Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Inside Siberia’s isolated community of forgotten women

From BBC News:
A young Nenets woman gathers the reindeer before migration. Yamal Peninsula, Siberia, Russia.In the remote village of Yar-Sale, in Northern Siberia, lives a group of elderly women. Once part of a nomadic community of reindeer herders, in their old age they spend most of their days in seclusion, isolated from the world they loved.

While the men are encouraged to remain within the migrating community and maintain their social roles, the women are often ostracised and left to face the struggles of old age alone.

Photographer Oded Wagenstein took the long journey to meet these 'forgotten' women.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Female Inventors and Their Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History In a Revolutionary Way

Female inventors, scientists, and engineers have discovered countless revolutionary and life-changing inventions that have caused unprecedented breakthroughs in the history of the world.

A closer look at the history is enough to show us that women’s achievements have often been overlooked when it comes to handing out praise and recognition. Sadly, even in our days, we often find that sometimes this can still be true.

Shaming, corruption, and painful socio-cultural eras in human history have caused some of those inventions and names of their inventors to remain without proper recognition, unable to come out to daylight.

For a long time, some female inventors have been forgotten and their inventions attributed to men. It's about time we recognized the value that these incredible women in history have brought to science and other disciplines. 

Here we pay tribute to some of the most courageous, innovative, and determined genius female inventors while we walk through their remarkable discoveries trying to imagine how hard it was for them at times. They have all impacted the world with their inventions, making our lives better.

read more about the 51 women featured here @ Interesting Engineering

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Search Begins for Last World War II Female Pilot Gertrude Tomkins Silver

Photo: Ocean Search for Missing WWII Pilot: Divers boost efforts to find a woman whose plane went down in the line of duty.From ABC News:
"Of the 38 WASPs who lost their lives, she's the only one unaccounted for," said Pat Macha, a retired teacher-turned-aviation archaeologist who is leading the search, from aboard a search vessel in Santa Monica Bay.

The WASP program was dismantled just two years after it began, when male pilots returning from combat needed jobs.

Female pilots were not recognized as full-fledged members of the military, Davis said.
"They received no military benefits," she added. "They paid their way in and paid their way home. Many left husbands and children at home. They answered the call of duty and there was a loyal patriotic streak that ran among all of them."

read more here @ ABC News

read review of Seized By The Sun @ Melisende's Library

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Somalia Announces First Prosecution for Female Genital Mutilation

Speaking at a conference on female genital mutilation (FGM) in Mogadishu recently, Somalia's attorney general, Ahmed Ali Dahir, announced that the country will conduct its first FGM prosecution after 10-year-old Deeqa Dahir Nuur's death. The attorney general said that state prosecutors and the criminal investigation bureau have been dispatched to collect evidence.  "The prosecution of those involved in Deeqa's death will send a strong message to the country," he added. "This is really a defining moment for Somalia."

read more here @ allAfrica



Zimbabwe: Too Poor for Periods

Zimbabwe is suffering a sanitary wear crisis.

With many schoolgirls too poor to buy the sort of basic products most teens take for granted, they rely on teachers' donations, torn strips of cloth, plants and old newspapers.

In February this year, hundreds of girls and women gathered in the capital for a march dubbed "Happy Flow Campaign" to demand more affordable sanitary wear.

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has distributed free sanitary pads to poor women and girls, and hopes are now rising that this year's elections might yet ease the crisis. "If we vote for the right person to lead our country, I'm sure things will get better for us, as poor woman, facing difficulties (getting) sanitary wear," said Chaodza.
Until then, handouts and ersatz pads will have to do.

read more here @ allAfrica

Sultan of Yogyakarta: A feminist revolution in an ancient kingdom

From BBC News:
The Sultan of Yogyakarta holds a powerful political and spiritual position on the Indonesian island of Java. He is manoeuvring to make his eldest daughter his heir, sparking a bitter feud, as the BBC's Indonesia editor Rebecca Henschke reports.

The sultan, who is 72, recently changed his own title so that it is gender neutral and has given his eldest daughter the new name Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Mangkubumi - which means The One Who Holds the Earth.

Eldest daughter during our exclusive interview

That was seen as further indication she is being lined up to take over the throne when the time comes.

