activism

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Ugandan Anti-homosexuality Bill Means 'Targeted Killings'

By Wambi Michael

KAMPALA, Dec 10 (IPS) - Uganda will be going back to the days of the Idi Amin regime if it passes a Bill which will arrest or kill people for being gay or lesbian and for repeatedly engaging in homosexual sex, say rights activists.

Pro-gay activists compare the provisions in the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill to the 1972 order former dictator, president Idi Amin gave expelling Ugandan born Asians because of their colour.

"This is a form of targeted killings similar to Idi Amin. We already have a law on homosexuality but you see people like David Bahati, instead of concentrating on more pressing issues in his constituency, he is spending time to write a forty-page document aimed at gays and lesbians," said Jacqueline Kasha, a lesbian Ugandan human rights activist. 

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill's section on 'aggravated homosexuality'

A person commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality where the:

(a) Person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;

(b) Offender is a person living with HIV;

(c) Offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;

(d) Offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;

(e) Victim of the offence is a person with disability;

(f) Offender is a serial offender; or

(g) Offender applies, administers or cause to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy or overpower him or her so as to thereby enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex.

A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.

Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

Source: Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009

LaPrincipessa's picture

Life

I haven't posted in some time.

There have been plenty of stories I could write about; adultery and infidelity, misogyny in sports, the breast cancer debacle, Greg Oden.  For some reason, I can't find the words to directly convey how these things have made me feel.  Of late, I have been especially sensitive to stories about rape, domestic violence and adultery.  I have no idea why.  I have used this blog as an outlet of sorts, to share information and to vent frustration and anxiety.  But mostly as a means to share information and to further the goals of feminism.

So I ask again:  What is feminism?  Why am I a feminist?

I hardly know anymore.  I used to think feminism is about equal rights; about learning and language, combating misogyny in the media, debunking gender stereotypes, equal pay for equal work; campaigning, protesting, organizing for the right to chose when, where, if and how to have children.  All of this seems so trivial.  The deliberate misuse by the media of simple terms such as gender, sex and sexism; powerful men with a national voice hold hostage the very rights women such as myself have been fighting for.  Misleading information about socially acceptable issues such as breast cancer.  The massive scale back of women's choice in federal legislation under a president and congress that promised they would work for gender equality.

Huge setbacks- sorrowful regression. It is as if all the work feminists, gender rights activists, our mother's, grandmother’s and great grandmother's have done, has all been for naught.

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AIDS activists dare to go bare

MANILA, 1 December 2009 (PlusNews) - On 1 December, World AIDS Day, activists in the Philippines will be wearing nothing but the red AIDS ribbon in a campaign to raise awareness about the growing threat of HIV.

Some of the activists are HIV-positive, but they all hope the daring photographs will serve as a wake-up call while HIV prevalence in their country is still below one percent. UNAIDS estimated that 8,300 people were living with the virus in 2008, but the population is almost 90 million.

The "Dare to Bare Campaign" will be featured in a leading national daily newspaper and several online magazines until 5 December 2009. Every picture is accompanied by a personal story, because either that individual or someone they care about is living with the virus.

Shame and silence

Carlos Celdran, a performing artist and one of the "models" in the campaign, told IRIN/PlusNews that his youth was marked by living a carefree life in New York. "We may have been a bit promiscuous back then, but we were careful and always used condoms. Now, there is a whole new generation of young people who no longer see HIV/AIDS as a death sentence, and are more reckless."

According to the National AIDS Registry of the Department of Health, HIV cases among young people have been increasing at an unprecedented rate: newly reported cases in the 15-24 age group tripled from 41 in 2007 to 110 in 2008.

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Updates from "One Day One Struggle"

On November 9, 2009, a diverse group of nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions and activists across the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia carried out bold events to promote sexual and bodily rights as human rights. As part of the historic international campaign “One Day One Struggle” organized by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), over 20 organizations held simultaneous public demonstrations and meetings to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights and sexuality is not a private issue but a site of political struggle.

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Seeking: Fat Rights Spokesperson

Rachel over at The-F-Word.org is looking for a media contact to help support and advocate for fat rights.  If this matters to you and you have the desire to participate, please contact her. -a

By Rachel

As the media contact for The Fat Rights Coalition and a personal blogger who writes on issues of eating disorders and body acceptance, I field lots of public relations requests from media outlets worldwide, from international luminaries like CNN and The New York Times to small town papers looking to make a local connection on a larger issue.  I’ve participated in some of these public debates in the past, but because I am a journalist myself, I have made the decision to limit my involvement to helping my fellow journalists out behind-the-scenes and referring them to other activists who will speak on the record. And that’s where you come in.  I’m making what I fondly call my Big Fat Rolodex so that I can easily and quickly refer future media requests to the right activist or field professional. 

While I am looking for professionals like social workers, doctors, researchers, professors, lawyers, health care workers, therapists/psychologists, nutritionists and fitness experts etc… I am also looking for anyone with personal experiences with eating disorders (who don’t mind sharing details of their disorder), weight-based discrimination and fat rights activism.  If the Fatosphere has taught us anything, it’s that the personal is indeed political.

If you’d like to be included as a potential media contact, please send the below information in an email to Rachel (at) the-f-word (dot) org with “Media Contact” as the subject.

  • Real name, first and last
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number (optional)
  • Region: state and country
  • Website address (if applicable)
  • Available for: Radio, TV, Print
  • Area(s) of interest: i.e. fat rights, eating disorders, health, nutrition and fitness, legal issues, fat studies
  • Relevant credentials: (certifications, degrees, affiliations, personal experience)

arvan's picture

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Sex Worker’s Outreach Project - Tucson
www.swop-tucson.org

Please Join Us December 17, 2009 for the
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Event in Tucson, Arizona!

