News Archives

Indonesia’s Education Minister Faces Censure Over LGBT Comments

Asian Correspondent, Indonesia, 1/26/2016

An Indonesian minister has faced a slew of criticism after he said LGBT students should not be admitted into universities. Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister M. Nasir said, ‘The LGBT culture is not in accordance with the values and morals of Indonesia. I will not allow it.’ Nasir later attempted to clarify his remarks via Twitter, tweeting that as Indonesian citizens, members of the LGBT community should be treated equally in the eyes of the law. However, he added that ‘it does not mean that the state legitimizes the LGBT culture.’ In response to Nasir’s comments, an online petition was launched, asking the minister to recant his statement.

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It's Time to Protect Transgenders' Rights

Deccan Herald - Bengaluru, India, 1/25/2016

India has taken several steps in recent years to recognise the rights of transgender people. In April 2014, the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling, recognised transgender people as a legal third gender. Not only are they granted all fundamental rights but they also enjoy special benefits in education and employment. However, much of these rights remain on paper. On the ground, life for transgender people remains difficult. The ridicule and isolation that is heaped on them forces many transgender people to take their lives. Hence, the government and civil society must work together to ensure the full social and economic inclusion of transgender people. A strong legislation that protects transgender rights is a necessary first step.

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Once Hailed, Now Failed?

Kathmandu Post, Nepal, 1/24/2016

The government has failed to finalise a bill to legalise same-sex marriage even nine years after the Supreme Court order to amend laws that discriminate against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. After the apex court decriminalised homosexuality in 2007 and ordered government agencies to abolish laws that discriminate people based on their sexual orientation, Nepal was hailed as a very progressive society. But the government’s failure to amend laws in line with the strides it made has left LGBTI people frustrated. Nepal’s law still does not allow for same-sex marriage and offers no protection for gay people, who have long been complaining of discrimination and bureaucratic hurdles in obtaining legal recognition of their identity and consummating a married life.

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South Asian women vulnerable to violence since birth: WB

The Times of India - Dehradun, India, 1/23/2016

Right from birth to old age, South Asian women are vulnerable to violence as per the latest report published by the World Bank titled 'Violence against Women and Girls, Lesson from South Asia.' The report has divided female life-cycle into seven stages - infancy, childhood (1-5yr), unmarried and adolescent girls, married girls and women, unmarried women, divorced and widowed women and elderly women - and identified 12 kinds of violence against them. As per the study, unmarried and adolescent girls are vulnerable to the maximum eight kinds of violence. Even elderly women, the report says, are vulnerable to five types of violence of which two are sexual in nature.

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State and Markets Push Sex Workers Out of Kamathipura: Study

The Hindu - Mumbai, India, 1/22/2016

Government regulations, an influx of builders and the mushrooming of small and medium manufacturing units is pushing brothel-based sex work out of Kamathipura, a research report presented at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) said. Speaking at a conference on ‘Rethinking Cities in the Global South: Urban Violence, Social Inequality and Spatial Justice’, Shivani Satija, research officer at TISS, shared that formal and informal markets have made inroads into this space, including more profitable manufacturing units for bags, mats, jeans dyeing and cloth. Various association including ones for tenants, shops, residents and landlords also want sex workers to be moved out of the area.

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