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One year after Savita’s death – real change not delivered

A year has passed since the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. Last November saw over two thousand people take to the streets of Dublin to express their sorrow as well as their outrage that in 2012 a young woman could effectively be left to suffer and die in pain rather than be granted a termination of pregnancy that could have potentially saved her life. Savita’s death sparked widespread anger amongst ordinary people and an outcry for change, putting the issue of women’s reproduction rights into the spotlight and forcing the discussion back to the forefront …

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Gender quotas for company directors: A step to genuine equality?

On Tuesday the European Parliament endorsed a proposal from the European Commission to introduce a quota of at least 40% for each gender among non-executive directors in major European companies that are listed on stock markets. Should it be approved by the governments of EU member states the quota will fully come into effect from 2020.The fact that only a tiny proportion of the members of boards and senior management of major companies are women is a symptom of the systematic oppression and discrimination that women face under capitalism. The Commission and the EU establishment …

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Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy & the Split Self by Kajsa Ekis Ekman.

As a socialist and women’s rights activist who continues to be perplexed, gob-smacked and horrified by the seemingly growing orthodoxy in left and feminist circles that Ekman entitles, “the story of the sex worker”, by which she means a sanitising of the sex industry and a justification for men buying sex, I felt a gushing sense of relief and also gratitude to the author while reading this enormously accessible, sharp and erudite book that looks at both the questions of prostitution and surrogacy. Ekman puts both prostitution and surrogacy in the context of patriarchal capitalism; …

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Release Putin’s Political Prisoner – Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a Russian political activist and member of the punk group Pussy Riot, was jailed in August 2012 for hooliganism and blasphemy. Her crime was to stage an anti-Putin protest, along with two other performers, inside Moscow’s Orthodox Cathedral. Despite claims that Russia has made steps towards becoming a more open or permissive society, those in power took immediate steps to silence the band’s radical feminist message. Putin’s regime could not tolerate musicians whose stated goal is to combat “the repressions of a corporate political system that directs its power against basic human rights …

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A Day in the Life of a 16 year old Socialist Feminist

‘Let’s Talk about Sex,’ Said the Nun at My School  I go to an all-girls Dublin inner city convent school. It’s not a bad school and most of the teachers are amazing. However, from time to time something ridiculous happens. One of these things would be our annual ‘retreat’, organised by my school’s chaplain. The retreat last year took place a couple of weeks before my Junior Certificate (because we clearly weren’t stressed enough and taking us out of a whole afternoon of classes was the best way to fix that.) It started off as …

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