Hi all, its great that many of you already noticed the TAKE BACK THE TECH! campaign that we are running.
Here a Day 8 action announcement. Each day has a different focus, you can participate in a way that you find best for you! Just check the website.
My very best greetings,
Please help disseminate. Apologies for crossposting *********************************************************** TAKE BACK THE TECH! Reclaiming ICTs to End Violence Against Women www.takebackthetech.net 25 November - 10 December *********************************************************** Day 8: Digital Storytelling be heard -- tell your story ---------------------------
Listen to survivors of violence against women take up multimedia technology, and tell their own powerful and transformative stories.
Digital storytelling by Silence Speaks [www.silencespeaks.org] is an initiative that makes it possible for survivors and witnesses of violence to come together in small groups, reflect on their gender training and experiences of abuse, and tell their stories in their own words, sounds and images.
Few opportunities exist for survivors to tell their stories in their own words. Silence Speaks fills this gap by connecting survivors and witness of abuse with their creativity and making their voices the centerpiece of violence prevention and social justice efforts. Bearing witness to these stories moves the issue from the individual to the collective, and offers hope for ending the violence.
Twelve powerful stories are showcased on Take Back The Tech!, in partnership between Silence Speaks and APC Women's Programme.
Listen deeply. [www.takebackthetech.net/actions/storytelling.htm] ************* Action Day 8 *************
Depressing statistics. But at the same time, think of all the women that you know. Grrls and women that you have chatted with on the bus, at some party, waiting for the elevator, at a work function, distant relatives, their partners.... There are so many survivors amongst us.
1 in every 3 women whom we come across has experienced targeted and senseless violence; and they are just... fine. We walk amongst unnamed sheroes; with stories of tenacity, courage and everyday survival.
Action begins from reality. Tell your story. Use technology to amplify your voice. If the rabble is loud in its protest, if 1 in 3 women speak their case, then reality might start to look a little less ridiculous.
Polish Vice Prime Minister calls for the
constitutional protection of unborn life.
real threat of further restrictions on the anti–abortion law in Poland is
present. According to the existing bill, termination of pregnancy is legal to
save women’s life and health, when the fetus is badly deformed or when the
pregnancy is a result of a crime. Although the law is already restrictive, there
is a political initiative to make abortion fully illegal. Roman Giertych, the
Polish Vice Prime Minister also at the position of Minister of National
Education and the president of the League of Polish Families (LPR)
political party appealed on Saturday to all parliamentarians for their support
for the amendment of the article 38 of the Polish Constitution. Article 38
states that “The Republic of Poland shall ensure the legal protection of the
life of every human being”. The LPR’s proposal is to add the phrase “from the
moment of conception” at the end of the sentence.
Giertych claims that the introduction of the constitutional protection of unborn
life will be a milestone in realizing John Paul II Testament. He also dared to
compare “killing unborn babies” with Holocaust.
The amendment of
the Article 38 will be put to the vote in about one week. As for today, Giertych
has been already assured by the second Vice Prime Minister, Andrzej Lepper, that
his party Self-Defence (Samoobrona) will
support the amendment. Both parties, the League of Polish Families
and Self-Defence stay in coalition with the last election winning party
Law and Justice (PiS). Everything depends on the
decision of the PiS now but still its attitude towards the constitutional
amendment remains ambiguous and indefinite. One of the prominent members of PiS
and the parliamentarian speaker, Marek Jurek stated on Tuesday that indeed there
is such a need to guarantee the protection of life from the moment of conception
in the Constitution. The League of Polish Families
is known from its nationalistic, fundamental and anti-choice viewpoints. Last
year, Maciej Giertych, Roman Giertych’s father and member of the European
Parliament, organized a radical anti-abortion exhibition in the European
Parliament in Strasbourg.
Federation for Women and Family Planning is organizing action against LPR's
initiative. If you would like to support the protest against
totally ban abortion in Poland, please sign up our open letter: http://www.federa.org.pl/signatures
2006 the international politics/current affairs journal New Statesman conducted a vote among
readers for the top 50 heroes of our time. The definition of a hero: ‘A man or woman whose actions have been in the
service of the greater good and whose influence
is national or international: someone who is prepared to act in pursuit
of a freer, more equitable and democratic future, without recourse to violence’.
The response, published as the
magazine’s cover story in May, is ‘as
surprising in its range and unpredictability as it was overwhelming’ though
the first three are to be expected, world figures Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson
Mandela and Bob Geldof. No. 49 is
leading theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, and No 50, Andrew Flintoff,
famous English cricketer.
