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Introducing: LUZ Reproductive Justice Think Tank

The Luz Reproductive Justice Think Tank is a coalition of young women and transgender people of color and their allies from a variety of social justice movements who work to incorporate reproductive justice into their activism

Working across intersecting issues, the Luz Think Tank focuses on information sharing and skills building.  In its structure and approach, the Luz Think Tank strives to model equality, inclusion, and social change.  

A Different Vision for the Reproductive Justice Movement: A Documentary about LUZ Think Tank - Part One

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UN chief urges action to end violence and abuses endured by women

Only by standing up for fundamental rights everywhere can we expect to achieve lasting change


15 September 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today spotlighted the “shocking” abuse, violence and discrimination suffered by women, in a call for action to empower the gender that make up over half the world’s population.

In describing the diverse world population, “I would have to explain that fully half of those people face shocking abuses and discrimination,” Mr. Ban told the launch at United Nations Headquarters in New York of Half the Sky, a book depicting the violence and other abuses suffered by women worldwide and proposing action to combat the scourge.

“They are forced into slavery and prostitution,” said Mr. Ban at the launch, organized by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Women are denied the right to “speak their views, wear what they want, or pursue an education or a career,” said Mr. Ban, adding that they “are burned to death or scarred with acid with little or no punishment for the perpetrators.”

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All men can play a vital role in rape prevention.

Here are a few of the ways:


Be aware of language. Words are very powerful, especially when spoken by people with power over others. We live in a society in which words are often used to put women down, where calling a girl or woman a “bitch,” “freak,” “whore,” “baby,” or “dog” is common. Such language sends a message that females are less than fully human. When we see women as inferior, it becomes easier to treat them with less respect, disregard their rights, and ignore their well-being.

Communicate. Sexual violence often goes hand in hand with poor communication. Our discomfort with talking honestly and openly about sex dramatically raises the risk of rape. By learning effective sexual communication -- stating your desires clearly, listening to your partner, and asking when the situation is unclear -- men make sex safer for themselves and others.

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The Fight Against Rape a Brutal Wait

By Rebecca Murray

MONROVIA, Liberia, Sep 14 (IPS) - From Monrovia’s highest hill, the long sliver of Atlantic Ocean shoreline at the mouth of the Mesurado River, with its aqua blue waves, golden sand and wooden fishing boats, looks like paradise. But this is West Point; one of Monrovia’s most impoverished and polluted slums, and it is not paradise.

It is a world where justice is slow to react to the rapes and abuse of women and children. And it is here that women have been left with no choice but to come together and fight for their most basic of human rights – their safety.

"We decided to organise the women, because the men were beating on the women too much, they were raping the children plenty."

These are the words of Diana Mah, an organiser with the West Point Women’s Action Group. "So we were going to march out there and minimise what was going on."

Here in Liberia the human cost of the war, which ended in 2003, is grim. The International Crises Group estimates 250,000 Liberians lost their lives and in a disturbing survey of six counties by the World Health Organisation, almost 75 percent of the female respondents claimed to have been raped.

West Point is a microcosm of this.

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Homophobia Should Not Be Ruled Out in Terry's Murder

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is concerned about the manner in which investigation into the murder of British Honorary Consul, John Terry on Wednesday, September 9 is proceeding. While J-FLAG believes that Mr. Terry’s murder is yet another sign of the general disregard that many in our society have for human life, the content of a note reportedly found at the murder scene suggests he was the victim of a violently homophobic crime.

In the Friday, September 11 edition of the U.K.-based Guardian newspaper, it was reported that the handwritten note, signed "Gay-Man", warned: "This is what will happen to ALL gays". If this report is true, it would suggest that Mr. Terry’s killing was indeed a hate crime.

Given this report and police declarations that they have no strong leads as to the motive for Mr. Terry’s murder, J-FLAG is surprised that homophobia has been ruled out as a motive. J-FLAG believes that this is a precipitous decision and calls on the Jamaica Constabulary Force to provide evidence to justify its claim this early in the investigation. Further, the Force must also deny or confirm that a note of the kind reported by the Guardian was found at the crime scene.

