Category : Women

(RNS) Jesus saved Beth Moore’s life. Twitter blew it up. A new memoir will tell the story.

For the past few years, Bible teacher and best-selling author Beth Moore has been one tweet away from disaster.

Moore, perhaps the best-known ex-Southern Baptist in the country, will recount her Twitter battles, her split with her former denomination and, more importantly, her lifelong journey with Jesus, in a new memoir titled “All My Knotted-Up Life,” due out from Tyndale in April 2023.

News of the memoir was first reported by Cathy Lynn Grossman of Publishers Weekly. Tyndale publisher Karen Watson told PW that the memoir will be a “southern literary reflection on an unlikely and winsomely remarkable life.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, America/U.S.A., Baptists, Books, Church History, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Women

(Economist) No country for young women–The Taliban are pushing females out of public life

On march 23rd thousands of Afghan girls headed to school for the first time in eight months, kitted out in bulging rucksacks, neatly pressed headscarves and covid-19 face masks. Within hours, they were at home in tears—and not because of playground fights or test results. In a last-minute pivot, the Taliban had backtracked on a decision to reopen secondary schools for girls and sent them home.

The new Taliban are beginning to look a lot like the old Taliban who ran Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when women who failed to cover every inch of flesh in public were beaten and adulterers were stoned to death. But Afghan women have changed after two decades of American-backed government. Many have university degrees. Before the Taliban seized power last year, almost 30% of civil servants were women. On the streets of Kabul book-waving girls have been chanting: “open the schools”.

When American forces withdrew from Afghanistan, the big question was how the Taliban would make the transition from a fundamentalist insurgency to running a country. Girls’ education became the litmus test. In August there was some hope they wanted to show a gentler face. Officials were interviewed by female presenters on television. At the Taliban’s first press conference after seizing power, a spokesman reassured the world that women would be “very active” in Afghan society.

Read it all.

Posted in Afghanistan, Education, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan, Women

(The State) Champs! South Carolina captures 2022 national title with win over UConn

South Carolina set sights on its ultimate goal — winning the national championship — before the season’s first tip.

The Gamecocks turned their goal into reality Sunday night, winning the 2022 NCAA tournament championship with a win over the UConn Huskies. Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks (35-2) defeated Geno Auriemma’s Huskies 64-49 in front of a sellout crowd at Minneapolis’ Target Center in the matchup’s second meeting of the 2021-22 season. South Carolina’s win solidified the program’s second national title and first since 2017.

Both of the Gamecocks’ championships have come under Staley.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Sports, Women

(WSJ) Ukrainian Refugees Head to Poland, Seeking Safety in EU

Hundreds of Ukrainians poured across this usually sleepy border post on Poland’s edge on Thursday, dragging suitcases and bearing looks of disbelief in what European officials described as the first arrivals of a coming wave of refugees.

The crowd, a procession of mostly young parents with small children in tow, was crossing at a border post that ordinarily attracts a trickle of people stepping into the European Union. On Thursday, buses and minivans were crammed into the small parking lot to pick up Ukrainians who described waiting hours to cross the border and find onward transportation.

“It’s pure chaos here. All our buses are full,” said a bus driver, loading up his vehicle, as an argument broke out between two other drivers managing the throng of customers. “This is just the beginning. People are panicking. Most of our customers are women with children and they are very afraid.”

Poland is already home to between one million and two million Ukrainians. In coming weeks, government officials here expect an additional one million Ukrainians to follow.

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Posted in Children, Military / Armed Forces, Russia, Violence, Women

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Fanny Crosby

O God, the blessed assurance of all who trust in thee: We give thanks for thy servant Fanny Crosby, and pray that we, inspired by her words and example, may rejoice to sing ever of thy love, praising our Savior; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer, Women

A front page NYT Profile piece on Prospective Supreme Court nominee and South Carolina Judge Michelle Childs

It was just before Christmas, and Jean H. Toal, then the chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, was in a bind. She needed an emergency order drawn up, but the courthouse in Columbia, the state capital, was empty. She was relieved to reach someone who assured her, “Chief, I got it.”

