15 June 2015 12:30 ~ Introducing Feminist Dissent: A Journal on Gender and Fundamentalism – Feminist Dissent – Warwick

Feminist Dissent is a new academic journal. It brings together activists, academics and writers to interrogate the multiple connections between religious fundamentalism and gender. 

It will open up new ways of thinking about secularism, religious freedom, civil liberties and human rights, nationalism and identity politics, anti-racism and multiculturalism, neo-liberalism, feminist theory and feminist resistance.

At this event, members of the editorial collective will present the thinking behind the new journal.
– Why feminist dissent? (Rashmi Varma)
– Why universal human rights? (Alison Assiter)
– Why fundamentalism? (Gita Sahgal)

Presentations will be followed by questions, comments and discussion.

Date: Monday 15th June 2015
Time: 12.30pm – 3pm (lunch and refreshments will be provided)
Venue: IALS seminar room (F204), Milburn House, University of Warwick

Rashmi Varma teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.

Alison Assiter is Professor of Feminist Theory at UWE, Bristol, the author of a number of books and articles and also feminist and anti fundamentalist activist.

Gita Sahgal is a founder of the Centre for Secular Space, which opposes fundamentalism, amplifies secular voices and promotes universality in human rights.

Free – but register online http://www.eventbrite.com/e/introducing-feminist-dissent-a-journal-on-gender-and-fundamentalism-tickets-17056464344

May 26, 2015

Spring Newsletter 2015 – Central America Women’s Network

Welcome to yet another edition of CAWN’s Newsletter in which we provide you with updates on our activities, a round-up of news from the region and information about some recent books, articles and videos available on issues relating to women’s issues in the Central America region.

In the Newsletter, you will find some Calls to Action relating to various causes, such as the Global Day of Action for Women’s Health on May 28th.

We report on the developments in the  campaign to free the 17 Salvadorean Women – Las 17 – facing long prison sentences (up to 30 years) for alleged abortion attempts after having miscarried.  Two women jailed after having obstetric complications have been freed, but, despite this success, the pressure must be kept up and your ongoing support for the campaign is called upon.

You can find out more about this and other news  and stories in our Spring newsletter

May 26, 2015

Stepping up? Investing in women in post-recession UK – Report from Rosa

Rosa and Aviva held a joint event to celebrate good practice in the corporate sector and highlight the need for further funding for women’s organisations from the evidence contained within the report ‘Stepping up?’ The event was also an opportunity to showcase the Rosa/Aviva Women’s Network grants programme.

During the event, Aviva presented a grant of £7,500 to Beyond The Classroom , an outstanding charity working with young girls in the London Borough of Lambeth. Since the event, Aviva has also awarded grants to six further fantastic charities; New Routes, Sweet Arts and Prowess based in Norwich; and Kyra Women’s Project, Independent Domestic Abuse Services and Survive in York.

The evening was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Rosa’s unique work on behalf of women and girls across the UK and Aviva’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

Sandi Toksvig OBE, Rosa’s Ambassador, gave a witty and inspiring speech to the guests stressing the need for funding to help girls and young women in this country reach their potential.

Belinda Pratten, author of the report, highlighted the need for long-term investment in women’s organisations, stressing that every pound spent in the women’s sector can give up to a six-fold return.

Sherine Mahmoud, Rosa’s trustee pointed out the significant gap that Rosa fills as the only UK fund for Women and Girls and encouraged the audience to respond to her call to action.

We were very happy to see several people showing interest in our Development Board to raise funds for Rosa’s grant programmes.

We were delighted by the great enthusiasm shown for Rosa’s work supporting women and girls across the UK.

We would like to thank Aviva, Sandi Toksvig, Belinda Pratten and everyone who attended.

Please download ‘Stepping up? Investing in women in post-recession UK’

Source http://www.rosauk.org/launch-of-rosa-s-report-stepping-up-investing-in-women-in-post-recession

May 26, 2015

Stacey Hyde acquitted of murder – Justice for Women

22 year old Stacey Hyde walks free from Winchester Crown Court after five and half years in prison for an offence she did not commit

Justice for Women criticise DPP for proceeding with unnecessary and costly murder retrial of damaged and vulnerable young woman.

A jury at Winchester Crown court have today (21 May 2015) acquitted Stacey Hyde of murder following a retrial that was ordered by the court of appeal last November 2014.

