International Women’s Day 8 March 2018 campaign theme is Press for Progress.
So here is what the website is saying –
Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900s, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911.
With the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away – there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and Press for Progress.
While we know gender parity will not happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day by day. Plus, there is indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support.
So we cannot be complacent. Now, more than ever, there is a strong call-to-action, to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress.
A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
International Women’s Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let us all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity.
Collectively let’s all Press for Progress. (1)
Is exerting continuous physical force the right way to go about anything?
Are we going to get anywhere in the long run if we press for progress?
Can we really motivate anyone if we have a hidden agenda or a blind spot in us?
In other words, we have something not cleared in our life but somehow think that is ok.
Is equality something that needs to come from inside us first and foremost?
In other words, we need a balance of true male and female qualities within us.
Is this too way off and whacky for the start of a top blog, which is presenting what is going on for women in our world today and asking many questions for us all to consider?
Are these the type of questions we all need to start asking before we can get to true progress?
2018 marks 100 years since women given right to vote.
1918 – Representation of the People Act passed allowing women over age 30 who met a property qualification to vote.
8.5 million women met this criteria and represented 40% of total women population.
1928 – Equal Franchise Act allowed women over age 21 to vote and achieve same voting rights as men. (2)
2015 – women granted right to vote.
2017 – King ordered reform requesting driving licenses to be issued to women.
Last country in the world in which women banned from driving.
Fact frequently used by critics that women of the kingdom were among world’s most repressed.
Strict guardianship laws – husbands or fathers can prevent wives or daughters from leaving the home gave cover to the driving ban, which has long been accepted by many in the intensely conservative kingdom. (3)
Vatican City, Rome
Home of the Roman Catholic church does not allow women the right to vote.
Cardinals are the only people who have voting rights and only voting is for new Pope.
Only men can become cardinals, so women have no say in the election of a new Pope. (3)
Feminism – word of the year in 2017
Following a surge in online searches, the US dictionary named “feminism” word of the year.
Interest in the term was driven by –
Films on women’s issues
String of news stories
Sexual Assault and Harassment claims
70% increase in the number of people searching for the word.
Dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes” (4)
How come this word Feminism is being searched online?
Who is doing the searching and why is there such a rise?
WHY has EQUALITY now become more important than ever before?
1/3 ALL female deaths due to cardiovascular disease and stroke.
World Health Organization (5)
The discourse was women needed to empower themselves.
Their heart health was a matter of Personal Responsibility.
Years of public education, campaigns from health organisations called on women to take charge of their hearts.
We now know that to make a difference, this Responsibility must be applied much more broadly.
Educating and empowering women is important but it is only part of the solution.
Healthcare systems need to catch up with new evidence that women’s hearts are different.
They must incorporate new women-specific diagnostics and treatment.
New knowledge must be gathered and translated into better and safer heart healthcare for women.
Heart and Stroke 2018 – Heart Report (6)
Heart Attacks affect women. (7)
Fewer women who suffer a heart attack would die if they were given the same treatments as men.
180,368 patients who suffered a heart attack over 10 year period study.
Researchers believe due to the difference in care given.
Women average less likely than men to receive the recommended treatments after fatal type of heart attack called STEMI.
Most serious type of heart attack.
Coronary artery is completely blocked by a blood clot and requires urgent treatment.
Gender differences for women –
16% less likely given aspirin, to help prevent blood clots.
24% less likely prescribed statin medication, to help prevent second heart attack.
34% less likely receive procedures, which clear blocked arteries – bypass surgery and stents.
Despite guidelines suggesting all three treatments should be given to both genders.
Women did not receive the recommended treatments.
Gap in mortality between the sexes decreased in almost all circumstances when women did receive all the recommended treatments.
From very first point of contact with healthcare professionals, women are more likely to be initially misdiagnosed. That then feeds the whole pathway of care.
If you miss the first, earliest opportunity for care – you are much more likely to miss the next point of contact and it all adds us cumulatively and leads to a greater mortality.
Sweden is a leader in healthcare with one of the lowest mortality rates from heart attacks, yet we still see this disparity in treatment and outcomes between men and women.
Professor Chris Gale – University of Leeds (7)
70,000 women hospitalised for heart attacks per year. (7)
Heart Disease – leading cause of premature death for women. (6)
Women are unnecessarily suffering and dying from heart disease.
New report titled “Ms. Understood” – 1st February 2018. (8)
Women are at greater risk not having their disease diagnosed and treated.
Reasons for disparities varied.
While both men and women likely to complain of chest pain, nature of chest pain can be different.
Women, instead of describing as crushing pain, might describe as heaviness or pressure.
Karin Humphries – Report Author
Scientific Director – British Columbia Centre for Improved Cardiovascular Health (8)
Women more likely have more non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, sweats and palpitations, cardiologists say.
