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In the News

Bits and pieces of gender-related issues in the news to provoke some debate!

  1. Maria O'Reilly permalink

    A ‘watershed day’ for women and global gender equality? The UN creates a new agency called UN women.

  2. Youngsook permalink

    Fair Britain? You’d better change your mind:

    ‘Trevor Phillips, chairman of the EHRC, said the study revealed that while British attitudes towards issues of race, gender and sexuality are now “light years” ahead of previous generations, the reality on the ground has yet to fully catch up. In consequence, there are deep divisions in Britain’s classrooms, different experiences of the criminal justice system and a stubbornly large pay gap between men and women. In full-time work, women are still paid 16.4% less than men, a figure that rises to 55% in the finance sector…Phillips will also highlight how complicated the issue of equalities has become. “Inequality and disadvantage don’t come neatly packaged in parcels marked age, or disability, or gender, or race. They emerge often as a subset of a strand – not as a disability issue, but as a mental health issue; not as a generalised ethnic penalty, but as a result of being Pakistani; not a pay gap for working women, but a pay gap for working mothers,” he will say.’

    You can download a full report from:

  3. Maria O'Reilly permalink

    Call For Papers

    “Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue”

    Special Journal Issue of Feminism & Psychology

    Guest Editor: Dr Samantha Murray

    Please send full-length papers, as Word doc attachments, to Dr Samantha Murray via email at by Friday, 26 November 2010.

    While cultural anxieties about fatness and stigmatisation of fat bodies in Western cultures have been central to dominant discourses about bodily ‘propriety’ since the early twentieth century, the rise of the ‘disease’ category of obesity and the moral panic over an alleged global ‘obesity epidemic’ has lent a medical authority and legitimacy to what can be described as ‘fat-phobia’. Against the backdrop of the ever-growing medicalisation and pathologisation of fatness, the field of Fat Studies has emerged in recent years to offer an interdisciplinary critical interrogation of the dominant medical models of health, to give voice to the lived experience of fat bodies, and to offer critical insights into, and investigations of, the ethico-political implications of the cultural meanings that have come to be attached to fat bodies.

    This Special Issue will examine a range of questions concerning the construction of fat bodies in the dominant imaginary, including the problematic intersection of medical discourse and morality around ‘obesity’, disciplinary technologies of ‘health’ to normalise fat bodies (such as diet regimes, exercise programs and bariatric surgeries), gendered aspects of ‘fat’, dominant discourses of ‘fatness’ in a range of cultural contexts, and critical strategies for political resistance to pervasive ‘fat-phobic’ attitudes.

    This Special Issue of Feminism & Psychology will showcase critical fat scholarship from around the globe by gathering together research from across a spectrum of disciplinary backgrounds (such as Cultural Studies, Fat Studies, Critical Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology, Human/Cultural Geography, Public Health, etc) as well as activists and health care professionals. The Special Issue seeks to begin a critical conversation about the productive and enabling critical possibilities Fat Studies offers for rethinking dominant notions about health and pathology, gender and bodily aesthetics, political interventions, and beyond.

    Papers are sought that engage with topics such as (but not limited to):

    Interventions to normalise fat bodies (such as diet regimes, exercise programs, weight loss pharmaceuticals and bariatric surgeries);

    The ethico-political implications of the medicalisation of ‘obesity’;

    Constructions of the ‘fat child’ in childhood obesity media reportage;

    Representations of fat bodies in film, television, literature or art;

    Intersections of medical discourse and morality around ‘obesity’;

    The somatechnics of fatness;

    Critical psychological responses to eating practices and body politics;

    Histories of fat activism and/or strategies for political intervention;

    Fat and queer histories/identities;

    Fat embodiment online, the Fat-O-Sphere;

    Feminist responses to fatness;

    Constructions of fatness in a range of cultural contexts;

    Systems of body quantification, measurement, and conceptualizations of (in)appropriate ‘size’;

    Fat as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender, disability and/or ageing.

    Contributions will be expected to orient themselves to the core aims and mission of Feminism & Psychology, which is concerned with publishing work that fosters the development of feminist theory and practice in – and beyond – psychology, and that provides insights into the gendered reality of everyday lives.

    The Special Issue will consist of papers in of the following formats:

    · Papers between 5 – 6000 words in length;

    · Observation/Commentary-style papers – up to 2500 words in length

    Please note that all word counts include reference lists.

    Contributions will be selected following an anonymous peer review process. For further information regarding referencing styles and formatting guidelines, please go to

    Please send full-length papers, as Word doc attachments, to Dr Samantha Murray via email at by Friday, 26 November 2010.

  4. Maria O'Reilly permalink

    Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

    Autumn Seminar

    30th October 2010, 12.30pm – 5.00pm

    Tindlemanor, 52-54 Featherstone Street, EC1Y 8RT

    Women, Peace and Security: UN Security Council Resolution 1325

    Where are we after 10 years?

    UK WILPF invites you to our Autumn Seminar on Resolution 1325.

    The day will include a film, discussions, and talks from:

    Keynote speaker: Nicola Pratt (Warwick University & WILPF)

    Panel Speakers and Discussion: Katherine McCollouch (Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform)

    Carlene Firmin (Race on the Agenda)

    After 10 years, what has UNSCR 1325 provided for women worldwide, particularly here in the UK and in Northern Ireland?

    Come along to listen and join our discussions on how UNSCR 1325 has improved the contributions women are able to make in conflict prevention and resolution.

    Book your place either by email ( or phone (0207 250 1968).

    Admission costs are £6 full, or £5 concession.

    (Please note, if you cannot pay this in advance, money will be taken on the door).

    12.30-1.00pm: Registration and coffee

    1.00-5.00pm: Film, seminar, discussions

    5.00-6.00pm: Reception

  5. Ruth Adams permalink

    You might be interested in the newest Global Gender Gap Report 2010 by the World Economic Forum

    Summary video with co-author Saadia Zahidi at YouTube:

  6. Maria O'Reilly permalink

    Some interesting panels on gender and bio-medical advances at Cambridge this term. Here’s the link:

    (Thanks to Mary for forwarding this!)

  7. Maria O'Reilly permalink

    New edited volume by one of our members, Ovidiu Creanga, dealing with masculinity in the Hebrew Bible. See link:

  8. Guardian ‘LiveQ&A’ on women’s leadership in higher education – Gender Matters’ Kate Maclean on the panel

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