Womens Justice Center




















News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


 

Madrid, 13 sep. 16. AmecoPress. Gema Fernández es abogada, doctorada en relaciones internacionales y experta en género y derechos humanos. Coordina equipos de trabajo en Women’s Link Worldwide, una organización que trabaja con el derecho internacional, viendo qué impacto real puede tener en la vida de las mujeres en concreto, “porque las mujeres son discriminadas también en el ámbito judicial”. Gema aclara que sus argumentos están basados en los derechos humanos y en el derecho internacional y que esto le permite trasladar a la aplicación del derecho su visión del mundo, del activismo y la justicia.

La trata de seres humanos con fines de explotación es una cruel realidad que suscita la preocupación de las personas que, como Gema, trabajan en la defensa de los derechos humanos. La trata sigue siendo un fenómeno invisible y oculto que hace que las víctimas, mayoritariamente mujeres y niñas, se encuentren en situación de esclavitud y de grave vulnerabilidad. Hablamos Con Gema de esta realidad.

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VER LA ENTREVISTA

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This is a 2 part video. Halfway through there's a pause before the 2nd part begins. Definitely worth the wait.

Where the foothills of Mount Kenya merge into the desert, the people of Samburu have maintained a strict patriarchy for over 500 years in northern Kenya. That is, until 25 years ago, when Rebecca Lolosoli founded Umoja village as a safe haven for the region's women. Umoja, which means "unity" in Swahili, is quite literally a no man's land, and the matriarchal refuge is now home to the Samburu women who no longer want to suffer abuses, like genital mutilation and forced marriages, at the hands of men.

Throughout the years, it has also empowered other women in the districts surrounding Samburu to start their own men-excluding villages. Broadly visited Umoja and the villages it inspired to meet with the women who were fed up with living in a violent patriarchy.

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One state is revolutionizing the way cops are trained.

by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran

During Susan Rahr’s seven-year stint as sheriff of King County, Washington, she reviewed scores of internal affairs investigations. The ones involving allegations of an excessive use of force attracted her closest scrutiny, and led her to pose her own questions to the deputies involved.

“Why did you use force so quickly?”

“Why didn’t you try another way of defusing the situation?”

The deputies’ answers often reflected an approach that has long been in vogue with cops called “Ask. Tell. Make.”

“You would ask someone to do something. If they didn’t do it, you would tell them. If they didn’t do it, then you would physically make them do it,” Rahr says. “And that doesn’t reflect real life on the street. Most good police officers don’t jump that quickly from the first step to using force.”

Then she would ask, “Where did you learn that?”

The responses were usually the same: at the academy – the state’s Criminal Justice Training Center, which schools every aspiring city police officer and county deputy in Washington.

In 2012, she decided to stop asking follow-up questions and address the problem.

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The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs  

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice

The Honourable Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women 

Dear Ministers,

With the launch of the long-awaited national inquiry to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, we urge you to take immediate, concrete and effective actions to stop violence against Indigenous women:

1.      Direct police units all over Canada to respond immediately to any complaint about male violence against Indigenous women and girls. All reports of wife battering, rape and sexual assault of women and children must be treated seriously and diligently with thorough investigation and clear intention of arrest and laying appropriate charges.

2.      Instruct crown prosecutors to stop diverting, dropping or staying charges. No man should get away with committing violence against women. Non-Indigenous men and Indigenous men alike, should face court judgement. Holding violent men accountable is not only crucial to stop those men but it’s a preventive measure because it will we have a deterring effect on other men.

3.      Provide livable income for women. Welfare rates everywhere in the country are unlivable and doom many Indigenous women to dire poverty. Women’s poverty is a key factor of their vulnerability to men’s violence. Ending women’s poverty is a simple achievable reform. Do it now.

4.      Abolish prostitution. The oppression and dispossession of Indigenous women make them particularly vulnerable to prostitution. Enforce the new prostitution laws that criminalize men who pimp and buy women in prostitution and fund exiting, detox and recovery programs available to women on demand.

5.      Fund independent, women-controlled transition houses, rape crisis centres and women’s centres in every community, including and in particular in remote and isolated areas. Women’s services are the most effective proven method to provide women immediate safety when they escape violent men. They should be available to any woman, anywhere, anytime.

