international women's day 2011

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day – high time to take inventory of how women are represented within British newspaper journalism.

Below are some key findings when looking at Cision’s UK media data*:

    * Over two-thirds (74%) of journalists in the newspaper sector are male;
    * One third (30%) of female journalists are covering business and politics;
    * 3% of sports journalists are women;
    * 49% of lifestyle journalists and 70% of arts journalists are male;
    * Altogether 30% of UK newspaper staff are female.

In addition, Cision opened its database to “Women in Journalism” (WIJ), an organisation supporting female journalists, resulting in a report demonstrating that women are underrepresented within UK newspaper journalism.

“Female Journalists are less likely to work in editorial positions and less likely to write about hard news, politics and current affairs. Even traditional areas such as lifestyle and features are dominated by our male counterparts, “ says Gabriella Jozwiak, freelance Journalist and WIJ member, co-leading the research based on Cision’s database.

She says that women are present, but underrepresented in public life and traditional role patterns are still a barrier for women’s careers. “I think the findings speak for themselves. It is a general issue that females are not always on the top. The problem in the national media is that we’re trying to reflect society and the unbalance can be seen very clearly.”

Eight out of the top ten newspapers have twice the amount of male editors than female. The Guardian was the only newspaper within Cision’s data with more female editors in senior positions (60%) than male editors.

The Independent had the lowest proportion of female staff with 25% women, followed by the Sun (26%) and the Daily Telegraph (26%). In contrast, the Daily Mail had the highest proportion of female staff of any newspaper with 36% women, followed by the Observer (36%) and the Daily Express (35%). The research also reveals that journalistic roles were most likely to be held by women at the Sunday Times (40%), the Times (39%) and the Guardian (37%) and were least likely to be held at the Daily Mirror (21%) and the Sun (24%).

However, there is a support network out there ready to be accessed by female journalists from institutions such as the National Union of Journalists or Women in Journalism. “Many women might actually be uncomfortable with the idea that they need support from an organisation, but especially in journalism it is a great way for networking and receiving training,” says Jozwiak. “On a practical level, WIJ is a great forum to meet really successful journalists and learn from them. I’ve picked up plenty of tips from events and had a few commissions through contacts I’ve made.”

The history of the International Women’s Day dates back to the 19th March 1911, where it was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In a blog entry later this week, Cision will go on a short European trip and have a closer look at how women are represented in German and Swedish Journalism.

* Reflective as of October 2010


To mark the occasion of IWD, the Commission has developed a special web page to collate the work we have done to promote gender equality for women and includes a centenary message from our Commissioner, Kay Carberry, as well as special messages of support from the Home Secretary Theresa May and Shadow Minister for Equality, Yvette Cooper.

However if IWD is about celebration, it is not about complacency.

As the Commission’s triennial review report How Fair is Britain? and our forthcoming update to our Sex and Power publication show, we are still a long way from achieving equality. On too many issues, unacceptable inequalities remain: violence against women and girls, marked labour market segregation, the unequal division of care and multiple discrimination to name a few.’

To read her full statement and access messages of support from both the Home Secretary, Theresa May and Shadow Minister for Equality, Yvette Cooper, please visit our website at:

* New figures show shocking prevalence of domestic abuse across Wales
* Many services still unaware whether they will receive funding post-April

On 8th March, as women’s organisations across the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (1), leading domestic abuse charity Welsh Women’s Aid (2) revealed the shocking extent of domestic abuse across Wales.

Statistics gathered on Valentine’s Day provide a one-day snapshot of the services delivered by Welsh Women’s Aid’s member groups and other domestic abuse service providers across Wales. But despite the clear demand for these life-saving services for survivors and their children, many services still have not yet been informed whether they will receive funding beyond the end of March.

On one day in Wales (3):
* 211 women were living in refuges run by Welsh Women’s Aid’s member organisations, with a total of 167 dependant children
* 40 of the children and young people* living in refuges were, or had previously been, on the Child Protection Register
* This included 1 baby who was born to a woman accommodated in refuge, and placed straight onto the Child Protection Register
* 1701 women were receiving community-based support, with a further 512 on waiting lists
* 1453 children and young people were receiving community-based support, with a further 338 on waiting lists. 97 of these children were on the Child Protection Register.
* 90 women and 11 children and young people contacted Welsh Women’s Aid’s member organisations for the first time.

