‘Sizzling G20 Wives’ – the round-up
Jess McCabe // 5 April 2009
While the G20 met to discuss the global financial situation, Oxfam released a report on the impact of the recession on women in developing countries.
The charity says the denial of basic working rights is increasing.
It quoted Xiao Hong from an unnamed factory in China as saying: “Now one person has to do three people’s work for the same wages and the employer is piling on the pressure – any small mistake is an excuse for dismissal. In this way it does not have to pay compensation and severance.”
Another example given was Ruth Cerna from El Salvador, who was one of 1,700 workers laid off in November when a factory closed.
She said: “Many women were pregnant, many are ill and are left with nothing. It’s been three months since the factory closed and we haven’t been paid anything.”
The report found that, particularly in Asia, traffickers are targetting women who’d just lost their jobs.
Meanwhile, of course, the vast majority of stories relating to women to come out of the G20 did not concern the impact of the financial situation on women, both in the G20 countries and more widely.
Nope, it was a predictable mess which is pretty much exemplified by US site The Daily Beast, which decided to mark the G20 summit with an insulting slideshow of photos of the “sizzling G20 wives”. To round it off, they included Cristina Kirchner, president of Argentina, in their list of, let’s repeat it for emphasis, “sizzling G20 wives”. (via Shakesville).
Meanwhile, Sociological Images notes that the two ‘G20 husbands’ – the partners of Krichner and Angela Merkel, do not seem to have been included in a photo of “first spouses”:
I don’t know why-were they not invited to the event? Did they choose not to come? SocProf asks, “Would the husbands have looked out of place here? Would this have been embarrassing to them?”
The Guardian continued post-G20, with this ridiculousness, live-blogging whether or not Michelle Obama or Carla Bruni was better dressed. They even called it the “first lady fashion race”.
And, apparently, there’s been much ado about nothing in the US press about Michelle Obama “breaching protocol” by touching the Queen (except it seems like that’s not really a breach of protocol after all..)
A breach of protocol? Hardly. Buckingham Palace was very relaxed today about the incident, and attitudes there have changed significantly since the days of Mr Keating and his lese-majesty. And no, they don’t issue instructions to people about not touching the Queen.
“This was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection and appreciation between The Queen and Michelle Obama,” said a Palace spokeswoman.