It was J. Michelle Childs, then a state circuit court judge who had made a name for herself as one of the most adept on the bench.

“Within an hour she came back to me, and she had a complete order with footnotes and everything,” Judge Toal, now retired, recalled of the day more than a dozen years ago. “Days later, she delivered her child. So, she was über-pregnant and it was right at Christmas time, but she had her work ethic on full steam, as she always did.”

The memory sums up the reputation of Judge Childs, now a Federal District Court judge in South Carolina, who rose through the ranks of state schools, local government and the South Carolina legal system to the short list of potential Supreme Court nominees for President Biden, who has pledged to nominate a Black woman to replace Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, President Joe Biden, Race/Race Relations, Senate, Supreme Court, Women

Congratulations to Ash Barty, winner of the 2022 Australian Open

Posted in Australia / NZ, Sports, Women

(WSJ) Moms in Middle Age: Rarely Alone, Often Online and Increasingly Lonely

Middle age is a crowded time. It’s also a lonely one. Work and family demands leave little time for nurturing friendships, particularly for women.

Pre-pandemic, conversations about loneliness often centered on men, with talk of a “loneliness epidemic.” But during lockdown, Generation X women, who range in age from 41 to 57 years old, reported the sharpest rise in loneliness, according to a survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted in the spring of 2020 by the Roots of Loneliness Project, a research organization. And the increase in social isolation reported by women living with children was also greatest among those from Gen X, according to an unpublished portion of the survey shared with The Wall Street Journal.

For women feeling burned out from holding family life and work together, social media has typically been the most convenient place to vent and seek connection. But going online has surfaced feelings of inadequacy and loneliness, many say.

Read it all.

Posted in --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Women

(WSJ) NYU Is Top-Ranked—In Loans That Alumni and Parents Struggle to Repay

Five months after Kassandra Jones earned her master’s in public health from New York University in May 2019, she still hadn’t landed a job in the field. She was staring down a six-figure student-loan balance and had to pay for rent and food.

So she sold her eggs. Again.

Ms. Jones first harvested her eggs before starting at NYU in 2017 to help pay for moving to the city, she said. She received a $12,500 annual scholarship and relied on $131,000 in federal loans to cover the rest of her tuition and expenses. She has given her eggs five times, including to an NYU fertility clinic, earning $50,000.

Now 28 years old, Ms. Jones is working freelance on public-health campaigns for nonprofits making about $1,500 a month, which isn’t covering her living expenses, she said. She is applying for new jobs and considering leaving the field. “There are definitely moments where that number just looms as this tunnel that doesn’t have a light at the end of it,” she said of her debt. “It feels like I’m kind of trapped.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance & Investing, Women, Young Adults

A Fantastic London Times Profile Piece on Congolese Doctor and Pentecostal Pastor Denis Mukwege

In the past seven years tens of thousands of Yazidis kept as sex slaves by Isis fighters, girls abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Rohingya women dragged from their huts and gang-raped by Burmese soldiers, have courageously come forward and told their stories, yet there has only been a single prosecution.

No one is better qualified to write about the situation than this astonishingly brave Congolese gynaecological surgeon. His Panzi hospital in eastern Congo has treated more than 60,000 raped women and girls over the past 20 years. Some arrive so damaged that he has carried out multiple operations to try to reconstruct them.

One of the most heroic men I have ever met, Mukwege literally risks his life to save women. After a series of threats and assassination attempts, he lives almost as a prisoner on the hospital site, guarded by UN peacekeepers.

