women


>One of mine and politicians of all persuasions over the weekend was the sight of Dawn Purvis being eliminated from the count in East Belfast. Last year after the UVF the paramilitary group associated with the Progressive Unionist Party of which she was leader murdered Billy Moffett, she stepped down as leader and resigned from the party. She was a vibrant and feisty member of the Assembly and did a lot of work in highlighting the double and triple jobbing of some of her colleagues. She will be sorely missed.

However, there are now more women in this Assembly that in the last, which had 15. Twelve actually got re-elected and there are eight new faces to join them. That raises the representation of women to 18.5 percent still a long way to go to gender equality. Northern Ireland may be moving out of a warlike status of politics but the combatants are still largely male.

Margaret Ritchie had a appalling performance in the final leaders debate. She really was the sniping old wife at the garden fence with he snide one liners. It wasn’t becoming and may have affected some of the SDLP’s slide. She is better than that and hopefully some of the new in take will show what women can do. Of the women returning both Anna Lo (Alliance) South Belfast, Michelle Gildernew (Sinn Féin) Fermanagh and South Tyrone and Michelle McIlveen (DUP) Strangford all managed to join Ritchie in topping their polls and getting in on the first count. Sinn Féin’s Jennifer McCann (West Belfast) and Martina Anderson (Foyle) along with the DUP’s Arlene Foster (Fermanagh and South Tyrone) were other women returned by reaching their quota on the first round.

They include Brenda Hale the war widow who is now DUP MLA for Lagan Valley who has already said she will fight for war widows’ rights, the DUP’s Paula Bradley who is just completing her term as Mayor of Newtownabbey but now now MLA for East Antrim, the UUP’s women’s officer Sandra Overend was also elected in Mid Ulster and Judith Cochrane of the Alliance Party continuing the party’s success in East Belfast where she joined Chris Lyttle who had replaced Naomi Long as MLA when she was elected to Westminster.

 The other debutantes in the Assembly are DUP’s Pam Lewis (South Antrim), UUP’s Joanne Dobson (Upper Bann), Sinn Féin’s Michaela Boyle (West Tyrone) and Karen McKevitt for the SDLP in (South Down).

Somebody’s put a little tribute together for Dawn, I like it especially as it has a shot of Dawn out with us for the Yes! campaign last Sunday in it.

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Red magazine have named their top 20 women under 30 and includes three politicians one from each of the three main parties. From left to right they are Maryam Khan Labour PPC for Bury North, Jo Swinson Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire and Chloe Smith Conservative MP for Norwich North.

Now I’m not a regular reader of Red Magazine but they did send me an email promoting their March issue in which the full list of 20 is discussed. I don’t think Jo’s use of Red in the Common’s chamber while debating was the only reason she made this list.

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Red magazine have named their top 20 women under 30 and includes three politicians one from each of the three main parties. From left to right they are Maryam Khan Labour PPC for Bury North, Jo Swinson Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire and Chloe Smith Conservative MP for Norwich North.

Now I’m not a regular reader of Red Magazine but they did send me an email promoting their March issue in which the full list of 20 is discussed. I don’t think Jo’s use of Red in the Common’s chamber while debating was the only reason she made this list.

>Came across this from the Huffington post shared by one of my American friends on Facebook.

Apparently a rape victim who was drugged before being sexually assaulted followed sound medical advise and took a months worth of Anti-AIDS medication. You would have thought in the word of the memorable line from Trainspotting to ‘Choose Life’ would have been the salient choice.

Not so her health insurance company. They refused to sell her a policy as the HIV medication asked too many health questions, this despite the case being explained to them. So now you know it people, do not get raped in the USA, or if you do don’t take preventative measures for STDs, if you do your insurance company will leave you without health cover.

While a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans the trade organisation said that insurers do not discriminate against victims of sexual assault and ordinarily would not even know if a patient had been raped. The exclusion of some of the people who have taken this medication is from those who have been victims of a sexual crime and therefore is discriminating against them.

