There’s no getting around it – while March might be Women’s History Month, it’s turning out to be a terrible month for women. But while avoiding the news might feel like a necessary safeguard from anxiety, knowledge is power.
That’s why, each week, we round up the stories you need to know about. They’re not always the events that make the front page. Rather, these are the headlines we think women who rise need to be aware of.
Europe enters third wave as UK eases lockdown
The UK’s progress on vaccinations has helped it avoid the threat of a third wave currently engulfing Europe, according to ministers.
A host of cities on the continent, including across France, Germany, Poland and Holland, have been forced to apply new lockdowns affecting millions of people since last week.
But while the R number in the UK has risen slightly since the return of schools, officials say fast progress on vaccination rates means the country should be spared a third wave.
The UK is now more than halfway towards its target to inoculate all British adults by July, despite a new four-week delay in vaccine deliveries from manufacturers in India.
Cause of Sarah Everard’s death ‘not established’ as inquest adjourned
The body of Sarah Everard has been released to her family, after an inquest was opened and adjourned without a cause of death being established.
Coroners in Maidstone, Kent, said an initial post-mortem had been inconclusive, and offered their condolences to Ms Everard’s family before halting proceedings.
Ms Everard went missing while walking home in Clapham on March 3. Her body was later found in woodland and a serving Metropolitan police officer was charged with her murder.
Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared at the Old Bailey this week and was remanded in custody, with his trial provisionally scheduled to begin in October.
Protests must be allowed in lockdown, argue parliamentarians
More than 60 MPs and peers have written to home secetary Priti Patel, calling for a change in COVID-19 legislation to allow public protest.
The open letter, organised by Liberty and Big Brother Watch, argues that demonstration is a human right, that should be protected even during lockdown measures.
It follows outrage over the treatment of mourners at a vigil for Sarah Everard last week, and concerns over the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which passed a second reading at the Commons on Tuesday.
The bill, which would greatly limit the freedoms of protestors, had been due to reach committee stage next week – but progress has now been delayed until June amid significant anger at the bill’s “draconian” reach.
Biden condemns anti-Asian racism as man charged with Atlanta murders
President Joe Biden has spoken out against rising levels of anti-Asian racism in the USA, warning “our silence in complicity”.
His comments to Asian-American community leaders in Georgia followed Tuesday’s deadly attack on three massage parlours in the Atlanta area.
A single shooter, named as Robert Aaron Long, has been charged with multiple counts of murder in the wake of the shootings, which left eight dead, including six Asian women.
Police Captain Jay Baker said the 21-year-old suspect claimed to have a “sex addiction” and viewed the parlours targeted as a “temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate”.
He was later criticised for appearing to sympathise with Long, telling a press conference “yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.”
UK tutoring scheme under fire over use of teenage workers
Sri Lankan tutors aged as young as 17 and paid as little as £1.57 an hour have been teaching maths to disadvantaged pupils under the UK government’s National Tutoring Programme.
The Department for Education announced the immediate suspension of under-18s working for the flagship initiative following a report by The Guardian on Friday.
Ministers also said they would be reviewing the use of overseas tutors as part of the £350 million scheme, designed to help underprivileged children catch up on lessons.
Critics, including the NEU, say it’s further evidence the £1.7 billion catch up fund should have been paid directly to schools rather than being used to outsource support from private providers.
UK to lift cap on nuclear stockpile, as foreign aid cut remains
The UK is set to reverse plans to reduce its stockpile of nuclear weapons as part of a foreign policy overhaul, instead increasing the overall cap to 260 warheads.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the 40 per cent proliferation hike was necessary in the face of evolving global threats, including an increased risk of cyber-attacks.
But he refused to confirm the exact number of weapons the UK was looking to maintain, saying officials were aiming for “deliberate ambiguity”.
The review also pledged to reverse cuts to foreign aid only once “the fiscal situation allows”, and to shift diplomatic focus to Indo-Pacific countries.
Holyrood Committee to rule Sturgeon did mislead parliament
The majority of MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s harassment committee have concluded that Nicola Sturgeon did mislead their enquiry, according to a leak from within Holyrood.
The committee’s final report is due to be published on Tuesday, but It’s understood that members voted five to four to conclude that the first minister had given inaccurate evidence.
A second, independent report looking specifically at whether Ms Sturgeon breached the ministerial code is also due for publication next week.
Ms Sturgeon vowed to stand by her evidence, describing the leak as “very partisan” and insisting she would await publication before commenting on calls for her resignation.