Far from being supported by the Congolese state, he does all of this in the face of a government so craven it tried to fine him $20,000 for collecting rainwater on the hospital roof, insisting that rain belongs to the state.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Africa, Books, Health & Medicine, Republic of Congo, Sexuality, Terrorism, Violence, Women

An Ad Clerum on Domestic Violence from Bishop Martyn Minns

It all began with a knock at the kitchen door at the Truro rectory. Standing there were two women. I recognized one of them as “Karen,” a long-time, active member of the congregation, but I didn’t know the other woman standing with her. I did notice, however, that she looked as if she had been crying.

“Angela, it’s for you!” I called, and invited them in. After a few more brief words, I retreated upstairs to my study, while Angela listened to their story.

They were next-door neighbors in a nearby apartment complex. “Maria” was a recent immigrant, she and her husband both refugees from Eastern Europe. He was an angry and abusive man, and Karen had heard their arguments through the walls of the apartments. Sometimes she heard the sounds of violence. She had knocked on their door a couple of times to ask if all was well, and they had reassured her that it was. Karen had thought about speaking to the police, but she knew that Maria would have been alarmed at that, so she kept quiet and kept praying. But this night was different. The sounds of violence were more intense and the screams more piercing, and then their door slammed and there was silence and muffled sobs. Karen went to their door and this time Maria couldn’t hide the nightmare. Her husband had stormed out, carrying a gun, and she was terrified. Unsure about the best way forward, Karen had brought Maria to us. We would know what to do!

Angela listened and prayed and then invited them both to spend the night in our guest room. We would deal with next steps in the morning.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology, Violence, Women

(Deseret News) ‘We can change the air that abusers breathe’: How faith communities are addressing domestic violence

They looked like the poster couple for faith and family. He was a successful professional, who provided for his wife and children and led them in prayer. She was a stay-at-home mom with a leadership position in their religious community. They seemed to exemplify how great a life rooted in belief could be.

But behind closed doors, Amy, who asked to be identified by a pseudonym, endured years of spiritual abuse as her husband turned aspects of her faith against her.

Shortly after they married, Amy says, her husband became obsessed with the idea that she wasn’t telling him the truth about her past. He forced her to pray with him about it. Constantly. He insisted she share with him every detail of her unmarried life.

After these discussions, he would manipulate and coerce his physically and emotionally exhausted wife into having sex. Only later did she realize the pattern amounted to sexual abuse, though he claimed he was driven by love and a desire to make their relationship perfect and eternal.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Islam, Judaism, Marriage & Family, Men, Mormons, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Violence, Women

(NYT front page) The Woman on the Bridge Police and prosecutors spent five years chasing a domestic violence case. Would it be enough?

Frustration was nothing new, not for any of them. Ms. Burns, who specializes in domestic violence, describes the criminal justice response to these crimes as ineffectual, like “putting Band-Aids on bullet wounds.” She spends much of her time scraping for evidence that can be admitted in court, but so many of the assaults she prosecutes take place behind closed doors, she said, that not guilty verdicts are common.

Ms. Neal’s suicide — the way she had slipped away from them — made this failure different, more agonizing.

“From the criminal justice side of it, we had a piece of paper telling Nelson not to contact her, that’s what we had,” Ms. Burns said. In domestic violence cases, she added, “the dynamics and the history are too deep” to be altered by “a piece of paper from a judge.”

Domestic violence cases are so challenging that some experts, like Rachel Teicher of John Jay College’s National Network for Safe Communities, argue that arrests and prosecutions are simply inadequate as a response, and should be supplemented with other kinds of interventions.

Perpetrators and victims become accustomed to a cycle — charges dismissed or reduced, restraining orders violated — and conclude, she said, that “these are systems I don’t have to take all that seriously.”

“The folks at the front lines are often using every tool they can,” she said. “Sometimes our tool kit isn’t big enough.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Psychology, Suicide, Violence, Women

The Church of England’s First Social Impact Investment to provide housing for vulnerable women

The Women in Safe Homes fund is a joint venture between fund managers Resonance and Patron Capital, working in partnership with specialist organisations to provide safe, stable and affordable homes for vulnerable women and their children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The fund aims to house 6,000 women over its lifetime.

