Womens Justice Center




















News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


 

 

I wanted to alert our readers to the Margot Wallstrom Affair –because, most likely, most of our readers have not heard about it.  This is unfortunate because, as a journalist for The Spectator noted, “[i]f the cries of ‘Je suis Charlie’ were sincere, the western world would be convulsed with worry and anger about the Wallstrom affair.”  The Affair pits women’s right against politically interested support for the Saudi Arabian regime, by most of the western world, despite the fact that the Saudi regime has been notorious for its violations of human (and women’s) rights.  The extremely scant western media coverage of the Wallstrom Affair signals, at the very best, a lack of interest for the protection of human (and women’s) rights.

Several weeks ago, Margot Wallstrom, the Swedish foreign minister, criticized Saudi Arabia for its subjugation of women (women in Saudi Arabia, as many know, are not allowed to travel, conduct official business or marry without the permission of a male guardian; moreover, Saudi girls can be forced into child marriages), as well as for its decision to punish blogger and human rights activist, Raif Badawi, by sentencing him to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes.  According to Wallstrom, these were “medieval methods” and “a cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression.”  Thus, Wallstrom stated that she thought it would be unethical for Sweden to continue its military co-operation with Saudi Arabia (Sweden is the world’s 12th largest arms exporter, and its exports to Saudi Arabia total $1.3 billion; Wallstrom’s comments  may have been immensely disliked by Swedish arms manufacturers and exporters, whose ability to make money would be undermined if Wallstrom’s comments were taken seriously by the remainder of the Swedish government). Wallstrom’s criticism of Saudi Arabia, perhaps too blunt for a diplomat, was nonetheless truthful.  Saudi Arabia, a strategic partner of many western democratic nations, including the United States, has an abysmal human rights record and restricts women from enjoying many basic rights that their male counterparts have access to.  Yet, the backlash against Wallstrom has been swift and severe.

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A new report from the International Organization for Migration and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine documents the staggering effect of human trafficking on victims’ physical and mental health. The report, the largest study of its kind, compiled data from 1,100 interviews with trafficking victims in Southeast Asia. Nearly half of the interviewees were subjected to physical or sexual abuse while they were trafficked, including extreme forms of violence such as burning, rape and strangulation. Women and girls trafficked for marriage, factory work or domestic work suffered the most severe mental health problems. Trafficked brides experienced the “worst violence.” Most trafficking victims lived and worked in hazardous and brutal conditions.

One of the study's lead authors, Dr. Ligia Kiss, said, “[o]ur findings highlight that survivors of trafficking urgently need access to health care to address a range of needs, and that mental health care should be an essential component of this." 

The full report is available from The Lancet Global Health.

Compiled from: First comprehensive study of trafficked men, women and children reveals severity of abuse and complex health issuesLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine News (February 18, 2015); Whiting, Alex, From fishing to sex work, trafficked people badly abused, major study findsThomson Reuters Foundation (February 18, 2015).New Report: Landmark Survey Reveals Devastating Physical and Mental Consequences of Human Trafficking

 

 

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In too many countries around the world, abortion is criminalized, stigmatized, or otherwise restricted. Although pregnancy termination is one of the most common experiences people have across the globe, reproductive rights are often ignored by local health, community, or legal systems. In response, women have advanced incredibly innovative strategies for challenging the system and meeting their own needs. This women’s history month, it’s time we honor the contributions of the international “sheroes” who have been leaders on spreading information about the use of pills tosafely terminate a pregnancy.

The use of misoprostol—a pill available over-the-counter in many countries—as a safe, low-cost, and easy-to-use method to terminate early pregnancies is a shining example, to me, of women “doing it for themselves,” as the Eurthymics once put it. Self-use of misoprostol for abortion began in the 1980s, when women in Brazil living under criminal abortion laws realized they could take advantage of the contraindications of an otherwise readily available drug. The label on Cytotec (the brand name for misoprostol), a medication sold over-the-counter to treat gastric ulcers, included a warning that it might induce abortion in pregnant women. Recognizing that this could serve their needs when faced with an unwanted pregnancy, women began to pass on this knowledge through word of mouth, person-to-person. In later years, they used new technologies—such as hotlines, mobile phone texting, and the Internet—to continue to spread the information. Effectively organizing informal networks, they thus enabled more and more women with the knowledge of how tosafely end unintended pregnancies on their own terms.

