Reduced Inequalities: Kenya Just Ruled That a Forced Bodily Anal Exam of Homosexuals Are Illegal #LGBT #LGBTQ #HumanRights #SDGs #GlobalGoals

But the persecution of the LGBTQ commnunity persists throughout the world.

Kenya Gay Rights

FILE – In this Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 file photo, Kenyan gays and lesbians and others supporting their cause wear masks to preserve their anonymity as they stage a rare protest, against Uganda’s tough stance against homosexuality and in solidarity with their counterparts there, outside the Uganda High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya. The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya has petitioned the High Court Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 that sections of the penal code are in breach of the constitution and deny basic rights by criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adults. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

By Nita Bhalla

NAIROBI, March 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In a rare win for gay rights campaigners in Kenya, its Court of Appeal on Thursday ruled that it is illegal to force people suspected of being homosexual to undergo anal examinations.

The landmark case was brought by the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) after two men were arrested in 2015 on suspicion of having gay sex, which is illegal in Kenya and punishable by 14 years in jail.

The men said they were subjected to forced anal examination by security personnel and a public hospital in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa to determine if they had engaged in anal sex and were homosexual. They were also forced to take HIV tests.

The NGLHRC has long argued that the tests are a violation of rights to privacy and dignity and amount to torture,” said a statement from the charity, which represents the rights of sexual minorities in the conservative east African nation.

“The violating examinations, which include being made to lie with legs up in a humiliating position and having instruments forced into your rectum, are widely accepted to have no medical merit.”

Homosexuality is taboo across Africa and the persecution of gay people is rife. Sexual minorities are routinely abused, assaulted by mobs, raped by police or vigilantes, or enslaved by criminals, campaigners say.

The judgment ends a three-year legal battle by the NGLHRC to prove that the examinations violated the rights of Kenyan citizens. It originally lost the case in 2016 when Mombasa’s High Court ruled the anal tests as constitutional.

The charity then challenged the ruling in the Court of Appeal in Mombasa, which has now ruled in its favour – but many African countries such as Uganda, Zambia, Egypt and Cameroon still conduct forced anal examinations.

“The humiliation and pain caused by these useless anal examinations will follow our clients for the rest of their lives,” said NGLHRC’s head of legal affairs Njeri Gateru.

“However, we are emboldened to see our constitution at work, ensuring that all Kenyans have the right to dignity.”

The NGLHRC is also challenging a British colonial-era Penal Code which criminalises gay sex. The court is expected to announce on April 26 the date that it will deliver its ruling.

 

Peace, Justice And Strong Institutions: An Openly Gay Black Female Politician Was Murdered in Brazil — And Now Thousands Are Protesting #LGBT #LGBTQ #SDGs #GlobalGoals

Marielle Franco was critical of police brutality in Brazil’s impoverished favelas, where she grew up

 

Brazil’s capital of Rio de Janeiro is no stranger to violent crime. Thousands are killed every year, and many in the city have become numb to the shock of murder.

But the assassination of the woman who hoped to stem the violence, particularly in Brazil’s poorest communities, has struck a nerve.

Since Marielle Franco, a human rights activist and local politician, was killed on Thursday, tens of thousands of people in cities across Brazil have took to the streets in protest and mourning, the Guardian reported.

Franco, who grew up in one of Rio’s largest favelas, was highly critical of the policy change and police brutality,

According to local news reports, Franco was being followed and was on her way home from a meeting about empowering black women when her assailants open fired on her car, killing both the 38-year-old and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes.

Temer called Franco’s murder an “affront to the rule of law and an affront to democracy,” according to the New York Times, and said a “full investigation” into the killings will be carried out.

But the people of Brazil are devastated and outraged by the loss of the trailblazing, human rights champion — and inspired to carry on her fight in her memory.

