advocacy

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Photo Exhibit of trafficking survivors - Pain To Power

[via Neww Polska]

Trafficked women redraw their portraits with a new identity through the lens of photographer Achinto Bhadra.  Hemlata Aithani captures the metamorphosis.

From brothels to mainstream, it has been a journey of transformation captured through the lens — the journey of 126 young women rescued from the red light areas in Kolkata and rehabilitated. Capturing their metamorphosis from ‘pain to power’, as they portrayed themselves in characters they could identify with, was acclaimed photographer Achinto Bhadra. At an exhibition organised at Alliance Francaise in New Delhi, he displayed 50 out of the 126 portraits he had created.

While the striking compositions, colour, costumes, make-up, expressions and captions made each portrait captivating, the exhibition for the most part was about the successful reintegration of the young subjects into society; their newly-gained independence; their determination to start life afresh; and how they see themselves and what they identify with.

The photographs were part of a project that began five years ago by the Kolkata-based NGO, Sanlaap, with support from Terre Des Hommes Foundation, Switzerland. “Sanlaap has been working for the past 21 years against the trafficking of girls and women... working with girls rescued from brothels.... and children of commercial sex workers and helping them to come back to main society,” says Indrani Sinha, director, Sanlaap.

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Call for applications to the CSBR Sexuality Institute

Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR)

III. CSBR Sexuality Institute 2010

18-25 September 2010, Jakarta, Indonesia

***Deadline for Applications: May 21, 2010***

The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) is pleased to announce the 3rd CSBR Sexuality Institute 2010 to be held between September 18th and 25th 2010 in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Designed as a comprehensive curriculum on sexuality, sexual and reproductive health and rights with an in depth discussion on the linkages between research and practice, the CSBR Sexuality Institute offers a holistic interdisciplinary program combining history, theory, research and politics of sexuality with applications of advocacy, and fieldwork.
 
The CSBR Sexuality Institute brings together leading leading sexual and reproductive rights activists, academics and researchers. Held previously in Malaysia (2008) and Turkey (2009) with participants from 19 countries throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the institutes include lectures, group work, roundtables, panels, site visits and film screenings, as well as a methodology to engage participants’ own experiences around sexuality.

Background

“I would summarize the experience I had at the CSBR Institute in one word - that is: LIBERATING. The novelty of this [CSBR’s] discourse in our socio-cultural context is certainly one important aspect, but more importantly, the silence that our society harbors around sexuality has become so “normal” that we often forget how integral it is to our existence and well-being.”  (Mahrukh Mouhiddin, BRAC University – Bangladesh, CSBR Sexuality Institute 2008).
 
“In one sentence; the Institute has shown me that sexuality is not only about problems, ill-being and repercussion; it is also about pleasure, happiness, well being and CHANGE” (Gulalai Ismail, Aware Girls – Pakistan, CSBR Sexuality Institute 2009).

The realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights is an integral part of gender equality, development and social justice. However, sexuality continues to be a contested site of political struggles both in Muslim societies and across the globe. Increasing global militarism, conservatism, and nationalism over the last decades provoked a serious backlash on sexual and reproductive health and rights, both at national and global levels. Given the current polarizations, it is more pertinent than ever to strengthen critical insight, further research, enhance knowledge and capacity on sexual and reproductive health and rights, and build an inclusive and affirmative discourse on sexuality.
 
Aim

In the above mentioned context, the aims of the CSBR Sexuality Institute are:

To further knowledge on the multi-dimensional and intersecting aspects of sexuality, health and rights;

To develop a deeper theoretical understanding of sexuality through a historical overview and analysis of current debates and research at the global level;

To  provide a comprehensive and holistic understanding of sexuality in Muslim societies through a discussion of the history, legal frameworks, research, and current discourses;

To enhance participants’ sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy skills on national and international levels;

To increase participants’ capacity as leading advocates, practitioners and researchers on sexuality issues at national, regional and international levels.

“In face of the rise of the so called fundamentalism or hard line Islamic revivalism, the Institute gave me the basic paradigm to see and analyze how we take position in order to challange the repression.” (Dwi Ayu, Komnas Perempuan – Indonesia, CSBR Sexuality Institute 2008).