Heart attacks more deadly for women because their hearts are affected by pregnancy, menopause and hormonal changes.
Do we need to just STOP and ask some more questions here?
Is the above telling us that women’s hearts respond differently?
If the hearts of women are affected by pregnancy and menopause, are we going to find out WHY this is?
Is it because our heart is very connected to what is going on in our body and anything that is un-natural will affect it?
Is it because the way a woman lives and the choices she makes, has a huge impact on her heart and it is more prevalent during pregnancy and menopause?
Next – more questions that require us to deeply ponder on.
Are we as women, truly equipped to deal with the hormonal changes that take place, if we have lost our innate connection to the essence of who we truly are?
Are women today aware of the rhythms and cycles to live with, that would foster and nurture their connection to their inner-most truth?
Do we today know enough about how to live with all the internal changes that take place inside a woman’s body?
Is the crushing pain, heaviness and pressure in a woman’s heart coming from the fact that she is not living a life that is honouring of her as a woman?
1/3 young women with premature acute heart attacks have a history of –
- Pregnancy Disorders
- Gestational Diabetes
That doubles their lifetime risk for heart disease.
Women who have a heart attack, more likely to die or suffer second heart attack, compared to men. (8)
Women less than 60 – rates for heart disease and death going up.
These women if they have a heart attack, more likely than men to have a second heart attack or die within 12 months of that heart attack.
Women tend to have more diffuse disease that involves smaller blood vessels.
Dr. Paula Harvey – Head Women’s College Hospital, Toronto
Chief – The Department of Medicine and Cardiology Division (8)
South Asian, Chinese and Afro-Caribbean descent – more vulnerable to heart disease.
Poorer outcomes compared with Caucasian Canadians.
Indigenous Canadians living on reserves – lack of cardiac care resources in remote or rural hospitals.
90% women – at least one risk factor and most underestimate their risk. (8)
More women are taking up smoking, not exercising or eating properly.
Higher prevalence of Diabetes that increases risk of heart attack.
Karin Humphries – Report Author
Scientific Director – British Columbia Centre for Improved Cardiovascular Health
20 minutes – a woman dies from heart disease.
5 times as many women die from heart disease as breast cancer.
66% of Heart Disease clinical research focuses on men.
This is largely due to safety concerns involving women in drug development.
Following thalidomide disasters in early 1960’s in which a drug used by pregnant women caused malformed limbs in newborns, it became common practice to assume all women between the onset of menstruation and menopause were “potentially pregnant” regardless of sexual orientation or activity. They were prohibited from participating as research subjects. (6)
25,000 women die each year from Heart Disease. (6)
Women have more adverse reactions to certain heart medications.
These reactions are more severe than men experience.
Women are at greater risk of drug-induced heart rhythm disorders.
Women have twice the risk of bleeding complications from common treatments such as Angioplasty.
78% of women – early heart attack signs missed.
58% women aged 19 to 29 report stress most or every day.
Are women getting stressed because they are not choosing to live in a way that deeply honours who they truly are?
Women are –
Women diagnosed with heart disease tend to have other health conditions that make analysis more difficult to interpret.
Evidence suggests that increasing the number of women scientists involved in heart research will improve our understanding of heart disease in women. (6)
Are the hearts of our women giving up or communicating that something is not right about the way we are choosing to live as a woman?
SCAD – Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection
Occurs when unexpected tear develops in artery.
Hello – is it really ‘unexpected’?
25% all heart attacks in women under age 60 – SCAD is underlying cause.
90% SCAD patients are female – almost all young and healthy otherwise.
Who defines healthy?
What is our definition of this word and do we ALL as a world unite on this word?
There are a lot of unknowns around what makes an artery weak.
Many patients have a provoking reason why they have tears.
Physical stress or severe emotional stress, like death in the family or job loss can trigger a SCAD if the arteries are already weak.
Dr. Jacqueline Saw – Leading Expert on SCAD, Canada
70% SCAD patients have underlying FMD – Fibromuscular Dysplasia.
There is a link to this condition – results in overgrowth of cells in arteries, weakening them and more prone to tears.
What causes FMD?
Another mystery researchers are trying to solve.
Other conditions including connective tissue disease, inflammatory disease and multiple pregnancies.
20% SCAD patients experience second episode within 5 years.
“As an athlete you do not think you need rest.
Since my SCAD, I am learning to be gentle with myself and listen to my heart more.”
Woman diagnosed with SCAD
119% increase of Coronary Heart Disease for women who smoked one cigarette per day. (10)
Women 9 times more likely to be affected.
20% of all women in childbearing years have Raynaud’s. (11)
42.4% – most common cause of Cancer in females aged 15 to 49 is Breast Cancer. (12)
Ovarian Cancer – Statistics
Reasons why there are many deaths from Ovarian Cancer annually –
70% are diagnosed at advanced stage.
