arvan's picture

Call for Abstracts: Sex Tech 2011

Sex::tech 2011

San Francisco, CA - April 1-2, 2011

Conference Goal: To bring health and technology professionals together with youth, parents and community leaders to advance sexual health for youth and young adults.

There are four Tracks for abstract submission:

Field Reports

New or continued work in the area of sexual health and new media, with lessons learned in the field, interactive examples, and any promising results.


Research data and analysis about effective programs in preventing HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancies, or unhealthy relationships among youth or young adults.


Learnings and how-to sessions for professionals around a particular form of technology, such as social networking, geo-location tools, mobile apps, etc. Submitters should showcase their expertise through examples of successful technology applications in the sexual health field.

I’m A…XYZ professional.

Submissions should be descriptions of your job or profession, along with examples of how you interact with professional in other fields, cross-discipline, and with youth, and why your role is key to program success. (Examples: Epidemiologist, Usability tester, Social marketing guru, etc.)

arvan's picture

Hans Rosling on global population growth

The world's population will grow to 9 billion over the next 50 years -- and only by raising the living standards of the poorest can we check population growth. This is the paradoxical answer that Hans Rosling unveils at TED@Cannes using colorful new data display technology (you'll see). 

arvan's picture

Call for Submissions - This Bridge Called My Baby: Legacies of Radical Mothering

I found this today, in my Internet travels.  It looks good and I will love to read what they assemble. -arvan

“We can learn to mother ourselves.” Audre Lorde, 1983

All mothers have the potential to be revolutionary. Some mothers stand on the shoreline, are born and reborn here, inside the flux of time and space, overcoming the traumatic repetition of oppression. Our very existence is disobedience to the powers that be.
At times, in moments, we as mothers choose to stand in a zone of claimed risk and fierce transformation, the frontline. In infinite ways, both practiced and yet to be imagined,  we put our bodies between the violent repetition of the norm and the future we already deserve, exactly because our children deserve it too.  We make this choice for many reasons and in different contexts, but at the core we have this in common: we refuse to obey. We refuse to give into fear. We insist on joy no matter what and by every means necessary and possible.

In this anthology we are exploring how we are informed by and participating with those mothers, especially radical women of color, who have sought for decades, if not centuries, to create relationships to each other, transformative relationships to feminism and a transnational anti-imperialist literary, cultural and everyday practice.

arvan's picture

Ireland: Abortion Limits Violate Human Rights

(h/t @HunterSony)

Women in need of abortion services should, as a matter of international law and – frankly - human decency, be able to count on support from their government as they face a difficult situation. But in Ireland they are actively stonewalled, stigmatized, and written out.

Marianne Mollmann, women’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch

(Dublin, January 28, 2010) - The Irish government actively seeks to restrict access to abortion services and information both within Ireland and for its residents seeking care abroad, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 57-page report, "A State of Isolation: Access to Abortion for Women in Ireland," details how women struggle to overcome the financial, logistical, physical, and emotional burdens imposed by restrictive laws and policies that force them to seek care abroad, without support from the state.  Every year thousands of women and girls travel from Ireland to other European countries for abortions.

"Women in need of abortion services should, as a matter of international law and - frankly -human decency, be able to count on support from their government as they face a difficult situation," said Marianne Mollmann, women's rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. "But in Ireland they are actively stonewalled, stigmatized, and written out."

arvan's picture

In Russia, Illegal Abortion Widespread

(Posted at NEWW-Polska)

Every year 1.2 million Russian women deliberately terminate pregnancy and 30,000 of them become sterile, many from the estimated 180,000 illegal abortions.

Russian law permits abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy. If the future mother is suffering from tuberculosis or mental illness she is permitted to terminate a pregnancy later than 12 weeks.

There is also a variety of social factors, which permit women to commit an abortion up to the 22nd week of pregnancy, including rape, imprisonment and poverty, and death or severe disability of the husband.

Nonetheless, Illegal abortion is widespread in Russia - unofficial estimates say 10-15% of the total, or up to 180,000 terminations.

Christina Engela's picture

If My Grandma Had Wheels, She'd Be A Wagon


Some people say that if we were supposed to live forever, we would have evolved to do so. Hmm that is an interesting proposal. Perhaps I might add that if we were supposed to travel thousands of kilometers to watch grown men from all over the planet kicking a silly little ball around, we would have evolved to include jet engines in our biology. No? okay then - well back to the subject of immortality.

People die. They do it every day, some people do it very well, and most of us - the lucky ones - only get to do it once. Our bodies wear out, they deteriorate, they fail and they die. We can cure diseases, but in general we can't change the way our bodies function, at least not radically.