The sultan's brothers and sisters are not going along with it. They are outraged and most of them, like GBPH Prabukusumo, are now refusing to speak with the sultan or attend royal events.
The Javanese royal rule stretches back to the 16th Century and while the family is now Muslim like most Indonesians, the rituals they carry out are steeped in mysticism, a product of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism of the past.

read more here @ BBC News

Saturday, July 28, 2018

CONDI: The Condoleezza Rice Story by Antonia Felix

Image result for Condi: The Condoleezza Rice StoryAs Secretary of State and a close confidant of President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice is the most influential woman in the history of the United States government, and perhaps one of the most famous black women in the world. Her latest stint in Washington, D.C., follows her role as National Security Advisor to the President and a distinguished career as scholar, professor, provost, and foreign policy advisor that has taken her from Birmingham, Alabama, to Denver, Colorado, to Palo Alto, California, to the White House-all by the age of 50.


But just who is this powerful woman who has experienced firsthand some of our nation's darkest and brightest moments, who was a key player in the government's response to the September 11 tragedies, and who some believe will likely be a future governor, senator, vice president, or even president

Read more @ Harper Collins and review @ Publishers Weekly: "Although Felix didn't interview Rice, this informative biography draws on a thorough list of secondary sources and on interviews with family, friends and colleagues."

Friday, July 27, 2018

Grave of ancient noblewoman comes to light in island of Sikinos

Archaeologists in Greece have made an exciting discovery at the Episkopi excavation site in the island of Sikinos. The find is an ancient unlooted tomb of a prominent woman adorned with great treasures and jewellery. The find came to light during the restoration work of the Episkopi Monument that the Ministry of Culture and Sports has been carrying out since 2017 with the Cyclades Ephorate of Antiquities.

According to the Ministry of Culture’s announcement: “The wealth of jewellery worn by the woman betrays that she was a prominent figure in the Sikinos society. From the tomb, golden wristbands, rings, a necklace, a brooch with a cameo relief, along with glass and metal vases, other smaller finds, as well as organic fragments of the costume of the dead, were wrapped around the grave.”

read more here @ Tornos News

Seal of Byzantine Empress Yolande of Montferrat

From Archaeology in Bulgaria:
A rare find, a lead seal of Yolande of Montferrat, Empress Irene of the Byzantine Empire, the second wife of Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus (r. 1282 – 1328), has been discovered by archaeologists excavating the medieval Bulgarian fortress of Lyutitsa near the town of Ivaylovgrad.

This is the first seal of Byzantine Empress Irene (Yolande of Montferrat) to be discovered in Bulgaria, and the third known such seal overall, the National Museum of History in Sofia has announced.
Lyutitsa, which is one of the best preserved fortresses from the time of the medieval Bulgarian Empire, changed hands between Bulgaria and Byzantium a number of times. It is located in near Ivaylovgrad in the Eastern 

read more here @ Archaeology in Bulgaria

Saturday, July 21, 2018

New York Museum Sorts Through Its Collections to Highlight 15 "Rebel Women" of the 1800s

According to Abigail Weinberg of AM New York, the show features 15 women who rejected ideals of Victorian propriety. Individuals are grouped into three categories—political, working and professional—and include a mixture of famous and lesser-known figures.

Amongst the better-known honorees are Anthony, fellow suffragette leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton and investigative reporter Elizabeth Cochrane, better known by the pen name Nellie Bly. These women stand alongside relatively obscure contemporaries, from Susan Smith McKinney-Steward, one of the first African-American doctors, to pickpocket Sophie Lyons (who stole from wealthy men in Robin Hood-esque escapades). Other women who made the cut include Ann Trow Lohman, a female physician who provided abortion services under the name Madame Restell, and Elizabeth Jennings Graham, an African-American woman who challenged segregation on public streetcars.

Charlotte Yonge: A woman of some importance

Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901) was immensely well-known in Victorian England. The young Virginia Woolf was a fan, and, indeed, took a copy of The Heir of Redclyffe with her on her honeymoon to Italy — rather a pessimistic choice, given that its hero dies of fever on his honeymoon, in a spa in the Valtellina.

Yonge’s writings — more than 80 works of fiction and countless textbooks, histories, and devotional works — were staples of the literary experience of adolescents between the 1840s and the First World War. 

