equality

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APNSW Video Work Shop 2010

In April 2010 APNSW conducted a training workshop for sex workers to learn skills in Video Advocacy.  The training was organised by Dale from APNSW and Ryan Schlief from WITNESS.  Sex workers from China, Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia came to the week long workshop, which was supported by a grant from OSI.

These newly trained film makers made a video action plan for their first film and will be making these films in their country in the next few months with technical support from APNSW.

(h/t APNSW)

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CALL FOR PAPERS - Gender & Development: Migration

The March 2011 issue of the international journal Gender & Development, (published for Oxfam GB by Routledge/Taylor and Francis) will focus on Migration.

The decision to leave home is not taken lightly. It is both frequent and normal for millions of women and men, worldwide, to travel away from their homes and families to seek peace, security, or the means to make a living.

Increasingly, development researchers and workers are asking for guidance on how to plan and implement work to support migrants, their families and dependents - at home, and in their new locations. This necessitates a shift in the traditional development focus on the needs of a community in a particular place, to supporting the human networks which shift between rural to urban locations, between countries, and back again.

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Iran: Imprisoned activist Shiva Nazar Ahari to go on trial for 'acts against national security'

(From Women Living Under Muslim Laws)

In March 2010, Women’s human rights defender and WLUML council member, Shadi Sadr, took the extraordinary step of dedicating her International Women of Courage Award to Shiva Nazar Ahari, a young human rights activist and a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), currently imprisoned in Iran for ‘acts against national security’. Sadr refrained from attending the award ceremony in the U.S. in the hope that her absence would draw the international community’s attention to Nazar Ahari’s dire situation, urging the audience in a speech recorded for the event that “any measures available to you [be taken] to help to free Shiva along with other human rights activists and journalists in Iranian prisons”. According to Nazar Ahari’s mother, she will be brought to trial at Revolutionary Court No. 26 on Sunday 23 May. The offences she is being accused of carry severe penalties.

Please see attached our sample letter:

WLUML sample letter to Head of Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran.pdf

You can follow this link (and scroll down) to watch a series of films in Farsi on Shiva by Iranian WHRD, filmmaker and WLUML ally, Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh.

The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network calls on civil society organisations and UN member states to ask the Honourable Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani to do everything in his powers, as head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to address our grave human rights concerns and immediately release Shiva Nazar Ahari. 

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Making Sex Work - A video from sex workers

 

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Women's rights and Kenya's constitution: Challenging 'men of faith'

By Beth Maina and Cenya Ciyendi

What gives a church in which celibacy is equated with holiness, in which males have all the undemocratic power, the right to a place at the table where laws are made about women’s bodies?

A large number of contradictions have arisen in the Kenyan debate on the new constitution just passed through the Kenyan parliament in preparation for a referendum scheduled for 2 July 2010, and particularly around the clauses on the right to abortion.

We are Kenyan women in the diaspora who have struggled with other women in Kenya and other nations on the right to life for the mother as well as the unborn child. With CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, particularly the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, established, we wish to join a debate which is a fundamental concern over the fundamental right to life and which is critical in the bill of rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

However, we would like to state from the outset that this debate is currently moribund as far as the referendum is concerned as time has lapsed in relation to the act. Opening the door now to one group of people will raise further questions about democracy and the rule of law. As women, whose lives and bodies this is all about, we therefore cannot remain silent as we do not believe that those who purport to represent us either seek our view or care about our humanity. We have to question the protests by religious groups and politicians such as William Ruto, who hope to manipulate the ignorance and vulnerability of the faithful to jettison the new constitution on this specific aspect on emotive and pseudo-religious grounds. We believe that they are seeking power and hiding behind religion to derail what is a very important document in our lives as Kenyans, the new Kenyan constitution, which we unequivocally support as it gives all Kenyans greater protection, rights and freedoms than the old one.

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UN CEDAW urges Ukraine to eliminate discrimination against Romani women

[via Neww-Polska]

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and International Charitable Organization Roma Women Fund “Chiricli” welcome the Concluding Comments of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in its review of Ukraine’s compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.  The ERRC and Chiricli submitted a report to the Committee in the run-up to its review bringing attention to the situation of Romani women in Ukraine.

In its Concluding Comments, the Committee noted with regret the “lack of information in relation to […] vulnerable groups of women, in particular Romani women, who may be subjected to multiple forms of discrimination.” It invited the Ukrainian government to “provide comprehensive information and statistical data, in its next periodic report, on the situation of migrant and refugee women and of other vulnerable groups of women, in particular Roma women, who may be subjected to multiple forms of discrimination […] and on the measures taken for eliminating discrimination against these women with regard to their access to health, education, employment, social benefits, etc.”

In its review session the Committee strongly emphasised the need to make use of temporary special measures to improve the situation of Romani women. The Committee recommends that the Ukrainian government “adopt and implement temporary special measures, including quotas, as part of a comprehensive strategy aimed at the achievement of substantive gender equality in areas where women are underrepresented or disadvantaged, as well as for women suffering from multiple forms of discrimination, such as Roma women.”

The Committee also urged the Ukrainian government to “intensify its efforts to overcome persistent stereotypes that are discriminatory against women” with particular reference to Romani women, and to remove obstacles encountered by women to access shelters and social centres for victims of domestic violence, and to “immediate means of redress and protection, without limitation of age or of another kind.”

