Sunday, May 3, 2020

Female Genital Mutilation Outlawed in Sudan

Sudan’s new government has outlawed the practice of female genital mutilation, a move hailed as a major victory by women’s rights campaigners in a country where the often dangerous practice is widespread.

The United Nations estimates that nearly nine in 10 Sudanese women have been subjected to the most invasive form of the practice, which involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia and leads to health and sexual problems that can be fatal.

Now, anyone in Sudan who performs female genital mutilation faces a possible three-year prison term and a fine under an amendment to Sudan’s criminal code approved last week by the country’s transitional government, which came to power only last year following the ouster of longtime dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

“This is a massive step for Sudan and its new government,” said Nimco Ali of the Five Foundation, an organization that campaigns for an end to genital mutilation globally. “Africa cannot prosper unless it takes care of girls and women. They are showing this government has teeth.”

Genital mutilation is practiced in at least 27 African countries, as well as parts of Asia and the Middle East. Other than Sudan and Egypt, it is most prevalent in Ethiopia, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Djibouti and Senegal, according to the United Nations Population Fund.

“The law will help protect girls from this barbaric practice and enable them to live in dignity,” said Salma Ismail, a spokeswoman in Khartoum for the United Nations Children’s Fund. “And it will help mothers who didn’t want to cut their girls, but felt they had no choice, to say ‘no.’”

read more here @ The New York Times

Ancient Egyptian teenage mummy buried 3,600 years ago found with bridal clothes and jewellery intact

From The Sun:
An ancient Egyptian teenage girl has been found buried with her 'bridal jewellery'.

 The coffin was uncovered during a project involving a Spanish teamThe treasures buried with the mummy in the 3,600 year old coffin are thought to be a dowry of expensive items that would have been gifted with a bride at a wedding.

The fascinating discovery was made by a Spanish team working at a necropolis in Luxor, Egypt.

The team, from the Djehuty Project, found the coffin on a hill called Dra Abu el-Naga.  In ancient times this would have been in the city of Thebes, the capital of Egypt in the Middle and New Kingdom periods.

The wooden coffin was discovered in an impressively well-preserved state and some of its white paint was still intact.

read more here @ The Sun

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Irish woman who shot Mussolini in the face

Violet Gibson, daughter of the first Lord Ashbourne, of Co Meath, who wounded Signor Mussolini with a revolver in Rome.From Irish Central
In 1926, Irish woman Violet Gibson attempted to assassinate the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini. On April 7, 1926, an upper-class, 50-year-old Dublin woman tried to shoot Benito Mussolini, Italy's fascist leader, in the face. 

An Irishwoman's attempt to assassinate Mussolini is often ...How had Violet Gibson’s life gone from the well-heeled upbringing of Merrion Square in Dublin to dying in a mental asylum having attempted to assassinate a world leader and how different the world may have been if she had succeeded?

What’s worse is that Gibson’s attempted assassination triggered a wave of support for Il Duce which possibly helped strengthen his grip on Italy.

read more here @ Irish Central and the Guardian and the Irish Times

further reading:
The Woman Who Shot Mussolini by Frances Stonor Saunders

Violet Gibson - Irish Journal

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Bolivian Women Fighting Social Discrimination

From PHmuseum
Argentine photographer SofĂ­a Bensadon portrays the women behind Bolivia’s construction industry. By documenting their work and recording their testimonies, she looks to capture their resilience and determination despite the marginalisation they are subjected to.

Since the Chaco war in Bolivia real-estate development has been evolving, especially during Evo Morales presidential period. As a result of this rapid demand, today many women have joined the construction industry in their country. 

Women Builders in Bolivia Lobby for Respect | Pulitzer Center

In La Paz and Alto, it is socially questioned that women have joined this traditionally male expected labour. Despite social discrimination Bolivian women have continued to work in the field and gained their work pal and family members respect. Bensadon inspired by her father’s traditional views on construction’s sites, she embarked on this ongoing personal project that looks to give a voice to Bolivia’s resilient women.

read more here @ PHmuseum and Pulitzer Center

Another side of Julia Gillard and her thrill at being an interviewer

Guests from Hillary Clinton to comedienne Sandy Toksvig talk to Gillard about leadership and the road to gender equality.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard is chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, and in that role she has been interviewing a diverse group of women – from world leaders to stand-up comedians – for A Podcast of One’s Own.