As detectives continue their probe into the murder, J-FLAG hopes that their declaration that the killing was not motivated by homophobia is not an expedient attempt to counter the international perception that Jamaica is a homophobic society. J-FLAG calls on the security forces to treat this case with the utmost importance not because of Mr. Terry’s status but by virtue of his humanity. It also implores them to assure that their statements about the nature of the killing are not made based on attempts to protect the image of the nation but on the evidence in the case.

Contact: Jason McFarlane
Tel: (876)978-8988
Email: admin@jflag.org

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IMHRO condemns the rape of prisoners in Iran

Iranian Minorities’ Human Rights Organisation (IMHRO)


Since the revolution in 1979 there have been numerous reports of rape of prisoners in Iran. In Iran, prisons are places of terror, where the human spirit is destroyed with object of extracting false confessions.

IMHRO is aware of several allegations of Iranian security service officers raping male and female prisoners. Some ex-prisoners have talked about the on-going physical injuries which they have suffered as a result of the assaults.

Lila G, a Kurdish lady told IMHRO that in prison in 2005 she was gang raped by security service officers: “They did not let me sleep, even my judge raped me”.

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Gender JUST: LGBTQI Call to Action for Israel

Call for Action: Tell IGLTA that Apartheid Israel is not for LGBT Leisure Tourism!

September 8th 2009


Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, Toronto

Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Queer BDS activists from Israel

On October 10-16, 2009, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is planning to hold a tourism conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, aimed at boosting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) leisure tourism to Israel. The audience of this conference is expected to be made up mostly of travel agents who specialize in promoting LGBT tourism. With this conference IGLTA, in cooperation with an Israeli LGBT organization, the Aguda, will give its symbolic and financial support to a state that continually occupies, oppresses and dispossess millions of Palestinians and murders and imprisons many thousands of them.

We, queer activists and groups, call on LGBTQI people and friends around the world to join us in our protest against IGLTA’s promotion of leisure tourism to apartheid Israel. We demand that IGLTA cancel its planned conference in Israel and cease any promotion of tourism to this country.

For some time now, Israeli officials and organizations such as the Aguda, who are cooperating closely with IGLTA, have been promoting LGBT tourism to Israel through false representations of visiting Tel Aviv as not taking sides, or as being on the “LGBT” side, as if LGBT lives were the only ones that mattered. It is implied that it’s okay to visit Israel as long as you “believe in peace,” as if what is taking place in Palestine/Israel is merely a conflict between equals, rather than an oppressive power relationship. Consistent with globalization’s tendency to distance the “final product” from the moral implications of the manufacturing process, LGBT tourists are encouraged to forget about politics and just have fun in a so-called gay-friendly city.

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Jake Raynard: In His Own Words

Jake Raynard, who sustained 15 cheekbone fractures, and a broken jaw, eye socket, and upper palate, in a homophobic attack by a gang of up to eight men in Thunder Bay, Ontario on Saturday.  This is released in advance of the community rally held in his honor, this evening.

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Cara Page Speaking at 2009 CLPP Conference

Cara Page, National Director, CWPE

She is a queer rights, reproductive rights, human rights and women’s health activist and artist based in the U.S. Southeast. She strives to bring visibility to the issues impacting women of color’s bodies and to build the sustainability and well being of poor people and people of color communities through health advocacy, political education and creating healing and response networks.

Through her work at CWPE she continues to highlight the intersections between eugenic practices and population control, privatization of women’s bodies and healthcare, and the misuse of dangerous chemicals and contraceptives on impoverished communities.

In this wonderful address, she addresses many social issues in clear and direct terms.  She really focused on the view of women of color & LGBTQI people as being defned as either breeders or labor, but not human.  A powerful distinction.

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Surgeon pays damages to Christiane Völling

According to information from Christiane Völling, the surgeon, Prof. Dr. L. has given up and will not appeal the latest judgment after losing for the third time and he has already paid the damages! This is a victory from beginning to end for Christiane and her courageous lawyer, Georg Groth.

The payment [of damages] brought the "Hermtrial" which has been ongoing for over two years to a historic end more quickly than expected: for the first time ever in Germany a surgeon has been held accountable in a civil suit for non-consensual castration of an intersexed person - and the decision was upheld at all levels of the judicial system!

A huge day for all intersex people and all those who support them in their struggle to stop nonconsensual genital surgery and other nonconsensual treatments and those who support the right to self determination and human rights for intersex people.

- Translation, Curtis E. Hinkle, Founder of OII

(Source Intersex News)

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