New Age Islam
Sat Aug 15 2020, 12:53 PM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 13 Jun 2020, NewAgeIslam.Com)

One Third of UK Women Are Suffering from Lockdown Loneliness




More women than men are reporting a decline in their mental wellbeing during lockdown. Photograph: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images/Blend Images

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 • One Third of UK Women Are Suffering from Lockdown Loneliness

• Fears Rise Over Safety of Detained Saudi Princess, Family Confidant Says

• Afghanistan- Afghan Women in Pitiable Life Condition

• US Defense Department Announces Women, Peace and Security Strategy

• Kathy Sullivan: The Woman Who's Made History In Sea And Space

• The Revolution Will Be Incomplete Without Black Women and Girls

• 'Comfort Women' Crisis: Campaign Over Wartime Sexual Slavery Hit By Financial Scandal

• Women Should Play Pivotal Role In Post Covid World: MD and CEO Tech Mahindra

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/one-third-of-uk-women-are-suffering-from-lockdown-loneliness/d/122118

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 One Third of UK Women Are Suffering from Lockdown Loneliness

Jamie Doward

14 Jun 2020

Significantly more women than men are experiencing problems with their mental health as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New research by Lisa Spantig and Ben Etheridge, economists at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, suggests it is because women are more adversely affected by social isolation during lockdown.

The study reveals that the proportion of people who are reporting that they are experiencing at least one severe underlying mental health problem has increased among both genders. Among men it has risen from 7% of men before the pandemic to 18% after its onset. But for women, it has risen from 11% to 27%.

Studies in the US and the UK have previously charted a decline in wellbeing among men and women during lockdown. Until now, economic factors have been cited as the chief reasons why more women say that their mental health has been affected by the pandemic than men.

“It’s well documented that women have drawn the short straw on several different fronts,” Etheridge said. “For example, they are more likely to have lost their jobs.”

Other possible factors include the effects that restrictions on exercise and greater demands involving childcare and domestic work have had on women.

But Etheridge said the new research showed that the biggest factor appeared to be the strain Covid-19 was placing on social relationships. “Women are more likely to report multiple numbers of close friends,” he said. The ban, until recently, on meeting people outside your own household has led to a “decline in mental wellbeing”.

More than a third of women (34%) said they now sometimes felt lonely, and 11% said they often felt lonely. Among men, 23% were sometimes lonely while only 6% were often lonely.

The research is based on online interviews with people answering the UK Household Longitudinal Study, which has allowed social scientists to track people’s mental states during lockdown.

The findings are bolstered by online data which shows that many are struggling with isolation. Results from analyses of Google trends reveal that searches involving words such as “loneliness”, “worry” and “sadness” are increasing in many countries.

Etheridge said women under the age of 30 were those whose mental health was most affected by the crisis. Men aged between 50 and 69 were the least affected.

Those who previously reported having fewer friends appear to have been less affected by the pandemic. Etheridge suggested that this may be because the new social distancing policies have not had such an impact on them.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/14/one-third-of-uk-women-are-suffering-from-lockdown-loneliness

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 Fears rise over safety of detained Saudi princess, family confidant says

June 14, 2020

By Saphora Smith

LONDON — Relatives of a Saudi princess, a women’s rights advocate, who says she is imprisoned in the Gulf kingdom are concerned for her health after contact was cut with her two months ago, a source close to the family has said.

Princess Basmah Bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 56, a businesswoman and a granddaughter of the country’s founding king, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, was taken from her home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in March last year and imprisoned along with her daughter, Souhoud Al-Sharif, 28, the family confidant told NBC News.

“[If] she’s dead or alive we have no idea, we literally have no single clue,” the person said, on the condition of anonymity because of fears for personal safety.

NBC News could not independently confirm the circumstances of Basmah’s disappearance or her detention. Saudi Arabian authorities did not respond to a request for comment.

In the past, Basmah has spoken about her commitment to promoting women’s entrepreneurship and leadership in the Arab world. But now, the confidant believes, Basmah being an outspoken woman in a prominent position, along with asking for her inheritance, may be among the reasons she is imprisoned.

In recent years, the kingdom has worked to improve its image abroad and attract foreign investment, a campaign that was hurt badly by the gruesome murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, for which a United Nations investigation found senior Saudi figures could be liable.

Image: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman upon his arrival to attend the annual speech of the Saudi King at the shura council, a top advisory body, in the capital Riyadh in 2019. AFP - Getty Images file

Over the past year, Basmah has had limited but regular contact with relatives through visits and phone calls but it was not revealed publicly what happened to her until April, the confidant said.