“Of the few times my voice fails. Shocked. Horrified. All death kills me a bit. But this way it kills me more. Women, black, lesbian, activist, human rights advocate. Marielle Franco, your voice will echo in us. Let us shout,” tweeted Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares.

#LGBTQ: Rihanna Just Sent a Powerful Message About Working With Trans Women #LGBT #Trans #Transgender

The Fenty Beauty creator thinks objectifying identities for marketing is wrong.

Just when you thought Rihanna couldn’t be any more of an icon, she has once again outdone herself by sparking a conversation about the role of transgender women in advertising.

When a fan suggested that the singer-turned-entrepreneur should include a transgender model in upcoming campaigns for her wildly popular Fenty Beauty line, Rihanna responded with a thoughtful comment highlighting the problematic trend of companies relegating members of the transgender community to mere marketing tools.

fenty

Rihanna,s Fenty Beauty Photo Ad

Rihanna wrote that transgendered people, as well as black women, are too often used as “convenient marketing tools” aimed at promoting an image of inclusivity.

“There’s always just that one spot in the campaign for the token ‘we look mad diverse’ girl/guy,” she wrote. “It’s sad!”

Rihanna’s makeup company Fenty Beauty has been praised for its mission to provide beauty products for people of all skin types. Advertisements for her line include a diverse cast of women, supporting the idea that Fenty Beauty supplies makeup for people of all different skin tones. Lack of diversity across makeup products has been a well-documented problem in the industry.

Given her dedication to making inclusive products, Rihanna’s comments carried significant weight, though some did not agree with her message.

Where exactly the line falls between representation and tokenism is clearly up for debate. But while the exploitation of any person for purposes of marketing is an ugly phenomenon, there can be no doubt that bringing light to the realities of life as a transgender person is an important goal.

In the US, surveys revealed that transgender people are more likely to live in poverty, suffer from mental health disorders, face mistreatment when seeking healthcare, and even commit suicide than the general population.

Last month, the New York Times reported on an alarming rise in violent crimes against transgendered people in the US, noting that 25 people have been killed since the beginning of 2017. A 2016 report by the advocacy organization Transgender Europe documented over 2,100 murders of transgender people around the world between 2008 and 2016.

A recent video showed former US president Barack Obama offering advice to a transgender woman in India who claimed she was “a criminal” under the laws of her country.

Stories and statistics like these illustrate how important it is to thoughtfully represent the transgender community.

Representation for transgender people seems to be on the rise. Two transgender women were recently elected to political office in the US in a clear indication that gender should not, and will not, be a barrier for capable people who want to make positive changes in their communities.

As culture shifts to be more inclusive of traditionally marginalized communities, Rihanna’s comments are forcing critical examinations of what type of representation is appropriate.

“I respect all women, and whether they’re trans or not is none of my business! It’s personal, and some women are more comfortable being open about it than others,” the singer wrote. “I have to respect that as a woman myself!”

In this, April 4, 2014, photo, homeless youths hang out at the entrance of a sewer pipe along a trash-strewn canal where they live beneath a busy road in Kingston, Jamaica. They are part of a small group of young, gay and transgender Jamaicans who mostly sell sex to make money. In much of the world, giving out condoms and guidance to gay, bisexual and transgender sex workers is routine. But reaching out to men who have sex with men is practically revolutionary in parts of the English-speaking Caribbean, where homophobia and laws criminalizing gay sex have long driven people underground.

Good Health And Well-Being: HIV Disproportionately Affects Transgender Women — But They’re Fighting Back #LGBTQ #Trans #TransGender

Community centers and other organizations are tapping into strong social networks.

Peru can be a demeaning and dangerous place for transgender women. Systematic discrimination, alienation, and physical attacks — often unpunished by local authorities — make it hard for transgender women to feel safe expressing their gender identity.

These social barriers prevent transgender women from accessing medical care and getting jobs and they contribute to a high rate of HIV within the transgender community in Peru and around the world.

But some groups are fighting these hardships —  including Féminas.