Likelihood of survival decreases when Cancer reaches advanced stage.
11.5% – 5 year survival rate when diagnosed at Stage 4.
91% – 5 year survival rate when diagnosed at Stage 1. (13)
20% more likely to develop some form of Cancer – Women who work night shifts. (14)
41% – more likely to have Skin Cancers.
32% – more likely to have Breast Cancer.
Increased risk of Breast Cancer seen in European and North American populations.
58% more likely to develop Cancer, compared to those who worked days.
Nurses working nightshifts had highest increases in Cancer risk of any occupational group.
Study published in the Journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
Studies also shown the disruption night-shifts cause to sleep patterns and impact seen at genetic level and can throw biological processes into “chaos”. (14)
Our nurses are in the caring profession and yet this is telling us their risk to Cancer working night shifts is higher than any other occupational group.
Can we join the dots and can we start asking WHY is this?
What is the real quality of their caring if they are suffering in some way?
Are we educating our nurses to deeply take care of their body to enable them to carry out shift duties and long hours which include night shift?
Is something missing and can we at least start discussions by saying ‘something is not right’?
How long can we continue to see the rise in women night shift workers developing a dis-ease in their body without finding out the root cause of WHY this happens in the first place?
Are science and humanity ready to dig deep and keep asking questions until we get to the root cause of all our ills that we have created?
Are we ready to look and closely and examine our lifestyle choices and our day to day way of living that may be contributing to WHY we have such escalating rates of illness and disease today in our world?
220,000 British women diagnosed with cervical abnormalities each year. (15)
Young women avoid smear tests – embarrassed by look and smell of pubic areas.
35% – body shape
34% – appearance of vulva
38% – concerns over smell
15% miss smear test for waxing appointment or gym class.
5 million women – 1 in 4 do not attend cervical screening. (15)
Where has all this crazy behaviour come from?
WHY are young women so into their body shape and concerns over smells?
WHY are young women avoiding something that is important to their health?
WHY is waxing and the gym a priority over getting checked out down there?
WHY are we not bothering to attend a cervical screening that could help us?
WHY are we not being educated about cervical abnormalities and what signs to look out for?
WHY are we not demanding answers so research can be focused on the root cause of this?
Current new trend of women putting glitter filled capsules into their vagina.
Gynaecologists warning against this as potentially dangerous side effects. (16)
What is the purpose of putting glitter into our vagina?
Who came up with this idea?
Who are we doing this for?
Are we interested in that sacred part of our body as a woman?
Are we going to listen to our Gynaecologists who specialise in this area?
Do we care what happens knowing our body is not designed to take poison?
There has to be a demand as that is why we now have supply – a capsule.
We cannot blame suppliers as they are in business because we make demands.
Is it time to ask WHY we want something that is potentially and seriously harmfull?
Condition that pregnant women develop.
Marked by High Blood Pressure, not experienced before.
High level of protein in urine.
Swelling in feet, legs and hands.
Appears usually in late pregnancy.
If undiagnosed, can lead to Eclampsia which is a serious condition.
Women who have seizures are considered to have Eclampsia.
Exact causes not known.
Researchers suspect poor nutrition, high body fat and insufficient blood flow to uterus.
Preeclampsia most often in
- First-time pregnancies
- Pregnant teenagers
- Women over 40
Risk factors include –
- History of High Blood Pressure prior to pregnancy
- History of Preeclampsia
- Mother or Sister who had Preeclampsia
- History of Obesity
- History of Diabetes
- History of Kidney Disease
- History of Lupus
- History of Rheumatoid Arthritis (17)
So here we have yet another dis-ease in the human body and we do not know exact cause.
Is it because we are looking in the wrong places or not asking the right questions?
Can we go with what researchers suspect and take it from there?
Can we use a bit of common sense and join the dots and see what we can work out?
Is the poor nutrition and high body fat contributing to insufficient blood flow in the uterus?
What is it about pregnancy that changes things and are we ready to ask more questions?
We are being told that those who get this are generally those who are pregnant for the first time or young teenagers and older women.
What sort of lifestyle choices were they living before they got pregnant?
Are our teenagers truly not equipped to deal with pregnancy at such a young age?
Are our teenagers fully developed emotionally, psychologically and physiologically?
Are our older women over 40 past the prime time for pregnancy and this is the problem?
Are our older women living a life that has a lack of nurturing and deeply caring qualities?
Did they prepare their body by taking the utmost care with sleep, exercise and diet?
Did any of these women have poor relationships and this had an effect on their well-being?
Did they have one of the risk factors’ history list above, which already confirmed something was not right in their body?