In April, more than a year after the princess’ detention, a verified account owned by her issued a series of tweets — which were deleted before being later reposted — imploring King Salman and powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to release her from Al-Hayer prison outside Riyadh.

The tweets, published by members of her team to draw attention to what had happened, said she was being held without charge and that her health was deteriorating.

In the days before those tweets, the princess had been too unwell to speak to her family on the phone, the confidant said, and all contact had been limited to her daughter, who is still also detained with her mother, it is claimed.

But then in mid-April, after the first tweets, contact with the daughter also ended, the source said. With no contact, the source said those close to the princess were increasingly concerned she could be seriously ill in jail.

Since being imprisoned last year, she has been denied regular access to a doctor but has been hospitalized on several occasions, according to the confidant.

The princess had been due to travel abroad for medical treatment around the time of her arrest and was accused of trying to forge a passport, the source said, adding the charges were later dropped, but she still remains in prison.

Because Saudi authorities did not respond to a request for comment, NBC News has not been able to verify the status of any potential charges.

For months, Basmah was repeatedly told that she would be let out “next week,” the source added, but each week passed with no release.

It is not the first time that members of Saudi Arabia’s extensive royal family have been detained since the crown prince’s rise to power. In November 2017, hundreds of Saudi royals, billionaires and senior government officials were detained at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, where they were told they had to sign away large chunks of their assets to be released.

"In today's Saudi Arabia, no one is safe from the state repression apparatus, even royal family members who fall out of line,” said Adam Coogle, a deputy director with the Middle East and North Africa division at advocacy group Human Rights Watch.

“The Saudi leadership has spent a lot of money and effort to market itself internationally as reformist, but this is quickly undermined by the continued arrests of dissidents and flagrant violations of due process of law."

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/fears-rise-over-safety-detained-saudi-princess-family-confidant-says-n1217721

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 Afghanistan- Afghan women in pitiable life condition

6/13/2020

KABUL: June 13 is the International Mother's Day. This day is marked universally and people in Afghanistan also celebrate it. But women in Afghanistan live in pitiable condition and are facing with numerous personal and social problems. Some of mothers here even do not know about the Mother's Day.

The Flower Street in Kabul is the hangout of those who buy gifts for different occasions including the Mother's Day.

On Saturday, June 13, a large number of people visited the area and took gifts for their mothers, mother in laws and others who want to congratulate the day for them.

The quarantine due to Corona virus could not obstruct them from visiting the Flower Street and buy gifts for their mothers.

'I am here to buy flowers for my mother to wish her a happy Mother's Day,' said Morsal, a young lady holding a bouquet.

'I want to congratulate this day to my mother and all mothers through radio. I want to buy some roses for my mother,' said Selsela, another young lady in the Flower Street.

The mothers who have spent their lives for raising their children, are happy seeing them with flowers and other gifts.

Narges is one of these mothers. She is at the Flower Streets accompanied by two of her daughters. 'As a mother, I am feeling happy. It is Mother's Day and I am a mother and a daughter of a mother. I am buying flowers for my mother and my daughters are buying something for me.'

But Nazanin is one of mothers who do not know about Mother's Day. She is baker and makes livelihood from the hot oven that threatens her eyes.

https://menafn.com/1100319364/Afghanistan-Afghan-women-in-pitiable-life-condition

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 US Defense Department Announces Women, Peace and Security Strategy

JUNE 13, 2020

Global conflict is evolving, and to illustrate that the United States military needs the expertise and viewpoints of all members of society for success. DoD has published the Women, Peace and Security Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan as part of a national effort to promote the safety, equality and meaningful contributions of women around the world, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said.

"By recognizing the diverse roles women play across the spectrum of conflict — and by incorporating their perspectives throughout plans and operations — DoD is better equipped to promote our security, confront near-peer competitors, and defeat our adversaries," he said.

Stephanie Hammond, the acting assistant secretary of defense for stability and humanitarian affairs, briefed the strategic framework during a webinar hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. She said the plan recognizes that identifying "sustainable security approaches that meet the unique needs of an entire population is greater than ever."

From the "Yeomanettes" and "Hello Girls" of World War I through the establishment of the Women's Army Corps and Women's Airforce Service Pilots during World War II to engagement teams of women serving in Afghanistan, the roles and viewpoints women offer to operations have grown officials said, and this plan seeks to ensure this process continues.

