Recent Resources for Feminists
Canada; Indian Immigrants maintain masculized sex ratio at birth, 4,472 'missing girls' Print E-mail
 April 11, 2016


Sex ratios at birth after induced abortion

Marcelo L. Urquia, PhD, Rahim Moineddin, PhD, Prabhat Jha, MD, DPhil, Patricia J. O'Campo, PhD, Kwame McKenzie, MD, Richard H. Glazier, MD, MPH, David A. Henry, MD, Joel G. Ray, MD, MSc
Correspondence to: Marcelo Urquia,

Background: Skewed male:female ratios at birth have been observed among certain immigrant groups. Data on abortion practices that might help to explain these findings are lacking.

Methods: We examined 1 220 933 births to women with up to 3 consecutive singleton live births between 1993 and 2012 in Ontario. Records of live births, and induced and spontaneous abortions were linked to Canadian immigration records. We determined associations of male:female infant ratios with maternal birthplace, sex of the previous living sibling(s) and prior spontaneous or induced abortions.

Results: Male:female infant ratios did not appreciably depart from the normal range among Canadian-born women and most women born outside of Canada, irrespective of the sex of previous children or the characteristics of prior abortions. However, among infants of women who immigrated from India and had previously given birth to 2 girls, the overall male:female ratio was 1.96 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75-2.21) for the third live birth. The male:female infant ratio after 2 girls was 1.77 (95% CI 1.26-2.47) times higher if the current birth was preceded by 1 induced abortion, 2.38 (95% CI 1.44-3.94) times higher if preceded by 2 or more induced abortions and 3.88 (95% CI 2.02-7.50) times higher if the induced abortion was performed at 15 weeks or more gestation relative to no preceding abortion. Spontaneous abortions were not associated with male-biased sex ratios in subsequent births.

Interpretation: High male:female ratios observed among infants born to women who immigrated from India are associated with induced abortions, especially in the second trimester of pregnancy.
 Thursday April 14, 2016

Study records 4,472 ‘missing girls’ among Indians in Canada

By R. Prasad

Proportion of males rose according to birth order among Indian mothers.

If an Indian immigrant couple in Canada has already had two children, the likelihood of the third child being a girl is less likely.

A paper published on April 11 in the journal CMAJ Open notes that the skewed sex ratio among Indian immigrants in Canada has resulted in about “4,472 missing girls”. The actual number of missing girls may be much higher given that the calculations based on the ratios did not factor in repeated induced abortions of female foetuses. The deficit in the number of newborn girls to Indian immigrants in Canada is around 200 per year.

Unlike in the general trend of 103-106 boys per 100 girls, the proportion of male children increased according to the birth order among Indian-born mothers. The majority of missing girls occurs at the third and higher order birth. Indian mothers, who already had two children, gave birth to 138 boys per 100 girls. It increased to 166 boys per 100 girls when Indian mothers in Canada already had three children.

Dr. Marcelo Urquia, the first author from St. Michael’s Hospital, Ontario, and others note that the presence of an Indian-born father skewed the ratio towards more boys per 100 girls at the second and higher birth orders immaterial of whether the mother was born in India or not.

“It is a woman’s right to undergo an abortion in Canada. No questions are asked regarding the reasons. Induced abortions are legal and free in Canada,” Dr. Urquia told in an e-mail to The Hindu. “Implantation of male embryos are not allowed under Canadian law. However, there is no law preventing women to undergo an abortion for any particular reason, even if it involves sex selection.”

The paper says that the sex ratio among Indian-born mothers with two previous daughters was 196 boys per 100 girls overall. The study examined birth certificate data of 5.8 million births to Canadian-born women and 1,77,990 Indian-born women between 1990 and 2011.
~ Tuesday April 12 2016

Baby boy boom among Indian immigrants in Canada

  Photo for representational purpose only. ­(Thinkstock)

Washington DC: A recent study has found that Indian-born women in Canada, who already have daughters, are giving birth to more males than expected, making the sex ratios skew toward boys.

The likelihood of male births increases if women had had an induced abortion before the male birth. The natural odds of having a boy are in the range of 103 to 107 boys for every 100 girls.

Researchers looked at the data from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the Citizenship and Immigration Canada permanent resident database on more than 1.2 million births in women with having a third child in Ontario between April 1, 1993, and March 31, 2012. Of the total group, 1,53,829 (12.6 per cent) were immigrant women from Asia.

Among women born in India, who already had two girls, the ratio of male to female babies for the third birth was almost double the average, with 196 boys born for every 100 girls.

If an Indian-born mother with two daughters had had an abortion before the third child, the sex ratio increased to 326 boys for every 100 girls and to 409 boys if the mother had had multiple abortions.

