We are now in our 9th successful year of publication, since 2008!
Here is the latest edition (Vol. 9 (IV) July- August 2016) of our bi-monthly newsletter – covering significant UN updates, international events, national judgments and policy related developments relating to gender, sexuality and culture that took place in the months of July and August.
This edition highlights the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)’s General Comments 22 and 23, relating to sexual and reproductive health and gendered aspects of just and favorable conditions of work respectively. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)’s General Comment no. 3 on women and girls with disabilities elaborates the context, and state obligations necessary for addressing intersectional vulnerabilities and exclusion of women with disabilities.
The Supreme Court of Belize struck down a law criminalizing homosexuality, and there were significant legal steps towards eliminating child marriage of girls below 18 years in Tanzania and Gambia. India’s Central Information Commission issued recommendations to both levels of government to protect couples who were at risk of social or familial violence.
Nationally, two legislative developments generated much concern and debate, for rolling back on recent gains. The Transgender Bill passed by the Lok Sabha failed to enact the Supreme Court’s stipulation of self determination of gender identity, as well as that of affirmative action. The Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 partially legalized the engagement of children less than fourteen years of age. In a positive move for formal-sector working mothers, an amendment to the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 increased maternity leave to 26 weeks.
We also report on steps taken by Indian courts to advance human rights. These include rejecting social or religious barriers to women’s entry into places of worship, calling for law reform to limit powers of the armed forces under AFSPA and upholding the need for accountability for those abuse their powers. Judgments also directed the blocking of internet searches relating to sex-selection and the removal of ceilings on the amount of compensation for victims of sexual assault.
PLD also takes pride in sharing a report on the workshop on The Journey from Victim to Survivor: Challenges for Justice organized jointly by CWDS and PLD in February 2016, in memory of Late Prof Lotika Sarkar.
We hope you enjoy our newsletter, and thank you for your continued support.