Jan Nielsen

Bullying hits public sector workers hardest

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As the election began the press was full of stories about the number of MPs, particularly women, stepping down because of the “horrific abuse” they have received. MPs such as Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan dominated these reports, despite the fact that Diane Abbott MP was the recipient of half of all offensive tweets to female MPs in the six weeks preceding the official start of the election.

The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story

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It is interesting that, after many years of media obsession with serial killers, a new book, opera and TV documentary share an emphasis on the social conditions and attitudes that made some women more vulnerable to assault and allowed the killers to get away with it for so long.

Hallie Rubenhold’s book The Five uncovers the impoverished lives of the victims of the infamous Victorian killer, Jack the Ripper. She highlights the material circumstances which drove them into prostitution to keep themselves and their families alive.

How austerity hurts women

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Underlying the sexism women experience is a structural oppression based on women’s role in the family, exacerbated by austerity, writes Jan Nielsen

The #MeToo campaign has rightly shone a glaring light on the misogyny and discrimination that women experience. Less publicised has been the striking increase in inequality that women are experiencing as a result of austerity, cuts to services and changes to the benefits system.

Recent government statistics show that women will shoulder a startling 85 percent of the burden of the government’s cuts to social security and tax changes by 2020. They also show that women’s incomes are being hit twice as hard as men’s as a result of changes to the tax and benefit system.

Kids: Child Protection in Britain

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There are hard facts that have to be appreciated to understand the real lives of too many children in Britain today. Our children are the unhappiest children in Europe, mental distress among the young is a pandemic, foodbanks and child poverty are rampant and child on child violence and deaths blight cities like London.

Nobody knows the reality behind these facts better than Camilla Batmanghelidjh the founder of Kids Company. From its inception in 1996 its aim was to provide support to deprived inner city children.

"On the grey horizon of human existence looms a great giant called Working Class Consciousness"

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John Reed's Ten Days that Shook the World is the best known eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution, but he was accompanied on his visit in 1918. Jan Nielsen tells the story of Louise Bryant, American bohemian, talented journalist and commentator on life in revolutionary Russia.

Louise Bryant was an American radical journalist who travelled to revolutionary Russia with John Reed, author of Ten Days that Shook the World. Bryant wrote her own account of the events she witnessed and people she met, titled Six Red Months in Russia.

Women and the First World War

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The position of women underwent huge change between 1914 and 1918. Jan Nielsen looks at the unintended impact of a war that, for the first time, affected every aspect of economic and social life.

During the centenary celebrations historians and commentators have made much of the effect the First World War had on the lives of women. However, most of the coverage has focused on the impact on the lives of middle class women. The recent release of the film version of Testament of Youth illustrates this clearly. Vera Brittain represents the women who volunteered in their thousands to contribute to the war effort.

Beyond the Fragments

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Sheila Rowbotham, Lynne Segal and Hilary Wainwright

Beyond the Fragments has been republished virtually unchanged 34 years after its original publication in 1979. Sheila Rowbotham, in her new introduction, explains why: "When an American friend recently gave my section of Beyond the Fragments to young women occupying Wall Street, they found it hard to understand".

It is therefore useful for us to remind ourselves of the context of the original publication.

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