Hon Julia Gillard MP – Parliament of Australia“We want to find as many [role models for young women] by telling the stories of female leaders from around the world. Through A Podcast of One’s Own I have the time and space to have real conversations with the women interviewed, to learn the lessons from their lives and hear their insights into what works to get more women into leadership positions,” Gillard says.

“A great benefit of [podcasts] is that no one ends up distracted by how people look. Instead, the focus is 100 per cent on what they think. It’s also a low-cost way of sharing stories ... With very little equipment or formality, I can chat to a podcast guest wherever I am.”

read more here @ Brisbane Times

Rural decline threatens Estonia’s ancient isle of women

For centuries on a small, forested island in the Baltic Sea, women in headscarves and striped red skirts have done most of the work: from farming to lighthouse keeping, leading church services and even dressing up as Santa Claus at Christmas.

The men of Kihnu island, 10km off the coast of Estonia, are away at sea fishing for weeks or months at a time, leaving the women to run what is often dubbed one of the last matriarchal societies in Europe.  Gender roles may have blurred, but one job still lies squarely with the women: keeping Kihnu’s centuries-old culture alive.

   Tradition dictates that the Kihnu women must organise all of the island’s major events and festivals, as well as funerals and weddings.

Since the global economic crash hit Estonia hard that year, the island’s year-round population has halved. Kihnu life still revolves around ancient folk traditions and songs, a unique culture which Unesco describes as a “masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity”. “We are going to lose it if people don’t live here any more, ” Matas says. “We don’t know what to do.”

read more here @ The Star Online

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The woman who discovered the first coronavirus

From BBC News
The woman who discovered the first human coronavirus was the daughter of a Scottish bus driver who left school at 16.

June Almeida with her electron microscope at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto in 1963
June Almeida went on to become a pioneer of virus imaging, whose work has come roaring back into focus during the present pandemic.

Covid-19 is a new virus but it is a coronavirus of the type first identified by Dr Almeida in 1964 at her laboratory in St Thomas's Hospital in London.

June Almeida died in 2007, at the age of 77. 
Now 13 years after her death she is finally getting recognition she deserves as a pioneer whose work speeded up understanding of the virus that is currently spreading throughout the world.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

What Happened to Eleanor of Aquitaine’s Daughters?

From History Hit
There are many books about medieval kings and some about their queens, but what’s so special about the princesses born into, or marrying into, the Plantagenet dynasty?

A 13th-century depiction of Henry II and his children, left to right: William, Henry, Richard, Matilda, Geoffrey, Eleanor, Joan and John.

The chroniclers who documented the births and lives of medieval princes were celibate and misogynistic monks who showed little interest in the births of girls, which were often not even noted. So we know much about the sons of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II who founded the Plantagenet dynasty: Henry the Young King, Richard the Lionheart, Geoffrey of Brittany and Bad King John. Of Eleanor’s little-documented daughters and granddaughters we catch only glimpses.

read more here from Douglas Boyd @ History Hit

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Meet the female shoplifting gang who ruled London’s West End

What it’s about: Move over, mafia! From the 1870s (and possibly earlier) through to the 1950s, an all-female crime syndicate ruled London’s black market, robbing from high-end stores and their wealthy patrons, and enforcing their rules on smaller gangs and petty criminals. Also known as the Forty Thieves, the gang operated out of London’s Elephant And Castle district, hence the name.

19th Century Female Shoplifter.jpg

Biggest controversy: The 19th-century ladies of the gang were able to turn Victorian social mores to their advantage. The same outfits designed to conceal a scandalous glimpse of bare ankle were also useful for concealing fenced goods. It was considered shocking and indecent to search a lady, especially in the high-end stores where the Elephants operated, and unthinkable to interrupt a woman in a changing room. They also flouted the era’s social mores in another way: Members of the gang earned enough money to support their husbands, who were either “idle men who lounged at home, [or] inmates of the British prison system.”

read more here @ AVClub

The Power Women of Mecklenburgh Square

Francesca Wade’s “Square Haunting” chronicles five pioneering feminists and scholars who lived on the same London square between the two world wars.