Adversaries — from near-peer competitors to ISIS — seek strategic advantages through the global recruitment and exploitation of diverse populations. "We must work together to continue to empower and train diverse talent," Hammond said.

The Women, Peace and Security Strategy agenda is key to upholding international human rights and the rules-based international order the United States and its allies and partners seek to maintain, and it is part of a whole-of-government approach, Hammond explained. She was joined in the webinar by speakers from the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Hammond said she sees the plan as a unique engagement opportunity to strengthen relationships with allies and partners through collective efforts to reinforce women's empowerment, meaningful participation and decision-making, protection from violence and access to resources.

"When we recognize the diverse roles women play as agents of change; and when we incorporate their perspectives throughout our plans and operations, we are better equipped to promote our security, confront our near-peer competitors, and defeat our adversaries," she said. 

Strategies are great, but if they are not followed, they are just so much clutter on bookshelves. DoD has an implementation plan it will follow to ensure this is not a meaningless effort, Hammond said.

The department will work toward fully incorporating the perspectives of women in military activities, operations and investments across the continuum of conflict and crisis, Hammond said. "This is the first department-wide strategy that outlines how the department will support the intent of the [Women, Peace, Security] strategy through attention to the composition of our personnel and the development of our policies, plans, doctrine, training, operations, and exercises," she added.

"It will help the department strengthen alliances and attract new partners by demonstrating U.S. commitment to human rights and women's empowerment, making the United States the partner of choice," she said. Hammond outlined three DoD objectives of the Women, Peace Security strategy:

To be a diverse organization that allows for women's meaningful participation across the development, management and employment of the joint force;

To work with partner nations to see women meaningfully participate in serving all ranks, and in all occupations in defense and security sectors; and

This is the first DoD-wide strategy written to promote the meaningful inclusion of women across the spectrum of conflict, to strengthen partnerships and increase effectiveness and national security capabilities, Hammond said.

This will not happen overnight. The plan lays out a series of intermediate defense objectives and effects to establish and improve policy frameworks and support achievements in gender equality, Hammond said.

https://connectingvets.radio.com/articles/military/dod-women-peace-and-security-strategy

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 Kathy Sullivan: The woman who's made history in sea and space

14 June 2020

Already in the history books as the first US woman to complete a spacewalk in 1984, the 68-year-old found herself in the news again this week after becoming the first woman to travel almost seven miles (11km) to reach the lowest known point in the ocean.

The two missions, total opposites in the minds of some, represent two extremes of a lifelong passion for Dr Sullivan: to understand the world around her as much as possible.

"I was always a pretty adventurous and curious child with interests wider and more varied than the stereotype of a little girl," Sullivan told the BBC in a phone interview from the Pacific Ocean.

She was born in New Jersey in 1951 and spent her childhood in California. Her father was an aerospace engineer who, along with her mother, would always encourage their two children to think freely and join in with discussions.

"They really fed our curiosity on anything we were curious about or interested in," she says. "They were our best allies to explore that interest further and see where it might take us: it might die out in a couple of days, it might be something that became our best hobby or it might turn into the central focus of our career."

By the time they were five or six, it was already clear her brother wanted to grow up to fly aeroplanes. Sullivan, meanwhile, became fascinated by maps and learning more about the interesting places on them.

As a little girl, Sullivan was already devouring every newspaper, magazine and television report she could find on the subject of exploration. It was a time when Jacques Cousteau was making pioneering undersea discoveries and the Mercury Seven were propelling the image of astronauts into America's mind.

"I saw these people - they happened to all be men, that didn't bother me... I saw there are people in the world that have continually inquisitive, adventurous lives: they're going to places no-one's been and they have this store of knowledge and they're learning more."

"My way of thinking about it never crystallised into: I want that job, I want that title or that label," she explains about her ambitions as a teenager. "But what I knew really clearly was what I wanted my life to be like, I wanted it to have that mixture of inquiry and adventure and competency."

Her pursuit first took her into foreign languages and then, as an undergraduate, into the study of earth sciences. Back then, around 1970, it was an area still overwhelmingly male-dominated.

"The guys went out to field camps and they dressed all grubby and they never showered and they could swear and be real, rowdy little boys again to their hearts' content," she says. Her presence was treated like a disturbance to their fun.

Sullivan felt that by this time, there was already some change under way. She was never, for instance, harassed or bullied for her gender. "In fact, in a couple of key instances, I had some tremendously supportive male professors and colleagues that were definitely, definitely on my side and just saw me as a very capable fellow student, very capable geologist, very capable fellow shipmate."