Féminas is a community center for transgender women in the capital Lima that enables access to HIV treatment, prevention, and community education.

HIV treatment is just one aspect of Féminas’ holistic approach.

 lavern

Since opening in 2015, Féminas has served as a gathering place and a support system for the city’s transgender community, said Leyla Huerta, a transgender woman and the center’s co-founder.

“Féminas is a space for transwomen that arose as a community initiative,” Huerta told Global Citizen. “It’s a physical space in which we can feel confident, grow together, share problems, support one another, and feel protected.

The center also enables individuals to seek community services, such as counseling, education, and employment training, and to organize and advocate for the rights of transgender women, Huerta said.

Peru can be inhospitable to transgender individuals and others with diverse gender identities. For example, individuals who want to change their gender on identifying documents must appear before a judge and their requests are often rejected. Government agencies, the police, and the health care system often fail to protect the rights of transgender women, Huerta said.

Such discrimination affects employment, housing rights, and access to medical care, phenomena that contribute to rates of HIV among transgender women that far exceed the rate among the general population. Worldwide, 19% of transgender women have HIV, the Human Rights Campaign reports, compared to a much lower rate for the general population.

Féminas’ holistic approach serves as a public health model, according to the Fenway Institute, a healthcare organization in Boston, Massachusetts that helped develop Féminas.

For women who cannot make it to the center, Féminas shares information, promotes activism events, and fosters community through its public Facebook page.

“The organization’s work is fundamental for welcoming diverse transwomen, for increasing visibility, and for fighting for basic rights like health, education, and employment,” wrote one member. “But above all, we are family and a tribe full of love.”

Pandemic of the Poor

Globally, HIV disproportionately affects low-income individuals and other marginalized people with limited access to prevention and treatment. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even labeled it a “pandemic of the poor”

“HIV is fundamentally a social disease,” said Amaya Perez-Brumer, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University studying HIV among transgender women in Peru and the Southern US. “Marginalization and systemic oppression links directly to HIV vulnerability and there’s no better example than burden of HIV faced by people of diverse gender identities and sexualities.”

Therefore, addressing HIV means ending poverty and ensuring all people have equal access to medical care.

The disproportionate rate of HIV among transgender women occurs around the world, including in wealthy countries like the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 22% of transgender women in the US have HIV.

That high incidence of HIV corresponds to a high rate of poverty and discrimination.

The most recent annual US Transgender Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 29% of 28,000 respondents experienced poverty compared to 14% of the overall US population and 15% of respondents were unemployed compared to just 5% of the broader population.

Meanwhile, about half of participants reported being verbally harassed and 9% said they had been attacked because of their gender identity in the year leading up to the survey.

Since discrimination and violence can prevent transgender women from entering the mainstream workforce, many turn to sex work as a way to survive. Around the world, sex workers are ten times more likely to contract HIV due to their multiple sex partners, susceptibility to sexual violence, and limited ability to use condoms.

“We have to scrounge for housing, and it puts us in the street at night to cover what we need to cover during the day,” Miss Major, the director emeritus at the Transgender, Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) in San Francisco told HIV Plus Mag. “It’s kind of like a merry-go-round that we’re on, and it’s difficult to stay [HIV] negative.”

The disproportionate impact of HIV is even starker when accounting for race. One study conducted by the National Institutes of Health at a clinic in New York City found nearly half of Latino and black participants had HIV, while just 3.5% of white participants had the virus.

Many groups are trying to change this grim pattern.

In San Francisco, the TGIJP provides emotional support, education, and social services to transgender individuals — especially black transgender women — who are incarcerated or who have been incarcerated.

“We have to scrounge for housing, and it puts us in the street at night to cover what we need to cover during the day,” Miss Major, the director emeritus at the Transgender, Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) in San Francisco told HIV Plus Mag. “It’s kind of like a merry-go-round that we’re on, and it’s difficult to stay [HIV] negative.”

