We're sorry to announce that due to ill-health November's issue is suspended. At the moment it is next to impossible to use the computer. There may also be no issue in December, or a very limited one, but we hope to return at full strength in the new year. Apologies too for the lack of main features in September and October - delayed for the same reasons. Please stick with us, we will be back.
A word on navigation. There's a lot here, and a lot to post each month. To help you, the archive is at the top right of the page, just under this editorial. You'll see posts listed by month and topic. If you want to skip straight to Sport, or Arts, you can do so using these links. Otherwise you'll have to scroll down through more than one page to read everything each month. Please note that any queries about content or other matters should be directed to the original publications of linked articles as WHTW? can't be responsible for fact-checking and vetting sources of all of them.
This month's issue
While you are waiting, October's issue is full of fascinating articles. We are asking is child labour wrong? Girls in Bolivia's new child union don't think so (see Women/Work) and are demanding respect from society for their labour (and give us your view in our poll at the foot of the page). In Politics, Denmark has a new woman prime minister and you can read a statement on increasing women's political participation from UN women leaders, and research on peace and gender. In Family and society, there's a list of the best and worst countries for women and an article on the pros and cons of pirate husbands in Somalia. In Arts there's a comment on the furore over pop-star Rihanna's in-your-face raunch. And in Science and technology we celebrate Thai and Kenyan women's scientific achievements. In Health, there's a warning about injectable contraceptives and HIV infection, and a rise in breast cancer in UK Asian women. In Law, a US lawyer is protesting at the treatment of jailed women in childbirth. In the Mind, body and spirit post you can engage in debate over the Pill - or the lack of it - and its transformative effects on society. And, for a giggle, look at the men in pin-up poses in the And another thing section of this blog.
Our special feature this month will be a collection of links on Women in the Arab Spring. Look out for it coming soon!
We hope you will find this blog a useful resource and a provocative and productive place for debate. We look forward to your comments and feedback.
Anna Purna

Monday, 19 September 2011


Sex and power 
It could be another 70 years before women gain equal representation in the British parliament according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), and women are missing from other positions of influence too: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/news/2011/august/sex-and-power-5-400-women-missing-from-top-jobs/ . The Fawcett Society has produced a detailed response showing that, of 23 cabinet ministers, only 4 are women (a 10-year low), and only 19 of 119 minister positions (16%): http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/documents/Fawcett%20response%20to%20Sex%20and%20Power-%20August%202011.pdf . A UN Women report http://progress.unwomen.org/ shows that 28 of the world's countries have over 30% representation of women in parliament. These include Rwanda (51%), Tanzania (31%), Nepal (33%), Costa Rica (39%), Macedonia (33%) and Spain (34%). They do not include the UK or the USA. Even Afghanistan's parliament has 28% women representatives: http://www.unwomen.org/2011/08/afghanistan-resource-centre-women-parliamentarians/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+unwomen%2Fen+%28UN+Women%29&utm_content=Google+Reader .

Women and peace
Only 1 in 40 signatories to peace deals in the last quarter-century have been women yet women's consent and support are vital to the negotiation and maintenance of peace agreements. No Women No Peace http://www.nowomennopeace.org/the-issue is an organisation set up to campaign for women’s involvement in peace accords and negotiations. 

South Sudan's women
The world's newest country, South Sudan, has a minister for gender, Agnes Lasuba. She talks here about the effects of independence on the country's women: http://www.unwomen.org/2011/07/qa-south-sudans-minister-of-gender-child-and-social-welfare-on-africas-newest-nation-and-its-women/?

Egyptian women's charter
The women of Egypt have released a charter for women's rights and representations following the revolution, calling, among other things, for 40% representation in ministerial posts in a new parliament, a hand in drawing up the new constitution and constitutional rights to equality, justice and an end to discrimination: http://www.unwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/charter-egyptian-women-en.pdf    UN Women reports on the release event here: http://www.unwomen.org/2011/06/egypt-womens-charter-released-calling-for-a-democratic-transition/ .

Poland's gender quotas
However, in Poland, politicians are struggling with the new gender quotas they set themselves earlier  this year. There will be a general election in Poland in October, so parties are listing candidates but women are rarely being included in the guaranteed seat slots on party lists. Poland's gender quota regulations are being evaded and the Act appears to be a paper one only, say commentators:

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