Sexuality Policy Watch

The sexual politics in March and early April 2016

We have the great pleasure to inform that our Spanish page has been re-launched. In this opportunity Alejandra Sardá from Akahatá has written an update of Argentinean sexual politics after the 2015 elections that has been translated to English.

In March–April, SPW has also collected information on outraging state crackdowns on human rights defenders, feminists and LGBT people underway in Egypt and Indonesia. In Egyptian authorities have summoned feminist human rights defenders for interrogation, banned them from travel and attempted to freeze their personal funds and family assets. In Indonesia officials have been acting aggressively against LGBT people in the last months.

Regarding women’s equality politics, Nigeria has also made the headlines with discouraging news. Lawmakers rejected a gender equality bill on the basis of Islamic and Christian views on women’s roles.

On the abortion frontline, as usual, sharp contradictions are to be reported. In Brazil, as analyzed by Sonia Corrêa, regressive trends continue at play in Congress while a structural political crisis is underway, meanwhile the ongoing Zika crisis continue affecting women’s lives. In Poland, pressure is also increasing in the Parliament for a total abortion ban to be adopted. Women have protested by leaving the churches during Sunday masses. In North Ireland women are also being jailed for helping or having abortion.

On the other hand, in Chile, the Lower House of Congress passed a bill that lifts the almost 30-year total ban on abortion in cases of rape, when there is health risk for the mother or when the fetus is not viable. In Guyana, a Supreme Court decision has widen the possibility of access to nonsurgical/medication abortion by allowing midlevel health work to provide abortion pill. And, lastly, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights recommended that Uganda stop impeding access to medical abortion and reproductive health services.

In the realm of sex work and human rights, political developments in France and South Korea are also to be regretted. In the Asian country, the Constitutional Court rejected a petition to overturn a law that punishes sex workers. In France, after more than two years of debate, the Parliament approved the law that criminalizes clients of commercial sex. Check The Guardian and The Independent articles.

We recommend

Papers and articles

Reproductive health, rights and abortion

Sex Work

Sexual orientation and gender identity, queer studies


Books, Publications and Resources

Check it out

  • Reality Check new project and website Rewire

Sexuality and Art

Call me Heenam – Shahria Sharmin’s portrait series on Bangladeshi hijras—who identify as either “third gender” or transgender. The photos are part of an Open Society project.

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