Gender and Politics in the media

UK: Cameron urged to rethink military widows pension rules. Why aren’t men speaking up on gender issues?

New Year Honours: Women outnumber men for the first time David Cameron ‘cronies’ rewarded • New Year … Inspirational women including Penelope Keith, the actress, and Katherine Jenkins, the singer, have …

Illustration by Jacqui Clark

Why aren’t men speaking up on gender issues? From health and education to domestic violence, 2013 saw several individuals speak up about the problems facing men. But why were those people mostly women?

Back in January 2013, the Universities Secretary, David Willetts, caused a flutter of controversy by proposing that white working class boys should be considered in the same way as ethnic minorities in university

The radical idea that men and boys need special treatment tends to unite people on the left and right in howls of derision as meritocratic conservatives baulk at the thought of creating “yet another minority group” and PC liberals rally to remind us that men don’t have any problems because men have all the power.

Yet as the year went by, the cries of “what about the men?” have continued to be heard in many quarters as we try to make sense of the overwhelming evidence that men and boys don’t have it all.

Cameron urged to rethink military widows pension rules BBC News David Cameron should make a new year’s resolution to stop “condemning” military widows to a “solitary life”, the Forces Pension Society has said.

The not-for-profit group said current rules meant widows generally lost their forces pension if they remarried. Its chairman Sir Christopher Coville said the rules were an “obscenity” and an “affront to the military covenant”.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it was a “long-standing principle” not to improve pensions “retrospectively”. The society said pension schemes varied but the majority of widows had to stay single to keep the money.

“Decent women with a natural human need for love and partnership are being condemned to a life of solitude and are being treated like criminal suspects,” Sir Christopher said.

He said the prime minister had “championed” the military covenant – which, according to the MoD website, recognises that the “whole nation has a moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families”.

The political women to watch out for in 2014 From Miriam González Durántez to Gloria De Piero, Cathy Newman handpicks the women in politics we can expect to see make waves in 2014

Ireland, woman and 2013: A year we dealt with our legacy issues? ‘WOMEN’S ISSUES’ IS not at term that should be used often. At best, it is largely inaccurate. At worst, well, it doesn’t really mean anything.

Ireland has been dealing with a number of ‘human rights’ issues over the past 12 months, just many of them happen to have women at their centre.

But that does not mean that those matters only impact female citizens.

Ireland does not have a great track record in terms of rights for women, children and other vulnerable residents. And during the past 12 months, it has admitted that in various ways.

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