If a woman had an abortion at or after 15 weeks, when ultrasound can determine sex of the fetus, the sex ratio rose further, to 663 boys for every 100 girls.

"Among some Indian immigrants, the practice of induced abortions is associated with subsequently having a boy, especially at the third birth and among women with two previous girls," states Dr Marcelo Urquia with coauthors.

The researchers suggest that these findings "provide details about specific factors associated with this practice." They concluded that further research may clarify the social and cultural forces that influence some immigrant couples to have more sons than daughters, particularly in the Canadian context, which is a more sex-egalitarian society and where the given reasons for preferring sons are supposed to be undermined.

In a related commentary, Dr Abdool Yasseen and DR Thierry Lacaze-Masmonteil wrote, the results suggest that prenatal sex selection is likely present among first-generation immigrants to Canada from India and provide strong evidence that suggests induced abortions are being used to select infant sex in Canada.

He added, “We hope that these findings stimulate discussion toward the re-evaluation and development of public health policies aimed at eliminating the practice of prenatal sex selection in Canada." The study appeared in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). ­ANI

Australia: Royal Commission's Face of Family Violence - 34 yr-old Australian born male Print E-mail

 Thursday March 30, 2016

Family violence: Portrait of an abuser

By Bianca Hall /Legal Affairs Reporter for The Age

Family violence royal commission urges more safety hubs

Watch Royal Commissioner Marcia Neave call for new one-stop safety hubs among other recommendations for the Victorian government. (Video courtesy ABC News 24)

Family violence has a face and we now know what it looks like: an unemployed, 34-year-old Australian-born man.

The Royal Commission into Family Violence - a vast compendium of more than 2000 pages and seven volumes - draws on a wealth of data about the perpetrators - and victims - of family violence, collected over more than a decade.
The average violent partner is 34, unemployed and Australian, but he can come from all walks of life.

Thanks to that data, we now know that it is a small proportion of domestic abusers who account for most of the abuse.

Similarly, most incidents of domestic violence happen only once - or, perhaps, are only reported to police once.

Between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2014, Victoria Police recorded 403,991 family violence incidents against 197,822 offenders.

Of those, more than 60 per cent - or 125,044 people - never came into contact with police for family violence again.

But those dangerous men who bash their partners or ex-partners, and then do it again, display common risk factors that often accompanied their repeat offending.

They were more likely to to be unemployed, with a history of depression or other mental health issues. Their partner was pregnant, or there was a newborn in the home. He drank too much or struggled with drug addiction. Some combination of these issues, or some other stressor, led to an escalation of disputes in the home.

"Though they only represented 9 per cent of all unique perpetrators, the 16,914 recidivist perpetrators who were recorded for five or more incidents accounted for 34 per cent of all incidents," the report notes.

But for those who did, they became more and more likely to assault again.

Chillingly, the presence of children in the home at the time of a violence incident made it more likely there would be another violent episode.

In 65 per cent of incidents where a relationship was recorded, the violence occurred between current or former partners. In the other 35 per cent, another family member - perhaps a child - bore the brunt.

But those who abused their partners or ex-partners were more likely to repeat their abuse than those who assaulted another family member.

Scanning five years of emergency department data from 2009, the commission could trace common injury patterns - more than half the women (56 per cent) reporting family violence at a hospital had been struck by or collided with another person.

The 9 per cent of perpetrators who committed five or more family violence crimes between 2004/05 and 2013/14 were responsible for 34 per cent of all family violence incidents, the Royal Commission found.

"Perpetrators with one to two prior recorded family violence incidents are 2.26 times more likely to be recorded for a recidivism incident than those with no prior recorded incidents. Perpetrators with three or more prior recorded incidents are 4.5 times more likely to be recorded for a recidivism incident."

In one year alone, 2010-11, Victoria Police recorded 30,695 individual abusers.

Despite the assertions of some who would have us believe women are just as likely to abuse as men, where police recorded the offender's gender, they found 77 per cent were male, and 23 per cent female. Women were more likely to assault another family member, while men were more likely to assault their current or former partners.

Based on data provided by homelessness services offering support to people fleeing violence, hospitals, courts and men's behaviour change programs, male offenders are overwhelmingly Australian-born.

Australia: Gender pay gap begins in childhood, pay-secrecy widens the gap in the workplace Print E-mail

 Melbourne ~ Tuesday March 8, 2016\

Girls get less pocket money

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons /Money Editor

The gender pay gap starts in childhood.

Boys get more pocket money, even though 10 and 11-year-old girls do more housework than their brothers.

When I was at my children's school this week, a little girl in my son's kindergarten class started chatting to me.