The Social Impact Investment Programme, was established within The Archbishops’ Council earlier this year with £16 million of grant funding from the Church Commissioners for England. The programme exists to deploy social investment capital to advance the Church of England’s missional objectives and will support projects which share the Church of England’s Christian values and benefit society.

This first investment will support the purchase and refurbishment of properties which are then leased to women’s support organisations who in turn, let them at affordable rates to vulnerable women at risk of homelessness, whilst also providing them with individualised and specialist support. Many of these women will have been victims of domestic abuse or victims of exploitation or are leaving prison. Safe and stable accommodation is critical to helping them rebuild their lives. There are many Church of England and other faith-based organisations working with vulnerable women and this investment further supports their mission.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Housing/Real Estate Market, Women

(Gallup) The Dissatisfaction of Women in the U.S. with the treatment of their gender in society hits a record low

Women in the U.S. remain largely dissatisfied with the treatment of their gender in society, do not think there is gender equality in job opportunities and favor affirmative action programs for women. Conversely, majorities of men are satisfied with the treatment of women in society and think women and men in the U.S. have equal job opportunities. However, well over half of men support affirmative action programs for women.

Overall, 53% of Americans, including 44% of women and 61% of men, are very or somewhat satisfied with the treatment of women in society. Less than half of U.S. adults (47%) and women (33%) think men and women have equal job opportunities, but 61% of men say they do. Meanwhile, affirmative action programs for women are favored by majorities of all three groups — 66% of U.S. adults, 72% of women and 61% of men.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Sociology, Women

(Washington Post) Spanish prime minister vows to abolish prostitution, saying it ‘enslaves’ women

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has promised to abolish prostitution in the country, saying it “enslaves” women.

Speaking at a three-day congress of his ruling Socialist Workers’ Party on Sunday, Sánchez vowed to move ahead with a pledge to outlaw prostitution that was part of his leftist party’s election manifesto in 2019. The manifesto called prostitution “one of the cruelest aspects of the feminization of poverty and one of the worst forms of violence against women.”

Prostitution has boomed in Spain since the practice was decriminalized in 1995; a 2011 U.N. report cited Spain as the third-biggest capital of prostitution in the world, behind Thailand and Puerto Rico, and it has made a name for itself as the brothel of Europe. Recent estimates put revenue from Spain’s domestic sex trade at $26.5 billion a year, with as many as 300,000 people working in the industry.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Sexuality, Spain, Women

(Church Times) Bishop of Gloucester backs campaign to end imprisonment of pregnant women

A mother whose child was found dead after she gave birth alone in her cell in HM Prison Bronzefield, the largest women’s prison in Europe, should never have been remanded in the first place, the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, said this week.

The independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) into the death of “Baby A” was published last week. It highlights a catalogue of failings, including calls from the baby’s mother, Ms A, which went unanswered during the night of the birth. The situation for pregnant women in Bronzefield is “symptomatic of a national absence of policies and pathways for pregnant women in custody”, it says, and the Prison Service “must take this opportunity to improve the outcomes for pregnant prisoners so that this tragic event is not repeated”.

Ms A gave birth on the night of 26 September 2019. The report notes that she had a “traumatic childhood”, and was known to local authority children’s services from birth: “Years of trauma meant she struggled to form relationships of trust with agencies attempting to engage with her.”

Before being remanded to Bronzefield, charged with robbery on 14 August 2019, she had refused all maternity care in the community, and was thought to be misusing alcohol and drugs. Once in prison, she refused to attend appointments for scans. Although she told a nurse that she would kill herself or someone else if her baby was taken from her, she was not put under suicide monitoring. On the night of the birth, she should have been checked by a nurse three times a day, and at least twice during the night, but this did not happen.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Prison/Prison Ministry, Women

(WSJ) Burned Out and Restless From the Pandemic, Women Redefine Their Career Ambitions

Working more than a year under pandemic conditions threw into sharp relief what Vicki Klaker wanted from her career—and wasn’t getting.

