Tag Archives: feminism
“Mr Behan said the IFPA frequently had clients who experience difficulties raising the money to travel and to pay for an abortion and who had later-term abortions as a result.
“If they were resident in the UK and there was a serious health issue the abortion would be available to them, free of charge on the NHS.”
He said the case underlined the need for abortion legislation which protected the health and not just the life of a woman.
The National Women’s Council of Ireland too said the case “points to the needs for safe and legal abortion services in Ireland” and to the “artificial and unworkable distinction between a threat to the health and a threat to the life of the woman”.
“It also shows the devastating impact being forced to journey overseas has on women emotionally and physically,” said Jacqueline Healy, women’s health and human rights spokeswoman with the council said.”
It is estimated 12 women a day travel to the UK for abortions, I wonder how many don’t due to the cost. All other maternity related services in this country are free. Where a woman needs an abortion due to the impact the pregnancy is having on her health she should be able to have it here.
The abortion support network takes calls everyday from desperate women who can’t afford to travel who are trying to scrape together the money needed. One of the volunteers who answers those calls, wrote about some of thier stories here. http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/column-the-debates-on-abortion-in-the-dail-wont-change-the-reality-irish-women-face-every-day-993657-Jul2013/
Given the cost it is no wonder that women traveling from Ireland put their lives at risk to return as soon as possible and with the stigma many do not get the aftercare they need, esp if things don’t go as best they can.
Abortion after care, is free. Both the physical check up and counseling if women needed it.
http://www.abortionaftercare.ie/ lists services around Ireland which are funded by the HSE.
But beware some of these are how ever pro life, esp the Cura branches.
Personally I would recommended in Dublin http://femplus.ie/services/crisis-pregnancy/
So last night despite the fact I am on holidays I found myself camping out in front of the tv in the house we have rented for the week.
So I was up and watching when what is being called lapgate occurred.
Tom Barry FG had apologises for ‘horseplay’ with Aine Collins FG.
It is more then that is was an utter lack of respect for a fellow TD and party member, for the people they both represent and the country as whole as it happened in the Dáil voting chamber.
He would not have done it to a male T.D.
So the lead word in the title of this post is micromachismo which is defined thusly.
“micromachismo”, as defined by Bonino (psychiatric working on promoting equality between women and men ) :
For the author these are ” small, almost imperceptible controls and abuses of power quasi normalized that the males execute permanently. They are skilful arts of domain, maneuvers and strategies that, without being very notable, they restrict and force insidiously and repeatedly the personal power, the autonomy and the psychic balance of the women, committing an outrage in addition against the democratization of the relations. Given his invisibility they are exercised generally by total impunity ” (Bonino, 2004: 3).
Last night we watch aghast as a TD grabbed another TD with out their consent and restrained them while the Dáil was in the process of finally trying to pass a bill to legislate for the Supreme court ruling on the X case.
21 years after that 14 year old girl was raped, ended up pregnant and wanted to end her life rather then be pregnant, there are people some of whom are members of our government who think during the debating session that accosting a woman in her place of work is ‘horseplay’.
What it is is horseshit. I have had mixed feelings on the bill and was by turns encouraged and disappointed by the debate last night but Lapgate shows us how far we have to go still in this country in treating women as equals and respecting them.
It has been over 3 years from when I first wrote about the horrors of symphysiotomy in Ireland here on my blog. Back then many people had no idea what it was, or why it happened or the horrendous effect it had on the women it was preformed on. That changed when it was featured on Prime time.
The reason it was featured was that it was then 10 years from when the Survivors of symphysiotomy had been promised a review of their cases. The Article here dated 24/06/2003 show those women sharing their stories.
Some of those women are no longer with us and while we have seen the government promise a bill to amend the statute of limitation to allow for redress there is no sign of it reaching the final stages as the end of the working period for the Dáil draws near, despite The Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Bill 2013 passing Second Stage on 17 April.
