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© Adolfo Lujan | Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) - modified

Feminists: “Diverse but not dispersed”

In November of 2017, the 14th Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentro in Montevideo, Argentina brought together 2,200 feminists from all over Latin America as well as several European countries, with their different feminist experiences, diverse ideological and political positions, epistemic perspectives and collective projects.

Source: AWID

Feminists: “Diverse but not dispersed”

In November of 2017, the 14th Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentro in Montevideo, Argentina brought together 2,200 feminists from all over Latin America as well as several European countries, with their different feminist experiences, diverse ideological and political positions, epistemic perspectives and collective projects.

Source: AWID

Feminists: “Diverse but not dispersed”

In November of 2017, the 14th Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentro in Montevideo, Argentina brought together 2,200 feminists from all over Latin America as well as several European countries, with their different feminist experiences, diverse ideological and political positions, epistemic perspectives and collective projects.

Source: AWID

Webinar Highlights: #RightsAtRisk, the state of anti-rights organizing and our resistance

On Wednesday 15th November 2017, AWID as part of the Observatory on the Universality at Rights (OURs), hosted a webinar to discuss the state of anti-rights organizing and our collective resistance, based on the findings of Rights At Risk: The OURs Trends Report 2017.

Source: AWID

Webinar Highlights: #RightsAtRisk, the state of anti-rights organizing and our resistance

On Wednesday 15th November 2017, AWID as part of the Observatory on the Universality at Rights (OURs), hosted a webinar to discuss the state of anti-rights organizing and our collective resistance, based on the findings of Rights At Risk: The OURs Trends Report 2017.

Source: AWID

Ola AbuElShalashel's Art

Ola AbuElShalashel Art Piece 1
© Ola AbuElShalashel
One of the drawings in "Dots & Lines - Drawn Diaries", a diary set made as a coloring book for those suffering from depression.

 

Ola AbuElShalashel Art Piece 2
© Ola AbuElShalashel

 

Ola AbuElShalashel's Art

Ola AbuElShalashel Art Piece 1
© Ola AbuElShalashel
One of the drawings in "Dots & Lines - Drawn Diaries", a diary set made as a coloring book for those suffering from depression.

 

Ola AbuElShalashel Art Piece 2
© Ola AbuElShalashel

 

Ola AbuElShalashel's Art

Ola AbuElShalashel Art Piece 1
© Ola AbuElShalashel
One of the drawings in "Dots & Lines - Drawn Diaries", a diary set made as a coloring book for those suffering from depression.

 

Ola AbuElShalashel Art Piece 2
© Ola AbuElShalashel

 

Human Rights Council: 36 sessions, as many conflicts and "the question of the Death Penalty"

The 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council ended in the final days of September with a few successes, a few question marks and a few “I can’t believe I just heard that” moments.

HRC36 allowed another round of governments playing state games, wielding power to their advantage and using ideas about culture, sovereignty and neoliberal economic policy as tactics to assert regional or national dominance.

For better and for worse, women’s human rights concerns remained a theme throughout.

The Human Rights Council (HRC), which generally meets three times a year in Geneva, is the UN’s main human rights “political body” where governments both advance human rights standards but also fight out political conflicts. In this session, the “big ticket” regional discussions focused on Syria and Palestine. Government delegations argued, of course in the most diplomatic of terms, about the Assad regime and the Israeli government occupation of Palestine and what strategies need to be adopted or stopped to end the human rights and humanitarian crises there.

But each Council session also convenes discussions in which governments adopt country and thematic resolutions. Gender and sexuality issues are often in the hidden fibers of these debates.

 

The Question of the Death Penalty

One of the most controversial resolutions focused on the “question of the death penalty” – but not actually whether the use of it infringes on human rights, which, of course it does. The death penalty violates, for instance, not only the right to life but also the right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. As governments haven’t been able to come to agreement about banning its use, they continue to give one another permission to legally kill, based on claims to sovereignty of national legal systems. 

In this case, the Council resolution focused on the right to equality and discriminatory application in the use of the death penalty, with some emphasis on “deploring” and “condemning” execution of those exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly, those under 18 at the time of the crime, people with mental or intellectual disabilities, and in an interesting nod to gender and sexual rights, concerns about killing of pregnant women, people who engage in same-sex sexual relations and those who engage in adultery.

As for that last item, the final resolution noted the disproportionate use of the death penalty to punish women who have sex outside of heterosexual marriage (of course it didn’t use that exact language, but heteronormativity is implied).

