Google). No matter how hard I scrub, I find only more flaws, and no sooner is it cleaned than it all needs doing again.

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April 10th 2020, 9:17 am

Declare abortion a public health issue during pandemic, WHO urged

Women | The Guardian

Charities press World Health Organization to ensure women can get contraception and safe abortions during crisis

  • Coronavirus – latest updates
  • See all our coronavirus coverage
  • The World Health Organization is being urged to declare abortion an essential health service during the coronavirus pandemic.

    In guidance notes issued last week, the WHO advised all governments to identify and prioritise the health services each believed essential, listing reproductive health services as an example.

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    April 10th 2020, 4:14 am

    Northern Ireland confirms abortions can now be carried out

    Women | The Guardian

    Services should have been available since 31 March, prompting claims of stalling

    Northern Ireland authorities confirmed on Thursday that abortions can now be carried out in the province’s hospitals, following threatened legal action by pro-choice groups.

    Health officials signalled that terminations could go ahead after allegations that local anti-choice politicians were stalling implementation of a ruling that provided for services to be introduced by the end of March.

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    April 9th 2020, 2:36 pm

    ‘Weird tale’ by Secret Garden author Frances Hodgson Burnett discovered

    Women | The Guardian

    Christmas in the Fog, written for adults, is to be republished in Queens of the Abyss, an anthology of lost stories

    The darker side of Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of classic children’s novels including The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy, is set to be revealed by a forgotten story found in the archives of the British Library, untouched for more than 100 years.

    The British-American Hodgson Burnett is best remembered today for her The Secret Garden, the 1911 tale of a girl who comes from India to the isolated Yorkshire moors, and 1886’s Little Lord Fauntleroy, about a poor boy from Brooklyn who discovers he has inherited an English estate.

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    April 9th 2020, 12:50 pm

    Some chemists wrongly telling women they must fill in form to access emergency contraception

    Women | The Guardian

    Pharmacy checklist asks customers their name and to declare if they were sexually assaulted or have STI symptoms

    Women who seek emergency contraception from their pharmacist are wrongly being told they must fill in a form asking them to declare whether they were sexually assaulted or have STI symptoms before they can access the medication.

    An investigation by the Medical Republic reveals that some chemists are telling customers they are “legally required” to fill out a checklist originally created by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) in 2013, even though the body has since distanced itself from the form.

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    April 9th 2020, 5:31 am

    Duffy's brave account highlights why so few rape victims speak up | Yomi Adegoke

    Women | The Guardian

    The singer this week revealed details of her sickening abduction and sexual assault. Her story proves why women have to be doubly strong after such ordeals

    Most news that would normally dominate the headlines has been sidelined during the coronavirus pandemic. But the story of the musician Duffy managed to cut through the news cycle due to its sheer horror.

    In February, the singer, whose full name is Aimee Duffy, released a statement regarding her disappearance from our radios and screens in the early 00s, after having the UK’s best-selling album of 2008 and winning three Brit awards and a Grammy. She explained that her withdrawal from the public eye came after she was abducted, drugged and raped. Days ago, she outlined details of the ordeal that took place over four weeks, beginning on her birthday. “Rape is like living murder, you are alive, but dead,” read one agonising line.

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    April 8th 2020, 12:34 pm

    Labour urges emergency aid for domestic abuse services

    Women | The Guardian

    Exclusive: Nick Thomas-Symonds writes to Priti Patel amid fears Covid-19 lockdown will lead to more violence

    Organisations providing domestic abuse support services during the Covid-19 crisis must get an emergency financial package from the government, the new shadow home secretary has said in his first intervention in the role.

    Nick Thomas-Symonds, who was appointed to the shadow cabinet by the new Labour leader Keir Starmer on Sunday, has written to his Conservative counterpart Priti Patel to request funds for organisations that run “frontline” domestic abuse services, as well as to turn underused hotel chains and university halls into emergency accommodation.

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    April 8th 2020, 2:27 am

    Why I'm celebrating the women in lockdown who get all dressed up with nowhere to go

    Women | The Guardian

    Rihanna shows how it’s done with her durag on the cover of this month’s Vogue, while the #DontRushChallenge showcases black women’s makeup skills in all its diverse glory. I’m off to find a lipstick to match my slippers ...

    Rihanna, the reigning queen of stay-at-home couture, made history yesterday, appearing on the cover of British Vogue in a durag, the choice of bedtime headwear for many black people. Way ahead of last year’s nightwear as a daywear trend, she previously donned one covered in Swarovski crystals at the CFDA awards in 2014. In 2013, she wore a doobie wrap – a common interim style black women use to keep freshly treated hair intact during the night – at the American Music awards. Her taste in headgear makes me feel much more chic as I work from home in a polyester durag and oversized shirt.

    I miss going out, but I miss getting ready to go out probably just as much, if not more. And it’s not just me – as the #OOTD hashtag declines during lockdown, the @wfhfits Instagram account, which documents the showstopping outfits contributors are wearing to work from home, is now 18.4k strong. The #DontRushChallenge takes this to the next level. Started by Twitter user @lase_asoloo, participants go from drab to fab in the (slickly edited) tap of a makeup brush. Much like the DMX Challenge – which last year saw women showcasing various hairstyles synced to the 46 names the rapper lists on his song What They Really Want – the #DontRushChallenge is dominated by #blackgirlmagic and has been an utter joy to watch.

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    April 2nd 2020, 2:14 am

    Malaysian ministry apologises for 'avoid nagging' lockdown tips

    Women | The Guardian

    Citizens mocked advice for women to wear makeup, dress neatly and not nag husbands

    Malaysia’s government has apologised after its advice for women to wear makeup and not nag their husbands during the coronavirus lockdown sparked anger and mockery online.

    The country has ordered citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of Covid-19. In a series of Facebook posts, the women’s ministry offered tips on how wives should behave while the restrictions were in place.