Paula Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Welsh Women’s Aid, said:

The 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect upon the huge amount of progress made – including thousands of lives saved and re-built with the assistance of specialist services such as Women’s Aid since the establishment of the first refuges in the 1970s.

But it is also a time to take stock and to realise how far society still has to go before violence against women and girls is eradicated. In England and Wales, 2 women are killed every week by their partner or ex-partner (4). Our Valentine’s Day statistics are a snapshot of just one day – so while the results are harrowing, they are an underestimate of the real prevalence of domestic abuse in Wales.

Specialist support services are necessary to enable survivors to rebuild their lives. If these services are cut, lives will be put at risk. Coupled with the proposed devastating cuts to Legal Aid, and closures in other services such as Citizens Advice Bureaux, we are deeply concerned that the safety of women and children will be compromised. Women’s organisations have had to grow accustomed to eleventh-hour confirmation of funding, and to operating life-saving services on a shoestring. But now more than ever, it is vital that funders recognize that these services are not a luxury – they’re absolutely essential for thousands of women and children across Wales.”


    (1) International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women. First celebrated in 1911, this year is the Global Centenary Year. Numerous events will take place across Wales – see
    (2) Welsh Women’s Aid is the leading national domestic abuse organisation in Wales, with a network of 31 member groups situated all over Wales, who provide direct services to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse. WWA provides specialist support to our member groups, in addition to informing and challenging national policy on their behalf. WWA also manages the Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline, a national, 24-hour, freephone, bilingual and gender-neutral helpline for anyone experiencing or wanting more information on domestic abuse: 0808 80 10 800, .
    (3) Statistics gathered by Welsh Women’s Aid from 14th February 2011, from our 31 member organisations. Statistics on community-based support were gathered from our member organizations in addition to Hafan Cymru, Caerphilly Women’s Services and Montgomeryshire Family Crisis Centre.
    (4) British Crime Survey, 2004.

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact Hannah Austin on 02920 390874 or Paula Hardy on 07766 524489.

Friday 25th March 2011 from 11.00am – 4.00pm
Thurlow Lodge Community Hall, 1Thurlow Street SE 17 2US

We would like to invite all female residents and their families of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark and surrounding areas to take part in an event organised by Aylesbury EveryWomen’s Centre for this year ‘International Women’s Week’. Our theme this year is a celebration of 100 years of International Women’s Day.

We will provide the following activities:
· Healthy Living workshops
· Discussions/Presentations on the changes of women’s rights over 100 years
· Workshops from domestic violence groups in Southwark
· Entertainment from different cultures
· Stalls for local projects
· Face Painting
· Food and Refreshment

For more information contact Zahra Abdalla, and Ola Smith
Tel: 020 77014141 Ext 229 Mob: 07983747243, – 07811224327

If you have a story whether it is sad or happy that you would love to present please get in contact with Zahra on the above details. Don’t be shy, it’s our day!


In recognition of International Women’s Day, which took place this year on the 8th of March, a free event is being held in Cardiff’s County Hall on the 28th of March 2011 to celebrate the promotion of gender equality and women’s achievements over the last 100 years.

“This will be invaluable for individuals or organisations that work hard to promote gender equality,” said Hanna Miyir, of the Welsh NGO, Cyfanfyd, that is organising the event. “The empowerment of women is central to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and we intend to show that it is something that can be worked towards on both a local and a global stage.”

The event will include presentations from local organisations on the topic of women’s rights and gender equality, performances and information stands as well as a keynote speech from Welsh Woman of the Year 1996-97, Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff.

Baroness Finlay is well renowned for her extensive work in palliative medicine and has been actively involved in promoting ‘medical humanities’, encouraging the integration of the arts into health care thinking. She is an inspirational figure whose achievements serve to highlight women’s contribution to healthcare development.