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter is the oldest rape crisis centre in Canada and unique in operating both a rape crisis centre and transition house, responding to the entire spectrum of violence: battery, rape, incest, trafficking and prostitution. We are committed to the safety, equality and liberty of all women. We are happy to offer you our knowledge, experience and expertise as you carve the path to end male violence against Indigenous women and girls.  

Sincerely,

Hilla Kerner, for the collective of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter

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Entrevista Rocío Nieto, coordinadora de la Asociación para la Prevención, Reinserción y Atención a la Mujer Prostituida (APRAMP)

Madrid, 01 sep. 16. AmecoPress. Muchas mujeres llegan a Europa embarazadas o con bebés de pocos meses, no porque quieran parir en nuestro continente: son víctimas de violencia sexual en un viaje por un futuro que se oscurece. Muchas mujeres y niñas pasean por nuestras calles y plazas ofreciendo su cuerpo a cambio de dinero: no están trabajando y no pasean libremente, son prisioneras de una jaula invisible que se sostiene con las estrategias violentas de las mafias y con nuestra indiferencia. El sexo se convierte en moneda de cambio. Muchas de estas mujeres son vendidas como esclavas sexuales, son engañadas con promesas de empleo digno y bienestar que se tornan en explotación en burdeles y extorsión para obligarlas a devolver desorbitantes sumas por el viaje que emprendieron. Es la esclavitud del siglo XXI. Hablamos con la coordinadora de la Asociación para la Prevención, Reinserción y Atención a la Mujer Prostituida (APRAMP), Rocío Mora, quien nos explica cómo “vestir de derechos” a estas mujeres que sufren explotación sexual y trata.
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¿Qué papel desempeña APRAMP en la lucha contra la trata?

Creo que es una de las organizaciones especializadas que da una atención integral en los ámbitos que las mujeres nos están demandando: social, jurídico y sanitario. Además, una víctima de trata nunca nos va a llamar a la puerta, por lo cual tenemos unidades de rescate, compuestas por profesionales supervivientes de la trata, que tienen una formación especializada, y que diariamente trabajan para romper la esclavitud de esas mujeres y dar información de los derechos que han sido vulnerados. 
Trabajamos no solo con víctimas de trata con fines de explotación sexual, también con prostitución coactiva y mujeres explotadas sexualmente. Cada caso requiere un tipo de intervención. - 

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La golpiza habría sido porque ella se habría negado a tener relaciones. 
En la ciudad de Arequipa una vecina logró grabar el momento en que una mujer terminó con el rostro ensangrentado, luego de ser golpeada brutalmente por su pareja

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The disciplinary actions stem from a major scandal involving a teenager who was sexually exploited by more than a dozen officers

 

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said she was barred from naming the officers disciplined, as critics question why there have ben no criminal charges.

 Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said she was barred from naming the officers disciplined, as critics question why there have ben no criminal charges. Photograph: Eric Risberg/AP

The Oakland, California, police department has fired four officers and suspended seven in a major sexual misconduct case, but critics have questioned why officers haven’t faced criminal charges and why an exploitation victim at the center of the case remains behind bars.

The disciplinary actions, announced by city officials on Wednesday, stem from a case involving a teenage girl who was sexually exploited by more than a dozen officers across the northern California region, according to a numerous news reports and the young woman’s testimony.

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SEE ALSO BACKGROUND: 

'I Am Here to Run a Police Department, Not a Frat House': Oakland Mayor Addresses Racist Texts, Losing Another Police Chief

"A Toxic Macho Culture" leads to 4th replacement of Oakand Police Chief in 9 days...

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Alika Kinan cuenta cómo quedó envuelta en la prostitución, de qué manera pudo zafar y qué hace ahora para rescatar a otras víctimas: ella misma será querellante contra sus proxenetas. Cristina Pozzer Penzo se plantó frente a las mafias prostibularias y sus cómplices en la política y la Justicia. Ambas cuentan su lucha a Página/12.

