Sweden to cut aid to groups applying Trump abortion ban

A Swedish government agency on Tuesday threatened to cut aid to NGOs which have suspended abortion services over fears of losing US funding due to a decree signed by President Donald Trump.

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which aims to tackle global poverty, said it has decided that “partner organisations that receive aid to work on sexual and reproductive health and rights but also accept the president’s orders, can no longer receive aid”.


UN experts call for resistance as battle over women’s rights intensifies

A group of UN independent experts* has warned that women’s rights are facing an alarming backlash in many parts of the world. They said that it is critically important to press on with further setting of standards on gender equality, including through the repeal of all laws that discriminate against women on traditional, cultural or religious grounds and laws that exclusively or disproportionately criminalize action of behavior by women and girls.

“We feel it is time to reiterate the backlash against the progress which has been made in promoting and protecting women’s human rights. The polarization in the battle for rights is being demonstrated increasingly, and regressive positions have become a serious threat to the human rights legal framework.”


Thanks for caring, now your Superannuation’s worth half as much as men

Can you guess how much unpaid childcare is worth in Australia?

An estimated $345 billion, according to a March 2017 report by PwC, which would make it the largest industry in the formal economy.

The majority of the work is being undertaken by women.

But don’t expect to get financially rewarded for it.

Such caring responsibilities, as well as the gender pay gap and other factors are contributing to a significant divide between the superannuation savings of women and men.

We are retiring with around half as much (53%) superannuation as men, according to new research today from think tank Per Capita and the Australian Services Union.

It’s not hard to see why.


Growing Pains

Whether puberty suppression is safe and effective when used for gender dysphoria remains unclear and unsupported by rigorous scientific evidence. This is especially worrying in light of the lack of understanding of the causes of gender dysphoria in children or adults. Conditions like precocious puberty, for instance, have a biological course that is relatively well understood. Hormone interventions that treat that condition are tailored to its causes. In the case of gender dysphoria, however, we simply do not know what causes a child to identify as the opposite sex, so medical interventions, like puberty suppression, cannot directly address it.

Puberty suppression as an intervention for gender dysphoria has been accepted so rapidly by much of the medical community, apparently without scientific scrutiny, that there is reason to be concerned about the welfare of children who are receiving it, as well as reason to question the veracity of some of the claims made to support its use — such as the assertion that it is physiologically and psychologically “reversible.”



Greens call on State Government to expand Wollongong Midwifery Service

“There is a real and systemic underfunding of women’s health and birthing services throughout NSW. From Murwillumbah to Tamworth and the Blue Mountains, these sort of maternity care models are being undermined and attempted to be closed down by this out-of-touch Liberal-National State Government, despite the popularity of these programs from pregnant women and their families.


Mission impossible? Managing the 10-week school holiday gap with a busy career –

For most working parents with the average 4 weeks of annual leave, there is a significant shortfall in time available to care for the kids during the holidays. It’s often referred to as ‘juggling work and caring responsibilities’; but a more accurate description is mission impossible.

And it’s a mission impossible that sees many chose (or feel forced) to instead drop out of the workforce.

Many families rely on school care and vacation care arrangements to plug the gap of 10-15 weeks of school holidays with only 4 weeks leave.

Children over the age of 12 are not eligible for these care arrangements. At age 12 (usually around Year 7 and older) many are unsupervised either at home or elsewhere, according to 2012 data from the Australian Institute of Family Studies.


El Salvador teen rape victim sentenced to 30 years in prison after stillbirth

A teenage rape victim in El Salvador has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder after having a stillbirth, the latest in a long line of failures of justice against pregnant women in the Central American country.

Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz, 19, from a small rural community in Cuscatlán, eastern El Salvador, was convicted on the grounds that failing to seek antenatal care amounted to murder.


Without the basics, Indigenous girls still can’t participate in society

Reports earlier this week that Aboriginal girls from remote communities had been missing school during their periods came as little surprise to me.

On reading these reports, I saw a number of charitable organisations devoted to the provision of menstrual products to those in need step up and encourage people to donate so these girls had supplies available for them to access. The work such organisations do with homeless women, low socioeconomic status women and Indigenous communities in need is to be commended. Yet in my opinion, the very fact that we have to rely on the work of charities to provide pads and tampons in the first place is incredibly troubling.

Around half the population will undergo the normal, natural process of menstruation throughout the course of their lives. It’s bad enough that there are corporations getting rich off that fact while producing ads about blue liquid. It’s even worse that the government sees fit to continue having a tax on these items, treating them as luxuries rather than necessities and effectively financially penalising those who dare to bleed. Yet combine capitalist gain and government greed with service provision in remote areas: suddenly women and girls are expected to pay $10 per packet for the privilege of menstruating.


Missouri Women Using Birth Control Could Be Denied Employment

Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions. The bill, which has the support of the state’s governor, Eric Greitens, was approved by the Missouri House Tuesday.

This would mean that landlords could refuse to offer housing to women based on their reproductive health choices, while employers could fire female staff members who were using birth control, or refuse to hire them. And while of course this isn’t information most landlords or employers have access to, under SB 5 they could ask women what forms of reproductive health care they are using.


Varadkar announces abortion referendum for next year

Health Minister Simon Harris would be responsible for bringing forward legislation to allow for the referendum on the eight amendment, which gives an equal right to life to the mother and the unborn.

On Tuesday, The United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled for the second time that Ireland’s abortion laws currently violate women’s human rights.

The ruling came after an Irish woman, Siobhán Whelan, was denied access to abortion services in Ireland following a diagnosis, in 2010 of a fatal foetal impairment.

The Committee said that Ireland must provide Ms. Whelan with reparations for the harm she suffered and reform its laws to ensure other women do not continue to face similar violations.

[category: global, reproductive rights]