Could it be possible that during pregnancy the body goes into a state of absolute divinity and any complications that arise are just communicating how we have been living as a woman before and during pregnancy?
Could it be possible all symptoms are showing us in late pregnancy are that how we are living is not working and things need to change?
Could it be that simple?
Preeclampsia and Stroke
6 times more likely to suffer potentially fatal stroke – Mothers to be suffering with Preeclampsia.
Largest study of its kind, there is heightened risk of stroke during pregnancy and after birth if women have urinary tract infections, chronic high blood pressure or clotting or bleeding disorders.
Left untreated, the condition can cause serious complications for both mother and baby.
1 in 10 women with Preeclampsia-Related Stroke, died in hospital. (18)
Women with Preeclampsia who had chronic Hypertension (high blood pressure) bleeding or clotting disorders, or infections, particularly urinary tract infections, appeared to be at significantly increased risk of stroke.
The role of infection was perhaps the biggest question mark going into the study.
Infections cause inflammation, which is known to play an important role in triggering stroke, especially in young people.
Preeclampsia itself is an inflammatory disorder.
Infections may be what pushed some of these women over the edge.
About 2/3 of Preeclampsia-Related Strokes occur after birth, when mother has gone home.
Many new mothers will brush off symptoms, like headaches, which could be a sign of a stroke.
Dr Eliza Miller – New York Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center (18)
APS – Antiphospholipid Syndrome is also a risk factor for Preeclampsia.
Sometimes known as Hughes syndrome, this disorder of the immune system causes an increased risk of blood clots. (19)
Cervical Cerclage procedure is offered to women globally who are at high risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
Process involves stitch in the cervix to hold it close and delay labour.
Also acts as a barrier to infection.
Study published in Journal, Science Translational Medicine suggests thicker thread associated with three-fold increase in rate of baby death in womb compared to thinner thread. (20)
Thicker thread increased inflammation around the cervix and increased blood flow associated with the cervix opening before labour.
We all know with simple common sense applied that delaying a natural process or tampering with nature is not the Truth even if it suits us.
We all know science and the medical world are super clever and can help us achieve what we want. It is the demand and supply thing.
But what if delaying labour is not what nature intended?
What if we are messing with something that is divine by its very essence?
What if we are putting a tiny stitch into a sacred part of a woman’s body where it does not belong?
What if even a tiny thin thread stitch is still not natural to our internal state as a woman?
News story –
Modern life means more couples leave it to later than ever to start a family.
Many women face problems conceiving.
Official figures show women leaving it later to start a family in England and Wales.
Fertility rate among over 40s trebled since 1990.
Chances to get pregnant remain lower.
Higher rate of miscarriage and pregnancy complications.
It is well known older women produce fewer eggs leading many to pin their hopes of motherhood on difficult and potentially costly IVF treatment.
Scientific breakthrough has raised hopes that women in their 40s will soon find it easier to get pregnant.
New findings could lead to production of a pill that boosts levels of hormone called DHEA.
Researchers discovered evidence that DHEA plays a key role in preparing the womb for a successful pregnancy.
DHEA – Dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland.
A fertilised egg will implant only if the conditions are just right and we were excited to see that DHEA might help improve this environment in cells.
Dr. Douglas Gibson – Lead Study Authour
MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh (21)
DHEA is already available in tablet or hormone gel, mostly connected with pregnancy.
Currently sold with claims saying reduces body fat to slow down the ageing process.
Even after an egg is fertilised, it is only when the womb lining accepts an embryo that a woman becomes pregnant.
Each month, as part of the menstrual cycle, hormones send chemical signals to cells in the lining to create the perfect conditions to support pregnancy – fertilised eggs are extremely sensitive to small changes in the lining.
The exact environment needed for healthy implantation is still unknown but DHEA is now thought to be involved in sending the right signals to the cells.
Research is in its early stages.
More research needed before this approach could be used to help women who are struggling to conceive. (21)
Premature birth – leading cause of neonatal death. (20)
1 in 4 Pregnant Women smokes – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Smoking rate among pregnant women highest in early 20s, followed by age 15 to 19.
Younger and less educated mothers were most likely to continue smoking while pregnant, according to National Center for Health Statistics – part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (22)
66% – hide how they feel – fear of being judged or have baby taken away.
50% – new mothers suffer hallucinations and frightening thoughts.
37% – admit to others how they feel.
Images including thoughts of killing or harming their child.
62% – common thought ‘something dreadful will happen to baby’.
44% – plagued by belief baby might die.
39% – felt child and partner better off without them.
31% – admit having irrational fear someone will steal or harm their baby.
26% – ashamed of being mentally ill.
19% – feared they were ‘going mad’ when they fell ill.
13% – imagined killing or harming their own child.
43% suffering these extreme thoughts.
