News Archives

Duterte Favours Anti-Discrimination Law Over SOGIE

Phillippine Star - Manila, Philippines, 9/12/2019

A spokesperson has said that while Philippines’ President Duterte sees no problem enacting a law against sexual or gender discrimination, he will not certify as ‘urgent’ the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill in Congress (so the bill can pass soon), preferring instead a general anti-discrimination law. The SOGIE bill is currently being debated in the Philippine senate, and a recent incident involving a transgender woman being denied entry into a public restroom for women has made it even more necessary. Duterte, however, suggested a segregation of toilets for men, women, gay people and lesbians. But many have criticised Duterte’s comments, saying that the SOGIE bill would offer the LGBTQ community more protection and civil rights, rather than segregating them.

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Anger Mounts in Japan over 'Outdated' Rape Laws

Japan Today - Tokyo, Japan, 9/11/2019

Women's rights protesters took to the streets on September 11, 2019, as anger mounts in Japan over ‘outdated’ rape laws, after a man was acquitted despite sexually assaulting his daughter for years. A court ruled the father had sexually abused his child from around the age 13 to 19 and even acknowledged he was physically violent, but he was acquitted because the law requires prosecutors to prove there was overwhelming force, a threat, or that the victim was completely incapacitated. The verdict is being appealed, but it has sparked outrage across the nation, while an online petition demanding that any sex without consent be defined as rape – signed by more than 47,000 people – has been submitted to the justice ministry.

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Iranian Soccer Fan 'Blue Girl' Dies After Setting Herself on Fire

Reuters, Dubai, 9/10/2019

A female Iranian soccer fan who set herself on fire after being arrested for sneaking into a stadium dressed as a man has died from her injuries, causing widespread outrage. The woman – dubbed “Blue Girl” online for her favorite team Esteghlal’s colours – died at hospital on September 9, 2019, after her self-immolation outside a court where she feared being jailed for six months. Iranian women have been banned from stadiums when men’s teams are playing since1979, though foreign women have been allowed limited access. Soccer’s governing body FIFA, which has been pressuring Iran over the ban, made a public statement about how it regretted the ‘tragedy’. The incident has sparked criticism online, and some have called for FIFA to take a tougher line against the ban.

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Period-Tracking App Maya Shares Users Personal Data with Facebook

Economic Times, India, 9/10/2019

Women health-focussed app Maya has been sharing sensitive data about the menstrual, emotional and sexual health of its users with Facebook, according to a report published by privacy advocacy group Privacy International. Maya, owned by Delhi-based Sheroes, a women-only community platform, was found to be one of the two apps extensively sharing sensitive personal data with third parties, including Facebook. Like other menstruation apps, Maya is gathering data about its users’ intimate life – requesting information about when they have had sex and whether the intercourse was protected or not – and sharing it with third parties, the report said. However, Sheroes has told Privacy International that it has removed its core Facebook software and the analytics software responsible for leaking the data and targeting ads at women.

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Malaysian AIDS Foundation to raise funds for HIV, AIDS patients

New Straits Times - Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 9/9/2019

Sabah is set to become the first state in Malaysia to be AIDS-free following the relatively low number of new HIV infections in the state, said the Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF). As a result, its chairman has said that MAF is doubling its efforts and investing more resources in Sabah to allow easier access to HIV treatment. In this regard, the foundation is seeking to fund its Sabah Health Access Programme (SHAPE) to assist in reducing the burden among poor rural populations suffering from the infection and associated diseases, and helping them access treatment at governmental health clinics and hospitals in nearby cities. As of 2016, a total of 99,338 Malaysian men were diagnosed as HIV positive and 12,578 women were determined to be HIV positive.

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