Sullivan saw in her marine science professors her ambitions for her own life realised - and so began to further her studies in oceanography.

She applied to Nasa as a way to deepen her knowledge of the earth further still. "My primary motivation for applying to be an astronaut was - if I somehow beat the odds and actually got chosen - I could get to see the earth from orbit with my own eyes."

Six were selected from the class of 35 and Sally Ride, seen on the far left of the image above, became the first of them to fly into space in 1983.

Ride would later recount the unique challenges of being the first women recruited into the space program. Engineers tried to design special make-up kits and wildly overestimated how many tampons would be needed for week-long missions.

Sullivan's first mission, STS-41-G, set off on 5 October 1984. It was the 13th flight of Nasa's Space shuttle program and the sixth trip for the Space Shuttle Challenger.

On 11 October 1984 Sullivan made history when she became the first American woman to leave a spacecraft, along with fellow mission specialist David Leestma, on a spacewalk to demonstrate the feasibility of an orbital refuelling system.

She went on to take part in two more missions, including the 1990 launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. She logged 532 hours in space in total and was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2004.

"My spacewalk was three and a half hours long. It's a spacewalk that counts but that's actually very short as spacewalks go," Sullivan says.

"I was just delighted to see women come after me and do, you know, much more elaborate, much more complicated, much more demanding spacewalks."

Over the years, Sullivan has also been buoyed to see women increasingly involved at senior levels throughout the space program - including in commanding roles and managing missions from the ground.

"These are all wonderful things and I think help show young girls that you can make your way to these places," she says. "No one's promising you a primrose path. You know, you're gonna have your setbacks, you're gonna have to persist and persevere.

"You're going to have to fight back sometimes. But the door is at least ajar - it's not wide open, but you can make your way through it."

Sullivan is a former chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum and has written a book about Hubble

Last year an all-female spacewalk eventually happened for the first time. It was a nice little "bookend" moment for Sullivan, especially given Christina Koch wore the same life support system backpack Sullivan had all the way back in 1984.

Upon leaving Nasa in 1993, Sullivan went on to serve as chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and later as its administrator under President Obama. Between those positions she spent years as president and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and in a distinguished position at Ohio State University.

The surprise invitation for her latest adventure came from Victor Vescovo, a former naval officer and investor who has spent years and millions of dollars on technology to take people underwater, to the depths of our planet.

The Challenger Deep is the deepest known part of the earth's seabed. Part of the Mariana Trench, it is almost seven miles (11km) below the ocean's surface, 200 miles southwest of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.

It was first reached in 1960 by two men - US Navy Lt Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard - and has only been reached a handful of times since, including by Titanic director James Cameron.

Vescovo, a keen explorer himself, has said the primary motivation for his private endeavour is to spur interest in the sea and science. Last year he became the first person to visit the deepest points in every ocean using his two-tonne Deep Sea Vehicle (DSV) Limiting Factor, launched from dedicated support ships.

Sullivan said he contacted her via email to invite her on his latest mission, because he thought it was "really time" for a woman to get down there.

She suspects it was her friendship with Don Walsh, the oceanographer first to reach the Challenger Deep, that earned her the recommendation. After researching Vescovo's endeavour, she excitedly agreed.

Last Sunday she accompanied him down more than 35,800ft (10,900m) inside the two-person submersible - becoming only the eighth person and first woman to reach the bottom.

She describes the journey as like being inside a magic sphere. Seeing the lander - an unmanned robotic vehicle that descends to the seafloor - alongside them at such depth was like stumbling upon "an alien space probe", she says.

"I mean, it's just magical that we can go to these places because of the ingenuity and the engineering prowess of these teams of people, we can take our bodies to places that we really have no business being.

EYOS Expeditions, which organised the expedition, also facilitated a call between the pair and the International Space Station (ISS) when they emerged - a fitting representation of the two extremes of humankind's exploration.

In a press release for the dive, the organisers drew the comparison between Vescovo's enterprise and what is being done with SpaceX - saying they both show the "exciting potential" of private companies contributing to technological advancement worldwide.

Sullivan believes that as nations and individuals we should continue to push the boundaries of our knowledge about the world we live in.

She also expresses her hope for improved diversity and female representation across the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).

"The stereotype is a very dull person in a lab coat that just knows numbers and just knows principles," she says. "But in so many fields where science and technology are at the core of what you're doing, it's completely creative."