 Por Mariana Carbajal

Cristina Pozzer Penzo es jueza federal en la frontera caliente de Paso de los Libres con Brasil. Alika Kinan es sobreviviente de explotación sexual y vive en Ushuaia. Una, en el norte del país, y la otra en la ciudad más austral, luchan, a su manera, contra las mafias de la trata de mujeres. “No se puede ser indiferente ante esta enorme atrocidad. Hay relatos crueles del sufrimiento de víctimas, destruidas en su personalidad, a niveles de cosa o animales por sus explotadores”, dice la magistrada, en un alto en su trabajo: entre otros expedientes, tiene en sus manos una megacausa en la que están involucrados un ex fiscal federal y un alto mando de la Gendarmería y más de una docena de imputados, acusados de encubrir o ser parte de una red que lucraba con la esclavitud sexual. “Siempre soñé con otra actividad, pero para mí era totalmente inalcanzable, o yo lo sentía así, nunca quise ser puta. ¿Quién quiere serlo realmente?”, se pregunta Alika en una entrevista de Página/12. Ella espera, con ansiedad, el 7 de noviembre, cuando está previsto que empiece el juicio oral contra el clan Montoya, que regenteaba la whisquería El Sheik, de donde fue rescatada en 2012. Había llegado desde Córdoba más de una década antes.

Alika es una pionera: por primera vez en el país asumirá el papel de querellante contra sus proxenetas, además de intentar un reclamo civil por los daños sufridos. Desde que Pozzer llegó en febrero al juzgado federal de Paso de los Libres, la jurisdicción despertó en la investigación de la trata y la explotación sexual.

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VEA TAMBIEN: 

 

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On Monday morning, the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative attempted to deliver more than 6,000 signatures to the Trumbull County Prosecutor's office, in Warren, Ohio, on behalf of a national coalition petitioning for the freedom of Bresha Meadows. The group was turned away by a deputy, but re-emerged on Tuesday to show support at a pre-trial hearing.

Bresha Meadows is a child accused of killing her abusive father with his own gun, while he lay sleeping. The mere thought of what might drive a young girl with a warm smile, who loves animals and music, to pick up a gun at 14 years old and take her own father's life should terrify us all. And we should want accountability for that nightmarish turn of events. But who is it that should be held accountable for the death of Jonathan Meadows?

As a child living in an abusive household, Bresha had done everything children in her situation are taught to do. She had reached out to trusted adults and authority figures. She had voiced her fears to those who might have offered protection. She had even run for her life -- only to be sent back home by police.

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SEE ALSO: 

 

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Many of the women locked up in family detention centers speak only indigenous languages.

When a 32-year-old Guatemalan street vendor’s abusive husband abandoned her for another woman, she got relief from the routine beatings she’d suffered for over a decade. But now she also had to support their three children. To come up with extra money, she turned to off-market moneylenders, an enterprise associated with Guatemala’ violent street gangs. Unable to pay off her high-interest debt, they threatened to kill her and her three children, she says.

The woman, who declined to be identified for fear of jeopardizing her asylum case, fled the country, taking her 7-year-old son with her and leaving behind her other children with her sister. The woman and her son traveled over land to Tijuana, Mexico, where they crossed into California in June 2015.

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SEE ALSO:  

Webinar Video Below: Advocates’ Introduction to Gender-Based Asylum

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Levels of Teen Sexual Activity Essentially Unchanged Between 2007–2012

Improvements in contraceptive use have led to a drop in the risk of pregnancy among U.S. adolescents aged 15–19—and these changes also appear to be driving the recent declines in teen pregnancy rates, abortion rates and birthrates. A new analysis titled “Understanding the Decline in Adolescent Fertility in the United States, 2007–2012,” by Dr. Laura Lindberg and colleagues, estimated that improved contraceptive use accounted for the entire 28% decline in teen pregnancy risk between 2007 and 2012. The authors found significant increases in teens’ use of any contraceptive method, use of multiple methods and use of highly effective methods, as well as a decline in contraceptive nonuse.

“There was no significant change in adolescent sexual activity during this time period,” says lead author Dr. Lindberg. “Rather, our new data suggest that recent declines in teens’ risk of pregnancy—and in their pregnancy rates—are driven by increased contraceptive use.”

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The spread of the Zika virus may be changing Americans' views on late-term abortion, presenting a new challenge for abortion opponents.

Polls conducted in July by STAT News and Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that people asked about late-term abortion were largely opposed to it until the question was framed to include babies who may have microcephaly caused by Zika.

Then, 59 percent of respondents said they would support abortion after 24 weeks, in contrast to 23 percent who said they would when microcephaly wasn't mentioned, Helen Branswell of STAT reported.