So the Survivors of Symphysiotomy put out the word they would be demostrating today and http://tradeuniontv.ie/ were there to cover it.
19 June 2013
SoS driven to demonstrate: 8 and 1/2 weeks later, our Bill STILL hasn’t come before the Justice Committee. The Minister for Justice doesn’t seem to be making himself available, so the Bill has yet to be tabled. We are holding a DEMO – our first – this coming Wednesday, 26 June, at 11 a.m., outside the Dail. Please bring banners, buggies and above all, bodies! Let’s shame this Government into doing the right thing by survivors of symphysiotomy.
Ireland is indeed being haunted by the many wrongs it allowed to happen, hopefully those ladies will not be made to wait any longer.
Why? because I believe in the separation of church and state and that Ireland should be a secular republic, which respects the rights of all and that we should have freedom of religion and freedom from religion. That our state run or state funded schools, hospitals ect should not be biased towards serving or promoting any religion but should respect the diversity of our nation and all those living here.
Secularism is not just a cause for atheists, I know that being of a minority religious group which the State barely recognizes my rights and the rights of my children are effected by Ireland being purported to be a ‘catholic’ country.
Secularism protects freedom of conscience, and advances equal rights for women. And, whether you are a woman or a man, you can help to shape the future of secular activism and women’s rights around the world by coming to Dublin this June.
You will hear and meet and socialise with inspiring speakers and panelists and conference participants from around the world. You will help to shape strategies for positive change, and vote on an international Declaration on Empowering Women Through Secularism.
We will discuss how religion and religiously-influenced laws discriminate against women in areas from healthcare, sexuality and reproductive rights to education, careers and social policy, as well as how to combat violence against women and the history and future of women in atheist and secular activism.
Topics will include
How religiously-inspired laws discriminate against women
How secularism protects freedom of conscience
How secularism advances equal rights for women
Healthcare, sexuality and reproductive rights
Education, careers, and social policy
Combatting violence against women
History and future of women in secular activism
Political strategies, media and building coalitions
Declaration on Empowering Women Through Secularism
I will be doing some tweet coverage of the event and will do write ups on the bits with interested me. I am lucky to be able to attend as I have been given a sponsored ticket via the lovely Geoff Lillis who for an Atheist is a fun person I believe he may have some more sponsored tickets for activists who want to attend and you can find his blog about the event here: http://geoffsshorts.blogspot.ie/2013/05/free-ticket-to-empowering-women-through.html
This time 25 years ago the first single of Tracy Chapman’s self entitled debut album was making it’s way up the Irish charts and getting a lot of air play on local and national radio stations. I was turning 13 and so much of my memory of back then is tied in with that single which was Fast Car.
It speaks of a young woman’s search for love and a better life then she has seen her parents create. About being so desperate to get away from her life that she takes up with the first guy who has a fast car and try to get away to only unknowingly re create a relationship similar to what her parents had.
Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution was released at the end of the 80s when Ireland and so many places around the world had been struggling with the tough economic times. It spoke of hope and of the end of oppression.
25 years later it seems not much has changed.
While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion
Don’t you know, they’re talkin’ ’bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Even more so when you listen to “Behind the Wall”
The un accompanied vocal is stark and sad, as stark and sad as the story it is telling.
Last night I heard the screaming
Loud voices behind the wall
Another sleepless night for me
It won’t do no good to call
Always come late
If they come at all
And when they arrive
They say they can’t interfere
With domestic affairs
Between a man and his wife
And as they walk out the door
The tears well up in her eyes
Last night I heard the screaming
Then a silence that chilled my soul
Prayed that I was dreaming
When I saw the ambulance in the road
And the policeman said
“I’m here to keep the peace.
Will the crowd disperse?
I think we all could use some sleep.”
