Feminist News Round-up 18.03.12
This Week in Marriage Equality
It has been a big week for marriage equality. The biggest story was probably Bob Katter’s Australia Party’s crazy video which ‘accuses’ wannabe Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman of supporting gay marriage (Lord forbid). The video is so offensive that even Andrew Bolt doesn’t like it!
Earlier this week, first submissions into the Senate Enquiry on Equal Marriage have been released. As a warning, some of these submissions are really dreadfully homophobic. The Greens proposed Bill would allow Priests to choose not to marry same-sex partners. Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, is suggesting that though the Coalition has not allowed a conscience vote, it is likely that some MPs will cross the floor to be pro equal-marriage.
Army Doctor Acquitted for Virginity Tests
A couple of times in the last few months, lip has reported that a doctor, Ahmed Adel, carried out forced and invasive ‘virginity tests’ on female protestors. He has now been found not guilty of public indecency in a military court. The judge claimed that there were too many inconsistencies in the testimony of victims. Soha Abdel-Aty, the assistant director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), which represents Ibrahim, says that the trial was a sham, made to look as though the matter had been justly investigated. In fact, she argues, the judge was not sufficiently independent and the ‘virginity tests’ were never referred to in court (merely that Adel had been conducting a medical examination in open space).
Rebate for Ruptured Implants
A few weeks ago, lip reported that women over Scotland were suffering from ruptured breast implants. The manufacturer, PIP, used industrial grade silicone and fuel additives in making the implants rather than medical grade silicone. These problems have also been occurring in Australia. This week, the government announced that it would provide subsidies for women with breast implants to undertake a medical scan. The scan will be able to ascertain whether the implants are structurally sound. In France, the government is ordering that women with this brand of breast implants have them removed, as their rupture is associated with some forms of cancer. The latest figures indicate there have been 171 confirmed cases in Australia of the implants rupturing and 26 unconfirmed reports.
Mass Marriage Saves Women From Prostitution
In India this week, a human rights organisation arranged a mass wedding for eight young women (who were over the age of 18). The women were from the village of Vadia, nicknamed the “village of prostitutes”. In general, women from this village are expected to become prostitutes. The mass wedding was a solution to this problem because once a person gets married, they are culturally no longer able to be forced into prostitution. Residents hailed the event as historic in a country where arranged weddings are extremely prevalent, and in a region where poverty compels residents to economise their nuptials by organising such mass ceremonies.
Best Employers for Women: Universities and Finance Industries
This week, the Federal Government’s Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) compiled a list of Employers of Choice for Women. This year, 125 companies showed that they were making a commitment to gender diversity in the workforce and made it to the list. Businesses which received the honour for the first time were BankWest, AGL Energy, Suncorp Group, AustralianSuper and Middletons law firm. The university and finance sectors were the best represented. In order to make the list, the selectors look for evidence that the CEO and senior management team champion equal opportunity in their workplace. Companies are also required to have staff undertake anti-sexual harassment training and refresher courses.
Anti-abortion activism escalation
Britain’s largest abortion provider, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has reported an increase in the number of anti-abortion protestors. They recently had to call the police when they noticed that women were being filmed by protestors walking in and out of clinics. BPAS also reports that activists are holding prayer vigils, telling women that if they were to enter the clinic they would be lied to, and generally harassing the women who use clinic services. On at least one occasion, members of the public have had to step in to comfort a women who was being nastily harangued by protestors.
(Image source: 1.)