At first, the marketing specialist and mother of five plowed through the long days of working from her home near Wichita, Kan., while overseeing her children’s online learning.

Soon, though, “remote work was a double-edged sword,” the 38-year-old says.

Being more available to her family was gratifying and made her wonder whether another line of work would let her spend more time with them. In her corporate job at a fast-growing restaurant chain, working from home meant monitoring emails often into the evening, leaving her both depleted and unfulfilled.

“I realized, ‘I’m not being fulfilled because I’m not helping people, and I don’t want to waste any more time,’ ” says Mrs. Klaker, who had always dreamed of becoming a teacher. This spring, she applied for a position at an area school district and, to her surprise, got it. As of last month, she teaches high-school students how to code and build websites, and isn’t looking back. “My definition of success has changed,” she says.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Women

(WSJ front page) Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show

Eva Behrens, a 17-year-old student at Redwood High School in Marin County, Calif., said she estimates half the girls in her grade struggle with body-image concerns tied to Instagram. “Every time I feel good about myself, I go over to Instagram, and then it all goes away,” she said.

When her classmate Molly Pitts, 17, arrived at high school, she found her peers using Instagram as a tool to measure their relative popularity. Students referred to the number of followers their peers had as if the number was stamped on their foreheads, she said.

Now, she said, when she looks at her number of followers on Instagram, it is most often a “kick in the gut.”

For years, there has been little debate among medical doctors that for some patients, Instagram and other social media exacerbate their conditions. Angela Guarda, director for the eating-disorders program at Johns Hopkins Hospital and an associate professor of psychiatry in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said it is common for her patients to say they learned from social media tips for how to restrict food intake or purge. She estimates that Instagram and other social-media apps play a role in the disorders of about half her patients.

“It’s the ones who are most vulnerable or are already developing a problem—the use of Instagram and other social media can escalate it,” she said.

Read it all.

Posted in --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth, Women

Congratulation to Emma Raducanu, Winner of the US Open Women’s Tennis Final

The 18-year-old Raducanu was being hailed Sunday as the new queen of British sport — and perhaps the architect of one of the most unlikely sporting achievements of all time — by winning the U.S. Open as a qualifier.

Her 6-4, 6-3 victory over Leylah Fernandez, broadcast on free-to-air TV in Britain, was in a primetime slot on Saturday evening, allowing the nation to savor a superstar in the making.

Among them, apparently, was the British Prime Minister.

“What a sensational match! Huge congratulations to Emma Raducanu,” read a tweet from Boris Johnson’s official account. “You showed extraordinary skill, poise and guts and we are all hugely proud of you.”

The queen also sent her congratulations.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., England / UK, Sports, Teens / Youth, Women

(NYT) A remarkable US Open tournament now features 2 unseeded teenagers in the women’s final

Two teenage women who were barely known to anyone other than the most devout tennis fans before this U.S. Open will vie for the singles championship on Saturday in what has to be the most improbable matchup for a Grand Slam final since the modern era of tennis began more than 50 years ago.

On a Thursday night that would have been shocking had Emma Raducanu of Britain and Leylah Fernandez of Canada not been pulling rabbits out of their hats for the better part of two weeks, the two teenage sensations once again knocked off seasoned pros who exist in a different stratosphere in the world rankings.

First, Fernandez outlasted the second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, in three sets, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4, in a nervy, error-filled match that saw both players let go of chances to put the battle away long before Sabalenka finished herself off with one last flurry of double faults. It was Fernandez’s fourth consecutive three-set win over one of the top 20 players in the world.