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​New ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (Argentina) ©ICC-CPI

Something happened last week that almost seems to have slipped by unnoticed: the International Criminal Court (ICC) has become the first international court entirely headed up by women. On Tuesday March 11, just days after International Women’s Day, the judges of the ICC elected from among their midst the court’s first female President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi from Argentina. Not only that, but she is joined by two women in the rest of the presidency; is Judge Joyce Aluoch from Kenya has been elected First Vice President, and Judge Kuniko Ozaki from Japan has been elected Second Vice President. And since 2012 Fatou Bensouda, from the Gambia, has held the office of Chief Prosecutor, meaning that now all the leading positions of the court are held by women.

Women have presided over international courts before; Gabrielle Kirk McDonald was the first woman to preside over an international criminal tribunal at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), Navi Pillay presided over the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and Dame Rosalyn Higgins presided over the International Court of Justice from 2006 to 2009. However there have never been this many women in the top positions of an international court. At one point the ICTY had women presiding (Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald), as Chief Prosecutor (Louise Arbour) and as Registrar (Dorothee de Sampayo Garrido-Nijgh), however it has always had a vast majority of men on the benches.

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Cherry Smiley, is project manager, violence prevention and safety, at the Native Women’s Association of Canada and member of the Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution

As a country, and as a result of the work of many aboriginal residential school survivors, family members, and advocates, we have come far in recognizing the inherent harm that the Indian Residential Schools have caused. We recognize that the purposes of the institutions themselves were violating, and the processes by which they attempted to achieve their aims resulted in systemic sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, loss of language, culture and identity, and sometimes death. We recognize that these horrific consequences continue to have an impact on lives today, and have left a particularly devastating legacy for aboriginal women and girls.

On Dec. 6, 2014, Canada’s new prostitution legislation came into effect. Prostitution survivors, aboriginal women’s groups, anti-violence workers, and equality rights advocates and scholars celebrated the decision to criminalize johns, pimps, and third-party advertising for sexual services, and to decriminalize prostituted women in most circumstances. We welcomed the investments in support and exiting services, although much more is still needed. While not quite yet the “Nordic Model” of prostitution policy, we are beginning to move in the direction of equality for all women by working to abolish prostitution.

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SEE ALSO: 

Canada’s new prostitution law: Separating fact from fiction (Bill C-36)

 

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Two decades after the Fourth World Conference on Women, women and girls around the world deserve better than this year’s CSW outcomes. At this time of celebration and affirmation of Beijing and commitment to accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, what women don’t need is an outcome weakened by its lack of engagement with women on the ground and lacking in vision and commitment.

By Naureen Shameem

It’s been twenty years since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, a flashpoint moment for women’s rights activists around the world. Women’s rights are human rights: this oft-repeated phrase still holds power for many belonging to the generation after Beijing. It represents a moment of claiming and an affirmation that women’s rights, lived experience and human dignity are central and equal rather than marginal.

Yet on this twentieth anniversary and celebration of the Conference (Beijing +20), state missions came together to draft a Political Declaration weeks before nearly 9000 activists stepped away from their daily lives to attend the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women(CSW59). There will be no outcome document at the end of CSW59, and women’s rights and feminist groups have been shut out of negotiations.  As a result, the final version of the Declaration adopted last Monday is weak and general, and does not go far enough towards the kind of transformative change necessary to truly achieve the promises made in Beijing two decades ago on the indivisibility of human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The Commission also brought forward a resolution intended to review and enhance its methods of work this year, but again, civil society voices were largely excluded from the Working Methods process. 

An ahistorical Declaration

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Trabajadoras confeccionan ropa deportiva de una marca estadounidense en una maquila de la Zona Franca de San Bartolo, en el municipio de Ilopango, en el este de El Salvador. En la planta trabajan 350 personas por cada turno de ocho horas, 80 por ciento mujeres, que ganan el salario mínimo. Crédito: Edgar Romero/IPS

SAN SALVADOR, 19 mar 2015 (IPS) - Compañías textiles que confeccionan ropa para marcas transnacionales en El Salvador son acusadas de aliarse con pandilleros para amenazar de muerte a los trabajadores y romper sus sindicatos, según denuncias de personal afectado recabadas por IPS y por agrupaciones internacionales.

