It’s been a while since I posted anything here, mainly because I’ve been busy working on projects elsewhere. I’ve had a ton of fun, intellectually and creatively. Now feels like a good time to stop and reflect. Below I’ve summarised some of my highlights from 2015.
I took part in the LSE’s Gender Inequality & Power commission, where I had the privilege of translating the thoughts of some incredibly clever women as they discussed the finer details of gender inequality in relation to the law, the economy, politics and media. The commission investigations found that equality gains made in the last few decades are under threat due to a combination of factors, most prominently governments’ (across Europe) response to the financial crisis of 2008. The final report, which I also worked on, is well worth a read.
The academic findings of the commission chimed with what I saw in my reporting and in the work that I commissioned others to write for Lacuna magazine. Last year I went on several Sisters Uncut protests against the closures of domestic violence services for women. These colourful and lively parades had a serious underlying message: two women a week die at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. Studies, stats, police reports all show that women are most in danger when they try to leave. That’s why refuges and support services are so essential to women’s safety. I wrote about Sisters Uncut and a domestic violence refuge in East London under threat because of local authority funding cuts for Lacuna: http://lacuna.org.uk/insider/sisters-uncut-protest/
Other pieces I commissioned on the subject of women and equality before the law:
- Lisa Muggeridge writes about the collision of legal aid cuts in the UK with existing social inequalities, and what this means for women in the family courts;
- Zoe Gardner explains why immigration law fails women seeking asylum in Britain and what can be done about it;
- Reporting from Bangalore, Meera Vijayann looks at life for women in domestic servitude, many of whom have fallen through a gap in Indian labour law and who struggle to access employment rights.
I also wrote about housing, mental health, immigration detention, calling people illegal and went to Sicily to report on the migrant crisis there. When the refugee crisis in Calais hit the headlines, I wrote this for Prospect magazine. I put forward a pretty sensible solution to the crisis (which I also suggested in my 2012 report on EU asylum policy). Now it’s even worse. My latest piece on the issue is full of questions, and no real answers.
Over the next few weeks I’ll re-publish the pieces I wrote in 2015 (and during the first few months of this year) that I think still resonate and might interest people.
And if you’re in London or Coventry this month you can catch me at a few events. I’ll be talking austerity at the Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre this Friday and then about the London mayoral elections at Foyles Charing Cross with Owen Jones, Daniel Trilling and Rachel Shabi on March 30th. On Monday next week I’ll be chairing a panel discussion on protest for the Centre for Human Rights in Practice’s protest and performance conference.
More soon, thanks for reading!