Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 24/1/18

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Emily Reynolds
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As part of our Visible Women initiative, brings you the Women’s Daily Dispatch: your new 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 today’s Women’s Daily Dispatch, we look at a report that highlights the safest countries to live as a woman; Labour peer Tessa Jowell speaks out about living with brain cancer; the collected words of 160 women subjected to sexual abuse by the same man make for powerful reading; and scientists think they may have discovered a potential cure for heavy periods.

The safest countries to live as a woman revealed

Australia was judged the safest country for women

A new study has listed the ten safest places in the world for women – and you might be surprised by the results.

The research, from market research group New World Wealth, looked at the percentage of each country’s female population, comparing it to the number of women who had reported themselves victims of serious crimes. 

The UK was not on the list of safest countries, with Australia, Malta and Iceland taking the top spots. New Zealand, Canada, Poland, Monaco, Israel, USA and South Korea completed the top ten. The least safe countries for women in 2017 were Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Syria.

“Women’s safety is one of the best ways to gauge a country’s long term wealth growth potential, with a correlation of 92% between historic wealth growth and women’s safety levels,” the report’s authors explained.

“This means that wealth growth is boosted by strong levels of women’s safety in a country.”

Read the full story here.

Tessa Jowell speaks out about brain tumour

Tessa Jowell is currently undergoing treatment for brain cancer 

Labour peer Tessa Jowell has opened up about her ongoing treatment for brain cancer. 

Baroness Jowell was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a high grade tumour, last year. She will now be travelling to Germany to receive experimental treatment after the NHS said it would no longer be able to treat her.

“I tell you something? I am absolutely 100% trying to stay alive,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “That is exactly the kind of risk that patients should be free to take. It should be a risk that they have the chance to take and it’s certainly what somebody like me wants.”

“It got to the point in the NHS in London where I couldn’t be given any more treatment but it was very clear that if I went to Germany then I had a chance of taking out this immunotherapy, a new experiment. I was and I am prepared to try that.”

Jowell continued: “I was deeply touched by Seamus Heaney’s last words, when he said ‘do not be afraid’. I am not afraid. I feel very clear about my sense of purpose, and what I want to do, and how do I know how long my life is going to last. 

“I’m certainly going to do whatever I can to make sure it lasts a very long time.”

Read more at The Guardian

Collected words of Larry Nassar’s 160 victims make for powerful reading

USA Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is one of those to accuse Larry Nassar of sexual assault

For many years, Larry Nassar was the doctor for the USA gymnastics team – and now hundreds of women have accused him of sexually abusing them.

Nassar is currently on trial for a number of charges of abuse, and was recently sentenced to 60 years in prison for possession of child abuse images. He also pleaded guilty in November last year to “seven charges of first-degree sexual assault”.

A feature in The New York Times has now compiled the impact statements of Nassar’s 160 victims, all of which were read out in court in front of the accused. 

“‘He’s a miracle worker. He can fix anyone or anything.’ Thinking back to these words filling my naïve mind, all I can think of is how this man, someone who held oh-so-many high credentials, was the monster who left me with more pain and scars than I came to his office with,” said gymnast Jade Capua.

Arianna Guerrero, addressing Nassar directly, said: “You seem to have a hard time looking at me now, but you didn’t when I was half-naked on your table. What kind of doctor can tell a 13-year-old they are done growing by the size of their pubic bone?”

“Let this sentence strike fear in anyone who thinks it is OK to hurt another person,” said Aly Raisman, gymnast and six-time Olympic medallist. “Abusers, your time is up. The survivors are here, standing tall, and we are not going anywhere.”

Read the full story at the The New York Times.

New research sheds light on heavy periods

Could the end of heavy periods finally be in sight? 

The findings of a new study may result in heavy periods being consigned to history forever.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh believe they may have identified the possible cause of heavy periods. By examining the womb lining that is shed during menstruation, they found that heavy bleeding happens when “the wound-like surface that is left behind by the womb lining does not heal, or heals slowly”.

The scientists, led by Dr Jackie Maybin, discovered that the womb lining was repaired more quickly when a protein called HIF-1 was added and oxygen levels in the womb were reduced. 

Further research is needed, but the results of the study suggest that HIF-1 could be a “novel, non-hormonal medical treatment” to tackle heavy periods, Maybin said.

1 in 3 women suffer from heavy bleeding during their periods, which can cause cramps, anaemia and severe pain.


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: Rex Features / iStock / Amika George