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women’s rights

Let’s face it, politics can be confusing at the best of times, but it doesn’t Enda Kenny can’t actually remember what he did or didn’t say.

Questions have been raised over whether or not the Taoiseach raised the issue of women’s rights during a trade mission to Saudi Arabia in 2014 after he made some conflicting comments on the issue.

Speaking in Toronto on Friday he said he had raised the issue of human rights ‘’which obviously includes women's rights", with the Saudi Authorities.

 ‘’Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister Flanagan has raised specifically the issue of women’s rights and that will continue to be Ireland’s position,” he added.

However, the statement conflicted with what Enda said in the Dáil at the time of the mission.

On April 1, 2014, the Taoiseach said “The issue of women’s rights was not specifically discussed,” when quizzed by Micheal Martin.

Enda replied to the confusion by saying that while the issue of human rights was discussed in Saudi Arbaia, it did not include a specific emphasis on women’s rights. 



As if we needed another reason to fight for women's rights, it recently emerged that our environment could be suffering as a result of our inequalities. 

In a special issue of the prestigious journal Science, academics warned how our spiralling population, and need to grow large amounts of food, is contributing to the loss of species and habitats around the world.

It is estimated that the global population will hit 11 million by the end of the century, thus increasing our necessary food production by a massive 30 per cent.

So, how does this relate to women’s rights?

Well, in one of the papers featured in the journal, Professor Eileen Crist, of Virginia Tech, and his colleagues, argue that little action has been taken to control the rate at which the human population is growing and this is largely due to the lack resources available to women. 

“Wherever women are empowered educationally, culturally, economically, politically, and legally, fertility rates fall.”

“Populations tend to move toward states of zero or negative growth when women achieve equal standing with men, as long as family planning services and contraceptives are readily available.”

The journal put a huge emphasis on the importance of female education, referring to birth statistics in Africa to illustrate their point.

“African women with no education have, on average, 5.4 children; women who have completed primary school have 4.3 children, and a big drop, to 2.7, correlates with completion of secondary school; for those who go on to college, fertility is 2.2.’’

So, simply put, man, woman, child or animal, we could all benefit from improving gender equality.  



Last Friday, a group of female athletes were told at the very last minute that they could not take part in the Tehran marathon.

160 women registered to compete in the 26 mile race, however, after receiving an email three weeks before the event was due to take place, many were left concerned as to the likelihood of their participation.

The female participants were informed that they would not be taking part, as men and women cannot participate in sports together in Iran.

Race organisers continued to provide participants with confusing updates and rule changes up to two days before the race, leaving many of the female runners unsure if they would be taking part.

On the morning of the race, it finally emerged that female participants could take part in a 10- kilometre run, but not the half or full marathon.

Those runners who still wished to complete the full distance had to do so on an indoor sports track.

Speaking to The Independent, professional runner, Manal Adel Rostom, told how she was turned away the day before the event after trying to collect her runner's bib, leaving her to believe her €125 race entry fee had been completely wasted.

“It was totally chaotic, even the runners' numbers had been mixed up. I was arguing and arguing with the registration guy because I came all the way from Dubai for a marathon, not a 10K.”

Many runners travelled long distances to take part in the race and so, not satisfied with the abrupt rule change, a group of 12 Iranian and international female entrants decided to run their own secret marathon.

The ladies ran in 700 metre loops around Beheshte Madaran park, for 32 kilometres before joining the official women's 10K race at 4pm.  

Karin Brogtrop, a Dutch runner involved in the secret race described the experience.

“It was a really lovely experience. It was a women’s park but it was family day, so there were men there too. People kept offering us tea or running alongside us,” Ms Brogtrop said. “We had fun. I was happy with it.” 

Many of the female runners in the official 10K carried bibs and banners saying ‘See you next year, 42K.’

G'wan ladies! 

Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!



On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, thousands of women the world over are creating posters in preparation to march in support of gender equality.

The Women's March on Washington has been gearing up since it's online conception ten weeks ago, and has garnered the support of over half a million people across their various social media platforms.

Similar marches will be occurring in countries across the globe, and Ireland is one of them.

The Women's March on Washington – Dublin is happening tomorrow at 12 noon, and over 1,200 people have clicked attending on the events Facebook page. 

"We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families, recognising that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country," says The Women's March page. 

"The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us: immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, and survivors of sexual assault." 

"Our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear."


A video posted by Women's March (@womensmarch) on

Organisations like The Abortion Rights Campaign, Amnesty International Ireland, the Coalition to Repeal the 8th, Democrats Abroad and the European Network Against Racism have all offered their official support to tomorrows march in Dublin.

The march will begin at the Garden of Remembrance, culminating outside the GPO in a rally at 1.30pm. You can check out the event here.

SHEmazing! will be at tomorrows march, so follow us on Snapchat @shemazingie and on Facebook Live to keep up with all the action. 