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    March 31st 2020, 2:57 pm

    Relaxation of UK abortion rules welcomed by experts

    Women | The Guardian

    Rules eased during coronavirus crisis to allow women to be sent both sets of abortion pills

    Leading UK healthcare providers have welcomed the government’s decision to allow women to take abortion pills at home without travelling to a clinic.

    A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed the government was updating its guidance to help women who need an abortion, but cannot access a clinic because of measures put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus.

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    March 30th 2020, 8:07 am

    The men who give up on their spouses when they have cancer

    Women | The Guardian

    When relationships are hit by serious illness, it can bring existing gender inequalities shockingly to the surface

    When Christie Sanchez was 12, she had the best stepdad in the world. He was charismatic and intelligent. He introduced her to new music and took her hiking every weekend. Then, her mom got sick.

    For two years Sanchez’s mom, Sandra, battled stage four breast cancer. It was advanced enough that within days of her diagnosis she was having her breasts, lymph nodes and both ovaries removed.

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    March 30th 2020, 5:50 am

    NHS trusts begin suspending home births due to coronavirus

    Women | The Guardian

    Giving birth in hospital would ease pressure on resources, say experts, as inquiries for services rise

    NHS services in the UK have begun suspending home births in response to the coronavirus, with professional bodies advising pregnant women who have symptoms of Covid-19 to give birth in hospital.

    Experts have urged caution over home births, saying that while they may seem a logical move in the current climate of physical distancing they can require additional resources and are not suitable for women who may have coronavirus.

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    March 27th 2020, 8:52 am

    Mothers say they are being kept at work in UK as fathers stay home

    Women | The Guardian

    Charities hit out at firms’ unequal coronavirus stance as pregnant women also lose out

    Mothers with school-age children are being told they cannot work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, while fathers at the same companies are encouraged to do so, according to organisations providing legal advice and support for parents.

    Legal advice lines have also been inundated with calls from pregnant women who have been made redundant while male workers have been kept on, and others who have been told they must go to work or face the sack despite being categorised as a vulnerable group in government guidance.

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    March 27th 2020, 8:52 am

    Japan Airlines ditches compulsory high heels and skirts in big win for #KuToo movement

    Women | The Guardian

    Company becomes first major employer in the country to stop forcing dress code on women

    Female flight attendants working for Japan Airlines will no longer be required to wear high heels or skirts, the airline has said, in a rare victory for Japan’s #KuToo campaign against workplace dress codes for women.

    The airline is the first major Japanese company to relax its regulations in response to complaints from women that having to wear high heels was uncomfortable and often left them in considerable pain.

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    March 27th 2020, 2:03 am

    Outrage in South Korea over Telegram sexual abuse ring blackmailing women and girls

    Women | The Guardian

    Alleged ringleader forced victims to carve ‘slave’ into their bodies and send him degrading images that were shared with scores of others

    A sexual blackmail ring that operated on the app Telegram and targeted dozens of women, including underage girls, has rocked South Korea and triggered demands for authorities to crack down on the rising number of sexual offences online.

    Police on Wednesday took the unusual step of naming the man who allegedly ran an online network that lured at least 58 women and 16 girls into what authorities called “virtual enslavement” by blackmailing them into sending degrading and, in come cases, violent sexual images of themselves.

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    March 25th 2020, 12:34 am

    UK abortion law briefly changes during Covid-19 outbreak

    Women | The Guardian

    Guidance, deleted after a few hours, said women could take both early medical abortion pills at home

    The UK government published then deleted changes to abortion law that would have allowed women to access medical terminations without travelling to a clinic, leaving women’s health charities “staggered”.

    In the guidance, which was published for at least five hours on Monday, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said: “The secretary of state for health and social care has approved two temporary measures in England to limit the transmission of coronavirus (Covid-19) and ensure continued access to early medical abortion services.”

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    March 24th 2020, 11:54 am

    Clinics in Ohio and Texas ordered to stop ‘nonessential’ surgical abortions

    Women | The Guardian

    State officials cited guidelines to conserve medical supplies amid the coronavirus outbreak as advocates call the move political

    Ohio and Texas have ordered health care providers in the state to stop performing “nonessential” abortions, touching off a deeply contentious debate over reproductive rights in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic.

    Both states cited federal guidelines aimed at conserving necessary medical supplies to combat the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the US and argued that abortions do not qualify as essential surgeries. But advocates say the moves taken by two conservative attorneys general is about advancing a political agenda, not protecting public health.

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    March 23rd 2020, 8:59 pm

    Parr’s makeup ad for Gucci has a brush with controversy

    Women | The Guardian

    The shoot, featuring musician Dani Miller in mascara, has reignited debate about realistic standards of beauty

    One is famed for warts-and-all realism, the other for high-end gloss, so there was always going to be something spectacular in the offing when British photographer Martin Parr was asked to shoot a make-up advertising campaign for the Italian fashion house Gucci.

    The imagery – for the brand’s new L’Obscur mascara – features New York punk musician Dani Miller and her now-famous gap-toothed smile. With lashings of heavy black mascara, natural eyebrows (complete with, shock horror, regrowth), and minimal foundation, it has divided customers and started yet another debate about diversity, even in these times of increased body positivity.

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    March 22nd 2020, 5:17 am

    Rising numbers of UK mothers falling into long-term debt – report

    Women | The Guardian

    Precarious employment and pension age increase among causes, say researchers

    Precarious employment, low pay, the increased pension age and real-term reductions in welfare benefits are causing increasing numbers of mothers to fall into long-term debt, according to research based on figures from the Office for National Statistics and in-depth interviews.

    The research, titled Mothers in Debt – Shame, Abuse and Resilience, by researchers at the University of Manchester found that separated or divorced mothers aged 55 and over were more likely to have significantly worse financial problems than fathers of the same age.

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    March 20th 2020, 6:37 am

    India executes four men convicted of 2012 Delhi bus rape and murder

    Women | The Guardian

    Four found guilty of attack that shocked the world were hanged in capital on Friday morning

    India has hanged four men who were convicted for the rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in Delhi in 2012, in a case that shocked the world and shamed the country over its appalling record on crimes against women.

