In the days preceding March 8th – the International Women’s Day – 2012 in Brazil and France, men and women were dumped by all sorts of advertisements selling goods “for women:” pans, kitchen accessories, make ups for a better look to the husbands, shoes, sandals, high heels, clothes, lingerie and even free car washing exclusively for women…
In the realms of global and national politics, conservative backlashes continue as usual. At the global level the language and the focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women is being pressured by a discourse return to a “family planning” approach in many places around the world. Religious dogmatism keeps influencing secular states in issues regarding human rights, including those of women. “From London to Lahore,” says Oxfam, “inequality between men and women persists.”
According to The Independent, the worst place to give birth in the world is Afghanistan, where a woman is at least 200 times more likely to die during childbirth than from bombs or bullets. Abortion is still prohibited in most of the countries: only 58 countries have no restrictions as to a reason why a woman can decide for an abortion, while in 68 it is allowed to save a woman’s life or is prohibited altogether. In Brazil, public health measure aimed at the surveillance of pregnant women that include a totally unacceptable mention to the unborn has not been revoked.
Almost fifty years after the mini-skirt revolution, everywhere today women’s bodies must be covered if they want to be respected. This is not about Suthern countries. On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police expressed a shocking opinion on sexual assault: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. In reaction a Slut Walk was organized in that city that rapidly replicated around the world. Its second round is just starting to mark 2012 March 8th.
But we also have few good reasons to commemorate and one of them is the successful Panel on ending violence and discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity, at the United Nations Human Rights Council 19th Session in Geneva, on March 7th, 2012.
Also to mark the date in 2012 and to highlight backs and forwards in terms of women’s current condition, SPW has gathered a series of articles, studies, news and arts in a special bulletin.
>> Human Rights Council in Geneva held the first-ever formal UN inter-governmental debate on violence and discrimination against LGBT people
>> Read the interview with Malu S. Marin, Executive Director of ACHIEVE – Action for Health Initiatives in the Philippines. She talked about her work on HIV, health and migration and also on her involvement in Ladlad Partylist, a political party for LGBTs
>> Well-known blogger and feminist activist Ye Haiyan, also known as Liumang Yan (Hooligan Sparrow), decided to provide sexual services to rural peasant workers in China, on January 11th, in defense of sex workers’ rights after she witnessed a recent raid by police officers in a brothel in Guangxi province. (Paulo Longo Newsletter)
>> Sex worker alternative to the International AIDS Conference announced (Paulo Longo Newsletter)
>> SWTO: Slutwalk Toronto – check out the first walk’s blog
>> Brazil: President Dilma Roussef signed an act that regulates the obligatory registration of pregnant women. The text includes language that treats the fetus as a person.
>> Great Wall of Vagina – Female genitalia (by the artist Jamie McCartney)
>> Revealed: The best and worst places to be a woman (The Independent)
>> Pakistan: ‘Senate Unanimously Passes Domestic Violence Bill’ (Awid)
>> Comunicação na perspectiva da Igualdade de Gênero: apontamentos para o debate sobre Marco Regulatório e Direito à Comunicação (written by Claudia Regina Lahni and Daniela Auad)
>> Aborto: avanços na América Latina e retrocessos no Brasil? (written by Margareth Arilha)
>> Cidadania das e para as Mulheres Lésbicas: uma primeira mirada de gênero sobre L WORD (written by Claudia Regina Lahni and Daniela Auad)
>> Guatemala Heeds The Cries Of Femicide Victims (Awid)
>> Leading Female Politician, Activist Eyes Afghan Presidency (Awid)
TAKE ACTION ON MARCH 8TH!
>> 8 de março é dia das vadias!! (Twitaço – Jandirainbow Blog)
>> Grève des femmes 8 Mars 2012 – Toulouse
>> FLASHMOB Appel Grève des femmes 8 Mars 2012