justice

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U.N.: Details of New Gender Entity Proposed

New York, 2 February 2010 – A report by the Secretary-General proposing details for a new gender entity was issued on 6 January. The Secretary-General will present the paper to Member States this Thursday, 4 February, in the first meeting of informal consultations in the plenary on System-wide Coherence.

 

The report, “Comprehensive proposal for the composite gender equality entity,” was requested by the General Assembly in Resolution 63/311 of September 2009, when the GA agreed to establish the entity.

 

The four other issues of System-wide Coherence currently under consideration in the GA (Delivering as One, Business Practices, development funding, and development governance) are addressed in an additional paper, issued by the Secretary-General on 22 December 2009. That paper also is expected to be presented on 4 February.

 

Below is a summary of the Secretary-General’s comprehensive proposal on the gender entity.

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Call for Workshops: Equality Across America: Midwest Conference 2010

Equality Across America Midwest Regional Conference
Unite and Fight: Strategizing for LGBTQ Civil Rights and Equality
March 12-14, 2010 @ Columbia College, Chicago

Start Time:
Friday, March 12, 2010 at 7:00pm
End Time:
Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 10:00pm
Location:
Columbia College Chicago
Street:
For more info, contact unitefightmidwest@gmail.com

Featuring::
* Staceyann Chin, performance poet and LGBTQ civil rights activist
* Dan Choi, infantry officer in the US Army discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
* Adam Bouska, photographer and creator of the "NO H8" campaign

* To propose a workshop for the conference please go here: http://tinyurl.com/unitefightworkshops

arvan's picture

Call for Solidarity: Freedom and Gender Equality in Iran

Over a month ago a group of Iranian women’s activists called for all defenders of women’s rights, women’s organizations and networks to take action in support of the women’s and civil rights movements in Iran, and to prepare measures of support and protest under the banner of “freedom and gender equality in Iran”.  They requested, in case of repression in Iran, that these organizations act as the voices across the world of their sisters in Iran, and in that way demonstrate solidarity with them.  Thus far many women’s and human rights organizations have responded to this appeal and some of them are planning events for March. Now the women of the world are calling to everyone to show solidarity with the people of Iran.  Please join us.  The names of individuals and organizations supporting the appeal and holding events will be announced as confirmed.

Show Your Support by Siging Our Statement Below

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Canada Ignores Women’s Human Rights

February 2, 2010 (Ottawa) Canada is ignoring the basic human rights of the poorest and most vulnerable Canadian women, says the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) in a new report issued today.  No Action: No Progress assesses Canada’s response to priority recommendations that were made by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women after its review of Canada in 2008.  At that time, the Committee identified two areas in which human rights violations were so pressing that they required immediate action:

• persistent failure to provide adequate social assistance to women and girls living in poverty;
• endemic violence against Aboriginal women and girls.

“Canada is the home of serious violations of the human rights of Aboriginal women and girls,” said Sharon McIvor. “The disappearances and murders of 520 Aboriginal women and girls have now been documented by the Native Women’s Association of Canada.  About half of these disappearances and murders have occurred since 2000.  But the Government of Canada has not taken effective steps to address the failures of both police and governments to protect Aboriginal women and girls from violence and to investigate that violence promptly and effectively when it occurs.  The many calls from the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Amnesty International, the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, and many other non-governmental organizations, for a national investigation or inquiry to correct the systemic failures in law enforcement, and a national action plan to deal with the shockingly poor social and economic conditions of Aboriginal women and girls have fallen on deaf ears.  The Government of Canada says that it is talking – there are two intergovernmental working groups.  But, so far, there is no action.”

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UPDATE: Aceh: Civil society groups advocate for repeal of Qanun Jinayah (Islamic Criminal Legal Code)

The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network and the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! (SKSW Campaign) join their allies in Indonesia in continuing to call for the repeal of a law (or 'qanun') passed by the Aceh Legislative Council (DPRD) on Monday 14 September 2009, that expands the range of violent punishments for alleged moral and sexual transgressions, including stoning to death for “adultery” and 100 lashes for homosexuality.