    The men were executed at dawn on Friday in Tihar jail, on the outskirts of the capital, four television news channels reported. India’s president, Ram Nath Kovind, had rejected pleas for clemency from the condemned men, after the supreme court dismissed their pleas for a review of the death sentences.

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    March 19th 2020, 9:28 pm

    Older people widely demonised in UK, ageism report finds

    Women | The Guardian

    Older members of society mostly seen as incompetent, hostile or a burden, says report

    The UK’s ageist attitudes have been revealed in a report that shows older people are widely mocked, patronised and demonised by the rest of society.

    Older people are mostly seen as incompetent, hostile or a burden on others, according to a review of the evidence that found they are subject to a litany of damaging stereotypes.

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    March 19th 2020, 7:34 am

    'We won’t stop until she's free,' says sister of jailed Saudi activist

    Women | The Guardian

    Family of women’s rights campaigner Loujain Hathloul pledge to fight on after her court hearing is cancelled

    Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul first realised that speaking up could make a difference when she was five years old.

    Her father, a navy veteran who wanted his children to be strong swimmers, took her to the local pool where other visitors chastised him for bringing a female child in a pair of swimming trunks to the male-only area.

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    March 18th 2020, 10:04 am

    Beaten, raped and forced to work: why I'm exposing the scandal of Nigeria’s house girls

    Women | The Guardian

    Mariam and Edna were just two of millions of children trapped in domestic slavery. Their tragic stories inspired me to write a novel targeting a practice that is rife in the country

    One day, when my daughter was eight, I asked her to help me unload the dishwasher. She moaned, dragged her feet and pleaded for Haribo in exchange for this simple task. I asked her if she knew how lucky she was and told her that, in many homes in Nigeria, girls as young as her were forced to do chores all day, every day. They were not allowed to go to school, or eat at the table, or watch TV. She was amazed. Looking into her face, the horror of what was considered so normal during my childhood really hit me. It was child slavery – and it continues today. It was for these forgotten girls, trapped in domestic slavery, that I wrote my debut novel, The Girl With the Louding Voice.

    According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of working children under the age of 14 in Nigeria is estimated to be as high as 15 million, but due to the nature of the problem it is almost impossible to land on an accurate number. A large proportion of these children are young girls, who work as “house girls”: domestic servants who are often underage and forced against their will into this kind of work. Many of them never see their “wages”, as they are paid directly to agents or family members.

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    March 17th 2020, 3:30 pm

    Secret policy change by CPS cut number of rape trials, high court told

    Women | The Guardian

    Application on behalf of women’s group follows concern over fall in number of charges



    A “precipitous drop” in the number of rape cases brought to trial has been caused by a secret and unlawful change in policy adopted by the Crown Prosecution Service, the high court has been told.

    The CPS adopted an internal conviction rate target of 60% of cases charged and became increasingly risk averse although it consulted with no one outside the organisation about the new approach, Phillippa Kaufman QC told judges.

    Her application on behalf of the End Violence Against Women Coalition follows concern over steep falls in rape charges and convictions in recent years at a time when more and more women have been making rape complaints to police.

    The charge or summons rate for rape fell to one in 65, or 1.5%, of all cases reported to the police in England and Wales in 2018-19, according to the Home Office. The figure has dropped steeply since 2015-16, when one in seven, or 13.7%, of all cases resulted in a charge or summons. New figures from the CPS show the number of cases referred by the police for charging decisions fell again by 32% in the year to September 2019.

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    March 17th 2020, 9:44 am

    Kenya split over campaign to give women the right to safe abortions

    Women | The Guardian

    MP Esther Passaris says lives are being put at risk in a country where 40% of pregnancies are unplanned

    The pills arrived with no instructions. Delivered on a Sunday to Joy’s home in Kayole, an informal settlement in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, by someone she didn’t know.

    She had ordered them because she was pregnant, and didn’t want to be. At 19, she said, she couldn’t support a baby, and the father had stopped answering his phone after she told him. Desperate, she had asked an older friend, who said she knew someone who could help.

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    March 17th 2020, 4:23 am

    Sunday with Sophie Walker: ‘I run to clear my head’

    Women | The Guardian

    The activist on art and the joy of jogging

    What time are you up? Having worked for 20 years at Reuters doing breaking news you become an early bird – a junkie for knowing what’s going on. But on Sunday I sleep until 8am. Over breakfast we have a (not always entirely democratic) vote with the kids to decide what we’ll do with our day.

    Do you work? I’m at the Young Women’s Trust Monday to Friday, but at the weekend I work on Activate, a project to get women community activists elected. I try to take days off when I can. I’m fighting my own eternal battle to just be with my family.

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    March 15th 2020, 3:04 am

    Swedish midwives who oppose abortion fail in rights case

    Women | The Guardian

    Women argued their rights to freedom of religion and conscience were breached

    Two nurses denied midwife jobs as midwives for refusing to carry out abortions have lost their legal bid to take Sweden to a top European court for violating their religious beliefs.

    Ellinor Grimmark and Linda Steen had told the European court of human rights (ECHR) that being denied employment due to their beliefs against abortion was an illegal breach of their rights to freedom of religion and conscience.

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    March 13th 2020, 12:08 pm

    Trans or cis, women are stronger united | Letters

    Women | The Guardian

    Laura Mauro writes in support of Zoe Williams’ piece calling for solidarity, and Angela Price agrees that feminism is an inclusive movement that should fight for the rights of all minorities

    I am writing to commend Zoe Williams for her thoughtful column (Why we need feminist solidarity more than ever, G2, 11 March).

    The trans “debate” – a term I use loosely, as I don’t believe trans people’s rights should be up for debate – has focused largely on the voices of those decrying the right of trans women to be considered at all. As a cisgender woman, I am unequivocally supportive of the view that empowering trans women in no way disenfranchises or endangers cis women, and that in fact we are stronger united. The enemy is misogyny; our trans sisters are our allies in this fight, and history bears out their role in both this and in the equally important fight for LGBT+ liberation.

