News Archives

Quota for Transgender Students in Colleges

The Hindu - Kerala, India, 7/5/2018

In yet another landmark decision aimed at empowering the transgender community in Kerala, the State Government has sanctioned two seats exclusively for trans persons in all courses run by universities and affiliated Arts and Science colleges. The move comes as a result of a suggestion from the Social Justice Department, which was earlier petitioned by the Transgender Justice Board who sought measures to make it easier for transgender students to gain admission to reputed universities. Kerala is already known for its progressive policies around transgender people. In 2015, it became the first Indian state to announce a Transgender Policy, a slew of measures to ensure greater visibility and agency for the transgender community. This move takes that spirit forward.

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Same-Sex Couples Entitled to Equal Visa Rights, Hong Kong Court Says

New York Times - Hong Kong, China, 7/4/2018

Hong Kong’s top court ruled on July 4, 2018, that same-sex couples living in the city had the same rights to spousal visas as married heterosexual couples, a decision that could advance gay rights in the country. The ruling also came a day after the University of Hong Kong released the results of a 2017 poll showing that more than half of Hong Kong residents surveyed support same-sex marriage, compared with 38 percent in 2013. The survey also found similar support among Hong Kong residents for granting immigration visas to same-sex partners. Though Hong Kong is known for its modernity, it still wasn’t as LGBT-friendly, but with the results of the poll and the subsequent ruling, the tide is slowly changing.

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Women’s University in Tokyo to Accept Transgender Students from 2020

Japan Times - Tokyo, Japan, 7/3/2018

Ochanomizu University , a national women’s university in Tokyo will start accepting students in April 2020 who were assigned male at birth but identify as female, becoming Japan’s first women’s university to accept transgender students. Ochanomizu, founded in 1875, was also the country’s first institution of higher education for women. Ochanomizu officials said on July 2, 2018, they will hold a news conference soon to explain the details of the admissions changes, saying it intends to accept ‘transgender students who hope to study at a women’s university based on their gender identity.’ This is a huge step forward, considering the fact that women’s universities in Japan have previously restricted applicants to those registered as female under the family register system.

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Indonesia ‘Anti-LGBT Abuses’ Fuel HIV Cases, Says Rights Group

South China Morning Post, Indonesia, 7/2/2018

A crackdown on Indonesia’s gay community is fuelling a spike in HIV cases, as at-risk people avoid prevention services or treatment, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on July 2, 2018. Conservative politicians and Islamist groups have been increasingly vocal against the community recently, while lawmakers eyed outlawing gay sex in the world’s biggest Muslim majority country. According to the report titled ‘‘Scared in Public and Now No Privacy’: Human Rights and Public Health Impacts of Indonesia’s Anti-LGBT Moral Panic’, the HRW said that this homophobia has led gay men to shy away from sexual health services, which led to the increase of HIV rates among them from 5 percent in 2007 to 25 percent, accounting for one-third of Indonesia’s new infections.

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Philippines Anti-HIV App Spreading Worldwide

The Phillipine Star - Manila, Phillipines, 7/2/2018

“Battle in the Blood (#BitB),” a Filipino mobile app that raises awareness about HIV and AIDS, has spread worldwide. Emmanuel Baja, research professor at the University of the Philippines and co-creator of the app, recently reported that about 3,000 people worldwide have already downloaded and are most likely playing BitB, which was conceptualised to raise awareness and address the stigmas associated with AIDS among young people between age 15 to 24, who account for the greater bulk of people infected with the virus. The game-style app provides players with information about the disease in a safe and unbiased manner, while maintaining their confidentiality. WHO has also invited the creators of BitB to present and launch the app to more countries.

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