Support for late-term abortions when microcephaly is suspected increased even among Republicans, according to STAT.

Forty-eight percent said they would support the late-term abortion of a baby with microcephaly, compared with just 12 percent when not asked specifically about Zika defects.

Among Democrats, the numbers climbed to 72 percent in favor of aborting Zika babies after 24 weeks, compared with 34 when microcephaly was not mentioned.

“The data are clear that although people aren’t in favor of late-term abortion in general, they are sympathetic to women when their pregnancies can be affected by Zika virus,” Gillian SteelFisher, deputy director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program, told Branswell.

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For three weeks now, the hashtag #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen has been active on social media. The newly established feminist association Saudi Women Against Marginalization, which took to Twitter in June, launched this hashtag. Meanwhile, the issue of ending male guardianship over women in Saudi Arabia remains highly controversial.

Saudi women are not just calling for the end of male guardianship in marriage contracts or the transfer of guardianship from one abusive husband or oppressive father to another better man who could be a brother or uncle, like it was for women a few years ago in some Saudi courts.

In fact, women are calling for dropping all forms of supervision and control from brothers, fathers or grandfathers as guardianship limits women’s freedom and willpower.

Saudi blogger and writer Hams Sonosi is one of the main advocates of this cause. On Aug. 11, she tweeted that the campaign to end male guardianship has achieved huge success on social media, although it has not led to a change of laws. She asked Saudi women to hold on to this legal and social demand.

Subsequently, the opposing hashtag #SaudiWomenProudofGuardianshipappeared. Academic Amerah Saeidi is one of the main opponents to ending male guardianship. On July 30, she tweeted that the injustice of some guardianstoward their proteges should be dealt with through legal solutions, not by dropping Sharia laws.

For three weeks now, the hashtag #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen has been active on social media. The newly established feminist association Saudi Women Against Marginalization, which took to Twitter in June, launched this hashtag. Meanwhile, the issue of ending male guardianship over women in Saudi Arabia remains highly controversial.

Saudi women are not just calling for the end of male guardianship in marriage contracts or the transfer of guardianship from one abusive husband or oppressive father to another better man who could be a brother or uncle, like it was for women a few years ago in some Saudi courts.

In fact, women are calling for dropping all forms of supervision and control from brothers, fathers or grandfathers as guardianship limits women’s freedom and willpower.

Saudi blogger and writer Hams Sonosi is one of the main advocates of this cause. On Aug. 11, she tweeted that the campaign to end male guardianship has achieved huge success on social media, although it has not led to a change of laws. She asked Saudi women to hold on to this legal and social demand.

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SEE ALSO: Human Rights Watch Report: Boxed In: Women and Saudi Arabia’s Male Guardianship System

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LIMA, 15 ago 2016 (IPS) - Con una multitudinaria marcha, bajo la consigna “Ni Una Menos”, la sociedad peruana se pronunció contra la violencia hacia las mujeres, en lo que representa una toma de conciencia colectiva en el tercer país en agresiones sexuales del mundo.

La manifestación en Lima el sábado 13, a la que acompañaron protestas en una decena de otras ciudades del país, surgió como rechazo a sentencias judiciales que han escandalizado por ser muy benignas con los agresores en casos de feminicidios, maltrato de varones contra sus parejas o exparejas y agresiones sexuales.

El caso que detonó la protesta fue el de Arlette Contreras, golpeada brutalmente en julio de 2015 por su entonces pareja en un hotel de la sureña ciudad de Ayacucho, Adriano Pozo, en una agresión registrada por las cámaras de un hotel.

Pese a ello, a Pozo, hijo de una autoridad política de la zona, se le sentenció a solo un año de prisión suspendida, por los cargos de feminicidio en grado de tentativa y violación, por los atenuantes de estar ebrio y actuar por celos. Un tribunal superior ratificó el fallo el mes pasado, en lo que el fiscal del caso calificó como “indignante”.

“Queremos justicia, queremos que esos hombres agresores, esos hombres violadores y asesinos vayan a la cárcel. Queremos que el Estado nos dé seguridad a nosotras, las víctimas”, comentó Contreras a IPS durante la marcha, cuyo recorrido encabezaron víctimas y familiares y que terminó ante el Palacio de Justicia.

