Top 9 Moments for Women’s Rights in 2018

IWDA writes:
1. Iceland made the gender pay gap illegal 2. Women Human Rights Defenders gathered in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea 3. Saudi women gained the right to drive 4. Women spoke up – and the world listened 5. Women comprised a quarter of candidates in Fiji election 6. Regional voices were heard at the world’s biggest women’s rights meeting 7. A record number of women will serve in the new US Congress 8. Progress for women candidates in Solomon Islands 9. Time’s Up [category global, feminism]

Advocates Say the NYPD Has ‘Pressured’ Rape Victims Into Ending Investigations

Victim advocates are concerned that the New York Police Department may be forcing rape victims to sign “withdrawal” forms that close their cases without ever investigating them, the Appeal reports.
[category global, sexual violence]

Women ‘risk health over trans NHS workers fear’

Campaigners have raised concerns that a new policy which allows male doctors to self-identify as female is deterring vulnerable women from visiting gynaecologists.

A handful of women claim that they have cancelled, delayed or felt uncomfortable during cervical cancer screenings because they were anxious about being presented with a healthcare worker who had transitioned to female.

One woman wrote: “I’ve already missed three smear tests because I am so scared of being presented with a male nurse.” Another said: “The NHS currently try whenever possible to provide me with female healthcare providers due to my traumatic history. If their definition of female and mine changes, it means that I’m unlikely to access medical care.”

One health board, NHS Lothian, said that it was unable to guarantee that female-only care would not be undertaken by a transgender doctor. It said in response to a freedom of information request: “Unless the practitioner consented, to exclude them from carrying out female-only care would be a breach of section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, and a criminal offence. There are also restrictions under the Equality Act 2010 around requiring staff to disclose their gender identity and staff selection on this basis.

“Charlie”, a 47-year-old writer from Fife, was sexually assaulted as a teenager and suffers flashbacks when put in a vulnerable position with a man. “To be told that I can’t be guaranteed female-only care and I won’t be told when that might not be achievable — those are both real violations of my trust in the health service,” she said. “If someone is telling me they’re female, when I can see that they’re male, I’m already thinking the worst. They’re already lying to me. I would leave.”
[category global, trans]

New Study Shows Scale of Abuse Against Women on Twitter

Amnesty International has released a study detailing the scale of threats made against women on Twitter, calling the social media platform “a toxic place” in what it claims is the “world’s biggest dataset of online abuse targeting women.”
The findings also show that black women were disproportionately targeted by online abuse, being 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets. Women of color were also more likely to be mentioned in such tweets than white women.
Amnesty’s study also showed that abuse against women did not discriminate against political leanings; the female journalists and politicians featured spanned the ideological spectrum and represented a variety of political views, and were all targeted by abuse. [category global, sexual harassment]

The most powerful moments that happened for women in 2018

An inrush of sexual harassment and assault allegations across almost every sector, a spike in domestic violence cases, stories of workplace bullying and intimidation, certain politicians acting like sex-crazed, embarrassingly incompetent morons, little progress in terms of the gender pay gap, poor leadership and the list goes on.

Reflecting only on this, it would be easy to deduce that progress went backwards for women this year.

But in fairness, it wasn’t all bad. Below we share some of the greatest moments for women from 2018; some that will have far reaching, positive impacts in Australia and globally for years to come.

  • Women in Hollywood start the #TimesUp movement
  • Saudi Arabia allows women to attend soccer matches and drive cars
  • The tampon tax is repealed by Australian Parliament
  • The second annual Women’s March moves ahead
  • A record number of women run for congress and win
  • Emma Gonzalez champions gun law reform with #NeverAgain movement
  • Female pro surfers win their fight for equal pay
  • Donna Strickland wins the Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Kerryn Phelps wins seat of Wentworth at byelection
  • Nadia Murad wins Nobel Peace Prize
  • Ireland legalised abortion
  • Historic NAIDOC week theme moves ahead: ‘Because of Her, We Can’:
[category Aust, feminism]

The Brisbane male-only Tattersall’s Club votes to allow female members

The male only Tattersall’s Club prepared to enter the 21st Century last night, when its members voted to allow women to join the club.

Still, the vote in favour of women only narrowly won, with 1368 members voting against women joining club, compared to 1405 members voting in favour of the change. More the 200 votes were declared informal, with reports some members declared cries of “shame”as the result became known.

