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The state is an enabler of sexual violence. So what hope for the victims? (The Guardian)

What does a perpetrator of violence against women look like? For many, the question still evokes images of shadowy strangers pouncing in the dark or thuggish drunken husbands stumbling home from football matches – stereotypes challenged tirelessly by women’s organisations and campaigners, especially throughout the current 16 days of action against gender-based violence.

In reality, women are statistically most likely to be assaulted by someone known to them, and domestic abuse can be, and is, also perpetrated by handsome middle-class professionals. Busting myths is therefore a crucial tool in the fight against a culture which relies on them. But for all these vital and urgent conversations about the true face of perpetrators, there is one that remains largely invisible in spite of both ubiquity and power: the state itself. … Read More

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN12 - Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, USA; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012; Young Global Leader is captured during the session 'Women as the Way Forward' at the Annual Meeting 2012 of the World Economic Forum at the congress centre in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2012.

Copyright by World Economic Forum
swiss-image.ch/Photo by Moritz Hager

Corporate feminism oppresses women. Here’s how. (The Guardian)

What would you do with £119,000? It’s a nice problem to have, but not one the majority of us will ever have to grapple with, given that the average UK income is £26,500.

The £119,000 threshold is what it takes to become one of the UK’s super-rich, the top 1% of earners in the country. They are concentrated in sectors such as finance and business, and between them they are worth more than £250bn to the UK’s economy. It also just so happens that only one in five of them are women, according to new research released by the LSE. … Read More

Girl Summit 2014

Radio 2 Interview – Conservative Leadership Election and Feminism

A few days ago I was invited to appear on Radio 2 as part of a debate about whether an all-woman race for the Conservative leadership is a feminist victory. Just as we were about to go live, Andrea Leadsom went and stole my thunder by pulling out of the race. As a result, I ended up only doing a short interview bit about my thoughts instead of a proper debate, but you can listen below if you’re interested. … Read More

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Don’t confuse the Conservatives’ embrace of female leaders with feminism (The Guardian)

You wait 26 years for another female Tory leader and then two candidates come along at once. Between Margaret Thatcher’s resignation in 1990 andDavid Cameron coming to power in 2005, the Conservatives had seen six leadership elections featuring 14 candidates, with not a single woman to be found on the ballot. Yet here we are in 2016, with Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom fighting it out not just for party leadership but for the keys to No 10 too. … Read More

money

Why putting women on banknotes should make us feel uneasy (The Guardian)

What do Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale and the Forth Rail Bridge have in common? The answer is not the punchline to a highbrow joke: they have all been recipients of the apparent honour of appearing on some form of currency.

The issue of who should be worthy of such an accolade is a conversation that has come to the fore again recently with a widespread recognition that women are traditionally under-represented on banknotes. Canada has subsequently welcomed open nominations for women to appear on them; the US has announced the inclusion of escaped slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman; and the Royal Bank of Scotland has now put playwright and novelist Nan Shepherd on its £5 note, along with scientist Mary Somerville on the £10. … Read More