Women in the news: an eventful day

Listening to the news today, I am struck by how many stories are about women. Some are cause for great celebration, others are heart-breaking. The fact that there are such an unusually high number made me want to post a quick overview, by way of showing the breadth, complexity and diversity of women’s experiences. In a country where men and their actions tend to dominate the news I wanted to make note of a day where that is not the case.

Starting on a celebratory note, a joint campaign led by Eaves and Object lobbying the House of Lords to make it illegal for punters to purchase the services of exploited sex workers has proved successful. More info at the Demand Change Website


There are other important campaigns going on this week at Westminster that are worth knowing about. Amnesty International are leading a mass lobby to challenge the “No recourse to public funds” policy which means some women are not able to gain access to specialist services or a refuge should they become victims of violence. Read more at here.


Also, peers are currently considering another clause in the policing and crime bill, this time one which will change the lisencing conditions of lap dancing clubs, naming them as “sex encounter venues”. Object have been leading a lobbying campaign. More here.


If you’ve been listening to Radio Ulster today you can’t have missed the story about the Irish Supreme Court’s decision to allow Portmarnock golf club near Dublin to ban women. I was impressed by the impassioned arguments of the women commenting on it on said local radio station who effortlessly showed up the opposing commenters for the arrogant little boys that they were. More here.


I was upset to read about a horrific rape that took place at the weekend, when a 36 year old man held a 15 year old girl and committed at least 4 different sexual assaults against her. I feel for her as she faces the beginning of her fight for justice in a legal system which is not famous for it’s treatment of girls and women in her position. More from BBC here.


It is encouraging to see someone with a bit of power speak out about the failings of the police when it comes to properly investigating rape and taking women’s experiences seriously. The police ombudsman has recommended disciplinary action to be taken against 4 police officers in Derry for this horrendous fuck up.


The ongoing inquest into the deaths of a mother and her 9 year old daughter in Carryduff highlight failings on the part of the health trusts responsible for treating her and reminded me of the difficulties many women face in getting adequate mental health care here.


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