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Call for Papers - Engendering Empowerment : Education and Equality

The organising committee for the UNGEI E4 conference is made up of education activists, academics, practitioners and policy makers from many countries of the world. We are seeking papers and presentations that deal with gender, education, empowerment, and equality for our innovative E4 conference in May 2010 . Although, over the last ten years, children around the world have had increased opportunities to attend school and benefit from education, nearly a billion people still receive little or no education. The majority are women and girls who face gender inequalities in many areas of their lives. The harsh effects of climate change, war and economic recession impact particularly heavily on women and girls, and if not addressed, will place enormous obstacles in the way of their education.  This conference is part of a world-wide mobilisation of partnerships to realise the rights of girls and women to education and training  and address the gender inequalities that prevent initiatives from reaching their full potential to transform societies.  The key theme of the conference is:

Partnership, participation and power for gender equality in education

Parallel streams will look at:

  • Addressing violence
  • Challenging poverty and inequalities
  • Beyond access: Policy and practice for gender equality in schools

Cross cutting themes will consider:

  • Health, water, nutrition and HIV
  • Participation
  • Climate change
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Urgency Required: Gay and Lesbian Rights are Human Rights

This book was conceived in response to the 2008 celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Despite this Declaration, which was adopted in 1948, sexual minorities around the world are routinely subjected to flagrant human rights violations (particularly by governments) that range from subtle discrimination to imprisonment, torture, the death penalty and murder.  There are still countries where gays and lesbians are not considered human and human rights are not, therefore, considered applicable. Read the full introduction.

The book Urgency Required focuses on urgent issues of gay and lesbian liberation, taking a historical perspective and reflecting worldwide geographic diversity.  Employing the term ‘LGBT-persons’, the acronym used for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, it explores concepts and strategies for taking steps towards decriminalization and equal rights and treatment regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

In 2009 homophobia appears to be the last accepted prejudice, where racism is rejected, anti-Semitism is condemned, and the oppression of women has lost its legitimacy.

From subtle discrimination to imprisonment, torture, the death penalty and murder: human rights violations against sexual minorities are carried out on a daily basis around the world, not least by governments, in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, promulgated since 1948.  In some eighty countries, gays and lesbians are still regarded as criminals, sometimes awaiting life imprisonment or the death penalty. Not even recognized as human beings, they can be denied rights covered by the whole range of human rights legislation.

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Bent Bars Project

The Bent Bars Project is a new letter-writing project for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, gender-variant, intersex, and queer prisoners in Britain.  The project aims to develop stronger connections and build solidarity between LGBTQ communities outside and inside prison walls.

Although many overtly homophobic and transphobic laws have been recently overturned in Britain, the criminal (in)justice system continues to target and criminalize queer, trans and gender non-conforming people.  We don’t know exactly how many LGBTQ people are currently behind bars, but we do know queer, trans and gender non-conforming people, particularly those from poor backgrounds and communities of colour, are disproportionately funneled into the prison system as a result of systemic discrimination, inequality and social exclusion.   We also know that queer, trans and gender non-conforming people are subject to increased isolation, harassment, violence and assault when in prison.

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A Day in Hand - Same-sex hand holding (Sshh): Our silent revolution

A Day In Hand - Same-sex hand holding

This campaign's aim is to INSPIRE and SUPPORT same-sex couples who want to hold their partner's hand in public. 

"...when you're trying just to be thought of as a human being, the smallest victories feel like huge ones."

You don't have to fight to change the world.  Promote love and equality by the simple act of holding hands.

Holding hands with your partner, where you can, is about being true to yourself and to those you love.  This is not a protest, a rally, a Pride or a march.  This is about you and the life you lead every day.  We can do this.
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Peace Is Impossible When Half the Population Is Excluded from Negotiations, Say Afghanistan’s Women Activists

A day ahead of the London Conference, women’s groups make strong recommendations for reconstruction and development.

London [UNIFEM] In the lead-up to the 28 January London Conference on Afghanistan hosted by the UK Government, Afghan women human rights defenders today released strong, specific recommendations on security, development and governance priorities for their country. These recommendations provide the only concrete input from consultation with Afghan women into the key decisions affecting the future of their country that will be set in London by international actors.

Deeply concerned about the exclusion of Afghan women’s perspectives from the dialogue surrounding the London Conference, the statement issued today by the women activists comes as a result of broad-based consultations with Afghan women civil society leaders at the Dubai Women’s Dialogue and London Dialogue over the last week, involving the Afghan Women’s Network and supported by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the Institute for Inclusive Security. 