Last night I heard the screaming
Loud voices behind the wall
Another sleepless night for me
It won’t do no good to call
Always come late
If they come at all
This week there has been a very high profile case in the papers,
but it is one of many, too many. 25 years later there are too many men and women who are in abusive relationships, who are isolated, ignored, unsupported while too many of us turn a blind eye and a deaf ear and blame them reducing a very complex and harrowing situation to victim blaming.
Behind the wall had a profound effect on me as a young teen.
The scary thing is shortly my own daughter turns 13 and not enough has changed in the last 25 years.
We need again to start ‘Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution’,
StandupIreland is a group which seems to have formed in November 2012 and who’s focus is on reopening the Vatican Embassy here in Ireland after it was closed in the wake of the child abuse cover up by the Roman Catholic Church.
They state on their website http://www.irelandstandup.org/index.html they they are a lay group of Catholics which are working together and they are very active on twitter.
And that is were I have interacted with them. They have been very active as the XCase Legislation is slowly making progress and they started interacting with me after some of my tweets had been RT by the Irish Choice Network account. This was aprox a year ago and I tweeted that I was going out to an Occult Ireland meet up and this seems to fascinate them. So much so that a year later they are still trying to bemirch me and other people who are pro choice by asking if they are are going to Occult meetings with me.
It would seem that those behind StandupIreland seem to think that going to Occult meetings or having anything to do with the occult is wrong and something to try and belittle someone over and try and ‘taint’ others by association.
I am baffled by this. I am out as being a pagan and Witch, I’ve been a moderator and admin for pagan communities and a member of the Occult Ireland forum for nearly 7 years. I’ve gone to moots, meet ups, Sabbaths, have run workshops, given talks, have been a speaker at a weekend pagan/Irish spirituality conference, have written the forward for Lora O’Brien’s latest book A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality
have been staff manager at Féile Draíochta (anyone who knows me can easily pick me out in the staff photo).
None of these are anything I am ashamed of and I don’t see why I have to be. Ireland has a long history of it’s citizens being involved in the Occult. Indeed the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which is considered to be the greatest single influence on Western Magic and Occult systems and even Wicca had many Irish members.
Two of the most notable are W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne. They were magical partners before she was married and their Occult correspondences are on view to any who may wish to read them as part of the W.B. Yeats exhibition in the National Library of Ireland on Kildare st. There is a virtual tour of the exhibition online which can be viewed here http://www.nli.ie/yeats/main.html
It seems that in trying to dream up a better Ireland they searched for all possible tools. I don’t think that they would have wished an Ireland into being which was one that lacked diversity and derided their own spiritual explorations.
The legal situation should be addressed “urgently” to ensure that not only the life but the health of the mother can be protected in pregnancy, the chairman of the review team said.
Prof Sabaratnam Arulkumaran was asked whether, to ensure another woman did not die in circumstances similar to those in which Savita Halappanavar had died, the law should permit termination of pregnancy where there was a threat to the health and not just to the life of the mother.
He replied: “Yes.”
More women could die in Irish hospitals in a manner similar to Savita Halappanavar unless legal clarity is provided for doctors on when they can intervene to terminate a pregnancy, the HSE report into her death has warned.Savita Halappanavar report: Tragic. Devastating.
Savita Halappanavar (left of photo) with children at Galway’s St Patrick’s day parade.The girl with the diamond smile
Dr Katherine Astbury advised Savita Halappanavar and her husband that a termination might have to be considered after a diagnosis of sepsis was confirmed. Photograph: Eric LukeTermination was denied at first because clinicians believed their ‘hands were tied’
Sabaratnam Arulkatumaran (left), Chairperson, and Dr Philip Crowler, National Director for Quality and Patient Safety, at the publication of the HSE clinical review report into the death of Savita Halappanavar on Thursday. Photograph: Eric LukeSerious gaps remain in what we know about operations in the hospital
“Failing to devise and follow a plan of care for this patient” is a fairly damning indictment of the healthcare professionals who looked after Ms Halappanavar. Photograph: Eric LukeMedical view: Focus on basics of care likely to help save lives
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“There are certain conditions a pregnant mother might have which can suddenly escalate – for example in this particular situation from an infection that is very localised but which spreads to the whole body and is sepsis.
