Archive for the welsh news Category

Older Feminist Network

Posted in Activism, intergenerational connections, welsh news on February 18, 2008 by nectarine

On saturday I went with a friend from MTG to meet the women from swanseas Older feminist Network. It was pretty damn awesome. Firstly Swansea women’s centre is a woman only building which pretty much made me squeee with pleasure! (it’s the last womans centre left in wales) And the women were awesome they were really friendly and welcoming. It was really interesting because they seemed to have a sense of solidarity and sisterhood and just friendship that it often missing from younger feminists. They seemed really enthusiastic about MTG as well which made me feel really good, because I think when your constantly inside something its hard to see what progress you are making with it.

I think this was a really usefull fruitfull meeting I hope we continue to make conections with them and learn from them. I think some of them are wanting to come on the abortion rights protest in cardiff so hopefully we will meet some of them again then.

It really breaks my heart that so much is lost, that younger feminists either dont know what older feminists did for us or they have a really bastardized media garbled view of them, that what we have now and what we are loosing now we have because older feminist fought for it, and that we have to take thier examples, that we have to fight so our daughters have the same rights and more than we have.

On an emotional level this is just amazing for me anyway and I just think These are the women that saved my life (not these actual women, but women of the same age and the same politics who gave me a way of understanding the world that took me out of the wreckage)

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Prostitution debate called for in the assembly

Posted in welsh news with tags on February 6, 2008 by nectarine

from here

Tragic reality of prostitution’
A debate on prostitution has been called in the Welsh assembly by Cynon Valley AM Christine Chapman.She explains why she supports calls for a law change to make it illegal to pay for sex and help prevent the “oldest exploitation in the world”.Generic young prostitute
The sex trade is accused of fuelling international human trafficking

Debates around prostitution rely on the cliché of it being “the oldest profession in the world” or that “it has always been with us and always will be”.

However, statements like this seek only to stifle the debate and provide excuses.

My fundamental argument is one of principle. Do we think that it is right in an age when we have made some progress with equality for women that women continue to be degraded and exploited though prostitution?

I do think that public opinion towards prostitution is changing and we should therefore grasp the opportunity to have a debate.

Most women I have talked to find it abhorrent; it is discordant with how they view themselves in the world.

The view of the glamorous, self-serving high-class call girl is without doubt a smokescreen.

Most prostitutes’ lives are much more tragic in reality than those portrayed by, say, Belle de Jour or “Madame Sin” Cynthia Payne. In fact the realities for women as prostitutes are stark.

For example, over the last 10 years, about 60 prostitutes have been murdered in England and Wales, with just 16 arrests.

Prostitutes are also 60 times more likely to be murdered than other women and more than 90% of prostitutes who work the street are hooked on hard drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine.

I fully acknowledge that there is an argument that it would be better to legalise brothels in order to make it safer for women, but I’m not sure that that is the answer.

When Germany legalised brothels, for example, job centres were expected to treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse!

Women were told, “if you don’t take a job as a prostitute we can stop your benefits”, which I find totally unacceptable.

Prostitution is not a devolved matter: nevertheless, the Welsh Assembly Government has a responsibility to ensure that there are adequate support services.

If women are exploited in society then we are all affected.

I would ask that the Welsh Assembly Government works with their Westminster colleagues such as Harriet Harman and Vernon Coaker as they seek to change the law.

This is also about raising awareness particularly within an educational context. I am aware of a very helpful pack on prostitution and sexual exploitation produced by the Women’s Library in East London which I would commend to the Assembly Government for use in sixth forms and colleges.

It’s vital that young people are fully cognisant of the dangers of exploitation in any form.

We are dealing with the oldest exploitation in the world.

It’s time we did something about it”