Imagine five pioneering feminist scholars and writers assembled into one enchanting group portrait: the American poet Hilda Doolittle (known as H.D.), the novelist Dorothy L. Sayers, the classicist Jane Ellen Harrison, the medievalist Eileen Power and Virginia Woolf, whose career changed so much for women in literature and public life.

Clockwise from top left: Dorothy Sayers, Virginia Woolf, Eileen Power, Hilda Doolittle, and Jane Ellen Harrison.

Francesca Wade, a British journalist and the editor of The White Review, brings these five together in her vividly written first book, “Square Haunting,” because they all lived in Bloomsbury, on Mecklenburgh Square. Although they resided there at different times — and, except in the case of one or two, it is unclear whether they ever met — each worked to overturn obstacles that had long “kept women subordinate,” forging new paths to the economic independence and intellectual fulfillment Woolf heralded in her landmark essay “A Room of One’s Own.”

read more here @ The New York Times

Woman seeks man in ancient Egyptian 'erotic binding spell'

From Live Science
An Egyptian papyrus dating to 1,800 years describes a spell conjuring a ghost to play matchmaker between a woman and the man of her dreams.

Scholars are translating an 1,800-year-old Egyptian papyrus describing what scholars call an "erotic binding spell," in which a woman named Taromeway tries to attract a man named Kephalas. 

A closeup of the papyrus showing the Egyptian jackal-headed god Anubis shooting Kephalas with an arrow. Kephalas is depicted nude with an enlarged penis and scrotum. The arrow Anubis shoots is supposed to make Kephalas lustful for a woman named Taromeway.On the papyrus, a drawing shows the Egyptian jackal-headed god Anubis shooting an arrow into Kephalas, who is depicted nude. The arrow Anubis shoots is intended to inflame Kephalas' lust for Taromeway, researchers say. 

Other so-called erotic binding spells are known from ancient Egypt, although they were more commonly used by men seeking women, wrote Ritner and Foy Scalf, the head of research archives at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. 

read more here @ Live Science

The Strange, Sordid World of Elizabethan-Era True Crime

From CrimeReads
For a country with a virgin queen, Elizabethan England was just stewing in sin. Or maybe it only seems that way from society’s portrayal in the books, plays, and pamphlets of the period. Maybe those authors, playwrights, and publishers understood the timeless craving for true crime stories, and happily fed people’s appetites. Whatever the reason, if you know where to look, there’s a wealth of material for anyone hoping to indulge in stories of rogues, witches, and knaves.

Megan Campisi's debut novel, Sin Eater, is a historical mystery set in an Elizabethan England flush with true crime. One young woman is condemned to bear her town’s sins as a sin eater, but she turns her curse into an unexpected source of power when she uncovers and sets out to solve a series of gruesome murders. In crafting the world, I drew on true crime stories of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. So, where did Elizabethans go for their true crime fix? Here’s a guide to seven delicious sources to transport you to the Elizabethan criminal underworld.

read more here @ CrimeReads

Monday, April 6, 2020

Was Anne Boleyn buried in the Tower of London?

From HeritageDaily
Anne Boleyn, Queen of England and second wife of Henry VIII was executed within the grounds of the Tower of London. Her crime was a trumpeted up charge of adultery with two men of the court, and incest with her brother. The real reason for her execution was to remove Anne, who was an obstacle to Henry remarrying and having an heir.

In the middle of the 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria, the entire Tower was “restored,” including the chapel which had fallen into a major state of disrepair. Unfortunately, much of the “restoration” was poorly done, resulting in some serious alteration and damage to the original fabric of the chapel and adjacent buildings. There has been much debate about the possibility of Anne being one of those exhumed. 

read more here @ HeritageDaily

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Nexhmije Hoxha, ‘Lady Macbeth’ of Albania, Dies at 99

A political partner with her Communist dictator husband, they isolated their small Balkan nation, executed dissidents and drove the economy to collapse.