38% – Never tell anyone how they feel
17% – who fall ill admit they thought of self-harm to cope.
1 in 20 going on to self-harm.
16% considered suicide.
65% of those never told pregnancy and parenthood could affect their mental health.
64% who fall ill never try to get a formal diagnosis so are missed on official figures.
19% who suffered mental illness after birth reported refusing access to help in case their child was taken away.
Official NHS figures show 10 – 15% mothers experience serious mental health issues.
Experts believe there could be a ‘hidden epidemic’ of maternal mental illness.
68% – Experienced Anxiety after birth
48% – Insomnia due to worry
35% – Post Natal Depression
33% – Agoraphobic
29% – Felt mentally low for a year or longer
23% – Panic Attacks
Most common way mothers covered up feelings was to pretend to be “fine” when quizzed.
94% admitted they lied about their feelings.
Lack of Sleep seen as main trigger.
55% believe this contributed to their condition.
54% – felt emotionally overwhelmed as a new parent.
39% – admitted trying to be ‘perfect parent’.
80% mothers want society to be more open about maternal mental health issues and extreme thoughts. (23)
How serious is this in just one country?
How are women living that gives rise to all these statistics?
Where are all these thoughts coming from?
What on earth is going on and why is this happening?
What was their life like before pregnancy and are their clues there?
What about women all over the world?
What is the real figure worldwide today about this topic?
WHY is the mental state of our new mothers and how can we help?
WHY have we not nailed it when it comes to sleep?
WHY do we suffer with Insomnia in the first place?
WHY is lack of sleep not being addressed as a priority?
WHY are we not educated at a young age about sleep?
WHY are we not asking questions like this?
Are women feeling overwhelmed because they were exhausted before pregnancy and now with a new baby it is just too much emotionally?
Are we blaming social media when we make the choices to subscribe to it in the first place?
Are we putting pressure on ourselves simply by hooking into our social media accounts?
Are we busy in our minds with images and pictures of how we want our perfect parent life?
Are we depressed when real life is nothing like that image in our head that we want?
Are we depressed because we have given up on life a long time ago before being a parent?
WHY are 94% lying about their feelings and what is this telling us about our relationships?
If this many are lying – what is it really saying about how we are choosing to live?
Could it be possible that if we are lying about our feelings then our body is going to feel out of sync as something is clearly not right?
Could it be possible that lying about our feelings is going to lead to all sorts of complications?
Could it be possible that lying about our feelings is going to create false relationships?
Could it be possible that lying about our feelings is going to have an effect on our baby?
Could it be possible that lying about our feelings is going to give us tension in our body?
Could it be possible that lying about our feelings is going to leave us not trusting anyone?
Are we having panic attacks because we are not taking care of our body and therefore not equipped to deal with what life brings?
Are we suffering from anxiety because we live in a constant state of tension in our body because we are not dealing with our buried issues and hurts?
Make-up – Cosmetics
38 different products purchased annually for the face.
£18,000 average woman spends during her lifetime. (24)
£2,238 – women aged 45-54 annual spend on beauty products. (25)
85% women apply 16 skincare and cosmetic products daily.
$300,000 average woman spends in a lifetime on face products. (26)
44% drop in facelifts for women.
Women shunning facial cosmetic surgery in favour of flattering photo filters.
Data for 2017 show procedures for body increased for areas ‘filters cannot reach’.
Theory behind the shift in women’s surgery trends was because “there is such a range of filters for faces that women do not see the need for facial procedures”.
British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)
Rise in women for breast augmentation and tummy tucks.
“The advent of myriad filters in social media platforms allows for the ubiquitous enhancing and facial feminising of ‘selfies’.
It is possible that fashion may also play a part; for example, the growing trend of active wear such as yoga pants and lycra leggings being worn in everyday life, perhaps demanding a more toned shape.
Both of these factors may potentially be the reasons why women’s focus for cosmetic surgery in 2017 has shifted from their face to their body in order to address the stubborn areas that neither diet, exercise or filters can reach.”
Rajiv Grover – Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Former President – British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (27)
“Using flattering photo filters can lead people to seek permanent surgical changes to their face and body.
The rise of the “selfie” has made people more critical of their self-image and has “undoubtedly” caused a rise in anxiety disorders like Body or Facial Dysmorphia.
When we look in a mirror, our brains ‘adjust’ to the image that we are seeing…
We become hyper-critical with a static photograph of the way we look and whether we are aware of it or not, this puts pressure on ourselves to be selfie perfect.
For some, this is simply a case of using a filter or an image-adjusting app on their smart phones before posting it. For others it instils a crisis of confidence and a real desire to make more substantial alterations to their face or body, often above and beyond any procedures that could be considered to help them feel better about themselves.”
