violence

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Inés Alberdi: A Life Free of Violence for Women and Girls

 

By Inés Alberdi, UNIFEM Executive Director

Date: 27 March 2010

Occasion: Fifth Meeting of Women for a Better World, Valencia, Spain, 27–28 March 2010.

Good morning. It is a pleasure to join my distinguished colleagues in this dialogue on women’s health and rights. My remarks will take up the issue of violence against women and girls and UNIFEM strategy to end this pandemic.

National surveys show that as many as 17 to 76 percent of women experience physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime, most often by husbands and intimate partners. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, in fields, refugee camps, during conflicts and crises. As such, it strips countries of the human capital and productivity needed in the struggle to end poverty, improve education and health and propel development. Violence against women has also been a silent but potent culprit in the feminization and spread of HIV It is now recognized as a public health issue in many countries, one that undermines the health of individuals and the strength of communities and societies.

Despite its harmful effects, violence against women has long been regarded as essentially a private issue. Today, after decades of struggle by women’s rights activists, ending violence against women is positioned high on policy-making agendas. A record number of countries have adopted laws, policies and action plans to end violence against women, and a growing number are ensuring budgets for their implementation. Landmark agreements since the 1993 UN Declaration on Violence against Women and the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action include the world summits in 2000 and 2005, recognizing the importance of ending violence against women to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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In Armenia, Gays Live With Threats of Violence, Abuse

By Marianna Grigoryan [Eurasia.net]

Two years after Yerevan signed an international agreement to uphold the civil rights of gays, homosexuals in Armenia still face the constant threat of physical abuse and social isolation because of their sexual orientation.

"When my parents learned that I was homosexual, they first beat me and then kicked me out," Armen, a 22-year-old Yerevan resident who works as a teacher, told EurasiaNet.org. "Even now, after years have gone by, my mother doesn’t let me in, and some of my friends keep asking whether I’m really one of ’those’ people."

Armen (not his real name) says he realized he was gay at the age of 13 when he fell in love with his classmate. He met his first boyfriend in an online chat room when he was 20.

"I introduced him to my parents as just one of my friends. But one day my mother saw me kissing him, and that’s when all this started," Armen said. "My mother yelled that I’d better be dead, and my brother left the army to come home and beat me. So I went to live in the streets." Armen now lives with his grandmother.

Homosexuality has not been a criminal offense in Armenia since 2003; two years ago, the country signed the United Nations Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, which asserts the right to equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation or gender. It has also ratified a protocol to the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms that bans all forms of discrimination.

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Sexuality talks canceled for sake of ‘security’

By Indra Harsaputra ,  The Jakarta Post

Bowing to pressure, the organizers of the conference of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex associations across Asia decided Thursday to call off the event to avoid “unwanted circumstances”.

The police on Wednesday stated it would not grant a permit to hold the event, fearing protests from religious groups.

Poedjiati Tan, the organizing committee head of the 4th Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (ILGA) regional conference initially scheduled to be held from March 26 to 28 in the East Java capital, Surabaya, said the committee has canceled the event as well as hotel reservations to prevent unwanted circumstances.

They have also notified some 200 invited participants from 16 countries, she added.

”Actually, it’s not the permit issue, but the police are still considering the security issue,” Tan said.

Chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights, Ifdhal Kasim, said banning the conference was a violation of human rights.

“Holding a conference is a form of freedom of speech, which  is guaranteed by the Constitution,” he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

He said the commission had sent a letter to East Java Police urging them to ensure the security of the ILGA conference in the province.

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The Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Project: "Back Up"

I found this one through someone that RT'd one of our tweets today.  This whole idea seems rooted in the context of the world of cons, but I think the idea is brilliant and well suited for all gatherings of people. 

They have the list below in a couple versions of flyer, that you can download here.  I condensed the two, to include the most complete variations in one big list.  I hope you love it and pass it along.  I sure as hell think it's nifty as all get out. 

Oh, and be sure to give the project their props - they should be rewarded for being this damn awesome.  Look over the rest of their site for allied sites / orgs and you can even purchase "Back Up" gear on CafePress at no mark up.

-arvan


The Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Project - real world help for a real world problem

The Project aims to make help against harassment visible and available, to create safer environments, to help women to support other women and men to challenge other men. We want sff, anime, comic, and other cons to be safer spaces for women.

I will break through your Somebody Else's Problem invisibility field and come over and ask if you're okay.

I will help you contact help: your friends, the event organizers, or police/security officers, if that is what you would like.

I will help you to the best of my ability if you're being harassed or made to feel uncomfortable.  Just let me know, even if you don't know me.

I will not tell you that you must have been imagining things.

I will not say to you to go home, or go hide in your room, or just stay away from that guy.
 
I will not make you feel like your right to control over your own body is not a big deal.

I will do this whether or not I like you, or even know you. It's not about liking you. It's about the fact that we need to back each other up, and I will need you to do this for me some day.