Trabajadoras que pidieron reserva de sus identidades señalaron que desde 2012 se intensificaron las amenazas en el sector, aprovechándose del clima de violencia que impera en este país centroamericano.

“Me llamaban por teléfono, y me decían que me saliera del sindicato, que dejara de andar de revoltosa”, dijo a IPS una empleada en la empresa LD El Salvador, ubicada en la Zona Franca San Marcos, un complejo de fábricas al sur de esta capital.

“Me llamaban por teléfono, y me decían que me saliera del sindicato, que dejara de andar de revoltosa… Me dijeron que eran homeboys (pandilleros) y que si no me salía iba aparecer colgada de uno de los árboles que están afuera de la empresa”: trabajadora en empresa LD El Salvador.

 

Ella trabaja como operaria de máquinas de coser desde 2004 y está afiliada al Sindicato de la Industria Textil Salvadoreña (SITS). Unas 780 personas laboran en la compañía, de capital coreano, que produce prendas de vestir para las firmas Náutica y Walmart.

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State legislators across the country are pushing to make it much harder for the public to obtain police officer body camera videos, undermining their promise as a tool people can use to hold law enforcement accountable.

Lawmakers in at least 16 states have introduced bills to exempt video recordings of police encounters with citizens from state public records laws, or to limit what can be made public. Their stated motive: preserving the privacy of people being videotaped, and saving considerable time and money that would need to be spent on public information requests as the technology quickly becomes widely used.

Advocates for open government and civil rights are alarmed.

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SEE ALSO: Use of Police Body Cameras in Cases of Violence Against Women and Children

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Marie Ashe  , 

Suffolk University Law School,  Anissa Helie CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Abstract:      

Religio-legalism – the enforcement of religious law by specifically-religious courts that are tolerated or endorsed by civil government – has long operated against women’s interests in liberty and equality. In the 21st century, religious tribunals – Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim – operate throughout the world. Almost all are male-dominated, patriarchal, and sex-discriminatory. Harms to women produced by Muslim or sharia courts have come into focus in recent years, but present realities of religio-legalism operating through Christian and Jewish – as well as Muslim – religious courts in Western nations have been under-examined. This essay documents controversies concerning sharia-courts that have arisen in Canada and in the United Kingdom during the past decade and also looks at concurrent developments relating to sharia and to other-than-Muslim religious courts in the US.

Religious courts – Christian, Jewish, and Muslim – have in common that they assert original or exclusive jurisdiction over certain matters. In calls for “official recognition” of sharia courts, proponents have advanced a religious-equality argument, claiming that denial of that status to Muslim tribunals would violate the governmental obligation to avoid discrimination among religions. At the same time, sharia-related controversy has raised sharply the question about the implications for women’s liberty and equality rights that are produced by governmental accommodations of the religious-equality and religious-liberty interests asserted by all religious entities enjoying governmental recognition. 

While recognizing the legitimacy and weight of the complaint against inequitable treatment of religions, we argue here that whenever governmental action to “resolve” sharia-related conflict adopts the avoidance of discrimination among religions as its single goal and therefore expands its “official recognition” to include additional religious courts, it will have the effect of enlarging religions’ power and at the same time exacerbating harms to women. 

Referencing feminist writings that have documented the global spread of religious fundamentalisms from the 1990s to the present and that have exposed capitulations of liberalism to those fundamentalisms, we call for reconceptualization of the law-religion-women nexus. We urge recognition that governmental goals of equitable treatment of religions and protection of women’s rights will together be served not by expansions of governmental engagements with religion, but by retrenchment from religio-legalism. Thus, we urge, in policy and in law, clear prioritization of the protection of women’s rights and concurrent retreat from the formal recognition of all religious courts and of civil-law enforcement of the orders of any such bodie
 
 

 

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This music video captures a day in the real life of Maryann Aguirre, a fierce woman of color from the Eastside of Los Angeles. The video follows her as she faces the daily challenges of work, single motherhood, & the pressure of being a leader in her community. However, she faces those obstacles with hope, patience & dignity.