"I think exploration can take many forms - it doesn't have to be venturing off physically to the middle of the Pacific Ocean or to the earth orbit," she says. "There are topics, there are subjects, that there are lots of dimensions to exploring.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53008948

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 The Revolution Will Be Incomplete Without Black Women and Girls

Tamara Winfrey-Harris

14-06-2020

On May 25, George Floyd died, calling for his mother and gasping for breath. Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, killed him, forcing his knee onto Floyd’s neck until the man stopped moving, and for several minutes after that. The agonizing moments were captured on camera and shared with the world.

When black husbands, fathers, sons, and neighbors fall victim to law enforcement, often black wives, daughters, mothers, and girlfriends pick up the pieces. They must keep families together, manage the community’s collective grief, and lead the resistance with little acknowledgement of their own mental and physical well-being or safety. Sometimes the weight is too much to bear.

Even though there is now a nationwide outcry against systemic racism and its by-products—the over-policing, incarceration, brutalization, and murder of black people—the discussion and activism almost always centers men and boys. By minimizing the trials of black women and girls, the country will miss the full picture of devastation that the American police state imposes on African Americans.

The 17-year-old who filmed Floyd’s killing on her phone presents one example of how black women and girls can be collateral damage. Darnella Frazier bore witness to Floyd’s lynching and made sure that it would not be buried like so many before. Her act of bravery started an uprising. But witnessing Floyd’s death has left the girl, who already suffers from social anxiety, emotionally scarred. While Frazier contributed more than any child should be asked to, not everyone believes the girl did enough. She has reported being harassed on social media by people who ask why she did not cry out or throw her young body between Floyd and four armed police officers.

Erica Garner was 23 years old when a New York City police officer placed her father, Eric Garner, in a chokehold and killed him. His dying words were, like Floyd’s, “I can’t breathe.” His daughter became an outspoken advocate for police reform, a face of the Black Lives Matter movement. That is, until she died at age 27 of a heart attack brought on by asthma. Her family said in a Twitter statement at the time, “When you report this you remember she was human: mother, daughter, sister, aunt. Her heart was bigger than the world. It really, really was. She cared when most people wouldn't have. She was good. She only pursued right, no matter what. No one gave her justice.”

Black women and girls’ interactions with the criminal-justice system are not just ancillary. Their direct involvement with police begins early. Black girls are suspended from school at a rate six times higher than that of white girls. They are “the fastest growing segment of the juvenile justice system,” according to an article in the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy—1.2 times more likely to be detained and 20 percent more likely to be charged than their white counterparts.

Black girls are also treated with excessive force. A viral video filmed in 2015 showed a white policeman astride a small, 14-year-old, bikini-clad black girl in McKinney, Texas. He and other officers had responded to calls from white neighbors about a teen pool party. In 2016, another video showed a South Carolina school resource officer and sheriff’s deputy slamming a teenage black girl backward from her chair for refusing to give up her cellphone. Both that girl and another black girl who came to her defense were arrested.

Black trans women experience disproportionate police harassment. According to a report on anti-transgender violence, more than a third of black trans women who interact with law enforcement are assumed by police to be sex workers, leading to harassment, abuse, and mistreatment.

Although the assumption that women are “the fairer sex” and, along with their children, to be protected endures, that belief and that protection have always been the privilege (as well as the burden) of middle-class white women. And not all children are deemed innocent and immature; certainly black ones are not. Since 1619, America has viewed black women and girls very differently from their white counterparts.

As I explained in my book The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America, these biases helped justify enslavement and exploitation in antebellum America. Slaveowners called black women “masculine” and “bestial” to justify hard manual labor, and “aggressive” and “lascivious” to rationalize rape and the breeding of new human property. They viewed black women and girls as devoid of human emotion to pardon separating them from their loved ones, and as natural servants to excuse ignoring their personal agency. White people called black women “ugly,” “hard,” and “valueless” to differentiate them from the fine white ladies of land-owning gentry. Black girls were rarely called children, simply young chattel that had not yet come into its complete usefulness. “Many of the earliest representations of black children demonstrated their exclusion from the social category of childhood,” Crystal Lynn Webster wrote in The American Historian, adding that women such as Mary Prince and Harriet Jacobs, who documented the experience of bondswomen, “represented their enslavement through the violent losses of their childhood innocence and … sexual violations of girlhood in the world of slavery.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/revolution-will-be-incomplete-without-black-women-and-girls/613045/

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 'Comfort women' crisis: campaign over wartime sexual slavery hit by financial scandal

14 Jun 2020

It began with a call by a South Korean former “comfort woman” to end protests outside Japan’s embassy in Seoul – a rare attempt at reconciliation that has quickly spiralled into the biggest crisis the campaign for justice for survivors of wartime sexual slavery has faced in its three-decade history.

