Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: the news you need to know on 5/2/18

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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.    

In today’s WDD, we bring you the news that a shocking proportion of women in Scotland have experienced period poverty. Elsewhere, a rare collection of suffragette posters go on display in Cambridge, millennial women in India embrace #MeToo, and a new study sheds light on how patriarchal beliefs are damaging to men as well as women. 

Nearly one in five women in Scotland cannot afford periods 

Women in Scotland are struggling to afford their periods

New research has revealed that nearly one in five women in Scotland have experienced period poverty, sometimes being forced to use toilet roll, old clothes, rags or newspapers in place of sanitary towels or tampons.

A survey by the gender equality and social justice campaign group Women for Independence showed that a startling number of women in Scotland have struggled to afford basic sanitary protection on a month-to-month basis. Some 17% said they had previously had to rely on food banks and friends for sanitary products, while many others visited public toilets to obtain free toilet roll.

More than 10% of respondents to the survey said their health had been impacted, experiencing problems including urinary tract infections (UTIs) and thrush, as a consequence of not being able to regularly change their sanitary products.

“For me, the research is not only about women in poverty,” said Victoria Heaney, who set up the #FreePeriodScotland campaign. “It is about breaking the shame and stigma that go hand in hand with talking about menstruation.”

Read more at The Guardian

Rare suffragette posters go on display in Cambridge

A pro-suffrage poster from 1912 (not featured in the Cambridge exhibition) 

A collection of rare posters promoting women’s suffrage has gone on display, ahead of the 100th anniversary of some women winning the vote.

The artworks, which were unveiled to the public at Cambridge University Library over the weekend, are believed to have been sent to the library in around 1910 by leading suffragette Dr Marion Phillips. Some were for national use, while others – including many that depicted women in academic dress – were specifically designed to sway local opinions in Cambridge.

“These posters are fantastic examples of the suffrage publicity machine of the early 20th century,” said Chris Burgess, exhibitions officer at the library. “They were created to be plastered on walls, torn down by weather or political opponents, so it is highly unusual for this material to be safely stored for over a hundred years.”

You can read more and see the posters at The Independent

Why #MeToo has been embraced by millennial women in India 

Women protest the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl in Siliguri, India, on 29 January

When the #MeToo movement reared its head last autumn, one criticism was that it was too focused on the experiences of famous, privileged (and predominantly white) women in Hollywood. However, the ripple effect of #MeToo has since been felt around the world, with women in countries including China (#我也是), Israel (#גםאנחנו) and Mexico (#YoTambien) sharing their own stories of sexual harassment and assault.

Now, in an article published by The Conversation, Indian author and academic Alka Kurian explains how #MeToo has influenced millennial women’s conversations about sexual abuse and feminism in India.

“What is unique about this movement is that it is a multilayered struggle. It combines freedom from sexual oppression with freedom from caste, ethnic and religious oppression,” she writes.

It’s a fascinating piece, and one that’s well worth reading. You can do so here.  

New study reveals how patriarchal beliefs mess with men’s heads (and hearts)

Patriarchy: not good for one’s love life

In news that you may find unsurprising, new research suggests that men who hold patriarchal beliefs are likely to struggle to form meaningful relationships with women.

Psychologists at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel surveyed 108 heterosexual Israeli men via an online questionnaire. Their questions were designed to shed light on how the men perceived female sexuality and independence, their views on hierarchical social structures and male dominance, and the state of their sex and romantic lives.

It was found that men who endorsed male dominance over women were likely to struggle to see women as nuanced human beings, instead dividing them into two camps: those who were “sexually pure, chaste, and generally good”, and those who were “sexually promiscuous, manipulative and generally bad”.

These beliefs are obviously harmful to women, said psychologist Orly Bareket, who co-authored the study. However, they are also damaging to the men who hold them.

“These men may have difficulties feeling attracted to the women they love, or loving the women to whom they are sexually attracted, leading to chronic dissatisfaction in their romantic relationships,” she explained.

Read more on this study at Science Daily

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: iStock / Rex Features / Pixabay