Immigration and breastfeeding

A Ugandan mother has been separated from her breastfeeding son and young daughter for two weeks, whilst awaiting deportation in Yarl’s Wood (one of the detention centres where failed asylum-seekers are held before being removed from the country). It is also reported that the woman has been denied breast pumps whilst in detention. This means that she is in constant pain, and runs the risk of her milk stopping before she is reunited with her son. This is just one of many cases, despite Home Office guidelines stating that breastfeeding children should not be removed from their mothers. More here.


Just thought I’d let you know about an excellent book I’m reading at the moment in case you haven’t already come across it – One-Eyed Science by Karen Messing, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Quebec, which came out in 1998. It’s about women’s occupational health, and the way that the topic didn’t even exist for lots of researchers at the time the book was published. Contains plenty of interesting case study material about the differences between female and male work, biological differences between women and men, and the processes by which people become scientists, and then get awarded project funding. All of these processes disadvantage women and have served to make their occupational health issues invisible. It’s really clearly written as well – I’ve been reading it before bed and can still understand what’s going on. Here’s the website for the book.

De Anza rape case

No charges will be filed in the alleged gang rape of a seventeen year old girl at a De Anza college baseball team party. The Sheriff’s Office stated that there was insufficient evidence. There are, however, eyewitness reports from three other women at the party, who guessed what was happening, pushed open the door to the room which was being held shut by two men, and made all the men leave the room. They found a young woman semi-conscious on the bed. Her lower garments had been shoved down one leg, she was naked from the waist up, and her face was covered in vomit. They immediately took her to hospital. Nevertheless, there was ‘insufficient evidence’. Note also that the three rescuers were subjected to harassment on campus for talking to police about what they had witnessed. More about the case here and here.