Author Archives: dosomethingquickly

FIFA says women can’t play international football in headscarves

The problem: The Iranian women’s team were stopped from competing in a 2012 Olympic qualifier because their kit included head scarves. Reporting seems unclear as to whether the ban on the hijab is on safety grounds, or because political, religious and personal statements are not permitted as part of a kit.

A step towards a solution: Contact Fifa and let them know your opinions on this issue. While people may have varying opinions on the hijab, and its role as a part of a uniform or kit that all members of a team must wear, an outright ban on the hijab in football is a barrier to participation for many women. Here’s a sample comment to get you going:

I am writing to express my concern about the recent events concerning the Iranian women’s football team. I think that a ban on the hijab in competition represents a needless barrier to participation for many women, when instead the sport should be opening itself up to a wider range of people. I have heard that health and safety concerns may play a role, I imagine in relation to choking if the headscarf is grabbed during a tackle. Please could you confirm the reason for the ban? I urge you to work alongside women who wear the hijab to find a way to allow them to participate in the game safely.

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Posted by on 06/06/2011 in Uncategorized


Trouble at Moscow Pride

The problem: Moscow’s Gay Pride march has again seen peaceful marchers attacked,with police arresting marchers rather than their assailants. The Mayor of Moscow has upheld the ban that makes Gay Pride illegal.

Towards a solution: AllOut have a petition which calls on President Medvedev to protct the rights of LBGTQ people in Russia, and to ensure Pride is legalised in Moscow.

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Posted by on 02/06/2011 in Uncategorized


Support UN Action in ending the use of rape as a weapon of war

The problem: Rape is widely used as a weapon of war, and has devastating consequences for its victims.

A step towards a solution: UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict is made up of lots of UN entities that have come together to stop rape in conflict. They are urging people to take action by contacting their elected representatives, among other things.

via Feministe

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Posted by on 31/05/2011 in Feminism


Conservative politicians get it wrong on rape

The problem: Ken Clarke’s comments have been widely reported. During a radio interview, he contrasted “date rape” and “serious rape”; he later said he had confused the idea of “date rape” with that of sex between, for example, a 15 year old and a 17 year old. Nonetheless, his comments appeared to show that he considered there to be some rapes which are less serious than others.

Less discussed are these recent comments: Tory MEP Roger Helmer stated that in a situation where a couple are naked in bed, and “at the last minute she gets cold feet”, but her partner “carries on”, this is rape but the woman shares some of the responsibility for it.

Towards a solution: You can contact the Conservative Party Co-Chairmen here and David Cameron, the Prime Minister, here. Not sure what to say? Rape Crisis has a list of facts on rape, as does the Campaign to End Rape. Particularly relevant in this case is the fact that most people who are raped know the perpetrator. Really rushed for time? Here’s a sample comment for you to use – it will be more effective if you personalise it:

I am writing to you to express my concern about recent comments made by Ken Clarke MP and Roger Helmer MEP on the subject of rape. Their comments were offensive, ill-informed and worrying, especially given Mr Clarke’s role as Justice Secretary. I welcome Mr Clarke’s clarification of his comments and the way that the party has distanced itself from Mr Helmer’s remarks. I urge you to ensure that there is no place for such outdated views in the Conservative Party.

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Posted by on 30/05/2011 in Uncategorized


NHS listening exercise to end soon – make sure you’ve had your say

The problem: As I’ve mentioned before, the UK government are considering plans to change the NHS which will allow a greater role for private companies, and give spending power over to GPs. After a public outcry, there has been a ‘listening exercise’, but many are worried that there might not be much listening going on, as most people don’t know how to get involved.

A solution: 38 degrees have a lovely page where you can send an email in to the listening exercise, with some good points listed if you’re not sure what to put. Even a two line message will count!

More information:

Go get listened to!


Equality Act included in ‘Red Tape Challenge’ as something people might want to scrap

The problem: The Cabinet Office’s Red Tape Challenge, a review of different regulations that allows people to comment on their effectiveness, and whether they should be kept, scrapped or altered, now includes the Equalities Act. While the act itself is far from perfect, failing to protect the rights of trans people, it contains much important anti-discrimination legislation, and should not be dismissed as red tape.
A solution: Add you comment to the Red Tape Challenge Equalities page.

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Posted by on 14/04/2011 in Uncategorized


M.E.N. publishes misogynist comment blog

The problem: The Manchester Evening News has published an comment blog by Nick Freedman, aka “Mr Loophole”, a lawyer who specialises in defending clients accused of motoring offenses using technicalities. Mr Freedman states that Margaret Thatcher was the only woman he could have worked under, because “unlike her handbag, [she] always left her hormones at home. A rare bird indeed”. He also claims that “[m]en make great bosses because we don`t fudge the issue with tears, tantrums or tactics”.
Go check it out.
Some solutions: Go over to the story and comment on it or email the MEN letters page at

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Posted by on 14/04/2011 in Uncategorized