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feminist news round-up 19.12.2011

Girls Dominate HSC Results

This week, final HSC results in NSW showed that female students have dominated the HSC first course awards. First Course awards are given to students with the top score of each subject who have achieved overall academic results within the top band. Around two-thirds of the award recipients were girls. You can read more about it here.

Rape: A US Weapon of War

Photos and data have recently emerged which show that US soldiers have gang-raped and murdered women and children. One of those responsible, Steven Green, was found guilty in 2009 and still awaits sentencing. US records withhold information and there is lots of evidence to suggest that the military has attempted to cover-up these wartime atrocities. You can read more about this issue here, though please note that the pictures on the website are quite graphic and some may find them distressing.

Navy Officer Found Guilty of Spanking a Junior Sailor

Naval officer John Alan Jones has been found guilty of spanking a young female junior sailor as well as other acts of indecency towards her. According to The Australian report, ‘the other incidents related to Jones telling the sailor to take off her pants and then pulling down her underwear, making her lift up her top, and touching her bottom.’ In an incident subsequent to Jones spanking the young woman, he commented that she had deserved it as a punishment for disobedience. This is yet another example of the recent allegations of sexism and inappropriate and abusive behaviour endemic in the Australian defence force, which you can read more about here. Jones awaits sentencing.

US Public Lay-offs Take Hidden Toll on Black Women

In October, New York City government slashed over 600 support-staff jobs, most of which were filled by black women. The New York City Department of Education has been hit especially hard, as one laid-off worker, Cliftonia Johnson says, ‘When you remove support staff, especially good support staff from a school, you are asking for trouble…The kids are left with nothing. Teachers are not going to come out of their classroom to break up fights . . . Those calls I made to parents aren’t getting made.’ To rub salt in the wound, most of these positions are being re-advertised to contract workers. While black women specifically have been the most affected racial and gender group, it seems that the way public sector cuts may affect equality has failed to factor in the decision-making process. You can read more about it here.

2011 Women of the Year named by The Guardian

In much brighter news, The Guardian has named their 2011 women of the year. Taking the title are women such as taekwondo world champion, Sarah Stevenson; Egyptian activist, Samira Ibrahim; and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

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