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news roundup: wednesday may 20, 2015

Image: Daniel Lobo

Image: Daniel Lobo


Counting Dead Women register reaches 38 women

The number of Australian women killed by violence in 2015 has now reached 38, feminist social media organisation Destroy the Joint has reported.

The figure is attributed to reports of a 68-year-old woman who died of a neck wound at her home, which police are treating as suspicious.


Inquiry delves into sexual abuse on Nauru

A Senate Inquiry into living conditions at the Nauru detention centre has heard of sexual favours being exchanged for cigarettes and other assaults and abuses by guards.

Other staff contracted by companies awarded government tenders have also been accused of sexual assault, including cleaners.

The revelations come as submissions to the inquiry outlined pregnant women were unable to gain medical treatment and would wet their beds at night to avoid crossing the island under the watch of guards to use lavatories.


Huffington Post launches ‘Cliteracy’ project

Drawing on the previous work of artist Sophia Wallace, web news service the Huffington Post has launched an interactive article on the clitoris.

‘In 1969, we put man on the moon, in 1982 we invented the internet, in 1998 we discovered the full anatomy of the clitoris,’ the project’s homepage illuminates.

The informative site consults with sex educator Jenny Block, discusses Wallace’s work, details how the clitoris was erased from the 25th edition of medical guide Gray’s Anatomy and more.


Marriage Equality could be just four votes away in Federal parliament

Australian Marriage Equality has told Fairfax just four votes could be needed to pass a same-sex marriage bill in the Federal House of Representatives.

The news comes as former Labor Treasurer and deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swan says he was ‘wrong’ to oppose marriage equality in the past, and a Tasmanian same-sex couple travelled to New Zealand to fulfil one of the women’s dying wish to be married.

AME has calculated about 72 Members of Parliament stand for marriage equality or are yet to be decided, with 76 needed for any legislation to ascend to the Senate for consideration.

However, statistics remain unamended on their website.


Celebrity backlash at Cannes ‘high heels only’ policy

An archaic rule banning flat footwear for women on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet has prompted a backlash from a number of stars.

Sicario star Emily Blunt was one to call out the dress code saying, ‘I think that everyone should wear flats, to be honest.’

The Cannes Film Festival has come under fire for the sexist policy in spite of a belated effort to improve the status of women in film by increasing numbers of female directors and judges involved with the event.


Also making headlines this week:

Domestic violence shelter servicing 50 remote Aboriginal communities in WA to close from funding cuts,

ABC’s 7.30 Report looks at domestic violence perpetrated by children,

Employers and unions lobby against Australian government’s stringent paid parental leave scheme,

Feminist Majority honour Orange is the New Black creators with Global Women’s Rights Awards,

And Cate Blanchett on sexuality hype: ‘In 2015, the point should be, “Who cares?”’

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