“I have never been to anything this exhaustive and detailed. It shed light on the intersections between religion, sexuality, health, the terminology and bodily rights. I learned more about the international arena and how to use it to advance your case. It was very instrumental for me both at the personal and professional level, basically shaping the way I will address my work.”  (Joelle Hatem, MEEM – Lebanon, CSBR Sexuality Institute 2009).

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Trans Bodies, Trans Selves - Call for Contributions

Project Overview

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a resource guide for the transgender population, covering health, legal issues, cultural and social questions, history, theory, and more. It is a place for transgender and gender-questioning people, their partners and families, students, professors, guidance counselors, and others to look for up-to-date information on transgender life. Each chapter will be written by a separate transgender or genderqueer author, but to provide consistency of layout, message and tone, authors will be given guidelines and will work closely with the editor. The book will be aimed at a general transgender and gender-questioning audience, and when using complicated language, will provide definitions and explanations.

The tone will be friendly and fun, and will promote trans-positive, feminist and genderqueer advocacy. Included in each section will be anonymous quotes from everyday transgender people, who will be interviewed and also surveyed electronically, so that their voices are heard throughout. Short opinion pieces and testimonials (1-2 pages long) will also be included in each chapter.  Finally, each chapter will contain references to resources such as books, movies, and organizations related to the chapter’s topic.

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The National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon

The National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon is the first-ever national bowl-a-thon for abortion funding. 

The National Network of Abortion Funds is sponsoring the national component of this event, while individual member abortion Funds are hosting local bowl-a-thons in their communities.  

The dual goals of the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-thon are to raise awareness of economic barriers to abortion care and to strike down these barriers by raising money to pay for abortion care and to improve state and federal policies that interfere with access to abortion for the most disadvantaged women. 
 
Seventeen abortion Funds, members of the National Network of Abortion Funds, are hosting bowl-a-thons in their local communities during the month of April.
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Photo Competition: 'My World: Visions of 21st Century Feminism'


In the framework of its 20th anniversary celebrations, the European Women’s Lobby is pleased to announce the launch of a photo competition looking to expose the visions of young women of the world they live in. The competition seeks images that make a creative and powerful statement on the theme of ‘21st Century Feminism’. Send your photos before 30 June 2010 to ewl@womenlobby.org.

 

Download the poster announcing the competition in English or French.

 

The criteria and rules of entry are currently available in Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, GreekItalianLatvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene and Swedish.

 


‘My world: Visions of 21st Century Feminism’

Photo competition

Criteria & Rules of entry

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Intersex as Identity: Movie screening and lecture at School of the Art Institute of Chicago

SAIC is presenting two events this week dealing with gender identity, one film and one lecture.  I spoke briefly with Quiana Carter at the SAIC about these events.  The come about as an extension of the school's commitment to addressing the topic of gender per discussions with by students and faculty.  These events are open to all, as the school is looking to create an open dialogue in exploring gender and society.

XXY
Monday, April 12, 6 p.m.
SAIC Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr.
Free Screening

Directed by Lucía Puenzo, this 91-minute feature tackles issues facing 15 year-old Alex (Inés Efron), who was born an intersex child. XXY (2007) was Argentina's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2008 Academy Awards. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs

Exs & Whys a presentation by Jen Pagonis
Tuesday, April 13, 6 p.m.
SAIC Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr.
Free

A recent graduate of DePaul University and a member of the The Intersex Collective Speakers Bureau, Jen Pagonis received her degree in Women's and Gender Studies and completed her thesis on the topic of intersexuality. Her thesis presentation included original research and interviews with intersex activists from the San Francisco bay and Chicago areas. She is currently working on creating a peer led intersex youth and parent group in the Chicago area. Her appearance follows the screening of XXY on April 12 (see Films and Screenings). Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs

For more information, contact:

Quiana Burwell
Multicultural Affairs Assistant Director
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
36 S. Wabash Ave, Suite 1203 J2

Ph: 312.629-6868
Fax: 312.629.6801

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NUESTRAS VOCES / OUR VOICES: Wise Latin@s en la lucha - Nov. 1-2, 2010

Arte Sana National Conference
November 1-2, 2010


Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport Hotel
4545 W. John Carpenter Freeway
Irving, Texas

Arte Sana is pleased to announce "NUESTRAS VOCES / OUR VOICES: Wise Latin@s en la lucha" a national gathering of Latin@ victim advocates, prevention specialists, survivors, and allies promoting the engagement of Latin@s as agents of change in addressing gender-based violence, celebrating our collective wisdom & leadership en los movimientos.


