In January, the first and foremost events to be reported are avalanche of draconian and regressive policy measures adopted in the chaotic first two weeks of the Trump administration. Though buried beneath the impact of outrageous closure of borders and decisions about trade agreements – which are subject to contradictory interpretations — gender and sexuality related initiatives are also part of the Trump package, as exemplified by the Global Gag rule re-instated on January 23nd. SPW offers a preliminary assessment of main trends registered since January 23th and recommends the very first SPW Working Paper – The Global Implications of US Domestic and International Policies (Girard, 2004)– to be revisited as a roadmap to begin guiding a proper charting of measures adopted and yet to come and their deleterious effects.
But energy and capacity to resist the ‘trumping and trampling’ was also outstanding. While the intense and chaotic policy process continued producing bad news the streets have been taken. Quite immediately by the massive feminist protests that, coalescing around the January 21st March on Washington DC, erupted across the US and worldwide. Magaly Marques shared with us her perceptions of the March and a compilation of articles and analyses was also made that cover the road towards the March but also its rippling effects on a broader range of human rights and social justice domains threatened by the new administration.
Not less important, on January 28th, in reaction to the Executive Order that closed the borders to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers of seven Islamic countries crowds gathered in airports and in front of courthouses to protest and express solidarity to detainees by border control and their families.
The good news coming from the US was the commutation of Chelsea Manning 35-years sentence, signed by ex–president Obama right before leaving office. Though buried under the regressive policy avalanche that followed, Manning deliverance should not be minimized because of its meaning and relevance in both the security policy and the trans politics fronts.
Then there are positive developments to be reported from South Asia. The Lahore High Court, in Pakistan, voted in favor of a petition seeking to include trans people in the census to be held next March. The decision was argued in the basis of equal rights. Though positive the challenges and implications of the decision must be also analyzed. In Nepal, the Supreme Court also decided in favor of providing full citizenship to gender and sexual minorities widening the recognition of a third gender category issued in 2008. Then in India, the Supreme Court decision on a specific case on woman’s life risk extended the access to abortion beyond 20 weeks and allowed an abortion of a 24-week, by there re-igniting the debate around the limitations still imposed on Indian women’s reproductive rights because the abortion clauses of the 1860 Penal Code have never been properly struck down.
At the United Nations, the Committee on the Rights of the Child issued its new General Comment on Adolescents that, amongst other positive recommendations, require member states to grant sexual and reproductive rights to teen- agers and decriminalize abortion to ensure that girls have access to safe abortion and post-abortion services.
Papers and articles
Reflections on Trump – Judith Butler – Cultural Anthropology
Habemus Gender! The Catholic Church and ‘Gender Ideology’, by Sarah Bracke and David Paternotte
Decolonizing Sexualities: Transnational Perspectives, Critical Interventions, by Sandeep Bakshi, Suhraiya Jivraj, and Silvia Posocco
How the LGBT Community Can Fight Back Against Trump – Mother Jones
Racism’s cruelest cut: coercive sterilisation of Romani women and their fight for justice in the Czech Republic (1966-2016) – Bernard Rorke and Marek Szilvasi – openDemocracy
The increasingly polarised debate on abortion imperils women – Sonia Sodha – The Guardian
Publications and resources
“Not dancing to their music”: report on LGBTQ people in Nigeria, by Bisi Alimi Foundation
“Silent No More” – The Transgender Community in Pakistan, by NAZ Pakistan and Forum for Dignity Initiatives –
Education Resources for LGBT Philanthropy, by Arcus Foundation
“An economy for the 99%” – This OXFAM reports offers a very clear picture of overall but also gender inequalities: only eight white men hold the same of wealth of half of the globe population
Court Case Reports, Journal Articles, News Articles – International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion’s 20 January newsletter
Campaign Members: Reports of Their Work Gabon, Kenya/Tanzania, Pakistan, Cambodia/Nepal, USA – International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion’s 13 January newsletter
Abortion Law and Policy in the Rest of the World – International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion’s 31 January newsletter
The Editorial: Films and Sexuality – In Plainspeak
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Call for Applications: XI IASSCS Conference Scholarships – Deadline: February 10th 2017
Sexuality and Art