In tonight’s Dispatch, we’re looking at the news that a group of Central American women and children has defied Trump to enter the US. Plus: a study has revealed the disparity between how books by male and female authors are priced; Ireland’s Presbyterian Church has weighed in on the upcoming abortion referendum; and an ovarian cancer coalition has issued a warning about rising diagnosis rates for the disease.
Central American women defy Trump to arrive in US
A small group of women and children who travelled in a much-publicised ‘caravan’ to seek asylum in the US have been allowed to enter the country.
The group of hundreds of Central American migrants set off on their 2,000-mile journey a month ago, trekking through Mexico until they reached the US border in Tijuana. Most of them said they were fleeing death threats, extortion and horrific gang violence.
Along the way, their journey caught the attention of Donald Trump and the media - and the president was predictably unhappy at the idea of the US accepting Mexican asylum seekers. In April, he tweeted that he had instructed secretary of homeland security Kirstjen Nielsen “not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country [sic]. It is a disgrace”.
However, international rules stipulate that the US has a responsibility to grant some asylum applications, and eight women and children have now been allowed across the border.
Hundreds of people from countries across Central America are still waiting on the Mexican side of the border. Many say that they will continue their sit-in until they are allowed to tell their stories to US border officials.
Reuters has more on this story here.
Books by women are priced 45% lower than books by men
A new study has revealed the stark and startling difference between how books by male and female authors are valued.
The research, which analysed the price of more than two million books, shows that titles by women writers are sold at just over half the price of those written by men on average.
The books featured in the research were all published in North America between 2002 and 2012. Study authors Dana Beth Weinberg and Adam Kapelner, a sociologist and mathematician at Queens-College CUNY in New York, found that books by women released by mainstream publishers were priced on average 45% lower than books by men.
They also looked at self-published or independently published books from the same period, and discovered that there was still a price gap of 7% when authors were able to set their own book price.
“The easy answer [for the disparity] would be that publishing companies are sexist, but the indie findings challenge that simple explanation,” said Weinberg, a sociologist.
Read more at The Guardian.
Ireland’s Presbyterian Church comes out against legalising abortion
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has announced its position on the upcoming abortion referendum for the first time.
In a letter circulated to all Presbyterian ministers and congregations in the Republic of Ireland, the Church said that it did not support the abolition of the Eighth Amendment, which gives an unborn foetus the same right to life as a pregnant woman - thus making abortion illegal in almost all circumstances in Ireland.
“The General Council of our Church, acting with the authority of the General Assembly, has concluded that meaningful protection for the unborn can only be secured if the Eighth Amendment is retained in the forthcoming referendum,” said the letter.
It continued: “As Christians, we see the scriptures speaking consistently of the importance and value of human life, including that of the unborn. On that basis, we are responsible before God to honour the sanctity of human life.”
The referendum on abortion will take place in Ireland on 25 May.
Read more on this story at The Irish Times.
Ovarian cancer diagnoses will increase by more than 50% in two decades, says organisation
Diagnoses for ovarian cancer are set to increase by 55% in the next 20 years, according to a global coalition of organisations working to support people with the disease.
The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition says that more must be done to improve mortality rates for the illness, which has the lowest survival rate of all female cancers. Around the world, the survival rate for ovarian cancer ranges from 30% to 50%.
Ovarian cancer is generally diagnosed in post-menopausal women over the age of 50, and so the rise in the disease has largely been attributed to the fact that women are living longer.
“This study tells us that unfortunately ovarian cancer continues to lag far behind the many other cancers that have made good progress in recent years, like breast cancer,” said Elisabeth Baugh, chair of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
For more on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, click here.
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