News Archives

Triple Talaq: India Criminalises Muslim Instant Divorce

The Independent - New Delhi, India, 7/31/2019

India’s parliament has passed a bill to criminalise the Islamic practice of divorce known as ‘triple talaq’, a move which the Government said was to empower women but which has been criticised by members of the Muslim community. Triple talaq is condemned by most mainstream Muslim groups in India as inherently patriarchal. It is only available to men, with women required to seek permission from their husbands if they want a divorce, and does not feature in the Quran. Nonetheless, there is general consensus that it is a civil matter which should have been reviewed by community leaders rather than outlawed by the government, and that there are islamophobic overtones to making it a criminal offence punishable by law.

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Kerala Opens Its First Care-Home for Transgender Community

Business Standard - Kerala, India, 7/30/2019

The long-pending demand of the transgender community to have a safe shelter has finally become a reality in Kerala, as authorities have opened a short-stay home exclusively for them. The Kerala Social Justice Department has facilitated the opening of the state's first-of-its-kind short stay facility at Kunnukuzhy ward, located in the heart of Thiruvanathapuram, with the support of 'Queerythm', a community-based outfit (CBO). "Thanal", the transgender care home, is meant for transmen, authorities said. The short-stay facility would provide safe accommodation for transgender persons, undergoing sexual reaffirmation surgeries, or other emergency situations. All the employees appointed at the care home are transgender as well, and hence, the care-home project is also helping provide employment to the transgender community.

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Bill Shields LGBT from Discrimination

Manila Bulletin, Philippines, 7/28/2019

Geraldine Roman, Philippines’ first transgender lawmaker, has breathed life into a measure that could prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Roman has urged her colleagues in parliament to prioritise the passage of a bill that would be a major step for LGBTQ rights in the country. The bill proposes protection from discriminatory practices such as being denied public services on the basis of sexual or gender identity, being asked to disclose one’s identity in job applications, protection from physical and sexual harassment, and so on. The bill also states that LGBTQ people cannot be ‘prosecuted by reason of the exercise of the right to personal privacy’. The bill is currently being debated in the House of Representatives.

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Pakistan among States with Highest Ratio of AIDS Victims

Dawn - Lahore, Pakistan, 7/27/2019

Inadequate mea¬sures for curtailing HIV and AIDs have led to Pakistan being included among a list of 11 countries which have the highest prevalence of the disease - 13 per cent - in a latest United Nations report. It is the highest ratio of HIV prevalence the country has touched during the last decade. The UNAIDS-2019 analysis revealed that though the world is on track to end the AIDS epidemic, Pakistan is among the countries where ratio of new AIDs cases saw a sharp increase. The average HIV incidence per 1000 people in Pakistan was 0.08 in 2010, which has now risen to 0.11. Despite recent cases of HIV outbreaks in some Pakistani provinces, the authorities haven’t been prompt enough with their preventive measures.

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NCERT’s New Course for Academicians to Make Books, School Education Gender-Neutral

The Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 7/26/2019

With the aim to eliminate gender stereotyping from the school text-books, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is planning to launch an online course to sensitise the academicians about the gender issues in education. The course will also deal with the problem of the portrayal of traditional gender roles in the school text-books. “Patriarchy impacts us in ways we do not even realise. The course would train teachers to be sensitive to such issues,” a representative of the NCERT commented. The course will be available in the current financial year, and will consist of online lectures, assignments, and activities. Teachers and academicians are the target group for the course, however, once released; the course would be available to all.

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