Friday, 8 March 2013

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY: Should women rule the world?

Here's one for International Women's Day - which is today by the way!!!

A BBC Magazine article on whether the world would be a better place if women were in power:

In my opinion, I don't know if the world would be a better place if women were in charge (as there are the Margaret Thatchers of this world). But surely the world would be a more peaceful place if the people in charge were more equally split between men and women.

I do not long for female dominance over men, but just for a fairer chance for all women across the globe. We are a long way off equality for women in the developing world!


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

ARTICLE: Don't wash your dirty linen in public

Another interesting blog entry by Amnesty International on domestic violence issue in China.

Li Dehuai’s sister could be executed any day now. She was convicted of killing her violent husband. Li Dehuai talks about his sister and how her story reflects the painful challenges faced by domestic violence victims in China

Thursday, 24 January 2013

NEWS: US ends ban on women being in front-line combat

 I thought women were already serving in the front line in Afghanistan.........must be my mistake!
According to the BBC, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to lift the military's ban on women serving in combat. The US Army will still have until 2016 to argue for certain posts to remain unattainable for women.

Full article is here:

Lieutenant Colleen Farrell stands in formation during a ceremony for the 235th birthday of the Marines on 10 November 2010
I am not an army expert (thank god!), but I assume there must be jobs that some women may not be able to carry out - such as jobs that require good body strength. However, when I think of that I picture skinny women like me trying to lift bazookas on their shoulders, when I believe that most women who join the army are much MUCH stronger than me.
Also, there are some pretty scrawny men in the world! Should there be (or are there already) jobs in the army that scrawny men won't be allowed to do?
Or maybe the US Army are trying to protect our delicate feminine emotional states...
Any ideas of what some 'men only' jobs in the army would be?? Any suggestions?? I'm intrigued!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

ARTICLE: Women in film production

I'm not a huge Kathryn Bigelow fan (director of the Hurt Locker, Point Break and ex-wife of James Cameron [nearly wrote David Cameron there!])....several Wellingtonian friends may have heard my rants about how I find Point Break extremely masogonistic....but it is good that the number of female film directors and producers is increasing.

Here is a new article from the BBC about the roles women have in film production.
I personally think that the film industry has always been 'a man's world' and the fact that the number of top female directors in Hollywood has risen by 4% since 2011 is pretty damn good. We've just got to keep climbing!


Women 'struggling' in Hollywood, according to new study

Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow was the first female director to winan Oscar in 2010

Only 9% of directors of the top 250 grossing Hollywood films in 2012 were women, a study has found.

Despite the low figure, it is a 4% increase from 2011's numbers, the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film said.

The research found women comprised 18% of all directors, executive producers, writers, cinematographers and editors.

It also showed women were more likely to work in the documentary, drama and animated film genres.

The Centre has been conducting the industry survey for more than a decade to track trends.

The number of female producers has held steady at 25% for the past two years, while female writers rose to 15%, up from a low of 10% in 2006.

The number of female editors between 1998-2012 has remained fairly constant in the 20%-21% range. Cinematographers have fluctuated between 2%-4%, although figures for 2012 were on the low end of the range.

No women have made it onto the shortlist for best director at this year's Oscars, while Zero Dark Thirty is the only best picture nominee to have been directed by a woman - Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow.

A separate study by the Sundance Institute and Women in Film showed women fared better in the independent film sector.

Looking at films shown at the Sundance Film Festival over the past decade - and accounting for 820 narrative and documentary films - researchers found women represented 29.8% of some 11,000 filmmakers.

There are more women working in documentary films than narrative films, but study director Stacy Smith said her research found that "as commerce moves in, females move out".

Women In Film president Cathy Schulman added: "This data shows us that there is a higher representation of female filmmakers in independent film as compared to Hollywood - but it also highlights the work that is still to be done for women to achieve equal footing in the field."

The study also found that films directed by women employ greater numbers of women behind the camera than those made by men.

The organisers of last year's Cannes Film Festival were criticised when the list of 22 films nominated for its top prize, the Palme d'Or, was entirely made up of male directors.

Friday, 4 January 2013

ARTICLE: India gang rape: Thousands of women march in Delhi

A very interesting BBC article on the marches that are taking place across India following the rape and murder of a woman:
Protesters hold candles and posters during a rally in India on 30 December 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

ARTICLE: A look at gender violence in NZ

Amnesty International has a good blog called 'Human Writes', and the most recent post was a look at domestic violence again women in New Zealand:

I have lived in New Zealand for just over a year, and I do have to say that there are a lot of news items, both nationally and locally, on violence again women and children in the the home.

When I lived in Nelson, there was a weekly write up in the local newspaper of the arrests that had taken place that week. There were clearly two distinct categories in these arrests - drinking in public places, and 'domestic violence against women'......and there were at least 3 of these latter arrests every week in Nelson alone!

I agree with the writer of the article above that culture, and 'family' can not be used as an excuse to hide violence in the home. Domestic violence is NEVER appropriate, no matter where or who you come from.

Please read the Amnesty International blog entry, and comment.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The start of a long investigation : China's missing women

A global issue that I am keen to investigate thoroughly in this blog is the case of China's 'missing women'. It is predicted than by 2025, there will be 20 million more men than women in China. This is due to several different reasons, not just the one-child policy, which I will be researching at length with the help of this book:

I will be visiting this issue many times, but just to start off with;

I was reading a 'Viewpoint' article on the BBC website on Chinese women, in particular economic migrants who move from the countryside to the cities to work. These women work in shops and factories to earn considerable more money than they would tilling the fields. However, most are unable to take their children with them, and the kids are left behind to be looked after by their grandmothers. These children grow up expecting very little contact or affection from their parents.

It is a very interesting article, looking at the lives of Chinese women who were once described by Chairman Mao as 'holding up half of the sky'. Please read it if you get a chance, and start to consider what would happen in a China, or indeed a whole world, where there are millions more men than women.