In the heyday of her reputation, in the 1850s and ’60s, Yonge’s novels for adults were widely admired; but, by the end of her life, she had outlived many of her readers, and was remembered only as a writer of children’s books. In the 20th century, Victorian culture went, on the whole, out of fashion, and, along with others, Yonge’s works almost disappeared from view.

read more here @ Church Times and @ Project Gutenburg


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Could these be the faces of the murdered wife and son of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang?

Chinese researchers have reconstructed the faces of a young man and woman who could be one of the many sons and consorts of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China – and who may also have been victims of one of the most notorious and gruesome purges in Chinese history.

The dismembered body of the young woman, who was about 20 years old, was found in a group of around 100 tombs in the emperor’s mausoleum in Xian – home to the famed terracotta army.
Image result for facial reconstruction Qin Shi Huang
All the bodies in the tomb are young females and the archaeologists believe these women could be the emperor’s consorts and their servants, judging from the class of the graves and burial items found there.

read more here @ South China Morning Post

Was This Powerful Chinese Empress a Feminist Trailblazer?

She entered the world of an ancient empire as a teenage concubine, chosen by the emperor to share his bed for her good looks, immaculate comportment and, above all, her ability to sing.
Image result for cixi
The male-dominated court was a swirl of intrigue, forced suicides and poisonings. Eunuchs assigned to the emperor prepared her for sex with the ruler, undressing her and carrying her to his bed. After the Emperor Xianfeng’s death, she governed in the name of young male heirs — from behind a screen.

Strong women in China are often portrayed as power-hungry, and sometimes irrational, and are notably absent from the highest ranks of government. There is no Hillary Clinton figure in contemporary China (the real Mrs. Clinton is vilified by the government for talking about human rights in the country), or an Angela Merkel, who has stood up to China on trade.


read more here @ New York Times

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Monday, July 9, 2018

How Bad Was Jezebel?

For more than two thousand years, Jezebel has been saddled with a reputation as the bad girl of the Bible, the wickedest of women. This ancient queen has been denounced as a murderer, prostitute and enemy of God, and her name has been adopted for lingerie lines and World War II missiles alike. But just how depraved was Jezebel?

In recent years, scholars have tried to reclaim the shadowy female figures whose tales are often only partially told in the Bible. Rehabilitating Jezebel’s stained reputation is an arduous task, however, for she is a difficult woman to like. She is not a heroic fighter like Deborah, a devoted sister like Miriam or a cherished wife like Ruth. Jezebel cannot even be compared with the Bible’s other bad girls—Potiphar’s wife and Delilah—for no good comes from Jezebel’s deeds. These other women may be bad, but Jezebel is the worst.

Yet there is more to this complex ruler than the standard interpretation would allow. To attain a more positive assessment of Jezebel’s troubled reign and a deeper understanding of her role, we must evaluate the motives of the Biblical authors who condemn the queen. Furthermore, we must reread the narrative from the queen’s vantage point. As we piece together the world in which Jezebel lived, a fuller picture of this fascinating woman begins to emerge. The story is not a pretty one, and some—perhaps most—readers will remain disturbed by Jezebel’s actions. But her character might not be as dark as we are accustomed to thinking. Her evilness is not always as obvious, undisputed and unrivaled as the Biblical writer wants it to appear.

read more here 

Grave of Medieval Bulgarian Princess 'Built Into' Foundations of Stone Church

Article (June 2016) from Archaeology in Bulgaria:
The grave of a female aristocrat from the Shishman Dynasty which ruled the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396) in its last few decades before it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks has been discovered during the excavations of the old church St. George near the town of Trudovets, Botevgrad Municipality, in Northwest Bulgaria.