The conference ends at 5:30pm on both days.

Please join Latina victim advocates and allies from across the nation to share, learn, and be inspired!

Attendees are invited to participate in a collective art installation:
un altar para el Día de los Muertos
Poema y arte:

Click HERE to register now and take advantage of the Early Bird registration of $195 until April 30, 2010 (Standard rate: $245).
Group rates are also available.

TOPICS and PRESENTERS

Keynote: The Pornographic Mirror: Facing the Ugly Realities of Patriarchy and White Supremacy
Robert Jensen - Journalism professor – The University of Texas at Austin

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Interview: Nancy Schwartzman, Director of "The Line"

Have you ever been coerced into sex with someone?  Have you ever coerced someone for sex? 

If so, you may have had your line crossed or crossed someone else's.

For those unaware of the film, "The Line" is about a woman (in this case, the filmmaker herself) who is raped and her efforts to confront her attacker.  The film also examines our cultural prejudices against rapists and those who are raped.

The expectations and judgments we place on others and ultimately ourselves are examined and questioned as Nancy views the impact of cultural projections arising from gender, power, language and identity. 

Running through all this is the ideas of consent and communication.  Where, when, what & how a person speaks to indicate their line of consent / no consent and this place is "The Line" that the film addresses. 

We all know what we are comfortable with and have some idea of what we'll experiment with and we probably know the things we're not comfortable with.  These things can alter over time, but the issue in this film is when a person feels like saying "No", do they have the language and the ability to say so?.  Social stereotypes may inform a person that they don't have the right to say no.  Or, they may feel that they "owe " compliance to someone because they said "yes" before or some other reason.  Many of us will have different answers to the same situation at different points in our lives.  But, for many people their line gets crossed and they are left with no idea of what happened or how to deal with it.

This film is a great tool for individuals of any sex, gender, age or class to view as a means to understanding their participation in the rape elements of our shared cultures.  I recommend it highly. 

The target audience is people wishing to understand boundaries and consent.  It is also being appled as a tool for educators, sex educators, activists and organizations or people working with gender based violence.

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The New Mythos Project: "tk" & Mia Mingus

"tk" Karakashian Tunchez sits down in a fun looking diner with Mia Mingus on the New Mythos Tour. 

If you like the sound of the New Mythos Projet, visit their blog.  You can find Mia Mingus' blog here.

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“I’d rather die than go back to him”

SANAA, 21 February 2010 (IRIN) - It was every little girl’s dream - she was to get a new dress, jewellery, sweets and a party for all her friends.

What 10-year-old Aisha
(*not her real name) did not know was that after the wedding party she would have to leave school, move to a village far from her parents’ home, cook and clean all day, and have sex with her older husband.

“He took out a special sheet and laid me down on it,” Aisha told IRIN, wringing her small plump hands. “After it, I started bleeding. It was so painful that I was crying and shouting, and since then I have seen him as death.”

After a week of fighting off her husband every night, Aisha’s father was called. He had received 200,000 Yemeni Rial (US$1,000) for his daughter in `shart’, a Yemeni dowry, which he could not pay back.

“My Dad made a cup of tea and put some pills in it, which he gave me. The pills made me feel dizzy,” said Aisha. “My Dad told me to sleep with my husband, or he would kill me, but I refused.”

Instead Aisha broke a glass bottle over her head in a desperate attempt to stay awake. “My Dad hit me badly. I was bleeding from my mouth and nose,” she said.

After spending a few months in her husband’s home, where she said he would regularly drug her and beat her, Aisha managed to escape. Now, two years later, aged 12, she is unable to divorce him.

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