The event is open to everyone and is being held between 10.30am and 3.00pm on the 28th of March 2011 in Cardiff’s County Hall.

While this is a free event, places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. To book a place, please contact Lorraine Fletcher at

To find out more, please contact Hanna Miyir on 209 2066 8999 or at


Spitalfields Market, Saturday 12th March, International Women’s Fair

Electric Landladies with Laka Daisical, Sarah Pritchard, Deirdre Cartwright, Diane McLoughlin, Alison Rayner and Ann Day
In the middle of the historic Spitalfields Market and surrounded by stalls with artists, books, craftswomen, fashion designers, pop up poets, participatory workshops and women’s organisations.

The two free sessions from the Electric Landladies will be at 12 – 1 and 2 – 3pm.

See full details about the event at

This is a post to mark International Women’s Day. Join the International Women’s Week and Mothering Sunday Mothers’ March this Sunday:

8th March is International Women’s Day. For one hundred years, women and men all over the world, from Germany to Ghana, from Uganda to the UK, have used the 8th of March to celebrate the achievements of women past, present, and future. Historically this day has also been a time for feminists and all those who believe in gender equality to consider the challenges and struggles we still face. This year certainly gives us pause for thought.

The history of the struggle for gender equality in the UK, and the rise of the welfare state are bound together. Just as campaigners for gender equality helped bring about the creation and expansion of the welfare state, the position of women in our society has improved because of it. The government’s unprecedented and unjustified attacks on the state inevitably therefore have a disproportionate impact on women.

The government insist that ‘we’re all in it together’ and that the distribution of the cuts will be ‘fair’. This is simply not true. They choose to focus the cuts on people who are already the most vulnerable in our society, on those who already face structural and historical disadvantages. The government may have neglected their duty to investigate the impact of legislation on gender inequality, but other people have not, and the results show that women will face a disproportionate burden.

Highlighting the impact of the cuts on women is not divisive and does not disregard the needs of everybody else in society. This was well demonstrated and articulated by the people who organised UK Uncut’s feminist bail-in, and by the protesters who attended, half of whom were men. Feminism, and the struggle for gender equality, are inclusive and can be understood as involving everybody, regardless of gender, in a joint struggle for equality. Drawing attention to the impact on women is a reflection of statistical evidence. It is a fact that women, in general, will be worse affected than men. It is important to know this if we are to understand what the cuts really mean and relate that to the people who will be affected.

Women will, in general, be hit harder than men for a number of reasons. As the Fawcett Society points out, they make up 65% of the public sector workforce and will therefore be hit hardest by job cuts. They rely more heavily on public services such as the NHS, for reasons such as pregnancy and longer life expectancy. We can also expect cuts to many women specific services such as refuges from domestic violence and support services for rape victims. To rub salt into the wound, women will also be expected to bridge the gap where childcare and services for the elderly are removed, directly affecting their ability to work. They are also due to lose out heavily from changes to the benefit system – single mothers will lose 18.5 per cent of their net income; female single pensioners will lose 11.7 per cent. The repercussions of these cuts can be seen already. By the end of last year the number of unemployed women topped the one million mark. Recent figures show that the number of women aged 25-49 on jobseeker’s allowance is now at its highest since records began in 1997. The evidence goes on and on and on.

Still think we’re all in it together? These cuts are not an economic necessity, they are a political choice. UK Uncut has helped to show that there are many alternatives to the government’s shock and awe austerity programme. Closing the tax loopholes which allow the super-rich to dodge their responsibilities is one alternative. Making the banks pay for the crisis they caused is another.

If we want to stop the government, and if we want a fairer society, we have to stand up for ourselves. We can draw on a rich history of ordinary people who have organised, struggled and fought for their rights and their ideals. Like the women who did whatever it took to win the right to vote. Like the brave female Ford workers who took industrial action to win the right to equal pay. Like the UK Uncut protesters who transformed a high street bank into a crèche, highlighting cuts to childrens’ services.

This International Women’s Day let us honour and remember all of those women who have fought and continue to fight for gender equality and let’s promise to protect and build on their victories.

See you on the high streets.

red women's symbold with continents superimposed repeatd 5 times

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