Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 5/3/18

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Moya Crockett
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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 Monday’s WDD, we’re looking at the news from Turkey that women’s marches have been broken up by riot police with tear gas. In China, men are routinely invading women-only train carriages; in the UK, Carrie Gracie has spoken about how her fight for equal pay has affected her emotionally; and in Hollywood, Frances McDormand’s Oscars acceptance speech raised an important point. 

Women’s rights march in Turkey shut down with tear gas and arrests

Turkish women protest violence against women in Ankara in 2015

A women’s rights protest in the Turkish city of Ankara was broken up by riot police on Sunday, with tear gas fired into the crowd and more than a dozen women arrested.

Women were marching through Ankara ahead of International Women’s Day, waving banners bearing messages including “we are getting stronger in solidarity”. They had tear gas used against them after they ignored calls from police to disperse. Around 15 women were reportedly detained.

The Ankara protest coincided with a separate demonstration in Istanbul, where around 1,500 women marched in opposition to Turkey’s military campaign against Syrian Kurdish militia.

Much like in the US, the provocative misogyny of Turkey’s leader has prompted a groundswell of feminist sentiment in the country. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been accused of using his opposition to women’s rights as a way of shoring up support from his conservative religious base: he has done little to tackle the growing problem of domestic violence in Turkey, declared that women are not equal to men and allowed Muslim clerics to conduct civil marriages (a move that critics say could lead to more child brides). In 2016, his party also attempted to change the law so that men who raped underage girls could escape punishment by marrying their victims.

To read more on the protests in Ankara and Istanbul, visit time.com

Men are invading China’s women-only subway cars 

Women-only train carriages have been introduced in Guangzhou, China

The idea of women-only train carriages has been floated on more than one occasion in the UK in recent years, as a means of tackling sexual harassment on public transport. Every time the issue arises, it prompts a fierce debate about whether it is a proactive step to make women feel safe on their commute, or a demeaning non-solution that puts the onus on women to segregate themselves from men.

And according to a new report by the New York Times, there is another issue that makes women-only train carriages difficult to implement. In the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, two subway carriages at the back of the line are designated as women-only during weekday morning and evening rush hours - but men regularly force their way into the carriages anyway.

“Men are totally clueless,” Lu Lili, a 28-year-old bank employee, told the newspaper. “It’s basically all the men trying to squeeze in.”

More than half of women surveyed by the China Youth Daily newspaper in 2015 said they had experienced “inappropriate touching” on public transport in China. Critics of the women-only carriages in Guangzhou say that the measure fails to address the root causes of harassment.

Read more on this story here

Carrie Gracie reveals feeling “exhausted and isolated” by BBC equal pay battle

Carrie Gracie in February 2018

The BBC’s former China editor Carrie Gracie, who quit in early 2018 when she discovered she was being paid significantly less than her male counterparts, has discussed the emotional toll of fighting for pay equality.

“The three things that definitely gave me nightmares [were the prospect of] my colleagues feeling it was disloyal to wash the BBC’s dirty linen in public,” Gracie told Stella magazine in a new interview.

“I was also worried about being in conflict with the BBC, because that’s a really unpleasant place to be. It’s like being expelled from your family.

“The third fear I had was that the audience wouldn’t understand; that they’d think I wanted more money.”

Since resigning from the BBC, Gracie has become something of a figurehead in the fight for equal pay, even making a speech about the issue to parliament in February.

Read more on this story here

Frances McDormand calls on actresses to include ‘inclusion riders’ in their contracts

Frances McDormand is watched by Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster as she accepts her Oscar on Sunday night

Arguably the most attention-grabbing moment of last night’s Oscars came when Frances McDormand took to the stage to accept the Best Actress award for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

After setting her statuette down on the floor, McDormand asked the women in the room to stand up, before calling on Hollywood’s most powerful producers and directors to support women-centric films and TV shows. “We all have stories to tell, and we all have projects we need to finance,” she said.

McDormand went on to use her moment in the spotlight to encourage people to take future female-focused projects seriously. “I have two words to leave with you tonight: ‘inclusion rider,’” she said.

An inclusion rider is a clause in an actor’s contract that requires the cast and crew on the film to be diverse and support gender equality in order to retain the actor.

To find out more about inclusion riders and why McDormand decided to highlight them onstage, read our 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: Eutah Mizushima / Unsplash / iStock / Rex Features