Nexhmije Hoxha, who joined with her husband, Enver Hoxha, the Communist dictator of Albania, in overseeing an oppressive regime that isolated the country after World War II, executed dissenters and drove the economy into the ground, died on Feb. 26 at her home near the capital, Tirana. She was 99.

Her death was announced by her son Ilir Hoxha and confirmed by Agence France-Presse and other news outlets.

The Hoxha regime, which lasted from 1945 to 1991, did not tolerate dissent. More than 6,000 of its opponents were executed, the remains of more than 5,000 of them dumped in secret mass graves, according to the International Commission on Missing Persons and Albania’s Institute of Integration of Ex-Politically Persecuted, which began exhuming and identifying bodies in 2019.

These are the 11 Indian women scientists the new STEM chairs are named after

From The Print
The names of 11 Indian women scientists have come into prominence after the Narendra Modi government decided to establish chairs in their name in institutes across the country. Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani made the announcement last week to “not only honour & recognize Indian women scientists’ contribution to the field of Science but also inspire women & encourage greater participation of young girls in STEM.”

Graphic: Soham Sen/ThePrint

Unsung Women – The Forward

For Women’s History Month, the Forward presents “Unsung Women,” a special project showcasing Jewish women — from biblical times to our modern moment — whose stories have rarely been told.

Unsung Women

Remains of Anglo-Saxon Princess Discovered In Kent

An Anglo-Saxon princess who was one of England’s earliest Christian saints has been identified by scientists in a church in Kent. Some historical evidence suggests that she may be the present Queen’s earliest known relative whose remains have so far been identified.

Dating from the mid-seventh century AD, the princess was the daughter of King Eadbald (literally “the prosperous one”), the ruler of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Kent, who was that micro-country’s monarch from 616 (or 618) to 640. Eanswythe, the daughter of King Eadbald, is believed to have founded England’s first nunnery before her life was cut short, likely as a result of bubonic plague.

read more here @ The Independent and The Telegraph

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Maude Collins: Ohio's First Female Sheriff

In my Kinship Historical Mystery Series, protagonist Lily Ross is inspired by Maude Collins, Ohio’s first true female sheriff in 1925.
In real life, Maude’s husband Vinton County (Ohio) Sheriff Fletcher Collins was killed in the line of duty in October 1925. But there was no mystery as to who killed him. Internet stories vary, but per a newspaper account of the day, Fletcher had ventured out with a warrant for Amy Robinette, on a charge of stealing automobile tires, and another for George Steele for speeding. He found the two together alongside the road. Sadly, George pulled out a 12-gauge shotgun and shot Fletcher at close range. The couple ran but turned themselves in an hour later. There were also several witnesses to the murder, and Maude had to serve as witness in the trial that she had knowledge of the warrants. (The couple took them before running.)

After the funeral, Maude was packing up her five children to return home to West Virginia. (Interesting side note: she was a direct descendant of the McCoy clan—as in the Hatfield and McCoy feud of fame.) But a county commissioner came by, asked her where she was going, and invited her to serve out her husband’s term. She did, and in 1926 ran for sheriff in her own right. She ran on the Democratic ticket, beating men in both the primary and general elections, and won… in a landslide.

read more @ CrimeReads

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Victoria Woodhull: First Woman Presidential Candidate

From National Review:

She was the first woman to run for president, the first to address a congressional committee, and the first to own a brokerage on Wall Street. She was also a con artist, a gold digger, and a scandal magnet. When she ran for president in 1872, she sat out Election Day in a Manhattan jail, arrested on charges of obscenity. Victoria Woodhull was unquestionably a pioneer in women’s rights, yet her legacy is so messy and complicated that she remains an outlier in feminist history.

read more here @ National Review

Female Administrators in Ancient Iran

Marta Ameri, assistant professor of art, has published an article titled “Who Holds the Keys? Identifying Female administrators at Shahr-i Sokhta” in Iran: Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies. The article compares the physical and iconographic aspects of seals found in the cemetery of the third millennium BCE Iranian site of Shahr-i Sokhta with those of seals used for administrative sealing to identify different groups of people responsible for controlling goods and resources. 