Quite a few respondents thought the
magazine meant ‘people for
our time’ rather than people alive and active now, so Winston Churchill
and Jesus received a lot of votes.
Of the 50 who topped the poll, 10
are female (20%), out of whom 5 are British: Democracy/post-conflict
reconstruction specialist Lesley Abdela,
Shami Chakrabarti, Queen Elizabeth
11, Helena Kennedy QC, Rt Hon Margaret Thatcher.
Other women on the Top 50 list
include American, Australian, Burmese, Irish and Russian.
Campaigners ranked significantly,
hence Bob Dylan (37th) and Bono (30th), Aung San Suu Kyi
(1st), Mordechai Vanunu (24th), Lesley
Abdela (34th), Helena Kennedy (40th),
Noam Chomsky (7th) and John Pilger (4th).
Women voted into the top 50 Heroes
of our Time:
Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese pro-democracy campaigner
Margaret Thatcher, UK Prime Minister 1979-90 (5th)
Mary Robinson, Ethical Globalisation Initiative,
former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (20th)
Germaine Greer, Academic and Broadcaster, author
of ‘The Female Eunuch’ (25th)
Elizabeth 11, most travelled head of state in
Lesley Abdela, international Champion of Women’s Rights,
specialist in ‘gender in post-deadly conflict reconstruction’
(Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Aceh, Sierra Leone) (34th) (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Shami Chakrabarti, Civil liberties campaigner,
Director of human-rights group Liberty
Anna Politkovskaya, Russian journalist reporting on Chechnya
Helena Kennedy QC, leading British lawyer, especially
on social justice (40th)
Toni Morrison, Pulitzer Prizewinner novelist on
Voted among the Top 50 male heroes
of our time are (not in order) –
Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate, writing on
poverty, welfare and development (29th)
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, with his wife
Melinda one of the greatest philanthropists (8th)
Dalai Lama, Buddhist spiritual leader (9th)
Hans Blix, former UN weapons inspector (15th)
Tony Benn, former Cabinet Minister, veteran
anti-war campaigner (12th)
leader of the Soviet Union, relinquished power
to help bring Cold War to an end (13th)
Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the worldwide web (28th)
Jimmy Carter, former US
President, founder of the CarterCenter, dedicated to
alleviating poverty (41st)
Richard Dawkins, evolutionary theorist (26th)
Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank,
‘banker to the poor’ (22nd)
John Carr, international Internet safety
expert, advises on protecting children from the dangers of the web (42nd)
Peter Tatchell, co-founder of OutRage, who
attempted citizen’s arrest on Robert Mugabe (6th)
Message: 1 Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2006 18:24:24 +0200 From: Ma?gorzata Tarasiewicz <email@example.com> Subject: [Beijing+10] [Fwd: [16days_discussion] Request for immediate intervention in Human Rights violation in Uzbekistan] To: BEIJING +10 firstname.lastname@example.org> Message-ID: <44D22338.email@example.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
Please distribute the below-mentioned letter through all the possible channels.
Thank you. Best regards, Susanna Vardanyan, Women's Rights Center, Armenia
Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,
I am addressing this challenging letter to you in response to the urgent message which I received from International Federation for Human Rights and the World Organization against Torture, announcing about gross human rights violation in Uzbekistan.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights, the joint program of the International Federation for Human Rights and the World Organization against Torture, requests the immediate intervention of human rights organizations in the following situation in the country.
Mrs.Mukhtabar Tojibieva, head of the "Goryachie serdca" ("Hot Hearts")human rights organization from Margilana (Fergana Valley) was arrested on October 7, 2005 and was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment. Now she has been removed from her prison cell into the psychiatric department for the mentally disordered and drug users of the Tashkent Center for Convicts. On July 13, 2006 Ms. Tojibieva's attorney was allowed to meet her; she had both her hands tied. Since that time no other meetings were allowed and no official replies were given to the attorney's inquiry on the reasons of Ms. Tojibieva's removal. According to the attorney Ms. Tojibieva was depressed and looked very weak. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights expresses its deep concerns for Mrs. Tojibieva's detention.
Being the President of a human rights organization in Armenia,I am also deeply concerned about the issue. I was shocked when I received this message. I have met this woman in Tashkent. She is a cheerful, communicative and open-minded person. I just don't understand what this woman could have done that authorities pursue her in such a manner. This is really unfair.
