Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias



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


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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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.


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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.


"The Females Call the Shots." 

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The sixth video of the UN Human Rights Office campaign to honour women human rights defenders in commemoration of Beijing+20.

Ms Touré speaks about her work with women in the context of the armed conflict in Mali. She explains the importance of ensuring at women have a place at the table when peace negotiations are underway. She also highlight that as women defenders, certain risks are assumed because they are women.

Join the campaign on Twitter with # reflect2protect

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The Barros case is being watched as a test case for Francis on the question of holding accountable bishops who covered up for pedophiles. Francis has already sent a Vatican investigator to the U.S. diocese of Kansas City, where Bishop Robert Finn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to report a priest who had child pornography on his computer.

But the Vatican has taken no action against Finn, and no bishop has ever been publicly sanctioned for having covered up for an abuser.



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 March 6 at 6:30 AM

Jewel Allison is a poet and author of "Stealing Peace: Let's Talk About Racism." She is a graduate of New York University, a public speaker and a music educator.

Like many of the women who say they were assaulted by Bill Cosby, it took me two decades to gain the courage to reveal it publicly. His accusers – mostly white, so far – have faced retaliation, humiliation, and skepticism by coming forward. As an African-American woman, I felt the stakes for me were even higher. Historic images of black men being vilified en masse as sexually violent sent chills through my body. Telling my story wouldn’t only help bring down Cosby; I feared it would undermine the entire African-American community.


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Have you ever taken a look at your town's police recruiting materials? Because your town is likely to be getting exactly what they're looking for, and in too many cases that turns out to be hyper-aggressive, anti-social, verbally challenged males looking to make highly weaponized attacks on faceless communities. 

See for yourself! Take a look at these two police recruiting videos, each one stemming from a strikingly different policing philosophy. The first video makes clear how the recruitment message can be a hidden root source of our current policing problems. Imagine the kind of people attracted to that message, and imagine the kind of people who are repelled.The second video makes just as clear how the recruitment message itself can be a critical start to the long overlooked solution of attracting the right kind of person to policing in the first place.

Antioch, California Police Recruiting Video


No matter what aspect of police reform you're working on, whether it's ending police brutality,promoting unbiased policing, or ending disregard of violence against women, these two videos can crystalize your community's understanding of the issues more quickly and clearly than any speech.
Antioch Police, California Police Recruiting Video......

Peel Regional Police (Canada) Recruiting Video 2014.....

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El 61,2% arrastran síntomas de depresión

Madrid, 05 mar. 15. AmecoPress.- La ONGD Anesvad, la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM) y la London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) ha presentado hoy un estudio de víctimas de trata de seres humanos que revela la gravedad de los abusos y los complejos problemas de salud físicos y psíquicos en las personas abocadas a trabajos forzosos y la explotación en el sudeste asiático. El 61,2% de los encuestados reportan síntomas de depresión, informa medicosypacientes.com.

Su objetivo es el de radiografiar con detalle las consecuencias sobre la salud en aquellas personas víctimas de la trata de seres humanos con fines de explotación laboral o sexual en esta región del planeta.



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February 25, 2015 / 63(SS08);1-2

MMWR in Brief summarizes key points from "Prevalence and Characteristics of Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization — National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011." MMWR 2014;63(No. SS-8). Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6308.pdf. Adobe PDF fileCertain text might not have appeared in the original publication.




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In the 1980s, Dr. Vincent Felitti, now director of the California Institute of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, discovered something potentially revolutionary about the ripple effects of child sexual abuse. He discovered it while trying to solve a very different health problem: helping severely obese people lose weight.
Felitti, a specialist in preventive medicine, was trying out a new liquid diet treatment among patients at a Kaiser Permanente clinic. And it worked really well. The severely obese patients who stuck to it lost as much as 300 pounds in a year.
"Oh yeah, this was really quite extraordinary," recalls Felitti.
But then, some of the patients who'd lost the most weight quit the treatment and gained back all the weight — faster than they'd lost it. Felitti couldn't figure out why. So he started asking questions.
I remember thinking, 'Well, my God, this is the second incest case I've seen in 23 years of practice.' And so I started routinely inquiring about childhood sexual abuse. And I was really floored.
- Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-developer of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study