Jo Hemmings – Psychologist, Harley Medical Group (27)
Have we lost the plot when it comes to all this ‘selfie’ business?
Have we lost all sense of reality and got hooked into a false world?
Do we honestly think that plastic surgery where filters can’t do the job is the solution?
Do we change the image in our mind and move the goal post constantly as we are never content with what we see in the mirror?
Would it be true to say that we are using filters to doctor our looks as we simply do not like what we see in the mirror?
Would it be true to say that we want others to see us in a certain way and so we get busy posting and before we know it we are addicted to uploading images daily of how we want to be seen?
Would it be true to say that we are constantly seeking approval, recognition, identification, validation and confirmation from our world and nothing is ever enough?
Would it be true to say that all this selfie and filters and plastic surgery leaves us comparing with others even more so than ever before?
Could it be possible that something is missing inside and we look outside of ourselves to fill up this empty void we feel every single day?
Could it be possible this false image we have created is making us deeply unhappy and discontent as it is not our natural way of living?
Women in Prison
46% attempted suicide at some point compared to 6% of general population. (28)
Rise in suicides amount female prisoners was linked to “inadequate” mental health provision and a “lack of urgency” among prison staff in responding to indications of mental illness.
49% – suffering from Anxiety and Depression, compared to 15% of wider population.
25% – symptoms indicative of Psychosis compared with 4% of the general public. (28)
WHY is there such a high rate of women in prison attempting suicide?
WHY have we ignored the fact that the mental state of our women offenders needs to be closely looked at, as this may give us some insight into what is really going on for them?
Could it be possible that our prison staff are simply not adequately educated and trained to deal with the mental health support that women in prison actually need?
Could it be possible that when women in prison are suffering from Anxiety and Depression and there is little or no support, then things will get worse?
Could it be possible that leaving their mental health unaddressed, could lead to Psychosis and these symptoms are serious, as it means our women in prison have lost contact with reality?
Could it be possible that it was the state of their mental health that led to the reason WHY these women ended up in prison?
Could it be possible that there are women in prison who committed a crime in reaction to the domestic violence and abuse that they consistently faced every day in their life?
Could it be possible that these statistics could be out of date and not accurate as many women will not be recorded as they have not expressed what is really going on for them inside prison?
Femicide refers to the killing of women and girls because of their gender.
Extensive set of categories of femicide perpetrated directly or indirectly identified by a former specialist rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Professor in the Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town.
Direct Category include killings –
Gender identity-sexual orientation
Related to sorcery/witchcraft
Result of intimate-partner violence
Indirect Category include deaths –
Deliberate acts or omissions by the State
Due to poorly conducted or clandestine abortions
From harmfull practices
From simple neglect
Gang related activities
Linked to human trafficking
Starvation or ill-treatment (29)
Women – Domestic Violence
1.4 million female victims of domestic violence each year. (30)
Women more likely to be victims of high risk or severe domestic abuse.
95% cases going to MARAC – Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference OR accessing an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate service are women. (31)
4.6 million women have experienced domestic abuse at some point since age 16.
Intimate partner relationships – 13 to 18 year old girls –
25% – report experiencing physical abuse.
33% – report experiencing sexual abuse.
30 women every week attempt suicide as a result of experiencing domestic abuse.
3 women suicide each week. (30)
1 in 3 report first incidence of domestic abuse happened while pregnant. (32)
One woman killed every three days by current or former partner.
Source: Office of National Statistics, 2015 (33)
Domestic Violence Rates
One woman a week killed by partner or former partner.
20% – has experienced sexual violence.
25% – experienced physical or sexual violence.
25% – experienced physical or sexual violence by intimate partner.
25% – experience emotional abuse by current or former partner.
3 times more likely than men to experience violence from intimate partner.
5 times more likely to require medical attention or hospitalisation.
5 times more likely to report fearing for their lives.
300,000 women every year experience violence from someone other than partner.
80% aged 18-24 were harassed on the street in the past year.
18 to 24 age group experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.
Growing evidence women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience higher rates and severe forms of violence compared to other women.
15 to 44 age group – Intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness than any other preventable risk factor.
Domestic or family violence against women is the single largest driver of homelessness for women.
Common factor in child protection notifications results in police call-out every two minutes.
$21.7 billion – combined health, administration and social welfare costs of violence against women per year.
If no further action taken, costs will accumulate to $323.4 billion over a 30 year period from 2014/15 to 2044-45. (34)
Domestic violence is a hidden epidemic.
A public health crisis dismissed as private scandal, a crime discounted or covered up.
1 in 4 women beaten. (35)
Experts think figure is higher and note that statistics often exclude other forms of abuse.
Tens of millions are at risk.
86% women suffer domestic abuse.
Ministry of Family and Social Policies interviewed women across 10 Turkish provinces to conduct research. Survey launched to examine a law meant to prevent violence against women.