Then Raducanu took the stage at Arthur Ashe Stadium and did what she has been doing for more than a week — blitzing players far more accomplished and making them play their worst matches of the tournament. Raducanu ambushed the 17th-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece, 6-1, 6-4.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Canada, England / UK, Sports, Teens / Youth, Women

(NBC) Team USA’s Regan Smith Helping Lead Next Generation Of Swimmers

“Among the 11 teenagers swimming for Team USA is Regan Smith, who set three world records in backstroke when she was just 17. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, she spoke with NBC News’ Vicky Nguyen about her journey to the pool, how the pandemic affected her and what it takes to become an Olympian.”

Watch it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Japan, Sports, Women, Young Adults

(NBC) Boko Haram Kidnapping Survivors Now Pursuing Graduate Degrees To Help Others

“Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu were among the hundreds of girls kidnapped in 2014 by Boko Haram in Nigeria. After escaping, both women have now graduated from Florida’s Southeastern University and plan to pursue graduate degrees. They’re determined to be a voice for those still missing.”

Watch it all.

Posted in Education, Nigeria, Terrorism, Violence, Women, Young Adults

(CT) Whispered Prayers, Hidden Bibles, Secretly Scribbled Verses: Inside the Resilient Faith of the #BringBackOurGirls Hostages

Eventually, word of the girls’ indiscipline reached Malam Ahmed. The girls were singing, he learned, and were hiding a Bible. He was furious. His guards arrived, a mass of men descending on them all at once, shouting orders and demanding to search the area. The girls stood to the side while the men rifled through the piled-up clothes and kitchen utensils they kept under a tree. The militants confiscated medicine, mainly basic painkillers the girls had been hiding. They found a cellphone. But the girls had already buried their diaries and a Bible, marking the spot with a stone.

“We were no longer afraid,” Naomi told us.

It wasn’t until May 2017 that she and 81 of her classmates were ordered to march to the side of a dirt road, where a row of white Red Cross Toyota Land Cruisers were parked. One after the next, the young women were invited to cross the road by a lawyer, who had been working with the Swiss Foreign Affairs ministry to help negotiate their release. The cars rumbled off, and as the schoolmates cracked open juice boxes, the men who’d held them hostage for three years became small figures on the horizon. The journey had barely begun when the passengers broke into a song from Chibok, loud enough that the entire convoy could hear and join in. Their voices arched and lingered over the a in happy, reaching for a note at the top of the melody.

Today is a happy day!
Everybody shake your body, thank God! Today is a happy day.

Years later, Naomi began to recount these anecdotes to us, recalling a story of courage in the face of horrors that sounded fantastical in their depravity. Nevertheless, after many hours of interviews with the young women held in captivity, it became clear that her account often understated the schoolgirls’ bravery. Naomi and her friends had no reason to believe they would survive their ordeal and every expectation that each challenge to their captors’ worldview would result in physical and mental punishment. They stuck to their principles all the same, staging a rebellion that signaled their determination to persevere.

“We stood our ground,” as Naomi later told us.

Read it all.

Posted in Nigeria, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Violence, Women

(NYT) Why American Women Everywhere Are Delaying Motherhood

Luz Portillo, the oldest daughter of Mexican immigrants, has many plans. She is studying to be a skin care expert. She has also applied to nursing school. She works full time, too — as a nurse’s aide and doing eyelash extensions, a business she would like to grow.

But one thing she has no plans for anytime soon is a baby.

Ms. Portillo’s mother had her when she was 16. Her father has worked as a landscaper for as long as she can remember. She wants a career and more control over her life.

“I can’t get pregnant, I can’t get pregnant,” she said she tells herself. “I have to have a career and a job. If I don’t, it’s like everything my parents did goes in vain.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Marriage & Family, Theology, Women

(WSJ) Adam O’Neal–Kazakhstan’s efforts at rehabilitation and reintegration put Europe to shame

“Kazakhstan made a very bold move by being the first country to repatriate large numbers of its nationals,” Chris Harnisch, a Trump State Department official who worked on the issue, said in an interview. “They were not dipping their toe in the water. They went all in.” The Kazakh government repatriated 607 citizens through a program called Operation Zhusan. Most were women (157) and children (413). Thirty-seven adult male fighters faced prosecution upon arrival. Another 32 women and 89 children returned themselves.