I am sure I am entitled on behalf of human rights organizations in Armenia to send you our request to intervene in the process of releasing Mukhtabar and to demand the Uzbek authorities to take certain steps, including the following:
1. to guarantee Ms. Tojibieva's physical and mental immunity under any circumstances, 2. to put an end to all forms of torture against Ms. Tojibieva, 3. to release Ms. Tojibieva immediately since her detention is ungrounded.
The contact addresses by which you may send your challenge to Uzbek authorities are listed below.
1. President of Uzbekistan, Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov, ul. Uzbekistanskaya 43, Rezidentsia prezidenta, 700163 Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan, Fax: +998 71 133 7258, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Elyor Majidovich Ganiev, Respublika Uzbekistan; 700029 g. Tashkent; pl. Mustakillik, 5; Ministerstvo inostrannykh del RU, S.S., Uzbekistan, Fax: + 998 71 139 15 17.
3. Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, Sayora Rashidova, ul. Xalqlar Dostligi 1, 700035 Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan, Fax: +998 71 139 85 55, E-mail: email@example.com
4. Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ubaydulla Mingbaev, Respublika Uzbekistan; 700183 g. Tashkent; ul. Abdulla Kodiri, 1; Verkhovny Sud Respubliki Uzbekistan
5. General Prosecutor of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Rashidjon Hamidovich Kodirov, ul. Gulyamova 66, 700047 Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan, Fax: +998 71 133 39 17, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. National Centre for Human Rights, Senator Akmal Saidov Natsionalny tsentr po pravam cheloveka, 5/3, Mustakillik Maidoni, g. Tashkent, Respublika Uzbekistan. 700029, Fax: + 998 71 139 13 56 / 45 16, E-mail: email@example.com
7. Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United Nations in Geneva, PO Box 1853, 1215 Geneva 15, Switzerland, Fax: +4122 799 43 02, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do everything in your power to help this very outstanding woman. Please send this information towards all possible directions.
----------------------------------------------- **PLEASE DISSEMINATE WIDELY** (apologies for cross-posting) ----------------------------------------------- **GENDERIT.ORG EDITION: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION & INFORMATION** ----------------------------------------------- I. Small Thoughts Around: * Freedom of Expression & Information II. New Articles: *Community radios and feminist voices against repression in Brazil *Tools for Communication Rights in Malaysia *Culture, local traditions, and taboo - Challenges to the full expression of women's voices *A 'Women's Commons'? An Exploratory Dialogue on the Potential of the Knowledge Commons for Women *Will women really benefit from the digital revolution? III. Featured Resources: *Access Denied: The Impact of Internet Filtering Software on the Lesbian and Gay [version 2.0.] * The Media Freedom Internet Cookbook * Gender Harassment on the Internet IV. Call for Contributors V. New Features
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- I. SMALL THOUGHTS AROUND... *Freedom of Expression & Information*
World Press Freedom Day was celebrated on 3rd of May. Yet this year alone, 21 individuals all over the world have been killed because of their work as journalists, and many more are missing (Committee to Project Journalists). As new digital communications technologies enable new opportunities for the creation, expression and dissemination of news and perspectives, these spaces are not invincible from the policing of State and other equally impactful, but often submerged, socio-political norms. GenderIT.org explores the gender dimension of freedoms of the freedoms of expression and information.
This edition has been difficult in coming. We arranged for an interview between guest writer and ICTs advocate, Katrin Verclas, with Manal Hassan, a prominent communications rights activist based in Egypt. This was also aimed to be in support of Alaa Abdel Fatah, her partner and also active blogger on freedom of speech, who was detained together with more than 300 activists during a peaceful protest on 7th May 2006. They were arrested under the Egyptian Emergency Laws allows for 15 days detention without trial that can be indefinitely renewed. More than a month later, and after a third renewal of the 15 days detention, Alaa is freed and continues to blog with Manal in follow-up of the other activists still in detention [http://www.manalaa.net/].
On 12 June 2006, several thousand participants in a peaceful women's rights protest who demanded changes to family laws and legal discrimination against women in Tehran faced extreme violence. A large number of police and security forces arrived at the scene, and ended the protest by attacking the crowd with batons, and pepper gas. According to the spokesperson for Ministry of Justice , 70 persons were arrested during the course of this protest. However, this does not include the arrests that happened prior to the protest, where women's rights activists, student activists and also bloggers were summoned to court and interrogated. Since then, others have been summoned for interrogation by phone or in writing, including Sussan T, an active women's rights and ICTs advocate from Iran. We contacted Sussan to help render visible the situation that women rights activists are currently facing in Iran, and to issue a call for support.
