women's rights

Thousands of women marched across Italy on May 26 to mark the anniversary of Italy’s 194 Law, which passed in 1978 and legalised abortion in the country.

Ireland's historic abortion vote has fuelled calls for reform in the island's North, with Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald saying it was time for the six counties to adopt the same legislation. The six counties that make up the Northern Ireland statelet are still controlled by Britain, although British laws governing abortion does not apply and abortion remains illegal.

As cases of grave sexual violence against women continue to make headlines in India, another grim story has surfaced. A recently published study found that sex discrimination in the South Asian country kills more than 200,000 girls under the year of five-years-old annually.

“La Manada” (The Wolf Pack) is the name of a WhatsApp group chosen by five men to organise a trip to los sanfermines — the running of the bulls — in Pamplona, Navarra. During the festival, in the early hours of July 7, 2016, they gang raped an 18-year-old woman in a small room under the stairwell of a block of flats.

Three hours later, one of them shared a video of the attack in another male-only WhatsApp group with 28 members, called “Danger”. One of the five was an off-duty National Guard officer, another a soldier. During the trial, evidence of another attack committed by four of the five several months earlier was uncovered.

Despite this, although the trial found the men guilty of sexual abuse, it cleared them of rape.

Almost six months after it began, the #MeToo campaign is still having an impact and generating debate — and not just against the right wing, notes Elizabeth Shultz.

Campaigning for a woman right’s to choose in Ireland has stepped up since the announcement of the date and wording of a referendum on changing the constitution to allow abortion.

The referendum, to be held on May 25, will ask voters whether to repeal the section of the Irish constitution that bans abortion. If passed, it would allow parliament to make laws to regulate the procedure.

 

Anna Hush is a former Women’s Officer at Sydney University. She has worked with End Rape on Campus Australia, and with journalist and advocate Nina Funnell she co-authored The Red Zone Report, which was released last month. This is an abridged version of a talk she gave at Sydney University at the Women’s Legal Service Feminist Legal Perspectives Seminar on March 7.

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Last October, the hashtag #MeToo went viral around the world as women shared their experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

When South Korean prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun made a historic televised revelation in January of sexual harassment she had suffered in 2010 by a senior prosecutor, it stirred the rapidly spreading #MeToo movement across South Korea.

Of all the International Women’s Day (IWD) demonstrations held in an unprecedented 177 countries on March 8, the Spanish state stood out as the site of the largest mobilisation for women’s equality. In fact, it was the greatest mobilisation for women’s right in history, with almost 6 million people — overwhelmingly women — striking and demonstrating in about 120 cities and towns.

At Sydney's IWD march, protesters rallied for paid domestic violence leave, migrant workers' rights, sex workers' rights, an end to sexual harassment on campus and elsewhere, abortion rights, equal pay and for Turkey to end its war on Afrin in Northern Syria.

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