Ameri uses the observed similarity between seals used for sealing and those found buried in women’s graves to suggest that women were responsible for most of the administrative sealing at Shahr-i Sokhta in the mid-third millennium BC, and to call into question the often-unchallenged assumption that men were by default responsible for administration in ancient societies.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Blog Post: Girls Can Do Anything

Michelle Obama came to December's Grassroots Leaders Roundtable in Vietnam to deliver an urgent message: some of the world’s best minds are going undeveloped because of our failure to educate girls.

The GOA is a program of the Obama Foundation that empowers adolescent girls around the world through education, especially poor girls from disadvantaged communities, allowing them to achieve their full potential and transform their lives, families, and communities. Ms. Obama was accompanied to Vietnam by actors Julia Roberts, Lana Condor, and Ngo Thanh Van and Today Show cohost Jenna Bush Hager.

There is no single or simple approach to this mission, but roundtable participants all agreed that education is the key for these girls, and that they need holistic support, including tuition, soft-skills development, and leadership training, so they can rise to their full potential. We shared our successes and challenges, as well as the stories of girls in our programs who have achieved things far beyond our hopes. We talked about collaborating to maximize our resources, support one another, and inspire more action for girls’ education, and we discussed the progress that has been made and the many people who are working in their own way to support girls and young women who have been left behind due to circumstances beyond their control.

read more here @ The Asia Foundation

Legends of a Medieval Female Pope May Tell the Truth

From Live Science
Medieval legends claim that Pope Joan was the first and only female pope. And now, an analysis of ancient silver coins suggests that the ordained woman may have actually lived.

However, there is much debate over whether a pope named Johannes Anglicus existed, much less whether this pope was a man or woman. The doubt stems in part from the great deal of confusion over the identities of popes during the middle of the ninth century. For example, in the oldest surviving copy of the "Liber Pontificalis," the official book of biographies of popes during the early Middle Ages, "Pope Benedict III is missing entirely,"study author Michael Habicht, an archaeologist at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, told Live Science.

Now, Habicht has suggested that symbols on medieval coins show that Pope Johannes Anglicus may have existed, and so, Pope Joan may have been real as well. "The coins really turned the tables in favor of a covered-up but true story," Habicht said.

read more here @ Live Science

Hunan to Give Priority to Development of Textbook on Gender Equality for Schools

The Office of the Working Committee on Children and Women of the Hunan Provincial Government recently held a training session on gender equality education in elementary and secondary schools in Changsha, capital city of Central China's Hunan Province.

Zhong Bin, vice-president of the Hunan Women's Federation, urged to further promote the work of the gender equality education in elementary and secondary schools in an all-round way at the opening ceremony of the training session. She pointed out that several requirements should be met, including fully recognizing the significance of the work, understanding the rules of education and teaching in elementary and secondary schools, giving priority to the development of teaching materials or textbooks for elementary and secondary schools, strengthening the building and capacity of teaching staff and establishing the system of characteristic courses.

Education departments, schools and offices of the working committees on children and women, as the main parties involving in the gender equality education, should fulfill their duties and cooperate to promote the work, Zhong added.

Elderly Black Women in S. Africa Win Property Rights in Landmark Ruling

For black women married before 1988, the husband owned all matrimonial assets and could sell them without consulting his wife - until a landmark win this month overturned the law.

Facing destitution when her marriage broke down, 72-year-old Agnes Sithole went to court to challenge a sexist law - and won not only a share of her husband's property but a legal victory that will protect some 400,000 other black South African women. Despite the legal victory, women's rights experts were wary of celebrating too soon.

read more here @

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Why Caste Matters In Sexual Assault

A 19-year-old Dalit woman who had gone missing on December 31, was found hanging from a tree in Modasa, Gujarat on Sunday, January 5. The victim’s family has accused four men of gang-rape and murder....

A caste society is inherently violent in nature, and when it comes to Dalit women, the violence perpetrated on them is the most brutal.
As much as one may slam media houses for mentioning the caste factor in rape and murder cases, there is no doubt that it plays a major role in violence against these women. 