Cifras de la Organización Mundial de la Salud y otros organismos indican que Perú es el segundo país de América Latina en asesinatos de mujeres por razón de género, además del tercero del mundo en violaciones, con la particularidad de que 42 por ciento de esas agresiones son en sus hogares y 90 por ciento de las denuncias quedan impunes.

“Basta ya”, “Fuera violadores”, “Poder Judicial, vergüenza nacional”, “Tocan a una, tocan a todas”, fueron algunas de las consignas más coreadas durante la marcha, en que participaron unas 100.000 personas según los organizadores de una protesta surgida desde las redes sociales y sin banderas partidistas, aunque el presidente Pedro Pablo Kuczynski y miembros de su gobierno concurrieron a la movilización.

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SEE ALSO:

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A group of demonstrators with black crosses, symbolising the victims of femicide in Peru and other countries of Latin America, march down a street in the centre of Lima during an Aug. 13 march against gender violence. Credit: Noemí Melgarejo/IPS

A group of demonstrators with black crosses, symbolising the victims of femicide in Peru and other countries of Latin America, march down a street in the centre of Lima during an Aug. 13 march against gender violence. Credit: Noemí Melgarejo/IPS

LIMA, Aug 16 2016 (IPS) - Peruvians took to the streets en masse to reject violence against women, in what was seen as a major new step in awareness-raising in the country that ranks third in the world in terms of domestic sexual violence.

The Saturday Aug. 13 march in Lima and simultaneous protests held in nearly a dozen other cities and towns around the country, includingCuzco, Arequipa and Libertad,was a reaction tolenient court sentences handed down in cases of femicide – defined as the violent and deliberate killing of a woman – rape and domestic violence.

The case that sparked the demonstrations was that of Arlette Contreras, who was beaten in July 2015 by her then boyfriendin the southern city of Ayacucho, Adriano Pozo, in an attack that was caught on hotel cameras.

“We want justice; we want the attackers, rapists and murderers to go to jail. We want the state to offer us, the victims, safety.” -- Arlette Contreras

 

Despite the evidence – the footage of the attack – Pozo, the son of a local politician, was merely given a one-year suspended sentence for rape and attempted femicide, because of “mitigating factors”: the fact that he was drunk and jealous. When a higher court upheld the sentence in July, the prosecutor described the decision as “outrageous”.

“We want justice; we want the attackers, rapists and murderers to go to jail. We want the state to offer us, the victims, safety,” Contreras told IPS during the march to the palace of justice in Lima, which was headed by victims and their families.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Peru is in second place in Latin America in terms of gender-based killings, and in a multi-country study on sexual intimate partner violence, it ranked third.

“Enough!”, “The judiciary, a national disgrace”, “You touch one of us, you touch us all”were some of the chants repeated during the march, in which some 100,000 people took part according to the organisers of the protest, which emerged over the social networks and was not affiliated with any political party or movement, although President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and members of his government participated.

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SEE ALSO #NIUNAMENOS PERU

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The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is the premier global legal organization dedicated to advancing women’s reproductive health, self-determination, and dignity.  Its mission is straightforward and ambitious: to advance reproductive health and rights as fundamental human rights that all governments around the world are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.  Headquartered in New York City, the Center has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Kathmandu, Nairobi, and Washington, DC and a staff of more than 130 diverse professionals.  Its annual operating budget is approximately $23 million, the result of an extraordinary growth trajectory; the Center is now poised for a new phase of significant expansion through its next Strategic Plan.

The Center’s game-changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional, comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide. It has played a key role in securing landmark legal victories in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage.  It has brought groundbreaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights, and has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in more than 55 countries.

The Center seeks a Global Advocacy Adviser to support the work of the Global Advocacy team in the Global Legal Program and will report to the Director of Global Advocacy. The Global Advocacy Adviser will conceptualize and implement robust advocacy strategies to advance reproductive rights through UN bodies and human rights mechanisms in Geneva. Working under the supervision of the Director for Global Advocacy and in collaboration with program staff based in Geneva, New York, and across the globe, the Global Advocacy Adviser will advance advocacy initiatives to strengthen international human rights norms, draw greater attention to the status of women’s reproductive rights globally, and leverage UN mechanisms to push for law and policy reform globally.

