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

Friday, 21 October 2011

Women/Work: child labour, boardroom quotas

Is child labour wrong?
Bolivia has 1 million child workers – half of them girls. Now they have formed a union to demand respect from a society that doesn't recognise child labour as right or legal. One of the requirements of union membership is that the child workers continue in education. Domestic worker Ana Guadalupe Perez Rosas, 14, and president of the La Paz chapter of the national child labour union UNATSBO, says: "We are an organization of boy and girl child and adolescent workers—shoe shiners, street sellers, domestic workers, construction workers, many different sectors. Above all, we ask the government for protection as workers and that we be treated respectfully by society. Because, the majority of the time we are oppressed. They think that it’s not right for us to work, that our childhood should be for playing and learning. But they don’t want to recognize the reality in Bolivia. The majority of us kids work because our family needs something from us, like helping to put food on the table or to support younger siblings."  http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/09/21/bolivia-child-workers-unionize/. The original article appears here: http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-16/‘ground-shifters’-‘girls-gauntlets’-–-children-unionizing-bolivia-92051.

Belgium's boardroom quotas
In August, Belgium adopted a law to require public enterprises and companies listed on the stock exchange to give women 30 per cent of seats on management boards. The law is likely to come into force next year, when every board member that leaves is to be replaced by a woman until the quota is reached. http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/2011/06/articles/be1106021i.htm.

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