"As the global community knows, nowhere are women’s human rights more at stake than in Afghanistan. Therefore it is of grave concern that women’s voices and perspectives are largely missing from this London conference on Afghanistan’s future. The international community should stand behind the women of Afghanistan and elevate their voices, not barter away their rights in the name of short-term peace and stabilization,” said Wazma Frogh, Afghan Gender and Development Specialist.

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Sex Industry Workers on BlogTalk Internet Radio

Who: Host Maxine Doogan of the Erotic Service Providers Union will be joined by Douglas Fox of the International Sex Workers Union who will be updating listeners on the Crime Bill which criminalize clients of prostitutes. Susan Davis of Canada’s West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals will be speaking about the legal challenge to over turn anti prostitution laws and Sienna Baskin, staff attorney of Sex Workers Project in New York will be updating us on a legislative effort to stop using condoms as evidence of prostitution.

What: International Checkin and Community Building by and for Sex Industry Workers on BlogTalk Internet Radio


When: Sunday, January, 31st 2010 3pm PT (West Coast), 6pm ET (East Coast), 11pm-UK (Britain)

Call in and Discussion (347) 826-9733 for inside the USA and 001 347 826
9733 for outside the USA.

This internet radio show will be followed by a very special phone conference to help organize endorsements for the New York State Assembly Bill A03856 "No Condom as Evidence Bill"

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“Sex work organizations: Programs, advocacy, and opportunities for Chinese NGOs”.

This is a memo from Asia Catalyst based on research and outreach conducted over the past six months into international sex work organizations and their current programs and advocacy.  The aim is to share this information with Chinese sex worker groups as they develop programs and advocacy campaigns.

Sex work organizations: Programs, advocacy, and opportunities for Chinese NGOs

(h/t Asia Pacific Network of Sex Worker$)

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YOWLI 2010: Application Online Now

The Young Women’s Knowledge and Leadership Institute (YOWLI) is one of the 2 Flagship programs of African Women's Millenium Initiative (AWOMI).  The other flagship program is the African Women Empowerment Fund (WEFU). 

YOWLI was set up to enable young women and men of African descent to widen their leadership horizons enhance their knowledge base and actively engage in monitoring and fighting for social justice.  YOWLI supports innovative ideas that challenge anti human rights strategies and propel organizing for social transformation.

Download Application (MS Word)

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2010 BB! Convergence Call For Workshops!

bash back denver is pleased to host the twenty-ten bash back! convergence from may twenty-seventh to thirtieth.


We want this year’s convergence to be a smashing success, and to do it we need your help.  Workshops were an integral part of previous convergences and will be this year.

We are seeking workshop proposals for this year’s convergence especially on the following topics:

Anti-Oppression!, Mental Health, Queer Nurturing, Response to Sexual Assault, DIY Sex Toys, DIY Other Sexy Things, Sex Work, Direct Action (including Bloc Tactics, Mobile Disco Sound Systems, Analysis/Theory), Anarchist and Queer Theory/Histories, Prison Abolition, Prisoner Support, Kink, Spirituality, Group Presentations,Queer/Anarchist films and documentaries, and Permaculture/Rural Queer.  

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An Ombudswoman for Sexual Diversity in Nicaragua

By José Adán Silva

MANAGUA, Dec 15 , 2009 (IPS) - At last, homosexuals in Nicaragua have someone to uphold their rights: an ombudswoman for sexual diversity has been appointed to defend the rights of the gay community, estimated to number half a million people.

The new ombudswoman's office started work this month with the remit to "recognise the constitutional rights and duties of all citizens, whatever their sexual orientation, as universal rights which must be respected," human rights ombudsman Omar Cabezas told IPS.

The person appointed to the new post is María Samira Montiel, a young lawyer who has been an activist in the lesbian movement in Nicaragua for the past decade, and who has a high profile because of her campaigns against abuses and discrimination against people with different sexual identities.

This Central American country of 5.7 million people is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere after Haiti. And although constitutionally it is a secular state, the Catholic Church has an extremely strong influence, to the point that abortion is illegal under all circumstances, even when the mother's life is at risk, and homosexuality was regarded as a crime punishable by imprisonment until 2008.

Montiel told IPS that her brief as a public official serving a cultural minority will transcend issues like promoting same-sex marriage or adoption of children by same-sex couples, both of which are illegal at present.

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