News Archives

Ethiopia Appoints 1st Woman President, After Approving Gender-Balanced Cabinet

ABC News, Ethiopia, 10/25/2018

Ethiopia's parliament appointed the country's first woman president October 25, 2018, just days after the reformist Prime Minister unveiled a new Cabinet that is half female. Sahle-Work Zewde, a seasoned diplomat who has held positions with the United Nations, was unanimously voted in by parliament members, and though it is still the Prime Minister who wields the executive power (the position of President, while it carries significant social influence, is largely a ceremonial post), this is a big win for women’s rights in Ethiopia. In her remarks to parliament following her swearing-in, Sahle-Work vowed to uphold peace and promote gender equality in Africa's second-most populous nation.

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Centre Asks Internet Providers to Block 827 Porn Websites

News 18 - New Delhi, India, 10/25/2018

The Government has directed Internet Service Providers to block 827 websites that host pornographic content following an order by the Uttarakhand High Court, according to official sources. While the Uttarakhand High Court has asked to block 857 websites, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) also added 30 portals without any pornographic content. Meity asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to block the websites named in the list issued as part of the order. This was meant to be a follow-up of the order the DoT had issued in July 2015, pushing for the ban of pornographic websites to curb the distribution of child pornography. However, at that time, the Department of Telecom had changed the order to exclude websites that do not have pornographic content about minors.

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Shandong Domestic Violence Rule Raises Hopes from LGBT

Global Times, China, 10/23/2018

East China's Shandong Government has released a draft regulation against domestic violence which raised hopes for LGBT groups that have long called on the country's legislature to revise laws to protect gay people from domestic violence. The existing Anti-Domestic Violence Law, which took effect in 2016, is applicable to "people living together but are not family", however a legislative official from the National People's Congress (NPC) had announced at a press conference after the national law was approved that same-sex relationships were not protected by this law. But the new regulation has more gender-neutral language, and may set the legal basis for LGBT people to defend themselves against domestic violence. Statistics show that in China, more gay people faced domestic abuse than straight people.

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Sex Harassment at Work Cases Up 4,000% in 4 Years

New Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 10/22/2018

The number of cases of sexual harassment at workplaces shot up by almost 4,000 per cent across the country in the last four years, government data has revealed. The figures, accessed by TNIE, show that while 371 cases were reported in 2014, the number shot up to 14,866 in 2018 (till October) – a rise of over 3,907 per cent. Uttar Pradesh reported the most cases, followed by Delhi and Haryana. The emergence of this data in light of India’s #MeToo movement – where, in the last two weeks, a number of women mainly in the entertainment, film and media industries have called out alleged predators while sharing their ordeals of workplace harassment – will hopefully lead to more conversations around reforming the country’s work culture.

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Indonesian Police Arrest Two Men Linked to LGBT Facebook Page

Reuters - Jakarta, Indonesia, 10/21/2018

Indonesian police have arrested two men who allegedly operated a Facebook account to facilitate meet-ups for gay people and other sex-related services, a senior officer in the province of West Java said on October 21, 2018. The men were charged with breaking electronic information law by creating and transmitting pornographic content, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of six years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of one billion rupiah ($66,000). Homosexuality is not regulated by law in Indonesia, except in the conservative Province of Aceh, but the country has seen an increase in raids targeting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people, forcing many members of the community underground.

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