In 2009, sex workers from around the globe met gruesome deaths and endured unspeakable violence.  Some died at the hands of a solitary perpetrator; others were victims of serial “prostitute killers.”  While some of these horrific stories received international media attention (Boston, Grand Rapids, Albuquerque, Tijuana, Hong Kong, Moscow, Great Britain, Cape Town, New Zealand), other cases received little more than a perfunctory investigation.  Many cases remain unresolved, sometimes forever.

In fact, most violent crimes against sex workers remain unreported.  Stigma and decriminalization facilitate this violence; when sex work is criminalized, prostitutes can't turn to the police for protection without risking prosecution themselves.  Sex workers remain one of the largest marginalized populations in existence without the benefit of the basic civil rights that everyone else takes for granted.

Each year, December 17th marks the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.  Last year’s event in Washington, D.C. was a big success and this year, sex workers and their allies from across the U.S. will gather together in Tucson, Arizona to remember and honor sex workers who have been victimized by virtue of their chosen profession - including rape, assault and murder.

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"CEDAW is UNIFEM'S Entry Point"

Andrea Borde interviews JOANNE SANDLER, Deputy Executive Director, UNIFEM*

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 9 (IPS) - On Sep. 14, the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly adopted a resolution that opened the door for the creation of a new U.N. agency specifically for women.

It will draw together under one umbrella all of the existing entities for women in the U.N. - U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), International Training and Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI).

The new women's entity comes at a particularly exciting time in the women's empowerment movement at the U.N. as another report has just been released by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) highlighting the lack of women's control over economic and financial resources in both the developing and developed world.

The U.N. World Survey on the Role of Women in Development 2009, published by UNDESA addresses increasingly progressive issues such as women's unpaid work in the household, the urgency of women's financial empowerment, especially in current times of economic turmoil, and the long-standing inequalities of women in care giving, the labour market and within central financial institutions of the state such as financial ministries and central banks.

arvan's picture

Read "Homosexualities and Bisexualities: Myths & Facts" by Helem

Helem, the first public gay and lesbian organization in the Arab World, has been leading a peaceful struggle against homophobia, through empowering the LGBT community in Lebanon and promoting awareness around the dangers of homophobia and different sexual orientation issues.

In the context of its work against homophobia, and with the financial support of Heinrich Boll Foundation, Helem developed a public education booklet entitled “Myths and Facts: The Truth about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”, in four languages Arabic, English, French, and Armenian.  The booklet tackles various sexual orientation issues such as heterosexism and homophobia, homosexuality and mental health, and homosexuality and myths around human sexuality, and other related issues.

The booklet was recently launched in Beirut, by Helem’s George Azzi and psychologist and psychotherapist Dr. Maha Rabbath.

“This booklet is based on interviews with gay, lesbian and transgender people who shared their experience with us, as well as findings of independent studies and research,” she said. “It serves to dispel the myths surrounding homosexuality and bisexuality that abound due to politicized and institutionalized heterosexism and homophobia.”

-Dr. Maha Rabbath [Bekhsoos]

If you're not familiar with Helem yet, please do yourself a favor and visit their site.  In the highly patriarchal, religious and otherwise LGBTQI intolerant region of the middle east, their site and program is a great thing.  ( I am not sure exactly where 'tolerant' lies on the map, these days :-/ )

-arvan

arvan's picture

Operation: Sex Change

Hello!  You’ve may have noticed that I’ve changed my sex on Facebook.  Were you surprised?  Annoyed? Intrigued?  Disgusted?  Outraged?  Did you think it was a joke?  Did you perhaps think it was a mistake?

Actually, I’m glad you asked.  Today is the international day of action for sexual and bodily rights across Muslim societies: “One Day, One Struggle.”  To mark the occasion, I’ve changed my sex on Facebook to raise awareness around challenges facing transgender people everywhere in the world.  And I’m going to keep it that way till November 20, the Transgender Day of Remembrance.  My message is simple:

  1. I want you to know what “transgender” means.  It is a term used to identify the many people who do not fit into society’s strict gender roles of “male” and “female.”  The term represents a variety of identities that include cross-dresser, transvestite, androgynes, genderqueer, people who live cross-gender, drag kings and drag queens, and, frequently, transsexual.  Please take the time to click on these links to learn more about different gender identities and expressions.
  2. I want you to know that transgenders and transsexuals exist among us – no matter where we are in the world.  They have the same rights as everyone else to express their gender the way they see fit.  If a person is born with a female body, for example, but identifies as a male, he has the full right to do so and you have the full obligation to address him as such.
  3. I want you to know that transgenders face a lot of crap from everyone: their families, their colleagues, the people on the street, the police, the public, the state – everyone!  Transgender identity is still considered a mental illness, and, most of the time, transgenders face severe violence and discrimination just for not conforming to the strict gender roles, although they are not doing anything to hurt anybody.

arvan's picture

Rally For Equality in NOLA @ Noon, Nov. 7th

The steps of New Orleans City Hall will be the site of a Rally for Equality, to be held on November 7, 2009 from noon to 1 p.m.  This rally will signal support for equality and justice for all, and highlight the problems that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals face in Louisiana and across the nation.

Location:

City Hall
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA

Hosted by:

Forum For Equality, Mary Griggs
Email: ffe@forumforequality.com
Phone: 504-569-9156
RSVP by: November 6, 2009 at 11:59 pm (Central Time)

Organized by the ACLU of Louisiana, Big Easy Metropolitan Community Church, Forum For Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, NO/AIDS Task Force, the National Organization for Women, PFLAG, TCC and other allies of the LGBT community, the event will feature speakers, entertainment and provide information on services available to the LGBT community.

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