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All of Engender’s latest news. Reports, reviews, books, articles, and information from across Scotland’s women’s sector.

We would love to hear from other feminists around Scotland. Check out our guidelines for more information on how you can blog for us.

Visibly Invisible: Cultural representations of women with disabilites in contemporary scottish and uk media

Caroline DarkeEngender has been working with University of Stirling student Caroline Darke on a project exploring some of the issues around the representation (or rather, lack) of women with disabilities within the mainstream Scottish and UK media. This project connects with Engender’s on-going commitment to achieving gender parity within the Scottish media, and our Disabled Women: Our Bodies, Our Rights project, which examines the rights of disabled women and their reproductive journeys within current social care practices and government policy.

This blog is the first in a series Caroline will be writing for us, and explores some of the discourse surrounding disabled women in Scotland.

Speak out even though your voice shakes

Our Communications and Engagement Manager Alys Mumford blogs about the importance of bystander action in preventing inequality.

Elin Ersson refusing to sit down

Since I saw the video of Elin Ersson preventing the deportation of a man to Afghanistan from Sweden a few days ago, I just haven’t been able to get it out of my head. When I tell people about it I get goosebumps. It gives me hope in a world where hope seems naïve.

As young women, we are told not to take up space. To sit down and shut up, and never, never to inconvenience others. Elin does none of these things.

Just imagine the bravery that takes. You know that people on the flight are keen to get home, to start their holidays, to visit loved ones. You know that flight attendants are just doing their jobs, and have enough to deal with without this. You know that there are children on the flight who are scared (more by the shouting man who just stole your phone, than by your calm act of bravery). You know that you are drawing attention to yourself online, with all of the dangers that poses for women.

And still you stay standing, voice shaking, to save a life.

Disabled Women: Our Bodies Our Rights

Our Bodies Our Rights logo

Last year, Engender received funding from the Tampon Tax Fund for a project researching disabled women's experiences of parenting and reproductive health services in Scotland. Disabled Women: Our Bodies, Our Rights (previously called Disabled Women's Reproductive Journeys) has been operating for over a year now, and we're pleased to give you an update on how it's going from Chris Belous our project intern.

The project also has a Twitter account now, which is the best way to find out the latest updates on the project.

Follow it at Disabled Women: Our Bodies Our Rights

Scotland in solidarity with Northern Ireland

Engender's Emma Trottier & Alys Mumford set out why it's so important that Scottish MPs take action for Northern Irish women.

Abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Imagine two women; one lives in Belfast; the other in Edinburgh. Both women have decided to terminate their pregnancy. The one in Edinburgh is covered by the 1967 Abortion Act. She’ll need to seek approval from two doctors before proceeding, and has other barriers to overcome, but she has access to a safe and legal abortion. For the woman in Northern Ireland, the situation is one of the worst in the western world. The abortion law dates to 1861, so it’s hardly surprising that terminations are heavily restricted: an abortion is only available if there is a serious, permanent or long-term risk to the life or health of the woman. For the woman in Belfast, a termination will involve extensive planning and travelling, as well as emotional and financial costs. As she cannot exercise her reproductive rights at home, she will have to leave and travel across the sea to terminate her pregnancy, purchase illegal medicine online, or continue with an unwanted or unviable pregnancy.

A referendum in Northern Ireland isn’t the answer to free, safe and legal abortion

Emma Trottier, Engender's Policy and Parliamentary Manager sets out why Northern Ireland doesn’t need a referendum to realise women’s reproductive rights; it needs Westminster to take action.

repeal the 8th

The images of the Yes campaign in Ireland are still imprinted in my mind: pictures of women campaigning under banners of “Together for Yes”; the bold white “REPEAL” letters on black jumpers; the red heart emblazoned with “Repeal the 8th”; and #hometovote. It was only last week that the Yes campaign won, but it already feels like an age. Almost as soon as the last constituency results were announced, our collective gaze shifted north to focus on the punitive, regressive law that remains in place in Northern Ireland. While mainstream attention to the abortion law in Northern Ireland is long overdue, confusion has set in over how women’s reproductive rights can be realised in Northern Ireland.

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Related publications

Gender Matters in Social Security: Individual Payments of Universal CreditGender Matters in Social Security: Individual Payments of Universal Credit A paper calling on the Scottish Government to automatically split payments of Universal Credit between couples, once this power is devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

Gender Matters Manifesto: Twenty for 2016Gender Matters Manifesto: Twenty for 2016 This manifesto sets out measures that, with political will, can be taken over the next parliamentary term in pursuit of these goals.

Scottish NGO Briefing for UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against WomenScottish NGO Briefing for UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Joint briefing paper for the UN Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.

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