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    March 12th 2020, 2:05 pm

    Vicky Randall obituary

    Women | The Guardian

    My friend and colleague Vicky Randall, who has died of cancer aged 74, was a pioneering professor of gender and developing world politics, based at the University of Essex. She was gentle and self-effacing but fiercely intelligent and brave, and possessed deeply held values, which she expressed in both her life and work.

    Vicky was born in London and moved at the age of five to Birmingham, where she was educated at King Edward VI high school for girls. Her father, Charles Madge, was the first professor of sociology at Birmingham University and co-founder of Mass Observation, which recorded the experiences of ordinary Britons. Vicky’s mother was Inez Pearn, who wrote several novels under the pen name Elizabeth Lake.

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    March 12th 2020, 2:05 pm

    ‘When you go to the police, you think everything will be OK’: the woman fighting for victims of crim

    Women | The Guardian

    Claire Waxman is London’s first commissioner for victims. She explains how her own experience of taking her stalker to court inspired her to help other survivors

    Claire Waxman is drinking tea from a white mug bearing the slogan: “I’m not bossy, I just have better ideas.” It was a present from her daughter, she explains, rather than her colleagues, but for the record, London’s first commissioner for victims certainly is brimming with ideas.

    Having published the London Rape Review last summer, a study of more than 500 rape cases exploring why prosecution rates are so low, Waxman is about to launch a crucial piece of research on one controversial aspect of the process: the requirement for rape complainants to hand over their mobile phones for police examination. Reading text messages that may shed light on any relationship with the accused is one thing, says Waxman, but she is concerned that the practice is leading to far broader digital fishing expeditions that drag out investigations and lead to victims dropping out. Victims, she believes, are being treated more like suspects.

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    March 12th 2020, 6:16 am

    Internet 'is not working for women and girls', says Berners-Lee

    Women | The Guardian

    Inventor of world wide web calls for urgent action to make cyberspace safer for women and girls

    Women and girls face a “growing crisis” of online harms, with sexual harassment, threatening messages and discrimination making the web an unsafe place to be, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned.

    The inventor of the world wide web said the “dangerous trend” in online abuse was forcing women out of jobs, causing girls to skip school, damaging relationships and silencing female opinions, prompting him to conclude that “the web is not working for women and girls”.

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    March 11th 2020, 8:22 pm

    Rishi Sunak confirms tampon tax will be scrapped

    Women | The Guardian

    Women’s sanitary products will be zero-rated for VAT after end of Brexit transition period

    The chancellor confirmed in his budget that the government is to scrap the controversial tampon tax and abolish VAT on all women’s sanitary products from 2021.

    Tampons and other women’s sanitary products currently attract 5% VAT, but this will be dropped when the transition period for Britain departure from the EU ends on 31 December.

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    March 11th 2020, 4:06 pm

    Quotas alone can’t fix diversity – it’s time to go further

    Women | The Guardian

    Having minority staff and having minority staff who are empowered to speak up are two very different things

    Many of the International Women’s Month panel discussions I have sat on turn to the topic of quotas. I always defend them. I reject the criticism that quotas somehow usurp “meritocracy” because meritocracy does not exist (it is no coincidence that the Oxbridge-educated children of other journalists, for example, just happen to “deserve” so many journalism jobs).

    That said, I do have my reservations. Quotas are often offered as a panacea to all diversity-workplace woes. In my experience, institutions that establish quotas are usually far too busy congratulating themselves for their surface-level changes to worry about the finer details, such as retention rates or the roles into which they are recruiting minority staff. The kinds of problems that are caused by homogeny in the workplace are not immediately fixed simply by having more women and minorities “in the room”.

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    March 11th 2020, 2:22 pm

    Klimt through a feminist lens: Emma Talbot wins Max Mara art prize

    Women | The Guardian

    Artist of ‘radiant drawings’ and epic sculptures wins for her project to overturn negative view of older women expressed by famous 1905 painting

    Her work is known for confronting the modern world’s most pressing issues from the environment and gender to the way we communicate. Now, Emma Talbot has been announced as the winner of the Max Mara art prize for women, for a proposal to reimagine the work of Gustav Klimt for the 21st century.

    Born in Stourbridge and based in London, Talbot’s work in drawing, painting and sculpture has often combined the personal and political. Her proposal was based on Klimt’s 1905 painting The Three Ages of Woman, in which a naked elderly woman stands in apparent shame next to two younger generations. She intends to animate the figure of the older woman as someone with agency, who overcomes a series of trials similar to The Twelve Labours of Hercules. The work intends to counter prevalent negative attitudes to ageing and the representations of women.

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    March 11th 2020, 11:51 am

    Blue plaque equality is still a long way off | Letters

    Women | The Guardian

    Susan Croft calls for recognition for Githa Sowerby, Margaret Wynne Nevinson and Evelyn Sharp, while Richard Webb wonders why Barbara Hepworth’s plaque should be in London

    While pleasing to read that English Heritage plans to unveil six new plaques to women in 2020 (Artists and spies boost women in blue plaque citations, 5 March), it is tempting to say both: “About time!” and “What about all the plaques they’ve turned down?”

    Citing but two: in 2019 English Heritage refused to support a plaque to the playwright Githa Sowerby (1876-1970) on her Kensington home despite the overwhelming recognition of her brilliant 1912 play Rutherford and Son, a classic that has now been produced numerous times all over the country from Salisbury to Newcastle upon Tyne since it was first rediscovered in 1980, including twice by the National Theatre, most recently on the main Lyttleton stage. In its day it was translated and produced in French, German, Dutch, Czech, Italian, Russian and Swedish and Sowerby was the only woman included in Emma Goldman’s The Social Significance of Modern Drama (1914) alongside Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw and others. Meanwhile Sowerby’s other plays are gaining increasing recognition with recent productions of The Stepmother at the Orange Tree, at Salisbury and in Canada.