Lee Yong-soo, a 92-year-old veteran campaigner, told reporters last month that she would no longer attend weekly rallies outside the embassy, claiming that they had only engendered hatred between young South Koreans and their Japanese counterparts.

But Lee was to land another bombshell, claiming that a group formed to support her and other survivors had exploited public sympathy for their ordeal to secure donations, but had spent little of the cash on their welfare.

Her claims sparked an emotional public debate on the comfort women, a euphemism for tens of thousands of girls and women – mostly Koreans, but also Chinese, south-east Asians and a small number of Japanese and Europeans – who were forced to work in frontline brothels run by the Japanese military before and during the second world war.

Prosecutors are now investigating allegations that the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan failed to help the victims and used the funds instead for private gain. The group said it “never loosely used money” but apologised for “accounting flaws” for which it has requested an independent audit.

The investigation is proving uncomfortable for South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, after claims emerged that the council’s former head Yoon Mee-hyang, who represents Moon’s party, embezzled some of the funds to buy property and to pay for her daughter’s education in the US.

Yoon, who left the council after winning a seat in April’s national assembly elections, has denied the allegations but apologised for “banking errors”.

Yuji Hosaka, a Japanese-born South Korean professor of Japanese studies at Sejong University in Seoul, said the scandal risked overshadowing the group’s advocacy for former sex slaves since the first survivor went public with her story in 1991. “The movement’s purpose should be respected,” he said.

Lee’s claims are taking a toll on a campaign once that united South Koreans from across the political spectrum behind a shared contempt for Japan, whose 1910-1945 rule of the Korean peninsula continues to sour bilateral ties.    Last weekend, Sohn Young-mi, the head of a shelter for some of the surviving women, was found dead at her home. The cause of death has not been established but police believe it was a suicide, according to South Korean media. Sohn had not been accused of financial misconduct.

A Wish butterfly message for WWII Japanese Military Comfort Women displayed at Memorial Park of Sharing House in Gwangju, South Korea, on 13 August 2019.

While most South Koreans support the women’s demands for an official apology and compensation from Japan, a recent poll by Realmeter found that 70% believed Yoon should resign her national assembly seat.

The conservative newspaper Chosun Ilbo said the council had “hitch-hiked on incendiary anti-Japanese sentiment, driven by political motives,” adding that it had made it “even harder” to resolve the comfort women issue. The centre-left Hankyoreh newspaper said Yoon and the council “need to be transparent about the allegations ... and if any wrongdoing comes to light, they must take responsibility for it,” but warned that the scandal was being exploited by Japanese right-wingers who deny the comfort women were coerced.

This week, Moon broke his silence, telling colleagues that the scandal should not be allowed to undermine the comfort women’s cause. “The victims’ wounds have not been completely healed, as a true apology and reconciliation are still out of reach,” he said, according to the Yonhap news agency.

Lee’s allegations, he said, were an opportunity to scrutinise how support groups had operated. But he added: “It is not right to attempt to deny the comfort women campaign and damage its cause. That would destroy the dignity and honour of the victims.”

The council has said it will continue to protest outside the Japanese embassy every Wednesday until the comfort women controversy is “resolved.” The rallies have been held more than 1,400 times since January 1992, with survivors joining student activists to call for an official apology and compensation from the Japanese government.

That is unlikely to happen. Successive Japanese administrations have refused to provide official compensation, insisting that all compensation claims were settled under a 1965 bilateral peace treaty.

The weekly rally held on Wednesday is to ask for Japanese government’s official apology and compensation for the victims of the Japanese military’s sexual slavery during the World War II and the online rally was held to prevent COVID-19 infection.

The prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and other conservative politicians have played down the Japanese military’s role in procuring the women, while right-wing activists insist that the women were not coerced and question the number of victims cited by many historians.

The countries appeared to have settled their differences in late 2015, when Japan agreed to provide 1 billion yen [USD 9.3 million] in “humanitarian” funds to a South Korean foundation set up to support the women. In return, Seoul agreed not to raise the issue in international forums, adding that it would try to meet Japan’s demand to secure the removal of a comfort women statue in front of the embassy in Seoul.

But the diplomatic truce, which both governments described as “irreversible”, lies in tatters after Moon dissolved the foundation, saying that the deal – negotiated under his conservative predecessor Park Geun-hye – had not taken into account the feelings of surviving victims and the South Korean public.

