News and Views by Region
Italy: LGBT Christians want Pope Benedict XVI to defend their human rights
Today the European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups has sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI asking for true respect of the human rights and the personal integrity of LGBT people. They appeal to the Pope for a clear statement against homophobic violence and any pressure by religious authorities to undergo „reparative therapy“, often causing harmful psychological damage. In this letter the Catholic Church is called on to grant LGBT people the same fundamental right to get involved in a relationship with a beloved other without being afraid of negative consequences from church hierarchies.
New site brings dignity to victims of honor-violence
According to the United Nations and The International Campaign Against Honor Killing at least five thousand women and girls worldwide are murdered each year to preserve ‘family honour’.
Women from Around the World Condemn Attack on Peaceful Protesters in Iraq and Call for an End to Sexual Assault of Women Protesters
The global campaign Violence is Not our Culture (VNC) joins our sisters at MADRE and feminist activists around the world in calling for full security of our sisters and brothers in Bagdhad's Tahrir Square, protesting peacefully for basic rights.
We, feminist activists from around the world, stand in support of our sisters and brothers peacefully demonstrating for basic rights in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square.
This morning, June 10, demonstrators were brutally targeted with sexual violence and beatings by men who were reportedly bussed in by the thousands to disrupt the weekly protest. Protesters suffered broken bones, knife wounds and beatings. Several women were severely beaten and violently groped; armed attackers attempted to forcibly strip off the women’s clothing. The activists, who work with the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, report that their attackers were organized and paid by government security forces who used the un-uniformed men to avoid accountability for the violence.
Historic Decision at the United Nations: Human Rights Council Passes First-Ever Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
(Geneva, June 17, 2011) In a groundbreaking achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations Human Rights Council (the Council) has passed a (L9/rev1).
The resolution, presented by South Africa along with Brasil and 39 additional co-sponsors from all regions of the world, was passed by a vote of 23 in favour, 19 against, and 3 abstentions. A list of is below.
In its presentation to the Council, South Africa recalled the UDHR noting that “everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind” and Brasil called on the Council to “open the long closed doors of dialogue”.
Indigenous women shape women’s rights
The voices of indigenous women have repeatedly reminded national governments, human rights bodies and other national and international fora that their human rights as women need to be addressed as the rights of indigenous women. Accordingly, indigenous women have called on the United Nations bodies and processes related to women to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples “as a minimum standard in the fulfilment and enjoyment of rights by indigenous women”.
UN: Special Rapporteur Juan E. Méndez reiterates FGM as a form of torture
Female Genital Mutilation: Progress-Realities-Challenges
Statement by Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Side Event sponsored by Women’s UN Report Network, Inter-African Committee, Worldwide Organization for Women and NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva. 1 June 2011
Interview: Amina Wadud - "The Koran Cannot Be Usurped"
Islam, gender equality and human rights are compatible – this is a basic conviction of Amina Wadud, author of several books about Islam and women. Martina Sabra interviewed the Islamic feminist at a recent conference about "Women power in Islam" in Germany.
Professor Wadud, in 2005 you produced a world-wide media hype because you publicly lead a gender-inclusive prayer for Muslim men and women in New York. You received hate-mails from all over the world, there were even bomb threats. Looking back, what do you think about the events today, and what are your conclusions from what happened?
Jessica Horn: Every act of violence is a choice
“Sometimes we need to name the abnormal as abnormal, and take action to defend what is normal!” - Shereen Essof. Jessica Horn reports at the close of the Nobel Women's Initiative conference, 'Women Forging a New Security: ending sexual violence in conflict'.
In a caucus to gather input for the global campaign to End Violence Against Women, one of its founders Charlotte Bunch reiterates the basic feminist point, now underlying human rights-based laws and policies on sexual violence- that “rape is about power, not sex”.
Q&A: "Clergy sexual abuse of women is a violent abuse of power"
Cléo Fatoorehchi interviews DR. VALLI BATCHELOR of the World Student Christian Federation Book Project.
NEW YORK, May 15, 2011 (IPS) - Ninety to 95 percent of victims of clergy sexual exploitation are women, according to recent estimates by the Columbia Theological Seminary's Rev. Pamela Cooper White, and yet very few studies have been conducted on this issue.
Child Marriage: Barrier to girls' empowerment
An adolescent girl living in poverty could be the most powerful person in the world. If she is reached early enough, she can accelerate economies, arrest major global health issues and break cycles of poverty.
When a girl gets a chance to stay in school, remain healthy, gain skills, she will marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and earn an income that she’ll invest back into her family and community. When she can grow into a woman and become an educated mother, an economic actor, an ambitious entrepreneur, or a prepared employee, she breaks the cycle of poverty. She and everyone around her benefits.