Understandably, at such critical moments, finding time and resources to write or engage in interviews is difficult. Prioritising the urgency of these two events, genderIT.org decided to postpone the edition for a month while attempting to continue our contact with both Manal and Sussan. It has been a troubled month of silence.
These two events demonstrate louder than ever that the spaces for us to freely speak our minds, opine our thoughts, access information and engage in democratic processes is narrowing. As such, this edition is also a call for the renewal of commitment towards these fundamental freedoms.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- II. NEW ARTICLES *Community radios and feminist voices against repression in Brazil* The repression against community radios in Brazil reaches important social projects and initiatives such as Novo Ar - a community association and radio station led by Gra?a Rocha. In this interview to GenderIT, Gra?a provides details about the repression that Brazilian community radios experience and highlights the critical role that women play in the radio and in the community: "women resist better. Here in Novo Ar, women are the majority -- and although we feel exhausted sometimes, we never give up, we keep struggling". http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=94794
* Tools for Communication Rights in Malaysia* Jac sm Kee speaks with one of the most vocal media and communication rights advocate in Malaysia, Sonia Randhawa, through an online messenger platform about motivations, communication technologies, rights, democracy, tactics and gender. Sonia currently sits as the Executive Director of the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ). Apart from conducting regular trainings on independent media and communications strategies, CIJ is also developing community radio programmes that innovatively combine "old" and "new" technologies -- radio and the internet -- through Radiq Radio. http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=94522
*Culture, local traditions, and taboo - Challenges to the full expression of women's voices* Popular communicators that work in community radio-telecentres in different states of Brazil talk about their achievements and apprehensions concerning the complete freedom to express themselves. As members of the Cyberela Network (Red Cyberela) developed by the feminist organisation Cemina, the communicators explain the reasons behind their self-censorship and how they gradually overcome taboos and prejudices through their work with microphones and screens. http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=a--e94775-1&x=94775
*A Women's 'Commons'? An Exploratory Dialogue on the Potential of the Knowledge Commons for Women* The idea of the 'commons' has been contestedly understood as being both a principle of understanding content and creative products, and a community that supports the sharing of information and creative content. It is also directly linked with subverting current Intellectual Property Rights paradigms, where ownership and control of information, knowledge, and content has been commodified. So what exactly is so 'new' about the 'commons'? Looking at the four paradigms where ideas about the 'commons' are supposed to operate, perhaps it is possible to see if developments towards a Knowledge Commons resonates with feminist tactics/agendas/isms. http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=a--e94793-1&x=94793
*Will women really benefit from the digital revolution?* The book "The Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa, a Harsh Reality" written by Marie-Helene Mottin-Sylla has just been translated into English by APC, the Association for Progressive Communications. On this occasion, Sylvie Niombo, Deputy Coordinator of APC's Africa-Women Programme, interviewed Marie-Helene on the content of the book. http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=a--e94795-1&x=94795
*Access Denied: The Impact of Internet Filtering Software on the Lesbian and Gay [version 2.0.]* A survey of how internet filtering software, and ratings systems affect the lesbian and gay community. "Access Denied" contains sections analysing the legal, political and social implications of enforced invisibility on the web. It also includes testimonials from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, who are those most directly affected by the lack of access to important information via the web or internet. The report offers recommendations for industry leaders on how to make the internet both friendly and fair. http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=r&x=94799
*The Media Freedom Internet Cookbook* The Media Freedom Internet Cookbook offers recommendations and best practices, the results from the 2004 Amsterdam Internet Conference of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Among others, it looks at "The Role of Filtering Software in Internet Content Regulation", and documenting the number of cases how the filters may 'accidentally' censor websites, and educational materials regarding AIDS, drug abuse prevention, sexual and reproductive rights, or teenage pregnancy. http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=r&x=94798
*Gender Harassment on the Internet* The paper examines the nature and types of gender harassment occurring on the net, including possible causes of this online offense. It also explores whether online gender harassment rises to the level of an actionable claim, and will examine some of the inherent problems in pursuing such claims, as well as pursuing criminal charges against offenders. http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=r&x=91153
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- IV. CALL FOR CONTRIBUTORS
GenderIT.org is *still* calling for contributors :)
If you have something exciting to share, or if we can help communicate your event, campaign, insights and reflections to a wider audience, please send us an email (jac AT apcwomen DOT org).
