Biography, Event, Politics, Source, Women's History

Remembering Naomi Jacob (1884-1964)

Although she was brought up in the Church of England, Jacob converted to Roman Catholicism at around the age of eighteen. But she remained proud of her Jewish heritage. This is most clearly demonstrated in The Gollantz Saga, which she began writing just before the Nazis swept to power in Germany. Beginning in early nineteenth century Vienna, it follow several generations of a Jewish family, as the head of the house establishes a business and life in England, moving among the British upper classes. The series is an engaging and warm exploration of family ties and rivalries, and the principles of honour and loyalty.

Biography, Event, Politics, Women's History

A CONVENT SCHOOLING – SCHOOL DAYS, ADULT WAYS … Pt I

Some people (it was argued) are obviously not terrorists: newborn babies for example. And nuns. Nuns are mild, gentle people who wouldn’t say boo to a goose, let alone blow up a plane. They can be safely waved through after only the most cursory of searches. That was the view of one of the speakers.

But somebody else thought nuns should be regarded as prime suspects, because what could be more fundamentalist than a nun? Nuns believe so strongly in the truth of their religion that they dedicate their whole lives to it. They live in like-minded communities, and spend many hours in rituals of religious devotion, serving a god who, they believe, has a special mission for them – their vocation. A god who, if they follow their vocation obediently will reward them with eternal bliss, but who, if they don’t, may send them to hell.

General, Politics, Women's History

Afghanistan: Violence Against Women on the Rise

Back in 2009, the Afghan government approved an Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Law that criminalises child marriage, forced marriage, the selling and buying of women under the pretext of marriage, giving females away to settle disputes, forced self-immolation and various other acts of violence against women. However, Ingibjorg Gisladottir, director of UN Women in Afghanistan, expressed concern that only a small percentage of cases under the law involved violence against women. Most such cases were neither registered nor investigated.

Biography, Politics, Source

Soaring with Eagles – Part 1

Oh sure, Mum pissed me off at times, as she cautioned me against this and that. That I needed to relax, was still too highly strung, needed to slow down, stop impressing ‘the snows’ (which is what she called whitefells) and told me to believe in God. At the time, this was a bit too much for me, especially the remarks about God, as I was a card-carrying Marxist and hell bent on changing the world. When I did object, she’d tell me I was getting a bit too big for my boots and would cut the conversation short by saying: ‘I don’t know what they teach you at uni, Lillian, but it certainly isn’t manners!’

Biography, Politics, Source, Women's History

Staying to the End – Part 2

… There still have to be changes, otherwise our people’s problems will become so dramatic that racism will widen further the gap between Aboriginal and white society. Despite that, when I look back I see that slowly Aboriginal people are taking their place in this society. Even organisations have changed, so that where once they were dominated by white people, Aboriginal people are in control.

Biography, Politics, Source, Women's History

Staying to the End – Part 1

The Clarence River ran past our island. There were oysters on the mangroves, and we ate gibbras, the worms out of the mangrove trees. When the mullets came up the river, there were hundreds of fish. My grandmother and the other old women recognised the signs and knew they were coming. The gibbras – worms – were a sign. My grandmother sent us out to trap them. Then there was dancing and celebration, because it meant there was a feed.