The disproportionate impact of HIV is even starker when accounting for race. One study conducted by the National Institutes of Health at a clinic in New York City found nearly half of Latino and black participants had HIV, while just 3.5% of white participants had the virus.

Many groups are trying to change this grim pattern.

In San Francisco, the TGIJP provides emotional support, education, and social services to transgender individuals — especially black transgender women — who are incarcerated or who have been incarcerated.

“We write to them like they’re family, visit them like they’re family, and we support them with jobs,” said TGIJP Policy Director Woods Ervin, adding that where society fails, “we will be that wrap-around support system.”

Like Féminas, TGIJP uses existing bonds among transgender women to organize for more opportunities and fairer treatment.

As societies meaningfully consider the rights of transgender women, attitudes are beginning to change. Governments are even enacting laws that explicitly recognize and protect the rights of transgender and nonbinary individuals.

This recognition, however, can lead some people to treat transgender women as helpless victims, Perez-Brumer said, when, in fact, they have developed strategies to uplift themselves and each other.

Community organizations and health centers need to remember those skills and empower transwomen, she said.

“We need to not only acknowledge community-level expertise but integrate the existing strategies employed by transgender communities into the interventions we propose,” she said.

Perez-Brumer said HIV treatment is “just one aspect” of healthcare and encouraged all providers to adopt “gender-affirming processes.”

“It’s a key first step to creating an environment that respectful, welcoming, and safe,” she said.

For more than two years, that sort of environment has helped foster confidence and self-esteem among the women at Féminas.

“By rebuilding [the] sense of ‘you are important, you are part of this, you too can get to where we are,’ we’ve begun to enable each of them to move forward,” Huerta told the Fenway Institute. “I think that’s fundamental—being able to rely on our experience and creating solutions that move us forward.”

In this, April 4, 2014, photo, homeless youths hang out at the entrance of a sewer pipe along a trash-strewn canal where they live beneath a busy road in Kingston, Jamaica. They are part of a small group of young, gay and transgender Jamaicans who mostly sell sex to make money. In much of the world, giving out condoms and guidance to gay, bisexual and transgender sex workers is routine. But reaching out to men who have sex with men is practically revolutionary in parts of the English-speaking Caribbean, where homophobia and laws criminalizing gay sex have long driven people underground.

In this, April 4, 2014, photo, homeless youths hang out at the entrance of a sewer pipe along a trash-strewn canal where they live beneath a busy road in Kingston, Jamaica. They are part of a small group of young, gay and transgender Jamaicans who mostly sell sex to make money. In much of the world, giving out condoms and guidance to gay, bisexual and transgender sex workers is routine. But reaching out to men who have sex with men is practically revolutionary in parts of the English-speaking Caribbean, where homophobia and laws criminalizing gay sex have long driven people underground.

Human Rights, Civil Union #LGBTQ+: “Focus Tanzania”; A Tanzanian Woman Was Arrested for Kissing Another Woman at a Party.

Her arrest is the latest in a government campaign against homosexuality.

In Tanzania, police have arrested a woman after a video of her hugging and kissing another woman at a party went viral online.

Her alleged crime was homosexuality. If she is convicted, she could face 30 years in prison for having “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature.

Though the woman is the first suspected lesbian to be arrested by Tanzanian officials for homosexuality, her detention follows a clear pattern of discrimination against gay men. Since coming to power in 2015, President John Magufuli has initiated a severe crackdown on homosexual activities across the socially conservative country.

As police prepare a case against the newly arrested woman from the video, and continue their search for the second woman involved, they are also building similar cases against dozens of men charged with homosexuality who are systematically rounded up for arrest.

African outlet News24 reported that these arrests took place in suspected gay clubs, among other locations. Buzzfeed News reported that other men have been arrested at cafes and restaurants in sting-like operations involving coordinated efforts from police.

