Motherhood

With several of my dear friends having given birth over the last 12 months, it got me thinking about motherhood. Pregnancy and child birth are uniquely female experiences, in that they are something only women can experience. Fortunately, my friends were lucky enough to give birth in a country where family planning, prenatal care, and […]

Masculinity

There’s a lot of talk about men in the United Kingdom at the moment. In a speech to think-tank Demos last week, shadow public health Minister Dianne Abbott warned of a ‘crisis of masculinity’ in the UK. According to Abbott, unemployment and economic recession are creating a generation of ‘isolated and misdirected’ young men, who […]

Perhaps you’ve heard about Femen, the radical women’s rights group making news in Europe. Their aims are simple but ambitious – an end to all religions, dictatorships, and the sex industry, all seen as manifestations of the patriarchal oppression of women. You’ve probably seen pictures of their topless protests, of angry young women with slogans scrawled […]

Source: United Nations Photo Stream on flickr

For the girls and women of Afghanistan, an education is never taken for granted. When the Taliban took power in 1996, girls were banned from attending school, female teachers were sacked, and schools and universities shut down. Today’s figures still tell of this era; only 6% of Afghan women aged 25 or older have received […]

A female prime minister leading a cabinet that is 40% female. Generous paternity and maternity leave provisions, along with high-quality, state subsidized child care. A virtually non-existent sex industry, a quota that ensures corporate board positions for women, and progressive domestic violence laws. Is Iceland the best country in the world to be a woman? […]

IMG_1174

The term ‘soft power’ is often used when we talk about women in leadership. Soft power refers to a style of leadership that is coercive, collaborative and communicative, a power that get things done using persuasion rather than force. Last night I joined some 2,000 women and men to demonstrate soft power in action. We […]

I have a confession: I watch daytime TV. Not a lot, but enough to see my fair share of terrible ads – ads for life insurance, ads for Jenny Craig, and last week, an ad featuring talking breasts. This advert for breast.com.au, a website run by a group of 100 plastic surgeons, features disembodied cartoon […]

Journalists is being shown the auditorium of the Saudi Arabia's  Shura Council headquarters in Riyadh

Last week Saudi Arabia made history when 30 women were appointed to the previously all-male Shura Council, a formal advisory body to the King. Although the council cannot pass laws, it is described as the closest thing to a parliament in Saudi Arabia. Going forward, women will make up 20% of the council’s 150 members. […]

Delhi protest for gang-rape victim

We were all horrified to hear about the brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a bus in Delhi last December. Public revulsion led to mass demonstrations in cities all over India. But what is it about this particular case that has sparked such heated debate? What are protestors calling for? And what […]

Carla-Bruni_VogueFrance

“We don’t need to be feminists in my generation. I’m not at all an active feminist.” – Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, model and wife of former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, quoted in French Vogue last November. It wasn’t so much Carla’s comment that got me blogging… it was the public response. Using the hash tag “#ChereCarlaBruni” (Dear […]

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