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In the Press

  • A primary school in New Zealand has abolished gendered school uniforms to avoid stereotyping, following in the footsteps of dozens of British schools.

    The move comes after some girls at Dunedin North Intermediate School in the South Island complained about having to wear "archaic" kilts, headteacher Heidi Hayward said.

    The school, which has around 200 pupils aged 10-13, began allowing female pupils to wear trousers in 2016.

    Read more.

  • Parliament in the Australian state of Queensland has voted for legislation to remove a controversial "gay panic" defence from the criminal code.

    It had allowed defendants to reduce criminal responsibility by claiming provocation due to an unwanted sexual advance.

    In 2008, it was used as a partial defence to reduce two men's murder charges to manslaughter.

    Read more.

  • A Daily Telegraph article last week asked: 'Motherhood on ice: has the egg-freezing generation of working women been misled?'

    That’s an easy question to answer: Yes!

    The massively profitable egg-freezing industry has an appallingly low 'success' rate, yet still tempts thousands of women to take this route because they know their 'biological clock' is running down.

    Read more.

  • A heterosexual couple's recent struggle to secure a civil partnership has forced the judiciary to reassess the appropriateness of marriage as a form of legal union in the 21st century.
    On Tuesday, 21 February, the court of appeal ruled against Rebecca Steinfeld (35) and Charles Keidan (40), who launched the case in 2014. However, although the couple has lost the case, the judges' unanimous agreement that such discrimination against heterosexual couples must change has left them with hope.

    As the couple's inability to obtain a civil partnership impacts their family life, the judges agreed that the ban constitutes a potential violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. They also considered the ban to be a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) as partnerships are available to same-sex couples but not heterosexual couples.

    Read more.

  • The courts could overrule a Parliamentary decision not to legalise assisted dying after a terminally ill man mounted a new bid to change the law.

    Noel Conway, 67, from Shrewsbury, who has motor neurone disease, has applied for permission to mount a judicial review.

    The basis of the case is that the Suicide Act 1961 interferes with Mr Conway's human right to private life, including the right to decide the manner of his death.

    Read more.

  • The tomb of Jesus has been resurrected to its former glory.

    Just in time for Easter, a Greek restoration team has completed a historic renovation of the Edicule, the shrine that tradition says houses the cave where Jesus was buried and rose to heaven.

    Gone is the unsightly iron cage built around the shrine by British authorities in 1947 to shore up the walls. Gone is the black soot on the shrine's stone facade from decades of pilgrims lighting candles. And gone are fears about the stability of the old shrine, which hadn't been restored in more than 200 years.

    Read more.

  • YouTube has altered its classifications of some LGBTQ-themed videos, following protests from users, including the musicians Tegan and Sara. The site had been criticised for having non-explicit videos featuring LGBTQ themes classed as restricted, which filters out "potentially inappropriate" content.

    Tegan and Sara, who are both openly gay, were among those who complained about the policy, pointing out its absurdities in a series of tweets: "If you put @YouTube on restricted mode a bunch of our music videos disappear. … LGBTQ people shouldn’t be restricted. SAD!" Several of the Canadian sisters' videos had been classed as restricted, despite the content being non-sexual, whereas others that were sexual but LGBTQ-themed were still available.

    Read more.

  • More children are being taken into care, some unnecessarily, because councils in England cannot afford to intervene earlier, a report suggests.

    Late interventions often meant problems had escalated before support could be put in place, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children heard.

    Its report into children's social care found 90% of councils were struggling to fulfil legal duties to children.

    The government said offering early help was the best way to keep children safe.

    Read more

  • A mother of two children who have Down's syndrome says she wants the world to know she's proud of them.

    Maria Belton from Bromborough has posted photographs and videos of her experiences of Down's syndrome on social media to raise awareness.

    Watch here.

  • Can we talk about abortion? Not ban it, not even necessarily limit it; just talk about it? The public doesn't want to, because it’s a "private matter". Politicians won't raise it for fear of being called anti-women. The people driving such debate as we have about abortion are those who want to make it as easy to obtain as possible.

    Last week the Commons debated a Ten Minute Rule Bill, submitted by Labour MP Diana Johnson, that would decriminalise abortion up to 24 weeks. At present, abortion is technically illegal without the permission of two doctors – an arrangement that Ms Johnson calls "harsh" and "obsolete". She says she doesn't want to deregulate abortion, just remove any threat of prosecution – allowing professional medical bodies to oversee the practice, rather than the criminal authorities. The Bill passed 172-142, because many complacent opponents didn't show up to vote.

    Read more.

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