The full text of the CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Comments on Ukraine is available here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/docs/co/CEDAW-C-UKR-CO-7.pdf  

In their report, based on first hand research throughout the country conducted in cooperation with local Romani women, the ERRC and Chiricli highlighted that there is no comprehensive anti-discrimination law in Ukraine via which Romani women can seek to defend their rights and challenge abuses when these occur. This is especially worrying in light of the fact that Romani women in Ukraine are at times subject to multiple and/or intersectional discrimination. The report revealed that 43% of the Romani women interviewed are victims of domestic violence and a very low percentage (only 2.5%) of Romani women interviewed access higher education due to patriarchal traditions, poverty, ethnic segregation or harassment by non-Roma classmates. As a result of this lack of education and direct or indirect discrimination on the job market, many Romani women lack access to formal employment and are forced to accept work in the grey economy, excluding them from state social benefits. Extreme poverty, inadequate housing and the disadvantaged position of Romani women make their health situation significantly worse then that of other female populations in Ukraine, or that of Romani men.

For further information, please contact:

Ostalinda Maya, ERRC, ostalinda.maya@errc.org +36 1 413 2200 (English and Spanish)

Zola Kondur, Chiricli, kondurzola@yahoo.com +380675096248 (English, Ukranian and Rus

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Sex workers' rights: Neither guilt nor victims.

This video was produced by Sexyshock and the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe based on interviews with participants at the European Conference on sex work, human rights, labor and migration , which had held in Brussels in 2005, shortly after the stimulus XXX Forum organized by Stella in Montreal.

I can't say no to anyone shouting:

"Grab your make up, fix your hair.  Prostitutes are everywhere."

(h/t Cybersolidaires)

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Farah Malhass: Female Bodybuilder...from Jordan

"You are somebody when you stop being nobody"

I just read about Farah Malhass, a cis-female bodybuilder in the country of Jordan.  Yes, that Jordan.  The Jordan of  "honor killing", misogynist religious intolerance and many more culturally accepted forms of oppression to women.

Farah is one bad-ass human. 

She can bench press more than you, has awesome tattoos, wears whatever she wants, flexes her muscles and her boobs and she's taking her desire to compete as a bodybuilder to an international competition in Toronto, this September.

Farah is a sitting target for Jordan's hardliners, not least of all because her body is covered in tattoos: a bare-breasted angel is depicted on her upper thighs, angel wings cover her back, and edgy statements are branded across her arms.

"You are somebody when you stop being nobody," reads one. "Only the one who hurts you can heal your pain," reads another. [GulfNews]

Oh, and when she's not busting egos at the gym, Farah works at the International Organisation for Migration, assisting Iraqi immigrants who deal with relocation and the scars of torture and bloodshed.

Farah is a shining, perfect example of  the creativity, beauty, strength and limitless possiblity of individual expression that is in every one of us.  She is a glaring example of what is available to us all if we claim our own identity and declare it to the world.  She is also a great big "fuck you" to oppression, bullying and misogyny.  For that last point, she receives no end of discouraging remarks.  For the first point, she gets this writer's wholehearted approval, support and praise.

Rock on with your bad self, Farah!

- arvan

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Call for Submissions The Carnival of Kinky Feminists

(h/t quietriot girl)

Mission Statement

“To create a space that’s friendly and safe for feminists and kinky people to share their views.   To promote respectful dialogue across the range of feminisms and kinky lifestyles and activities.   To maintain a spirit of tolerance and acceptance on the basis that “Your Kink Is Not My Kink, And That’s OK”, and “Your Feminism Is not My Feminism, And That’s OK”.

Format:

All Posts/Carnival links to other blogs to be labelled for content so people know what they’re clicking onto and can choose to avoid content that may squick or trigger them.

For posts posted on this site this will be done before a cut. Links to carnival submissions off site followed with list of labels, for example:

  • Mr Jobby writes about his diet (scat, nutrition)
  • or Grabmeoffthestreet writes about takedown play (consensual non-consent, public covert play, rough handling, contracts)

these are made up examples…

Content (posts, links or comments) that are:

  • Sexist: discriminatory on the basis of gender and/ or that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.
  • Homophobic/ Biphobic: expressing, fear, contempt or antipathy for or advocating discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals.
  • Transphobic/ Transmisogynist: discrimination against transgender and transsexual persons based on their expression of their internal gender identity
  • Racist: hatred, intolerance, expressions of contempt towards other races
  • Ableist: discrimination or predjudice against people with disabilities
  • Classist: bias based on social or economic class
  • And any other kind of bullshit essentialist stereotyping, such as ‘Twue Typing” or “one true Waying”
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Young Arab Feminist Network hopes to build dialogue with older generations, non-feminists

By Heba El-Sherif / Daily News Egypt

CAIRO: When historians and political analysts first discussed a clash of civilizations, they were referring to a conflict that would arise due to cultural and religious differences in the post-Cold War years. In the world of feminism, however, such clash is born from a difference in age.

In the Arab world, young feminists are finding it hard to carve a space for themselves among an older, more experienced generation of female activists.

Last week, 20 participants from across seven Arab countries came to Cairo for a four-day meeting to kick off the first Young Arab Feminist Network (YAFN), an initiative fueled by a determination to seek gender equality, and a desire to “be taken seriously,” according to one Egyptian founder, Engy Ghozlan.

Ghozlan, who worked with several women’s organizations, recalls a recurrent conversation that, to her, describes the clash between old and young feminists in Egypt.

“This is what they tell us: ‘Where have you been in 1987 when I was doing this and that?’”   “Well I wasn’t here,” she quickly replies, “but now I’m here and I have something to say.”

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