Earlier this week the ABC reported that in the weeks before Justice Thomas Bradley’s appointment as a Supreme Court Justice, he put his name to a motion to change voting rules at the club, in a move that would have resulted in it being “practically impossible” for the club to allow women to become members.
[category Aust, inequity]

It’s time to change the rules

With the rise of the #MeToo movement, the spotlight has been shone on how our society treats women, writes Christine Smyth.

It has always been the case, that overall, our legal profession does not treat its female lawyers equitably. The research reveals that there are clear road blocks to women progressing in their legal careers (see the NARS report). As a result, talented female lawyers abandon the law for successful careers in other disciplines-to our profession’s great detriment.

If the legal profession cannot treat its female solicitors with equality, then it makes it difficult for the community to have faith in the justice system to ensure that women in our community are treated with equality.
[category Aust, inequity, workforce discrimination]

Why are our prisons full of domestic violence victims?

The number of women in prison is continuing to soar, new data shows. But advocates warn we can’t arrest the increase until we start properly addressing domestic abuse, which affects an overwhelming majority of women behind bars.

One emerging but “alarming” phenomenon leading to women’s criminalisation, lawyers and advocates say, is the growing number of domestic violence victims being misidentified by police as primary aggressors — and named as respondents on family violence intervention orders.
Disturbingly, she said, a growing number of perpetrators are attempting to “game the system” and will, for instance, apply for intervention orders during family law proceedings out of spite or to gain an advantage.

“What we’re hearing … is the really sophisticated and creative ways in which abusive men are manipulating the [family violence] system … research we’ve conducted recently suggests that abusers are feeling like there is a system that’s persecuting them, that they will then use to persecute their victim.”

The costs are borne by entire families: Imprisoning mothers can have devastating consequences for their children and perpetuate intergenerational offending and cycles of incarceration. This disproportionately impacts Indigenous women in prison, of whom some 80 per cent are mothers.

“We hear frequently that women who sought police intervention to keep them safe were instead arrested, so of course that’s going to deter them from seeking help and makes them even more vulnerable [to abuse].”
[category Aust, domestic violence]

Unafraid of backlash, 30 Chennai women prepare for journey to Sabarimala

Months after the Supreme Court of India allowed the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 to enter the Sabarimala temple in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala, not a single woman in the ‘menstrual’ age bracket has entered, thanks to violence and protests from Hindutva groups. However, on Sunday, news broke of a group of Chennai-based women, who have planned to make the journey, despite the threats and violence faced by women devotees and journalists over the last couple of months.

Source: Unafraid of backlash, 30 Chennai women prepare for journey to Sabarimala | The News Minute

‘Rough Sex’ Doesn’t Kill, Domestic Violence Does

There has been pub­lic out­cry fol­low­ing the short sen­tence handed to a man con­victed of killing his girl­friend af­ter what he called ‘rough sex’.

Na­talie Con­nolly, 26, a mother of one, died in De­cem­ber 2016, of acute al­co­hol in­tox­i­ca­tion and blunt force in­juries. John Broad­hurst, 40, ad­mit­ted to in­flict­ing those in­juries, but said they were meted out as part of what re­ports have called ‘rough sex’, and com­pared to scenes of 50 Shades of Grey.

Broad­hurst has­n’t been found guilty of mur­der, or of GBH, but of manslaugh­ter. Yes, Broad­hurst beat her, but ap­par­ently only ‘within the bounds of her masochis­tic de­sires’. Yes, he in­flicted a blow-out frac­ture to her left eye, and in­ter­nal in­juries via a bot­tle of car­pet cleaner, but he was cleared, be­cause this was all part of, we’re told to be­lieve, con­sen­sual sex.

Labour MP Har­riet Har­man has now re­ferred the case to the At­tor­ney Gen­eral, ask­ing him to con­sider if this counts as an un­duly le­nient sen­tence. She tweeted:

‘He blames her for her own death, says she wanted is vi­o­lence. She can’t give ev­i­dence as she’s dead. Men used to evade mur­der charge with “nag­ging & shag­ging” de­fense. The 21st cen­tury ver­sion is the “50 shades of grey” de­fense. Can­not be al­lowed to stand.’
[category global, domestic violence, sexual violence]