Former South Korean “comfort woman” Lee Yong-soo, wipes away her tears during a demonstration demanding the Japanese government’s formal apology near the Japanese embassy in Seoul on September 18, 2019.

Former South Korean “comfort woman” Lee Yong-soo, wipes away her tears during a demonstration demanding the Japanese government’s formal apology near the Japanese embassy in Seoul on September 18, 2019. Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

The scandal is a reminder that for Lee and other victims, their quest for justice is also a battle against time. An estimated 46 former sex slaves were alive at the time of the doomed agreement with Japan; just five years later, as Lee went public with her explosive claims about a movement that was once politically untouchable, she was one of only 17 survivors.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/14/comfort-women-crisis-campaign-over-wartime-sexual-slavery-hit-by-financial-scandal

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 'Comfort women' crisis: campaign over wartime sexual slavery hit by financial scandal

14 Jun 2020

It began with a call by a South Korean former “comfort woman” to end protests outside Japan’s embassy in Seoul – a rare attempt at reconciliation that has quickly spiralled into the biggest crisis the campaign for justice for survivors of wartime sexual slavery has faced in its three-decade history.

Lee Yong-soo, a 92-year-old veteran campaigner, told reporters last month that she would no longer attend weekly rallies outside the embassy, claiming that they had only engendered hatred between young South Koreans and their Japanese counterparts.

But Lee was to land another bombshell, claiming that a group formed to support her and other survivors had exploited public sympathy for their ordeal to secure donations, but had spent little of the cash on their welfare.

Her claims sparked an emotional public debate on the comfort women, a euphemism for tens of thousands of girls and women – mostly Koreans, but also Chinese, south-east Asians and a small number of Japanese and Europeans – who were forced to work in frontline brothels run by the Japanese military before and during the second world war.

Prosecutors are now investigating allegations that the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan failed to help the victims and used the funds instead for private gain. The group said it “never loosely used money” but apologised for “accounting flaws” for which it has requested an independent audit.

The investigation is proving uncomfortable for South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, after claims emerged that the council’s former head Yoon Mee-hyang, who represents Moon’s party, embezzled some of the funds to buy property and to pay for her daughter’s education in the US.

Yoon, who left the council after winning a seat in April’s national assembly elections, has denied the allegations but apologised for “banking errors”.

Yuji Hosaka, a Japanese-born South Korean professor of Japanese studies at Sejong University in Seoul, said the scandal risked overshadowing the group’s advocacy for former sex slaves since the first survivor went public with her story in 1991. “The movement’s purpose should be respected,” he said.

Lee’s claims are taking a toll on a campaign once that united South Koreans from across the political spectrum behind a shared contempt for Japan, whose 1910-1945 rule of the Korean peninsula continues to sour bilateral ties.    Last weekend, Sohn Young-mi, the head of a shelter for some of the surviving women, was found dead at her home. The cause of death has not been established but police believe it was a suicide, according to South Korean media. Sohn had not been accused of financial misconduct.

A Wish butterfly message for WWII Japanese Military Comfort Women displayed at Memorial Park of Sharing House in Gwangju, South Korea, on 13 August 2019.

While most South Koreans support the women’s demands for an official apology and compensation from Japan, a recent poll by Realmeter found that 70% believed Yoon should resign her national assembly seat.

The conservative newspaper Chosun Ilbo said the council had “hitch-hiked on incendiary anti-Japanese sentiment, driven by political motives,” adding that it had made it “even harder” to resolve the comfort women issue. The centre-left Hankyoreh newspaper said Yoon and the council “need to be transparent about the allegations ... and if any wrongdoing comes to light, they must take responsibility for it,” but warned that the scandal was being exploited by Japanese right-wingers who deny the comfort women were coerced.

This week, Moon broke his silence, telling colleagues that the scandal should not be allowed to undermine the comfort women’s cause. “The victims’ wounds have not been completely healed, as a true apology and reconciliation are still out of reach,” he said, according to the Yonhap news agency.

Lee’s allegations, he said, were an opportunity to scrutinise how support groups had operated. But he added: “It is not right to attempt to deny the comfort women campaign and damage its cause. That would destroy the dignity and honour of the victims.”

The council has said it will continue to protest outside the Japanese embassy every Wednesday until the comfort women controversy is “resolved.” The rallies have been held more than 1,400 times since January 1992, with survivors joining student activists to call for an official apology and compensation from the Japanese government.

