News Archives

Japan Ruling Party under Fire after MP Calls LGBT ‘Unproductive’

Manila Times - Tokyo, Japan, 8/5/2018

Japan’s ruling party has come under fire over remarks by one of its lawmakers who said that gay and lesbian couples were ‘unproductive’ because they cannot have children. Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) politician Mio Sugita, an ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, recently sparked protests over an article she wrote questioning spending taxpayers’ money on LGBT couples. Some 5,000 people protested outside the LDP headquarters in Tokyo in the previous week over her remarks and similar demonstrations are planned in other cities over the coming weekend, activists said. Abe attempted to calm the furore, saying Sugita’s remarks contradicted the party’s policy towards sexual minorities. Though Sugita reportedly said she would take the party’s criticism of her comments ‘seriously’, she neither apologised nor withdrew her remarks.

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Thousands of Women Protest Against Spy Cameras, Gender-Biased Investigations

ABC News - Seoul, South Korea, 8/4/2018

Thousands of women wearing red shirts descended upon Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square on Aug 4, 2018, to protest against the illegal filming of women and investigations of sex crimes that largely favour men. ‘We will continue our fight to destroy the social barrier towards women and aim for the world in which we can lead!’ the protesters, dubbed ‘Inconvenient Courage’, chanted on stage. Spy cameras in South Korea – in public restrooms, at gynaecologists’ chambers, trial rooms, etc – are disturbingly common, recording women and circulating the footage without any consent. According to South Korean police, a total of 5,363 hidden camera crimes occurred last year, and similar crimes are still occurring. Hence, there is a growing movement in Korea against such spycams.

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Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi Wants Rehab Plan Formed for Child Sex Work Victims

New Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 8/3/2018

India’s Union Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD) Maneka Gandhi on August 3, 2018, instructed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to frame a rehabilitation plan for children falling prey to sex work in consultation with the Madhya Pradesh Government. The Minister's reaction comes in response of a report that exposed how minor girls in Madhya Pradesh are becoming victims of sexual violence. Last week, the controversial anti-trafficking bill passed in the Lok Sabha which, despite its glaring issues, declares the rehabilitation of human trafficking victims a right. On its basis, The Minister has stated that the rehabilitation programmes for survivors of child sex work are underway.

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Uganda to Conduct a Study on Abortion Rates

New Vision - Kampala, Uganda, 8/3/2018

Uganda is about to participate in a cross-country study on abortion and post-abortion care in Africa and Asia. Researchers seek to find out women’s knowledge of abortion methods and sources, the incidence of induced abortion, how women terminate pregnancies, and the extent of unsafe abortion. In addition to direct questions on abortion, the female survey module includes questions about the respondents’ experiences with abortion and about their respective support systems. It is hoped that the results produced by these studies will help inform the development of evidence-based comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policies and programs in the country.

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Adultery Law Arbitrary: SC

The Tribune - New Delhi, India, 8/2/2018

Terming Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code – which criminalises the male partners married women may have an affair with – as ‘manifestly arbitrary’, the Supreme Court on August 2, 2018, raised questions over validity of the law, saying it treated a woman as a ‘chattel’, as it required her to get her husband’s consent to have a sexual relationship with another man. While hearing petitions challenging the constitution legitimacy of Section 497 IPC, the top court talked about the sexual autonomy of married women, and said that the provisions included within the law run counter to Article 14 of the Constitution (Right to Equality). They also talked about its double standards, as a man’s infidelity isn’t seen as a crime.

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