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feminist news round-up 4.12.11

Image: Daniel Lobo

Image: Daniel Lobo

Afghan rape victim marriage pressure

An Afghan woman who was raped and subsequently jailed for adultery has been pardoned for her ‘crime’ but upon her release, may be pressured into marrying her rapist. The woman, Gulnaz, who gave birth to a daughter in prison, apparently agreed to the marriage in a bid for freedom, despite not wanting to. According to human rights groups, hundreds of Afghan women jailed in the staunchly Muslim nation are victims of rape and domestic violence.

While her rapist, who happens to be her cousin’s husband, was jailed for 12 years for the attack, it’s sickening that such laws against victims of rape exist. But to play devil’s advocate for a moment, exactly how different is this to Western culture where women are often blamed or made to feel ashamed for attacks against them?

Crackdown on illegal abortions

Women are risking bleeding to death in dodgy backyard abortions gone wrong in the South African city of Pietermaritzburg. Police will crack down on illegal abortionists following a number of arrests on foreigners administering abortion drugs to women who are more than three months pregnant. A recent case involved a woman charged over aborting her five month old foetus and burying it in a shallow grave.

More Aussie women driving drunk

In the year to June, 20 per cent of all Australian drivers convicted of drink driving were women, according to a report by The Daily Telegraph. The reason? Experts blame a variety of factors, including women ‘drinking more like men’, driving to protect their inebriated partners, and high levels of stress and conflict in their lives. And while men still outnumber women, the percentage of men convicted has fallen, or remained steady, every year for the past decade.

Italian women look forward to gender equality

Incoming Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, says correcting the gender imbalance in Italian society is of urgent economic necessity, and that it is important that women are represented in every aspect of the country’s life. Following this, Monti handed three of the most senior jobs in his government to women. The move is in stark contrast to the nation’s disgraced former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government in which only one woman held a portfolio of substance. Earlier this year, Italians protested against the image of women that Berlusconi was giving to the world.

Women with male friends carry more clout

A study by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW has found that the gender of your closest friends can determine your success. According to the study, right-wing women with close male friends are more influential and successful than left-wing women with only female friends; however right-wing men whose close friends are exclusively male came out on top. The least influential? Left-wing men with female friends.

women more bitchy with sexier women

A study has found that nearly all women are threatened by an attractive peer. Researchers sat a group of women in a room under the guise of taking part in an experiment. Half of the women were strangers; the others friends, and none of them knew exactly what the experiment entailed. Researchers then sent a beautiful woman into the room to measure the group’s reactions.

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