Skip to content

This Week in Women’s Rights 2018–12–09


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/12/09

“When Theresa May became prime minister and set out her vision, women were among the groups she promised to champion. She cited unequal pay on a list of “burning injustices” alongside race and class inequalities. This year companies with more than 250 employees were for the first time compelled to report on their gender pay gap. This can be calculated in different ways, but the Office for National Statistics has it at 17.9%, down 0.5% from last year. At this rate it will be decades before women and men are paid the same, but the data is moving in the right direction.

Unfortunately, even such modest progress is the exception rather than the rule in 21st-century Britain. Unpalatable though it may be both to ministers and feminists, the evidence suggests that women’s advancement has stalled and is in danger of going backwards — if it is not doing so already. The government did not accept last year’s finding by the House of Commons Library that 86% of the burden of austerity since 2010 has fallen on women — £79bn, against £13bn for men — and refuses to conduct its own analysis. But work by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Women’s Budget Group and Runnymede Trust has shown that women, and particularly BAME women, are disproportionately affected by cuts to public services and other spending.”


“Ohio’s state legislature recently passed a bill that criminalised the abortion of a fetus at six weeks, with no exception for rape or incest. So, how can this be legal given the fact that the landmark ruling in the court case of Roe v Wade from 1973, which gave American women the legal right to an abortion, has not been overturned?

The world ends not with a bang but with a whimper — to paraphrase American poet TS Eliot. As the nation’s highest court shifts right and, arguably, become more politicised than ever, legal activists and concerned citizens should be particularly attentive to what impending test cases are likely to reach the United States Supreme Court.”


“VANCOUVER — The province has received near-failing grades on several aspects of women’s rights, according to a new report card from women’s legal non-profit West Coast LEAF.

The 10th annual report card evaluated how the province fared in the past year on meeting safety and security standards set out in the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. While the province made improvements on child care and health, it received D minuses in the areas of gendered violence and the rights of women in prison and C-level grades on access to justice, housing and child protections.”


“From campaigns to liberalise abortion laws in IrelandArgentina and Poland, to the #MeToomovement and the controversy over the confirmation of Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the United States, women’s rights issues made headlines around the world in 2018.

But, despite the increasing visibility, gender equality remains illusive for the majority of the world’s women.

As Amnesty International releases on Monday its annual review to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, Al Jazeera speaks to the rights group’s recently appointed Secretary-General Kumi Naidoo about a year defined by women’s rights activism and what still needs to be done.|”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: