Women's rights and Feminism

Women's Fightback: Pandemic hits women's mental health

New studies indicate that the pandemic has caused a crisis in mental health in women and girls.  CARE spoke to 6,200 women and 4,000 men in nearly 40 countries around the world. They found 27% of women had reported increased mental health challenges. This compared to 10% of men. They identified increased unpaid work in the home and worries about food, work and health care. Women were almost twice as likely to report that accessing quality healthcare services that they needed had been harder during the pandemic. CARE identified three key areas of difference between the genders during the...

Universal Credit blights women's autonomy

Some women claiming welfare benefits are finding that the system compromises their financial autonomy. If a woman claims benefits, and lives with a partner who also claims benefits, then the system requires them to make a joint claim. Because this is a new claim, she is moved onto Universal Credit. Both her and her partner have individual ‘claimant commitments’, and if her partner doesn’t fulfil his or her ‘claimant commitment’ correctly then the partner will be sanctioned. But because this is a joint claim, she will also lose money, up to half of their joint income. The woman is financially...

Tories put lid on transgender rights

The Gender Recognition Act became law in 2004. It allows transgender people to apply for a “Gender Recognition Certificate”, and that allows a replacement birth certificate to be issued with the correct gender. But the process is lengthy and requires a medical report to confirm a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria”. If the applicant is married they also require consent from their spouse. In 2017 the government announced that they would consider reforming the Gender Recognition Act. Several countries had made changes to legislation that allowed trans people to self-identify. Those included Ireland...

Five times the risk in pregnancy

Healthcare in pregnancy, or lack of it, is one of the starkest examples of racial health inequalities in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Work in the UK by University of Oxford researchers has found that between 2014 and 2016 the rate of death in pregnancy was 8 in 100,000 white people, compared with 15 in 100,000 Asian people and 40 in 100,000 black people. It’s a similar picture in the US, where African-American, Native American, and Alaska native pregnancies are three times more likely to result in death, according to a May 2019 report by the Centers for Disease Control. The...

NRPF hits women harder in pandemic

Women’s charities have raised the alarm that victims of domestic violence are being refused places at refuges because they do not speak sufficient English. Those turned away include a mother with a 14-month-old baby who was fleeing violence after being held as a slave by her ex-husband. Karma Nirvana, which supports those at risk from forced marriage and “honour”-based violence, said squeezed services in the lockdown period made it even harder for migrant women to access refuge places. Of 20 women Karma Nirvana could not find a refuge for during lockdown, it said five were turned down by six...

Resonances from the 70s

Mrs America is a mini-series charting the battles in the 1970s between the rising feminist movement in the United States and its enemies over the Equal Rights Amendment (an amendment to the Constitution which still hasn’t been ratified by enough states to become law). It shows us well-known figures from the American women’s movement at that time, like Gloria Steinem (played by Rose Byrne) and Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman), but focuses also on the woman who set out to defeat them, Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett). Steinem herself, and others, have criticised the series for overstating this...

Some see 45%, others 3%

As workers were furloughed and schools closed, confining families to the home, housework and childcare increased. Articles and blog posts told of pressure on women to take on more and more. Research coming out of USA, Canada, Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands has found men doing more domestic work during the pandemic than they did before it. But they haven’t closed the gap with women, “Across the board, whether it’s dishwashing, laundry, childcare, reading to kids, physical care, we’re seeing a universal movement toward more egalitarian sharing,” says Dan Carlson, a sociologist at the...

Solidarity with women, LGBTIQ people, minorities in Poland!

Andrzej Duda of the radical right Law and Justice party has been re-elected as Poland’s president. Activists in London and beyond are showing solidarity with people persecuted and attacked by the Polish hard-right regime; for human rights, freedom, and dignity; and with those resisting and fighting back. See more information about a protest here: Saturday 15, 1pm, Polish Embassy in London.

Poland: "Expect a fightback"

Andrzej Duda of the radical right Law and Justice party has been re-elected as Poland’s president, defeating the liberal conservative opposition’s candidate Rafał Trzaskowski 51%-49% in the second round. Ana Oppenheim spoke to Sacha Ismail about the election and struggles in Poland. Ana is a Polish-born socialist who lives in the UK. She is a member of the Labour Party and the Polish left party Razem, an activist in the Labour Campaign for Free Movement and has just been elected to Momentum’s national coordinating group. Poland was due to have its presidential election in May, but with the...

57% of women support trans self-ID

Arguments against strengthening the rights of transgender people, on both right and left, are often posed through a false counterposition with women’s rights. Those making them frequently accuse trans rights advocates of ignoring “women’s views”, “women’s concerns” and so on. New polling by YouGov, commissioned by PinkNews, undermines these arguments even further. (See here for the full results.) Men in the UK agree that “a person should... be able to self-identify as a gender different to the one they were born in” 43% to 33% (the rest say they don’t know). Women agree 57-21. As you’d expect...

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