News Archives

Mongolian Women Fight for Law against Widespread Sexual Harassment

Channel News Asia - Ulaanbatar, Mongolia, 11/25/2019

The arrest abroad of Mongolia's most Senior Judge on allegations that he groped a woman has sparked a fierce debate over his country's lack of laws against sexual harassment. Widespread sexual harassment goes largely unreported in Mongolia, because it is not illegal. ‘If a Mongolian flight attendant is harassed, they can't speak up because there is no law to protect them,’ said a representative of the National Centre Against Violence. While the Mongolian court has voted to dismiss Odbayar as chairman, he remains one of the nine members of the judicial body. This has stirred up the #MeToo movement in Mongolia yet again, and rights groups have made fresh demands that parliament create legislation to protect women against sexual harassment and take harsher action against perpetrators.

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K-pop Star Goo Hara's Death Prompts Bullying Debate in South Korea

Japan Times - Seoul, South Korea, 11/24/2019

Fans mourned and conversations around misogyny, rape culture, cyberbullying and their impacts on mental health occurred across South Korea after k-pop star and revenge porn victim Goo Hara was found dead in a possible suicide on November 24, 2019. Goo had been abused by an ex-boyfriend last year who - after they split - had blackmailed her over sexually-explicit videos of her. When CCTV footage of Goo kneeling before him (apparently begging him not to release the explicit videos of her) had released earlier this year, she had been on the receiving end of extreme victim-blaming and slut shaming online and in the media. Her death is yet another casualty of a misogynistic culture that polices women’s sexuality and constantly links it to morality.

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Indonesian Ministries Ban Pregnant, LGBT Job Seekers: Ombudsman

Channel News Asia - Jakarta, Indonesia, 11/22/2019

Several Indonesian ministries are banning pregnant, disabled, or LGBTQ job hunters in favour of what they called ‘normal’ applicants, the Ombudsman said on November 22, 2019. Indonesia has seen a jump in discrimination against gay and transgender people in recent years - while sexism in the workplace is also prevalent. The Ombudsman Indonesia commissioner said that an investigation found that the defence and trade ministries as well as the Attorney General's Office (AGO) were discriminating against candidates in their job advertisements. In fact the AGO’s website says job applicants must not be physically or ‘mentally disabled’ and classifies LGBTQ people among those having ‘mental disorders’. The Ombudsman called on the ministries to revoke their hiring policies but only the trade ministry has so far complied.

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Thai LGBT+ Activists in Legal Bid to Force Marriage Equality

Reuters, Thailand, 11/22/2019

Thai LGBT+ activists submitted a legal challenge to the Constitutional Court on November 22, 2019, in a bid to change laws that limit marriage to between a man and a woman. The definition of marriage in Thailand’s Civil and Commercial Code goes against the constitution which states that ‘all persons are equal before the law’, according to LGBT+ activists. Though Thai lawmakers are currently drafting a Civil Partnership Bill to give more rights to same-sex couples, many LGBT+ activists have said it does not go far enough, as it does not allow marriage, adoption or grant full spousal benefits. Hence, this legal challenge is to ensure that the definition of ‘marriage’ expands under the law, and the same spousal rights are given to same-sex spouses.

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Rajya Sabha Members Seek to Send Transgender Bill to Select Committee for Review

News18 - New Delhi, India, 11/20/2019

Several members in Rajya Sabha on November 20, 2019, sought review of a bill on the protection of rights of transgender people, and demanded that it be referred to a select parliamentary committee. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, which seeks to provide a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of transgenders, was moved for consideration and passage in Rajya Sabha by Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot. The bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha in August has faced harsh criticism from the transgender community for not respecting rights to self-identification, for not addressing gender-based violence against transgender people adequately, for not recognising trans people’s chosen families, and having various other provisions that harm rather than help transgender people.

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