Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Labour Party

Dr Denis Mukwege, gave a powerful and engaging speech when he addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week.

He has dedicated his life to campaigning and caring for women who have endured and been victims of terrible sexual crimes and sexual crimes of war. Dr Mukwege, a world expert in his field, is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and specialised as a gynaecologist after he witnessed the poor post birth care many Congolese women received.

He was at the European Parliament to receive the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. And his speech left us all feeling humbled and confirmed him to be a most deserving recipient of this accolade.

You can read more on my blog here and this news report here.

Media giant Bloomberg has announced that all news stories published by Bloomberg journalists must include at least one woman’s voice and preferably a balance of both men and women. In his weekly email to staff, Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg’s News editor in chief said that the company’s news stories must ensure that ‘women are engage in every topic we cover. Our journalism should reflect that variety.”

It’s thought to be the first time any such ‘quota for quotes’ has been requested by a news chief and no doubt some will be concerned about how they will be able to find a female quote for every story. Of course, it will be a drag to begin with. But its bold declarations like these which require people to take action-even if initially it’s reluctantly-that will slowly change how people view the world.

It was a brave statement but a clever and shrewd move, which will keep Bloomberg’s news at the cutting edge.

I hope  this may force other publishing houses to consider making similar noises or even make them  consider following suit. You can read more on the story here.

Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Labour Party

Conservative and Liberal-Democrat politicians were quick to deflect attention from their controversial pension’s plans last week by goading all those public sector workers. Ministers couldn’t act quickly enough to condemn those who plan to strike for the inevitable disruption it will cause.

It will be an autumn of discontent, and this is largely because the government has announced the cuts to public services pensions before completing its discussions with unions. therefore forcing them into action.

Last week Danny Alexander said the plan was to protect public sector workers for the long term. In a speech in London he said the proposals were “not an assault” on pensions and accused some unions of spreading “scare stories” about government plans.

He said a small group of unions were “hell bent on premature strike action”. I find this line deeply inflammatory and I’m certain that it will only serve to fan the flames of the already angry unions who rightly feel they are still in the middle of negotiations. You can read more on last week’s story here.

I blogged on the interview Harriet Harman gave in last week’s Guardian in which she highlighted how poorly the Tories are on the equality agenda, something which she has fought so hard to achieve but for which she gets little recognition. She said in the interview “You can’t leave equality to the Tories”, it’s a brilliant quote which frankly sums it all up. Harriet, as ever, remains true to her mission to boost women’s rights. You can read the full interview here, and more on my earlier blog here.

Despite her efforts, internationally we have some way to go. Targeted violence against female public officials, dismal healthcare and desperate poverty make Afghanistan the world’s most dangerous country in which to be born a woman, according to a global survey released on Wednesday.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Pakistan, India and Somalia feature in descending order after Afghanistan in the list of the five worst states, the poll among gender experts shows.

The disappointing survey has been compiled by the Thomson Reuters Foundation to mark the launch of a website, TrustLaw Woman, aimed at providing free legal advice for women’s groups around the world. You can read the full report and findings here.