Category: Women

Who will police the police?

Allegra Chapman
Downing Street police guards seen through the railings

Since Sarah Everard was murdered in March by a serving police officer, 81 women have been killed in the UK at the hands of men. How are women supposed to feel safe on our streets if the very people whose primary job is to protect us are instead disregarding, mocking or killing us? Can women trust the police? And perhaps more importantly, should we?

The Afghan people that I know…

Maya Evans
Afghan women wearing Burqas and one in a hijab

Peace campaigner and Hastings Councillor Maya Evans, who has been visiting Afghanistan for the past 10 years, gives a first-hand account of life for the Afghans she met and came to know so well. They are, she says, the real left-behind poor, the ones who have already suffered so much in the conflict through no fault of their own. And she explains why now, more than ever, they need – and deserve – the West’s help to rebuild their devastated country and shattered lives…

Afghan refugees desperately need our help…

Vivienne Griffiths
A line of child refugees in Kabul, Afghanistan

Government bungling together with Priti Patel’s inhumane Borders Bill and disastrous Home Office response have only served to hinder humanitarian efforts, both with the evacuation in Afghanistan and assisting asylum seekers here in the UK. Traumatised Afghan refugees who have barely escaped with their lives deserve kindness, compassion and support, not more hostility. Writer Vivienne Griffiths examines the horrifying events of recent days and offers practical advice for anyone iwanting to help refugees locally…

Joni Mitchell’s Blue at 50 sparks memories of travelling and music

Vivienne Griffiths
Joni Mitchell's album "Blue" was released 50 years ago in 1971

When Joni Mitchell’s album Blue came out in June 1971, the author Vivienne Griffiths, herself then an aspiring folk singer, had not long returned to the UK from an exciting year of travels in the USA. “Even now,” she says, “I only have to hear the opening chords of the songs, with their haunting music and evocative lyrics, and it conjures up this memorable time in my life.”

Tracks of a Trickster – who does Boris Johnson think he is?

Rev Susie Courtault
A satirical photo tableau depicting Boris Johnson and new bride Carrie Symonds in the rose garden with body bags piled high

Because adultery and abortion are considered sinful in the Catholic Church, a large number of Christians (who take their faith very seriously) are appalled that a serial adulterer, and someone well known to have abandoned his children, could get away with taking the sacraments in Westminster Cathedral. Yet reinventing himself is part of his raison d’être. I suspect he has no particular attachment to being able to take the sacraments and went along with the whole process because he had no strong opinions either way — and that is exactly what a trickster would do.

NEW WRITER

Bum note – does Johnson’s government hate choral singing?

Ruth McDermott
Photo of a Heathfield Choral Society concert from before Covid

Many activities that prolong exposure to heavy breathing have been given the go ahead for indoor activity, such as working out at the gym, laughing with mates down the pub or chatting over a meal at a local restaurant, not to mention thousands of fans gathering at a football stadium to watch a game, no doubt doing what fans will – hugging, celebrating, chanting and singing! So why has the Government banned all amateur choirs from rehearsing indoors?

Violence against women must end

Rev Susie Courtault & Vivienne Griffiths
A lit tea light, shining a light on male violence against women.

Susie Courtault and Vivienne Griffiths interviewed five women aged between 12 and 72 about their experiences of male violence and abuse. They conclude that boys need to be educated to process their emotions and to understand that sexual harassment and violence are never acceptable.

Footballers choose to challenge – International Women’s Day 2021

Ginny Foster

On International Women’s Day Lewes District Council hosted a lunchtime conversation between councillor Zoe Nicholson and two incredibly dynamic women who live in the area. Mebrak Ghebfreweldi, the founder and MD of Diversity Resource International in Eastbourne and Karen Dobres, co-director of Lewes Football Club, were asked what International Women’s Day meant to them.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

International Women’s Day 2021: #ChooseToChallenge

Sussex Bylines

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, we feature this selection of articles published in Sussex Bylines in the run-up to 8 March, along with other pieces about women who have fought for political representation, challenged prejudice, refused to remain invisible, and who have been proud to hold the banner of women’s rights high.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Maternity matters – Pregnant then Screwed

Rev Susie Courtault

As International Women’s Day approaches, Susie Courtault regrets the loss of EU anti-discrimination protection of women’s maternity rights as she discusses the recently lost Pregnant then Screwed court case and argues why they should have won.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

My remarkable aunts

Vivienne Griffiths

As International Women’s Day approaches on 8 March, Vivienne Griffiths remembers two of her aunts: Florence Rourke and Kay Williams. Both were remarkable women, in very different ways, and both had a profound influence on Vivienne’s life.