arvan's picture

SIPD Uganda contests III World Congress in Toronto

As an intersex African and a rights activist for intersex children and people in Uganda, it concerns me greatly that convenings aimed at discussing intersex issues never have intersex representation - except of infants, who are paraded as specimens rather than human beings.

The time is ripe that a human rights approach is applied when addressing intersex people and issues and that we - as intersex people - are involved in these discussions and intervention strategies.

Intersex may not be the typical but how 'disorderly' it is, is a debatable subject. SIPD Uganda challenges the 3rd World Congress on Hypospadias scheduled for November 12-15 2009, to consider intersex in its entirety and to desist from painting a medically biased and stigmatising picture of the body politics involved in intersexuality. 

We strongly contest the live non-consensual surgical demonstrations of intersex infants as part of the congress activities.

Julius .K. Kaggwa
Program Director
Support Initiative for People with atypical sex Development (SIPD) Uganda

Physical Address: Plot 1, Block 342 Albert Cook Rd. Rubaga-Wakaliga.
Postal Address: P.O. Box 31762, Namirembe Rd, Kampala. Uganda.
Tel: +256 757386740.
Email: aissgeastafrica@gmail.com
Website: www.sipd.webs.com

arvan's picture

New agreement boosts role of grassroots women

UN-HABITAT has signed a milestone agreement with the Huairou Commission to strengthen the involvement of grassroots women in projects and programmes for better housing and sustainable urban development. The agreement signed Monday on World Habitat Day strengthens areas of existing work, and also ventures into newer areas, such as information technology.

A highlight of the Memorandum of Understanding is a commitment to collaborative working on the creation of a grassroots women’s web portal on human settlements. The portal will enable grassroots women’s groups to network and exchange information on strengthening policies and programmes for gender equality in towns and cities.

Annabelle River's picture

Pro-Polyamory-Rights, Pro-Disability-Rights Lesbian appointed to EEOC

Is there any way that I can sufficiently thank Chai Feldblum?

Last week Barack Obama appointed Chai Feldblum as the first open lesbian to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her Georgetown Law professor biography page lists some of her outstanding and diverse credentials in the realm of fighting discrimination:

"J.D. Harvard... A former law clerk for First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank M. Coffin, and Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Professor Feldblum has been a leading advocate and scholar in the areas of disability rights, health and welfare rights, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, and workplace issues.  She played a leading role in the drafting and negotiating of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. She has also helped draft and negotiate the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and various medical privacy bills and regulations."

arvan's picture

29 Million Women Blind Globally

By Ayodele Samuel And Sharon Alake [Leadership Nigeria]

As the world celebrates the World Sight Day , 29.25 million women have been reported blind globally according to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"Out of the purported 45 million blind people worldwide, women account for about 65 percent, which is 29.25 million,"

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said at a news conference to mark the day, adding that another 269 million people were visually impaired, while 85 percent of these people suffer from avoidable blindness that could either be prevented, or treated and cured.

arvan's picture

Namibian Illegal Abortions Common Despite Risks

By Patience Nyangove

WINDHOEK, Oct 7 (IPS) - Ten years ago, a move to legalise abortion in Namibia failed. The number of unwanted pregnancies remains high, with many people unwilling or unable to use contraception. Despite the risks, illegal abortions remain common.

Misoprostol - a drug used to control ulcers, more usually known by the brand name Cytotec - has become a favoured method for inducing abortion.

The drug costs around $14 U.S. dollars per tablet from a pharmacist and is readily available on the streets of Windhoek. Medical doctors who conduct abortions illegally using the drug charge between 140 and 200 U.S. dollars.

Twenty-two year-old Monisha (not her real name), a student at University of Namibia, decided to have an abortion because her boyfriend is a married man and hence could not marry her.

"My parents would have killed me if they had found out that I was made pregnant by a married man, who can't marry me," she says. "I am also not ready to be a mother, I am still a student."

arvan's picture

Proposed Ugandan Legislation Attacks Sexual Minorities and Their Defenders


IGLHRC expresses grave concern about ongoing detentions in Uganda based on charges of homosexuality, and calls for the dismissal of a bill that would severely curtail the rights of sexual minorities and their defenders.