For Dalit women, violence is almost always associated with their caste positions, and also depends on how they behave within the system. For example, their resistance to or dissent towards the caste structure often triggers the violence.

This violence is not just meant to control women, but also to carefully maintain the caste structure.

read more here @ The Logical Indian
see more here @ International Dalit Solidarity Network

Police continue to demolish chhau sheds in far-western region

Police administration has intensified the campaign to demolish chhau sheds where women are banished during their periods, ancient social tradition still in practice, in the far-western region.

Even though chief at District Police Office, Bajura, Tanka Prasad Bhattarai tried to convince a local woman sitting inside one of such sheds about banning of the traditional practice by the government, the woman declined to come out.

“We are compelled to sit outside as the society would not tolerate women sitting inside the house during mensuration,” Kunwar said, adding, “we do not have any alternative other than to sit inside the house as police have also warned to take action against those practising the tradition.”
The campaign was launched with urgency in far-western districts of the country after a woman died inside a chhau shed in Achham district in early December. Numerous women have lost their lives in the region over the years while staying inside menstrual huts, commonly from suffocation, extreme weather conditions, and snake-bite.

read more here @ Himalayan Times

Scythian horsewomen and the myth of the Amazons

From The Wild Hunt
In December 2019, the Russian Academy of Sciences reported finding the skeletal remains of four horsewomen. The burial site contained contained weapons and only female skeletons.

Image result for scythian warrior women

Archaeologists have dated the grave to between 400 and 301 B.C.E. and linked it to Scythian culture. Previously, archaeologists had found the burials of 11 young horsewomen along the Don River valley. This finding marks the first known burial of women of different ages in the same grave.

Tomb robbers had broken into the kurgan in either the 3rd or 2nd Century B.C.E. These ancient grave robbers only damaged the northern half of the kurgan. The disturbed half of the kurgan contained the skeletal remains of a woman aged between 20 and 25 as well as that of a young woman aged 12 or 13. The grave goods in this half of the kurgan included animal bones, iron hooks, iron knives, 30 iron arrowheads, fragments of ceramics, and harnesses for horses.

read more here @The Wild Hunt

Friday, January 3, 2020

30,000 People Were 'Disappeared' in Argentina's Dirty War. These Women Never Stopped Looking

Draped in lush trees and surrounded by stately buildings, Buenos Aires’ Plaza de Mayo might look like a place to check out monuments or stop for a relaxing rest. But each Thursday, one of Argentina’s most famous public squares fills with women wearing white scarves and holding signs covered with names.

Mothers and relatives of people gone missing during Argentina's Dirty War staged protests at the Plaza de Mayo in the 1980s. 

They are the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and they are there to bring attention to something that threw their lives into tragedy and chaos during the 1970s: the kidnapping of their children and grandchildren by Argentina’s brutal military dictatorship.

For decades, the women have been advocating for answers about what happened to their loved ones. It’s a question shared by the families of up to 30,000 people “disappeared” by the state during Argentina’s “Dirty War,” a period during which the country’s military dictatorship turned against its own people.

The Dirty War has been over since the military junta gave up power and agreed to democratic elections in 1983. Since then, nearly 900 former members of the junta have been tried and convicted of crimes, many involving human rights abuses. But the chilling legacy of Argentina’s Dirty War lingers on—and until the mystery of the country’s missing children is fully solved, the mothers and grandmothers of the desaparecidos will keep fighting for the truth. 

read more @ HISTORY

Victorian female prison registers online for first time

A new online resource gives an insight into some of Melbourne's most notorious female criminals, and others jailed for offences that no longer exist.

The prison records of more than 7,000 Victorian women incarcerated between 1855 and 1934 are available to view online for the first time, thanks to the State Archives.

Black and white photos of a woman stuck to a lined page, copperplate writing

The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) cleaned and digitised the records, which were then indexed by volunteers over an 18-month period.

PROV's Daniel Wilksch said it took careful work by the archive's conservators to prepare the records for digitisation, because they had become wet at some point and were affected by mould.

The newly digitised female prison registers are available to view online on the PROV website.

