News from the Global South

Kenya Bans Gay Documentary Film ‘I Am Samuel’

All Africa - Nairobi, Kenya, 9/23/2021

Kenyan authorities on September 22, 2021 banned a documentary film about two gay partners, ‘I am Samuel’, produced by Peter Murimi and Tony Kamau. The film portrays what they describe as resilience among LGBTQIA+. Chris Wambua, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) said the film’s content attempted to normalise same-sex marriage, violating Article 165 of the Penal Code and the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222, which outlaws homosexuality. The KFCB said the documentary sought to propagate “values that are in dissonance with our constitution, culture values and norms.” Homosexuality is taboo across much of Africa, and LGBTQIA+ people often face discrimination or persecution.

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NHRC’s Notice Over Welfare of Transgender People

The Times of India - New Delhi, India, 9/22/2021

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the secretary of Delhi government’s social welfare department on the basis of a complaint against not initiating proposed welfare measures for transgender people in the capital. NHRC has sought an ‘action-taken’ report from the department within six-weeks. The complainant, Dr. Aqsa Shaikh, said that the social welfare department had conducted meetings for implementation of the welfare schemes for transgender people under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019, but no action had been taken since the last meeting in February, 2021. At the meeting, it was proposed to issue an order for the formation of a transgender welfare board, added Dr. Shaikh.

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South Sudanese Officials Intimidate Sex Worker on Camera

All Africa, Sudan, 9/20/2021

A video posted on social media by the Office of the Mayor of Juba City Council, has shown a group of male officials and armed police officers harassing a woman sex worker. The video also announced that 40 other people, mainly women accused of witchcraft or sex work, had been arrested. The video, intended to stigmatise sex work, demonstrates yet again how criminalisation of sex work in South Sudan exposes workers to abuse and exploitation. In South Sudan, sex work, along with running or owning a brothel, living off the earnings of sex work, and “enticing a woman into ‘prostitution’” are criminalised.

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450 Women Sign Petition Over POSH Compliance

The New Indian Express - Hyderabad, Telangana, 9/20/2021

More than 450 women from Hyderabad have signed a petition to demand the state government and Women and Children Welfare Department to look into the lack of compliance in implementing the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. While there is already a law to safeguard women from harassment at the workplace, the execution of the law is extremely poor in the state, especially in the unorganised sectors. Member of WomComMatters, a citizen’s collective, Pranava Maheshwari said that there is almost no data available on both state and national forums on how many companies and districts comply with the guidelines.

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Afghan Girls Must Reopen Schools on Their Own: Afghan Women’s Rights Activist

ANI News - Kabul, Afghanistan, 9/19/2021

Member of Afghanistan’s former government’s peace negotiating delegation and women’s rights activist, Fawzia Koofi on September 19, 2021 said that Afghan girls should reopen their schools on their own and teachers should stand with them. The Taliban was not living up to its promise of protecting women’s rights, she added. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has welcomed the reopening of schools in Afghanistan but stressed that girls must not be kept away from the classroom. UNICEF Chief Henrietta Fore said in a statement on September 17, 2021 that UNICEF would continue to advocate for girls and boys to have an equal chance to learn and develop the skills they need to thrive.

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