The now defunct St. George stone church near Trudovets is believed to have been part of a medieval monastery, and still has fragments of medieval frescoes. On the archaeological site of the stone church, locals have found a marble pillar and EarlyByzantine coins from the 5th-6th century, leading scholars to hypothesize that the monastery which existed there may have dated back to Early Christian times.
The St. George Church near Trudovets, Botevgrad Municipality, is in a dire need of restoration. Photo: National Museum of History
The newly discovered grave of a young princess proves that the Botevgrad Valley was also part of their estates because a ring found together with the other female adornments in the funeral inventory features a monogram of the Shishman family.

read more about this amazing discovery here @ Archaeology in Bulgaria

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Dearth of female Nigerian leaders

The only condition necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, so says the great Irish philosopher, Edmund Burke (1729-1797). Looking at this enduring aphorism in reverse, one might entertain the thought that, perhaps, the only condition necessary for the perpetuation of misrule by men in Nigeria is for good women to do nothing. How did we arrive at a junction where the minority (i.e. male) are perpetuating misrule and violence on the majority (i.e. female) for so long and with such reckless abandon? How come men in this country (as elsewhere) assume that positions of leadership and dominance are their birth-right, while the female folk clasp their palms in resignation? How come our religious leaders in this country continue to preach the virtue of “submissiveness” to the female gender in acquiescence to the perpetrators of violence and oppression against them; the maniac male in their midst?

read more here @ Punch Newspapers

Church reproposes Order of Virgins 50 years after its restoration

In 2020 it will be 50 years since Pope Paul VI revived the ancient Order of Virgins. Consecrated virgins now number approximately 5,000 and live in every part of the world. The Prefect for the Dicastery for Consecrated Life, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, says that the new Instruction Ecclesiae Sponsae imago is the first Document to address the make-up and discipline of this form of consecration. It is also a response to the interest shown in this revived vocation. It focuses specifically on its place in the Church’s life, and the necessary discernment and formation required, he says.

read more here @ Vatican News

An increasing number Catholic women are taking life-long chastity vows in order to “dedicate themselves” to God, according to the Vatican.

The Holy See has issued new guidance on consecrated virginity in response to growing interest across the world in the little-known spiritual “vocation”.

Consecrated virgins are unmarried women who pledge to remain celibate for their entire lives, eschewing romantic or sexual relationships to devote themselves exclusively to being mystical “brides of Christ”.

Space Coast women aviators honor memory of those who flew before

Women fly.      They pilot large and small, old and new, private and commercial, military and civilian aircraft. The likes of Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran, Bessie Coleman, Eileen Collins and Tammie Jo Shults are but a few notables who share this heritage. 
Image result for female wasp pilots
No surprise, then, that a group of women aviators like the Spaceport 99s should have become local custodians of the memory of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, the WASP.

The WASP, 1,074 women attached to the United States Army Air Forces as civilians from 1942 to late 1944, flew more than 60 million miles during World War II, transporting every type of military aircraft. They towed targets for anti-aircraft gunnery practice, simulated strafing missions and transported cargo, and before their time in service ended, 38 WASP members lost their lives and one was missing. 

They did it to free male pilots for military combat, but were not themselves formally military pilots; they were granted veteran status 32 years after the war’s end. Fifty-four years after it was over, they finally were formally recognized, when President Obama awarded members the Congressional Gold Medal.

read more 
@ 99s



Women Empowerment in Vedas

From Daily Pioneer:Ancient Indian texts make it quite clear that women were always meant to be respected and valued in our culture, writes Daksh Bharadwaj 

Women empowerment in Vedas
The Vedas say, man himself (aatmanah) is only half or incomplete (ardha), as long as (yaavat) he does not obtain (Vindate) a wife (jaayaa). According to the Vedic teachings and ancient Aryan scriptures, women have been placed at a higher status than man. She has been given preference to man in every field, so much so that when giving a boy a joint name of a god and goddess, the name of the goddess is always placed before the god. We call our country motherland, mother is superior to father. We are taught to be more indebted to mother than father — “Maat devobhava” before “Pita devobhava”.

Woman stands paramount in Vedic culture. We go as far as saying that if one wants to understand culture and civilisation of a nation, one has only to observe how that nation treats its women folk. She is the symbol of culture.

read Vedas online:


read more: 






Sunday, June 24, 2018

2,000 year old mummified ‘sleeping beauty’ dressed in silk emerges from Siberian reservoir

MummyFrom the Siberian Times:
Archeologists hail extraordinary find of suspected ‘Hun woman’ with a jet gemstone buckle on her beaded belt.

After a fall in the water level, the well-preserved mummy was found this week on the shore of a giant reservoir on the Yenisei River upstream of the vast Sayano-Shushenskaya dam, which powers the largest power plant in Russia and ninth biggest hydroelectric plant in the world.

