Christina Engela's picture

SA Government Betrays Human Rights Principles Set In The SA Constitution - Again

South Africa's government has once again shamed our nation before the free world by adding its vote to the voices of member nations of the UN who are oppressors of the human rights of the global Pink Community, in order to deny UN protection of the human rights of GLBTI individuals from hate crime specifically directed at LGBTI people.

In many countries around the world the Pink Community faces persecution and death at the hands of people who commit violent acts against us out of hatred simply for what and who we are. Examples of this slow genocide of our people are provided by countries such as Iran, Jamaica and Uganda, to say nothing of the countries where just being LGB or T is illegal and carries a stiff jail penalty for having theses immutable characteristics. Uganda wishes to include the death penalty for being LGBT, while Iran's government has been murdering LGBT people for decades, or forcing them to have gender reassignment as an alternative. Jamaica is known as the most homophobic place on Earth, with regular reports of lynchings of people suspected of being gay. Despite this, many countries (and South Africa) are still openly trading with these countries - and no punitive action is being taken against them, either by individual states, or the UN.

This week, the United Nations voted on a resolution calling on countries to protect the lives of all people and to investigate extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions that are motivated by prejudice and discrimination. The motion was altered, as a result of this vote, to remove the term "sexual orientation" from the list of factors identifying the victims of such acts, meaning that murder and persecution of people on the basis of sexual orientation will not be included within its scope. South Africa was reportedly one of the countries which voted against the inclusion of our community in this effort, along with 79 others.

arvan's picture

Pat Condell: Human Rights Travesty

Pat's on fire again.  This time he goes after the UN and how it allows flagrant brutalizers of women to have a say in their policies toward the betterment of women.

Christina Engela's picture

Of Proof And Puddings

The evidence against South Africa's own government continues to mount. Remember how it started in December 2008 when the SA government refused to sign the UN Declaration to Decriminalize Homosexuality? Well, obviously it didn't end there.

SOUTH AFRICA FAILS LGBT PEOPLE AT UN - "In February 2009, South Africa acted as spokesperson for African nations demanding the removal of references to sexual orientation from the draft declaration of the second UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance." How much more proof do you need that SA's government has an anti GLBTI, anti human rights agenda?

The above article described this as "failing the GLBTI people". In my opinion this is not "failing LGBT people" - it is an outright BETRAYAL!

Not only is this all blatantly conservative behavior (which is not technically criminal by itself), but it is patently unconstitutional. The government of South Africa is supposed to cherish and honor the Constitution, and promote and defend its values at home and abroad - and instead, the way it has been acting over the past decade - it has in fact done the complete opposite. In acting against the interests of its GLBTI people and the Pink Community abroad, and in undermining the principles of dignity and equality for all as enshrined in the Constitution - it has itself acted in violation of the South African Constitution and potentially committed acts which can be interpreted as human rights violations and abuses.

These past incidents have now been compounded by the following:

"On Tuesday, the South African representative to the UNHRC, Jerry Matjila, told the council that placing homophobia on a similar level to racism “demeans the legitimate plight of the victims of racism"."
LaPrincipessa's picture

Money Not the Answer to Violence Against Women

The UN has announced it will spend $10.5 million to combat violence against women across the globe.

At first glance, this may seem like a lot of money-not only a lot of money but a lot of money for a very worthy cause. This article fromMs. Magazine Online

cites the statistic that roughly 70% of women worldwide experience violence from a partner within their lifetime.

According to the CIA World Factbook, there are 6,790,062,216 (July 2009 est.) people in the world. Out of this number, there are 3,377,071,728 women (2009 est.). 

Estimates state that 2,363,950,210 women are abused during their lifetime and now the UN pledges $10,500,000 to fight it, spending roughly $225.13 dollars per woman. The UN has not released any details about how this money will be allocated.

arvan's picture

UN-INSTRAW's 3rd Virtual Dialogue

The experts in UN-INSTRAW’s Gender Training Community of Practice will meet virtually to discuss about the empowerment of women for their leadership and political participation.
The Third Virtual Dialogue aims to gather more information about the current situation of gender training in this area and to offer a platform where gender training specialists and researchers can exchange their experiences and outline the major achievements, challenges and lessons learned.

In the last decade women’s participation in Latin America has grown in average from 9% to 14% in ministerial positions, from 5% to 13% in senate and from 8% to 15% in lower chambers. At the same time, this increase in political participation has seen a parallel loss of credibility of the traditional political participation systems, a gap that has partly been filled by social movements, including women’s movements. In this new democratic wave, women have flourished as voters with decision making power, political leaders and coordinators of grass roots movements.

However, there are still many challenges to reach gender equality in political participation world-wide. Women still remain underrepresented in decision-making and leadership positions; in the field of economics, finance and in political institutions; and even in civil society organizations.
LaPrincipessa's picture

From the UN: Millions of Women Killed as Punishment For Being "Witches"

The economic downturn and global recession are killing millions of people. Reuters with the highly disturbing story today: killing of women and children accused of being witches on the rise around the globe. The children, who are not directly accused of witchcraft, are driven from their homes to live on the streets after their mothers are taken into custody and killed for practicing witchcraft. The increased violence, poverty and destitution of children in the poorest countries are disproportionately affected. Although there is no direct cause for what's being called "the witch frenzy”, UN officials blame poverty, religion, and the global economic downturn; everyone is looking for a scapegoat.

Murder and persecution of women and children accused of being witches is spreading around the world and destroying the lives of millions of people, experts said Wednesday.

LaPrincipessa's picture

G8 Conference on Violence Against Women Recap

The conference was a two day affair hosted by the Italian President, who cited gruesome (triggering) details of the worst abuse imaginable against women. The summit seemed to only feature the accounts of abuse and how many women and children are affected each year. I suppose the purpose, in theory, was to start collaborating on ways to reduce the increasing violence against women. The members decided to wear white, and sell bracelets in honor of women killed by a spouse or partner.

Politicians and supporters are being urged to wear white during the course of the conference in order to raise awareness about the issues being discussed. More than 20,000 bracelets with the conference's slogan "Respect women, respect the world" are being distributed in major Italian cities.

In effect, such actions reveal this summit to be a largely symbolic one. From most accounts the purpose was to raise awareness of violence and think of ideas on how to stop it.

ROME — Participants at a conference on violence against women vowed Thursday to put women's rights at the center of the international agenda, saying world peace and security depended on women's leadership in government and society.

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