2013 is in full swing when it comes to issues for women. Perhaps this will be a year in which we find ourselves less apathetic and more vocal in our causes and concerns.
CHALLENGING THE IMAGE OF WOMEN’S BEAUTY: Applause for Angelina Jolie for sharing her choice to have a double mastectomy. She could have hidden behind the illusion of “having it all” – perfect family, perfect career and Hollywood-style physical perfection – but she is choosing instead to raise awareness for some particularly nasty women’s cancers! Read her story as it appeared in the New York Times.
MAKING OUR OWN HEADLINES: First, our Woman columnist, Suzi Bennett read Goldie Hawn’s 10 mindful minutes and wrote in her blog about how she used it to find peace while recovering from a major operation. Then Goldie read Suzi’s blog (!!) and tweeted “@DiamondDaisycha moved to tears. Blessing sweet one have a brilliant recovery. Love love”. Gawsh, we love you too Goldie and are thoroughly delighted to hear from you!
NO MORE PAGE THREE CAMPAIGN: It’s a combination of the sublime and the ridiculous. Sublime is the involvement of Girlguiding UK which includes simple but intelligent comments such as, “We would like the Sun, as a leading UK newspaper, to promote positive role models to inspire girls and young women and help everyone to understand that women are never for sale.” Ridiculous is the group of people who continue to defend the objectification of women for a range of ignorant and boorish reasons. You can add your voice to the conversation by adding your signature to the petition.
BEAUTIFUL WOMAN: Following her own run in with breast cancer last year – and the mastectomy that followed – talented photographer Gemma Brunton decided to embark on a personal photographic project exploring the effects of breast cancer surgery on women. As a female photographer who specialises in boudoir photography, she’s been encouraging women of various shapes and ages to feel good about their bodies for years. Now, she explains, she needs some brave ladies who’ve been affected by breast cancer “willing to be pioneers by being the first to go in front of my camera, but also help me tread sensitively through what could be a whole host of tricky emotions for all involved – this will be a therapeutic journey for me too, but a challenge I relish at the same time.” Could that brave, pioneering woman be you??
JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON SEN: How can parents of children with special educational needs assist in making the necessary reforms to the process of acquiring an enforceable statement (SEN) of their children’s needs? Wife blogger Sarah Lowden Poole has been asking this question of Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson. Read her open letter to the minister here, or her piece Wonderfully Ordinary which she wrote upon finally gaining a SEN for her registered blind daughter via a system she found brutal and adversarial.
FEMINISM: What is feminism in 2013? How does it look? And why do so many younger women seem apathetic about the issues of their gender? Two fascinating radio programmes explored feminist issues this week: Start the Week‘s Anne McElvoy hosted a fascinating discussion between Natasha Walter, Catherine Hakim, Finn Mackay and Shereen El Feki… while on Women’s Hour, Jane Garvey opened the phone lines to hear what listeners have to offer on the subject of “What does feminism mean to you.” Editor, Kate Seamark, tweeted: @BBCWomansHour
#feminism includes SAHM being a paid career option with training and mentoring. Good for women, children, families & society.
REPRODUCTION: Anyone who’s ever struggled to conceive knows the urge to have a baby is a hugely powerful one and one which is increased tenfold when it fails to happen quickly and easily. New NICE guidelines have allowed women in the UK to receive three cycles of IVF up to the age of 42, making its recommendations based the likelihood of success balanced against the cost to the NHS.
One Billion Rising: Surely, it is nothing short of genius that when women have something to say, they say it with a dance flashmob! Detractors say that the campaign will do little to actually end domestic violence, sex slavery and abuse, but have a look at campaign organiser Eve Ensler’s poem Over It. She seems like she means business. Hats off to a lady who shuns apathy… One Billion Rising has the potential to change the world for women and you can be a part of it! So, what are we doing next, Eve?
AUSTRALIA’S FIRST FEMALE PM CALLS AN ELECTION: People hate her, but why do people hate her? Carbon tax? Opposition to gay marriage? Inhumane approach to boat people? Yes, yes and yes, but nonetheless, she’s the last line of defence between Australians and the nastiest, most regressive, minority-hating, finger-pointing, fanatically-religious embarrassment of a PM they’ve ever had. Not to mention misogynistic… Watch the best clip to come from the Australian Parliament in 2012 (possibly ever) in which Julia Gillard slam-dunks Tony Abbott while simultaneously impersonating Crocodile Dundee (actually, that’s just how she talks and seems to be another reason to love/ hate her…)
WOMEN’S HEALTH: Professor/Dame Valerie Beral, director of the cancer epidemiology unit in Oxford and arguably one of the most important women’s health pioneers of our time, says it’s a myth that we don’t know why breast cancer is so common and a crime that more research isn’t being done into its treatment. Here, she discusses the links between childbirth, breastfeeding, HRT and breast cancer, and claims that with appropriate investment a Nobel Prize winning “vaccine” could be developed in as little as ten years.
NEWS FOR WORKING MUMS: The UK government has announced changes to the current ratio of carers to children in formal childcare settings. Claiming that an increased number of children per staff member will improve standards, Children’s Minister, Liz Truss, said the changes will bring the UK in line with other EU countries. While many parents lament the cost of childcare – and those with more than one child often return to work for minimal financial gain – critics claim that while the changes may reduce the price of care they will come at a cost to its quality.
INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN: American feminist poet, Sharon Olds, turned the end of her marriage into an achingly intimate collection of poetry which has just been awarded the TS Eliot prize. “We were particularly impressed by the strong presence of women on the list and were unanimous in awarding the 2012 TS Eliot Prize to Sharon Olds’ Stag’s Leap,” said chair of the judges, Carol Ann Duffy.
LOVE WOMEN’S LITERATURE?: They’re not new but they are brilliant… Persephone Books reprint an eclectic range of “neglected” books, many of which are written by women or concern women’s interests. The best thing about them, though is their passion for books. Check out their forum for intelligent book talk – this month featuring The Far Cry by Emma Smith.
WOMEN’S HEALTH: In newly released draft guidelines, the national institute for clinical excellence (NICE) suggests that healthy but high-risk women could be offered anti-cancer drug Tamoxifen for five years in what Breakthrough Breast Cancer have called an exciting and historic step… more info
INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Just before the year began, 23-year-old gang rape victim, “Damini”, died. The world listened in horror to the brutal details of her attack and watched as a tide of outrage – including calls for castration and the implementation of a mandatory death penalty – swept across India… Now, the Indian PM, Manmohan Singh, has promised to “pursue” a series of recommendations on how to amend Indian law to “deal effectively with cases of sexual assault of extreme nature against women”. The world watches and waits to see what this means…
UK FAMILY FINANCE: Many families will be increasingly feeling the pinch following the implementation of the long-planned reforms to Child Benefit (CB). While families in the highest income bracket (above £50,000 pa) will lose their CB altogether, a complicated system involving a tax which reclaims the money paid will be used to reduce payments to families on lower incomes. More info…
But it’s not all bad news!! Our brilliant bloggers are on stand by to write about what’s going on in their lives at Woman, Mother, Wife… Have a laugh/ smile/ cry at their various takes on womanhood, motherhood and marriage.
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