Living in a country whose government has yet to extend women the right to bodily autonomy means it’s highly likely you have a view on the 8th amendment.

Whether for or against its repeal, you have an opinion on abortion.

And so too does Lena Dunham.

Indeed, the pilot episode of her award-winning series, Girls, focuses on a character’s decision to terminate a pregnancy while a later episode addresses the repercussions born of a woman’s right to choose.

And yet despite being commended for a searingly accurate portrayal, Lena seems to think that her stance on the matter is – on some level – less authentic because she herself has never had an abortion.

Speaking during a recent Women of the Hour podcast, Lena admitted that stigma surrounding abortion had – despite her best efforts – infiltrated her thought-process.

“One day when I was visiting Planned Parenthood in Texas a few years ago, a young girl walked up to me and asked me if I’d like to be part of her project in which women share stories of abortions.”

“I sort of jumped,” Lena admitted. ‘I haven’t had an abortion’, I told her. I wanted to make it really clear that as much as I was going out and fighting for other women’s options, I myself had never had an abortion.”

“And I realised then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around the issue,“ she continued. “Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt it was important that people know I was unblemished in this department.”

Look, there are very few of us who haven’t, at some point, found ourselves unwittingly influenced by an external narrative, but recognising this is simply part and parcel of forming an adult opinion.

Worryingly however, Lena isn’t content to merely acknowledge this element of opinion formation and move on, but instead suggests that a person's perspective is less valid if they don't have first-hand experience of the matter.

“I feel so proud of them for their bravery, for their self-knowledge, and it was a really important moment for me then to realise that I had internalised some of what society was throwing at us and I had to put it in the garbage.”

“Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had,” she admitted.

Let’s consider that for a moment – Lena wishes she had had an abortion. And not because she is now a mother who is unequipped emotionally and/ or financially to care for a child, but so she might be able to wave her pro-choice flag that little bit higher.

Would it really make her stance on bodily autonomy more, shall we say, authentic if she had personally endured the same emotional turmoil that invariably accompanies a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy? 

Is Lena really suggesting that her opinion on women's rights has less sway because she hasn’t found herself grappling with a certain decision?

By that token, is an individual, who protests against racial discrimination, in less of a position to do so until they themselves have been a victim of it?

Similarly, can the average Joe not object to homophobic rhetoric unless they themselves have been in a same-sex relationship?

And did the voices of the women, who marched through Dublin demanding an appeal of the 8th amendment on behalf of themselves, their sisters, their daughters and their friends, ring any less true simply because not all present had undergone a termination?

Isn’t Lena missing the point here? She appears to be under the misguided impression that women who have had abortions only seek and appreciate the support of those who have made the same choice, and ultimately dismiss the support of those who haven't.

Supporting a woman’s right to choose does not require we live parallel lives.

Demanding bodily autonomy for women does not necessitate a past ‘abortion story’.

And ‘wishing’ you had had an abortion purely so your opinion on the matter appears more authentic belittles the experience of the very women you’re claiming to support.

Don’t wish you had an abortion; wish that the women who did could have done it without judgement.



Hollywood heartthrob, Chris Pratt, has spoken out against the inequality of the objectification of women.

His answer to this problem? Objectify the men just as much as the women. That we can do, Chris!

In an interview with Radio 4’s Front Row, Chris vocalised his disdain. “I think it’s appalling that for a long time only women were objectified,” the Jurassic World star revealed.

“But I think if we really want to advocate for equality, it’s important to even things out.” Hear, hear!

Sadly Chris’s latest film doesn’t have NEARLY enough (or any) shirtless scenes, but we are going to take his latest message as a sign that they are on the way.

The 35-year-old star has seen a seismic shift in his career and the roles that he is being offered, because of his looks. “There are a lot of women who got careers out of their bodies, and I’m using it to my advantage,” he said.

Although, it’s clear that Chris, who is married to actress Anna Faris, doesn’t take his new heartthrob status too personally. “At the end of the day, our bodies are objects… We’re just big bags of flesh and blood and meat and organs that God gives us to drive around.”

It is certainly safe to say that his new found six-pack is SERIOUSLY working. Chris’s next big role is starring alongside Jennifer Lawrence in the forthcoming sci-fi romance flick, Passengers.

Chris is reportedly to earn €11 million, while his co-star Ms Lawrence will rake in an astonishing €18 mil for the project. 



Turkey’s Prime Minister, Bülent Arınç received backlash recently when he said: “A woman should be chaste. She should know the difference between public and private. She should not laugh in public.”

Following this, Turkish women, and indeed, women around the world protested in the most powerful way – through social media.

Using the hashtag #direnkahkaha (resisted laughter), Emma shared an image of herself laughing while standing outside in public.

The move comes only weeks after the Harry Potter actress was announced as UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador. 

Something tells us the politician regrets his questionable comments….

Smile, girls!