The ancient woman was buried wearing a silk skirt with a funeral meal - and she took a pouch of pine nuts with her to the afterlife. 

In her birch bark make-up box, she had a Chinese mirror.  Near her remains - accidentally mummified - was a Hun-style vase. 

read more here @ Siberian Times

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The woman who built Jersey's first hospital

Standing in St Brelade’s Church cemetery is an obelisk dedicated to a public-spirited Islander who bequeathed her fortune to the poor and sick at a time when social services were unheard of.

The inscription on the monument is in French. Translated, it reads: ‘To the memory of Miss Marie Mauger – widow of Mr Francis Bartlett – foundress of the General Hospital. Buried in this parish April 26 1741.

Her altruism gave Jersey its first hospital on the site of the present building.  Finally, in 1793, more than 50 years after her death, Mrs Bartlett’s dream finally became reality and the old building of the General Hospital opened its doors.

see also



Plymouth's Laura Chase Smith woman ahead of her time

Laura Chase Smith was a woman ahead of her time. A force in her own right, she and her husband, H.N. Smith (Horatio Nelson) were an important part of the growth and development of Plymouth. Laura kept a journal most of her life, and those diary entries would, years later, provide primary source documentation of pioneer Plymouth.

Laura wrote a well-received book, The Life of Philander Chase, First Bishop of Ohio and Illinois, Founder of Kenyon and Jubilee Colleges. But, she also wrote a series of articles for the Plymouth Reporter. Published between December 1872 and June 1873, the series covered the history of the township of Plymouth and the Villages of Plymouth and Quit Qui Oc.

read more here @ Sheboygan Press

What Happened to Women in France After D-Day in 1944

From Time:
They called it the épuration sauvage, the wild purge, because it was spontaneous and unofficial. But, yes, it was savage, too. In the weeks and months following the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944, Allied troops and the resistance swept across France liberating towns and villages, and unleashing a flood of collective euphoria, relief and hope. And then the punishments began.

circa 1945: Two French men restrain a woman while another crops her hair after she has been accused of collaborating with the Germans during the occupation.

The victims were among the most vulnerable members of the community: Women. Accused of “horizontal collaboration” — sleeping with the enemy — they were targeted by vigilantes and publicly humiliated. Their heads were shaved, they were stripped half-naked, smeared with tar, paraded through towns and taunted, stoned, kicked, beaten, spat upon and sometimes even killed.

One photograph from the era shows a woman standing in a village as two men forcibly restrain her wrists; a third man grabs a hank of her blonde hair, his scissors poised to hack it away. Just as the punished were almost always women, their punishers were usually men, who acted with no legal mandate or court-given authority. Although some were loyal resistance members, others had themselves dabbled in collaborationist activity and were anxious to cleanse their records before the mob turned on them, too. About 6,000 people were killed during the épuration sauvage — but the intense, cruel, public ferocity of the movement focused not on serious collaborationist crime. Instead, it zeroed in on women accused of consorting with the enemy.

Paulette Jordan - first Native American governor in US history

Amid an unprecedented wave of women running for office in the age of President Donald Trump, Paulette Jordan is hoping to achieve an extraordinary electoral feat in a deeply conservative state that would make her a string of firsts:

She would be the first Native American governor in the history of the US, the first woman governor of Idaho, and the first Democrat to be elected to lead the state in a generation.

“I think it’s great, and I’m really excited that we are breaking a lot of barriers from age and race to gender, but it’s not the goal,” Ms Jordan, 38, tells The Independent. “The goal is to bring back real representation – whether a man or woman – bringing back leadership to the people that they can be confident and believe in.”

Female Historians Try to End the I-Didn’t-Know-Any-Women Excuse for Men-Only Panels

Following in the footsteps of other disciplines, a group of female historians unveiled a searchable online database on Tuesday listing their peers’ areas of expertise and contact information. The site — called Women Also Know History — is meant to make it abundantly easy to find female historians to invite to speak at conferences, quote in articles, or add to a syllabus. 

