Gay rights activists in Uganda filed a legal petition against the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act, which calls for tougher penalties against gay persons.
The new law strengthens existing punishments for anyone caught having gay sex, imposing jail terms of up to life for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ - including sex with a minor or while HIV-positive.
The legislation criminalises lesbianism for the first time and makes it a crime to help individuals engage in homosexual acts.
In the same vein, gay rights activist and lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo, says the new law contravenes Uganda's constitution.
To read the article titled, “Activists determined to overturn Uganda anti-gay law,” click here.Source:SABC News
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working with women and children say child abuse has become an epidemic in the country, with one in four children becoming victims of abuse.
Saartjie Baartman spokesperson, Shaheema McLeod, states that one of the problems that they have picked up in their areas is that there are little resources available for parents to take their kids for assistance.
McLeod explains that, “…a lack of a political will to make resources available. There seems to be more violent acts committed against children, and parents need to keep in mind to put preventative measures in place.”
To read the article titled, “NGOs decry child abuse 'epidemic',” click here.Source:SABC News
The Zimbabwean government has been asked to urgently remove laws that restrict the work of human rights defenders and repeal offensive sections of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) that inhibit freedom of assembly.
A report released by civil society organisations is critical at the slow pace of the implementation of a number of recommendations, aimed at curtailing and improving human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
Analysts say there has been little progress in implementing key aspects of the human rights recommendations, notably the need to repeal draconian laws and ensure accountability for past rights abuses.
To read the article titled, “Govt urged to implement recommendations on human rights,” click here.Source:All Africa
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) says that police officers in Zimbabwe have arrested and charged a gay activist and questioned another for holding an illegal meeting.
ZLHR spokesperson, Kumbirai Mafunda, confirms that the police arrested Natasha Dowell, a volunteer with the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe and Tawanda Maguze, an activist at a hotel in the Avenues area.
Mafunda asserts that, Dowell was charged with breaching the public order and security law, which requires organisations to give police advance warning of public meetings.
To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe charges gay activist over meeting,” click here.Source:News 24
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says that government is not protecting water as a basic human right.
In its report on water and sanitation in South Africa, SAHRC points out that, "...water is viewed mainly as an economic good or commodity by government departments and the private sector."
The commission argues that the result is that most of South Africa's water is used by business, especially agribusiness, mining, and other industries, at a relatively lower cost per kilolitre than poor households.
To read the article titled, “Gov't views water as commodity - SAHRC,” click here.Source:News 24
Human Rights Watch urges the government of Malawi to increase efforts to end widespread child and forced marriage, or risk worsening poverty, illiteracy, and preventable maternal deaths in the country.
According to government statistics, half of the girls in Malawi will be married by their 18th birthday, with some as young as nine or 10 being forced to marry.
Human Rights Watch further states that Malawi's first woman president, Joyce Banda, should publicly support prompt enactment of the Marriage, Divorce, and Family Relations Bill (Marriage Bill), which includes vital protections against child marriage.
To read the article titled, “End widespread child marriage - pass marriage law, adopt comprehensive approach,” click here.Source:All Africa
North West Premier, Thandi Modise, says equal rights and opportunities for women are crucial to building healthy economies and societies.
Modise’s comments come as the country joined the world in celebrating International Women's Day on Saturday, 8 March 2014.
In a press statement, Modise explains that, "Women's full and equal participation in the political and economic arena is crucial to democracy and justice, because equal rights and opportunity underpin healthy economies and societies.”
To read the article titled, “Equal rights key to thriving societies - Premier Modise,” click here.Source:All Africa
Women activists believe the rights of women and girls continue to be violated in Zimbabwe even though the country has the best laws designed to address gender-based violence and inequality.
The activists state that, there is little action to match the laws available to protect women who were constantly abused in homes, schools and in the workplace.
Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe’s director, Virginia Muwanigwa - speaking at the launch of the Southern African Development Community Gender Protocol Barometer for 2013 - asserts that the problem emanated from the country’s failure to implement legislation.
To read the article titled, “Laws Fail to Protect Women, Girl Child,” click hereSource:All Africa
Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, is expected to sign a controversial anti-homosexuality bill, which Western countries have criticised and tried to stop from being signed into law.
Ugandan government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, points out that, "He [Museveni] wants to sign it with the full witness of the international media to demonstrate Uganda's independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation."
Museveni's decision to sign the bill comes less than a week since he announced plans to put the bill on hold to give scientists a chance to prove that homosexuality could be triggered by genes and is not a ‘lifestyle choice’.
To read the article titled, “Uganda's Museveni to sign anti-gay bill,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
Ugandan gay rights activist, Paul Semugoma, was almost deported to Uganda through Zimbabwe, but friends exerted pressure on the South African government to grant him a work permit.
South African immigration officials at OR Tambo International Airport detained Semugoma on his return trip from a conference in Zimbabwe, where they charged him with travelling without proper documentation.
Life partner, Brian Kanyemba, was allowed through, and immediately contacted the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) to tell them what had happened.
To read the article titled, “Naledi Pandor saves gay activist from deportation,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian