Visible Women

From stuntwomen to equal pay strikers: the women making waves this week

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Moya Crockett
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Dropping every Friday, Women Making Waves is a series highlighting the women who rocked the boat, pushed for change and made history around the world this week.  

GLOW’s Shauna Duggins becomes first woman to win stunt coordination Emmy 

Shauna Duggins with her Outstanding Stunt Coordination Emmy

On Saturday (8 September), Shauna Duggins made history as the first woman ever to win a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. Duggins is the stunt coordinator for Stylist favourite GLOW, Netflix’s hit Eighties-set series about female pro wrestlers

It was the second time Duggins had been nominated for an Outstanding Stunt Coordination Emmy: she was previously nominated in 2006 for her work with Jennifer Garner on Alias. To take home the trophy, she fought off stiff competition from the stunt coordinators on shows including Saturday Night Live, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Shameless.

“I’m honoured to be the first woman,” Duggins said backstage after her win.

GLOW has been praised by critics for its portrayal of women who are admired for their physical strength, rather than their sexual attractiveness. Duggins said she sees the series as one that shows what women are truly capable of.

“I think this show in general breaks the mould,” she said. “And I’m so honoured to be a part of it.”

10-year-old girl persuades cereal brand to drop “sexist” slogan 

Kellogg’s has said it will change a slogan on Coco Pops boxes

On Thursday (13 September), we brought you the news that a schoolgirl from Bournemouth had successfully challenged everyday sexism. Hannah-Marie Clayton, 10, wrote to Kellogg’s to ask them to remove the phrase “approved by mums” from Coco Pops boxes, because she felt it perpetuated gender stereotypes.

“I feel that quote is sexist, men are also able to make breakfast,” Clayton wrote in a letter to the cereal manufacturer. “My dad does it a lot for me because my mum works away a lot and is not always there for breakfast.”

She added: “I would recommend instead of putting ‘mums’, put parents or carers. It would just mean a small change. In this world today we shouldn’t just rely on women.”

Kellogg’s has now agreed to change the slogan. In the company’s official response to Clayton, a spokesperson said that Coco Pops packaging will be updated to “refer to approval from both mums and dads”. Proof that speaking out can make a difference. 

Glasgow women go on strike over equal pay 

It was announced this week that thousands of women in Glasgow – including care workers, cleaners and caterers – are set to go on strike over equal pay.

The union GMB Scotland represents around 2,000 low-paid women who have been pursuing equal pay claims against Glasgow City Council since 2006. On Thursday afternoon, GMB returned a ballot showing that 98% of its voting members supported a strike, which will affect schools, museum and leisure facilities if it goes ahead.

As well as the 2,000 women represented by GMB Scotland, there are believed to be between 10,000 other women in Glasgow with ongoing equal pay claims against the council. Most of these women are employed by Cordia, an external organisation employed by the council to provide management and care services.

“This is a significant moment, not just in the long history of Glasgow’s equal pay scandal but in the fight back against institutionalised discrimination and sexism at work,” GMB Scotland organiser Rhea Wolfson told the Glasgow Evening Times.

“Thousands of women who have been robbed by their employer for years have sent a loud and clear message to this council and to the country: enough is enough. It’s time to deliver what we are owed.”

Jo Swinson makes history as first MP to take a baby into a Commons debate

Also on Thursday, Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson appeared in a debate in the House of Commons with her 11-week-old son Gabriel. It was the first time ever that an MP had attended a Commons debate with a baby.

Swinson’s decision to take Gabriel into the Commons chamber wasn’t just historically significant. The politician’s status as a new mother was directly relevant to the subject of the debate, which concerned whether the government should introduce a proxy voting system for MPs unable to participate in parliamentary votes.

The MP for East Dunbartonshire experienced the perils of not having a proxy voting system this summer, while she was on maternity leave with Gabriel. She had been promised that Tory MP Brandon Lewis would abstain from a Brexit vote that she could not attend, but Lewis broke this agreement and voted anyway. As a result, the vote was directly affected by Swinson having recently given birth.

Speaking in the Commons, Swinson said she was told on Twitter that “she should decide whether she wants to be a mother or an MP”, while one of her fellow MPs questioned why she “couldn’t spend five hours voting in parliament in the evening with a two-week old baby”.

Read more about why proxy voting is a feminist issue here.

Women Making Waves is part of Stylist’s Visible Women campaign to raise awareness of women who’ve made a difference to society. See more Visible Women stories here.  

Images: Getty Images