Posts Tagged Human Rights

Female genital cutting: a rite, a torture, or both?

In today’s Times, Nick Kristof writes about the dilemma presented by female genital cutting. The practice, which he calls “one of the most pervasive human rights abuses worldwide,” prompts a critical question: where is the line between ending human rights violations and cultural imperialism?

For four decades, Westerners have campaigned against genital cutting, without much effect. Indeed, the Western term “female genital mutilation” has antagonized some African women because it assumes that they have been “mutilated.” Aid groups are now moving to add the more neutral term “female genital cutting” to their lexicon.

Is it cultural imperialism for Westerners to oppose genital mutilation? Yes, perhaps, but it’s also justified. Some cultural practices such as genital mutilation — or foot-binding or bride-burning ...

In today’s Times, Nick Kristof writes about the dilemma presented by female genital cutting. The practice, which he calls “one of the most pervasive human rights abuses worldwide,” prompts a critical question: where is the line ...

Ugandan anti-gay bill is poised to pass (and what westerners should do about it)

Remember that horrendous Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill we posted about late last year? According to the AP, the bill is once again rearing its ugly head. A Ugandan parliament committee is currently holding hearings on it, and Ugandan lawmakers have indicated the bill could be voted on as early as before Parliament ends its session at the end of the week.

Many advocates, including a blogger on GayUganda and Cary Alan Johnson, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), suggest that the bill is being debated now to divert attention from recent political demonstrations in Uganda that have attracted police crackdowns. Human Rights Watch says security forces killed nine people in the recent ...

Remember that horrendous Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill we posted about late last year? According to the AP, the bill is once again rearing its ugly head. A Ugandan parliament committee is currently holding hearings on it, ...

Indigenous Australian activist Roberta “Bobbi” Sykes dies

Indigenous Australian activist and poet Roberta “Bobbi” Sykes died yesterday in Sydney after a long illness. Sykes was best known as an activist, campaigning for Aboriginal land rights and women’s rights. In the 1970s, she was the first executive secretary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the highly controversial semi-permanent settlement on the lawn of Parliament House in the nation’s capital. Sykes was arrested at the embassy in 1972 along with dozens of other activists. Her role in demanding rights for indigenous Australians was later recognized when she was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal in 1994.

She was the first Indigenous Australian to graduate from an American university; she received her PhD in education from Harvard in 1983, and later ...

Indigenous Australian activist and poet Roberta “Bobbi” Sykes died yesterday in Sydney after a long illness. Sykes was best known as an activist, campaigning for Aboriginal land rights and women’s rights. In the 1970s, she was ...

Big news: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi released

On Saturday morning US time, Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader was released from house arrest. Her most recent confinement lasted seven years; she has been under house arrest for 15 of the last 21 years. According to the New York Times, the decision to release the Nobel Peace laureate just a few days after Myanmar’s election “suggested that the generals were confident of their position and ready to face down the devotion she still commands both in her country and abroad.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4Uw_wGWV0Q&feature=player_embedded

Suu Kyi addressed a crowd of several thousand supporters, saying that she plans to continue working to bring democracy to Myanmar, establishing networks within and outside of the country to do so. She called for freedom of speech and told the ...

On Saturday morning US time, Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader was released from house arrest. Her most recent confinement lasted seven years; she has been under house arrest for 15 of the last 21 years. According to the New ...

femaleprisonersarizonainphotobucket

New report on the treatment of mothers and pregnant women in U.S. prisons

Yesterday the National Women’s Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights released a new report, “Mothers Behind Bars,” on the treatment of pregnant and parenting women in U.S. state prisons. The picture the report paints—like most glimpses into our broken prison system—is not a pretty one.

Yesterday the National Women’s Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights released a new report, “Mothers Behind Bars,” on the treatment of pregnant and parenting women in U.S. state prisons. The picture the report ...

Birth control breakthroughs on the horizon

Via Kristof of the New York Times and The Daily Report from the National Partnership for Women and Families, this decade promises to be filled with encouraging contraceptive breakthroughs for both men and women.

A quick round-up of what we may be in store for includes:

A vaginal ring that lasts for one year and costs under $10 A hormonal implant for women that can last as long as an IUD and costs $3 Reversible sterilization for men that can be undone by injection Underclothing for men that acts as a long acting contraceptive agent

While these breakthroughs are important because they get us closer to the day when the burden for contraception doesn’t fall on women alone, I can’t help but feel conflicted ...

Via Kristof of the New York Times and The Daily Report from the National Partnership for Women and Families, this decade promises to be filled with encouraging contraceptive breakthroughs for both men and women.

A quick ...

‘Why are girls who lose their virginity allowed to go to public school?’


Yup, that’s a direct quote. Bambang Bayu Suseno, a legislator in Jambi, a province of Indonesia, is floating an idea among his colleagues and constituents that all girls would have to pass a virginity test in order to attend state-funded schools.

Bambang told the Jakarta Post that he “deemed that parental and school supervision on youth interaction was weak, so there was no other choice but to hand over supervision completely to the child. Hence, the idea of drafting the virginity test draft bylaw.” So let me get this straight–because parents and schools aren’t adequately policing young people’s interactions with one another, young women have to suffer the human rights violation of being forcibly tested for a ...


Yup, that’s a direct quote. Bambang Bayu Suseno, a legislator in Jambi, a province of Indonesia, is floating an idea among his colleagues and constituents that all girls would have to pass a virginity ...

Public shaming incident under investigation in India

A woman in India was allegedly forced to walk naked for six miles through three villages because she had engaged in an “illicit love affair.” As if that on its own isn’t horrifying enough, the incident was caught on a cell phone camera.

via BBC.

Critics say that it was only after mobile phone clips of the woman went into wide circulation that the police swung into action.

Six of the men who allegedly molested her have been arrested.

The West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) has also asked the district police for a report into the incident within a month.

“If we are not satisfied with this report, we will do our own investigation and submit recommendations to the government,” WBHRC chairman ...

A woman in India was allegedly forced to walk naked for six miles through three villages because she had engaged in an “illicit love affair.” As if that on its own isn’t horrifying enough, the incident was ...

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