When women strike back, courts can't always see their history of abuse

When Anita broke into her former partner's home, she thought he would snatch her knife and use it against her. She can't explain what happened next.

She said she can't explain why instead she lunged at his screaming partner, stabbing her in the chest and puncturing her lung, before attacking him.

But as he sentenced her to six years and three months in jail earlier this year, Judge John Smallwood recounted a different story entirely.

"The fact that you have made threats essentially to kill both your husband and [his partner] previously," he said, "indicates that, in my view, you went there to hurt them."

"I am not going to buy into the family history leading up to all this," he told Bloom, who pleaded guilty in the County Court to four charges: two counts of intentionally causing injury, making a threat to kill, and aggravated burglary. The previous day, Bloom had been charged with assaulting her daughter.

"There has been a fair amount of material placed before me in terms of domestic violence," the judge continued.

But "the fact of the matter", he concluded, was that Bloom had "clearly" been "very angry" about the breakup of her decades-long marriage and, in light of the threats she'd made, having told her ex's neighbour on the phone she had "a bullet" for each of them and one for him too, must have gone to their place to deliberately hurt them.

An ABC News investigation recently revealed growing concerns that Australian courts are still often ignoring the significance of family violence and its impacts on women who kill abusive partners, with most ending up in prison despite arguing they fought back to save their own lives.

Now there is evidence the same challenges are plaguing women charged with non-lethal violence, with experts warning attention must urgently be turned to how the justice system treats those who fight back against but don't kill abusive partners.

Indian women are 'creating terror' abroad for their runaway husbands

From IOL News
In a pink-walled room of a government office at the foot of the Himalayas, Indian women spend their days cancelling the passports of runaway husbands.

Midday on a Monday, the father of a woman who married a merchant marine is explaining how the husband lied about being single and failed to disclose the fact that he had a child and a warrant for his arrest. The case, says worker Amritpal Kaur, should qualify for immediate impoundment of the man's passport.

Kaur isn't your usual Indian bureaucrat. She isn't a government employee at all. She and the other women who work in the passport office are abandoned wives, volunteering their hours at the office to help women like them.

Sibash Kabiraj, regional passport chief in the city of Chandigarh, says it all began when the wives started coming to him and pleading for help.

A lifelong civil servant with a taste for the fine print, Kabiraj realized Indian law would allow him to suspend – and even cancel – the passports of overseas Indian men who had misled their wives. The Passport Authority requires approval from the central government to take away a passport but can do so if the holder lies or withholds information, or if there is a warrant or court summons, among other reasons.

But there was a problem in this country notorious for its bureaucracy. "One suspension of a passport, it requires a lot of paperwork," he says.

Not one to be stopped, he explained passport law to the women, gave them a room with a computer, printer and fax machine, and told them if they would do the paperwork, he would sign it.

It's the women's best way of seeking justice from their far-away husbands, he says.

read more here @ IOL News

Taiwan election campaign unkind to women

Taiwan election campaign unkind to womenFrom Asia Times
Taiwan has forged a reputation as Asia’s most progressive democracy and it boasts a higher proportion of women in parliament than anywhere else in the region – yet misogynistic insults have littered its presidential race.

The campaign for the January 11 polls has exposed an undercurrent where female politicians face a gauntlet of personal abuse and jibes that their male counterparts rarely suffer.

The island’s most prominent female politician is President Tsai Ing-wen, 63, who is seeking a second term.

She has once again faced insults based on her gender, much of it focused on the fact she is not married and does not have children.

read more here @ Asia Times

Tomb with three generations of ‘Amazon’ warrior women found in Russia

Female Scythian warriors have been found before, but this is the first time multiple generations were found buried together – with a golden headdress and other grave goods that thieves missed.

For the first time, archaeologists found a magnificent headdress in situ, still wrapped around the skull of its possessor, archaeologist Valerii Guliaev and colleagues explain this week in the journal of the Akson Russian Science Communication Association. Also a first, the researchers’ study suggests that although the “Amazons” were buried together, they belonged to three different generations.
The archaeologists also found dozens of iron arrowheads, as well as iron knives and animal bones.

read more here @ Archaeology @ Haaretz