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Struggle for LGBT People’s Rights Will Not Be Silenced

I have never met Samuel, the gay Kenyan protagonist of the acclaimed documentary “I Am Samuel.” But I feel as if I know him. Not only does filmmaker Peter Murimi’s quiet, steady, honest portrayal of Samuel’s daily life create a sense of intimacy and…
“I Am Samuel” documentary, 2020
News

An Important Step Toward Ending Widespread Abuses Against Women

This week the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, the highest body recommending judicial appointments, will consider the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would become the first woman appointed to the court.…
Justice Ayesha Malik Supreme Court Pakistan
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Societal Discrimination Compounds Health Risks

A high-ranking official in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, reassured the transgender community there that the government would support them during a province-wide lockdown due to COVID-19. Karachi commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani told…
Transgender people wearing face masks as a precaution against COVID-19 take selfies at a park in Peshawar, Pakistan, March 20, 2020.
News

Legal Green Light for Abortion Services, Same-Sex Marriage Only a First Step

Clocks over Northern Ireland were counting down as the region prepared for a leap toward furthering equality. At midnight on Monday, legislation came into force that decriminalized abortion and legalized same-sex marriage in…
Equal marriage supporters at Maverick Bar, Belfast, celebrate the change to abortion and same sex marriage laws in Northern Ireland
News

New Police Data Shows Intolerance Across the Board

New hate crimes data for the United Kingdom shows a shocking number of incidents targeting LGBT people. As I was reading these figures, the need for LGBT-inclusive classes in UK schools has never been more apparent. The data…
Revellers wave flags during a gay pride parade in downtown Madrid, Spain, July 2, 2016.
News

Protests Against LGBT Curriculum Force Suspension of Inclusive Programs

Debate is growing in the UK over schools teaching children about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identities and relationships. When a Birmingham school started the “No Outsiders” program, lessons aimed…
201712lgbt_flag_protest_generic2
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Tahira Safdar’s Confirmation Would Be an Important Step for Equal Participation

Pakistan’s chief justice has nominated Justice Tahira Safdar as chief justice of the Balochistan High Court. If confirmed, she will become the first woman in Pakistan ever to hold this office. Pakistan remains the only…
Judge Tahira Safdar sits in court in Quetta, Pakistan, November 23, 2015.
News

Investigate Slew of Attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The latest killing of a transgender woman in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province exemplifies the government’s failure to take measures to protect the rights of its transgender citizens. On May 4, assailants fatally…
a member of the transgender community, applies make up as she prepares for Shakeela's party in Peshawar, Pakistan January 22, 2017.
News

Support States and Organizations Working for LGBT Rights in the Commonwealth

Meeting Commonwealth leaders this week, British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed regret for Britain’s role in criminalizing same-sex conduct in its former colonies. “I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my…
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May hosts a meeting with leaders and representatives of Caribbean countries, at 10 Downing Street in London April 17, 2018.
News

Authorities Should Promote Equal Participation in Elections

For the first time in more than 40 years, women turned out in significant numbers to vote in one of Pakistan’s districts. The vote for local government in Upper Dir district of Pakistan’s northern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province…
A woman casts her ballot during elections for a new mayor in Karachi, Pakistan, December 5, 2015.
News

Tunisia and Kenya Move to Consign Discredited Medical Procedure to History Books

It’s shocking that in 2017 people are still subjected to forced anal testing to try to “prove” their sexual orientation. But Tunisia and Kenya are the latest countries to take steps toward ending these archaic and abusive exams,…
Poster by Shams, a Tunisian activist group, condemning the use of forced anal exams.
News

Survey Shows Increase, and Under-reporting

Hate crimes against LGBT people in the UK have surged by nearly 80 per cent in recent years, according to a new detailed survey. The report by British group Stonewall, based on a survey of 5,000 participants, showed that 16…
A poster advertising the exhibition, "Queer British Art: 1861-1967" at the Tate Britain museum in London, United Kingdom, 2017.
News

Lack of Female Voices as UK Negotiations With EU Begin

When I opened today’s newspaper, I recognized the photograph: another crucial negotiation, determining key questions of security and regional stability. Eleven negotiators sat at the table: five men on one side, five men and one woman…
Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis and his delegation sit across from European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier and his delegation at the start of their first day of talks at the European Commission in B
News

Local Parliament Calls for Federal Guarantee for Transgender Voting

The provincial assembly in a northwestern province of Pakistan this week unanimously passed a resolution calling on the federal government to ensure voting rights for transgender women. It is an important message of support for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (…
Transgender activists protest against the rape of two transgender women in Faisalabad.
News

Surge in Violence Should Prompt Authorities to Act

In a rare move of support for transgender people, this week Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights issued a forceful call for an investigation after an unidentified assailant violently attacked a transgender woman in Peshawar, the capital of…
Transgender activists protest against the rape of two transgender women in Faisalabad.
News
Emily, a widow from rural western Kenya, lived and farmed on her husband’s land for more than 30 years. While her husband was alive, they lived comfortably, and her four children were happy in school. This ended abruptly when her husband died, and her in-…
Female farmers resettled to Mwaladzi received land with poor access to water and limited productivity. The compensation package also included a new house.
News
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta made his strongest statement to date in support of basic rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, in an October 18 interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. For the first time, he publicly condemned…
News
Personally I am pleased to say that I am authentically and verifiably gay, having seen The Wizard of Oz, albeit late in life.  I am grateful to a friend who explained that, in the US at least, I would lose my gay card if unable to answer the question: “…