She told me proudly that she had $2 in her pocket and was planning to buy a fruit jelly cup at the canteen.

Our family hasn't started pocket money yet. The currency at our house is Woolworths animal cards, but I suspect we'll graduate to gold coins before long.

About age five or six seems to be typical for starting a regular allowance, though some parents even give pocket money to toddlers.

By late primary school, two out of three Australian children get pocket money, according to the CensusAtSchool study by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Research by Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) suggests that regular pocket money helps develop financial literacy. Parents also have to track what their children spend it on, and model good behaviour by being responsible with their own finances.

There are different schools of thought on whether to link pocket money to chores. Of course, it's good to teach children that money is something you earn, but children should also do chores simply to be helpful members of a household.

Whatever you decide, it seems that pocket money can be a force for good. The idea is that if children have to budget income and expenditure and save for financial goals, it teaches better life lessons than simply giving them money when they need it, or want it.

This isn't about how much Lego your kids can buy, it's about their future solvency.

Which is why I found it deeply disturbing to discover there's a gender pocket money gap in Australia.

Boys earn $13 a week in pocket money on average, while girls get $9.60, according to a survey done for the Heritage Bank and released in time for International Women's Day this week. The bank made similar findings in 2014.

That's a whopping 35 per cent more dosh for boys – worse even than the 17.9 per cent pay gap for grown-ups identified by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

The survey didn't probe the reasons, though it revealed 29 per cent of kids have to complete chores before they get paid.

Perhaps families are dividing housework along gender lines and boys are doing chores with more perceived value. Is washing the car worth more than cleaning the bathroom?

Or perhaps there is a greater expectation that girls will help with the housework without being paid for it. The AIFS has found 10 and 11-year-old girls do more housework than boys.

Or maybe boys just drive a harder bargain, helping them develop the negotiation skills that see them strike better salary deals from graduate level right through to the c-suite.

Whatever the reason, we're selling our girls short.

I don't believe it's a coincidence that young women are so freaked out about money. The annual survey of wellbeing by the National Australia Bank found women under 30 suffer higher levels of anxiety than everyone else, mainly because of financial worries.

In our country, men hold the economic power, dominating lists such as the BRW Rich 200 and Young Rich. Meanwhile, women are more likely to live in poverty, ABS figures show.

Women earn less on average even for full-time work, are less likely to invest the money they do earn, and reach old age with vastly different retirement savings. Women aged 55-64 have just over $180,000 saved in super on average, compared with nearly $322,000 for men, ABS figures show. Yet women over the age of 50 are much more likely to live alone, according to the AIFS.

Given the economic inequality of men and women, parents need to work harder to ensure their daughters have the financial skills they need for life. Pocket money is just the start.

At least I know the pocket money gap won't happen in our house – we have boy-girl twins, which makes questions of fairness and gendered expectations much more obvious.
 Melbourne ~ Tuesday March 8, 2016

Pay secrecy lets employers get away with paying women less

Michelle Brown and Leanne Griffin

Forcing workers to stay quiet about pay keeps women’s wage rates lower than those of men in equivalent jobs

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

It's International Women's Day and again we lament the pay gap between men and women. In Australia, the gender pay gap stands at 18.2 per cent. In other words, women must work an extra 66 days each year to earn the same amount as men. Disturbingly, the gender pay gap is getting worse. Back in 2004, it was 14.9 percent. What's going on?

Occupational choice, part-time employment, and underrepresentation in management are regularly rolled out to explain why women are paid less. An often overlooked cause is pay secrecy.

Pay secrecy is the practice of prohibiting employees from sharing pay information. In Australia, more than half of all employers enforce pay secrecy policies. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency analysis shows the pay gap is largest when pay is secret, in an individual agreement (20.6 per cent) and almost non-existent when pay is transparent via an award (-2.5 per cent). In between awards and individual agreements are collective agreements. Under a collective agreement the gender pay gap is 16.9 per cent.

The gender pay gap is wider than ever. (Jim Pavlidis)

Employers use pay secrecy to compartmentalise pay intelligence: each employee knows what he or she is paid, but not what anyone else in their workplace is paid. Through pay secrecy, employers control pay information and keep employees in the dark.

Pay secrecy allows conscious or unconscious bias and stereotyping when making pay allocation decisions. This means managers are free to apply criteria that disadvantage women, such as using lack of "face time" (that is, arguing men spend more time in the workplace than women), or "perceived similarity" (that is, with most managers being male, they rate other men as having greater value to their organisation than women).