Came across this from the Huffington post shared by one of my American friends on Facebook.

Apparently a rape victim who was drugged before being sexually assaulted followed sound medical advise and took a months worth of Anti-AIDS medication. You would have thought in the word of the memorable line from Trainspotting to ‘Choose Life’ would have been the salient choice.

Not so her health insurance company. They refused to sell her a policy as the HIV medication asked too many health questions, this despite the case being explained to them. So now you know it people, do not get raped in the USA, or if you do don’t take preventative measures for STDs, if you do your insurance company will leave you without health cover.

While a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans the trade organisation said that insurers do not discriminate against victims of sexual assault and ordinarily would not even know if a patient had been raped. The exclusion of some of the people who have taken this medication is from those who have been victims of a sexual crime and therefore is discriminating against them.

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I’m the first to admit that I used to be lighter, that I don’t like the slight bulge of middle aged spread around my middle. But I used to be an athlete, I was eating the required calories to complete the training and racing and my body though thinner was tuned muscle. I don’t have an issue with a little extra poundage, I know the work I went through before was not for body image reasons but for sporting achievement, however that isn’t always the case.

When Jo Swinson launched her campaign about Airbrushed ads leading to unrealistic images only related to girls and women. Of course that is part of the ‘Real Women’ policy paper that is before conference later this year.

As I Tweeted or commented at the time the same applies to men. There are magazines aimed at men that show the idealised male torso in adverts for cologne, underwear or whatever, just like there are those that affect the women amongst us. For the gay male there are additional sightings of the somewhat ‘perfect’ form by whatever means. Bombarded by images men are also likely to try and emulate those images.

The problem for the men with eating disorder there is the added problem that often their condition is not taking seriously enough, even by doctors and other health practitioners. Currently of the 60,000 people with an eating disorder only 10-20% are male. Yet amongst men, and in particular gay men, the image of what is average is at the lower end or below what is actually ideal for their body type and height.

While Jo is looking at potential causes there is a great need for males with eating disorders to get help with the effects. There is a Facebook Group set up to highlight the issues of male eating disorder, promoting a Downing Street petition stating:

‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure men with eating disorders are given the same opportunities for treatment and care as female sufferers and are by no means discriminated against by their doctor / other health practitioner because they are male.’

Please go along and sign it too.

I’m the first to admit that I used to be lighter, that I don’t like the slight bulge of middle aged spread around my middle. But I used to be an athlete, I was eating the required calories to complete the training and racing and my body though thinner was tuned muscle. I don’t have an issue with a little extra poundage, I know the work I went through before was not for body image reasons but for sporting achievement, however that isn’t always the case.

When Jo Swinson launched her campaign about Airbrushed ads leading to unrealistic images only related to girls and women. Of course that is part of the ‘Real Women’ policy paper that is before conference later this year.

As I Tweeted or commented at the time the same applies to men. There are magazines aimed at men that show the idealised male torso in adverts for cologne, underwear or whatever, just like there are those that affect the women amongst us. For the gay male there are additional sightings of the somewhat ‘perfect’ form by whatever means. Bombarded by images men are also likely to try and emulate those images.

The problem for the men with eating disorder there is the added problem that often their condition is not taking seriously enough, even by doctors and other health practitioners. Currently of the 60,000 people with an eating disorder only 10-20% are male. Yet amongst men, and in particular gay men, the image of what is average is at the lower end or below what is actually ideal for their body type and height.

While Jo is looking at potential causes there is a great need for males with eating disorders to get help with the effects. There is a Facebook Group set up to highlight the issues of male eating disorder, promoting a Downing Street petition stating:

‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure men with eating disorders are given the same opportunities for treatment and care as female sufferers and are by no means discriminated against by their doctor / other health practitioner because they are male.’

Please go along and sign it too.

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