Friday, February 21, 2014
From the Guardian UK:
A woman in Saudi Arabia has been appointed editor-in-chief of a national newspaper, the first female journalist to be promoted to such a public position in a country with an appalling record on women's rights.
Somayya Jabarti, a former deputy editor, has become the new boss at the helm of the Jeddah-based English daily Saudi Gazette, the paper's departing head has announced.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Sunday, February 9, 2014
The story from the Hindu Times:
The death of an ailing woman student at a Saudi university has stirred controversy on social media after an ambulance was denied access under the conservative Muslim kingdom's segregation laws. Amna Bawazeer, 24, died of a heart attack in the compound of the social sciences faculty of Riyadh's King Saud University.
Local media said medics in an ambulance were denied access because they were not accompanied by a "mahram", a legal guardian or male member of her family.
From the Korea Herald:
Women in Tokyo are threatening a sex boycott against any man who votes for the front-runner in this weekend's gubernatorial election, in protest at his claim that menstruation makes women unfit for government.
Yoichi Masuzoe, said candidate, aged 65, stated in 1998 to a magazine:
"Women are not normal when they are having a period... You can't possibly let them make critical decisions about the country (during their period) such as whether or not to go to war," he said.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Yoav Dotan, Hebrew University, has uploaded "The Boundaries of Social Transformation Through Litigation: Women's and Gay Rights in Israel, 1970-2010."
The abstract reads:
The global expansion of judicial power and the rise of litigation as a vehicle for social transformation are two conspicuous social phenomena that are subject to intensive research by social scientists and lawyers alike. One of the most hotly debated questions in this regard relates to the potential value of law in general, and litigation in particular, as a strategy for social change. This article examines the question by comparing the struggle for equality by two groups - women’s rights activists and gay rights activists - in Israel during the 1990’s. The struggles of women and gay people for equality have many shared characteristics, since both challenge the traditional conservative patriarchal social model. In Israeli society, moreover, both gay rights’ activists and women’s equality activists faced the same political rival: the powerful macho-type socio-political mentality, rooted in the central status of the military in Israeli society and the strong hold of Jewish ultra-orthodox parties in the political system. The strategies that the two groups adopted to overcome these obstacles, however, were markedly different. While women’s groups adopted an elitist strategy of struggle that concentrated on legal measures, gay rights’ groups adopted a variety of strategies that emphasized grassroots political tactics. The article examines the success of each group in achieving its political objectives, and argues that the comparison between them indicates the relative weaknesses of legal and litigation-centered strategies as vehicles for social transformation.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
From the Telegraph UK, a story about higher education in Britain:
In at least 20 institutions, there are twice as many female full-time undergraduates as males. The growing divide in further education follows a similar trend at school level, where girls now outperform boys in all age groups and subjects.
The head of UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, sort of like our College Board) said:
“Young men are becoming a disadvantaged group in terms of going to university and this underperformance needs urgent focus across the education sector.”
And concluding thoughts: "The growing divide is becoming a more pressing issue than the number of applicants from poorer homes, said the chief executive of Ucas, the universities admissions service."
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Yuvraj Joshi has an article--"The Trouble with Inclusion"--forthcoming from the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and Law. The abstract reads:
Attempts are being made to include members of excluded groups in societal institutions. Inclusion has been proposed as the solution to the injustice caused by exclusion. Yet, inclusion does not always achieve justice and might sometimes perpetuate injustice. This Article provides a framework for understanding inclusion that may fail to achieve social justice and uses this framework to assess the inclusion of lesbians and gays within marriage (marriage equality) and of women and minorities within organizations (organizational diversity). The former case study examines the legal and social movement for recognizing same-sex marriage while the latter engages a range of contemporary debates, including workplace diversity, gays in the military, women in armed combat and gender mainstreaming at the UN. Each shows that inclusion is less likely to achieve social justice where it misconstrues injustice, maintains the status quo, decouples from justice, legitimizes the institution or rationalizes injustice.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
....who will marry his lesbian daughter. It looks more like a bid to rebuke the daughter, not a serious endeavor to get her hitched. (it takes two to tango, doesn't it? And the glorious cosmopolitan place that is Hong Kong--where English (along with Chinese) is the official language--isn't exactly breeding ground for arranged marriages.)
(Gigi Chao, with unnamed dogs)
The daughter in question, Gigi Chao, seemed calmly defiant:
"Respectfully, we can only be true to ourselves, communicate bravely and directly, and be patient. I am confident that we are on the right side of history, so, as they say, it gets better," she said.
"Honestly, I think recognising same-sex relationships is a good start for the lawmakers, instead of sweeping the issue under the carpet and pretending it doesn't exist, which is degrading."
Presently, Hong Kong does have a law banning gender discrimination, but it's not comprehensive:
The Sex Discrimination Ordinance, enacted in 1995, offers protection in seven areas, including employment, education, housing and participation in government activities. However, while it covers discrimination on the grounds of gender, marital status and pregnancy, it does not cover sexual preference.
Friday, January 24, 2014
The European Parliament, one of the legislative bodies of the European Union, will decide soon whether prostitution is a violation of a women's human rights.
From the Telegraph (UK):
A ground-breaking report has today been accepted by one of the Parliament’s more influential bodies. Just a few hours ago, the committee on women’s rights and gender equality voted through a report arguing that prostitution is a fundamental violation of women’s rights. This means it will go to a full Parliament vote in Feburary.
The report is couched in the formal language used by legislators, but what it is proposing is a massive cultural change. For centuries, supporters of prostitution have argued that it’s the oldest profession and has to be tolerated, if not legalised.
Verbal and physical abuse isn’t confined to street prostitution, with one academic study concluding that women who work indoors still face ‘physical, economic and sexual violence from their clients, including serious assaults’. That’s not surprising, given that research on men who pay for sex show that they tend to have a ‘degrading image’ of women.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Last week, Nigeria enacted a law whose most conspicuous parts read:
"Persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison."
"Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison."
The law also makes it a criminal offense to advocate for gay rights as well.
Thursday, September 19, 2013