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Saturday 6 July 2019

women under attack

Two steps back

Why are women having to re-fight battles that we thought had been won decades ago?

By Merope Mills

We used the rise of online abuse and the challenge to abortion rights as case studies in a broader inquiry: to ask whether women and womens’ rights are under threat. There has certainly been progress – in education, in the workforce, in maternal mortality and beyond. However, our ThinkIn suggested those gains are not set in stone:

  • “Femo-nationalism”. This was the term used by Gina Miller, pointing to the women at the forefront of right wing nationalism: Anne Widdecombe and Annunziata Rees-Mogg in the UK Brexit party; Marine Le Pen of the National Rally in France. (Miller also noted she was attacked online by women as much as men).
  • The failure of the law. One member bravely chose to share her own experience of being raped, describing how a system supposedly set up to support her instead discouraged her from seeking justice at every turn. Julie Bindel said: “We have a CPS that is not fit for purpose. That is deciding not to take any rape cases to court at the moment unless it is literally John Worboys [the Black Cab Rapist] with a gun and mask… with the woman screaming ‘stop rape with me’ and its caught on CCTV.”
  • Campus violence. There is an epidemic of violence against young women on university campuses which is completely underreported – a point echoed at another ThinkIn.

Tortoise ThinkIns Podcast: Women under attack (9:57)

Produced & edited by Lindsay Riley
Music: Neutral Bay by Peyruis
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Music provided by Music for Creators

Photography by Getty Images