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Gender and Sexuality

NHRC sets up LGBTI Core Group, ropes in activist Harish Iyer 15 member group to advise the commission on harmonising existing laws with needs of the community

Equal Rights activist Harish Iyer has been appointed to the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) Core Group on Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex (LGBTI) issues. This is the first group set up exclusively to look into the concerns and challenges of India’s vibrant rainbow community and marks a step towards greater understanding and acceptance of…

New Cuban constitution sets up legalisation of gay marriage

Cuba’s National Assembly recently unanimously approved a new constitution that defines marriage as “the consensual union of two people regardless of gender,” the Guardian reported, saying that this paved the way for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the country. There will be a referendum on the new constitution later in 2018. The current constitution…

Portugal’s parliament passes gender change law

Portugal’s parliament recently passed a law permitting citizens aged 16 and above to change their name and gender without requiring a medical report that indicates “identity disruption,” AFP reported. This makes Portugal “the sixth European country to grant the right to self-determination of transgender identity…without the guardianship of a third party and without a diagnosis…

SC to start hearing petitions to read down Section 377 Pleas to decriminalise consensual sex in private between adults of any gender or sexuality

The Indian Supreme Court is all set to start hearing a series of petitions that call for the reading down of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. In these petitions the plea is to decriminalise consensual sex between adults in private. Section 377 that criminalises ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’, also affects heterosexual…

Gender discrimination led to “excess deaths” of girls in India: Study

According to a study recently published in the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal Lancet Global Health, annually, there have been 2,39,000 “excess deaths” of girls under five in India. This translates to 2.4 million excess deaths every decade. Excess mortality is the difference between expected mortality rates and observed mortality rates for both genders. Researchers said…

Pakistan approves historic transgender rights bill

On Tuesday, May 8, Pakistan’s parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, which specifically makes illegal discrimination against transgender people by employers, healthcare providers, transportation providers, educational institutions, and any private businesses or service providers, Al Jazeera reported. The law grants Pakistani citizens the right to identify themselves as female, male, or a mix…

Malawi cuts cost for women running for election

Authorities in Malawi have said that women candidates will 25% less than men to seek election to parliament, in a bid to increase the number of women elected in a general election in 2019, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. The standard fee is 200,000 kwacha, or around $280. The move, which was announced on May 3…

Homophobia is Anti-National: Keshav Suri #DesiMillennial Interview on decriminalisation of Section 377

Section 377, that criminalises ‘unnatural sex‘ has been the bane of every Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) person’s existence in India. But with feisty Millennials like Keshav Suri moving the Indian Supreme Court to decriminalise Section 377, it appears that the day is not far when the sun would shine bright…

Trinidad and Tobago judge deems certain anti-gay laws unconstitutional

On Thursday, April 12, Trinidad and Tobago Devindra Rampersad stated in a ruling that certain sections in the country’s Sexual Offences Act were unconstitutional, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. These sections banned “serious indecency” and “buggery” between two men, and Rampersad said in his ruling that they outlawed same-sex activity between consenting adults. Gay sex could…

Laws preventing women from working affect economic growth, equality: Study

According to a recent World Bank study, laws that prevent women from working or restrict their ability to own businesses are negatively affecting the world’s growth and economic equality, The Guardian reported. The study considered 189 economies. In 104 of these, women are prohibited from working at night, or from working in fields like energy…

Water, A Woman’s Burden Examining the relationship between gender and water on World Water Day

March 22 is observed as World Water Day. With the global population steadily swelling, the availability and access to clean, safe water is not only paramount, it is a key concern for maintaining public health in an increasingly unstable world. Goal 6 of the United Nations’ 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals is to “ensure availability…

Saba Mahmood, the Immanent Flame of Secularism and Feminist Theory, dies at 56 Obituary

In times of easy rhetoric and religious stereotyping, any scholar who leaves this world before time, creates a void that can’t be filled. March 10, 2018 became a sad occasion for the scholars of Anthropology, when Professor Saba Mahmood, a teacher of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley passed away at an early…

Brazil Supreme Court ruling facilitates legal recognition for transgender people

Brazil’s Supreme Court has ruled that the country’s government cannot mandate judicial review or medical procedures for transgender people wishing to alter their name and gender marker on identification papers, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported. Previously, transgender people in Brazil had been allowed to change their name and legal gender on certain identification documents and in the…

China has detained Uighur women, separating them from their Pakistani husbands

Legislators in Pakistani’s northern region of Gilgit-Baltistan have called on Chinese authorities in the neighbouring country’s Xinjiang province to free at least 50 Chinese women who are married to Pakistani men, the Guardian reported. Some of these women have been detained for a year over murky accusations of extremism. They were reportedly apprehended last year when visiting family…

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