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Jessica Valenti is one of the most successful and visible feminists of her generation. As a columnist for the Guardian, her face regularly appears on the site’s front page. She has written five books, one of which was adapted into a documentary, since founding the blog Feministing.com. She gives speeches all over the country. And she tells me that, because of the nonstop harassment that feminist writers face online, if she could start over, she might prefer to be completely anonymous. “I don’t know that I would it under my real name,” she says she tells young women who are interested in writing about feminism. It’s “not just the physical safety concerns but the emotional ramifications” of constant, round-the-clock abuse.


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The brutal murder of a 20-year-old woman in Turkey has sparked a head-turning online trend

"If a miniskirt is responsible for everything, if wearing a miniskirt means immorality and

unchastity, if a woman who wears a miniskirt is sending an invitation about what will happen to her, then we are also sending an invitation."

This is the rallying cry behind the most head-turning arm of a massive online campaign decrying violence against women in Turkey, according to BBC News — a campaign that's grown more than 6 million strong on Twitter alone following the death of a 20-year-old student who was reportedly stabbed for trying to resist a rape attempt.


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“Los reformatorios de mujeres fueron cárceles ocultas y legales en manos de religiosas"


Madrid, 12 ene. 15. AmecoPress/Grupotortuga.- La escritora catalana Consuelo García del Cid publica ‘Las desterradas hijas de Eva’, una obra en la que la narra el cruel destierro que sufrieron muchas menores consideradas “caídas o en riesgo de caer” durante el franquismo y la transición.

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Para muchas españolas, la democracia llegó más tarde. Sus tiempos de libertad no coincidieron con la del resto de la sociedad española, que veía cómo se liberaban de los restos de una cruel y trasnochada dictadura, mientras ellas eran sometidas a torturas, degradaciones inhumanas, venta de sus hijos e hijas por ordenes religiosas y a soportar las últimas inercias de una sociedad sin libertades. Han tenido que pasar muchos años, demasiados, para rescatar ahora del olvido la historia de aquellas mujeres que, a pesar de una flamante constitución democrática, tuvieron que tragarse humillaciones, miedos y una asfixiante represión que hoy resulta inconcebible.



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Revenge can masquerade as justice, but it frequently
ends up perverting it.
The terms revenge and justice often get muddled. And that’s hardly
surprising, for in the course of history, they’ve frequently been
used interchangeably. You may even be familiar with the phrase
“just revenge.” Still, as meanings alter and evolve over time,
the connotations of these two words have increasingly diverged.
It’s now uncommon to see them used synonymously. And
doubtless, revenge has borne the brunt of
the various semantic changes that have transpired.
Yet certain overlaps between—and ambiguities within—the
two terms do exist.


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Yemen, United Arab Emirates and France / 2014 / Arabic dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / DCP / 96 minutes

Genre: Drama
Programme: Muhr Feature
Premiere: World Premiere
Rating: PG
Contains: Requires Parental Guidance
Ten-year-old Nojoom was forced to marry a 30-year-old man. The dowry offered the family a small income and 'one less mouth to feed'. Nojoom discovers that her life will take a turn for the worse. Her husband is indifferent to her age. Every day after she is wedded, the child works under harsh conditions and every night, the child-bride is raped by a man 20 years older than her. A legitimate and acceptable arrangement for all, except for Nojoom.

Director : Khadija Al-Salami
Producer : Sheikha Prohaska-Alatas
Screenplay : Khadija Al-Salami
Cinematographer : Victor Credi
Editor : Alexis Lardilleux
Composer : Thierry David
Cast : Reham Mohammed, Adnan Alkhader, Sawadi Alkainai, Ibrahim Alashmori, Munirah Alatas



Why Yemen Is Incapable Of Banning Child Marriage and Rape

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Según datos del Ministerio Público (MP) recabados a nivel nacional, desde 2013 hasta la fecha han muerto de manera violenta 1 mil 819 mujeres, entre niñas, adolescentes y adultas.

