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Gender and Sexual Norms

“Fairness that changes your destiny”

April 15, 2012

“Your skin glows with a fairness that’s superior in all possible ways”.  This is the marketing message of a fairness cream advertisement spread over a quarter of the front page and the entire second/inside page of a leading Pakistani national news paper. The advertisement is directed generally at women who need to aspire to a fair complexion in order to receive privileges associated with the color.

Annual Updates from Shirkat Gah Women's Resource Centre

May 8, 2012

Welcome to Shirkat Gah’s 2nd E-Newsletter! This covers most of the happenings at Shirkat Gah and elsewhere that we have been a part of during July 2011 - March 2012. It also highlights our efforts at national, regional, and international levels. We hope you will enjoy this snapshot of our work towards accomplishing women’s empowerment.

Female Circumcision Still Prevalent Among Some Kurdish Communities

May 4, 2012

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region -- Around 34 percent of women in the ethnically diverse city of Kirkuk have been circumcised and most of them are Kurdish, according to a new joint survey by the German WADI organization and the Iraqi Pana Center.

The survey on female genital mutilation found that the practice has declined in Kirkuk; however, 15 percent of girls in the community under 20 have been circumcised.

The Vatican's Crackdown Against the Nuns Is Unacceptable and Deplorable

April 30, 2012

We, the Violence is not our Culture Campaign, stand in solidarity with the US-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) who has been the target of an unprecedented crackdown by the Vatican.

Australia: Minorities fear their cultures smeared by reports of domestic violence

April 17, 2012

Joumanah El Matrah, from the Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights, said when groups tried to draw the government's attention to violence against minority women the discussion was hijacked by those in the wider public who focused on "Muslim" violence.

Rape, a Scar from Apartheid

May 3, 2012

This week a cellphone video depicting a 17-year-old girl being gang-raped by seven men between the ages of 14 and 20 went viral in South Africa. The rapists were encouraging one another and offered the girl 25 cents to not report them. The men have since been arrested and the girl has been found, but there has been much public outrage: local talk shows flooded with calls, tweets under the hashtag #rapevideo, even international coverage. The incident elicited an outcry because rape, and more generally sexual violence against women and children, is all too familiar to South Africans. It’s a live scar from apartheid.

United States: United Against the War on Women

May 1, 2012

We are not going back to the days of wide-scale domestic violence, even if 31 Republican men in the Senate recently voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because it expanded coverage to the gay community and Native Americans.

Striking at the Source of the War on Women

May 3, 2012

The generals of the opposing armies in the current political "War on Women" have had their radar and their reconnaissance patrols focused on battlefields on Capitol Hill, in state capitals from Richmond to Phoenix, from Concord to Austin, in Rome, and on the positions taken by presidential candidates. These battles over contraception, women's healthcare, violence against women, Vatican suppression of nuns, pay equity and a host of other matters, are of great importance.

Iraq: Increasing brutal killings of LGBT Iraqis

March 2, 2012

New barbaric attacks started against the Iraqi lgbt in many cities like Baghdad and Basra while using inhumane methods such as hitting the head and body parts of gay victims with building concrete blocks repeatedly till death or by pushing them over high building roof which took place in Basra city.

Israeli Conservative Movement approves ordination of gay rabbis

April 30, 2012

Israel's Masorti (Conservative) Movement decided to approve the ordination of homosexual rabbis, in a dramatic vote on Thursday. The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, affiliated with the movement, will admit gay and lesbian students for training as spiritual leaders as of the upcoming school year. 'A very important development in Jewish law,' says President of the Israeli Conservative Movement Rabbinical Assembly.

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