That is unlikely to happen. Successive Japanese administrations have refused to provide official compensation, insisting that all compensation claims were settled under a 1965 bilateral peace treaty.

The weekly rally held on Wednesday is to ask for Japanese government’s official apology and compensation for the victims of the Japanese military’s sexual slavery during the World War II and the online rally was held to prevent COVID-19 infection.

The prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and other conservative politicians have played down the Japanese military’s role in procuring the women, while right-wing activists insist that the women were not coerced and question the number of victims cited by many historians.

The countries appeared to have settled their differences in late 2015, when Japan agreed to provide 1 billion yen [USD 9.3 million] in “humanitarian” funds to a South Korean foundation set up to support the women. In return, Seoul agreed not to raise the issue in international forums, adding that it would try to meet Japan’s demand to secure the removal of a comfort women statue in front of the embassy in Seoul.

But the diplomatic truce, which both governments described as “irreversible”, lies in tatters after Moon dissolved the foundation, saying that the deal – negotiated under his conservative predecessor Park Geun-hye – had not taken into account the feelings of surviving victims and the South Korean public.

Former South Korean “comfort woman” Lee Yong-soo, wipes away her tears during a demonstration demanding the Japanese government’s formal apology near the Japanese embassy in Seoul on September 18, 2019.

Former South Korean “comfort woman” Lee Yong-soo, wipes away her tears during a demonstration demanding the Japanese government’s formal apology near the Japanese embassy in Seoul on September 18, 2019. Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

The scandal is a reminder that for Lee and other victims, their quest for justice is also a battle against time. An estimated 46 former sex slaves were alive at the time of the doomed agreement with Japan; just five years later, as Lee went public with her explosive claims about a movement that was once politically untouchable, she was one of only 17 survivors.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/14/comfort-women-crisis-campaign-over-wartime-sexual-slavery-hit-by-financial-scandal

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 Women Should Play Pivotal Role In Post Covid World: MD and CEO Tech Mahindra

14 June 2020

TEDx Kanke, has been organizing a Webinar Series titled ‘The Rise of a New World’ which started on May 2. The speaker of the event on June 13 was CP Gurnani, MD and CEO Tech Mahindra who shared his insights on the topic Strategy for New Normal situation post Covid- 19. The session was moderated by Bipul Mayank, Master of Environmental Management, Yale University, USA.

The webinar series is slated to have speakers from the fields of technology, innovation, leadership, creativity and art and culture of national and international acclaim. The sessions are being streamed live on the facebook page fb.me/tedxkanke20.

“This crisis which has affected individuals, societies and economies around the world will at best be forgotten. But things that have lasted in India for 96 days, cannot be forgotten. The reality is that this crisis will change the way we live and work and also the way economies function. While we all have agreed that the world order is changing and that life for each one of us from students, doctors to farmers has drastically changed, all of us are also questioning what will be new in the new Covid world,” said Gurnani.

“India not only has a bargaining power but also a unique opportunity. In this situation many of us have a role to play as policy makers or in the private sector. Lets us all recognize it as an opportunity, let public and private work together and convert some of the disadvantages that China has as all disadvantages are temporary,” said the speaker.

“Women make better leaders. They have shown better flexibility in skilling and managing stress. When women are successful then why has women unemployment gone up?  Post Covid working from home will only increase. If so, are we going to say that a woman will not be allowed to function or a will she be subjected to so much more of harassment? Women have proven their qualities and they should play a more pivotal role in the post Covid world,” added Gurnani.

“Covid is an equalizer. People are now looking at a different way of doing business. Dhoni who played cricket 24X7 is looking at launching health clubs with some of them being virtual. There are too many opportunities. We need to steer the ship and we creatively use this chance to redefine sports, retail or anything that can be digital. Customer experience will still be the X- Factor but in this case the customer cannot be seen,” added the MD.

Rajeev Gupta curator of the event said, “Whenever there is a crisis, there is hope. The idea behind TED is ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’ and with that in mind TEDx Kanke Webinar series has been started to connect great speakers from various spheres with local communities to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and our changing world and to inspire ideas and action for a better future for us all. The lockdown and social distancing has inspired us to take the event online and reach out to more and more people, keep them inspired, positive and be ready for the new world post Covid-19.”

https://www.dailypioneer.com/2020/state-editions/women-should-play-pivotal-role-in-post-covid-world--gurnani.html

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URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/one-third-of-uk-women-are-suffering-from-lockdown-loneliness/d/122118

 

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