In tonight’s Women’s Daily Dispatch: the head of the Edinburgh Festival pledges to introduce more women conductors; a transgender model has become the first man to front a period campaign; and China is taking steps to roll back its strict family-planning policies.
Edinburgh Festival pledges to bring on more women conductors
The director of one of the world’s biggest arts festivals has pledged to try and increase the number of women conductors at concerts.
Fergus Linehan, the director of the Edinburgh International Festival, said that the underrepresentation of female conductors was a major issue in performing arts.
“Why in some art forms has gender balance progressed but stagnated in others?” he asked. “If you are selecting the major orchestra of the world, touring with their principal conductors, you’ll find gender balance is not possible. You have to think how we might address that. It is a big conversation for us.”
While there are a handful of well-known women conductors, from Marin Alsop (the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms, pictured top) to Natalia Luis-Bassa and JoAnn Falletta, the profession is still overwhelmingly male. But given that it is one of the most high-profile and prestigious roles in classical music, we think it’s high time that more women were given the chance to pick up the baton at major concerts.
The Times has more on this story here.
Transgender male model becomes first to front period campaign
British model Kenny Jones has become the first man to front a period campaign, aimed at reducing the stigma around menstruation.
Jones, 23, from London, appears in the ‘I’M ON’ campaign by period subscription service Pink Parcel alongside activists, fashion designers and writers. He came out as trans at 14 and changed his name at 16, and has spoken out about how he struggled with periods as a teenager.
“During my transition I did have to deal with experiencing periods each month and many of the negative stereotypes that can come along with it,” he said. “Assuming periods are inhibiting to people tends to perpetuate period shame even more, and makes people even more reluctant to talk about them.”
Jones added that he believes that trans men should be encouraged to discuss periods more. “I always found the fact that no one seemed to openly talk about periods quite difficult and made me want to hide mine even more. That’s why I wanted to be involved in the I’M ON campaign.”
Read more on this story at The Independent.
China takes steps towards ending notorious family planning policies
Most of us are familiar with China’s draconian one-child policy, implemented in 1979 in an attempt to control the country’s population amid food shortages. The law, alongside a cultural preference for male children, is believed to have resulted in large number of girls being subjected to sex-selective abortions or being abandoned and/or left in orphanages.
According to Amnesty International, the policy has also resulted in many women in being subjected to forced sterilisation or abortions.
The Chinese government scrapped the one-child policy in 2015, introducing a two-child rule a year later. This week, it announced that it was abolishing the commission in charge of implementing all such family planning policies.
The move has been widely interpreted as a sign that the state plans to be less involved in citizens’ decisions about children. He Yafu, an independent demographer, told the state-run Chinese newspaper Global Times that the family-planning policy “is expected to be relegated to a lower status and ultimately retreat from the stage of history”.
Read more on this story at Quartz.
Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.
Images: Getty Images / Pink Parcel