News Archives

A Decade After Recognising LGBT Rights, Nepal Stalls

The Indian Express - Kathmandu, Nepal, 11/30/2018

Nepal was hailed a leader in LGBTQ rights when it became the first country in conservative South Asia to recognise more than two genders, and landmark reforms in 2007 prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in various Asian countries. But more than a decade later, its reputation has lost its lustre, with LGBTQ Nepalis still confronting obstacles to jobs and schools, and marriage equality a distant prospect. On paper, they enjoy some of the most-progressive protections and rights guaranteed by law in the immediate region. But gay and transgender Nepalis and rights activists say action has not matched rhetoric, and the community continues to face discrimination.

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Chile Enables Gender Change Over 14 Years of Age in Official Records

Irish Times, Chile, 11/28/2018

The Chilean President has signed into law a Bill allowing people over 14 years of age to change their name and gender in official records. The signing of this Bill marks a historic shift in a traditionally conservative, predominantly Catholic country. The Transgender Bill defines gender identity as a personal conviction of whether a person sees himself or herself as male or female, irrespective of their physical state or gender or name assigned to them in the country’s civic register. Children aged 14 to 18 are allowed to officially change their name and gender identity in official records, but must still obtain parental consent or approval from legal guardians first, since they are minors.

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Dowry Deaths Make Significant Share Of Female Killings In India: Report

NDTV, India, 11/27/2018

Dowry deaths continue to account for a substantial share of all female homicides in India despite legislation prohibiting it, according to a UN study which says ‘the home is the most dangerous place for women around the world’. The study, released for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, examines available homicide data to analyse gender-related killings of women. It noted that available data on dowry-related killings from the National Crime Records Bureau indicate that female dowry deaths account for 40 to 50 per cent of all female homicides recorded annually in India, representing a stable trend over the period 1999 to 2016. This shows that tangible progress in protecting women from such violence has not been made in recent years.

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Syrian Kurdish Women March to End Gender-Based Violence

Japan Times - Qamishli, Syria, 11/26/2018

Hundreds of female protesters took to the streets of the Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli on November 25, 2018, to call for an end to violence against women. Women of all ages carried the portraits of fighters in the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), the all-female branch of the Syrian Kurdish militia. ‘Underage marriage is a crime,’ said one sign held up by a protester, on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Other demonstrators carried signs condemning sexual violence, gender-based discrimination, and various other forms of oppression women face on a day to day basis in the conflict-torn region. ‘Women must organise and reach decision-making positions,’ said Hanifa Mohammed, an activist present at the protest. ‘They must determine their future.’

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Taiwan’s Image as Asia’s LGBT Rights Beacon Takes a Hit as Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Fails

South China Morning Post, Taiwan, 11/25/2018

Gay rights campaigners in Taiwan have suffered a serious blow after voters rejected a proposal to legitimise same-sex marriage in the island’s civil code. Taiwan’s progressive stance on LGBT rights had been celebrated when in 2017, its High Court ruled last year that a ban on same-sex unions was unconstitutional and that gay couples would be allowed to officially register their marriages soon. But while galvanising supporters, the issue also prompted a backlash from conservative groups and led to multiple referendums. But the opponents of same-sex marriage emerged victorious, with all three measures they proposed – to define marriage as solely between man and woman, to prohibit students from learning about LGBT issues, and to introduce limited protections for same-sex couples – being approved by the voters.

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