Stacey, from Wells  in Somerset was 17 when she stabbed Vince Francis following a violent attack by him on her and her friend Holly, the girlfriend of the victim.  Despite compelling evidence that Stacey killed in self defence she was convicted of murder at her first trial in Bristol Crown Court in 2010.

Campaign group Justice for Women took up her case and a new legal team obtained fresh evidence from adolescent psychiatrists that was presented to the Court of Appeal.  Stacey’s murder conviction was quashed in November 2014.  She had by then served five years in custody of a life sentence with a nine year tariff.  The prosecution were not willing to accept a plea to manslaughter and insisted she should face a fresh trial for murder.  Although Stacey believed she had killed in self defence, she had lost her memory of key events and fearful of another traumatic trial and re-conviction for murder she was willing to plead guilty to manslaughter.

Representations were made to the Director of Public Prosecutions that the evidential test was not met and it was not in the public interest to proceed with a re-trial.  Despite evidence in support of self defence, Stacey was willing to plead guilty to manslaughter. These detailed representations were rejected although the DPP refused to provide reasons for her decision.

In preparation for the retrial, the new legal team considered the evidence properly presented would support self defence.  In particular a 999 call made at the time of the killing revealed that Stacey was screaming in terror thoughout the incident and that her former friend Holly Banwell, despite her evidence to the contrary, was under attack by Francis at the time of the stabbing.  Evidence emerged of a history of violence towards women by Francis, including a former girlfriend, who gave similar fact evidence.

Justice for Women have slammed the prosecutor Christopher Quinlan QC for aggressively pursuing the prosecution in spite of the overwhelming evidence that undermined his case for murder.  In particular, at the appeal the adolescent psychiatrist instructed by the Crown was unable to support the prosecution and instead gave evidence for the defence.  Even the adult psychiatrist on whom the crown relied, found Stacey suffered from a number of mental disorders.

Quinlan vigorously opposed applications for bail following the successful appeal, to ensure that Stacey remained in custody for a further six months awaiting trial.

At the trial, he called witnesses whose evidence conflicted significantly with the 999 call.  The prosecution sought to paint Stacey as a drunken flirt despite undisputed evidence that she was a victim of abuse and had been self medicating with alcohol to dull her pain.

“I would like to say thank you to Justice for Women, my legal team, friends and family for believing in me and giving me hope and strength to never give up.  I will be forever grateful and blessed to have been given my life back.”

Justice for Women have supported Stacey since 2011, throughout a series of appeals. We are delighted that justice has finally been done and that Stacey will now be able to receive the support she needs instead of being unjustly punished for her own vulnerability and fear.
Justice for Women have campaigned for 25 years to highlight the adverse treatment of women by the criminal justice system. We hope that this verdict will highlight the issues that abused and vulnerable women continue to face. http://www.justiceforwomen.org.uk/

Stacey was represented at the retrial by Steve Kamlish QC and Clare Wade, Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Harriet Wistrich from Birnberg Peirce.

Source http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1smaf5d

See earlier reports at http://www.womensgrid.org.uk/groups/?s=Stacey+Hyde

May 21, 2015

Rape Crisis responds to Operation Hydrant press release from NPCC

Over 1400 suspects investigated for child sexual abuse by people of public prominence or within institutions

This is set against the backdrop of indicative figures showing that police caseload for reports of child sexual abuse has increased 71 per cent in the last three years. 

In response to press release from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) on 20th May 2015, Rape Crisis spokeswoman Katie Russell said:

“The significant increase in reports of child sexual abuse from adult survivors to the police over the last three years is mirrored in our own experience of unprecedented demand for specialist sexual violence support, counselling and advocacy services over the same period.

Our 50 member Rape Crisis organisations across England and Wales are receiving more referrals than ever before and the majority of women and girls we work with continue to seek our support for experiences that took place a number of years ago, including non-recent child sexual abuse, as well as for more recent experiences of sexual violence.

The true scale of sexual violence by individuals in positions of power, trust and authority, by groups and within institutions, and by friends, family members and other known perpetrators, is just starting to be revealed.

It is clear that as the Goddard Panel Inquiry gets underway, still more survivors are likely to come forward to seek services.

It is therefore essential that the Government prioritises resourcing for Rape Crisis Organisations, to ensure there is specialist sexual violence support and advocacy available to those who need and want it.”

Press Release at http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/news_show.php?id=154

May 21, 2015