Gender and Politics in the media

Why do I feel uncomfortable about women selling arms for war? More UK Con MPs back better sex education. Tony Abbott’s daughters: are women just ornaments?

Children ‘should be taught about porn on the net’ Claire Perry, the Conservative MP, said that sex education in secondary schools should be updated to reflect the digital age.

She made her comments in a blog post for Telegraph Wonder Women, which has launched a campaign for better sex education,as the NSPCC called on the Government to update its “woefully inadequate” sex education guidance, which is 13 years old and contains no reference to the internet.

Sign the petition for better sex education at

More Conservative MPs back better sex education campaign …Research commissioned by The Daily Telegraph shows young people are three times more likely to go online to look for advice and information on sex and relationships than they are to ask a parent, or call a helpline. The study by NSPCC showed that girls and boys are gleaning distorted and inaccurate information about sex and relationships via online porn, ‘sexting’, the pressure to document their lives and relationships online and chat rooms – but the official school guidance ignores these issues.

Mr Loughton and Ms Lee have backed the Wonder Women campaign to update the guidance to make it fit for purpose in the digital era. On Tuesday, Claire Perry MP, David Cameron’s adviser on children, also welcomed the campaign.

Why do I feel uncomfortable about women selling arms for war? …With notable exceptions (including Boadicea, Margaret of Anjou – and possibly Margaret Thatcher, on reflection), we don’t think of women as the warring sex. Women give birth to life, we nurture it – and see it as something way too precious to be taken away by fighting (usually over an agenda that turns out to be something quite other than what the populace was initially told). Of course, there are many proud (but nevertheless devastated) mothers of dead soldiers out there (including the occasional daughter) – consoled perhaps by the thought that their child gave up his (or her) life ‘for their country’. But surely those mothers would have given anything for their children not to be felled in war, and for another way to have been found to resolve that conflict…

Aberdeen conference sees oil sector push for female recruits BBC News An open debate on women’s under-representation in the industry has been planned by Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). It said the UK has the lowest proportion of female engineers in Europe. Students and women already working in the industry will attend to talk about their experiences and answer questions. Oil and Gas UK Operations Director Oonagh Werngren will be one of the speakers.

France denies burqa rights as Canadian Muslim women enjoy more … WNN – Women News Network Montreal, CANADA, AMERICAS: As the burqa controversy continues to make headlines in France, it is worth examining what France could learn from Canada, which has worked to reconcile freedom of religion with national security and women rights.

Bills banning the burqa – a garment that fully covers a woman’s body, head and face – were created in the post-9/11 context of insecurity. The United States, France, United Kingdom and Canada all developed a heightened concern for national security – which led to heightened concern about the larger religious group from which the 9/11 attackers claimed to stem.

Paid parental leave is not the only thing important to women this … Daily Life …The areas of similarity between the Greens and the Coalition pretty much end there. The Greens want increased access to quality, affordable childcare, and the restoration of the single parenting payment, which the ALP and Coalition cut, so that 100,000 single parents, mostly women, lost between $60–120 per week and are now living in poverty. We will also move to legislate for quotas of women on company boards, requiring 40% women within five years.

The Greens want to close the gender pay gap which still sees women with children, on average, earning around $1 million less in her lifetime than a man with children. This goes on to impact women in their retirement where we see women retiring with just under one-third the amount of superannuation compared with male counterparts.

Tony Abbott’s daughters: are women just ornaments? The Guardian …If you haven’t seen the footage, I must insist that you do. Bear in mind that if the man flanked with babes like an oily ganglord entering a nightclub wins the election, he will not only set the policy agenda for this country but also supervise the presidency of the United Nations security council, just as war in Syria looks inevitable. Keep a bucket handy.

If you truly can’t bear to watch the latest car crash in a Liberal election campaign that’s already rated women candidates for their “sex appeal” above their ability to discern “refugee intake” from a “traffic refuge island” and involved the gormless sexualisation of young female netball players, I’ll do my best to describe it again without gagging.

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