Unequal access to information makes it difficult for women to detect when they are underpaid. Take the famous case of Lilly Ledbetter in the US. For 20 years, Ledbetter was the only female supervisor among 16 male supervisors for Goodyear Tire in Alabama. She earned less than all her male colleagues, including those with less seniority, yet she did not know that she was underpaid because her workplace prohibited employees from discussing their pay. It was only after she received an anonymous note that revealed the earnings of her male colleagues that she realised she was underpaid.

Unfortunately, Ledbetter's case is not unique. Ask most women and they will recount stories of gender pay discrimination. Without relative pay information, women such as Ledbetter cannot identify and challenge illegal practices such as pay discrimination or seek better pay elsewhere.

Pay secrecy also places women in a precarious position whenever they do suspect pay discrimination. They are hamstrung: they cannot present evidence of discrimination to their employer without revealing that they have also breached pay secrecy policy. In Australia, penalties for employees caught breaching these policies range from informal warnings to dismissal.

Unfortunately, it is not simply a case of women negotiating their way to fairer pay. Under pay secrecy, employers control pay information and with it, enjoy an imbalance of power. Without pay data, women occupy a weak bargaining position. They must rely on other negotiating tactics. But pay negotiations can be a minefield for women. Effective negotiating tactics such as self-promotion (widely used by men) are shown to backfire for women.

Women are socialised not to negotiate – they assume they will be recognised and rewarded for good performance. Managers, believing that women will accept less than men, typically make lower opening offers to women.

Pay decisions go unchecked as organisations do not need to justify their decisions. Decision-making quality and ethical behaviour deteriorates when transparency is low. In the absence of accountability, the incentive to correct existing pay inequity also diminishes. Certainly, our research indicates many organisations are aware of pay inequities but lack the urgency to correct them.

So, how do we combat the effects of pay secrecy? Abolish pay secrecy and give employees control over their own pay information. Unless we make employers accountable, we cannot expect gender pay equality to improve. If history is a judge, we cannot rely on employers to self-regulate pay parity.

The law changes behaviour. Right now legislation is before the Senate aimed at ending pay secrecy. It safeguards employees' right to share pay information and prevents employers from punishing those who do.

The legislation marks an important step towards improving gender pay parity. If passed, women will be able to use pay data to negotiate better pay outcomes. Employers will also become more accountable as they relinquish control of the flow of pay information. Greater pay transparency provides the best hope for reducing gender pay inequality driven by bias, discrimination and nepotism.

Opponents of the bill argue that pay secrecy promotes workplace harmony and provides organisations with greater wage flexibility. They forget that performance-based pay is already well established in Australia. It is widely understood that individuals are rewarded differently for good and bad performance. Increasing pay transparency should only enhance organisational productivity, since pay secrecy blocks pay signals that stimulate job performance.

The tide is turning on pay secrecy. Governments in Britain and the United States have recognised the link between pay secrecy and gender pay inequity. Both countries have already legislated against this practice. Pay secrecy laws do make a difference.

Eleven states in the US have legal provisions covering pay secrecy. According to Marlene Kim at the University of Massachusetts, compared women's pay in states that prohibit pay secrecy compared with those that do not. She found that women's wages are higher (between 4 and 12 per cent depending on how the data was analysed) in those states with pay secrecy laws compared to the non-pay secrecy law states.

Pay parity is urgently needed. We all stand to gain. The traditional notion of the male bread winner is folklore as more women return to the workforce or never leave it. All Australians would benefit from earning "a fair day's pay for a fair day's work".

Professor Michelle Brown and Leanne Griffin are researching pay secrecy at the University of Melbourne.
 Melbourne ~ Tuesday  March 8, 2016

ACT has second lowest gender pay gap but it's still unacceptable, advocates say

By  Clare Sibthorpe /Canberra Times reporter

Equality advocates are calling on less talk and more action to reduce the gender pay gap in the ACT and the Australian workforce.

International Women's Day on Tuesday reignited a national discussion over gender inequality. And when it comes to equal wages, Canberra is doing significantly better than the rest of the country – except for South Australia.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed full-time average earnings for ACT men were 11.5 per cent greater than those of full-time working women as of November. The national pay gap was at 17.3 per cent, which equates to a full-time average earning difference of $277.70 a week.

The ACT's gap remained stagnant from the previous year. But during the recent period of November 2014-15, SA overtook the ACT with the lowest gender pay gap, most recently 10.3 per cent.

The figures seem to reflect the large proportion of the city's workforce in the ACT public service, which revealed a gender pay gap of 2 per cent in its last State of the Service Report.

Australian of the Year David Morrison said the public service had paid close attention to pay equality, but said a gender imbalance in both the public and private sector was high.

"You would expect a gender pay gap to be illustrative of that bias towards men holding more positions than women," he said.

