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feminist news round up 30.11.13

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56 women killed in Pakistan for giving birth to girls

A report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan suggests that 56 women have been killed this year in Pakistan for giving birth to girls instead of boys. According to statistics from the human rights body, ‘From January 2012 to September 2013, there were also 90 acid attacks on women, 72 cases of burning caused by other means, 491 cases of domestic violence, 344 cases of gang rape and 835 cases of violence against women in the country.’ I A Rehman, human rights activist, advocated for equal access to education to change cultural attitudes in the country.

Saudi Cleric says ban on driving protects from evil

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, in a speech delivered Wednesday in the western city of Medina, said the issue of giving women the right to drive should not be ‘one of society’s major concerns.’ The kingdom’s most senior cleric called for ‘the matter to be considered from the perspective of protecting society from evil’ which, according to him, included letting women drive. Jokes about female drivers aside, Saudi activists claim they have been assured by the authorities that they are reconsidering the ban, which has garnered worldwide attention in the last few months.

‘Casting off my womb’ – ‘vaginal knitting’ as performance art activism

Craftivist Casey Jenkins has begun a performance art project in Melbourne, during which time she will knit a scarf (one skein per day, according to Craft Cartel) from wool inserted into her vagina. Jenkins says ‘It’s sort of slightly uncomfortable sometimes, arousing sometimes’—but the piece of cloth that will a female life in all its natural states: ‘The performance wouldn’t be a performance if I were going to cut out my menstrual cycle from it.’ The piece challenges taboo and public fear of lady-town. Some commentators have cringed, others have criticised the work as exclusionary to trans* women and others with ‘anomalous plumbing.’

Janet Mardbinda has become the first person from the remote community of Warruwi to complete Year 12

18-year-old Janet travelled to Darwin to receive her Year 12 Certificate, after studying through the Northern Territory Open Education Centre. ‘They announced my name and I went up and got two certificates. It made me feel very proud,’ Janet told the NT News. Most of her study took place at a Warruwi School in the small town; she occasionally travelled to Darwin for specialist help provided by NTOEC. She plans to continue her studies next year.

In other news…

Mums of the internet freak out because another former child-star (Abigail Breslin) poses topless (sidenote, ‘celebrity photographer’ Tyler Shields, who did the shoot, previously shot Demi Lovato with the same big-eyes-phallic-lollypop imagery. At least he is consistent in his perviness.)

12-year-old threatened with expulsion over natural hair

Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins pleads guilty on charges of attempting to rape an 11-month-old baby

In Lip this week…

ACTU wants domestic violence leave

Beauty salon charges ‘fat tax

Jill Meagher crime scene photo used at police fundraiser

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