Sexuality Policy Watch

Sexual Politics in April 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 12.04.10A new wave of deadly attacks against human rights and secular activists is at play in Bangladesh. In final April, two LGBT activists were hacked to death, fueling outrage and protest around the world. Weeks before, some protesters were detained during the celebration the Bengali New Year. In the context of this crisis we bring to the attention of our readers the cautionary reflections developed by Bangladesh activists about the pitfalls implied in mobilizing international crusade over the Bangladesh government.

In France, after two long years of difficult debates that divide French society, a law that criminalizes customers of sex work was finally approved. The voting was strongly criticized by the International Committee on the Rights on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe in the following terms: “ICRSE condemns the ideological view that prostitution is a form of violence and demands rights for all sex workers, not depending on “exiting prostitution”. We also condemn the refusal to consider the lack of evidence behind the Swedish Model which after 15 years of implementation has not led to a decrease in sex work or trafficking but a greater vulnerability of sex workers both in Sweden and Norway”. To read more about the law reform.

As for Brazil, as it could have been predicted, news are not exactly the best possible. In the article As the Brazilian crisis unfolds, the abortion frontlines keep burning,  Sonia Corrêa investigates how long standing attacks and political regressions in regard to sexuality and abortion rights can be interpreted as the precursors of the conservative and authoritarian trail blazer presently trampling Brazilian democracy. Another terrible news to be reported was the murder of Luana Barbosa dos Santos, a black lesbian who was brutally beaten by the state of São Paulo military police in the city of Ribeirão Preto. Even so Brazilian sexual politics has something to commemorate in April 2016. Sex workers activists and feminists gathered in Florianópolis issued a joint statement (In Portuguese) calling for a national discussion on the rights of prostitutes and legalization/regulation of commercial sex along the lines proposed by the Gabriela Leite Law provisions.

We recommend

Papers and articles

Two articles – one from the US and other from India- that critically assess the effects of policies centered on the creation of public lists of sex offenders. The US article centers attention on the devastating effects of these measures on underage indicted persons.

Threats of retrocession in sexual and reproductive health policies in Brazil during the Zika epidemic, by Beatriz Gall and Suely Deslandes

Why We Need to Bridge the Gap between Sex Workers’ Movements and Abortion Rights Activism, by Kristin Francoeur and Surabhi Srivastava

New Yorker’s The New Morality of Pope Francis

Why the Panama Papers are a feminist issue, on Open Democracy

Publications and Resources

Sexual Rights Initiative’s Law and Policy Database on Sexual Rights

Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration’s guide “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression: Essential Terminology for the Humanitarian Sector”

New interactive resource to bridge gap between faith, gender and sexuality, developed by Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sonke Gender Justice and the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies (WICDS)

Stories of Intersex people from Nepal, by san Regmi, Parsu Ram Rai, and Jensen Byrne

New web platform to uphold the universality of rights in the face of rising threats, coordinated by Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

Sexuality and Art

Cindy Sherman: Infinite gender impersonations

Our Lady of Controversies by Alma López

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