80% men who admitted violence against women, said they never heard of the law.
300 women were killed through violence in 2015 causing increased public outcry. (36)
14,000 women die at the hand of domestic abusers.
600,000 women face violent domestic abuse each year. (37)
Controversial amendments to Russian Law decriminalised some forms of domestic violence.
Changes mean violence against spouse or children that results in bleeding or bruises but not broken bones is punishable by 15 days in prison or a fine of 30,000 rubles (£380) if they do not happen once a year.
Previously these offences carried a maximum jail sentence of two years. (38)
“Conditions for women who experience domestic abuse had become significantly worse since the amendments were passed and the threat of these fines was further deterring women from seeking help or reporting their abusers to the police.
Women are having to pay the fines of the perpetrator of the abuse, if the man does not pay.
Official statistics will demonstrate a decrease in cases next year, because fewer cases are being filed. The amendments have sent a message to women that it is useless to search for help and to perpetrators that this is all right to do.”
Marina Pisklakova-Parker – Head of Anna Centre an NGO which provides support to victims of abuse. (38)
16 million women a year experience domestic violence.
10% of them go to the police.
1 death every 40 minutes.
14,000 women killed a year from domestic violence.
Interior Ministry (38)
Let’s all stop and re-read this again.
We are living in the 21st century and this is ALL going on in our world today.
Blog on our website is well worth reading called Do Nothing, Do Something.
Here is the start –
Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing”.
Elvis Presley – Ghetto songs said “Are we too blind to see or do we simply turn our heads and look the other way, as the world turns”.
So was there some wisdom here being offered to us and how does this relate to Femicide today?
Can we keep choosing self-medication that supports our comfortable life and pretend this is not going on as it’s in another part of the world?
Can we negate the fact that we know it is going on in our street or we know of someone going through domestic violence but thank god it is not us?
Can we really and truly sit back and do nothing when we are now aware that this is going on in our world today?
Can we afford to sit back for one moment knowing this is going on today and it is on our watch, so to speak?
Can we opt for self-comfort all the way in our own lives because it suits us and ignore this fact that there are others suffering?
Can we go on thinking it is not our business, so it is best to do nothing and just keep our heads down and that way we can ignore the fact that this is happening?
Can we accept any form of abuse in our world because we are used to a bit of abuse in daily life and we just Accept that as normal as most people do?
Can we stop reacting to these acts of violence and respond to the call and that means NOT
Doing ra ra stuff
Wearing a certain colour
Creating a website asking people to join our bandwagon
But simply looking at where we have allowed abuse in our life?
ANYTHING THAT IS NOT ABSOLUTE TRUTH IS ABUSE.
In other words, if it is NOT the LOVE we knew and felt as a baby – it is ABUSE.
That means if it disturbs us in any way it is ABUSE.
Can we really ponder on the small stuff that we think is not abuse when in truth we know it is, because our body felt it and our mind made the choice to over-ride the hurt?
Are we ready to start bringing what we are aware of into conversations and discussions at every opportunity in our daily communications and at every dinner table?
Are we ready to truly find out more and then keep talking so that it becomes public knowledge and the whole world becomes aware and not just a few of us?
Are we ready to reflect on this abuse against women, no matter what gender we are because in truth we all inter-connected and we cannot dismiss this immutable fact?
Are we ready to be open to the possibility that each of us as individuals make up this whole world that we have created and therefore we each have a part in this?
In other words, whilst we may not be in this situation, we may have pockets of abuse we simply put up with and accept and call it normal, as others have the same and we call that ‘life’?
99.3% women and girls have been sexually harassed. (36)
Papua New Guinea
One of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman.
Majority experience rape or assault in their lifetime and women face systemic discrimination.
Acts have long been criminalised and domestic violence was specifically proscribed under the 2013 Family Protection Act (FPA). Few perpetrators are brought to justice.
3 years since the FPA was passed, it has not been implemented.
Second highest rate of maternal death in the world, in Asia Pacific region. (39)
Ritual abuse is defined as a combination of severe emotional, physical, sexual and spiritual abuse, which uses symbols in ceremonies and or group activities that have some form of religious, supernatural or magical meaning. The abuse is recurrent and the purpose of ritual abuse is to terrorise and silence the victims.
The abusers are usually part of a group, which places value on harming and abusing children and the use of drugs, pornography, animals and harmfull objects are all part of the torture. Features associated with ritual abuse include stones, slabs, altars, crucifixes, knives, swords, chanting and adult abuse.
Ritual abuse is highly organised, involving a group or few groups of people, which is often in a pseudo-religious context, and ‘evil’ plays a big part in the abuse itself and in the ceremonies carried out. These ‘rituals’, ‘ceremonies’ and ‘services’ require a great amount of planning and organising and they generally take place in rural areas.
