Thursday, December 8, 2011

[socialactionfoundationforequity:14572 LGBT Rights in Name Only?

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From: Human Rights Watch <>
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Sent: Friday, 9 December 2011, 5:06
Subject: LGBT Rights in Name Only?

Human Rights Watch - Newsletter
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The Week In Rights
December 8, 2011

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Story 1
LGBT Rights in Name Only?
South Africa's LGBTs Face Rape, Assault
"I was walking back from the club," said Puleng, 23. "Four guys raped me. I was screaming. They said to me, 'We just wanted to show you you're a woman.' I thought it was my fault. I thought maybe by saying openly [that] I was a lesbian, I provoked them."
A new report shows how South Africa's lesbians and transgender men face extensive discrimination and violence. Almost every person we interviewed said they live in fear of sexual assault, and those who rape or beat them are almost never punished.
Most people we interviewed were reluctant to approach police for protection, a stance reinforced by the authorities' abusive reactions. Of the few people we interviewed who had tried to report these attacks, most said the police ridiculed or harassed them.
Lesbians and transgender men may also experience discrimination in social settings and in the community, at schools and other public places, and in finding and keeping jobs. One transgender man said his teacher would call him names and tried to chase him out of the classroom. They often lose the support of their families, making them even more vulnerable; those who don't dress conventionally are especially at risk.
Read their personal testimony »
Photo: © 2009 Dipika Nath/Human Rights Watch
Child Marriage in Yemen Spurs Abuse
Girls Who Marry Lose Educational Opportunities, Risk Health Problems
In Yemen, data show that 52 percent of girls are married before they reach 18, and 14 percent before age 15 – sometimes to much older men. There is no minimum age to be wed, and in some rural areas, girls as young as 8 are married.
These early marriages often lead to human rights abuses, a new report says, by jeopardizing girls' access to education, increasing their risk of health problems, and keeping women second-class citizens.
Boys are seldom forced into child marriages.
When they marry, most girls are unable to complete their education, and some quickly become pregnant. Studies show that girls with limited education and power in their marriages have little chance of controlling the number and spacing of their children, increasing their risk of reproductive health problems.
Wives often live with their husband's extended families, and some women we interviewed said their husbands and in-laws verbally or physically abused them. Girls are less likely than older women to be assertive and stand up to their abusers.
Over the past months, demonstrators in Yemen called for a range of reforms, including measures to guarantee equality between women and men. Banning child marriage should be a priority.
Read more »
Photo: © 2011 Stephanie Sinclair/VII
Most Popular Headlines
DR Congo: Rein in Security Forces
Tensions are running high given the logistical complications of organizing the election. Security forces should be protecting people, not fueling the violence.
Thailand: End Harsh Punishments for Lese Majeste Offenses
The severity of penalties being meted out for lese majeste offenses in Thailand is shocking. The new government seems to be responding to questions about its loyalty to the monarchy by filing countless lese majeste charges.
US: Step Up Pressure on Allies Using Child Soldiers
The independent commission's report gives Bahraini authorities an opportunity to remedy some of their gross abuses by releasing all persons convicted or held for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. It is crucial for Bahrain to send a strong message that there will be no impunity for the human rights crimes documented by the Bassiouni commission.
Editor's Picks
"Eye-Hunting" in Cairo: The Military's Assault on Reporters
by Daniel Williams
Huffington Post

Dozens of eye injuries from rubber bullets have marked the crackdown on protesters in Tahrir Square. "Eye-hunters," Egyptians are calling the armed police who aim at head-level.
Russia: Respect Right to Peaceful Protest
The protesters have a right to express their concerns about the way the elections were carried out. Arresting peaceful protesters and imposing jail time hardly speaks well for the government and is unacceptable in a democratic society. The parliamentary election on December 4 was marred and criticized by international observers.
US: President Should Veto Detainee Bill
President Barack Obama should veto this attempt to make detention without trial a permanent feature of US law. This bill would give a green light to abusive governments around the world to do the same and would take the prosecution of terrorism suspects out of the hands of the civilian justice system.
Podcasts Podcasts
Yemen: The Fight Against Child Marriage
With researcher Nadya Khalife and human rights lawyer Shada Nasser
World Report 2011
"How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?"

Child Marriage in Yemen
A Poisonous Mix

Child Labor, Mercury, and Artisanal Gold Mining in Mali
"We'll Show You You're a Woman"

Violence and Discrimination against Black Lesbians and Transgender Men in South Africa
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