Activision Blizzard staff walk out over harassment claims

Staff at US gaming giant Activision Blizzard have staged a walk-out over accusations of sexism and harassment. The company behind Call of Duty and World of Warcraft was sued last week by the state of California over alleged violations of state workplace protection laws. Female employees described a “frat boy” culture, the lawsuit said. Activision denied the allegations claiming they were “distorted and in many cases false”. On Tuesday, Activision’s CEO said the initial response had been “tone-deaf”. Employees protested outside the company’s campus in Irvine on Wednesday. Some were pictured holding signs that read “women’s voices matter” and “fight … Continue reading Activision Blizzard staff walk out over harassment claims

Pink offers to pay bikini bottoms fine for Norway women’s handball team

US pop star Pink has offered to pay the fines handed out to the Norwegian women’s beach handball team, after they wore shorts like their male counterparts instead of bikini bottoms. The team was fined fined 1,500 euros  for “improper clothing” at the European Beach Handball Championships last week. “I’m very proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team for protesting sexist rules about their uniform,” tweeted the singer on Sunday. “Good on ya, ladies,” she added. “I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.” The team expressed their gratitude towards the Cover Me In Sunshine and … Continue reading Pink offers to pay bikini bottoms fine for Norway women’s handball team

Saudi women stand guard in Mecca for hajj for first time

Dozens of women in Saudi Arabia are standing guard in Mecca for the first time to help secure the hajj annual pilgrimage, Reuters reported on Wednesday. One female soldier told the news agency that she joined the forces in honor of her late father, who also served in the military. “I am following the steps of my late father to complete his journey, standing here at the Grand mosque in Mecca, the holiest place. To serve the worshippers is a very noble and honourable task,” the woman told Reuters. Another soldier named Samar said she was encouraged by her family to … Continue reading Saudi women stand guard in Mecca for hajj for first time

Ex-Australia MP alleges inappropriate touching by minister

Former Australian government MP Julia Banks says she was inappropriately touched by a current cabinet minister at Parliament House in 2017. Ms Banks, who made the allegation in a memoir, said the male MP moved his hand up her leg during a parliamentary vote session before moving away. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office said in a statement they weren’t previously aware of the allegation. Behaviour of such kind was “completely inappropriate,” they said. In an excerpt from her memoir, Ms Banks did not identify the man, who she said was still in cabinet. She said she and other government MPs … Continue reading Ex-Australia MP alleges inappropriate touching by minister

French lesbians and single women to get IVF rights

France has passed a law allowing single women and lesbian couples to get fertility treatment, currently reserved for heterosexual couples. The National Assembly (lower house) vote follows two years of heated debate and demonstrations by groups opposed to this expansion of reproductive rights. Many French women have gone to Belgium and Spain for fertility treatment, which can be very expensive. The new law brings France into line with 10 other EU countries and the UK. Besides Belgium and Spain, the 10 are: Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. Outside the EU, Iceland and Norway have similar … Continue reading French lesbians and single women to get IVF rights

Gibraltar to hold postponed abortion referendum

Gibraltar heads to the polls Thursday to vote on plans to ease draconian abortion laws in a referendum delayed for over a year by the coronavirus pandemic. The issue has exposed sharply opposing views within this tiny, normally closely-knit British enclave at the southernmost tip of Spain, which is home to some 32,000 people.  The referendum was initially slated for March 19 2020 but a week ahead of the vote it was postponed as virus cases began spiralling at the start of the pandemic. Except in cases where it would save the mother’s life, abortion is currently banned in Gibraltar … Continue reading Gibraltar to hold postponed abortion referendum

Women sue Pornhub, alleging lack of consent

More than 30 women are suing the company which owns the streaming site Pornhub, alleging exploitation over the use of explicit videos of them. The women say the videos were uploaded to Pornhub without their consent and have lodged a civil suit in California. The California lawsuit accuses Mindgeek of running a “criminal enterprise”. In a statement, Pornhub called the allegations “utterly absurd, completely reckless and categorically false”. Pornhub is free to use but users can pay a monthly fee for higher-quality video streams and extra content. Its content is mostly uploaded by its own community and publicly viewable. However, … Continue reading Women sue Pornhub, alleging lack of consent

Salvadoran woman jailed for suspected abortion released

Women’s rights advocates have welcomed the release of a woman in El Salvador who was sentenced to a lengthy prison term for a suspected abortion, in a case that has drawn international attention to the South American nation’s strict abortion ban. Sara Rogel, 28, was arrested in October 2012 after going to a hospital with bleeding injuries caused by what she said was a fall while carrying out chores at home. Then a 22-year-old student, Rogel was prosecuted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing her unborn daughter. Her sentence was later reduced to 10 years, which would have seen … Continue reading Salvadoran woman jailed for suspected abortion released

Czech women win MPs’ backing for non-gendered surnames

Women in the Czech Republic may soon be able to take non-gendered versions of their surnames after MPs backed a change in the law. In the Czech language, the ending “-ova” is added to all surnames for women, so Mr Novak’s daughter becomes Ms Novakova. Women have only been able to drop the “-ova” ending in limited circumstances, such as if they have foreign nationality or live with a foreigner. The senate will now vote on the change. The proposal was brought forward by former Justice Minister Helena Valkova. She said the current situation was an “unjustified unequal position and … Continue reading Czech women win MPs’ backing for non-gendered surnames

Pierre-Charles Boudot, top French jockey under investigation for rape

A French champion jockey has been placed under formal investigation for rape. Pierre-Charles Boudot, 28, is accused of assaulting a woman at a party in February. He denies any wrongdoing. Mr Boudot, who won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2019, has been released on €50,000 (£43,000; $60,000) bail. Another jockey, Pierre Bazire, is also being investigated for failing to report a crime. Mr Bazire does not appear to have publicly commented. The governing body of the sport in France, France Galop, said that while both men were presumed innocent, it had decided to suspend them for two days … Continue reading Pierre-Charles Boudot, top French jockey under investigation for rape

Barbaric: Woman killed in Pakistan after turning down marriage proposals

Police in Lahore, Pakistan, are searching for two men after the fatal shooting of a woman who reportedly refused marriage proposals from each of them. “We are also after two suspects and will share further details at a later stage,” Sayyed Ali, an operations superintendent at Punjab Police, said to the news site Dawn. As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made but police were searching in the cities of Islamabad and Lahore, the case’s chief investigating officer told said. Ali also said police were monitoring closed-circuit TV footage as well as analyzing Zulfiqar’s phone, which was found near her body. But … Continue reading Barbaric: Woman killed in Pakistan after turning down marriage proposals

South Korea airline ex-CEO fined over menstrual leave

A former airline CEO who refused to allow female staff to take menstrual leave protected by employment law has been fined almost $1,800 (£1,300; 2m won) by a court in South Korea. Kim Soo-cheon, the ex-head of Asiana Airlines, turned down 138 requests from 15 flight attendants in 2014 and 2015. Mr Kim claimed the employees did not provide proof of menstruation. Since 1953, women in South Korea have been allowed to take one day off a month if they have painful periods. It allows women to take one or two days off a month, sometimes unpaid, when they are … Continue reading South Korea airline ex-CEO fined over menstrual leave