"It would seem that across various workplaces, there is a much more significant issue around women just simply being paid less for the same work their male peers are doing.

"And it's not just your fortnightly pay here, but with an average wage across an average lifetime, the difference between superannuation between a man and a woman can be as much as $700,000."

He said two urgent solutions were "relatively simply": Put measures in place that ensure all employees are paid equally for the same work, and improve financial security for women to ensure a manageable work/life balance.

This entrenched gender bias was highlighted by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which found that among top tier managers in Australian organisations, men are paid on average $100,000 more a year than women. It also found a $27,000 difference between what male and female employees earn in an average year.

The director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Libby Lyons, is calling for a gender pay gap analysis in every organisation.

"Once they have determined what their gender pay gap is, then they need to really work on developing an action plan to systematically address that pay gap," she said.

Ms Lyons stressed that having biases "doesn't make you a bad person, it just means you're normal" and they can be minimised by consciously noting them when recruiting, promoting and giving bonuses.

Interestingly, research released this week by Australian Council of Trade Unions found that the gender pay gap begins early in life.

They claim that girls receive 11 per cent less pocket money than boys, and female graduates earn 5 per cent less than male graduates – despite females making up 60 per cent of graduates in Australia.

The gap widens with experience, as female post-graduate salaries are 82 per cent of male graduates.

While the ACT's gender wage gap is low when compared nationally, Canberra Business Chamber chief executive officer Robyn Hendry believes 11 per cent is still unacceptable.

"Our numbers have stagnated, so that suggests that we've picked some of the low hanging fruit and done the obvious things such as recruiting from a range of backgrounds, and females are a part of that," she said.

"But then we are so used to discounting – maybe completely subconsciously – that pay negotiation area."

Like Ms Lyons, Ms Hendry agreed tackling cultural attitudes and inbuilt language is crucial for change.

India: Feminised agriculture plagued by women's unfair wages, denial of credit, land rights etc Print E-mail

 Tuesday March 8 2016

Gender bias rampant in farm sector

By K. Venkateshwarlu

  Sixty per cent of all agricultural operations are handled exclusively by women while hourly wage rates vary from 50 to 75 per cent of that of men.­ (File photo)

Even as they keep breaking the proverbial glass ceiling to move up the corporate ladder and make a mark virtually in every field, women in agriculture continue to face discrimination, in terms of owning productive assets like land and payment of wages, accessing credit, technology, market and irrigation facilities.

Such is the gender bias that even when her spouse commits suicide forced by agrarian crisis, the woman farmer is left to fend for herself, often denied her rightful share in the family’s agriculture land and the ex gratia, a study has revealed. Post-suicide, the farmer’s land ownership is transferred to either his father or brother and not his widow owing to deeply entrenched, patriarchal socio-cultural practices both within the households and on agricultural fields.

“Women are hardly recognised as farmers in their own right, though they contribute in a big way to the family’s livelihood by toiling on the farms and performing a majority of the farm-related tasks,” Ms. Usha Seethalakshmi, who is conducting the study on women in agriculture for an UN organisation told The Hindu .

With no support from the government and denial of rights to land, these women are left with a huge burden of debt and children to take care of. Evidence from various macro data systems further indicates the poor status of women’s landownership across different classes and caste groups in India. Figures from the latest Agricultural Census of 2010-2011 indicate that this situation has only improved by a small margin with women’s land holdings accounting for 12.79 percent of all holdings comprising about 10.36 percent of the operated area.

Out of all the rural households which own some land, there are only 11% households where at least one woman owns some land, Ms. Usha says. This means that 89% of rural households in India having some land effectively keep out women from accessing any rights to such property!

The agriculture sector is also characterised by decelerating and differential wages on the basis of gender, she says. Sixty percent of all agricultural operations are handled exclusively by women while hourly wage rates in agriculture vary from 50 to 75% of that of men, too low to overcome absolute poverty.

When it comes to credit, women farmers are denied equal access because the land is not in their name. While there is no gender disaggregated data about how many women exactly access credit for farming related purposes, existing data and a World Bank study of 2014 shows that only 26% of female adults in India have an account with a formal financial institution. Similarly an RBI report shows that women’s credit outstanding from commercial banks accounts for only 5% of all credit outstanding. And despite expansion of self- help groups and micro-credit lending through micro-finance institutions, there has been no discernable impact, Dr. Usha added.

Going by the 2011 Census there has been “increased feminisation of agriculture”, with 24 per cent spike in the number of women agriculture labourers compared to previous 2001 census. But little recognition of their role in land and livestock management meant that women have largely remained invisible to the government in terms of agricultural policies, programmes and budgets, she added. Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM) and Department of Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh are jointly organising a national convention of women farmers at College of Agriculture at Bapatla from March 17 to 19 to discuss all such issues.

