In July, once again, contradictory trends were registered in the abortion frontline. In Chile, the processing of a bill aimed at legalizing abortion in three cases — when the woman’s life is at risk, when the fetus is non-viable and when a pregnancy results from rape — was halted when the Lower House has not reached the number of votes required to ratify the text and the legislative process was delayed (check here and here). But in August 2th, the Lower House has approved the bill as it has been adopted by the Senate (here and here). Now the text heads to the Constitutional Tribunal, where it will be ruled. In Republican Dominican, where the Criminal Code also prohibits abortion in any circumstance, the Chamber of Deputies has failed to pass the new Penal Code that would have upheld the total ban of abortion. The victory was hailed by women’s rights movements.
With regards to LGBTQI rights, the mostly read news on the month was Trump’s twitter informing that trans people will be banned and barred from the armed forces. SPW offers a compilation of reactions that rapidly flared in relation to this announce. We call particular attention to Jack Halberstam’s article.
Moving to Europe, Malta legalized same-sex marriage when 37 of the 38 members of Parliament voted in support of the bill. In Israel, the Executive branch rejected a High Court petition aimed to enable same-sex couple to adopt by there, disrupting the image of the country’s sexual democracy that has been abundantly used in pinkwashing campaigns in recent years.
In the Muslim world, a landmark legal change occurred in Tunisia as the country’s Parliament approved a new law to tackle domestic violence, ensuring protection to women targeted by “physical, moral, sexual or economic aggression based on discrimination between the two sexes“.
Regarding gender related matters, French President Emmanuel Macron deployed regrettable remarks on African high fertility whose flagrant neocolonial biases stirred deserved outrage South and North of the Equator. Check the compilation.
At the United Nations
On July 14th, the CEDAW Committee has released its General Recommendation 35 on violence against women that General Recommendation 19 adopted in 1992. Amongst other groundbreaking definitions it calls for criminalization of all forms of gender-based violence against women, but also strongly recommend the repeal of “legislation that criminalizes abortion, being lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, women in prostitution, adultery or any other criminal provisions that affects women disproportionally including those resulting in the discriminatory application of the death penalty to women”.
In the realm of HIV policy, the new UNAIDS annual report informs that the number of people living with the virus that have access to antiretroviral therapy has increased and the number of deaths has decreased. Nevertheless, as pointed out by the Global Health Policy, the global financing to sustain the response to the epidemics in low and middle-income countries has dropped for the second year. More striking yet as underlined by ABIA, roughly 50 percent of people living with HIV (17,2 million who mostly live in the global South) still do not have access to ARVs. Brazil does not appear well in the picture. It has the highest number of new infections in Latin America and presents a estimate annual HIV related mortality rate of 12.000 to 15.000 people (read the ABIA note in Portuguese).
Yet, more significantly, a Joint United Nations Statement on Ending Discrimination in Health Care Settings has been released. It calls for the review of laws that criminalize or otherwise prohibit gender expression, same sex conduct, adultery and other sexual behaviors between consenting adults; adult consensual sex work; drug use or possession of drugs for personal use; sexual and reproductive health care services.
Last but not least, on July 31th, Amnesty International launched an intersectional campaign on the rapid erosion of human rights in Brazil. It addresses violations in the realm of public security (in particular police violence), state repression to political processes, attacks on indigenous and black populations, land rights, abortion rights and attacks on freedom of content in public education, including the elimination of gender and sexuality contents in the curriculum.
Barbara Hau’ofa has departed. A feminist, a writer, a superb editor from the Pacific Region, she has collaborated with SPW when, with Seona Smiles, she copy edited the two volume e-books on Sexuality and Politics: Regional Dialogues from the Global South (published in 2014). It has been a great pleasure to work with her. We send here family and friends our deep condolences and publish a tribute from Seona Smiles.
Papers and articles
Right-Wing Populism, Anti-Genderism, And Real US Americans In The Age Of Trump – The Disorder of Things
What is ‘femonationalism’? – openDemocracy
Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man – Brain Pickings
Motherhood Has No Gender – Huffington Post India
Is North America’s opioid epidemic a crisis of masculinity? – The Guardian
Disability and sexuality: claiming sexual and reproductive rights – Reproductive Health Matters
Toll of Conflict on Afghan Women Worsens – Human Rights Watch
Psychology of sexual and gender identity (Volume 10, Issue 1, 2017 – Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
What Life Under the Law and Justice Party Means for LGBT Poles – World Politics Review
Publications and resources
Rights at risk – Observatory on the Universality of Rights (OURs)
Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017 – Social Watch
A Tool for Change: Working with the Media on Issues Relating to SOGIESC in Thailand – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Burapha University, and UNDP
Videos, Reports and Other Publications / 11 July 2017 – International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion
Dominican Republic + Journal Articles on Abortion + Call for Reports / 14 July 2017 – International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion
Abortion Law and Policy in the News / 18 July 2017 – International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion
Human Rights: Government and Donor Policy on Abortion / 21 July 2017 – International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion
Abortion Law and Policy & Action by Campaign Members – 25 July 2017 – International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion
Campaign Members Activities in Support of Women’s and Children’s Lives / 28 July 2017 – International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion
Ilga LGBulleTIn #94 – The week in LGBTI news (July 7-13, 2017)
ILGA’s LGBulleTIn #95 – (July 14-20, 2017)
ILGA’s LGBulleTIn #96 – (July 21-27, 2017)
Check it out
SRI is Hiring an Advocacy Advisor – deadline: 25 August 2017
Bitch Media Fellowships for Writers – deadline: August 31
Sexuality and Art
‘I’m scared. But this work needs to be shown’: Zanele Muholi’s 365 protest photographs – The Guardian’s report of the South African artist Zanele Muholi, who has been featured in the SPW website since 2007.