Edinburgh’s Women’s Aid Discusses ‘What’s Next?’

Women's Aid Credit: Scottish Women's Aid

Women’s Aid
Credit: Scottish Women’s Aid

by Nicola Brown

Edinburgh’s Women’s Aid yesterday discussed the possible future role of men in the organisation at a meeting held after concerns were raised about the future of the charity.

According to the United Nations, up to 70 percent of women will experience violence in their lifetime. Edinburgh’s Women’s Aid is one charity that has fought to combat this issue by offering practical and emotional support to women and children suffering from domestic abuse. After facing criticism over whether they are still providing what vulnerable women need, the charity held a meeting yesterday to discuss the issues. One of the solutions discussed was to involve men directly for the first time in the organisations work.

A committee member at Edinburgh’s Women’s Aid said: “We often have people asking why Women’s Aid doesn’t offer certain services, or what we actually do now. People wonder whether we’re still relevant. So we thought, right, let’s open up the debate, ask the questions and see if we can all come up with some ideas to move forward.” Another Women’s Aid member said: “Men are part of the problem, so they need to be part of the solution.”

The Open Space event was held yesterday at St Andrew’s and St George’s church on George Street. The day was an invite only affair, titled: ‘What Next?’ Representatives from Police Scotland, the Local Council and key members from other domestic abuse charities including ‘Streetwork’ met to discuss the pressing issues decided by the guests themselves.

One of the issues voiced was whether men should have a more direct dealing with the charity. Currently, there are no men employed by Women’s Aid and any new vacancies specify that only women may apply. Whilst the charity currently works with men from other services, many of the industry specialists agreed that hiring men directly could be beneficial. This came alongside the debate that Women’s Aid suffers from an ‘out of touch’ public image.

A representative from another domestic abuse charity said: “People come to us and some do not want to turn to Women’s Aid because the perception is that they only help women ready to leave their partners. There is still this preconceived idea that Women’s Aid is run by ‘man-haters’.”

The general consensus remained that women should still form the majority of  board  members and employees for the charity. One attendee spoke of the needs of the women and children being the priority, but that positive male role models have been proven to be beneficial to some of the women and especially to the children.

The Women’s Aid event comes in amongst current global efforts to end gender based abuse. Monday the 25th of November, was the start of Unite’s campaign, International Violence Against Women’s Day. It precedes a sixteen-day global campaign to raise awareness, with statistics showing that 1 in 3 women worldwide are the victims of abuse. Secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, said: “Violence against women and girls directly affects individuals while harming our common humanity.”

Nation celebrates National Cleavage Day

Celebrate National Cleavage Day!

By: Pamela Paterson

Today women are celebrating their decolletage as they take part in National Cleavage Day.

The unusual event takes place in March or April each year and has been running since 2002. It is sponsored by well known bra maker Wonderbra, and according to them, “is a day for women to acknowledge that their cleavage is something unique and encourage you all to be proud of it.”

In a recent poll of 1000 women carried out by Wonderbra, 50% of women admitted to flashing some flesh in order to get served quicker in bars. 28% revealed that they wear a bust enhancing bra on a first date to impress a potential suitor, while one in seven admitted to wearing revealing necklines at work to get a career boost. A further 8% found that showing some cleavage helped them escape a parking fine.

Wonderbra also compiled a list of the top ten most boobilicious celebrities in their celebrity cleavage hall of fame. Television presenter Holly Willoughby came top of the list.

Wonderbra’s celebrity cleavage hall of fame:

1.    Holly Willoughby
2.    Scarlett Johansson
3.    Beyonce
4.    Rihanna
5.    Marilyn Monroe
6.    Dita Von Teese
7.    Katy Perry
8.    Brigitte Bardot
9.    Kim Kardashian
10.  Lara Stone

National Cleavage Day has remained one of the top trending topics on Twitter. Here’s what some Tweeters have been saying:

@wonderbra_uk Happy National Cleavage Day to everyone!!!
@NotBillWalton Today is National Cleavage Day! Ladies, be proud of your twins, be bold, show them off, throw them down, and set the world on fire!
@moonsez What’s different on National Cleavage day? Do the men look at your face while talking to you?
@ollyofficial Just heard NATIONAL CLEAVAGE DAY!!! Excited about getting out of this studio…. #schwing
@AnnSummersPR Happy National Cleavage Day…we are all rocking our best bras today ;)
@stuheritage Is it National Cleavage Day? Finally, a national day that I have a chance of winning.

@Charles_HRH Camilla, one doesn’t care if it’s ‘National Cleavage Day‘. You’re not having your “crown jewels” on display. #nationalcleavageday

Mother’s Day

By Silvia Montes and Sam Khan-McIntyre

Mother’s Day

Origins

Mother’s day has it its origins deep in history, falling on the middle Sunday of Lent, the Christian time of fasting.it has been celebrated on this day since the 16th century.This day was chosen because the fasting rules were relaxed, due to the biblical story of feeding the five thousand.

It is believed the celebration is influenced by the Roman Spring Festival of Cybele, the Mother Goddess.The date for this was chosen by Christians as the religion spread.

400 years ago, this was the day when people visited their mother church, it was said they had gone ‘a mothering’.This was the largest church in the area, and where they had been baptised.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/simnelcake_792

Click on this link for Simnel cake, a traditional British cake with young servants baked and took home to their mothers on this day, the only day of the year they were allowed to visit their families.

This may be a special present to bake this year to show your mother how much you love her and make her feel special with something personal

Action Against Violence Towards Women

The City of Edinburgh Council and other local authorities
will be taking part in 16 Days of Action.

This event starts tomorrow and opposes violence against women. The event, which has the support of the UN, will take place from November 25 until December 10. This event comes after two sexual assaults were reported in The Meadows over the past week, bringing violence against women into the spotlight.

A “Reclaim the Night” event is set to occur tonight leaving from Bristo Square at 7.30pm in response to the recent sexual assaults and in anticipation of the 16 Days of Action, which starts tomorrow.

The event, which will be run by the Edinburgh Violence Against Women Partnership (EVAWP), aims to bring together a number of local services and charities in order to raise awareness and help the prevention of violence against women.

According to White Ribbon Scotland, a domestic violence incident is recorded every 10 minutes, and reports of domestic violence have risen by 8% since 2007. Domestic violence affects women disproportionately, with 84% of recorded incidents having a female victim and a male perpetrator. It is believed that 1 in 5 women in Scotland will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Rape conviction rates in Scotland are currently at an all time low of 3.7%. Added to this, in 2007, 26% of Scots surveyed believed that a woman is at least partially responsible for being raped if she wears revealing clothing.

Superintendent David Carradice of Lothian and Borders Police has stated that the police are “committed to tackling violence against women and work alongside our partner agencies to bring those responsible for violent crimes to justice, while at the same time offering all the necessary support and advice to victims.”

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