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La síndica Susana Fuentes Rodríguez y la regidora Carolina Bahena Castillo en conferencia de prensa denuncian violencia de género | Especial

Por: Anayeli García Martínez

Cimacnoticias | Ciudad de México.- 08/08/2016En el ámbito político la violencia de género busca impedir la participación de las mujeres por el simple hecho de ser mujeres y con ello inhibir la incursión de más ciudadanas en espacios de poder, aseguran expertas.
 
Como ejemplo las denuncias de síndicas y regidoras de los municipios de Chamula, Reforma, Tecpatán, Amatenango del Valle, Oxchuc, San Cristóbal de las Casas y Las Rosas en Chiapas y de Amacuzac y Zacualpan de Amilpas, en Morelos, que aseguran ser agredidas y discriminadas por sus compañeros de partido.
 
Ante las denuncias públicas todavía hay quienes responden que tanto ellas como los varones enfrentan amenazas y agresiones por ejercer cargos públicos en gobiernos locales; sin embargo la profesora y experta en Ciencia Política de la Universidad de Rutgers, en Estados Unidos, Mona Lena Krook, argumenta que hay diferencias.
 
En una investigación al respecto expone que la violencia de género busca impedir la participación de las mujeres por ser mujeres. “Es mucho más que un problema criminal, puesto que pone retos muy grandes a la democracia, los Derechos Humanos y la igualdad de género”.

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EXCERPT: 

The report called out Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas’ office as “not accepting a fair and honest critique” of its current processes. It said Sonoma County officials threatened to leave the system and may not be suited for being the “node administrator,” or linchpin for network processes.

Part of the criticism was directed at a process in which the sergeant in charge, telecommunications bureau manager Dennis Smiley, entered 95 percent of the data himself and audited his own work, setting up a conflict and breach in the oversight framework.

....

“We concluded that if your older brother was a gang member and you walked down to the local 7-Eleven in a gang neighborhood, you would meet the criteria,” he said, “even though you had nothing to do with a gang.”

In one example, it said 42 individuals were listed in CalGang who were supposedly 1 year old at the time of entry. Twenty-eight of those people were entered for “admitting to being gang members,” the report said. 

Also, it said hundreds of people were kept in the database well beyond the five-year purge date. Others had purge dates mistakenly set more than 100 years in the future, the report said.

The report also found agencies did not implement a law requiring them to notify parents when a minor is listed in the database. Because of that, family members did not have a chance to challenge the listings, the report said

SEE FULL ARTICLE

SEE ALSO:

Shining Light on Sonoma County Sheriff’s Descent into Darkness and Mapping a Way Out

Letter to the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Task Force

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

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If you needed to ask, this week you got your answers.

This week, two incidents played out in the news that seemed to confirm some of the worst fears about how America’s criminal justice system handles sexual assault. 

In one corner, the U.S. Department of Justice released a scathing report about the Baltimore Police Department that showed rampant problems with how sex crimes are handled in the city.

A day after that DOJ report dropped, a campus rapist from the University of Colorado-Boulder who was convicted of sexual assault in May received his sentence ― and it did not include any prison time. 

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Efforts to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) are a rising priority on many national and global agendas. Thus it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the scale and scope of the practice, andwhere it occurs, as well as the dynamics of change and the broader context surrounding it. This state-of-the-art synthesis offers a snapshot of the most recent data available as of July 2016 and the most relevant contextual information on key FGM/C issues in clear, non-technical language that can help inform policymakers,donors, programme planners, and other key stakeholders.Nationally representative data on the prevalence of FGM/C among girls and women ages 15-49 are availablefor 29 countries: Twenty-seven countries in Africa plus Yemen and Iraq. Fifteen of these countries show no clear evidence of progress, while in 14 countries, the practice appears to be declining. Two out of three affected women live in just four countries—Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Sudan.

 

 

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Female genital mutilation (FGM) traditional surgeon in Kapchorwa, Uganda speaking to a reporter. The women in this area are being trained by the civil society organisation REACH in how to educate people to stop the practice. Credit: Joshua Kyalimpa/IPS

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 6 2016 (IPS) - After years of wrangling and debates among African leaders, the movement to end female genital mutilation (FGM) is gaining real momentum, with a new action plan signed this week by Pan African Parliament (PAP) representatives and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) to end FGM as well as underage marriage.