The REMIX was a special collaboration with YUKICITO, member of Los Angeles DJ Crew, LA JUNTA SOUND SYSTEM. 

Shot & Edited by Elefante
Directed & Produced by Las Cafeteras
Remixed by Yukicito of La Junta Sound System
Original Song “Mujer Soy” by Las Cafeteras

www.lascafeteras.com

 

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2015 Releases
 
  

violence

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 Feminism Inshallah: A History Of Arab Feminism
A film by Feriel Ben Mahmoud 
The struggle for Muslim women’s emancipation is often portrayed stereotypically as a showdown between Western and Islamic values, but Arab feminism has existed for more than a century. This groundbreaking documentary recounts Arab feminism’s largely unknown story, from its taboo-shattering birth in Egypt by feminist pioneers up through viral Internet campaigns by today’s tech-savvy young activists during the Arab Spring. Moving from Tunisia to Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, filmmaker and author Feriel Ben Mahmoud tracks the progress of Arab women in their long march to assert their full rights and achieve empowerment. Featuring previously unreleased archival footage and exclusive multigenerational interviews, FEMINISM INSHALLAH is an indispensable resource for Women’s Studies, Global Feminism, Middle East and Islamic Studies.More.
 
IT WAS RAPE


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It Was Rape 
A film by Jennifer Baumgardner
U.S. sexual assault statistics are startling—and have remained unchanged for decades. The latest White House Council on Women and Girls report reveals that nearly one in five women experiences rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Among college student victims, who have some of the highest rates of sexual assault, just 12 percent report incidents to law enforcement officials. In earlier studies, 15% of sexual assault victims were younger than 13; 93% of juvenile victims knew their attacker.  More.

 

AND MORE RELEASES HERE

 

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The burial of a woman who was brutally killed in Kabul for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran, saw Afghan women break with tradition on Sunday and help to carry the 27-year-old’s coffin to its final resting place.

The woman, now named as Farkhunda, was beaten to death by a mob in Kabul last week following accusations she had burned a copy of the Koran. The mob of men threw her body off a roof after beating her, ran over it with a car, set it on fire and then threw it into a river next to a well-known mosque in their brutal attack.

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SEE ALSO: The lynching a woman in broad daylight in present-day Kabul

 

 

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Empowering Female Human Rights Lawyers around the world: This is a video about the first gathering of the Bertha Justice Initiative Women’s Working Group (WWG), which met in October 2014 for one week at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin. This week included a public panel discussion on the topic “Being a Radical Female Lawyer: Challenges and Vision”.

 

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Gender incompetent policies and hierarchical understandings of rights dominate global economic governance programmes. Integrating a feminist political economy into the analysis reveals the interconnections of structural inequalities that underlie women’s subordination.

Book cover. Author Yakin Erturk.BOOK: Violence Without Borders: the paradigm, policy and practical aspects of violence against women, 

Due out April 2015The continuation of the war on women in an escalated and violent fashion in many parts of the world has provoked me to write a book reflecting on my human rights monitoring experiences of the past two decades. One of the central challenges of the book, Violence Without Borders, has been to unpack the hierarchy of rights that deny women access to critical resources so needed in enhancing their capacity to resist transgressions on their rights. This article stems from a chapter of the book which argues that introducing a feminist political economy approach into the analysis can unravel the missing link in women’s human rights.

The problem

The recognition of violence against women (VAW) as a human rights violation was a turning point in the human rights movement. The 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women affirmed that “…violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and … violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position…”.

Since the adoption of the Declaration, violence against women rose to prominence on national and international agendas at the expense of compromising its feminist content as the responses to the problem became dominated by a welfare oriented approach. Thus VAW is treated in a selective, compartmentalized and isolated manner, largely disconnected from gender inequality and women’s socio-economic rights, which impedes their capability to escape violence.

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NACIONES UNIDAS, 16 mar 2015 (IPS) - Este año, la Plataforma de Acción de Beijing y la Resolución 1325 del Consejo de Seguridad cumplen 20 y 15 años, respectivamente. Aunque ambas se comprometieron a aumentar la participación de las mujeres en la construcción de la paz, el avance en ese sentido ha sido escaso.

