Archive for the ‘WOMEN’ Category

Girls being force-fed for marriage as junta revives fattening farms

In AFRICA, WOMEN on 01/03/2009 at 7:48 AM

Fears are growing for the fate of thousands of young girls in rural Mauritania, where campaigners say the cruel practice of force-feeding young girls for marriage is making a significant comeback since a military junta took over the West African country. Aminetou Mint Ely, a women’s rights campaigner, said girls as young as five were still being subjected to the tradition of leblouh every year. The practice sees them tortured into swallowing gargantuan amounts of food and liquid – and consuming their vomit if they reject it… The Observer.


Sex and Suffrage in Britain 1860-1914

In GB / UK, SEX, WOMEN on 01/08/2008 at 1:58 PM

[…] Fawcett suspected that the “low position of women generally” under the law was sustained at least in part by those who “prosecute the street walker with the one hand, and with the other elevate to the place of chief magistrate in the town a man who is living in adultery”. Motivated by this belief, Fawcett in 1894 embarked upon a semi-public campaign to expose the “ghastly” private behaviour of Henry Cust, MP for Lancashire, who, with the support of the Conservative leadership, proposed to stand for election to Parliament at North Manchester. According to Fawcett, Cust had seduced a young woman of good Lincolnshire family, a Miss Welby. She had become “enceinte”, and he deserted her, subsequently offering marriage to another woman. “Miss Welby wrote Cust a despairing, imploring letter”, Fawcett explained, “which he spoke of, or showed to other men at the country house he was staying, with odious remarks intended to be facetious. The other men did not take these observations in the spirit they were mad: they told Cus he was a cur”. They also informed the father and family of the woman to whom Cust was engaged of his action, and after a bitter dispute “Cust was told that unless he married Miss Welby at once (whom he said he particularly disliked) the whole thing would be made public”. Powerful Conservatives refused to allow Cust to stand for Lincolnshire, “but he is thought good enough for North Manchester”, Fawcett noted acidly. She informed well-placed people in Manchester of this state of affairs because she “considered that Cust’s conduct struck at the root of everything that makes home and marriage sacred, and that to place such a man in a osition of public honour and responsibility would have a very bad effect”. She told Cust that “as a woman I have naturally the strongest feeling against men of known bad character being elected to the House of Commons”. Eventually. A. J. Balfour, the leader of the Conservatives in the House of Commons, involved himself in the controversy, chastising Fawcett for making the scandal known to influential people in Manchester. He advised her that “as the duties of a Member of Parliament are public ones, the capacity of a Candidate to perform those duties should be in most cases the sole ground of his selection… Private life – the doings of a man in his own home – ought not… to be dragged gratuitously before the public”. In response to his assertion that the matter was “of no public concern”, Fawcett asked: “Is a man who, in public life, can be suitably described by his intimates as an infernal scoundrel a fit and proper person to be brought forward by his party as a Parliamentary Candidate? I would answer this in the negative”. She felt that the private behaviour of men like Cust reflected attitudes toward women that found their way into law and contributed heavily to “the utter rottenness of the whole of public on morals”, public opinion that necessarily affected women adversely.-