Ritual abuse is extremely sadistic and the aim is to cause great pain to the victims for the pleasure of the observers and those involved who are directly participating in causing the abuse. It is generally misogynistic (women hating). The extreme can include the murder of babies and children but can also include animals as part of the ceremonies. These are specifically designed to add terror to the victims. (40)
Trafficking for Marriage
Growing demand for foreign brides in China – created emerging market for traffickers.
Women eager to escape poverty in rural villages.
Entering brokered marriages to Chinese men – hope of lucrative life.
Reality – many deceived about new living conditions.
Those resettled in rural China, work on farms or domestic helpers.
Some experience abuse at hands of their husbands.
Some recruited for factory jobs and forced into marriage.
Cambodian women also forced into marriage to Korean and Taiwanese men.
No research has been conducted on the extent of this emerging trafficking trend.
2015 – Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) routinely responding to needs of victims. (41)
Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore.
Increasing demand – cheap domestic workers in private homes.
Possibility of earning up to three times salary than at home.
Encouraging Cambodian women to travel abroad often informal.
Employment as maids, nannies and carers.
Cambodia renowned sex tourism destination in 1990s.
Legacy still prevalent today.
Women and girls trafficked within the thriving sex industry. (41)
Very old tradition in rural Nepal, religious Hindus believe that menstruating women are unclean and should be banished from family home. They are kept from taking part in normal family activities, social gatherings and from entering houses, kitchens and temples. (42)
Nepal is one of Asia’s poorest countries and many women have died following this tradition, despite activist’ campaigns and government efforts to end the practice called chhaupadi. (43)
In ancient Hindu culture, menstruating women were considered toxic and if they –
Entered a temple, they would pollute it.
Handled family’s food, everyone would become sick.
If they touched a tree, it would never bear fruit.
Menstruating women – outside at night to bed down with cows and goats in tiny rough, grass roof huts and sheds.
Many raped by intruders or died from exposure to the elements. (43)
2005 – Supreme Court of Nepal ordered end to chhaupadi but it is still practiced in isolated villages today.
19% women aged 15 to 49 practiced chhaupadi.
50% in mid-western and far western regions.
2010 – Nepali Government Survey cited in State Department Human Rights Report (42)
Young girls feel guilty.
They are forced to follow this tradition by their parents and religion.
Anita Gyawali – Official responsible for women’s issues in Dailekh (42)
Schoolgirls banned from crossing river while menstruating and on Tuesdays.
Ban given by local river god.
This has outraged activists as girls must cross river to reach school.
Sub-Saharan Africa struggling to keep girls in school during their periods.
1 in 10 does not attend school because they are menstruating.
UN Scientific and Education Organisation
11.5 million women lack hygiene and sanitation management facilities needed.
World Bank Report
We need to ask for some form of accountability from these gods who bar a lot of things from happening and to account for how they have used the tremendous power we have given them.
Shamima Muslim Alhassan – Unicef Menstrual Hygiene Ambassador (44)
1 in 5 women in Scotland cannot afford sanitary protection.
Study finds women forced to use rags and clothes due to lack of funds for basic goods.
The Guardian – 5 February 2018 (45)
There is more, so much more but enough here for a Part 1.
Topics to cover for 2020
Women and Depression
Women and Diabetes
Women and Menopause
Women and Gynaecology
Women and Obesity
Women and Botox
Women and Plastic Surgery
Women not in Relationship
Women as Single Parents
Women and Slavery
So here is the list for International Women’s Day 2020 and with the way things are going, there will be more…
It would be true to say after reading this blog that women are not doing great and something is seriously wrong in the way we are all choosing to live.
Is it high time we made topics like this part of our daily conversations so that more people are aware of what is going on?
If you are a woman experiencing abuse you can receive help 24 hours by calling:
AUSTRALIA – 1-800 RESPECT
National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Counselling Service
Tel: 1800 737 732
CANADA – Assaulted Women’s Helpline
PAPAU NEW GUINEA – The Family and Sexual Violence Helpline (not 24 hours)
Tel: 715 080 00
UK – National Domestic Violence Helpline
Tel: 0808 2000 247
Check link for European Helplines
USA – The National Domestic Violence Hotline
UK – support can also be received from
Forced Marriage Unit
Tel: 020 7008 0151 (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm)
Modern Slavery Helpline
Tel: 08000 121 700 (24 hours)
In a crisis contact your emergency services
If you are feeling suicidal, contact your GP for support or the Suicide Helplines.
In a crisis contact your emergency services.
UK – Samaritans available 24 hours
Tel: 116 123
Childline – for children and young people
Tel: 0800 1111
USA – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Check International Association for Suicide Prevention Resources on Crisis Centers
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