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- V. NEW FEATURES for GenderIT.org readers
GenderIT.org has recently launched a RSS feed, which stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. This function allows you to receive the alerts about the latest content from the GenderIT.org English or Spanish version of website straight to your computer as soon as it is available online.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- *CopyLeft. 2005 APC Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP)* Permission is granted to use this document for personal use, for training and educational publications, and activities by peace, environmental, human rights or development organisations. Please provide an acknowledgement to APC WNSP.
Fair Use Notice: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
PeaceWomen.org distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.
WHAT TRANSLATION DO YOU NEED?WHAT TRANSLATION WOULD YOU PRIORITIZE? Email us
In February 2003, PeaceWomen began compiling existing translations and calling for and welcoming new translations of Resolution 1325. Thanks to individuals and organizations who have shared their translations with us, the number of available translations on PeaceWomen.org has increased, since February 2003, from 9 to 74.
If any of you have translated UNSC Resolution 1325, know of existing translations, would be interested in translating, or know of others who would, please contact us at: email@example.com
Network Women in Development Europe (WIDE) calls for
an immediate end to the Middle East conflict
WIDE is a
European network of development NGOs, gender specialists and
human rights activists monitoring and influencing international economic and
development policy and practice from a feminist perspective. We raise awareness
on the impacts of European and international policies on women’s lives and on
gender relations. WIDE promotes dialogue and cooperation among women worldwide,
including with women’s rights activists in Lebanon.
WIDE joins social movements across the world in condemning the
current Israeli offensive in Palestine and Lebanon. We condemn the escalating
and brutal violence and are concerned that women and children are
disproportionately affected by the current situation through displacement, and
other forms of violence. We call on the international community and regional
bodies to intervene for an immediate ceasefire and the implementation of UN
Security Council Resolution 1325.
onset of Israeli military aggression against Lebanon, the following tragic facts
have been noted:
–More than 270 women, men and
children (overwhelmingly civilians) have lost their
–There are so far more than 60,000
internally displaced families from South Lebanon and the Southern suburbs of
–Tens of thousands have left the
country and many are still fleeing.
preliminary estimated figure for economic losses in Lebanon in less than a week
exceeds 3 billion US dollars.
–There is a significant and
widespread destruction of public and economic infrastructure including airports
and seaports, bridges, roads, electrical powerhouses, factories and
WIDE does not
believe any real, long-lasting solution can arise from this military aggression
and we strongly urge all parties to bring about an immediate end to the
hostilities. We insist that all parties protect civilians – Lebanese,
Palestinian and Israeli – in accordance with international
concern that most European governments have remained silent and passive
vis-à-vis these tragic events. WIDE is outraged that the UN Security Council
debate on Lebanon ended last Friday with no action on Beirut's demand for an end
to Israeli air strikes. The European and international community have clear
commitments to secure human rights including the right to live in a healthy and
sustainable environment; these rights should be guaranteed immediately.
living in Europe, we demand….
immediate ceasefire and call upon the UN to assume its responsibilities for
protecting peace and stability.
stop to all military actions.
immediate end to the policy of collective punishment of civilians.
immediate lifting of the blockade and end of targeting of transportation links
and public infrastructure that is leading to displacement of the population and
accentuating the worse humanitarian crisis in the
international community assists all people affected by the conflict in Lebanon,
Israel and Palestine, with a special focus on women and children.
WIDE – Network Women in Development Europe, 20 July 2006
leave the list, send your request by email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
New Page 2CEE Bulletin on Sexual and Reproductive RightsNo 7
Sexual and reproductive health and rights constitute fundamental human rights, form a vital aspect of the women?s empowerment and are key to the achievement of gender equality.
According the organizers of the XVI International AIDS Conference which will take place in Toronto between the 13th and 18th of August, the list of 20,000 participants expected to attend the event includes former presidents Mary Robinson of Ireland and Bill Clinton of the United States, HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit from Norway, Bill and Melinda Gates and Richard Gere. The scientific programme of the meeting will be particularly strong and will trace new trends in basic and clinical research, epidemiology, social science and policy. Out of the record number of nearly 13,000 abstracts submitted, over 4,500 have been selected for presentation: 366 as oral presentations, 199 as poster discussion and 4,000 as poster exhibition. Apart from the presentation of the latest research, the conference will provide the delegates with an opportunity to explore how best to prevent HIV and provide access to treatment and care. In a number of sessions, the conference will address interalia empowering women and girls as a major priority for an effective response to the epidemic. It also includes sessions on the importance of women?s reproductive health and rights, including the rights of sex workers. The newly designed key challenge sessions will facilitate the exchange of information and sharing of experiences to address the following challenges:
? accelerating research to end the epidemic;
? expanding and sustaining human resources to increase revention
? intensifying the involvement of affected communities;
? building new leadership.