Las últimas estadísticas disponibles muestran que las mujeres representaron solo nueve por ciento de las personas negociadoras en los procesos de paz realizados entre 1992 y 2011. Que los datos más recientes sean de hace cuatro años revela que hace falta más trabajo, incluso en áreas básicas como la recopilación de datos y los informes de la participación femenina en la construcción de la paz.

"La discriminación contra la mujer, especialmente la no participación y la no inclusión de las mujeres en la democracia es... una de las causas fundamentales de los conflictos armados": Bineta Diop.

 

A continuación, IPS resume cuatro motivos para priorizar la participación femenina en la mesa de negociación, según los debates desarrollados en el 59 período de sesiones de la Comisión de la Condición Jurídica y Social de la Mujer (CSW, en inglés), que se celebra en Nueva York desde el 9 hasta el 20 de este mes.

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“There are certain problems that can’t wait, like violence against women,” Vice President Joe Biden said at the Maryland State Police Forensic Science Laboratory on Monday afternoon. 

Biden, accompanied by Senator Barbara Mikulski, toured the Pikesville facility before speaking to the press about their success in securing $41 million from the federal spending budget to help clear the country’s massive rape kit backlog. Biden deemed the effort “the single best expenditure we can initiate to prevent crime in addition to solving crime.” 

“The backlog” refers to the estimated 400,000 untested rape kits currently collecting dust on the shelves of police crime labs around the country — a figure that likely reflects far fewer than the actual number of untested kits, as law enforcement agencies are not required to report them. Thanks in large part to persistent survivors, storage facilities filled with rape kits have been discovered in a number of cities over the past few years.

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Ante la falta de voluntad de los gobiernos para cumplir sus compromisos a favor de las mujeres y el creciente fundamentalismo contra los derechos femeninos, la directora ejecutiva de la Asociación para los Derechos de las Mujeres y el Desarrollo (AWID, por sus siglas en inglés), Lydia Alpizar Durán, convocó a las feministas del mundo a cerrar filas para seguir avanzando por los Derechos Humanos (DH) de las mujeres, a tejer alianzas de largo plazo con otras luchas sociales, y a proteger a las defensoras humanitarias y las periodistas.
 
Tras su participación en el pleno de la sesión inaugural de la 59 sesión de la Comisión de la Condición Jurídica y Social de la Mujer de la ONU (CSW, por sus siglas en inglés), que provocó la ovación de las presentes, tanto de las delegaciones oficiales como en el espacio alterno para las delegadas de grupos civiles, Alpizar Durán  –quien habló a nombre de las organizaciones feministas del mundo– criticó la “tibieza” de la declaración oficial sobre el balance a 20 años de la firma de la Plataforma de Acción de la IV Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer de Beijing, China.
 
“20 años después de Beijing, los gobiernos nos están diciendo hoy que no están listos para hacer el compromiso que se requiere y acuerdan un texto retórico, cuya retórica incluso está débil”, dijo la activista en entrevista con Cimacnoticia

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University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, March 9, 2015, 
U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-4


Abstract:      

The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the almost daily news stories about abusive and violent police conduct are currently prompting questions about the appropriate use of force by police officers. Moreover, the history of police brutality directed towards women is well documented. Most of that literature, however, captures the violence that police do in their public capacity, as officers of the state.
 
This article examines the violence and abuse perpetrated by police in their private lives, against their intimate partners, although the public and private overlap significantly to the extent that the power and training provided to police officers by the state makes them significantly more dangerous as abusers. Intimate partner abuse by police officers is a systemic, structural issue created and fueled by the ways in which police officers are socialized and trained. Police officers are more likely than others to abuse their partners, and as a result of their training and their state imprimatur, police abuse of partners is more problematic and more potentially dangerous than abuse by civilians.
 
Changing the behavior of abusive police officers may be nearly impossible given the interplay of policing and masculinity. Policing is a male profession; it encourages and rewards many of the same notions of masculinity that underscore intimate partner abuse. Feminist theories about how intimate partner abuse serves a means of asserting control over one’s partner may not explain officer-involved domestic violence; intimate partner abuse in law enforcement may be part of a larger pattern of violent behavior justified by problematic notions of masculinity.
 