Such cruel punishments can never be justified in the name of ‘religion’, ‘culture’ or ‘tradition’. For the first time, stoning to death would be codified in the Indonesian legal system and Islamic jurisdiction would be expanded into criminal law. We welcome the news that the Governor of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam has expressly stated that he would not sign the Qanun Jinayah, and that he has returned it to the Aceh legislature. The governor is also reported to be providing an opportunity for Aceh’s civil society groups to propose an improved set of laws in the place of Qanun Jinayah.

arvan's picture

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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Peace Laureates Unite to Condemn Treatment of Shirin Ebadi and Iranian Activists

In an open letter to Iranian President Ahmadi Nejad, 14 Nobel Peace Prize Laureatescondemn Iran's intimidation of Shirin Ebadi and other Iranian activists.  The letter was signed by Wangari Maathai, Jody Williams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, F.W. de Klerk, and 9 other Nobel Peace Laureates.  The letter warns Ahmadi Nejad's government that the crackdown on opposition will not end the demands for human rights.

Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad
President, Islamic Republic of Iran
Pasteur Avenue
Tehran, Iran  13168-43311

21 January 2010

To President Ahmadi Nejad:

We are deeply distressed to learn of the recent actions taken against our sister Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi.  We urge the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately release all funds belonging to Dr. Ebadi and her husband and stop the harassment of Dr. Ebadi and her family.

Gregory A. Piccionelli's picture

Revolution for Community Standards

Every now and then an event occurs in the adult entertainment industry that is of critical interest to every participant in the business.

On Oct. 28, 2009, such an event occurred.

On that day the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals became the first to adopt the requirement that content distributed via the Internet that is alleged by the government to be obscene must be subject to a national standard and not a local community standard as has been the case since the inception of the commercial web.

The ruling is revolutionary for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly for the average online adult entertainment entrepreneur because the 9th Circuit has taken a giant step in leveling the playing field for adult businesses under constant threat of obscenity prosecution by the government.

Obscenity prosecution, just the thought of it scares the hell out of just about every adult entertainment entrepreneur, and with good reason. Consider the following regarding the potential result of a conviction of violating the federal obscenity laws:

  • Each distributed item found to be obscene potentially carries a penalty of five years in a federal prison, heavy fines and forfeiture of money obtained from the distribution of the items.
  • Distribution of two or more obscene items is a specified predicate act that can trigger simultaneous prosecution under the federal law known as the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, aka RICO, a heavy-hitter law enacted to destroy entire mob operations. Persons convicted of a RICO offense face an additional 10 years in jail plus the forfeiture of all property associated with the enterprise associated with the distribution of the items. Thus, for example, a webmaster running an online business from his home who has been charged with distributing as few as two obscene video clips from one of his sites could face a RICO action that might result in the forfeiture of his home.
  • Monies obtained from distribution of obscene materials are also subject to the federal money laundering statutes. These big boys can send you away for 10 years for domestic money laundering, 20 years if the money is made or is moved offshore.
  • If more than one person is involved in the distribution of allegedly obscene materials, all parties could face an additional charge of conspiracy, which can add up to another 10 years to a convicted defendant's sentence. Thus, if you and a business partner operate an adult membership site depicting two or more sexually explicit images or video clips, you could, in theory, face up to 50 years in prison. That's right 50 years for publishing a couple of photographs! That my friends, is an obscenity much greater than any two photographs could ever be, regardless of what may be depicted in them.

arvan's picture

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.

arvan's picture

Policy on Intersex people

Adopted at Socialist Alliance's 7th National Conference, January 2010

 

Intersex people are people born with physiological differences that may be seen as being both male and female at once, not wholly male or female or as neither male nor female.

Intersex people are subjected to discrimination in employment, in housing, in the provision of medical services, and the provision of government services.

There are no laws preventing discrimination against intersex people.

Intersex children may be subjected to non-consensual surgery so that their bodies conform to dominant ideas of what constitutes a ‘male’ or ‘female’ body. Non-consensual genital surgery is particularly controversial and where there is little debate against prohibitions on female circumcision, similar procedures on intersex people happen with little community comment.

The Socialist Alliance rejects pathologising definitions of intersex such as “disorders of sexual development”. The difficulty for Intersex is not differences in anatomy but rather how those differences are perceived by the community.

Social prejudice against non conforming bodies such as intersex, are the issues that needs attention. Intersex people should not be compelled to change their bodies, their behavior, or themselves to meet mainstream social expectations.

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