Funny though, the hydra seem quite happy. Society on the other hand is likely to always be faced with "damage" from anything that comes along, from another new religion, to the latest fashion - some annoying minority group wanting equality or human rights... Regardless of what reactionaries and conservatives say, or threaten, society will adapt and change to fit whatever circumstances come along. It always has. Change is the only true constant. And in my book, at least, the only real threat posed when groups emerge wanting equal rights and recognition - comes from the reactionaries.
arvan's picture

The National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon

The National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon is the first-ever national bowl-a-thon for abortion funding. 

The National Network of Abortion Funds is sponsoring the national component of this event, while individual member abortion Funds are hosting local bowl-a-thons in their communities.  

The dual goals of the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-thon are to raise awareness of economic barriers to abortion care and to strike down these barriers by raising money to pay for abortion care and to improve state and federal policies that interfere with access to abortion for the most disadvantaged women. 
Seventeen abortion Funds, members of the National Network of Abortion Funds, are hosting bowl-a-thons in their local communities during the month of April.
arvan's picture

Support campaign & open letter for the EU abortion rights

The European Women’s Lobby, together with its member organisations from Belgium (Belgium coordination of the EWL), Cyprus (Cyprus Women’s Lobby), Poland (Polish Women’s Lobby) and Ireland (National Women’s Council of Ireland) actively supports a Belgian campaign aiming at promoting the right to abort for all women in Europe.

The initiators of this campaign are a platform of civil society organizations from Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland and Poland, which joined forces to lead a campaign on the right to abort for all women in Europe and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Belgian law decriminalizing abortion.

Read the flyer presenting the campaign ( front   / back ), which has been disseminated in Brussels and Wallonie in March 2010.  The platform has delivered an open letter and is calling on national and European organisations and politicians to support it by signing it by 30 March. The open letter with all its signatories will then be sent to the European states which do not recognise the right for women to abort and to the European Union.  Please read it below (in French and English).

Please send the name of your organisation or your name as national or European politician to the following email address to be part of the supporters of the open letter:, by March 30.

arvan's picture

Regulation of Disabled Women’s Sexuality

By Nisha (Source: Bell Bajao)


they look at me, they hear my desire,

and they say ‘scab.’

And they say ‘dreamer’ like it was a dirty word

and they say ‘how dare she say such a thing

how dare she say she wants to walk

again how dare she say she’d prefer

to run free, to feel her vagina again

how dare she voice that

after all we have done to make

disability a state in which to be proud?’

… [1]

I began this essay by asking two of my colleagues, leaders in the disability movement in India, about their views on sexuality and disability. One response was, “You know better about the issues being faced by disabled persons here than to waste your time on sex obsessed Western thinking.” The other wondered, “(Disability)[2] still remains a kicked off affair in the triangle of charity/welfare, medical rehabilitation and vocational training … when and how do we talk about sexuality?”  I also (not so) vaguely remembered a comment which I heard some months back at a rehabilitation centre in Cuttack, India about a pregnant young woman with cognitive disability:  “She just can’t control … they take their eyes off her for a minute and she has done it with someone … Men! I tell you … Third pregnancy … can’t even get hysterectomy … and abortion at this stage is risky.”

I wondered if my colleagues actually thought it is an irrelevant issue or, perhaps, saw it as a divisive issue for the disability community[3]. Or, being women, did they feel constrained to acknowledge the relevance and risk being perceived as sexual beings in a society which gives respect to women only as long as they remain passive sex objects? Was the person at the rehabilitation centre attempting to control the sexuality of the pregnant woman in a way different from how she would control her own or an ‘able-bodied’ woman’s sexuality?

arvan's picture

Land of the rising son

By Stephanie Nolen

New Delhi — From Saturday's Globe and Mail

The information is traded in whispers over cappuccinos in the cafés of South Delhi and in the locker rooms of seaside gyms in Mumbai.

That doctor won't tell. But this one will. For a price.

And once you know, call this clinic – they will help with the “problem.”

In India, it has been illegal for 15 years to tell a pregnant woman the sex of her fetus – and to abort based on gender.

And ever since a national census in 2001 found that millions of girls were “missing,” the government has been throwing money at the problem. There are cash payments to parents when a girl is born, bursaries to send girls to school and a cheque on a daughter's 18th birthday.

These measures, launched under the slogan Save the Girl Child, aim to give parents an incentive to have daughters, and a cushion for what is perceived as the exponentially greater cost (a girl will almost certainly need a dowry, and will join her husband's family, taking her earnings and property with her).

There are some early signs that these interventions may be working, in poor families.

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