Category Archives: Gender

Save Venice: The forgotten female artists being rediscovered

Who decides which artists are remembered and which are forgotten? With only a small fraction of the art in museums by women, efforts are being made, at the Venice Biennale and further afield, to change long-standing narratives.

Inside the Church of San Marziale, beside a canal in central Venice, specialist art handlers are high up on scaffolding above one of the church’s second altars, trying to tease out two canvases that have been nailed to the wall of the church for several hundred years.

The paintings, which are believed to date from the late 1720s or early 1730s, are by a woman artist called Giulia Lama. She may have been the first female artist in Venice to produce major commissions for churches. The daughter of an artist, she never married and was a mathematician and a published poet.

At the time she was dismissed by some of her male contemporaries. So much so that in 1728, an abbot and man of science, Antonio Conti, wrote: “The poor girl is persecuted by painters, but her virtues triumph over her enemies.”

According to some reports, the other artists and critics at the time focused on what they decided were her unremarkable, almost unappealing physical attributes – they asked how a woman of such prosaic appearance could produce such sophisticated paintings. More

Jacky Hunt-Broersma: The cancer survivor who ran 104 marathons in 104 days

A woman who took up running after she lost her left leg to cancer has passed the Guinness World Record for most consecutive marathons.

Jacky Hunt-Broersma, 46, has run 26.2-miles every day since mid-January, normally taking around five hours.

On Saturday, she completed her 104th consecutive marathon in as many days – an achievement she expects to be certified by Guinness World Records.

A spokesperson said certifying the record would take around three months.

Waking up on Sunday – a day off at long last – was a bizarre experience for Jacky.

“Part of me was really happy to be done,” she tells the BBC from her home in Arizona. “And the other part kept thinking I need to go running.”

Her body is also recovering from the record-chasing effort, despite having stopped. “I feel tighter than I have the whole 104 marathons,” she admits.

But Jacky – who was born and raised in South Africa, and has also lived in England and the Netherlands – is grateful. Because running has given her the confidence she was afraid she would never regain. More

Winter Olympics: Beijing 2022 will have lowest-ever gender gap

The Beijing Winter Olympics will be the most gender-equal Games ever, data experts say.

Gracenote says the proportion of events in which women can compete will increase for the 11th successive Games – with 52.75% of events for men and 47.25% for women.

Women will have nearly four times as many events to participate in as they did in 1980.

The Games take place from 4-20 February.

The first Games in Chamonix, France in 1924 had only two events which women could participate – the figure skating mixed pairs competition and the ladies’ singles – but 14 events for men, and had a gender gap of 81.3%.

That gap has now declined to 5.5% for Beijing, with 12 of the 15 sports now gender-equal. Nordic combined is the only remaining sport with no female participation.

Joséphine Baker to be first black woman to enter France’s Panthéon

American-born French performer Joséphine Baker will be entered into Paris’ Panthéon mausoleum, making her the first black woman to receive the honour.

The government says Baker will be inducted into the monument in November.

The Panthéon is a burial place for celebrated French icons such as scientist Marie Curie and writer Victor Hugo.

Baker will be just the sixth woman to join some 80 national heroes.

Born in St Louis, Missouri in 1906, Baker rose to international stardom in the 1930s after moving to France to pursue a career in showbusiness.

She was also a resistance fighter for her adopted country France during World War Two, and had a role in the civil rights movement in the US. More

The Magic Circle appoints its youngest, and first female, president

Times have changed in the magic industry. Tricks aren’t just about sawing people in half these days – they also teach people about climate change.

It’s different at the top too – a 28-year-old woman has been elected president of The Magic Circle.

It’s the first time a woman has held the title in its 116 year history.

Megan Swann is now the president of the organisation, founded in 1905, for British magicians.

She’s also its youngest. More

Sara Cox to become first woman to referee Premiership game

Sara Cox is set to make history on Saturday as the first woman to referee a Premiership game.

Cox will take charge of Harlequins’ home opener against Worcester Warriors.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) made Cox the world’s first female professional rugby referee in March 2016.

Last year, she became the first female assistant referee in English rugby’s top flight and was the first woman to take charge of an English top-tier game in the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2018.

“Huge congratulations to Sara Cox,” Premiership Rugby tweeted.

“She’ll become the first woman to referee a #GallagherPrem league game on Saturday. Continually making history.”

Women’s Institute magazine features first trans woman cover star

The Women’s Institute is featuring a trans woman member on the cover of its magazine for the first time.

Petra Wenham, a member of Cake and Revolution WI in Suffolk, appears on the July/August issue of WI Life, the organisation’s membership magazine.

She said she felt “accepted and honoured” to be on a platform to raise awareness of transgender issues.

Cake and Revolution said Ms Wenham “deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated”. More

First woman appointed Scotland’s Astronomer Royal

An astrophysicist from Edinburgh University is the first woman to be named Astronomer Royal for Scotland.

Prof Catherine Heymans was recommended to the Queen for the role by an international panel, convened by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Prof Heymans said she wanted to use the almost 200-year-old title to encourage people to develop passion for science.

She also wants to promote Scotland internationally as a world-leading centre for science, she said. More

London Grammar: ‘Men aren’t told what to wear, so why was I?’

“Men that I didn’t know would watch a performance and then come up to me afterwards and say they didn’t like what I was wearing – maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t imagine that happening to, say, Chris Martin.”

London Grammar’s frontwoman Hannah Reid has dozens of stories about times sexism has made it harder for her to do her job.

And, she says, if Coldplay’s frontman doesn’t have to deal with it, then why should she?

“Maybe Chris will see this and say stuff like that happens to him all the time, but I doubt it”, she smiles.

The band have just released their third album, California Soil, and Hannah’s experiences of a “sexist” music industry crop up more than a few times in its lyrics. More