Women continue to face discrimination in terms of owning assets like land and payment of wages, accessing credit, technology, market and irrigation facilities

Global: Zed Books Feminist Reading List of Inspiringly Dangerous Women Print E-mail

International Women's Day: A Reading List

Emerging out of the labour movement, #IWD is a moment to stop and reflect on the ongoing struggle for women's liberation across the world, as well as a time to celebrate and commemorate fights and victories for women throughout history. To mark this, Zed has put together a reading list for #IWD.

The books we've selected highlight the huge range of political struggles than women are involved in across the world, from the "leftover women" dealing with gender inequality in China to ongoing debates about the veil in the Muslim world. And as well as dealing with both historic and contemporary campaigns, these books also look ahead, asking important questions about what women's sexuality and reproductive rights might look like in a more emancipated future. They also look at the intersections of race and gender, including, for the first time, the autobiography of legendary Black Panther Assata Shakur available as an ebook.

From Nawal El Saadawi to Ifi Amadiume, from Vandana Shiva to Holly Lewis, this reading list aims to provide an informative and moving introduction to the multiplicity of battles still being fought by the women of the world.
Three incredible books from Egyptian feminist Nawal El-Saadawi:
The story of Firdaus, one of the greatest characters ever created in fiction.
Paperback / £9.99 / $12.95 / 9781783605941

plus God Dies by the Nile and Other Novels

Three classic Saadawi novels in one volume, tackling religion, love and women's emancipation.  
Paperback / £12.99 / $14.95 / 9781783605965

Hidden Face of Eve

Presents an account of brutality against women in the Muslim world. This work explores the causes of the situation through a discussion of the historical role of Arab women in religion and literature. It argues that the veil, polygamy and legal inequality are incompatible with the just and peaceful Islam.  
Paperback / £12.99 / $18.95 / 9781783607471
By Leta Hong-Fincher

After the 1949 revolution in China, Chairman Mao famously proclaimed that €œwomen hold up half the sky.€ In the early years of the People€™s Republic, the Communist Party sought to transform gender relations with expansive initiatives. Yet those gains are being eroded in China€™s post-socialist era.

Contrary to many claims made in the media, women in China have experienced a dramatic rollback of rights and gains relative to men. Leftover Women lays out the structural discrimination against women and speaks to broader problems with China€™s economy, politics, and development.
Paperback / £15.99 / $26.95 / 9781780329215

By Jenny Hawley

Women's empowerment is critical to environmental sustainability, isn't it? When Friends of the Earth asked this question on Facebook half of respondents said yes and half said no, with women as likely to say no as men. This collection of articles and interviews, from some of the leading lights of the environmental and feminist movements, demonstrates that achieving gender equality is vital if we are to protect the environment upon which we all depend. It is a rallying call to environmental campaigning groups and other environmentalists who have, on the whole, neglected women's empowerment in their work.

We hope that the book will encourage the environmental movement and women's movement to join in fighting the twin evils of women's oppression and environmental degradation, because social justice and environmental sustainability are two sides of the same coin.
Paperback / £9.99 / $12.95 / 9781783605798

By Holly Lewis

The Politics of Everybody examines the production and maintenance of the terms 'man', 'woman', and 'other' within the current political moment; the contradictions of these categories and the prospects of a Marxist approach to praxis for queer bodies. Few thinkers have attempted to reconcile queer and Marxist analysis. Those who have propose the key contested site to be that of desire/sexual expression. This emphasis on desire, Lewis argues, is symptomatic of the neoliberal project and has lead to a continued fascination with the politics of identity. By arguing that Marxist analysis is in fact most beneficial to gender politics within the arena of body production, categorization and exclusion Lewis develops a theory of gender and the sexed body that is wedded to the realities of a capitalist political economy.

Boldly calling for a new, materialist queer theory, Lewis defines a politics of liberation that is both intersectional, transnational, and grounded in lived experience.
Paperback / £16.99 / $29.95 / 9781783602872

By Marc Epprecht

The persecution of people in Africa on the basis of their assumed or perceived homosexual orientation has received considerable coverage in the popular media in recent years. Gay-bashing by political and religious figures in Zimbabwe and Gambia; draconian new laws against lesbians and gays and their supporters in Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda; and the imprisonment and extortion of gay men in Senegal and Cameroon have all rightly sparked international condemnation.

