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.
Domestic abuse charity voices concern about “potentially abusive behaviour” in TOWIE
Women’s Aid has expressed concern about how some relationships are depicted in the reality series The Only Way Is Essex, saying that some of the men on the show treat women in a way that could be considered potentially abusive.
Sian Hawkins, campaign manager for the domestic abuse charity, told the BBC on Friday that she believed the new series of TOWIE, its 22nd, normalises “toxic masculinity”.
“The first two episodes are demonstrations of really nasty, potentially abusive behaviour by some of the central characters towards their girlfriends,” she said. “As part of a pattern of behaviour, it signals danger.”
Hawkins highlighted a scene in which cast member Myles Barnett swore at his girlfriend Courtney Green and called her a “dirty little dog” and a “slag”, after another male cast member boasted about flirting with her.
She also pointed to how cast member James “Lockie” Locke had been shown treating his girlfriend, Yaz Oukhellou. “Lockie is isolating Yaz from her friends, blaming her for his anger and provoking her,” she said.
Read more on this story at BBC News.
A cycling club is helping homeless women regain their independence
A cycling group at a women’s homeless shelter in London has been praised for helping boost women’s confidence and provide them with access to areas of society that might otherwise be closed to them, such as community groups and employment.
Sustrans, a UK charity that aims to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, works with Queen Mary Pathway Westminster shelter to provide the cycling sessions for women.
“I now am able to explore our city’s parks and green spaces on my bike,” said Brandy, a woman who has lived at the shelter for two years. “Cycling helps me relax, stimulates my mind. It also makes me a bit tired in the evening, which means I can get a good night’s sleep.”
The hostel wanted to take a more holistic approach to helping women in the shelter improve their mental health, and physical activity – including cycling – has been linked to reduced stress, anxiety and depression. After the success of a 10-week pilot project, the cycle club has now received £10,000 funding to continue for another three years.
Read more on this story at The Guardian.
Former NASA scientist to become first woman to lead space museum
Ella Stofan, a former NASA chief scientist, has been confirmed as the new head of one of the world’s most prestigious science museums in the US.
Stofan, who has been a lead contributor to the effort to send humans to Mars, will become the director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. She told The Washington Post that she was particularly honoured to take on the post because of the lack of women and people of colour in science and tech.
“One of my biggest passions is outreach and communication about science and technology,” she said. “What better place than the Air and Space Museum to engage everyone in the excitement of aviation and exploration.”
She added: “It’s important to have women in leadership positions not just for their different perspectives and skill sets, but for the inspiration. I’m looking at the 8-year-old girl who may see herself [in me].”
Read more on this story here.
More women are running for office in the US than ever before
A record number of women are set to run for United States House of Representatives seats in the upcoming midterm elections,
The Associated Press reports that 309 women have filed to run in the midterms, beating the previous record of 298. There are now three times as many Democratic women running in the 2018 election cycle than Republican women, suggesting that the Trump presidency has motivated many left-leaning women to run in opposition.
Read our analysis of why UK women should be inspired by the wave of women candidates in the US 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.
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