Following these arrests, men reported to Buzzfeed that they were often subjected to invasive anal exams, ostensibly administered to check for homosexuality, though reports have shown them to be ineffective in this regard. Men who underwent these exams likened the experience to assault.

The criminalization of homosexuality in Tanzania has been problematic in more ways than one. While targeted campaigns to arrest gay and lesbian people is condemnable in its own right, the Tanzanian government’s efforts to eliminate all homosexual behavior has also involved the systematic dismantling of resources for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment across the country.

In August of 2017 the government suspended programs designed to prevent HIV infection among gay men, NPR reported. The same report noted that over 40 clinics offering HIV/AIDS treatment to gay men, sex workers, and transgender people were prevented from serving these vulnerable populations.

The World Health Organization reported that HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in Tanzania, killing over 73,000 people in 2012 alone. Eliminating centers that increase awareness about treatment and prevention of the disease puts the Tanzanian population at risk of even higher rates of infection.

Furthermore, the government’s campaigns against homosexuality has included persecution of all NGOs and nonprofits working on LGBTQ rights across the country. In one high-profile event 20 activists were arrested while attending a workshop on HIV/AIDS prevention.

It remains unclear when the case against the recently arrested woman will be brought to court. Reuters reported that the local police chief could only confirm that she was in fact in a detention center as a result of her arrest.

“I can confirm that a Tanzanian woman is under police custody over that video clip,” police chief Mponjoli Mwabulambo told Reuters. “We will issue more details later after we conclude our investigation.”

Partnerships For the Goals: Women, Transgender, Queer, Indigenous, and All Oppressed People Need to Come Together to FIGHT HATE, Say Activists

The feminist movement needs to forge relationships with all oppressed people — including transgender, queer, and indigenous populations — to form intersectional alliances.

Activists and campaigners have on Thursday come together to call for collaboration between all movements that demand social change.

“There’s a rise of the right-wing, hate is the new common sense,” Indian lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Grover, told the audience during a panel discussion on re-assessing women’s rights at the Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust conference in London.

“There is nothing like a common enemy to strengthen the relationships between those who are oppressed,” asserted another panel member, Colombian reproductive rights consultant Monica Roa. “This is the time to come together to connect the dots.”

Bahrain human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja agreed, saying: “We need to have intersectionality in our struggles.”

The diverse panel included people fighting for women’s rights from the US, Bahrain, India, and Latin America, and spanned a vast range of issues — including child marriage, family planning, and domestic violence — and how we can come together to move forward in these areas.

“People don’t know what a big problem child marriage is in America,” said panellist Fraidy Reiss, the founder of Unchained at Last, the only non-profit in the US dedicated to helping women escape or resist arranged and forced marriages.

Read more: Child Marriage in America NOT AS RARE AS YOU THINK!

“In just the 38 states that actually track marriage ages, more than 160,000 children, some as young as 10, were married, and almost all were married to adult men,” Reiss continued. “I thought legislators just didn’t know. But that’s not the case unfortunately. They do know. What’s preventing these laws from passing is very simple. It’s misogyny.”

“If you can solve misogyny, you can figure out how to end child marriage in America,” she said. “The entire world needs to end child marriage.” 

Reiss also highlighted the “hypocrisy” of the US “telling the rest of the world to end child marriage,” through reports such as a Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls — a report launched in March 2016.

“The report defined marriage before 18 as a human rights abuse, and shook its finger at the rest of the world saying they were forcing girls into adulthood before they were ready,” said Reiss. “And at the same time, it’s legal in all 50 states in the US. Twenty-five states don’t even set a minimum age for marriage. And that puts the US in line with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.”

While most US states have set 18 as the legal marriage age, every state has loopholes that still allow for children under 18 to get married — for example, in the case of pregnancy, or with parental approval.

The panel also discussed the recent law change in Saudi Arabia that will all women to legally drive in the country as of next year.

