Police Criticised Over LGBT Rights

A lesbian rape survivor and community activist has told the Khayelitsha probe into police inefficiency how insensitive officers added to her ordeal.

When prominent lesbian community activist Funeka Soldaat was raped by some boys from Khayelitsha in 1995, she turned to the South African Police Service for help.

Yet this week she told the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry into police inefficiency that her torment had continued at two police stations, where her treatment after the attack left her devastated.

Bill Raises Gay Alarm

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill has been criticised in Parliament for not making provision for the advancement of gays and lesbians in the workplace.

This emerged on 30 January 2014 during the second day of public hearings on the bill, which is being sponsored by the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities.

In its submission, the Legal Resources Centre argues that the bill should not limit issues of gender equality and inequality as being issues between men and women, and girls and boys.

Child Rights NGOs in Dire Funding Crisis

Child Line and other organisations in the Northern Cape have remained silent after the recent rape of a six week-old baby, allegedly by a relative.

The organisations are also quiet after the murder of a one-year old boy, allegedly killed by his father.

However, Child Line's Naomi Edwards says they are in dire financial straits, adding that, “With the lack of financial resources NGOs [non-governmental organisations] are finding themselves in a very tight position.”

Group to Challenge Anti-Gay Laws

A rights group is seeking a review of the three gay men's jail sentences and plans to challenge laws that criminalise homosexuality in Malawi.
A Malawi high court began hearing a petition by a leading rights group seeking to obtain the review of jail sentences of three gays and to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality.
"We want the court to declare the laws that criminalise homosexuality in Malawi unconstitutional," explains Gift Trapence, director of a rights group, the Centre for Development of People.

Call for the Decriminalisation of Prostitution

The Sisonke Sex Workers Movement says that the African National Congress (ANC) members should lobby for the decriminalisation of prostitution because some of the party's officials used prostitutes' services.
The organisation’s national lobbyist, Nosipho Vidima, points out that, “It's unfortunate that we are good enough for the ANC politicians to make use of our services, but they are afraid to come out in support of decriminalisation of sex work, and the protection of our human rights."

NGO Works Towards Reducing GBV

There are five more days before the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign ends, however, the alarming incidents of women's abuse remain a serious concern.

NGOs such as Thusanang Advice Centre in Phuthaditjhaba in the eastern Free State, has been contributing towards the reduction of gender-based violence.

SABC, NGO, Unite Against GBV

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has officially kicked off its 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence in South Africa.
The public broadcaster is calling upon Men of Honour to take a stand and say no to violence against women and children.
SABC group communications officer, Kaizer Kganyago, says that, “SABC will be utilising all 18 radio stations and four television channels to make sure that they highlight this serious issue.”

Women Leadership Key to Reconciliation

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of United Nations Women says the leadership of women is central to reconciliation and conflict resolution.
Mlambo-Ngcuka, addressed the United Nations Security Council moments after the body unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming the central role of women in the peaceful resolution of conflicts and peace building.

Sexism and Gender Roles: A Case for Women’s Dignity

Mail & Guardian’s headline for Gerry Elsdon’s suspension reads: ‘The South African Red Cross's governing board has suspended former beauty queen and TV personality Gerry Elsdon with immediate effect’. Elsdon is not simply a pretty face but the chief executive officer of Cinnamon Communication as well as the tuberculosis goodwill Ambassador for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, among other things. However, the Mail & Guardian even though the article is about her suspension, fails to focus on her achievements and contributions.


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