La vocera el MP, Julia Barrera, informó que en 2013 fueron asesinadas 895 mujeres, y el año pasado fueron 846. Asimismo, indicó que en lo que va del año han muerto de manera violenta 78 féminas.

En cuanto a las zonas de la capital donde más asesinatos se registran, sin distinción de hombres y mujeres, indicó que son la 1, 6, 11 y 18.


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“Abortion is illegal almost everywhere in Latin America; in seven countries it is outlawed even in cases where the mother could die from continuing the pregnancy. Yet the region has the highest rate of unsafe abortion in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that about 4.2 million unsafe abortions are carried out each year in Latin America, or about 31 for every 1,000 women. These abortions are a leading cause of maternal death in the region, accounting for at least 12 percent of an estimated 10,000 maternal deaths annually.”

As the country grows increasingly religious, strict abortion laws are forcing women to turn to risky, often deadly options to end their pregnancies.

By Miriam Wells – February 18, 2015

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil— As Mariana stepped out of the car, her boyfriend Rafael knew he might never see her again. It was a sunny summer’s morning two years ago in Rio de Janeiro, and the young couple had pulled up outside a small house in a residential northern suburb. The address had been given to them a few days earlier over the telephone by a man who did not identify himself. He told them this address was a place where they could get a certain criminal service: abortion.

Mariana, then 23, was 10 weeks pregnant and desperate. She and Rafael, her boyfriend of six months, were students and had no way to financially support a baby. Making matters worse, Mariana came from a strict evangelical Christian family. “I hadn’t dared buy contraception because if my family found it they would know I was having sex,” she said. “If they found out I was pregnant they would have forced us to get married and would have been angry forever.”

On the day of Mariana’s abortion, Rafael handed over a bag containing 1,600 reais, about $575, to a group of men who approached their car. Then they ordered him to leave. “They would not give us any information about how the procedure would be done or who would perform it,” he said.

“I knew she might die or end up with terrible complications. But that was the choice we had.”

Rafael was right to be scared. Hundreds of thousands of women are hospitalized each year following complications from illegal abortions in Brazil, where legal terminations are allowed only in very limited circumstances. Scores of them die.

For decades, Brazilian authorities tolerated underground clinics, but in recent years there has been a major crackdown, coinciding with an increasingly hard-line religious Congress. The result is that far more dangerous procedures are carried out by far more unscrupulous people, according to women’s health experts. “There is nowhere to get a safe abortion,” said Beatriz Galli, policy advisor to the international women’s rights NGO Ipas, and one of Brazil’s leading reproductive rights campaigners. “Closing down clinics is providing even more opportunities for criminal gangs to cash in on a lucrative trade. The situation is extremely bleak.”

The issue was brought sharply into focus last year by the horrific deaths of two women who had undergone procedures at clandestine abortion clinics in suburban Rio, like the one where Mariana was treated.



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In India -- as in many places around the world -- women who experience race and sexual violence are too often stigmatized and unjustly shamed. But against that alarming backdrop, an unlikely new superhero has emerged. 
Priya, star of the new online comic Priya's Shaktiis a rape survivor and a warrior against gender-based sexual violence. The tiger-taming mortal, backed by the goddess Parvati, combats fear and stigma to spread her message of empathy and empowerment.
For insight on the context and Priya's change-making potential, guest host Rachel Giese checks in with Ram Devineni. The filmmaker and comic co-creator explains how Priya's story can help challenge misogynistic narratives in India and around the world.

Click here or on the listen button above to hear the full segment (audio runs 0:16:31),

and read the first issue of Priya's Shakti below.



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Thousands of women’s rights activists have taken to the streets in cities across Turkey after a woman was allegedly killed for resisting an attempt to rape her.

The burnt body of Ozgecan Aslan, 20, was found in a riverbed in the city of Mersin in the south of the country on Friday.



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