Russia (OpenDemocracy) – What kind of centenary celebration does 1917 deserve? A century ago, 23rd February 1917, Russian women marched out in protest from the St Petersburg factories where they worked, defying Cossacks armed with swords, and took control of the…
There was an angry reaction in Afghanistan to news that the first female fixed-wing pilot in the country’s air force was requesting asylum in the United States after completing an 18-month training course.
The Afghan defense ministry confirmed Sunday that Captain Niloofar Rahmani, 25, had sought asylum after the Wall Street Journal quoted her as saying that she feared her life would be in danger if she returned home.
Criminalization sets a context in which the range of human rights violations experienced by sex workers is validated. Cross-movement collaboration on decriminalizing sex work is needed, now, more than ever.
In mid-November, I attended a RedTraSex meeting to review “Advances, challenges and strategies of the RedTraSex: strengthening sustainability and advancing the recognition of our rights.” RedTraSex is the Red de Mujeres Trabajadoras Sexuales de Latinamérica y el Caribe (Network of Sex Workers of Latin America and the Caribbean.) RedTraSex, on the cusp of celebrating its 20th anniversary, is made up of organizations from fifteen countries – Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Dominican Republic.
Three days after 20-year-old bank employee Shannon Banfield went missing, her body was found in the warehouse of a variety store in Port of Spain, Trinidad, bringing to a gut-wrenching end any hope her family had of finding her alive.
On Monday December 5, 2016, Banfield told her family that she would take a taxi home after she ran a few errands in the capital city, one of them to the store in which her body was found. Shannon was widely known to be active in her church and a family-oriented, God-fearing person. On learning of her death, a member of her church said in a public Facebook post:
Feminists in Mexico and Guatemala working on femicide also use the concept of ‘feminicide’ to draw attention to state complicity in the killings of women.
The word ‘feminicide’ was popularised over twenty years ago to denounce the killing of women due to their gender. The crime is called ‘feminicide’ (‘feminicidio’) in Mexico and ‘femicide’ (‘femicidio’) in Guatemala. Although there have been some attempts to differentiate the two concepts, both terms emerge as a form of resistance: to assert that women’s lives matter, and such crimes should not go unpunished. Impunity contributes to the normalisation of the feminicide machine. This ‘machine’ is supported by gender inequality as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights have suggested.
The rosy rhetoric that surrounds prostitution policy in New Zealand is being exposed by survivors of the prostitution system and the way that harm is glossed over by defenders of this approach.
Prostitution and trafficking are increasingly contested in international human rights and policy forums, with debates polarised around the question of whether the prostitution system entrenches institutionalised male dominance, or if its harm grows out of associated criminality and stigma. In April 2016 France joined other countries in adopting the approach now often referred to as the Nordic Model – decriminalisation of selling sex alongside exit and support programmes, together with criminalisation of sex purchase. This human rights approach sits in sharp contrast to the endorsement of the New Zealand approach by Amnesty International and in the interim report of the UK Home Affairs Select Committee.