However, much of the analysis has been highly critical of African leadership and culture without considering local nuances, historical factors and external influences that are contributing to the problem. Such commentary also overlooks grounds for optimism in the struggle for sexual rights and justice in Africa, not just for sexual minorities but for the majority population as well. Based on pioneering research on the history of homosexualities and engagement with current lgbti and HIV/AIDS activism, Marc Epprecht provides a sympathetic overview of the issues at play and a hopeful outlook on the potential of sexual rights for all.
Paperback / £13.99 / $24.95 / 9781780323817

By Ifi Amadiume

In 1987, more than a decade before the dawn of queer theory, Ifi Amadiume wrote Male Daughters, Female Husbands, to critical acclaim. This compelling and highly original book frees the subject position of 'husband' from its affiliation with men, and goes on to do the same for other masculine attributes, dislocating sex, gender and sexual orientation. Boldly arguing that the notion of gender, as constructed in Western feminist discourse, did not exist in Africa before the colonial imposition of a dichotomous understanding of sexual difference, Male Daughters, Female Husbands examines the structures in African society that enabled people to achieve power, showing that roles were not rigidly masculinized nor feminized. At a time when gender and queer theory are viewed by some as being stuck in an identity-politics rut, this outstanding study not only warns against the danger of projecting a very specific, Western notion of difference onto other cultures, but calls us to question the very concept of gender itself.
Paperback / £12.99 / $18.95 / 9781783603329

By Mimi Marinucci  

Feminism is Queer is an introduction to the intimately related disciplines of gender and queer theory. Whilst guiding the reader through complex theory, the author develops the original position of queer feminism, which presents queer theory as continuous with feminist theory. Whilst there have been significant conceptual tensions between second wave feminism and traditional lesbian and gay studies, queer theory offers a paradigm for understanding gender, sex and sexuality that avoids the conflict in order to develop solidarity among those interested in feminist theory and those interested in lesbian and gay rights.

An essential guide to anyone with an interest in gender or sexuality, this accessible and comprehensive textbook carefully explains nuanced theoretical terminology and provides extensive suggested further reading to provide the reader with full and thorough understanding of both disciplines.
Paperback / £17.99 / $36.95 / 9781848134751

Edited by Srila Roy  

South Asian Feminism is in crisis. Under constant attack from right-wing nationalism and religious fundamentalism and co-opted by 'NGO-ization' and neoliberal state agendas, once autonomous and radical forms of feminist mobilization have been ideologically fragmented and replaced. It is time to rethink the feminist political agenda for the predicaments of the present.

This timely volume provides an original and unprecedented exploration of the current state of South Asian feminist politics. It will map the new sites and expressions of feminism in the region today, addressing issues like disability, Internet technologies, queer subjectivities and violence as everyday life across national boundaries, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Written by young scholars from the region, this book addresses the generational divide of feminism in the region, effectively introducing a new 'wave' of South Asian feminists that resonates with feminist debates everywhere around the globe.
Paperback / £20.99 / $37.95 / 9781780321899

By Laura Agustin

This groundbreaking book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work; that migrants who sell sex are passive victims; and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' disempowers them. Based on extensive research amongst migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustín, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry. Although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice.
Paperback / £19.99 / $34.95 / 9781842778609

By Kristin Aune and Catherine Redfern

Feminism is so last century. Surely in today's world the idea is irrelevant and unfashionable? Wrong. Since the turn of the millennium a revitalised feminist movement has emerged to challenge these assumptions. Based on a survey of over a thousand feminists, Reclaiming the F Word reveals the what, why and how of today's feminism, from cosmetic surgery to celebrity culture, from sex to singleness and now, in this new edition, the gendered effects of possibly the worst economic crisis ever. This is a generation-defining book demanding nothing less than freedom and equality, for all.
Paperback / £8.99 / $14.95 / 9781780326276

By Vandana Shiva and Maria Mies

This groundbreaking work remains as relevant today as when it was when first published. Two of Zed's best-known authors argue that ecological destruction and industrial catastrophes constitute a direct threat to everyday life, the maintenance of which has been made the particular responsibility of women. In both industrialized societies and the developing countries, the new wars the world is experiencing, violent ethnic chauvinisms and the malfunctioning of the economy also pose urgent questions for ecofeminists. Is there a relationship between patriarchal oppression and the destruction of nature in the name of profit and progress? How can women counter the violence inherent in these processes? Should they look to a link between the women's movement and other social movements? Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva offer a thought-provoking analysis of these and many other issues from a unique North-South perspective. They critique prevailing economic theories, conventional concepts of women's emancipation, the myth of 'catching up' development, the philosophical foundations of modern science and technology, and the omission of ethics when discussing so many questions, including advances in reproductive technology and biotechnology. In constructing their own ecofeminist epistemology and methodology, these two internationally respected feminist environmental activists look to the potential of movements advocating consumer liberation and subsistence production, sustainability and regeneration, and they argue for an acceptance of limits and reciprocity and a rejection of exploitation, the endless commoditization of needs, and violence.
Paperback / £12.99 / $19.95 / 9781780325637

By Assata Shakur
With foreword by Angela Davis

In 2013 Assata Shakur, founding member of the Black Liberation Army, former Black Panther and godmother of Tupac Shakur, became the first ever woman to make the FBI's most wanted terrorist list.

