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16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Today marks the first day of the Commit ▪ Act ▪ Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women! activist movement. So, why the 16 days?

November 25, 2009 marks the launch of the 19th international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign – an annual campaign that runs from International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women through International Human Rights Day. (emphasis mine)

Over the next 16 days, I’m going to try and highlight the violence that women face around the world. If you’re interested in this endeavor, please visit the website and find out what some actions are that you can take to contribute to this movement and to the end of violence against women.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Today marks the 11th International Trans Day of Remembrance. This is a day where we stop and remember all of those who have lost their lives due to others hatred towards transgender people.

This day of remembrance is held annually, and here is why it all began (courtesy of GLAAD):

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed in late November in recognition of the 1998 murder of Rita Hester. Rita was a highly visible member of the transgender community in her native Boston, where she worked locally on education around transgender issues. On Saturday, Nov 28, Rita was stabbed 20 times in her apartment. A neighbor called the police and Rita was rushed to the hospital, but passed away from cardiac arrest only moments after being admitted.

A year later, Gwendolyn Ann Smith decided to take it upon herself to create a vigil for Rita, but also for other transgendered people who had been killed. Therefore, the Transgender Day of Remembrance was born. It has become an internationally recognized day, and events and vigils are held all around the world on this day.

Some facts about violence towards those that are transgender (again, courtesy of GLAAD):

According to an estimate by the Human Rights Campaign, transgender Americans face a one-in-12 chance of being murdered.

Statistics from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) show that in schools 14.2% of transgender students report being physically assaulted as a result of gender expression, while 30.4% experienced physical harassment.

According to the International Transgender Day of Remembrance website, there have been 12 people murdered out of anti-transgender bias during 2009 in the U.S. alone.

To get more information, you can go to the Transgender Day of Remembrance website, here.

Categories: death, lgbtq, murder, transgender, violence Tags:

HIV is top killer for young women

November 10, 2009 Leave a comment

A new report done by the World Health Organization has stated that for the ages between 15 and 49, HIV is the biggest killer for women.

Women are “particular vulnerability” to infection by HIV, WHO says, due to both biology and gender inequality.

WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan said:

“It’s time to pay girls and women back, to make sure that they get the care and support they need to enjoy a fundamental human right at every moment of their lives, that is their right to health,”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It’s true that women and girls need to have better health care, all over the world. This doesn’t just mean more care for those with HIV, but other things, such as reproductive health. As for HIV though, there does need to be more access to the treatment drugs which are available in Western countries for the many millions in Africa (and other underdeveloped countries) that suffer from this disease. Just because these people may not live in a developed country, does not mean that they don’t deserve the same treatment that people can get over here. It’s sad and shows true character when the rich don’t give to the poor.

And of course, more preventative measures need to be taken to stop this disease from getting a hold of people. Proper sex education must be done, for both women and men. None of this abstinence-only crap, where condoms are evil. Also, since so many women have this disease because of rape, we still need to fight institutionalized sexism all around the world. We need to make sure that we are taking measures to let men know that they have no right to rape anyone.

Ultimately, this is not a fair disease. This is not a fair disease because so many women and girls get it without even consenting to the sexual intercourse they get it from. This remains a feminist issue until many things change.

Obama signs new hate crime legislation

October 29, 2009 1 comment

After working so hard to get this off the ground, Obama has finally signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act yesterday, the Feminist Majority reports. This is some exciting stuff!

The bill extends the definition of federal hate crimes to include attacks motivated by sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability and empowers federal authorities to help local law enforcement investigate hate crimes.

This is what Obama had to say:

“Over the past 10 years, there were more than 12,000 reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation alone. And we will never know how many incidents were never reported at all…no one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hands of the person they love. No one in America should be forced to look over their shoulder because of who they are or because they live with a disability.”

Matthew Shepard was a university student who was tortured and killed, because he was perceived to be gay. James Byrd Jr. was an African-American man who was tied to the back of a truck by two white supremacists, dragged from it and decapitated in the process. They were both killed in 1998. Yes, this has been a long time coming.

Edit: Sorry, the link wasn’t right!

Horrible news of the day

July 30, 2009 Leave a comment

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A 23-year old woman, who was 8 months pregnant was found dead in her apartment today. Her fetus was cut out of her body and has not been found.

There isn’t much more to this story yet, but how awful is this? It’s disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

Murder over hijab?

December 11, 2007 2 comments

I really am not trying to attack Islam in any way, but today, it’s just how the stories are coming!

A 16-year-old girl in Toronto was declared dead after her father allegedly attacked her for not wanting to wear a hijab. Of course, this is not the whole story. The two were having arguments about this and she didn’t want to follow the conventional way and was possibly planning to run away.

Aqsa Parvez’s friends told CBC News that the teen had been having arguments with her father because he allegedly wanted her to wear a traditional hijab.

“She kinda wanted to go a different way from the way her family wanted her to go,” said one friend.

They also said that she wanted to escape the family conflict by running away.

The father has been arrested and has admitted to the murder.

This is just one extremely sad and unfortunate events. It looks like a generational disagreement at first, but it had to take the next extreme step. I’m not really sure what to say. It seems as though religion, conservatism and sexism rear its very ugly head here. But let’s just strip away the religious aspect. Too much is blamed on religion nowadays, in my personal opinion. This is a heinous crime that no father should commit against his daughter. I have a very hard time believing that this is a purely religious conflict. I could be completely wrong though. I honestly don’t know enough about Islam to say much more about that. But the fact is that a 16-year-old daughter was killed by her father. I hope justice is brought to this case.

Women are being killed in Basra for “Westernization”

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment

I’d say that this is very serious. Women are being killed because they don’t look “Islamic” enough with their dress. And even some men are being killed at the same time.

The police said women were being apprehended by men patrolling on motorbikes or in cars with tinted windows before being murdered and dumped in piles of rubbish with notes saying they were killed for “un-Islamic behaviour”. He said men had been victims of similar attacks.

Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the rise of Iraq’s Shia-dominated government, armed men have forced women to cover their heads or face punishment. In parts of the predominantly Shia south, even Christian women have been forced to wear headscarves. In some areas of Basra, graffiti warns women that forgoing the headscarf and wearing make-up “will bring you death”.

There is so much oppression and misogyny going on here. The new Shia dominated government isn’t any better than the former Sunni government. The war in Iraq has created a huge mess, and we all know that. And there are three wars essentially going on. Of course, Iraq and America, a civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites and this mental, emotional and political war between America and the rest of the world. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but you get my drift.

That got a little off track, but it’s not something to forget about in our everyday lives. This is a humanitarian issue, but a major feminist issue as well.