Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 17/5/18

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As part of our Visible Women initiative, stylist.co.uk brings you the Women’s Daily Dispatch: your daily digest of international news relating to women. It’s the good, bad, inspiring and urgent stories you need to know from around the world, all wrapped up in one bitesize piece. 

In tonight’s Dispatch: research reveals the extent of the gender gap in science subjects; women broadcasters in Senegal push for peace; a new poll predicts the results of the upcoming Irish abortion referendum; and a statue of Virginia Woolf is granted planning permission in London. 

The physics gender gap is still a problem for girls

The physics gender gap starts at an early age 

Physics is still a male-dominated subject in 2018 – with 44% of schools in England admitting to failing to send girls to study the subject at A-level.

However, some progress has been made in encouraging girls to study the subject, according to a recent report by the Institute of Physics (IoP).

The report found that 1.9% of girls chose A-level physics in 2016, compared with 6.5% of boys. Thus represents an improvement of 0.3% since 2011.

“There is no evidence to suggest any intrinsic differences in ability or interest to explain why girls and boys choose technical subjects differently,” said IoP President, Professor Dame Julia Higgins.

“The consequences of girls’ choices at school are that many rewarding and fulfilling routes are closed off to them.”

Read more on this story at BBC News

Women-run radio stations advocate for peace in Senegal 

A new wave of women radio reporters are pushing for peace in the Casamance region of Senegal.

More than 50 women make up the Network of Community Radios for Peace and Development, a group of 18 radio stations run entirely by women in Senegal’s southern region.

Since the first station was created 14 years ago, the radio broadcasts have become an important platform for promoting peace. A low-level conflict between the Senegalese government and a Casamance separatist movement has been ongoing since 1982, due to disagreements over whether Casamance should be recognised as an independent state.

“The radio [stations] have played a key role in breaking the communication barrier between opposing sides in the Casamance conflict,” says Abdou Sarr, director of World Education, a non-profit organisation that funds peacemaking programmes in Senegal.

“But our goal is also to inform and empower women, who play a key role in the peacemaking process.”

Read more on this story at Al-Jazeera

‘Repeal’ side has slight edge in lead-up to Ireland’s abortion referendum 

A pro-choice poster in Dublin, May 2018 

The most recent poll of voters’ intentions in the upcoming Irish referendum suggest that abortion could be legalised in the country. However, victory is far from assured for those who want the Eighth Amendment to be scrapped.

The latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll shows that 44% of Irish voters now say they will vote in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, which gives an unborn foetus the same right to life as a pregnant woman.

A little over 30% of voters say they will vote against repealing the amendment, while 17% are still undecided. Some 7% said they will not vote or refused to say.

Once those who are undecided and will not vote are excluded, the repeal side leads by 58% to 42%.

The Irish Times has more on this story here

A statue of Virginia Woolf has been given the go-ahead in London

An artist’s impression of the Virginia Woolf statue in Richmond 

A bronze sculpture of Virginia Woolf has been granted full planning permission by Richmond Council, after the statue was endorsed by over 80% of local residents who responded to a public consultation.

Sculptor Laury Dizengremel has been commissioned to create the memorial of Woolf, which will show her sitting on a bench on Richmond Riverside with a book on her lap.

Arts and education charity Aurora Metro has been campaigning for the statue since the end of 2016. Now that planning permission has been granted, they need to raise £50,000 to make the sculpture a reality, and are accepting donations via their fundraising page.

Woolf and her husband Leonard moved to Richmond in 1914 and lived there for a decade, setting up their publishing house Hogarth Press from their home on Paradise Road.

Read more on this story here.  

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Images: Getty Images / Igor Ovsyannykov / Unsplash / Virginia Woolf Statue Campaign