I will remember that you are in charge, and if you don't want my help, I will go away.  I will be there to help you in the future if you need it.

http://www.backupproject.org

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Call For Submissions: Queering Sexual Violence

Queering Sexual Violence

An LGBTQ Anthology Call For Submissions

Description:

An anthology of LGBTQ writers, survivors and activists confronting heterosexual privilege and the gender binary system while creating a dialog about the limitations of the anti-sexual violence movement in hopes of creating change.

Edited by Jennifer Patterson.

Queering Sexual Violence seeks 20-25 LGBTQ writers who are interested in submitting pieces that confront the current state of our anti-sexual violence climate. Part memoir / part criticism / part call to action, this anthology seeks to address the limitations of a society that is not only unequipped to deal with rape culture but also unable to look at it without the lens of heterosexual privilege and through the interests of a gender binary system.  The anthology seeks to destroy the image of the "perfect survivor" and motivate the anti-sexual violence community to embrace a more radical perspective in order to foster sustainable change.

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Petition: Support Victims of Violence against Women & Women's Rights Defenders in Albania

Please, sign the petition below by February 28, 2010, by sending an email message to info@stopdhunes.org that says:

I sign the Petition in Support of the Victims of Violence against Women and Women’s Rights Defenders in Albania.

Please, provide the following information in your message: first and last name, organization, country, and email address.  Thank you for your support!

TO:

Directors of public and private TV and radio stations in Albania

Editors-in-Chief of daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Albania

The Albanian National Commission on Radio and Television

 

Dear Madams/Sirs:

We would like to bring to your attention recent regrettable cases of incorrect and unfair media reporting on cases of violence against women and the work of the organizations that provide support and shelter to the victims of this violence in Albania. The most recent case was a report by the program “Fiks Fare” in Top Channel related to the case of a woman victim of extreme domestic violence that has included severe and repeated physical violence. Inexplicably, “Fiks Fare” sided with the perpetrator, who exploits the victim’s children to stop his wife from divorcing him after years of severe domestic violence. This perpetrator, other than repeatedly abusing his wife, has over the last four years threatened and intimidated several women’s rights defenders who provided assistance to her.

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An Appeal from Khalida Brohi to Fight "Honor" Killing

Ending the custom of Honor Killing by changing tribal perspectives, Empowering local women & promoting positive customs!

For the cost of a few cups of coffee, you can help save lives!!!

Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI), a youth-led civil society organization in Pakistan, has taken the bold step towards injecting life into traditions of death and headed towards abolishing the custom of Honor Killing in Pakistan!

The most unreasonable idea and the dynamic changemaking strategy is attacking the crime strategically by promoting the diverse positive tribal traditions in patriarchal societies of Pakistan, and actually taking the whole community itself towards changing the tribal codes of Honor.

 

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Rising extremism, war on terrorism and women’s lives in Pakistan

By Bushra Khaliq [International Viewpoint]

Genesis of Extremism

Sixty two years ago at the time of Pakistan’s birth in 1947 as a result of partition of United India, the majority of the population in this part of the world was not fundamentalist. The state structures, though weak, nevertheless had chances to grow as a democratic country but on account of repeated interferences by Military regimes, the state started adopting Islamic ideology, giving maximum space to religious extremist forces to promote their non-democratic agenda in the country.

Many religious political parties and sectarian groups were pampered and encouraged to grow by military regimes. Millions of petro dollars were poured in by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to strengthen these parties and groups under direct state patronage. The Islamist forces had a quiet walk over democratic and progressive forces, to consolidate their socio-political spaces in the country. Religious schools (madrassas) were set up to groom and recruit jehadis. These madrassas emerged like mushrooms across Pakistan particularly in tribal areas, which served as real breeding grounds for religious fundamentalism.

The Constitution of country was injected with pro-Islamic clauses, imposing restrictions on women rights, curtailing their mobility to participate in social life. Burka culture was promoted and women were pushed inside the four walls of the house. Segregation on basis of gender was introduced at all levels in the name of Islam. Military dictator Gen.Zia-ul-Haq enacted discriminatory laws against women to please religious forces. Parallel Islamic courts were established by Saudizing the constitution. Under Evidence Act women’s’ evidence was declared half in comparison to a man. Burden of proof of rape was shifted on woman, while in case of unwanted pregnancy as result of rape, victim was used to subject to punishment by lashes, prison and stoning to death. Women movements and progressive forces though in their limited capacity reacted to these barbaric state measures but could not stop the ugly onslaught of extremist forces.

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African Women's Economic Summit: Investing Differently in Women

From: 19/03/2010 - 20/03/2010

Location: The Windsor Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

Contact: Pénélope Pontet

Summit objectives and outcomes:

  •  The Africa Women’s Economic Summit will:
    • Identify the issues that limit women’s access to financial products and services
    • Explore the business opportunities and innovations to expand the reach and scale of financial services to women at all income levels.
    • Cultivate the leadership required to introduce new ways of thinking, and build an African financial system that is more inclusive of women.
    • Identify measures that will ensure women take their rightful place as decision makers within the governance and management structures of national, regional, continental and global financial institutions.

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"Ask Me" [The Line Campaign] Valentine's Day video

A Valentine's Day video featuring @ingridivanna, consent + candy (get more here: whereisyourline.org/newsletter

"Ask Me" from Nancy Schwartzman on Vimeo.

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