Four years ago, I had never heard of International Women’s Day. Last year, I remember actually seeing people around the blogosphere mention it. This year, more than a few of my Facebook friends have posted about it.
I can’t remember if Google had done a google doodle for the holiday in past years, but I like the one they have up this year:
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Really, Oxfam? Pink phones? Was there no other way to achieve such a laudable goal?
Nature has an excellent special issue for International Women’s Day. And I must admit we are especially chuffed that our advice on avoiding a gendered conference gets a mention in Virginia Valian’s piece (8 experts giving their views). (Thanks, J!)
A horrifying and scarcely believable tale from New Mexico – Stephen Slevin was arrested in 2005 for drink driving and on suspicion of driving a stolen car. Reports say that the car actually belonged to a friend who had lent it to him. Slevin suffered from long-term mental health issues. Consequently, he was thrown into solitary confinement, and left there for two years. His case seems to have never gone to court. Instead, the authorities forgot about him and he was left there to rot. His physical and mental health deteriorated – he lost a large amount of his body weight, developed bed sores, a fungal skin infection, and had to pull his own rotten teeth as he was denied dental treatment. He became more and more depressed and desperate until he entered a delirium. He cannot remember much of his time in prison. Slevin’s sister, who lived some distance away, eventually discovered the conditions in which her brother was being held. His family then began petitioning for his release. He was eventually allowed to leave jail in 2007. The case against him was dropped. Slevin took his case to court, and was awarded $22 million in compensation. The New Mexico authorities contested the payout, and he has now settled for $15 million. Slevin says the lawsuit was never about the money. He wanted to try and prevent others from suffering the same fate. “Prison officials were walking by me every day, watching me deteriorate. … Day after day after day, they did nothing, nothing at all, to get me any help.” You can read more from the Huff Post here.
Anyone interested in Human Rights will find lots of disturbing documentation over at the excellent P.a.p.-Blog run by Filip Spagnoli. Be warned, it’s not a pleasant read.