Assata Shakur's trial and conviction for the murder of a white state trooper in the spring of 1973 divided America. Her case quickly became emblematic of race relations and police brutality in the USA. While Assata's detractors continue to label her a ruthless killer, her defenders cite her as the victim of a systematic, racist campaign to criminalize and suppress black nationalist organizations.

This intensely personal and political autobiography reveals a sensitive and gifted woman, far from the fearsome image of her that is projected by the powers that be. With wit and candour Assata recounts the formative experiences that led her to embrace a life of activism. With pained awareness she portrays the strengths, weaknesses and eventual demise of black and white revolutionary groups at the hands of the state.

A major contribution to the history of black liberation, destined to take its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou.
Paperback / £8.99 / $14.95 / 9781783601783

By Carol Dyhouse  

Girls behave badly. If they're not obscenity-shouting, pint-swigging ladettes, they're narcissistic, living dolls floating around in a cloud of self-obsession, far too busy twerking to care. And this is news. In this witty and wonderful book, Carol Dyhouse shows that where there's a social scandal or a wave of moral outrage, you can bet a girl is to blame. Whether it be stories of 'brazen flappers' staying out and up all night in the 1920s, inappropriate places for Mars bars in the 1960s or Courtney Love's mere existence in the 1990s, bad girls have been a mass-media staple for more than a century. And yet, despite the continued obsession with their perceived faults and blatant disobedience, girls are infinitely better off today than they were a century ago. This is the story of the challenges and opportunities faced by young women growing up in the swirl of the twentieth century, and the pop-hysteria that continues to accompany their progress.
Paperback / £8.99 / $14.95 / 9781783601608

By Caron Gentry and Laura Sjoberg

Beyond Mothers, Monsters, Whores takes the suggestion in Mothers, Monsters, Whores that it is important to see genderings in characterizations of violent women, and to use critique of those genderings to retheorize individual violence in global politics. It begins by demonstrating the interdependence of the personal and international levels of global politics in violent women's lives, but then shows that this interdependence is inaccurately depicted in gender-subordinating narratives of women's violence. Such narratives, the authors argue, are not only normatively problematic on the surface but also intersect with other identifiers, such as race, religion, and geopolitical location.
Paperback / £18.99 / $29.95 / 9781783602070

Edited by Shahrzad Mojab

Global events, from economic crisis to social unrest and militarization, disproportionately affect women. Yet around the world it is also women who are leading the struggle against oppression and exploitation. In light of renewed interest in Marxist theory among many women activists and academics, Marxism and Feminism presents a contemporary and accessible Marxistfeminist analysis on a host of issues. It reassesses previous debates and seeks to answer pressing questions of how we should understand the relationship between patriarchy and capitalism, and how we can envision a feminist project which emancipates both women and society. With contributions from both renowned scholars and new voices, Marxism and Feminism is set to become the foundational text for modern Marxist-feminist thought.
Paperback / £21.99 / $30.95 / 9781783603244

By Nikki van der Gaag

Feminism has changed the world; it is radically reshaping women€™s lives. But what about men? They still hold most of the power in the economy, in government, in religions, in the media and often in the family too. At the same time, many men are questioning traditional views about what it means to be a man. Others resent the gains women have made and want to turn back the clock. Feminism and Men asks: how might feminism improve the lives of men as well as women? And is there a place for men in the feminist story?
Paperback / £15.99 / $26.95 / 9781780329116

By Robin L. Riley

This powerful book exposes how gendered Orientalism is wielded to justify Western imperialism. Over the last ten years, Western governments and mainstream media have utilized concepts of white masculine supremacy and feminine helplessness, juxtaposed with Orientalist images depicting women of color as mysterious, sinister, and dangerous, to support war. Oscillating between Mrs Anthrax, female suicide bomber and tragic, helpless victim, representations of 'brown women' have spawned both rescue narratives and terrorist alerts. Examining media and pop culture from Sex and the City 2 to Vanity Fair and Time magazine, Robin Riley uses transnational feminist analysis to reveal how this kind of transnational sexism towards Muslim women in general and Afghan and Iraqi women in particular has led to a new form of gender imperialism.
Paperback / £18.99 / $34.95 / 9781780321288

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