Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hijabs and the Olympics

Saudi judo competitor Wojdan Shaherkhani (left) arrives with her father at Heathrow airport in preparation for the London Olympics.

"Hijab outlawed: Saudi judo competitor refused permission to wear head scarf" (SMH 27/07/2012)

What should have been the article: Celebrating the fact that women for the first time are competing from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.
Instead ... we get this, fuelling sentiment that Hijabs are not welcome even on the international arena.

I understand that it is in relation to safety, but it's the way it is phrased and presented.
Why cant the Olympics be inclusive and allow her to wear what Cathy Freeman wore when she ran in 2000?
Some women go to great lengths to maintain their right to wear a Hijab and cover their head and then on the international stage for the Olympics there is no alternative? Must they choose either to expose their head or not participate? It's not very in the spirit of accepting all athletes to the Olympic Games!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Drinking while Pregnant

The title of this article ... "I can't serve you.  You're pregnant" struck a chord with me.  A real conflict of values question... As a pregnant woman, can you be served alcohol?
If I was serving in a pub/restaurant, what is my duty in accordance with my RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol)?  If I'm hosting a party, what is my responsibility to intervene if a woman is pregnant and requests a wine or spirit?

Is it straight forward as being black and white? No alcohol while you are pregnant?  What if its the odd drink for a celebration? Is an expectant mother free to drink as she chooses? It's a question of Freedom to act Vs Whats best for the baby (who doesn't have a say).

I can't really comment on the recent research or the current stance of various health departments, I haven't researched it. I know women are entitled to consume as they wish. They can even smoke while pregnant. (I guess the same question could be asked, as a pregnant woman, can you be served cigarettes?)

It's a bit of a conundrum ...

In a licensed establishment, I would probably refuse service. (I would also want to see what the premises policy is on serving pregnant women).  I know I may unknowingly serve a pregnant woman alcohol, but if i can see it, I probably won't serve her.  As to giving a friend a drink if she were pregnant? I would say something? Probably, but I would ultimately serve her.