News from the Global South

Botswanan Gov't to Appeal Ruling of Same-Sex Relations Case

Xinhua - Gaborone, Botswana, 7/6/2019

The Botswana Government said on July 5, 2019, that it would appeal the ruling of a landmark case that had decriminalised same-sex relations in June 2019. Barely a month after the ruling that drew international attention and had Botswana lauded by many human rights organisations, Botswana's Attorney General Abraham Keetshabe announced that he would appeal the case at the country's Court of Appeal (CoA). Keetshabe said that he believes the high court of Botswana had ‘erred’ in arriving at its conclusion. The landmark judgement had been the result of a petition by gay activist Letsweletse Motshidiemang, challenging the sections of the country's penal code which earlier criminalised same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults and arguing that these go against constitutional rights to liberty, privacy and dignity.

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Up to 12 Mn Indian Women May Lose their Jobs to Automation by 2030: Study

Livemint, India, 7/4/2019

In a country marked by low female labour force participation, robots, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation could spell further job losses for women. By 2030, up to 12 million women in India could risk losing their jobs to automation, according to a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute. The study on the future of women at work mapped the impact of automation on occupation among women in 10 countries. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, transportation and warehousing are among sectors where job losses from automation will be the most acute for India’s female workers. It will require job seeking women to gain secondary education. A shifting job landscape also implies newer jobs being created will require women to have newer skill sets.

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School Removes Poster with Derogatory Descriptions of LGBT People

Global Times, China, 7/3/2019

A high school in South China removed an AIDS prevention poster with derogatory descriptions of LGBTQ people on July 3, 2019, after the words used on the poster sparked outrage on Chinese social media. After learning about the online reaction to the billboard, the school removed the poster due to its inappropriate words. According to photos circulating online, the poster had a ‘harm of homosexuality’ column, which said that ‘homosexuality goes against the laws of nature and that homosexuals are usually emotionally unstable, with a higher risk of suicide or harming others’. The school has apologised for the harmful messages in the poster and is in the process of replacing it with a LGBT-friendly AIDS awareness poster.

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In First, Japan Granted Refugee Status in 2018 to Foreign National Who Feared Persecution Due to Sexual Orientation

Japan Times - Kyodo, Japan, 7/3/2019

The government granted refugee status to a foreign national in 2018 over fears of persecution owing to the person’s same-sex sexual orientation, sources with knowledge of the matter revealed on July 3, 2019. The case was the first in which Japan has recognised a foreign national as a refugee because they had faced persecution in their home country (where same-sex sexual acts are subject to imprisonment) because of their sexuality. The nationality, gender or other personal details of the person in question was not revealed. The government should accept more refugees in line with international standards, said Eri Ishikawa, head of Japan Association of Refugees, and offer more financial support for asylum-seekers who have been persecuted because of their sexuality.

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Only 4 in 10 S. Korean Women in Favour of Marriage

The Korea Times, South Korea, 7/1/2019

The ratio of South Korean women who are in favour of getting married fell sharply in 2018 from a decade ago, government data showed on July 1, 2019. The data compiled by Statistics Korea said that in 2018, only 43.5 percent of women said that they should get married, which is down from 61.6 percent in 2008 and 67.9 percent in 1998. Though this is an important and welcome indicator of women exercising their own agency in relationships, conservative critics blame it for South Korea’s low birth and fertility rate (which hit a record low of 0.98 in 2018) since there continues to be great stigma around South Korean women raising children outside of marriage.

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