Plan UK launch 2014 ‘Because I Am a Girl’ report

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Yesterday Plan UK launched the 2014 edition of the “Because I am a Girl”/State of the World’s girls report; which contains all the newest research behind world’s leading global campaign for adolescent girls’ empowerment. This year’s topic is “Pathways to Power: Creating Sustainable Change for Adolescent Girls”.

There is a lot to be said about it, and I will definitely dedicate it a few blog posts; for now, I only wanted to say that I am immensely proud to have been part of the team who made this happen.

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I worked for Plan UK as a research intern for 6 months, between November 2013 and April this year. This is where i learned how to do serious qualitative research, how to code in-depth interviews, how to work with surveys in Nvivo and make it spit out pretty graphs and various others such interesting geeky things; but most importantly, I have learned how to turn stories into data and data into stories with creativity and intellectual honesty- and how to do research that *matters*. I’ve been part of an amazingly creative, amazingly supportive team- and for this I am immensely, immensely proud.

More details later; for now I just want to celebrate. Go read the report! (Particularly the ‘Real Choices, Real Lives’ cohort study; that’s the bit I’ve been involved with the most).

Monday Graph: attitudes to immigration by political party

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Courtesy of British Future (via)

In a poll carried out by Ipsos Mori for British Future, people were asked: to give the contribution of immigration to Britain on a score of 0 (entirely negative) to 10 (entirely positive).

The results are below

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What we see:

-Roughly about 1 in 5 of all voters gave immigration a 0; about 1 in 4 gave it a score higher than 7

-UKIP voters quite unsurprisingly stand out in that 41% gave it a 0 and only 5% (so one in 20) 7 or higher.

-Conservative voters cover the anti-immigration side and middle ground quite evenly, but they are unlikely to give immigration a score higher than 7

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Smart people saying smart things

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First of all, Grayson Perry. In the New Statesman. Mandatory reading for anyone interested in gender studies; or class studies, or identity studies.

“When we talk of identity, we often think of groups such as black Muslim lesbians in wheelchairs. This is because identity only seems to become an issue when it is challenged or under threat. Our classic Default Man is rarely under existential threat; consequently, his identity remains unexamined. It ambles along blithely, never having to stand up for its rights or to defend its homeland.”

Then, a series of interesting reactions to UKIP winning the by-election in Clacton:

First, a Fabians report on “Labour’s UKIP Problem” and how it can be overcome; by Marcus Roberts, with research from Ian Warren and Rob Ford (No, NOT the mayor of Toronto, the academic from Manchester who wrote “Revolt On The Right”!).

“There are five critical and high-risk seats under direct threat by UKIP, for both Labour and the Conservatives each:

• Labour seats under direct UKIP threat: Great Grimsby, Dudley North, Plymouth Moor View, Rother Valley, Rotherham

• Con seats under direct UKIP threat: Clacton, South Thanet, Thurrock, Great Yarmouth, Waveney”
IPPR’s Alice Sachrajada: UKIP argue that the UK needs to ‘get back control of its borders’ and should limit ‘the overall numbers of migrants’. Their main vehicle for doing so is leaving the EU, coupled with even tighter controls on non EU migrants. Whatever the merits of these policies – and at IPPR we’re convinced they would damage the UK’s national interests – reducing immigration in such ways would not, in the short to medium term, necessarily reduce the impacts of immigration.”
And finally, William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), on why Europe needs to make immigration easier
“The high-road scenario for migration has to start with a fundamental shift in perceptions; we need to correct the myths and misconceptions that surround migration, and so restore public confidence in governments’ ability to manage migration effectively. That means we need to reaffirm that discrimination and violence against migrants is intolerable. Above all, perhaps, we must create recognition of the overwhelmingly positive contribution migrants have made throughout history by launching an open dialogue about the role of migration in contemporary societies.”

The most pro-Europe and Euroskeptic constituencies; who takes most advantage of the ‘European Citizen’ experience?