“With severe sepsis the mortality rate is about 40 per cent, and if she goes into septic shock the mortality rate can be as much as 60 per cent. This can be in a very short period of time which means that [if] intervening is at a later stage it is difficult to bring the patient back to normality and to control.
“So what we are saying is the medical community have to discuss with the legal profession if you really want to say the chances of making sure someone survives; this needs discussion.
“We don’t want another death happening because there is some ambiguity about how they interpret the law.”
He also said there were situations where a mother’s health only was threatened but which could escalate rapidly into a situation where her health would be permanently damaged.
“If you have infection, by the time it comes to sepsis and severe sepsis the fallopian tubes might be injured, she can become sub-fertile, she might have [later] an ectopic pregnancy. Life-long she might have pelvic inflammatory disease. I mean, how much are you prepared to take before considering termination of pregnancy?
“At what point is this going to give permanent injury to the woman, or what point might it escalate to death.”
He said too much responsibility was on individual doctors to interpret when it was legal to intervene, leading some to wait until the foetal heart stopped to be sure they were acting within the law.
“Even until the last minute they are waiting for the foetal heart to disappear before the termination would be considered. Some might have done it much earlier … so it seems to be a little bit individual, even within Ireland. So we must have some definitive meanings as to when you think this should be done.”
If Savita had been his patient in the UK she would have been offered a termination on Sunday, October 21st, the day she went into hospital. “If it was my case I would have terminated the pregnancy,” he said.
We need to get the 8th amendment repealed to safe guard women’s health.
Today in the Irish Times the wonderful Anthea McTeirnan talks about family life.
Not for us a stay-at-home mother prone to outbreaks of baking and bathos and a thrusting, briefcase-carrying, disciplinarian dad. We were going to do things differently. And we did. Sort of.
In 1995, just as our second son reached 18 months, a job came up in the sports department at The Irish Times. I was a freelance journalist, and this was a full-time, permanent, pensionable job, previously occupied only by men. I got it.
So we decided to swap roles. I was to be the main wage earner, Kevin was to go part-time and do the bulk of the childcare.
While choosing to have a stay at home Dad is still seen as strange, it’s not to me as my Dad became the stay at home parent when I was about 10, and my Mam was the one who went out to work, he did everything the 5 of us needed, all the school runs, volunteered in the school, parents association. One of my early memories of having my hair done was his big strong gentle hands trying to get my mane into a pony tail and swearing when the bobbin snapped.
He did a great job with the 5 of us, both my parents did. His mother brought him up with the belief hands had no gender and he surprised more then a few people when he’d change my terrycloth nappy himself as a baby rather then hand me off to my mother. There was no such thing as ‘women’s work’ growing up, there was just the things which needed doing in the house as part of being a family, which means caring and sharing it all.
In Ireland we have not statutory paternity leave or shared parenting leave after the birth of adoption of a child. It is something which I know we need. We need a better division of child care and labour in the home rather then the default thinking being it is automatically ‘women’s work’, and that starts with sharing the work load from the beginning.
It will also mean when an employer is looking at two candidates for a job who are in their late 20s to late 30s, a man is just as likely to need time off when having children as a woman might.
100 years on, Irish feminists have plenty to be proud of – Social Affairs & News from Ireland & Abroad | The Irish Times – Sun, May 26, 2013
In 1913, 100 years ago, Irish feminists were poised between two momentous events: the passage of the Third Home Rule Bill through the UK parliament in 1912, without a much hoped-for provision for female suffrage, and the outbreak of the first World War, which would divert suffrage activities into pro- and anti-war campaigns.
