All of Engender’s latest news. Reports, reviews, books, articles, and information from across Scotland’s women’s sector.
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Today marks 50 years since the 1967 Abortion Act, which allowed women to access abortion in certain circumstances. While the act was undoubtedly a key moment in the history of women’s rights, and helped end fatal backstreet abortions, it is underpinned by outdated beliefs that reproductive choice should sit with the state. Under the act, abortion must be administered in an approved medical facility (more on that below), must be within the first 24 weeks of a pregnancy, and must be approved by two doctors – the most paternalistic aspect of abortion law, and one which undermines women’s autonomy and decision-making about her own body and life choices.
Here at Engender we receive frequent requests to go on the radio, TV or in front of a live audience to ‘debate’ feminist issues.
To discuss whether the pay gap really exists, whether a video of shirtless men doing yoga is proof of ‘reverse sexism’ in Scotland, or whether it’s unfair that women are now allowed to play golf.
We tend to refuse these requests, and are subsequently charged with failure to represent feminist arguments, failure to take advantage of an opportunity to reach a wider listenership, or simply allowing sexist views to go unchallenged. We argue that to partake in a debate which shouldn’t ever be a debate in the first place is a far more dangerous failure.
On the International Day of Safe Abortion, Engender have released our latest report which shows where Scotland sits internationally with regard to abortion rights. Focusing on countries in the western world, we highlight the positive examples of Canada and territories in Australia which have decriminalised abortion, respecting women’s autonomy over their own bodies.
Today the Scottish Parliament will hear from Engender that the principle of equality and non-discrimination needs to be written into the Social Security Bill if the newly devolved powers are to move Scotland towards women’s equality.
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