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    March 10th 2020, 2:20 pm

    'If I shed the layers, I am a slut': Billie Eilish addresses body image criticism

    Women | The Guardian

    The 18-year-old confronted societal ‘assumptions about people based on their size’ on the first night of her world tour

    Billie Eilish has addressed the commentary she has faced for choosing not to show her body, in a video interlude shown on the first night of her world tour.

    In the clip, the 18-year-old Grammy winner is seen removing her top and lowering herself into black water as she confronts the opposing responses to her trademark loose attire.

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    March 10th 2020, 1:35 pm

    Are laboratory-grown diamonds the more ethical choice to say 'I do'?

    Women | The Guardian

    In addition to cost savings and supposed environmental benefits, lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical and physical properties as mined diamonds

    Alexander Weindling has a fading, black and white framed photograph on the desk of his New York City office. It’s of his grandfather, wearing a hat and suit, posing more than a century ago with some of the workers of a diamond mine he oversaw in what was then known as the Belgian Congo.

    The mining of diamonds in Africa led to a human rights disaster from colonial times onwards and Weindling, a third-generation diamond and jewelry merchant, uses the incongruity of this photo in the white minimalism of his Tribeca office as a mental spur. That era of diamond mining was “so devastatingly ugly Isis will start looking like good guys,” says Weindling. “It was dreadful. It was criminal. It was unforgivable.”

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    March 10th 2020, 10:48 am

    'If you don't want us, we'll disappear': thousands of Mexican women protest violence

    Women | The Guardian

    Day Without Women protesters aim to shine a light on government inaction as more than ten women are murdered every day

    As rush-hour began on Monday morning, there were no ticket-sellers in Mexico City subway stations.

    Nor were there female tellers at many of the banks. Nail salons, massage parlors, and hairdressers closed. And in cities across the country, far fewer women were on the streets than on an ordinary day.

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    March 9th 2020, 3:16 pm

    ‘It’s so toxic’: why we’re addicted to mean online gossip about women

    Women | The Guardian

    I used to spend a lot of time reading snarky online comments about other women’s lives – until I decided to put an end to it for my sanity

    It’s 3am and I’m on Reddit. I’m reading a thread of comments that number in the thousands, scrolling through missive after missive, unpopular opinions, all. I’m reading about the women on this season for The Bachelor. Some commenters rip apart their fashion choices, others discuss the contestants’ faces, debating endlessly about whether this woman had fillers, that woman had Botox. I’m breastfeeding my baby (it’s the only reason I’m up this late) and while she eats, I’m feeding myself a steady stream of second-hand bile, anger and jealousy.

    For months, this is how I entertained myself. In the dark, by the light of my phone, I watched as mobs of anonymous users picked at various women, dissecting their choices and their appearances, all under the guise of enlightened “snark”. They tended to alight on certain types of women, people who were outwardly successful and rather privileged. Affluent, white, blond female writers or influencers, such as Caroline Calloway, Kathleen Hale or (once, way back when) Emily Gould. Writers who were a little snarky themselves, unapologetically critical, sometimes cruel.

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    March 9th 2020, 5:56 am

    Seven out of 10 global health leaders are men – and change is half a century away

    Women | The Guardian

    ‘Stagnant’ global health system is dominated by rich states, rooted in colonialism and undervalues women, says study

    A small group of privileged men based in Europe and the US preside over a global health system which is 70% male, according to new research.

    The Global Health 50/50 report, published on Monday by University College London’s Institute of Global Health, warns it could take 54 years until the world’s major health organisations have equality in their leadership.

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    March 9th 2020, 3:22 am

    All About Women: female police stations could help fix family violence, and other takeaways

    Women | The Guardian

    The Sydney Opera House ideas festival took on everything from beauty standards to the appalling failure to protect women

    Yesterday was International Women’s Day – you might have been alerted to this when an empowering discount code landed in your inbox. But it feels hard to spend too much time being vexed by the cringey corporate interference when women are still being murdered on school runs and in their homes, and dying in police custody. 61 women were the victim of homicide in Australia last year. Nine have already been killed in 2020. According to women’s safety advocates, the government is ignoring experts and not doing enough. We have bigger things to be angry about.

    A conversation about domestic violence was one of the first sessions at this year’s All About Women. The annual Sydney Opera House festival also devoted panels to topics like ageism, the women of Isis, race, sexual violence and abortion, with a speaker line-up including Yael Stone, Clementine Ford and Chanel Miller, the survivor of the Stanford University rape case. (Keynote speaker Lindy West cancelled her appearance late last week.) Here are four takeaways from the 2020 event.

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    March 8th 2020, 9:31 pm

    International Women's Day: asylum seekers protest at Turkish border

    Women | The Guardian

    Women and children part of thousands who took to streets around world as some protests turn violent

    Female asylum seekers have staged a demonstration at the Turkish border demanding to be let in to the EU as part of protests around the world on International Women’s Day.

    All over the globe, thousands of women took to the streets, including South Americans campaigning for access to abortions and topless demonstrations in London and Paris.

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    March 8th 2020, 3:55 pm

    Lucy Peach, period preacher: 'The menstrual cycle is just an untapped resource'

    Women | The Guardian

    After tracking her hormones for a year, an Australian folk singer wants to change the way women think about their periods

    Fluctuating hormones and their effects is a familiar concept. For example, the drop in oestrogen levels before menstruation has been linked to migraines in some women, and compulsive eating, acne and mood swings are common in premenstrual weeks. However, the conversation around premenstrual hormonal changes is often framed in a negative way.

    Performer and author Lucy Peach, from Fremantle, believes that by understanding the effects of oestrogen and progesterone around the two major events in our menstrual cycles – ovulation and menstruation – women could perhaps better understand themselves.