In 1918, with the Representation of the People Act, the vote was granted to women over the age of 30 with a property qualification; full voting rights for all over 21 came in the Free State constitution of 1922.
The history of Irish first-wave feminism goes back to the 1860s and people like Isabella Tod and Anna Haslam who set up the first organisations seeking votes for women. They and others were also active in the struggle to achieve access to higher education for women, to give married women rights to their own property and to repeal the Contagious Diseases Acts, which allowed suspected prostitutes in certain areas to be compulsorily examined and treated for venereal disease. The careful reformist approach of this cohort of suffragists was slowly but surely effective in achieving its ends.
Frustration with the Irish Parliamentary Party – and the example of the Women’s Social and Political Union, the Pankhursts’ organisation – caused Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Margaret Cousins to set up the Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL) in 1908, with a more militant approach. They broke windows in Government Buildings, and were intermittently imprisoned between 1912 and 1914.
Two British suffragettes, Gladys Evans and Mary Leigh, tried to blow up the Theatre Royal, and threw a hatchet into prime minister Asquith’s carriage, narrowly missing him. The IWFL did raise consciousness of the issue of suffrage to a new popular level, particularly through their newspaper, The Irish Citizen .
The achievement of the full franchise by women in 1922 did not mean a society which espoused equality. Successive Irish governments introduced repressive legislation in the 1920s and 1930s, including the effective removal of women from juries in 1927, the marriage bar in 1932 (under which women had to leave their jobs when they got married), the Conditions of Employment Act of 1935, which restricted women’s employment in certain areas, and of course, the privileging of women in the home in the 1937 Constitution. Groups like the Irish Housewives’ Association and the Irish Women Workers’ Union valiantly fought these attempts to restrict women to the domestic sphere, but it wasn’t until the second wave of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s that reformists and activists again combined to achieve some extraordinary changes.
The second wave had a large smorgasbord of issues to explore. They included the marriage bar, equal pay, childcare facilities, violence against women and a range of injustices broadly related to marriage and reproductive issues: contraception, divorce, single motherhood, deserted wives, same-sex rights and abortion (the last still with us and sadly, as divisive as ever).
Young women today are amazed at the idea that less than 40 years ago, women in the public sector and in many private companies had to resign their jobs on marriage; that women were regarded as dependents of their husbands for tax and social welfare purposes, and paid on average 57 per cent less than their male counterparts; that contraception and divorce were banned; that there were no State supports for single parents or deserted spouses; that sex education was non-existent in Irish schools; that the idea of a female Irish president was so unlikely as to be laughable. All of this was overturned in the 1970s and following decades.
The people who played significant public roles in the second wave were, in the beginning, journalists like Nell McCafferty, Mary Maher, Mary Holland, Mary Kenny, Mary McCutcheon, Rosita Sweetman and June Levine, who has done the movement great service by writing Sisters; The Personal Story of an Irish Feminist , first published in 1982, and reprinted in 2012 near the first anniversary of her death. Sisters was not just the autobiography of a very interesting woman but the biography of the first decade of the Irish Women’s Liberation movement.
The broadcast media also played a large role in highlighting the hidden Ireland, with the tragic death of Ann Lovett in a grotto in Granard in 1984, unleashing a torrent of stories of suffering from women all over the country who had remained silent up to then. The work of Nuala O’Faoláin, Betty Purcell and others in Irish radio and television played a huge part in placing women’s issues in the foreground.
The achievements of that decade were extraordinary. We have a lot to be proud of, for a small country with a powerful patriarchal State and church. Last Saturday, the Countess Markievicz Summer School took place in a packed Liberty Hall, with many young women in the audience. The big ticket issues of the 21st century – domestic violence, reproductive rights, employment rights, childcare which is affordable and fair to parents and children, and the battle against viciously reductive female body images, sex trafficking and the incredibly wealthy pornography industry – will be theirs to pursue. They have many admirable predecessors.