The UNFPA has already trained over 100,000 health workers to deal specifically with aiding victims of FGM, while tens of thousands of traditional leaders have also signed pledges against the practice.

The agreement followed a PAP Women’s Caucus meeting with UNFPA representatives in Johannesburg on July 29-30.

Kicking off the meeting, PAP President Roger Dang said, “PAP is determined to help and be part of stakeholders to come up with solutions to this practice. This is in line with the mandate of PAP to defend and promote gender balance and people living with disability.”

The PAP is the legislative organ of the African Union, and has up to 250 members representing the 50 AU Member States.

In some African countries, girls as young as eleven and twelve are forced to marry much older men. This has led to an increase in serious health problems, including cervical cancer and a host of social problems.

UNFPA East and Southern Africa Deputy Regional Director Justine Coulson said if the current trend continues, the number of girls under 15 who had babies would rise by a million – from two to three million.

“If we do nothing, in the next decade over 14 million girls under 18 years will be married every year,” she said.

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Madrid, 28 de julio. 16. AmecoPress. La propia complejidad y variedad del fenómeno de la trata –del delito, de la brutal vulneración de los derechos humanos-, impide que se pueda informar de ella con claridad. Naciones Unidas estima que 2,5 millones de personas "están atrapadas en las redes de la esclavitud moderna" y distintas fuentes apuntan que la trata constituye uno de los grandes negocios ilícitos que más dinero genera, sólo por detrás del tráfico de armas. Pero en el ’Día Mundial contra la Trata de Personas’ que el organismo internacional fijó en 2014 en el 30 de julio, diferentes instituciones y ONGs alertan de la falta de protección de los gobiernos hacia las víctimas de esta práctica.

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“Todos los países deben aunar esfuerzos para superar esta amenaza transnacional apoyando y protegiendo a las víctimas sin dejar de perseguir y enjuiciar a los delincuentes”, afirma Gema Fernández Rodríguez de Liévana, de Women’s Link, una organización que enfoca su trabajo en el área de la trata a la detección de las múltiples formas de discriminación a las que se enfrentan las mujeres y niñas y cómo esta discriminación crea obstáculos en su acceso a la justicia y a recursos adecuados.

El litigio de Women’s Link de varios casos en España llevó al desarrollo de un protocolo que otorga a las víctimas de trata el derecho a un periodo de tiempo mínimo para empezar a recuperarse de la experiencia vivida y evaluar sus opciones legales. Este derecho también detiene el proceso de deportación y permite que las mujeres y niñas mantengan una distancia segura de sus tratantes y accedan a servicios básicos, como atención en salud.

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Three lawsuits accuse the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, led by Catherine Lhamon, pictured above, of inappropriately telling schools to use the preponderance of evidence standard in college sexual assault cases.

A group of more than 90 law professors from at least three dozen different universities signed onto a white paper, to be released Sunday, defending the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance on how colleges should handle sexual assault cases.

Specifically, the law professors focus on how much proof is needed to determine whether a student accused of sexual assault is guilty in the eyes of their college or university. 

“Dear Colleague” letter released by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights in April 2011 was considered a wake-up call for schools to honor their obligation to handle sexual violence involving students under the gender equity law Title IX.

However, some groups have said a portion of the letter ― which told schools to use the “preponderance of evidence” standard in adjudicating sexual assault allegations as code of conduct violations ― amounted to issuing new regulations without going through a legally required process. It’s currently the subject of three federal lawsuits against the Education Department

The preponderance standard essentially means an accused person can be found guilty if the adjudicator or panel believes there’s a 51 percent chance the allegations against the individual are true. In other words, a jury would rule based on whose side they believe more.

“The national debate over campus sexual assault often deals with pretty deep and complicated legal issues, even for lawyers,” said Nancy Chi Cantalupo, a Barry University School of Law professor who organized the white paper.

“I wanted to help provide a resource to the public about one of those deep and complicated issues, to put the issue in the context of Title IX’s legal history and of our legal system as a whole,” Cantalupo said. “Many people seem to think of the law as just one kind of law: the criminal law, but there are many other kinds of law, including civil rights law.”

The preponderance standard is used in civil lawsuits. In criminal courts, there’s a higher standard to establish someone’s guilt: “proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” meaning there’s hardly any chance the accused person isn’t guilty. 

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SEE FULL WHITE PAPER AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE

 

 

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