Women in 2009

// 11 January 2009

So what’s in store for us this year? What with the situation in Gaza and Shireen Ebadi’s trials which we’ve already blogged about here, it’s not a good start. There has been some good news though, including Joyce Bamford Addo becoming ‘the third most powerful person in Ghana’. Nice.

Closer to home, there’s much to consider as well.

The Centre for Women and Democracy informs us (via its e-newsletter, which is very good incidentally if anyone wants to sign-up) that 73 countries are going to have national elections this year, and it’s going to keep on eye on how women fare, with a special emphasis on what this means for the UK’s position in the league tables:

CFWD will continue to bring you news of how women candidates have fared in as many national elections as possible, as well as producing information on the European elections and the 2009 UK local elections. We will also continue to monitor how the UK is doing in relation to other countries – at the moment there are 68 countries with a greater percentage of women in their legislatures than us, but that may change as the year goes on. If there’s any country you’re particularly interested in, let us know and we will try and cover it.

On Woman’s Hour this past week, a panel including foreign correspondent Ann Leslie, assistant editor of the Financial Times Gillian Tett, space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin and director of Liberty Shami Chakrabati discussed ‘2009 – What’s in it for Women’. For some reason the ‘play again’ file won’t play on my computer right now, so if anyone has had a listen and heard something interesting, please let us know in the comments.

On the legislative side, the Queen’s speech has committed the Government to tabling a number of new bills and reforms this year, including changes to the licencing regime that affects lap dance clubs (success to Object and Fawcett’s campaign!), a new Equality Bill, Welfare Bill and Child Poverty Bill, and new rights on flexible working. Read Fawcett’s analysis of what they mean for women from here.

It’s also the centenary of a pretty cool piece of feminist activism this year:

On 23 February 1909, two suffragettes, Miss Solomon and Miss McLellan, posted themselves by express messenger to 10 Downing Street, in an attempt to deliver a message personally to Prime Minister Herbert Asquith.

Oh yes. Want to hear more? Attend the talk by the director of Fawcett on the role and use of the postal service in the feminist movement that’s planned for 26 Feb from 7-8 pm at the British Postal Museum and Archive in London. It’s free but you need to book. Call 020 7239 2570 or email info[at]postalheritage.org.uk if you’re interested.

Update: Actually I’d be quite interested in hearing what others think (or hope) this year will bring for feminism/women. What shall we wish/struggle for these next twelve months?

Photo by our very own cathredfern, who made this piece of art and then took the picture, shared under a Creative Commons license

Comments From You

Jess // Posted 12 January 2009 at 11:02 am

The talk about suffragettes and the postal service sounds *excellent*!

In 2009, it looks to me like the political context will get better in the US – I’m just hoping that really does happen, and there are some knock on effects here in the UK.

missing words // Posted 12 January 2009 at 2:02 pm

This year, I would like to see feminism link up more with other social justice/anti-oppression movements, both inside the UK and beyond.

Specifically I would really like to see feminists around the UK come out much stronger in support of asylum seeker’s rights. We need to support campaigns against the detention of women and children (and men for that matter!), call for the right to work throughout the asylum seeking process, support individual asylum seekers’ campaigns against deportation, listen to and support groups like Women Asylum Seekers Together, Medical Justice Network, the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaign etc. etc.

In terms of legislation, it looks like the Immigration and Citizenship Bill has been postponed for now (I think, it’s all a bit confusing to me!) but when that or any other immigration bills rears its ugly head we need to be ready to make a big noise against any and all measures which further restrict the right of asylum seekers, extend detention powers, etc.

A lot of people are working on these fronts already, we need to learn and listen to what they are doing, take their lead & support them.

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds