Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 26/2/18

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Moya Crockett
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As part of our Visible Women initiative, 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.    

Women held at Yarl’s Wood go on hunger strike

Women protest outside Yarl’s Wood in November 2017 

Around 120 women held at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire have gone on hunger strike, in protest at what they say are poor living conditions and the fact that people are currently being held there indefinitely.

There are several reasons why a person might be detained at Yarl’s Wood, which has always been predominantly used to detain women and children. These reasons range from overstaying a visa to waiting for an asylum claim to be processed. Around 410 people, mostly women, are currently being held at the centre.

The women reportedly began their hunger strike on 21 February, and have condemned what they describe as “some of the [government’s] most offensive” immigration practices – including poor healthcare conditions, the detention of people indefinitely without the decision of a judge, and the detention of survivors of rape, torture and human trafficking.

Labour MP Diane Abbott visited Yarl’s Wood and said that she met a woman who had been held there for nine months. “For most of [the women], the biggest concern was the amount of time they had been in the centre. The striking thing was that they had no release date,” she said. “These women were clearly desperate. Indefinite detention, with no release date, is just wrong.”

You can read more on this story at The Guardian

UK’s longest-serving NHS nurse retires after 66 years 

The NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary this year 

Most people have been retired for at least 15 years by the time they reach their mid-80s. But after more than six decades of working for the NHS, 84-year-old Monica Bulman has only just hung up her nurse’s uniform.

Bulman retired over the weekend after 66 years working for the NHS, making her the UK’s longest-serving nurse. 

She started working as a state enrolled nurse in 1952, four years after the NHS – which celebrates its 70th birthday this year – was created. At the time of her retirement, she was working on Hutchings ward at Torbay Hospital in Torquay, Devon, as part of the specialist outpatient surgical clinic team for endoscopy. 

“The NHS has been a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” said Bulman. “But I have decided that it’s now time for me to put my fob watch and belt away to enable me to spend quality time with all my loved ones.

“I have absolutely loved being a nurse – it has brought me so much pleasure and I have enjoyed every single second.”

Read more on this story at

Michelle Obama reveals details of “unusually intimate” first memoir

Michelle Obama’s memoir will be released later this year 

OK, we’ll admit it: Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury had us gripped when it was released in January. But if you prefer your political tell-all books to be inspirational and uplifting rather than morbidly fascinating, you’ll want to mark your diaries for 13 November 2018.

That’s the date that Michelle Obama will release her first memoir, Becoming – and it sounds just as brilliant as you’d expect.

Announcing the publication of the book on Twitter, Obama said: “Writing Becoming has been a deeply personal experience. I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side [of Chicago] found her voice. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can’t wait to share my story.”

The memoir is Obama’s second book having previously published American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen and Gardens Across America in 2012. However, Becoming promises to be more than just a guarded account of her time living at the world’s most famous address and an account of “her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it – in her own words and on her own terms.”

You can read more about the book right here.

Anti-abortion groups are smuggling adverts into Google searches

Anti-abortion groups have been accused of promoting services to vulnerable women 

An investigation has revealed that anti-abortion groups – who have previously (and incorrectly) linked abortion to breast cancer, infertility, drug abuse and depression – are promoting their services to vulnerable women using sponsored ads on Google search.

BuzzFeed News found that the search term “buy abortion pills online” generated sponsored links for religious, pro-life group Ads also appeared for Life, a secular anti-abortion organisation that received £250,000 from the government in 2017 (thanks to the 5% ‘tampon tax’ reserved for supporting UK women’s charities).

Searches for “abortion pills”, “I need an abortion now”, “I need an abortion asap” and “abortion pills price” also featured sponsored links for Life within the top three results, along with ads for abortion provider Marie Stopes.

Google denied that sponsored results for anti-abortion groups violated their advertising policy.

You can read more on this story here

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 / Pixabay