Counterfeit-Brand Sex Drugs Damage Men’s Health In and Outside of China
Global Times, China, 3/29/2018
A search of public judgments from Chinese courts showed that, in the past decade, there were up to 1,000 cases involving the manufacturing and selling of fake sex drugs around the country. Making and selling fake sex drugs is a lucrative business, as aphrodisiacs are in high demand in China due to rising cases of erectile dysfunction. But taking fake drugs has lasting health impacts, which could range from strokes, liver failure and, occasionally, death. Some consumers have even reported swelling in the groin area and even rupture of blood vessels. Therefore, the government is now trying to take steps to curb the distribution of these fake drugs by issuing notices that warn consumers and calling for criminal charges.
Women’s Seminar Hears Call for Legalised Abortion
The Nation, Thailand, 3/29/2018
At a public seminar titled ‘Women who abort their pregnancies are not criminals and abortion must be legalised’, held at Thammasat University in Thailand, several women’s rights groups called for the revocation of the law against abortion. The seminar heard that women in Thailand face risks to their reputation, welfare, health, and even their lives through illegal and unsafe abortions because the procedure is outlawed. Despite the rising number of fatalities due to unsafe abortions in Thailand, the government has still not passed any legislation to overturn the existing anti-abortion law. Currently, the law only allows for abortion if a doctor concludes the pregnancy is harmful to a woman’s health or the pregnancy is a product of a criminal offence such as rape.
Pakistan News Channel Hires First Transgender Anchor
The Hindu - Lahore, Pakistan, 3/28/2018
A Lahore-based private news channel has hired 21-year-old Marvia Malik as Pakistan’s first transgender news anchor. Malik, whose first appearance on Kohenoor TV on March 24 went viral on social media, said she decided to apply for the job of a broadcast journalist as journalism has always been her passion. Malik’s appointment came just weeks after Pakistan’s Senate passed a key bill to ensure the protection of the transgender community against sexual and physical assaults and harassment. ‘I believe that empowerment of my community is my empowerment,’ Malik has said, declaring that she wants to keep working for transgender rights in her country.
MNC Bank in India Offers Same-Sex Partners of Staffers Medical Cover
The Times of India - Mumbai, India, 3/27/2018
Taking a big step towards creating an inclusive workplace, the Royal Bank of Scotland in India has extended medical hospitalisation benefits to same-sex partners of its employees, making them one of the first companies to do so. The policy comes into effect from April 1, 2018. The company also recently introduced surrogacy leave, again given irrespective of the partner’s gender. Some organisations have extended spousal benefits like adoption leave, paternity leave and relocation to same-sex partners of their employees. The challenge, however, is to ensure such initiatives are well within the ambit of the Indian law, which does not recognise same-sex marriage.
Lebanese 'Safe Space' Salon Opens Doors to LGBT Community
The New Arab, Lebanon, 3/25/2018
Kim Mouawad, a Lebanese hairdresser and owner of Out Beauty Boutique has recently opened up a salon to accommodate the country’s LGBT community, after hearing of her brothers’ years of struggle as a gay man. ‘Before opening Out, many of my friends from the LGBTQ community told me that getting certain things done were extremely awkward,’ says Mouawad, ‘They often felt judged and were sometimes refused service. Many salons in Lebanon will not wax men or offer nail extension or polish services,’ Lebanon remains a climate where LGBTQ+ activism is institutionally shut down - homosexuality is an offence and those caught engaging in the act face up to one year in prison.