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    March 8th 2020, 12:57 pm

    International Women's Day 2020 around the world - in pictures

    Women | The Guardian

    A selection of images from events and protests across the globe to mark International Women’s Day, which has been held every year on 8 March since 1977, when the UN invited member states to declare a day for women’s rights and world peace

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    March 8th 2020, 12:12 pm

    Is it ever acceptable for a feminist to hire a cleaner?

    Women | The Guardian

    The author of a new book on domestic work struggled with the idea of someone doing her hoovering – so she tried giving her cleaner a mop and a fair wage

    The day my cleaner used to visit, I would return home in the evening to the smell of Dettol mixed with Tania’s sweat, to a clean kitchen and bathroom and a drenching sense of guilt. It was the same unease that greeted me when I collected my son Leo from his nursery – a national chain disproportionately staffed by women of colour – or bought clothes from a mainstream clothing outlet that relies, as many do, on female garment workers in the global south. My book, The Home Stretch, is a result of the question that bubbled up from this sense of discomfort: can I hire a cleaner with a (clean) feminist conscience?

    Bought-in domestic labour is an increasingly significant feature of middle-class home life. There are now 67 million domestic workers worldwide: they are cleaners and cooks, but also carers for children, the elderly and disabled. Their number is growing rapidly, as longer life expectancies combine with a climate in which fewer women forgo paid employment, to create a yawning global care gap. One in three Britons now pays a domestic cleaner, in a trend led by the urban under-35s, many of whom report contracting a cleaner, in 93% of cases a female cleaner, as a means of avoiding household disputes.

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    March 8th 2020, 1:45 am

    Hair-raising: embroidered female portraits - in pictures

    Women | The Guardian

    “I never studied embroidery formally,” says Malaysian-born artist Sheena Liam, who creates female portraits in dark thread, with strands used to represent hair escaping in locks and plaits from the canvas. Liam is also a successful model – she won Asia’s Next Top Model in 2014 – and says that she embroiders to unwind. “I find stitching almost meditative.”

    See more at timesnewromance.net

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    March 7th 2020, 12:22 pm

    Laura Winter: 'Domestic abuse does not discriminate'

    Women | The Guardian

    The TV presenter speaks about her experience and the ongoing effects of domestic violence

    Laura Winter had always marked International Women’s Day, enjoying it as a moment when women’s voices were amplified, listened to and heard. But for the sports journalist and TV presenter, that changed abruptly last year.

    “It was the day my life changed for ever, everything I knew was ripped apart and I sank to the lowest I’ve ever been; I was completely broken as a human being,” she says. “This International Women’s Day there is a feeling of dread because of the emotions that will undoubtedly resurface. I just don’t know how my body and brain will react.”

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    March 7th 2020, 3:34 am

    No more 'nagging wives': how Oxford Dictionaries is cleaning up sexist language

    Women | The Guardian

    After extensive research, reference publisher is quietly replacing examples that ‘unnecessarily perpetuate stereotypes’ – while also reflecting how language is used

    In years past, a reader Googling the definition of “anatomy” on their phone would have found a couple of example sentences demonstrating how the word might be used: “He left dusty handprints on his lady customers’ anatomies,” or “She was unable to reach for the bag in case she revealed more of her anatomy than she already had.”

    Not any more. After a huge project that involved picking over tens of thousands of example sentences, Oxford University Press (OUP) has been quietly replacing hundreds of those that “unnecessarily perpetuate sexist stereotypes” in Oxford Dictionaries, the dictionary source licensed by Apple and Google. Now the example given for anatomy is “people should never be reduced to their anatomies” – and the “lady customers” have been consigned to the past.

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    March 6th 2020, 12:06 pm

    International Women's Day risks becoming 'corporate Mother's Day', feminists say

    Women | The Guardian

    Campaigners call on companies to do more than use day as promotional opportunity

    International Women’s Day is in danger of becoming little more than a corporate Valentine’s Day, with companies jumping on the bandwagon to whitewash their brands rather than promote women’s equality, leading feminists have said.

    With International Women’s Day products on offer from red roses to hipster T-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as “Woman Up”, leading equal rights campaigners have called on companies to take action and donate to grassroots causes on International Women’s Day, which takes place on Sunday, rather than using it as a promotion opportunity.

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    March 6th 2020, 12:06 pm

    'Our role is central': more than 1m Chilean women to march in huge protest

    Women | The Guardian

    Sunday march expected to reignite wave of unrest that began in October over inequality, social injustice and high cost of living

    More than a million women in Chile are preparing to join a massive protest this Sunday to mark International Women’s Day, in a march expected to reignite the wave of social unrest that began four months ago.

    Anger over rising metro fares erupted in October into a series of nationwide protests against inequality, social injustice and the high cost of living. Violent clashes between protesters and police have resulted in more than 30 dead, thousands injured and 445 with eye injuries caused by police weapons – leaving 34 people blinded.

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    March 6th 2020, 5:33 am

    Amber Rudd hits out at 'rude' Oxford students after talk cancelled

    Women | The Guardian

    Former minister’s appearance at International Women’s Day event called off at last minute

    The former Conservative home secretary Amber Rudd has hit out at “rude” students at the University of Oxford who cancelled her appearance at an International Women’s Day event 30 minutes before it was due to take place.

    The event, called “In Conversation: Amber Rudd” was organised by UNWomen Oxford and was due to take place at 7.30pm on Thursday as part of its UN Women’s 2020 Trailblazer Series before International Women’s Day on Sunday.

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    March 6th 2020, 5:33 am

    Meet Dainty Duck: the loo cleaner with a feminine touch

    Women | The Guardian

    Household brands’ mascots have undergone a makeover ahead of International Women’s Day

    He’s the jolly bearded Father Christmas lookalike who for decades has dominated the seas – and our TV screens – as the familiar face of Birds Eye frozen fish fingers.

    But with a handful of fellow male advertising mascots Captain Birds Eye has been temporarily elbowed aside – and replaced with a more youthful female equivalent – in a new drive to highlight the lack of women fronting some of the UK’s top household brands.