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(via)

This post on Constituency Opinion reminded me, in many ways, of a personal research experience: doing the fieldwork for the EUCROSS survey; with Romanian immigrants living in London. The study looked at how we experience being European citizens (and members of a multicultural society) in everyday life: how likely we are, for instance, to have friends of a different nationality than others, to enjoy food and music not from our home country, to travel for work/study/leisure; and how this intersects with attitudes towards the EU and with variables such as class and nationality.

Now, let’s look first at the Constituency Opinion data:

The most pro-European constituencies are:

1. Hornsey and Wood Green; MP Lynne Featherstone- Lib Dem safe seat
2. Bristol West; MP Stephen Williams, Lib Dem safe seat
3. Edinburgh North and Leith, Labour/Lib Dem marginal, current MP Mark Lazarowicz, Labour
4. Manchester Withington again Labour/Lib Dem marginal, current MP John Leech, Lib Dems
5. Edinburgh South again Labour/Lib Dem marginal, current MP Ian Murray, Labour, elected with a majority of just 316 votes.
6. Islington North, MP Jeremy Corbyn, Labour safe seat
7. Battersea, Conservative/Labour marginal, MP Jane Ellison, Conservative
8. Islington South and Finsbury; Labour/Lib Dem marginal, current MP Emily Thornberry, Labour
9. Hackney North and Stoke Newington;
MP Diane Abbot, Labour safe seat.

10. Streatham; MP Chuka Umunna, Labour safe seat

So, let’s keep a tally:

Constituencies: 6 in London, 2 in Edinburgh, 1 Manchester, 1 Bristol; so overwhelmingly urban.

MP’s: 5 labour, 3 lib dems, 1 tory, no tory safe seats; (also, interestingly, 4 women, 6 men- which is better gender parity than the UK parliament ever had, and 2 MP’s are non-white/ethnic minority.) Trends are easily visible: pro European constituencies vote Lib Dem and Labor, but with the exception of Battersea, not Conservative.

Now let’s look at the opposite end- the most Euroskeptic constituencies.

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David Cameron misreads statistics again

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David Cameron the mask slips

(via)

No way. Just… no way. There are many things I’ve been meaning to blog about for ages; things that are not David Cameron. But do I ever catch a break?

Turns out Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, has issued a letter refuting the Prime Minister’s claims yet again. This time, it is over his affirmation, in his Conservative Party conference speech, that Britain “is paying down its debts”.

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Thank you to Dr. Eoin Clarke for sharing!

On leading/ loaded questions and response bias (or: David Cameron wants to know my views on immigration)

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I swear, I stated this blog to write about the practice of research, about how we can sociologically understand the world and to promote the latest interesting studies. NOT to pick on David Cameron.

Yet, just a week after writing about Voodoo Polls, while I was peacefully checking my Facebook…

facebook feedBlimey, so David Cameron wants me to click on his survey and tell him how I feel about immigration.

Now, kids, what was I saying last time?

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Women denied abortions more likely to stay in abusive relationships

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So, last Sunday, Aug. 28, has been the international action day for the decriminalization of abortion, and last week I have attended a very interesting Amnesty International conference/solidarity event, where I have found out about the plight of women in El Salvador imprisoned for having suffered miscarriages while not having access to medical care and supervision.

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(via)

There is evidence that restricting the availability of legal abortion does not appear to reduce the number of women trying to end unwanted pregnancies (see here), what it does lead to is the death of around 70,000 women yearly from seeking unsafe illegal abortions; and the death of women denied the termination of a pregnancy that endangers their lives (often non-viable anyway).

Today on Jezebel, I came across another study, carried out by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco; tracking 862 women over the course of five years. The participants were divided into three groups: women seeking abortions who were within two weeks of the facility’s gestational age limit for the procedure (Near Limit Abortion Group), women who were turned away because their fetus was over that age limit (Turnaway Group) and women receiving an abortion in the first trimester (First Trimester Abortion Group). Each participant was asked questions about physical and psychological violence from the man involved in the pregnancy during biannual interviews.

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