Moreover, the increasing militarization of police forces has given rise to a particularly pernicious type of masculinity, militarized masculinity, which is reflected in the attitudes and training of and methods used by police officers, both on the street and at home. Despite the high rates of intimate partner abuse by police officers, however, each incident is treated as an isolated event, rather than part of a systemic problem, and officers are largely able to act with impunity because of their centrality in the law and policy response to intimate partner abuse in the United States.
 
The state has a serious stake in this conversation, not only because it trains and arms abusers, but because it depends upon these same abusers to enforce the very laws that they are violating in their own relationships. The U.S. response to intimate partner abuse relies heavily on the criminal justice system to enforce domestic violence laws; this article asks whether criminalization can succeed as a policy when police officers are disproportionately committing intimate partner abuse.
 
 

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Abstract: 

 

An overview of sex offender registration in the United States discusses such registration as a local activity, Federal minimum standards, the National Sex Offender Public Website, Federal law enforcement databases, Federal corrections, Federal law enforcement and investigations, and military registration. This overview of sex offender law and regulations in the United States is followed by a section that explains who is required to register as a sex offender. A separate section of the handbook addresses the registration of juvenile sex offenders. Court opinions regarding the retroactive application of sex offender registration and ex post facto consideration encompass significant decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and State courts. Other constitutional issues related to sex offender registration and notification are addressed in another section of the handbook. Other sections of the handbook consider community notification, the consequences of failure to register, residency restrictions, sex offender registration and notification in Indian Country, international relocation and registration, and miscellaneous issues. The latter section focuses on defamation, deportation, the relevance of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, homeless and transient sex offenders, HUD housing, impeachment, and sentencing enhancement under Federal law. 

Handbook pdf here

 

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Backlash: a strong negative reaction by a large number of people, especially to a social or political development. 

What does the feminist backlash look like and who suffers most? 

The panel - which includes Chime for Change managing editor Mariane Pearl, journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Beatrix Campbell, author of End of Equality - discuss whether the backlash is inevitable and what we can do to challenge it. 

The event is chaired by broadcaster and president of Women of the Year, Sandi Toksvig.

http://wow.southbankcentre.co.uk/what...
#WOWLDN

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Elizabeth A. Sheehy, University of Ottawa, Common Law Section, has publishedDefending Battered Women on Trial, at Defending Battered Women on Trial: Lessons From the Transcripts 1 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014). Here is the abstract.

In the landmark Lavallee decision of 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that evidence of “battered woman syndrome” was admissible in establishing self-defence for women accused of killing their abusive partners. This book looks at the legal response to battered women who killed their partners in the fifteen years since Lavallee.

Elizabeth Sheehy uses trial transcripts and a detailed case study approach to tell, for the first time, the stories of eleven women, ten of whom killed their partners and one who did not. She looks at the barriers women face to “just leaving,” how self-defence was argued in these cases, and which form of expert testimony was used to frame women’s experience of battering. Drawing upon a rich expanse of research from many disciplines, including law, psychology, history, sociology, women’s studies, and social work, she highlights the limitations of the law of self-defence, the successful strategies of defence lawyers, the costs to women undergoing a murder trial, and the serious difficulties of credibility that they face when testifying. In a final chapter, she proposes numerous reforms.

In Canada, a woman is killed every six days by her male partner, and about twelve women per year kill their male partners. By illuminating the cases of eleven women, this book highlights the barriers to leaving violent men and the practical and legal dilemmas that face battered women on trial for murder.

Abstract and Introductory essay pdf here. 

Link to the case R. v. Lavallee here.

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Menopause is a downright bizarre trait among animals. It's also rare. Outside of the human species, only the female members of two whale species outlive their reproductive lives in such a major way. Female killer whales typically become mothers between the ages of 12 and 40, but they can live for more than 90 years. By comparison, males of the species rarely make it past 50. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journalCurrent Biology on March 5 have new evidence to explain why, evolutionarily speaking, these select female whales live so remarkably long.

Older individuals serve as key leaders, directing younger members of whale society, and especially their own sons, to the best spots for landing tasty meals of salmon. In so doing, older females help their kin to survive. This leadership role takes on special significance in difficult years when salmon are harder to come by.

The researchers say the discovery offers the first evidence that a benefit of prolonged life after reproduction is that post-reproductive individuals act as repositories of ecological knowledge.

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"The Females Call the Shots." 

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