The start of 16 days of activism against Gender-based Violence commenced on 25th November 2020 on the day known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. A report: UK Femicides 2009-2018 published on the 25/11/20 has revealed that the number of women killed each year by men has stayed the same at between 124 and 168. From 2009 to 2018 at least 1,425 women were killed by men in the UK. What do these figures mean? Sadly it translates as :
- a man killed a woman every three days and
- a woman was killed by a male partner or ex-partner every four days.
In addition, the methods used, the contexts in which women are killed and their relationship with the men who kill them have changed little over the ten-year period. Women are killed by their husbands, partners and ex-partners; by sons, grandsons and other male relatives; by acquaintances, colleagues, neighbours and strangers. The rate at which men kill women shows no sign of reducing. The report is dedicated to all those women with each one named. Every single woman and girl in this report mattered. The Femicide Census is a call to action for change. femicidecensus.org
During these 16 days of activism what can we do? What is in no doubt is that ending violence against women is mine and your business, it’s everybody’s business. UN Women have ten suggestions in which we can make a difference:
- Listen to and believe survivors
- Teach the next generation and learn from them
- Call for responses and services fit for purpose
- Understand consent
- Learn the signs of abuse and how you can help
- Start a conversation
- Stand against rape culture
- Fund women’s organizations
- Know the data and demand more of it
Congratulations to Dr. Alison Taylor in the Centre for Midwifery,Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) whose third PhD paper has just been accepted by the International Breastfeeding Journal. Alison’s paper ‘Commercialisation and commodification of breastfeeding: video diaries by first-time mothers’ reminds us that many of aspects of our lives are increasingly commercialised in post-modern society. Although breastfeeding is perhaps a late comer to this process in recent years, it too has seen significant commercialisation facilitated by social media and our obsession with celebrity culture.
This paper explores how the commercialisation and commodification of breastfeeding impacts mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding. The paper highlights that women preparing for breastfeeding are exposed to increasing commercialisation. When things do not go to plan, women are even more exposed to commercial solutions. The impact of online marketing strategies fuelled their need for paraphernalia so that their dependence on such items became important aspects of their parenting and breastfeeding experiences. Dr. Taylor and her co-authors offer new insights into how advertising influenced mothers’ need for specialist equipment and services. Observing mothers in their video diaries, provided valuable insights into their parenting styles and how this affected their breastfeeding experience.
The International Breastfeeding Journal is an Open Access journal owned by Springer.
- Taylor, A.M., van Teijlingen, E., Alexander, J., Ryan, K. (2020) Commercialisation and commodification of breastfeeding: video diaries by first-time mothers, International Breastfeeding Journal (accepted).
- Taylor A, van Teijlingen, E.,Ryan K, Alexander J (2019) ‘Scrutinised, judged & sabotaged’: A qualitative video diary study of first-time breastfeeding mothers, Midwifery 75: 16-23.
- Taylor, A.M., van Teijlingen, E., Alexander, J., Ryan, K. (2019) The therapeutic role of video diaries: A qualitative study involving breastfeeding mothers, Women & Birth 32(3):276-83. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871519218300064
A new publication by Dr. Luisa Cescutti-Butler (FHSS) and her co-authors (Professor A Hemingway & Dr. J. Hewitt-Taylor) which explores women’s experiences of caring for a late preterm baby using feminism as a research methodology has just been published in the Australian Women and Birth Journal (October 2019). Her research found that women who become mothers’ of late preterm babies have a complex journey. It begins with separation, with babies being cared for in unfamiliar and highly technical environments where the perceived experts are healthcare professionals. Women’s needs are side-lined, and they are required to care for their babies within parameters determined by others. Institutional and professional barriers to mothering/caring are numerous. For example: some of the women who were separated from their babies immediately after birth had difficulties conceiving themselves as mothers, and others faced restrictions when trying to access their babies. Women described care that was centred on their babies. They were allowed and expected to care for their babies, but only with ‘powerless responsibility’. Many women appeared to be excluded from decisions and were not always provided with full information about their babies. The research concludes by recommending that women whose babies are born late preterm would benefit from greater consideration in relation to their needs, rather than the focus being almost exclusively on their babies.
Luisa is Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) and Lead for Examination of the Newborn in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences. If you would like any further information please email Luisa on email@example.com
Cescutti-Butler, L.D. Hewitt-Taylor, J. and Hemingway, A., 2019. Powerless responsibility: A feminist study of women’s experiences of caring for their late preterm babies. Women and Birth, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2019.08.006
Cescutti-Butler, L.D., Hemingway, A., and Hewitt-Taylor, J., 2018. “His tummy’s only tiny” – Scientific feeding advice versus women’s knowledge. Women’s experiences of feeding their late preterm babies. Midwifery, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.11.001