Sunday, September 20, 2020

Obit: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose 27-year tenure as the second female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court culminated a legal career dedicated to advancing the rights of women, has died. She was 87.

She died due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer and was surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, the court said in a statement Friday. Ginsburg battled with five bouts of cancer.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in a discussion at the Georgetown University Law Center on February 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. Justice Ginsburg and U.S. Appeals Court Judge McKeown discussed the 19th Amendment which guaranteed women the right to vote which was passed 100 years ago.

Her death comes less than two months before an election and gives President Donald Trump a chance to try to shift the already conservative nine-member court further to the right by filling a third seat. Senate confirmation of his nominee would increase the chances of a decision overturning or severely curtailing the Roe v. Wade abortion-rights ruling.

Only days before her death, National Public Radio reported that Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously said the Senate would move to confirm any nominee this year, even though McConnell blocked President Barack Obama from having a hearing on his nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016. That set the stage for Trump to nominate Neil Gorsuch instead.

read more here @ BNN Bloomberg

Friday, September 4, 2020

Japanese calligrapher revivving forgotten female ancient script

From CNN Style:
Legend has it that kana script, which translates to "woman's hand," was invented in the ninth century by Kukai, a priest and Sanskrit scholar, although some historians say it's hard to tell who exactly founded it and where, according to Akagawa.

A lost chapter of the "Tale of Genji" that was discovered in 2019.

What is apparent is that the kana characters -- which form the basis of kana shodo -- represent the different sounds that make up the Japanese language. It was shaped mainly by noble women, although both genders used it to write everything from assassination commands and love letters to poetry and diary entries.

With its undulating, cursive lines, kana shodo appears to stream down whatever surface it graces. According to Akagawa, women of the court competed with one another to invent their own signature designs for characters. Considered a language native to Japan, it was seen as a vehicle through which women could express themselves and document their observations of the world.

read more here @ CNN Style

A body fully dressed with jewelry excavated in Gyeongju

A full set of accessories have been unearthed, which are presumed to belong to a women of the highest status during the Silla Dynasty in the first half of the sixth century. This is the first case where the dead of the tomb has been found wearing accessories from head to toe.

The Cultural Heritage Administration announced Thursday that a precision excavation into the ancient tomb No. 120-2 of Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju City, has found a number of jewelry items including a gilt-bronze crown, gold earrings, silver bracelets, a silver belt, and gilt-bronze shoes.

The gilt-bronze crown has a round frame (that fits into the head) at the bottom, with three pieces of twigs-shaped ornaments and two pieces of deer-horn ornaments attached on the top. The crown was fold flat and discovered covering the face of the dead, instead of the head. Experts say that this rare case of excavation is intended to cover up the face of the dead as courtesy.

Silver rings have been found as well, five from the right hand and one from the left. “The left hand has not been exposed entirely, so more rings could show up,” explained an official from the administration. “It is possible that the dead might be wearing rings in every finger, just like the buried of the ancient tomb of Cheonmachong.”

read more here @ The DONG-A ILBO

How Egypt’s State Sanctioned Violence On Women Erodes Its Ancient Prestige

From Forbes:
In a year with landmark anniversaries of women’s rights, women’s safety is at utmost peril worldwide and endangered in Egypt under the current Saudi-backed Sunni, general-turned president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s rule. Hegazi [a 30-year-old Egyptian socialist, writer, and lesbian activist Sarah Hegazi] joins thousands of women victimized under Egypt’s military Islamic dictatorship since June 2014.

EGYPT-POLITICS-WOMEN-RIGHTSA 2013 U.N. report on women showed 99.3 percent of women and girls are subjected to sexual harassment in Egypt. A Reuters poll of experts on women's issues had Cairo voted as the most dangerous city in the world for women.

“There has been an upsurge of domestic violence and femicide–30 cases were reported in just two months,” says Rana Allam, former chief editor of Cairo’s Daily News Egypt (DNE) newspaper, a commentator on Middle East political affairs and human rights issues who serves as Senior Editorial Adviser and Strategic Communications Director to the International Civil Action Network (ICAN) and the Women Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) organization.

Allam explains how financial stress, rising unemployment, extreme heatwave and socio-economic conditions have escalated unleashed violence by men against women–more than culturally tolerated levels.

read more here @ Forbes

Two 'warrior women' from ancient Mongolia may have helped inspire the Ballad of Mulan

Archaeologists in Mongolia have found the remains of two ancient women warriors, whose skeletal remains indicate that they were well practiced in archery and horseback riding.

The remains of the older warrior woman (left) and her husband, which were excavated from the Airagiin Gozgor archaeological site, in the Orkhon province of northern Mongolia.These two women lived during the Xianbei period (A.D. 147 to 552), a period of political fragmentation and unrest that gave rise to the Ballad of Mulan, the researchers said.

Perhaps these women were so athletic because during the Xianbei period, "it may have been that women were needed to defend home and country alongside the men," said study researchers Christine Lee and Yahaira Gonzalez, bioarchaeologists at California State University, Los Angeles.

Of the two warrior women, one was older than 50 and the other was about 20 years old. It's possible they practiced archery and rode horses because these skills were needed during the political instability that following the collapse of the Han Dynasty in China in A.D. 220, Lee said.

Neither woman had signs of war trauma. This could be because both women were found in elite graves, and elite people may not have fought in battles, Lee said.

read more here @ Live Science

(Image: © Christine Lee)

The authors reclaiming the forgotten voices of ancient women

From BBC News:
Natalie Haynes is one of a new group of writers reclaiming women's voices from ancient literature.

Greek statuesAlong with authors such as Pat Barker and Madeline Miller, she's telling new versions of the Classics, veering away from epic fights and macho heroes.

Instead, they're finding compelling and timely voices: refugees fleeing war-zones, women being treated as commodities and people trying to survive an epidemic.

"When you re-tell a myth, you make it new," says Haynes.

In her book, A Thousand Ships, she foregrounds "the female characters which had been deliberately erased or overlooked".

Given we live in a world with environmental disasters, disease, sexual violence and war, Haynes says these tales are as pertinent now as they were 3,000 years ago.

read more here @ BBC News

Lynching of Akua Denteh: Criminalise witch name calling

On Thursday, 23 July, 2020, a 90-year-old woman, Madam Akua Denteh was beaten to death in broad daylight at Kafaba near Salaga, a well known slave market in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Salaga and Kafaba are in the East Gonja Municipality of the newly created Savannah Region carved out of the Northern Region.

Madam Akua Mariama Denteh, the 90-year-old woman who was lynched at KafabaThe hysteria and public outcry created by the lynching of the 90-year-old woman is beyond description. Whether or not things will change, we will wait and see.

The Ghana Police immediately offered GH¢2,000 for information leading to the arrest of the culprits even though the evidence was streaming on social media and shown on TV.

The first arrest the police made was the chief of Kafaba. Whether the arrest was right or wrong, we will get to know in due course of time.

read more here @ Graphic Online

Obituary: Lady Barbara Judge

Lady Barbara JudgeFrom CityAM:
Lady Barbara Judge, who has died aged 73 from pancreatic cancer, was a trailblazer in a varied career which spanned law, banking, regulation, media and the nuclear industry. 

An outspoken advocate for the accession of women in the workplace, she broke barriers becoming the first female director at Rupert Murdoch’s media giant News International and the first female chair of the Institute of Directors, though her career was not without its controversies.

At age 33 she became the youngest commissioner at the US Securities and Exchange Commission and only the second woman in the role. 

read more here @ CityAM