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    March 5th 2020, 7:29 pm

    'TikTok we need to talk': Lizzo slams social media app for body shaming

    Women | The Guardian

    Lizzo, who is known for fighting negativity in regards to her appearance, posted a clip accusing TikTok of deleting her videos

    Lizzo has accused the social media app TikTok of body shaming after it deleted multiple videos of her in a bathing suit.

    “TikTok keeps taking down my videos with me in my bathing suits,” she wrote in the clip she posted on TikTok. “But allows other videos with girls in bathing suits. I wonder why? TikTok ... we need to talk.” The clip has received over 8m views on TikTok.

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    March 5th 2020, 4:54 pm

    Polygamy is about to be decriminalised in Utah. Is it good news for women?

    Women | The Guardian

    Advocates say the criminalisation of polygamy made it hard for women who needed help to get it – and hope a new bill will allow them to step out of the shadows

    Growing up in a polygamist community, Shirlee Draper heard stories about her father’s childhood – how he was pulled out from under his bed in a government raid and taken from his parents.

    “I grew up with intense fear of outsiders,” Draper said. “We called people who drove into town that were not part of our community ‘kidnappers’. We knew that was a fate we could suffer as our parents had suffered.”

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    March 5th 2020, 5:34 am

    Love Is Blind shows us the problem with the single positivity movement

    Women | The Guardian

    There is nothing wrong with being strong and independent – and also wanting to be in a loving relationship

    Although Love Island officially ended on 23 February, it was pretty much game over 10 days earlier, when Netflix launched the vastly superior car crash of a reality TV show, Love Is Blind. Over three weeks, we watch participants date, profess their love and get engaged, but with one catch – they have never set eyes on each other. The toxic TV spawn of Dating in the Dark, The Circle and Married at First Sight, it is equal parts enchanting and excruciating, oscillating between the two at breakneck speed.

    Love Is Blind is fascinating for several reasons, but what particularly captivates is how in love contestants are with the idea of being in love. They are essentially strapped on to a love conveyor belt with the sole intention of coming out of it married. Watching them be so candid makes me think about how rare it is to see women comfortably say that they want a relationship in such plain terms, without apology – even in less extreme circumstances.

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    March 5th 2020, 4:02 am

    Nine out of 10 people found to be biased against women

    Women | The Guardian

    Analysis of 75 countries reveals ‘shocking’ scale of global women’s rights backlash

    Almost 90% of people are biased against women, according to a new index that highlights the “shocking” extent of the global backlash towards gender equality.

    Despite progress in closing the equality gap, 91% of men and 86% of women hold at least one bias against women in relation to politics, economics, education, violence or reproductive rights.

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    March 5th 2020, 12:47 am

    US supreme court takes up most high-profile abortion case in decades

    Women | The Guardian

    Justice heard arguments on whether Louisiana can impose severe restrictions on abortion doctors in controversial case

    The US supreme court heard arguments in the most high-profile abortion rights case in decades, on Wednesday morning.

    The nine justices heard arguments on whether Louisiana can impose severe restrictions on abortion doctors, in a case that is controversial on several levels, June Medical Services v Russo. The restrictions would require doctors to have “admitting privileges” at local hospitals, which are difficult to obtain.

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    March 4th 2020, 3:13 pm

    Venezuela's president urges women to have six children each 'for good of the country'

    Women | The Guardian

    Nicolás Maduro’s comment sparked outrage amid a deepening economic crisis that’s led to rising rates of child malnutrition

    Millions of Venezuelans may have fled their country to escape a grinding socio-economic crisis, but the country’s embattled president has a novel solution: have more children.

    “Give birth!” Nicolás Maduro, the Venezuelan president, said at a televised event promoting a women’s healthcare plan on Tuesday evening. “Every woman is to have six children! Every one! For the good of the country!

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    March 4th 2020, 2:14 pm

    ‘I asked three times for an epidural’: why are women being denied pain relief during childbirth?

    Women | The Guardian

    A new report concludes that women are not being given epidurals and not being fully informed about pain relief by NHS trusts. Does a belief in natural births lie behind this?

    Giving birth was, for Kate, like going “through a war”. She had repeatedly asked for an epidural; instead, she was allowed only gas and air and two paracetamol. She was “exhausted, dazed, torn, bloody and frightened” by the time her healthy son was placed in her arms.

    “I asked three times for an epidural,” Kate says of her 26-hour labour to deliver her baby, who was back to back and breech. “The first time the midwives said I wasn’t far enough along. The second time, they said I didn’t need it. Finally, they said I was too far along.

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    March 4th 2020, 11:58 am

    New blue plaques for women honour spies, artist and suffragettes

    Women | The Guardian

    London scheme’s additions are part of effort to correct historical gender imbalance

    Second world war spies, suffrage organisations and one of the most important British artists of the 20th century are to get blue plaques in a push to correct a historical gender imbalance.

    The London scheme has been running since 1866 but only 14% of about 950 blue plaques celebrate women. In 2018 English Heritage called on the public for more nominations, saying the figure was “far too low”.

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    March 4th 2020, 6:52 am

    Dutch authorities issue alert over missing pregnant asylum seekers

    Women | The Guardian

    At least 25 heavily pregnant women have disappeared from asylum shelters since November, sparking fears of trafficking and illegal adoption

    This article is part of the Guardian’s This is Europe series

    Dutch authorities have issued an alert over the disappearances of dozens of pregnant African women housed in asylum shelters in the Netherlands.

    The unusual alert, seen by the Guardian and Argos Radio of the Netherlands, was put out by the Expertise Centre for Human Trafficking and Smuggling (EMM), a collaboration between the Dutch National Police, the Royal Netherlands Military Police, the Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate and the Immigration Service.

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    March 4th 2020, 5:22 am

    Abortion rights case is first test for right-leaning US supreme court

    Women | The Guardian

    Justices, with their newly conservative majority, will weigh in on a lawsuit that could have significant effects to Roe v Wade

    The US supreme court, and its new conservative majority, will hear one of the most consequential abortion rights cases in decades. Oral arguments in the case, called June Medical Services LLC v Russo, take place Wednesday morning.