In March, the issue boiled over when an invitation-only history conference hosted by Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, was publicized on social media. The conference included 30 panelists, all of whom were white and male — a stark example of what’s become known as a manel

The idea for Women Also Know History came from the initiative Women Also Know Stuff,which includes a database of 1,650 female-identifying political scientists. There’s also, Diverse Sources, a database of underrepresented people who can talk to reporters about science, health, and the environment, as well as online lists of female neuroscientists,astronomers, and physicists.

Hundreds of women get Saudi driving licences

Image result for women drivers
From GulfNews:
Hundreds of Saudi and foreign women have been granted local driving licences since Tuesday, the General Directorate for Traffic has said.

The licence will allow the women to drive in the kingdom starting June 24 as per the royal orders issued in September that called for allowing women to drive for the first time.

Traffic officials said 22 centres had been set up across the kingdom to convert foreign licences while four driving schools have been issuing Saudi licences to candidates who passed the test.

Several driving schools have been set up and awareness campaigns launched throughout the kingdom.

Africa: Femwise-Africa Set to Boost Women's Role in Peace Processes

From allAfrica:


High-level African Union (AU) mediation efforts have in the past included very few women. Almost all AU special envoys to conflict zones are men - mostly former heads of state and other former senior officials.


The Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise-Africa), established in July 2017, is an AU initiative aimed at changing this. Its success will depend on whether it has the necessary support and capacity to carry out its mission.

Progress in implementing the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 that urges the international community to improve women's participation in peace and security has been slow. UN Women noted that between 1992 and 2011, women globally made up only 2% of chief mediators, 4% of witnesses and signatories, and 9% of negotiators.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Ireland votes by landslide to legalise abortion

Ireland has voted by a landslide to legalise abortion in a stunning outcome that marks a dramatic defeat for the Catholic church’s one-time domination of the Republic.

The Irish electorate voted by 1,429,981 votes to 723,632 in favour of abolishing a controversial constitutional amendment that gave equal legal status to the lives of a foetus and the woman carrying it. The result was a two-thirds majority: 66.4% yes to 33.6% no.

By voting yes in unexpectedly large numbers to abolish the eighth amendment to the Irish constitution, the country has enabled the government in Dublin to introduce abortion in Ireland’s health service up to 12 weeks into pregnancy.

FINAL RESULT

% Turnout
64.13%
Yes/Tá
66.40%
No/Níl
33.60%

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Be Celebrating the Treatment of Women in Anglo-Saxon England

Article from author Lynda Telford @ History News Network:
What was the way of life for most ordinary women during the early Middle Ages in England? The answer is surprising. In Anglo-Saxon England – before the Norman Conquest in 1066 – men and women enjoyed relatively equal rights and social, cultural and religious conditions. Compare that situation with the changes brought by the Norman Conquest – a woman became a possession.   Over eight hundred years of hard struggle for women’s basic rights – and to get back the legal safeguards that Anglo-Saxon women took for granted!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

I write what I think is right…take it or leave it: Historian Romila Thapar

As a globally renowned professional historian, she has in recent years been the target of vicious right-wing trolls who are out to spread their own version of history. If it doesn't seem to overly bother her, it is because, unknown to most, Romila Thapar's life has been one lived amidst sustained hate and criticism.

She maintains that arguing a particular position in any discipline is a constitutional mandate as long as she sticks to the given methodology and substantiates her research with enough evidence. 

"But I have been firm on the fact that as an academic historian, I will go on saying what I wish to say, on the basis of my research," she said.

Amelia Earhart bones found in Nikumaroro, claims scientist

A SCIENTIFIC study claims to shed new light on the decades-long mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart.

According to the New York Post, Richard Jantz, an emeritus anthropology professor at the University of Tennessee, argues that bones discovered on the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro in 1940 were likely Earhart’s remains. The research contradicts a forensic analysis of the remains in 1941 that described the bones as belonging to a male.

The bones, which were subsequently lost, continue to be a source of debate.

Earhart, who was attempting to fly around the world, disappeared with navigator Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937, during a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island in the Pacific.

read more @ New York Post


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Conference at Bryn Mawr Looks at Women Who Lived as Social Outliers

In the summer of 2018, faculty from a number of institutions and disciplines will come together at Bryn Mawr for a week-long research session around the topic of “Women’s Bodies as Sites of Social Navigation: The Cultivation, Display, and Consumption of Female Beauty and Sexuality.”