The organizers reported that two million USD have been allocated for an International Scholarship Program which will allow 815 applicants out of 16,000 who applied to take part in the gathering. Most of them are from resource-limited countries. However, in some cases people who had been granted scholarships by the organizers have been denied Canadian visas. The problems have been experienced by applicants, some of whom are living with AIDS, from Nepal, Nigeria, India, South Africa, VietNam, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Fiji. The International AIDS Society is trying to solve these existing problems and prevent others from occurring by holding emergency meetings with Canadian officials.
More information on the conference schedule, including satellite sessions and affiliated events is available at: www.aids2006.org
Bulgaria: Retrial of medical workers accused of infecting Libyan children with HIV. Five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian physician plead not guilty to the charge of infecting Libyan children with HIV. They claim that they were forced to confess by Libyan officers who used psychological torture measures against them during the interrogations.
The medical workers were sentenced to death by firing squad in May 2004, but the Libyan Supreme Court overturned the convictions in December 2005 and ordered the retrial in the lower court. The retrial began in May. The attorneys for the accused say that the June testimony of Libyan medical experts was inaccurate and contradicted forensic evidence. They requested that international HIV/AIDS experts be allowed to testify at the retrial. In 2005, Luc Montagnier, the co-discoverer of HIV, testified that HIV was present at the hospital where the defendants were employed prior to their arrival.
Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report
Czech Republic: Decreasing sale of condoms. The decreasing fear of HIV infection and the popularity of modern contraception seems to be the reason for the drop in the sale of condoms in the Czech Republic. According to the experts, 54 percent of Czechs have had unsafe sex which places the country 12th in the ranking of 41 states. Czechs have become less cautious about HIV/AIDS than at the beginning of the 1990s since the dramatic forecasts concerning the spread of the epidemic proved to be wrong. In the years 1985-2005, 827 HIV-positive people were registered. 118 of them died.
Georgia: Reproductive health project for youth. In June, the Inter European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFP), UNFPA and the EU launched a three year project to promote youth reproductive health in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The project, entitled Reproductive Health Initiative for Youth in the South Caucasus, is a large scale initiative aimed at young people aged 15-24. It is designed to reach at least 50 percent of the region?s 2,860,000 youth. With the three year budget of 2,9 million Euros, the project aims at empowering young people to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies, STIs (including HIV) and gender based violence by providing them with access to comprehensive youth friendly SRH services and products.
Georgia: Gender Network and Media: Integration and Mutual Empowerment - Fourth International Conference of Journalists. The meeting took place on 1-3 July, 2006 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The event was organized by Gender Media Caucasus Journalists Association.
The conference focused on the issues of effective cooperation between the media and local gender networks. The participants were journalists working on gender problems as well as non-governmental sector activists working in cooperation with the media.
The goals of the conference were to analyze cooperation between the networks and media of the post-soviet region, and to work out future joint actions. Elwira Chrusciel represented the ASTRA Bulletin crew during this meeting.
Kyrgyzstan: the initiative to stricken the abortion law overturned. The parliament of Kyrgyz Republic decided that the initiative of the Ombudsman to restrict abortion law is unjustified. The proposal aimed at introducing criminal liability for women and medical workers terminating 12-22 week pregnancies for social reasons. The initiative was strongly opposed by Reproductive Health Alliance and other NGOs of Kyrgyzstan, who in response initiated an advocacy program for women?s right to abortion. ASTRA Network sent a letter to Kyrgyz Republics Representatives expressing concern caused by the proposed repressive sanctions. The letter also conveyed confidence that the President of Kyrgyz Republic, Members of the Parliament, and the Government will not allow the adoption of the Ombudsman?s proposition because it violates fundamental human rights and contradicts both national and international legislation.Reproductive Health Alliance, Kyrgyzstan;
Poland: Abortion case admissible. The European Court of Human Rights declared the case of Tysiac v. Poland admissible. The Court stated that the application "raises serious issues of fact and law under the Convention, the determination of which requires an examination of the merits." Alicja Tysi?c, now awaiting the Court?s decision, was refused abortion although the pregnancy could severely damage her eyesight.
Polish law allows the termination of pregnancy if it puts the woman?s health or life at risk.
