Impact on female-led Pacific businesses deepens as COVID-19 takes its toll

Despite this, Pacific businesses continue to adapt; an increasing number have scaled back operations, with fully operational female-led businesses decreasing to 23 per cent (down from 29 percent during Survey 4 of the PTI Pacific Business Monitor), and partially operational businesses increasing from 29 per cent to 41 per cent.

Commenting on the Survey 5 findings, PTI Australia Trade & Investment Commissioner Caleb Jarvis noted that the pandemic is biting hard for all businesses – particularly those led by women.

Tongan women highlighted in stories of resilience post-cyclone Gita

The personal accounts of women in rural areas of Nuku'alofa and 'Eua are being published online by the Tongan Women and Children's crisis centre.

Its director Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki said most of the planning and decision making in Tonga was done by men.

But she argues the resilience and vision showed by so many Tongan women during and after the devastation wrought by Gita makes a strong case for change.

Call for further equality in Tongan parliament

Tonga's Women and Children's Crisis Centre said while it was happy two women have been elected, it was disappointed only 14 percent of people voted for female candidates in last week's election.

The centre's director Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki said nationally there were only 5,575 votes for women from a total count of nearly 40,000.

She said while special measures like quotas could be short term solutions for increasing women's numbers in parliament, the long term solution is education in schools, as many children are still faced with gender stereotypes at home.

Push for more women in Tonga's general election

Nominations for candidates open on Wednesday and Thursday and 57,000 people have already enrolled to vote. 

PRN reports Tonga Chamber of Commerce Vice-chair, Aloma Johansson, hopes women voters will endorse and vote for women candidates.

"There are a number of women standing across the country," she says. "Now it's up to the voter and I'm hoping women, who make up over half of the voting population, will acknowledge that there are women who can not only represent their interests but also the interests of the country."


Photo via PRN/UNDP 

Let's talk about the mental load

You know the scene — you're making dinner, calling the plumber/doctor/mechanic, checking homework and answering work emails — at the same time.

All the while, you are being peppered with questions by your nearest and dearest "where are my shoes?", "do we have any cheese?", "what time's my basketball game?", "what are we doing next Saturday night?".

But even if you know this experience well, you may not have the language to describe it.

A gynaecologist's guide to good vulva and vagina health

But when the body part that's causing you trouble is inside your underwear, it's often a different story.

Women will ignore symptoms that involve their vulva or vagina because they feel embarrassed or ashamed. Some even fail to recognise when something's gone awry in the first place.

"Women need to become comfortable with their own anatomy and looking at their own vulva," said Dr Elizabeth Farrell AM, gynaecologist and medical director at the Jean Hailes for Women's Health organisation.

Study: Women in midlife aren't sleeping enough

More than one in four middle-aged women reported experiencing difficulty falling and staying asleep four or more times during the week. More than one in three women reported getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night, on average. Of those, perimenopausal women -- women who were no longer menstruating and on the verge of menopause -- were the least likely to sleep seven or more hours a night. This was followed closely by postmenopausal women.


Ms: The honorific with unintended meaning

And it may not be a meaning that applies to you or any way related to why you choose to be a Ms.

Ms has attracted such a range of meaning that even the editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, Sue Butler, feels that it may be time to update its entry.

Ms is older than you think

The honorific title for a woman — which, like its male equivalent Mr, was meant to give no clue as to an individual's marital status — has been traced back to the early 20th century.

'Upskirting': It happened to me

But she was amazed to discover that there is no specific law against "upskirting" in most of the UK - only in Scotland. After the police closed her case, Gina began a petition to get it reopened, and now she is lobbying for a change in the law.

Martin's article about her experience struck a chord with many of you. We asked readers to tell us if they had been the victim of upskirting, and whether the perpetrator was punished. Here are some of your stories - names have been changed.

"I was at the bus stop"

Festival puts feminist work front and centre

Whether you've got one, like what they do or have always been curious, now is the time to embrace the female anatomy, with vaginas firmly in the spotlight at the festival.

The obsession — which examines the politics of pussy as well as the biology — reflects changing social attitudes, according to Fringe creative director and CEO Simon Abrahams.

"I can only assume that when we have a pussy-grabbing President of the United States that women are making extraordinary feminist work to fight back and make political statements," he said.