Since March, a number of alarming instances of anti-LGBT persecution in the East African nation of Uganda have seriously eroded the country's already fragile commitment to tolerance and human rights.  Article 145a of the Penal Code Act of 1950 criminalizes "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" – a charge used to prosecute, persecute and blackmail LGBT people with the threat of life imprisonment.  Members of this country's Parliament are now considering an even harsher law in the form of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, introduced last week by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati.

arvan's picture

Kerala Women Are Battered Wives

By K.S. Harikrishnan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Oct 6 (IPS) - Kerala, the south Indian state which has the highest literacy levels and excellent social development indicators, has an unsavoury side - a land of violent husbands.

An IPS analysis of the data of domestic violence which was recorded in the Kerala State Crimes Records Bureau (KSCRB), under the state government's home department, has revealed a nearly 50 percent increase in wife-beating complaints registered at police stations in the state during the period 1998- 2008.

The number of incidents of crimes relating to spousal assaults on women was 2,333 in 1988 and reached up to 4,143 in 2008.

The analysis also disclosed a 50 percent increase in the incidence of violence against Kerala women in the same period, which has risen from 4,734 to 9,706.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has corroborated KSCRB statistics and stated that there was a steady increase in the incidents relating to wife torture by husbands and relatives in the past few years. It put the rate of cruelty by husbands at 9.8, which is almost double the national average of 5.3 in 2004, while the rate increased to 11.8 with the national average at 5.3 in 2007.

arvan's picture

Religion, Politics and Gender Equality in Turkey

Religion, Politics and Gender Equality in Turkey:

Confrontation, Coexistence or Transformation?

By Yesim Arat (UNRISD)

This is the Final Research Report on Turkey in the Religion, Politics and Gender Equality Project.

Turkey is going through a revolutionary experiment with Islam in liberal democratic politics the results of which are not yet clear. The process of democratization dictated the relaxing of a statist hold on religion which, in turn, revived the spectrum of restrictive sex roles for women. The country is thus struggling with a democratic paradox where the expansion of religious freedoms accompanies potential and/or real threats to gender equality.

This paper explores the implications of the democratic paradox. It first traces how religion and politics are intertwined in Turkey and then examines the social and political effects of this intertwining in contemporary politics from a gender perspective. The main argument is that even though the ban on the Islamic headscarf in the universities has been the most visible source of public controversy, it is not the uplifting of the headscarf ban in the universities that we should prioritize as a danger, but the propagation of patriarchal religious values (through the public bureaucracy, the educational system and civil society organizations) that sanction secondary roles for women.

The paper first locates the context, and then traces the intertwining of religion and politics at the level of political as well as civil society. It focuses on the politics of the Justice and Development Party that has been in power since 2002 and briefly turns to the Gulen movement in civil society. It examines how their policies and activities sanction societal norms legitimizing gender inequality, and then assesses the implications of these sanctions. This assessment draws attention to the opportunities women gain in this process and the context of adaptive preferences in which women make life choices.

Finally, the paper considers countervailing forces and strategies for gender equality and empowerment. It primarily surveys secondary material, as well as daily newspapers, public opinion surveys, and party documents.

To access this document please use the links to the right of this page.

arvan's picture

Women and Food Security

(via FAO)

Women produce between 60 and 80 percent of the food in most developing countries and are responsible for half of the world's food production, yet their key role as food producers and providers and their critical contribution to household food security is only now becoming recognized.

FAO studies confirm that while women are the mainstay of small-scale agriculture, farm labour force and day-to-day family subsistence, they have more difficulties than men in gaining access to resources such as land and credit and productivity enhancing inputs and services.

Food security, in fact, has been defined by FAO not only in terms of access to and availability of food, but also in terms of resource distribution to produce food and purchasing power to buy food where it is not produced. Given women's crucial role in food production and provision, any set of strategies for sustainable food security must address their limited access to productive resources.

arvan's picture

Rural Poverty Has a Woman's Face in Mexico

By Emilio Godoy

MEXICO CITY, Oct 5 (IPS) - Some transformations occur so imperceptibly that people only become aware of them when the new reality has set in. That’s exactly what happened in Mexico’s countryside, where economic and social conditions have combined to put rural production largely in the hands of women.

The migration of rural men to the cities and to the United States, and their move from farming to better paid jobs in the countryside have meant that women have had to take over the responsibility for production and resource management in their communities, agricultural authorities and experts say.

According to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank, rural women are filling the void left by men, adding the role of agricultural producer to the many tasks they already shouldered, as Mexico’s rural economy becomes increasingly feminised.

Before stepping down as agriculture and rural development minister in early September, Alberto Cárdenas explained that his ministry was rearranging its priorities and redirecting resources to address the phenomenon of "feminisation of the countryside" and change the sexist culture and discriminating practices that prevail in agriculture.

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