Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

Posted by on 02/06/2011 in Uncategorized


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.

Leave a comment

Posted by on 30/05/2011 in Uncategorized


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.

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

Posted by on 14/04/2011 in Uncategorized


Amendment to Health and Social Care Act – restricting women’s choices

The problem: Nadine Dorries MP and Frank Fields MP have proposed an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill which seeks to demonise abortion providers as profit-motivated and biased. The bill is currently under review and its future is uncertain, but this is a good time to remind our representatives of our opinions on these issues.

A solution: Please edit, adapt, or if you’re really rushed, copy and paste the below and send it to your MP. The majority of the British public are pro-choice (see stats below), but the pro-life minority are much more vocal. Let’s do something, quickly!


I am writing to you to express my concern regarding amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill tabled on 31/03/2011 by Nadine Dorries MP and Frank Field MP. These amendments seek to remove responsibility for counselling for women experiencing unwanted pregnancy from organisations like the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, on the grounds that any organisation that provides abortions cannot provide impartial advice to women in this situation. This responsibility would be transferred to GP consortia, who would have to make arrangements for “independent” counselling, which could be provided by a statutory body or a private body which does not provide terminations. They would also transfer the role of drawing up clinical guidelines for abortion provision from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

I am pro-choice, and I support women’s access to as many choices as possible when pregnant, including counselling, abortion, support carrying pregnancies to term and support raising their children. I believe that these amendments, should they pass, would be limiting to women’s choices. The amendment would allow GPs to use NHS funding to pay any organisation to provide counselling, as long as that organisation did not provide abortions, and I worry that this role could be taken by crisis pregnancy centres which try to frighten women into not having abortions. Moreover, for women who do want to take up this counselling, providing it in a different location to the procedure itself means more travel and more time off work, and possibly more childcare problems. This will restrict options for lower-income and less privileged women.

Moreover, I think these amendments are part of a move to undermine abortion providers, and to cast aspersions on them of being profit-motivated and not acting in women’s best interests. Ms Dorries has accused the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of belonging to an “incestuous” “abortion industry” in a ConservativeHome blog promoting these amendments and has claimed that women seeking terminations are not told all the relevant information because the people advising them have a vested financial interest in persuading them to abort. Such allegations are very serious and I have seen no evidence to support them. 20% of people the British Pregnancy Advisory Service see choose not to have a termination, and it is a not-for-profit organisation. Ms Dorries has also previously put forward legislation to change the abortion time limit, and I am concerned that these latest amendments are part of a move to make obtaining an abortion increasingly difficult, a tactic that has been used to great effect in the USA.

Some of the reporting surrounding the amendment has suggested that the counselling would be mandatory. My reading of the text is that it makes provision mandatory, but that it will not be compulsory for GPs to refer women to these services or for women to attend. I would welcome any clarification you can offer on this point, as mandatory counselling would present a grave problem.

I urge you to oppose this amendment, and any others that restrict a woman’s right to choose. I would like to remind you that a 2007 GFK/NOP commissioned by Abortion Rights and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust showed that 77% of people support a woman’s right to choose in the first three months of pregnancy – it is likely that the majority of your constituents, like me, are pro-choice. I look forward to receiving a reply from you on this issue, and I would be very interested to know how you have voted on pro-choice issues in the past, and how you intend to vote in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Leave a comment

Posted by on 14/04/2011 in Uncategorized


Let’s do something, quickly

Welcome to dosomethingquickly, a blog designed to bring together petitions, letters to the powers that be, and other quick campaigning mini-actions. Life is a busy place, and we often care about a wider range of issues than we have time to campaign on – this is where dosomethingquickly comes in as a one-stop-shop to add your voice to campaigns you sympathise with quickly and easily. Topics will be many and varied, and very much down to my personal whims – suggestions always welcome!

Leave a comment

Posted by on 30/03/2011 in Uncategorized