News and Miscellany, 14 September 2015

Refugee women give birth on way to Europe, even on boats WRAL September 14

The U.N. and the International Organization for Migration do not have figures for how many pregnant women are making the journey. But it is clear that people fleeing Syria and other conflict-ridden lands are so desperate that being pregnant, even heavily pregnant, is not holding women back. If anything, they sense an even greater urgency to leave horrifying conditions in places like Libya, where smugglers often deny them medical care, some aid workers say.

Amina Asmani of Syria fought her way past baton-wielding Macedonian riot police in August, managing to get to a train with her husband and 10-day-old son, who was born on a Greek island during her journey. “The policemen let us on the train only because they felt sorry for the baby,” she told the AP at the time.

Barbora Sollerova, a midwife who works on Dignity I, a Doctors Without Borders ship that has been carrying out rescue operations near Malta since mid-June, says about 10 percent of the women taken on board were pregnant.

How come there are no girls? Pregnant women in India want to know. Pri, September 14

Under Indian law, it’s strictly illegal for a doctor to reveal the sex of a fetus “by any words, by any sign, by any way, by any means — by emailing or anything,” says Varsha Deshpande, a lawyer and activist who’s spent more than 20 years fighting against sex selection in her home state, Maharashtra.

“We see it as genocide.” What angers her most is lax enforcement of the country’s so-called Prohibition of Sex Selection Act, which is aimed at doctors but routinely ignored.

10 Historic Women Photographers You Should Know Huffington Post, September 14

Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin and Annie Leibovitz are indelible icons in the photography canon, having created works that art history students will be studying for centuries to come. Below is a primer on 10 of the historic women included in the upcoming photography sale at Sotheby’s. Add these ladies to your list of art world saints, pronto.

Beyond the list below, works by photographers like Doris Ulmann, Imogen Cunningham, Alma Lavenson, Consuelo Kanaga, Dorothea Lange, Ruth Bernhard, Berenice Abbott, Lisette Model and Lynn Davis will also be up for sale at Sotheby’s next month. However, there are, of course, many more woman photographers you should know outside of this sale, particularly the work of Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Graciela Iturbide and, of course, Cindy Sherman.

This CEO is helping Saudi women break a gender barrier Fortune, September 14

In 1983, Lubna Olayan became the first woman to work for her father’s business—Olayan Financing Co. (OFC), a sprawling multinational conglomerate based in Saudi Arabia.

It would be 18 years before she got her first female colleague.

By then Olayan was running the company, and she’d had time to consider her singularity. “I was privileged to be a woman CEO of a large family business,” she says. “I recognized there is something wrong with this—I can’t be the only woman.”

Women in Latin America, C’bean face barriers to economic activity, Jamaican Observer, September 14

In the past two years, Jamaica repealed a restriction on night work for women, which had been in place since 1942. Mexico made payments for childcare tax deductible and Uruguay increased the length of maternity and paternity leave.

Uruguay also raised the minimum age of marriage with consent for both boys and girls.

Nicaragua emerged as the top reformer in the region by introducing paternity leave, giving married men and women equal rights to be head of household, and to choose the marital home.

The country also raised the minimum age of marriage for girls and boys and improved women’s property rights in cases of divorce.

White House honors 2 Arizona women as ‘Champions of Change’, AZCentral, “Arizona Republic,” September 14

Tachine, 37, is a Ganado native and a member of the Navajo Nation who received her doctorate in higher education at the University of Arizona. At UA, Tachine helped lead Native SOAR, a mentorship program for Native American college and high-school students.

“I always was raised by grandparents and my family to think about our people and to give back to them,” Tachine said. “Ingrained in me is the idea of what can we do to help our community. That’s what fuels my fire.”

Avila, 26, is an Affordable Care Act organizer at Planned Parenthood who is also spearheading a campaign to implement comprehensive sexual education to local schools.

For me, this award was a surprise, I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Avila said. “I’m glad I’ve been able to have a positive impact in my community.”

‘I’m surrounded by men’: Life for women in the Calais ‘Jungle’, France24, September 14

The centre was designed for 100 women and children; currently 115 are living there. Carine Zerouali, the centre’s manager, says they know rape, sexual aggression and prostitution are happening inside the camp and that they’re “pushing the walls” of the Portakabin-like building to try to make more room.

Aida came to the centre two weeks ago after making her way from Darfur to Calais on her own. It took her two months and she found herself spending 10 “dangerous, awful days” on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea.

“I have no idea where my parents are,” she says. “When I was little I was very close to my father, he used to say I was as strong as 100 men. But when I was on that boat I was very, very scared.”

She’s already tried to jump on a lorry crossing the channel several times but so far has had to remain at the centre.

Violence against women is not a political plaything – not even Rosie Batty can save Abbott now Canberra Times, September 14 (Jenna Price)

Last week, Our Watch, funded by the federal government and some state and territory governments, to drive cultural change in the behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children, handed out inaugural awards on exemplary reporting covering those issues.

I’m proud to say that Counting Dead Women and Fairfax’s Shine A Light campaign were both given awards – and I’m honoured to be part of both of those teams. But I was utterly appalled at Senator Michaelia Cash’s speech beforehand where she said that Australia had turned a corner on the issue of domestic violence.

She said that at the end of 24 hours during which three women had lost their lives to violence. She said the media had a responsibility when it came to reporting on violence against women.


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