“A lot of people are applauding Saudi Arabia for giving women the right to drive in 2018,” said Al-Khawaja. “But driving is not the biggest issue. It’s only the very tip of the iceberg.”

She added: “They’ve done it the way they do everything else. There was no awareness campaign. There was no attempt the change the social construct that they’re created. [There was nothing to ensure] that women in Saudi Arabia are not going to be attacked by their spouses, by their family, by their community, for driving.”

Al-Khawaja said the biggest problem for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia is the guardianship system — which dictates that women must be accompanied by a male guardian such as their husband, father, brother, or even son, in order to apply for a passport, travel outside the country, get married, exit prison, or access healthcare.

Read more: Proposed Iraq Law Would Allow Girls as Young as 9 to Marry

As well as calling for greater intersectionality between movements, the panellists said that a greater presence of women is needed in the human rights arena.

“We need more female legislators,” said Reiss, “more people like [murdered British MP] Jo Cox. And we need to not let the small things go, but to keep pushing and keep pointing out misogyny and patriarchy wherever we see it and never give up.” 

Al-Khawaja reiterated the point, saying: “We need to change our discourse around women. We say, women took part in the revolution, they joined the protest, as though they’re not naturally meant to be there on the frontline.”

“Women human rights defenders are some of the strongest, most inspirational women I have ever met,” she continued. “They do not need saving. They need support, they need to be heard, and recognised for the heroes that they are.”

The Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference is a two-day conference on human rights, particularly addressing the issues of modern slavery and re-assessing the rights of women and girls.

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality.

 

 

REDUCED INEQUALITIES: A Majority of Australian’s Have Voted in Favour of Marriage Equality

Scenes of celebration have erupted around the country as the Australian marriage equality vote results in a YES.

At 10 a.m. 15 November the results from Australia’s same sex marriage survey were announced, showing 61.6% of Australians have supported the right of same sex couples to marry.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced the results of the voluntary, non-binding postal vote, stating that the overall response rate to the survey was 79.5%.

Australian statistician David Kalisch said, “This is outstanding for a voluntary survey and well above other voluntary surveys conducted around the world. It shows how important this issue is to many Australians.”

The participation rate was slightly higher for older age groups. The youngest Australians eligible to vote, 18-19 year olds, had a 78% participation rate. The electorate with the highest yes majority was the seat of Melbourne in Victoria with 83.7% of people voting yes, with similar results in Sydney.

New South Wales (NSW) returned the lowest ‘yes’ vote with 57.7%, while the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)  returned the highest “yes” vote with 74%.

The final count was 7.8 million voted yes and 4.9 million voted no.

Prime Minister Turnbull called the postal survey an “unprecedented exercise in democracy.”

As promised, the Australian Parliament must now act to legislate the will of the Australian people as soon as possible.

Liberal Senator Dean Smith will be introducing a bill to amend the Marriage Act in the Senate on the same afternoon that the results were announced. The bill includes an exemption for religious organisations in officiating same sex marriages. The motion has cross-party coalition support including senators from Labor, the Greens, and the Crossbench. A debate and parliamentary process is planned to begin on Thursday morning.

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Liberal Senator James Paterson will also be proposing a new conservative-backed bill designed to provide for religious protections. The bill extends as far as allowing private businesses to refuse goods and services for gay weddings if they have “conscientious objections.”

However Turnbull has stated that it would have “virtually no prospect of getting through the Parliament” and has made it clear that Smith’s bill is his preferred option.

In a press conference shortly after the results were announced, Turnbull said, the people have “voted yes for fairness, they voted yes for commitment, they voted yes for love”.

“And now it is up for us here in Parliament to get on with it,” he said as promised to deliver change to legislation by Christmas this year.

Co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich thanked politicians for coming together on this issue.

“For the first time we have a clear pathway to marriage equality, and this is thanks to powerful political consensus in support of the LGBTI community and a fair go for all.”