“Such women might include mistresses, courtesans, prostitutes, movie stars, and pagan mythological and epic characters.”   The session is being held June 4-9.

Obit: Joan Bershas

Obit by Anna Collins published in The Guardian:
Of Russian and European Jewish heritage, Joan developed a strong sense of her identity as European rather than American, and at 18 she left the US to study medieval history at Newcastle University. Thereafter she made her home in the UK, although she only renounced – or “denounced”, as she put it – her American citizenship towards the end of her life.

After two degrees in medieval history, Joan retrained in art and paper conservation, learning from experts in the field and becoming one herself. By the time formal qualifications for conservators had been introduced, Joan had been restoring for years and her high reputation was enough to secure her work.

Joan travelled widely in the course of numerous historic wallpaper conservation projects, including many for the National Trust. A highlight of her career was her involvement in a Royal Geographical Society project in Zanzibar, aimed at conserving British administrative archives, particularly correspondence from and about early explorers.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Obit: Jill, Duchess of Hamilton, journalist and author

Image result for jill duchess of hamilton
Jill, Duchess of Hamilton, who has died aged 78, was a woman of indomitable energy who left her native Australia as a young reporter for the Murdoch press and ended up marrying Scotland’s premier duke. After her divorce, she distinguished herself as a writer and researcher.

Her best book, Marengo, the Myth of Napoleon’s Horse (2000), uncovered some hitherto unknown facts about Napoleon’s favourite horse and identified, through some impressive detective work, one of its hooves. 

read more here @ Sydney Morning Herald

Welcome to Puntland: Where Men Don't Consider Rape A Crime

From Elle:
Every morning, 28-year-old Officer Shamis Abdi Bile rises before dawn to make breakfast for her husband and three young children.

police officer somalia rape
She bustles around the house, fulfilling the traditional role of homemaker, something that is still expected of Somali women. But once her family has eaten, Bile takes on an unexpected role.

Bile becomes a warrior; almost single-handedly fighting for the prosecution of rape and sexual violence in Puntland, Somalia.

She changes into her khaki police uniform, neatly pressed and spotless, and walks several miles through the dusty streets of Garowe -- the small capital city of Somalia’s vast, barren Puntland state -- to the local police station.

Bile is the only female officer in her unit, and the only woman handling issues of sexual violence in the area.

read more here @ Elle

Saturday, April 14, 2018

10th Century Golden Heart Jewel Worn by Bulgarian Empress Discovered in Medieval Capital Veliki Preslav

A remarkable golden jewel in the shape of a heart decorated with a five-color enamel, which may have belonged to the wife of Tsar Petar I (r. 927-969), has been discovered by archaeologists during excavations in Veliki Preslav (“Great Preslav"), Shumen District, in today’s Northeast Bulgaria,which was the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire (632/680 – 1018) from 893 until 970.

The heart-shaped 23-karat gold jewelhas been found in the ruins of what is believed to have been an imperial residence of the Tsars of the First Bulgarian Empire who ruled from Veliki Preslav.

The dating and the exquisite craftsmanship of the jewel have led the archaeological team to hypothesize that it may have belonged to Tsaritsa (Empiress) Maria Lakapene, a Byzantine noble, who married Tsar Petar I in 927, taking the name Irene (meaning “peace").

This newly discovered over 1,000-year-old golden heart jewel with glass enamel is believed to have belonged to a 10th century Bulgarian Tsaritsa (Empress). Photo: Shum

Siberia salutes British nurse who set up a leper colony in remote Yakutian village

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Kate Marsden travelled with the active support of both Queen Victoria of England and the Tsarina of Russia, Maria Fedorovna. Much later, after her return, her odyssey would be marred by sexual innuendo, yet this unfair accusation from her detractors can in no way obscure her achievements.

In an era of extraordinary adventurers, hers was especially noteworthy in this era both because she was a woman travelling alone, and due to the sheer scale of her undertaking, to reach one of the remotest areas of Yakutia in search of an elusive herbal cure for leprosy.

By the time of her trip, she had already made her mark, and won the hearts of Russians, as a battle-hardened nurse caring for the wounded during the war between Russia and Turkey in 1878. There are accounts of her, then aged 19, stalking the battlefield at night, bringing relief to soldiers felled during the day's fighting. It was at this time that she had her first contact with lepers, and it was to their cause that she devoted her life's work.

