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On Balance 09 October 2015

On Balance 09 October 2015

Kia ora koutou, welcome to On Balance - the National Council of Women of New Zealand's weekly round-up of the latest gender equality news, research and events. Please share it with anyone you think might be interested and let them know they can subscribe here.

News from around the country:

• The Māori Women's Welfare League is disappointed that no government ministers accepted invitations to its National Conference this week

• A transgender woman has allegedly been raped by her cellmate at the male-only Wiri Prison. The inmate says the attack took place overnight on Thursday at Auckland South Corrections Facility, prompting dual investigations by police and the Department of Corrections. The rape was described as an “inevitable outcome of flawed state policy” by lobby group No Pride in Prisons

Women's organisation YWCA Auckland announced the winners of its 2015 Equal Pay awards on Wednesday night, with bank ANZ taking out the supreme title

• Women may be under-represented in the IT workforce, but that doesn't worry some Waikato teens who took part in a girls-only web design workshop at the University of Waikato

• “We need to stop looking at it solely as a workplace issue, but society's issue," said NCWNZ President Rae Duff on the gender pay gap."We need to change our way in which we get young women into careers - we need to make them look wide and be free in their choice of career”

• The Boobs on Bikes parade held in Auckland on Wednesday met with protesters. Those coming out to watch the Boobs on Bikes parade are those most likely to need help, said a health professional running a program treating sex offenders

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• Men classified as obese earn around $140 more a week than those with a normal BMI, and women who were classified as obese earn $60 less than women with a normal BMI, according to an Otago University study. NCWNZ CE Sue McCabe said there's more stigma attached to weight for women. "In a nutshell, our society says that men need to be big, and women need to be small"

• It may not come as a surprise to find there's a gender gap in who makes the news - but research now confirms the shocking rate at which men dominate the conversation. A study from McGill University in the US has found five out of six names mentioned in news outlets are male. That's 82% of the people we read about in the news

• The proportion of women on Australian government boards has slipped for the second year in a row, remaining just below the gender diversity target of 40%, according to the Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards 2014-15 report

One in 10 Australian adults has had a sexually explicit image of them sent to others without their permission, prompting fresh calls for the federal government to outlaw revenge porn

• While men who express anger are more likely to influence their peers, the opposite is true for women found a US study

• Women are less confident then men when it comes to planning finances for their retirement, according to a survey by GfK, a consumer marketing research firm. Women in the United States are much more uncertain or pessimistic about their retirement finances, with 60 percent saying they were unsure or not confident, compared with 41 percent of US men

• Flexible working hours are increasingly becoming the norm for Kiwi workers – but there are concerns many employees are not aware of their right to ask for them. A survey by workplace provider Regus found three-quarters of respondents thought the Government should promote flexible working by offering tax incentives to firms that encouraged it

International news:

• A US high school went into temporary lockdown Wednesday after a 15-year-old boy reportedly threatened online to bring a gun to school and “kill all the girls” for refusing to send him nude photos

• As debate rages over gun control, media portrayals of shooters, and other factors, one topic doesn't get enough discussion, those who study mass shootings say: masculinity

• A V8 Supercar driver competing at this weekend's Bathurst 1000 has beenfined A$25,000 (NZ$27k) for a "disgraceful" comment about an all-female team. Team Bottle-O driver David Reynolds referred to a car driven by the women as a "pussy wagon"

• US federal officials are investigating Hollywood movie studios over allegations of widespread gender discrimination

• The publicity campaign for Meryl Streep's upcoming feminist movement movie Suffragette has hit controversy, with online commenters slamming the racist overtones of a quote used on a promo T-shirt for the film

• Additionally, more than a hundred feminist protesters jumped the barriers onto the red carpet at the premiere of Suffragette in Leicester Square in protest of cuts to domestic violence services. A handful of the protesters staged a lie-in on the red carpet chanting “dead women can’t vote”

• Australia is refusing to grant an abortion to a Somali woman who was raped after Canberra sent her to Nauru. Lawyers for the woman are pleading with the Australian government to bring her to Australia so she can have an abortion as the procedure is illegal in Nauru

• UFC fighter Ronda Rousey made history this week as she became the first woman to make the cover of Australian magazine Men’s Fitness

• Actress Ashley Judd has spoken out about her alleged sexual harassment. The star, who wrote exclusively for Variety magazine, says she was sexually harassed by "one of our industry's most famous, admired - reviled bosses"

• Should the number of female characters in films and television rise at the rate of the past 20 years, reaching parity with their male counterparts onscreen will take 700 years, according to Oscar winning actor and equality campaigner Geena Davis

• A French TV station has pulled an advert boasting about the number of women among its presenters after the ad was widely criticised as sexist. The ad shows a family home in disarray and asks: "Where are the women?" The answer is "on France 3"

• Female workers in California will get new tools to challenge gender-based wage gaps under legislation signed into law Tuesday that supporters say offers the strongest equal-pay protection in the nation

• Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has explained one of the key reasons that the company censors pictures of female nipples: Apple’s App Store has strict guidelines on what kind of content is allowed, and violating these rules could cause the app to be removed

• For the first time in Indian military history, women will be permitted to take up combat positions in the Indian Air Force. “We are now planning to induct them into the fighter stream to meet the aspirations of young women of India,” Air Chief Marshal Raha announced on the IAF’s 83 anniversary

• The New York Historical Society unveiled plans for a new Center for the Study of Women’s History. The society says that this makes it one of the first institutions to devote a permanent space to women’s history exhibitions

• Sibling trio Haim are hoping to start their own music festival featuring only female artists

• Japanese women now outnumber American women in participation in the labour force – sixty-four percent of working-age women in Japan are employed, compared with 63 per cent of American women

• The five most popular Instagram accounts all belong to women

• Singer Rihanna’s interview with Vanity Fair, in which she opened up about being a 'poster girl' for domestic violence after being assaulted by her boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009, has been hailed as a “triumph for women

• Women seeking an abortion in some parts of Texas now have to wait up to 20 days on average for an appointment, due in part to a restrictive law that has forced a number of clinics in the state to close

• Actress Kate Winslet urged young women to be more complimentary to their female friends during a dinner held in her honour at the New York film festival on Tuesday


• The Fantail Network spreads its wings and takes flight to Wellington next week, with an inaugural Wellington pop-up event for women in business offering a trio of entrepreneurial speakers. The event will be held at Xero’s offices on Wednesday 14 October

• On October 23, Superu is holding an event in Wellington to discuss the findings from the NZ Crime and Safety Survey (NZCASS). The presentation will explore interpersonal violence both by type of violence and by the victims’ relationship to the offender


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