    The case represents the first test for how the nine-member court, which has swung towards the right, will handle a high-profile reproductive rights case.

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    March 4th 2020, 4:22 am

    Newly conservative supreme court to hear arguments in abortion rights case

    Women | The Guardian

    Case considers a Louisiana state law that could weaken Roe v Wade if allowed to stand

    A remade conservative majority on the US supreme court will hear oral arguments in a case this week that could result in grave new restrictions on abortion access while technically leaving the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision in place, health advocates warn.

    Donald Trump’s appointment of justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh has created the most hostile court in generations when it comes to support for a woman’s right to choose, activists say.

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    March 4th 2020, 4:22 am

    Women work for free for two months a year, says TUC analysis

    Women | The Guardian

    Women work an average of 63 unpaid days because of the gender pay gap, according to figures

    Women work for free for two months a year as a result of the gender pay gap, according to analysis by the TUC. The trade union federation marked Wednesday as the first day of the year that the average woman effectively begins to get paid.

    “Our economy is stacked against working women. At this rate, it will take another 50 years to close the gender pay gap,” said the TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady. “No more excuses: the government must get on and sort the gender pay gap now.”

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    March 3rd 2020, 7:31 pm

    Land girls hostel given listed status to mark women’s war work

    Women | The Guardian

    Hut in Cheshire is one of few surviving buildings housing farmworkers who fed Britain

    One of the last remaining Women’s Land Army (WLA) hostels has been given Grade II listed status for being “vitally important” in recognising women’s wartime efforts.

    The humble hut, in Smallwood, Cheshire, is one of the few surviving WLA hostels, and has been listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

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    March 3rd 2020, 7:31 pm

    Fresh call for Oxford dictionaries to change 'sexist' definitions

    Women | The Guardian

    Open letter continues drive to remove ‘damaging everyday sexism’ in its entries, such as citing ‘bitch’ as a synonym for woman

    The leaders of Women’s Aid and the Women’s Equality party are among the signatories to an open letter calling on Oxford University Press to change its dictionaries’ “sexist” definitions of the word “woman”.

    The letter points out that some Oxford Dictionaries’ definitions of the word include synonyms such as “bitch” and “maid”, and says that derogatory and sexist examples of usage include, “God, woman. Will you just listen?”

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    March 3rd 2020, 12:10 pm

    James Franco accusers are 'jumping on the #MeToo bandwagon', say actor's lawyers

    Women | The Guardian

    Franco denies allegations and asks Los Angeles county superior court to dismiss lawsuit against him

    James Franco has responded to allegations of sexual harassment by two former students by claiming they were an attempt to “jump on the [#MeToo] bandwagon” and played into “the media’s insatiable appetite to ruin the next celebrity”.

    In a demurrer filed on 28 February to the Los Angeles county superior court, Franco’s lawyers asked that the lawsuit filed in October by Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal be dismissed, saying none of the alleged events detailed had happened, and the statute of limitations had passed for the accusations.

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    March 3rd 2020, 8:39 am

    Women's prize for fiction lines up 'heavy hitters' on 2020 longlist

    Women | The Guardian

    Three Booker winners lead a 16-strong field contending for £30,000 prize in what judges described as ‘an extraordinary year’

    The Mirror and the Light isn’t published until Thursday, but the conclusion to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy has already made the longlist for the Women’s prize for fiction.

    Some of the biggest names in fiction are in direct competition this year for the £30,000 award, which celebrates “excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from across the world”. Mantel, who won the Booker price twice for the previous novels in her historical trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell, is up against two other Booker winners: Anne Enright’s Actress, in which a daughter explores her famous mother’s breakdown, and Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, a polyphonic exploration of black womanhood. A prominent omission from the longlist is Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, which jointly won the Booker with Evaristo’s novel last year.

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    March 2nd 2020, 7:13 pm

    New Zealand introduces endometriosis guidelines for doctors

    Women | The Guardian

    A health taskforce has developed the nation’s first-ever best-practice principles for dealing with the debilitating disease

    For the first time, best-practice guidelines will be introduced for doctors treating patients suffering from endometriosis in a bid to improve early detection and ease the suffering of a common but woefully undertreated disease.

    According to the ministry of health [MoH] endometriosis affects one in 10 of New Zealand’s women and girls and delayed diagnosis is common, leading to delays in appropriate treatment and pain management.

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    March 1st 2020, 10:33 pm

    Argentina set to become first major Latin American country to legalise abortion

    Women | The Guardian

    President Alberto Fernández says he intends to put a bill before congress in next 10 days

    Argentina is on track to become the first major Latin American country to legalise abortion.

    Its president, Alberto Fernández, said on Sunday that he intends to send a legal abortion bill to congress in the next 10 days.

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    March 1st 2020, 3:56 pm

    Housewives register their disapproval | Brief letters

    Women | The Guardian

    National Housewives’ Register | The Greta generation | Coronavirus and handshakes | Marmalade tea | Misheard hymn lyrics

    I have bittersweet memories of the National Housewives’ Register (G2, 27 February). Sometime around 1971, my friend Roy’s wife asked if I’d speak at a meeting of the local branch in High Wycombe. I did not take this seriously since they were, after all, only housewives. I was asked to talk about incomes policy. I was slaughtered, especially by an ex-Treasury mother, but all the others joined in. A field day for them, a humiliating lesson for me.
    John Purcell
    Coventry

    • I became a great-grandparent last week, and the joy and delight was mixed with such strong feelings of anxiety, depression and anger at the shitty world into which the little fellow has been born. Then I saw the protests by schoolchildren waiting to hear Greta Thunberg speak (Report, 29 February). My heart was lifted. Maybe there is some hope for him...
    Maggie Warwick
    Leeds

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    March 1st 2020, 1:25 pm
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