Russian nurses, inspired by Marsden, staffed the colony when it was opened and consecrated on 5 December 1892, the year after her visit. It was completed six years after she left. Astonishingly, it survived not only the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the ensuing Civil War, but lasted to the early 1960s, pioneering the extermination of leprosy in Yakutia.

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Enriqueta Martí - The Vampiress of Barcelona

Enriqueta Martí. Wikipedia/Public Domain
At the beginning of the 20th century, Enriqueta Martí — a woman from the witchcraft-steeped countryside of Cataluña — came to Barcelona. Rather than “The Pearl of the Mediterranean” she saw Barcelona as “The City of Death”. In the evenings she worked as a prostitute, and during the day she begged for charity. She imposed the same schedule to the children on the street who she used as her own while she begged, the same children who she introduced to prostitution.

It is suspected that she kidnapped a large number of children over a span of twenty years. Martí was never tried for her crimes. She died a year and three months after her arrest at the hands of her prison mates.

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Women Firefighters Battle Child Marriage in India

From Link TV:
Battling age-old patriarchal attitudes in her village, Nirma Chaudhary is one of around 30 women recently recruited from Rajasthan's towns and villages as part of an affirmative action policy to encourage women to join the fire service.

The policy reserves 33 percent of government jobs for women candidates and has helped increase the number of women in the police and administrative services but it was not implemented in the fire service until last year.

In a region where child marriages are widespread, the recruitment of these women is not only increasing their participation in a male-dominated profession, but also helping to dismantle a harmful practice which affects generations.

Rajasthan — one of India's premier tourist destinations where millions flock annually for its ancient fortresses and camel-back safaris — records higher than the national average, with 65.2 percent of women being married off as child brides.

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Constance Markievicz - The Countess Who Rebelled

Countess Markiewicz.jpgCountess Markievicz played an active part in the Easter Rising of 1916, and also in post-1916 Irish history. Born in 1868 as Constance Gore-Booth, Countess Markievicz was sentenced to death for her part in the Easter Uprising but had the sentence commuted to life incarceration on account of her gender. Her life was full of excitement, and many battles for the causes of suffrage for women or for establishing the independence of the Republic of Ireland from the British rule. There no way to make the long story short in her case.

She was an Irish Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil politician, revolutionary nationalist, suffragette and socialist. In December 1918, she was the first woman elected to the British House of Commons, though she did not take her seat and, along with the other Sinn Féin TDs, formed the first Dáil Éireann. She was also one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position, as a Minister for Labour of the Irish Republic, from 1919 to 1922.

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Armenia’s "Missing Girls"

Image result for sex symbolsSex selection may have been outlawed, but a shortage of women threatens the very survival of a country where boys are traditionally seen as an investment and girls as a loss.

Sometimes it seems there are so many ways to destroy women that the methods become invisible to us. There are some women you will never see because they will never be born.

Amartya Sen talked of “missing women” in his famous 1990 essay because of technologies that enable prenatal sex selection.

Most people are aware this happens in China and India, but I am in Armenia, talking to a nervy woman in her early 30s. We are in the eastern region of Gavar, which is second only to China in the number of female foetuses that are aborted. Here, 120 boys are born for every 100 girls.
Armenia really needs its missing women. “We lose 1,400 girls a year. In the long term who will our boys marry? How will we consolidate the Armenian nation? We are only 3 million people. We have no right to such losses. There will be no mothers to give birth to girls,” says Khalafyan.

read more here @ The Guardian

Admiring Flowers in Ancient Times

During the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960), it is said that the official Han Xizai loved to burn incense near a flower vase because he liked the combination of the fragrance of flowers and incense. Using flowers in this way was popular during Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties.

During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), people preferred to chant or sip wine while being surrounded by flowers. Music also goes well with flowers and refined scholars in Song Dynasty loved to play music to flowers. The musical instruments were thought to match different kinds of flowers. According to ancient book records, elegant flowers such as jasmine went well with the musical instrument heptachord.

China's only female emperor Wu Zetian of the Tang Dynasty was obsessed with flowers. The peony in ancient Luoyang was quite famed and each year when peonies flowered, she would hold celebrations and feasts.