Federation for Women and Family Planning
Poland: ministry of education against the EC human rights manual. Roman Giertych, the minister of education and the leader of the ultra-conservative party, League of Polish Families, dismissed the director of the Center for the Professional Training of Teachers for publishing and promoting the official manual of the European Council aimed at preparing young people to participate in the life of civil society and democratic state. One of the reasons Giertych found the book unacceptable was that it recognized gay and lesbian rights. Although his decision has raised protests from teachers, youth and civil society organizations, the minister has not changed it.
Federation for Women and Family Planning
ASTRA granted observatory status. ASTRA ? Central and Eastern European Women?s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights has been accepted to be an observer at the HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum of the European Commission for the term until the end of August, 2007. ASTRA
Finland: Ban on the purchase of sex services. In June, Finnish parliament approved a law partially banning the purchase of sex services. Under the new law, paying for sex services of an individual who is a victim of human trafficking or pimping carries a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment. The parliament rejected the draft law criminalizing all purchase of sex services as well as the bill banning the sale of sexual services.
Ireland: The Alliance for Choice, a national grassroots organization, has called for abortion to be legalized in Ireland after statistics had been published by the British Department of Health. The data indicate that each day, 15 Irish women travel to Britain to have an abortion. In 2005, 5,585 women from Ireland terminated their pregnancy in Great Britain.
WUNRN IPPF: New executive director. Dr. Gill Greer, the executive director of the Family Planning Association of New Zealand, has been appointed the new Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Dr. Greer will be taking up her post based at IPPF?s London office in September, 2006 following the retirement of current Director-General, Dr. Steven Sinding.www.ippf.org
European Union: Discrimination against Roma Women. In a report adopted in June, the European Parliament called for measures to combat the extreme levels of multiple discrimination faced by Roma women. Roma women are among the most vulnerable people in Europe. The Parliament urges the Member States, among other issues of concern, to prevent and outlaw coercive sterilization, provide redress for such abuse, promote family planning and alternatives to early marriage. It also calls for eliminating racially segregated maternity wards, measures to help victims of domestic violence and vigilance regarding the trafficking of Roma women. According to the Parliament, the situation of Roma women should be a key criterion for evaluating states of readiness for accession to the EU.
European Court of Human Rights: Abortion case rejected. The case D. v. Ireland that could challenge the ban on abortion in Ireland has been declared inadmissible by the European Court of Human Rights on the ground that the applicant had not exhausted domestic remedies since she had not brought the case to the Irish courts. The case was brought before the ECHR by a woman who was pregnant with twins in 2002. After the antenatal tests indicated that one fetus died in the womb and the second had a fatal chromosomal abnormality -Trisomy 18, or Edward?s Syndrome - she decided to terminate the pregnancy. She did not seek legal advice on her eligibility for abortion in Ireland and instead obtained an abortion in the UK. Abortion is allowed in Ireland only in the case of ?a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother?. The applicant claimed that the lack of abortion services in the case of lethal fetal abnormality and the present law infringe on her rights. The Irish Family Planning Association who lodged an amicus brief in support of the complaint in 2005, said that the ECHR declaration was disappointing.
IFPA informed the media that it facilitated the complaint of three women living in Ireland who were challenging abortion restrictions. According to IFPA, the basis of their complaint is significantly different from that made by ?D? and ECHR decision is unlikely to have implication on it.
Court of Justice of the European Communities: Medical treatment broad in EU states. On May 16, in the case of Ivonne Watts v. Bedford Primary Care Trust and Secretary of State for Health, the Court of Justice ruled that the patient?s national health services should reimburse her/him for the cost of hospital treatment provided in another member state even when the service is provided for free in the country of residence. According to the Court?s judgment, the patient can be refused authorization to receive treatment abroad if the health insurance fund ?shows that the waiting time does not exceed the medically acceptable period having regard to the patient?s condition and clinical needs.? The Court?s judgment may prove important for women in EU states who are denied access to abortion services to which they are entitled within the legally defined timeframe.
Science: Condom use lowers the risk of HPV-related disease. A new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine reports that women whose partners always use condoms are 70 percent less likely to acquire HPV infection than women whose partners use condoms less than 5 percent of the time. In almost all cases, cervical cancer is caused by HPV. The study was performed by researchers from the University of Washington. It provides evidence that condoms are effective in reducing the risk of HPV. Until this study, solid evidence proved that condoms prevent pregnancy, HIV infections and, in the case of men, gonorrhea.
Science: Womb transplants. According to scientists from Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden, womb transplant in humans should be possible within five years. Scientists have recently succeeded in transplanting uteruses in sheep. They claim that in future the best wombdonor would be the recipient?s mother or older sister in order to minimize the risk of immune rejection.