The Kazakh government sends women and children to rehabilitation centers, where they undergo a long process to help them reintegrate into society. Some return completely jaded, while others remain committed to ISIS: One woman tried to smuggle the group’s propaganda into Kazakhstan in a child’s toy.

“We are trying to bring them back to normal,” then-Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev told me earlier this year. “We would like to see them as ordinary people.” This created controversy domestically, but the government held firm.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Kazakhstan, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Women

(CEN) The Bishop of Gloucester campaigns on women released from prison to ‘no fixed abode’

The Bishop of Gloucester, commented:

“It is shocking that thousands of women each year leave prison without anywhere safe and secure to live or the support they need. “Without safe and supported housing, we cannot expect vulnerable women to turn their lives around.”

“This crisis is entirely preventable but we need urgent well-funded, cross-Govt action to address this issue. I implore the Government to adopt the measures outlined in our letter today to ensure that no vulnerable woman leaves prison to No Fixed Abode.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Women

(NYT front page) China Targets Muslim Women in Push to Suppress Births in Xinjiang

When China’s government ordered women in her mostly Muslim community in the region of Xinjiang to be fitted with contraceptive devices, Qelbinur Sedik pleaded for an exemption. She was nearly 50 years old, she told officials. She had obeyed the government’s birth limits and had only one child.

It was no use. The workers threatened to take her to the police if she continued resisting, she said. She gave in and went to a government clinic where a doctor, using metal forceps, inserted an intrauterine device to prevent pregnancy. She wept through the procedure.

“I felt like I was no longer a normal woman,” Ms. Sedik said, choking up as she described the 2017 ordeal. “Like I was missing something.”

Across much of China, the authorities are encouraging women to have more children, as they try to stave off a demographic crisis from a declining birthrate. But in the Xinjiang region, China is forcing them to have fewer, tightening its grip on Muslim ethnic minorities and trying to orchestrate a demographic shift that will diminish their population growth.

Read it all

Posted in Children, China, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Women

(NYT) Marriage Records in England and Wales Will Now Include Mothers’ Names

Marriage certificates in England and Wales have traditionally left space for the names and professions of just one parent: the fathers of the couple tying the knot.

That changed on Tuesday, with couples now allowed to add mothers’ names to their official marriage record. The change corrects “a historic anomaly” and is part of a larger overhaul of how marriages are registered in the two nations, the British government said. Unions will also now be recorded in a single electronic registry instead of in registry books.

The changes are the biggest to the registration system since the Marriage Act came into effect in 1837, the Home Office said, and they have been in the works for several years. In 2014, David Cameron, then the prime minister, said the system did not reflect “modern Britain” and pledged to make modifications.

But the final stages of legislation to include both parents did not come before Parliament until last month, spurred by a larger bill that passed in 2019. The earlier bill included the changeover to an electronic marriage registry and the extension of the right to civil partnerships to all couples.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church History, England / UK, History, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Women

(Tablet) Welby condemns ‘sins of male violence’ amid vigils for Sarah Everard

The Archbishop of Canterbury said: “Testimony after testament from women over recent days have shown us something we have known and ignored for far too long: the profound impact of the sin of male violence, intimidation, harassment, sexism and abuse carried out against women. It is these sins – and the culture that perptuates and condones them – that need our urgent repentance, our fervent prayer, and our resolute action as men.”

The Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, told BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme that Ms Everard’s death was a tipping point, and acknowledged the Churches’ role in fostering a culture of male dominance. “We have used scripture to make women submissive to men. . . We have contributed to that pervasive culture that women and girls are lesser than men and boys and we have got a big part to play in redressing that,” she said.

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