HRC 36 session
© Eric Bridiers | Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Participants at the Human Rights Council

The language of adultery and the focus on women is a good development in promoting a gendered analysis of state killing. So is the referencing of people who are killed because of their real or perceived sexual orientation. Some delegations opposed these references to gender and sexuality with thinly veiled extremist arguments - they argued that the language of the resolution challenged their national and cultural systems.

In other words, they argued that because their cultures or legal systems allow for killing people who engage in certain sexual behaviours, they couldn’t vote to support the non-discrimination language - or sometimes any language - in the text. There were close to ten amendments proposed to the resolution – all put forward by Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia - to limit its reach. Two were focused on the issue of sovereignty itself. All amendments were defeated, yet human rights and sexual rights advocates have reason to be concerned as some votes were a bit too close for comfort.

These states voted against the resolution: Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

One note about the final vote and post Council media: since the Council ended, a few media outlets have used a “gay spin” in their coverage about the death penalty resolution that’s a bit misleading. They have implied that the US voted against the resolution because it referenced consensual same-sex behavior. In fact, sometimes their spin made this seem like that reference was at the core of the resolution. But, in reality, the US generally votes against any death penalty resolution because execution is still legal – and used (as recently as in early October in the states of Alabama, Florida and Texas) - as a form of punishment.

So, the content of any resolution may not matter much: The US will still oppose it.

 

Source: AWID

Human Rights Council: 36 sessions, as many conflicts and "the question of the Death Penalty"

The 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council ended in the final days of September with a few successes, a few question marks and a few “I can’t believe I just heard that” moments.

HRC36 allowed another round of governments playing state games, wielding power to their advantage and using ideas about culture, sovereignty and neoliberal economic policy as tactics to assert regional or national dominance.

For better and for worse, women’s human rights concerns remained a theme throughout.

The Human Rights Council (HRC), which generally meets three times a year in Geneva, is the UN’s main human rights “political body” where governments both advance human rights standards but also fight out political conflicts. In this session, the “big ticket” regional discussions focused on Syria and Palestine. Government delegations argued, of course in the most diplomatic of terms, about the Assad regime and the Israeli government occupation of Palestine and what strategies need to be adopted or stopped to end the human rights and humanitarian crises there.

But each Council session also convenes discussions in which governments adopt country and thematic resolutions. Gender and sexuality issues are often in the hidden fibers of these debates.

 

The Question of the Death Penalty

One of the most controversial resolutions focused on the “question of the death penalty” – but not actually whether the use of it infringes on human rights, which, of course it does. The death penalty violates, for instance, not only the right to life but also the right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. As governments haven’t been able to come to agreement about banning its use, they continue to give one another permission to legally kill, based on claims to sovereignty of national legal systems. 

In this case, the Council resolution focused on the right to equality and discriminatory application in the use of the death penalty, with some emphasis on “deploring” and “condemning” execution of those exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly, those under 18 at the time of the crime, people with mental or intellectual disabilities, and in an interesting nod to gender and sexual rights, concerns about killing of pregnant women, people who engage in same-sex sexual relations and those who engage in adultery.

As for that last item, the final resolution noted the disproportionate use of the death penalty to punish women who have sex outside of heterosexual marriage (of course it didn’t use that exact language, but heteronormativity is implied).

HRC 36 session
© Eric Bridiers | Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Participants at the Human Rights Council

The language of adultery and the focus on women is a good development in promoting a gendered analysis of state killing. So is the referencing of people who are killed because of their real or perceived sexual orientation. Some delegations opposed these references to gender and sexuality with thinly veiled extremist arguments - they argued that the language of the resolution challenged their national and cultural systems.

In other words, they argued that because their cultures or legal systems allow for killing people who engage in certain sexual behaviours, they couldn’t vote to support the non-discrimination language - or sometimes any language - in the text. There were close to ten amendments proposed to the resolution – all put forward by Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia - to limit its reach. Two were focused on the issue of sovereignty itself. All amendments were defeated, yet human rights and sexual rights advocates have reason to be concerned as some votes were a bit too close for comfort.

These states voted against the resolution: Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

One note about the final vote and post Council media: since the Council ended, a few media outlets have used a “gay spin” in their coverage about the death penalty resolution that’s a bit misleading. They have implied that the US voted against the resolution because it referenced consensual same-sex behavior. In fact, sometimes their spin made this seem like that reference was at the core of the resolution. But, in reality, the US generally votes against any death penalty resolution because execution is still legal – and used (as recently as in early October in the states of Alabama, Florida and Texas) - as a form of punishment.

So, the content of any resolution may not matter much: The US will still oppose it.

 

Source: AWID