IAPAC European Session 2006. The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) and the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) will co-host the third annual IAPAC European Sessions in Budapest. They will take place on 12-13 October 2006. This year's Sessions include: implications of a decade of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), navigating ARV drug resistance, sociobehavioural Aspects of HIV Care and emerging issues in HIV Care.
To see the full program and outstanding faculty presenters, visit the IAPAC Web site, www.iapac.org 7th Congress of FIAPAC. International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception Associates organizes its 7th annual congress, ?Freedom and rights in reproductive heath?. The conference will take place on 13/14 October 2006 in Rome, Italy. The preliminary program of the meeting is available at: http://www.fiapac.org/e/RomePrelProgr2.html
World Youth Forum. The annual World Youth Forum (WYF), which will bring together 140 young persons from over 35 countries will take place from 10-15 August in Bucharest, Romania. More information is available at: www.youth-policies.org
Women on Web: the on-line abortion help service for women living in countries where access to safe abortion services is restricted.
The website is: www.womenonweb.org
Reproductive Health and Human Rights: Integrating Medicine, Ethics and Law, by Rebecca J. Cook, Bernard M. Dickens and Mahmoud F. Fathalla (Oxford University Press, 2003, 554pp.)is now available in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese translations, and forthcoming in Arabic.The book is designed to equip health care providers and administrators to integrate ethical, legal, and human rights principlesin protection and promotion of reproductive health, and to inform lawyers and women's health advocates about aspects of medicine and healthcare systems that affect reproduction. More information and updates to the book are available at:
Youth?s Voice. Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Central and Eastern Europe and Balkan Countries published ASTRA Youth Group is now available. Hard copies can be obtained from ASTRA secretariat. The electronic version is available at:
Woman-centered abortion care: Reference manual. The manual is now available in Spanish. It is designed to be used by participants during individual and group-based courses and also as a reference manual to help participants refresh and strengthen their skills. Composed of 13 modules, it brings a new perspective to abortion-care training and service delivery. Features include: a woman's rights approach to abortion care; unique considerations for special populations, including adolescents and survivors of sexual violence; guidance for use of both manual vacuum aspiration and medication-abortion technologies; and recommendations for monitoring services and making linkages to communities. This publication is not available online. To order a hard copy, please e-mail
NGO Responses to the UN S-G's Report International Migration and Development
[mailto:Ramin.Kaweh@unctad.org] Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2006 9:52
AM To: undisclosed-recipients Subject: NGO Responses to the
UN S-G's Report International Migration and Development
On 6 June 2006, UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented his report International Migration and
Development to the General Assembly. The report will provide the framework
for discussion during the Informal Interactive Civil Society Hearings taking
place on 12 July 2006 and the High-Level Dialogue of the General Assembly, being
held from 14-15 September 2006.
In mid-June, NGLS launched an online call for comments on the NGLS
website to create an opportunity for civil society, especially those
organizations who were unable to participate in the 12 July Hearings, to provide
their views, comments and responses to the Secretary-General's report in order
to help support a constructive exchange in the process leading up to the
aims, in a very general manner, to condense a number of these comments based on
the sections of the Secretary-General’s report and the four segments that
compose the Hearings:
Segment 1: Promoting a comprehensive rights-based approach to
international migration, and ensuring respect for and protection of the human
rights of all migrants and their families.
Segments 2 & 3: International
migration and development – challenges for social and economic policies in
sending and receiving countries.
Segment 4: Policy responses –
Promoting the building of partnerships and capacity-building and the sharing of
best practices at all levels, including the bilateral and regional levels, for
the benefit of countries and migrants alike.
NGLS Call for Comments on International Migration & Development
-----Original Message----- From: Ramin.Kaweh@unctad.org
[mailto:Ramin.Kaweh@unctad.org] Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 10:30
AM To: undisclosed-recipients Subject: 27 June deadline:
NGLS Call for Comments on International Migration &
Segments 2 & 3: International
migration and development – challenges for social and economic policies in
sending and receiving countries.
Segment 4: Policy responses –
Promoting the building of partnerships and capacity-building and the sharing of
best practices at all levels, including the bilateral and regional levels, for
the benefit of countries and migrants alike.
· Respondents may respond to any theme or section of
the report but please indicate which Segment is being responded to and, more
specifically, which paragraph of the report. · Please limit comments to a maximum of 1,000 words. · Please indicate your name, organization, and
region before submitting text comments.