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Proposed Health Code Would Improve Protection for Women, Girls, LGBTI People

Ecuador’s National Assembly has approved a new health code that would help all in Ecuador enjoy better access to health care. The bill, nearly 8 years in the making, was approved on August 25 by a vote of 79 to 58, and now requires the signature of…
The flag of Ecuador. 
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Ukraine Should Join The 34 Other European States That Have Ratified the Istanbul Convention

Violence against women and girls in Ukraine remains a serious problem. A 2019 study by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Ukraine found that two-thirds of women surveyed said they had “experienced psychological, physical or sexual…
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during a press conference in the garden of the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, May 22, 2020.
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Far-Right and Religious Groups Protested European Lesbian* Conference

When the organizers of the second European Lesbian* Conference chose Kyiv as the host city, they weighed the importance of visibility and solidarity against the inevitable security risks. I boarded the plane for Kyiv with some…
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Provincial Court Expected to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

When two same-sex couples went to the civil registry in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador to get married last April, they were refused. The registry argued no Ecuadorian laws would permit their marriage. The couples went to court. …
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Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
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Health Ministry Form Acknowledges Transgender People

Ukraine has taken another significant step toward the protection and inclusion of the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. In early February, the Ministry of Health released for public discussion a draft medical form for…
Ukraine’s Ministry of Health draft declaration open for public discussion. Section 4 asks people for gender and offers three options – male, female or N (Н), which means they can choose not to indicate their gender.
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Ordeal Highlights Lawlessness of Security Forces

Last week, I heard news I feared might never come: two Russian activists detained in eastern Ukraine had been freed, unharmed. Seroe Fioletovoe (Grey Violet), a Russian transgender person, and Victoria Miroshnichenko arrived in the self-proclaimed…
Grey Violet, LGBT activist feared disappeared in eastern Ukraine. Facebook.
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Transgender Woman Helps People ‘Searching for Answers’

I was in Colombia last week to speak at an event about my work for Human Rights Watch with a focus on homophobic and transphobic bullying. I was to be interviewed by Brigitte Baptiste, who I had never met. When I took my seat in front of hundreds of…
Brigitte Baptiste (L) and Human Rights Watch LGBT Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich, Colombia, February 2017.
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Revised Legal Gender Recognition Procedure Shows Progress but Still Flawed

In the past, transgender people in Ukraine who wanted to have their gender legally recognized faced a degrading, years-long obstacle course of psychiatric observation, sterilization, and other horrors. But change is on the way, as the government…
Gay rights activists attend a rally outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, November 10, 2015.
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The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
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Last week, Ukraine’s parliament made it illegal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in employment – a welcome move in a country where LGBT activists have been attacked and homophobic legislation proposed in recent…
Gay rights activists attend a rally outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, November 10, 2015.
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Late last week a Kiev court overturned the government’s rejection of a transgender man’s application to have his gender legally recognized. In ruling that the applicant did not have to prove he had been sterilized to receive documents in his preferred…
LGBT ukraine