Opposition Bill Shorten has said, “Yes, yes, yes! What a fabulous day to be an Australian. Today we celebrate. Tomorrow we legislate.”

It has been months of campaigning from both sides of the marriage equality debate. Many were nervous in the lead up to the results that the opinion polls, predicting a yes vote, may have got it wrong.

Here at Mordi Ibe Foundation we believe the world needs active people who are engaged in the world, knowledgeable about its diversity and passionate about change.

 

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.10, Reduced Inequality. There are a range of actions that work to reduce inequality and call on other governments to end discrimination and violence against the LGBQTI community.

 

Reduced Inequalities: These Rainbow Headscarves Are Making a Bold Statement About Marriage Equality #LGBT+

Australian fashion label MOGA just released a rainbow headscarf to celebrate the LGBTQ community and advocate for marriage equality.

MOGA, a Muslim-owned company, announced their new product as Australia prepares to tally votes on a plebiscite that measured public opinion on gay marriage  in their country. The brand makes 100% silk headscarves for a variety of uses.

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“We at MOGA believe that fashion has the power to positively change stereotypes and social norms,” the company said in a Facebook post. “And that’s why MOGA prides itself on creating innovative looks that are bold and unique!”

The brand is no stranger to using fashion to address social issues. When founder Azahn Munas began the company, he wanted to ensure that his products were supporting a greater cause. Consequently, MOGA donates 20% of its profits to CARE Pakistan, an organization dedicated to expanding educational access to women and children in Pakistan.

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality.

Moreover, the design of many of their products have been carefully selected to speak to important causes, including:

  • Breast Cancer Awareness
  • The Objectification of Women
  • Marriage Equality

Australia’s vote on same sex marriage comes on the heels of its legalization in Malta and Germany. However, gay marriage remains criminalized in many countries around the world, sometimes carrying penalties as harsh as the death sentence.

Read More: Zara Clothes Come With Hidden Notes from Unpaid Workers

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality.

The company’s colourful scarf is now available to the public at their website.

Human Rights: This Emotional Photo Is a Reminder Why Scotland’s Apology to Gay Men Is So Important

Homosexuality was illegal in Scotland until 1981

A photograph taken of two men in tears in the gallery of the Scottish Parliament is a touching reminder of the importance of Scotland’s apology to gay men convicted of historical sexual offences.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon “wholeheartedly” apologised on Tuesday to gay men, who were convicted when homosexuality was still illegal in the country.
Sturgeon’s apology came on the same day that new legislation was brought in, that would automatically pardon these men.
She said it was “shocking” that homosexuality remained illegal in Scotland until so recently — with consensual sex between men aged over 21 only being decriminalised in Scotland in 1981. The age of consent for gay men was only lowered to 16 in 2001.

“Before then, hundreds of people in Scotland were liable to be convicted as criminals, simply for loving another adult,” said Sturgeon. “Those laws criminalised the act of loving another adult; they deterred people from being honest about their identity to family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues; and by sending a message from parliament that homosexuality was wrong, they encouraged rather than deterred homophobia and hate.

“Today as first minister I categorically, unequivocally, and wholeheartedly apologise for those laws and for the hurt and the harm that they caused to so many,” she continued.

“Nothing that this parliament does can erase those injustices, but I do hope this apology, alongside our new legislation, can provide some comfort to those who endured those injustices,” Sturgeon added. “And I hope that it provides evidence of this parliament’s determination in so far as we can to address the harm that was done.”

The publication of the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill — the so-called “Turing law”, named after the World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing  — will provide an automatic formal pardon to an estimated 5,000 Scottish men, both living and dead.

It applies to acts which are now legal, however, it will not affect records for activity that is still illegal — such as non-consensual sex, or sex with a minor.

Those with convictions who are still alive will also be able to apply for a “disregard,”, which would remove convictions from their record.

While the pardon will be automatic, the “disregard” would need to be applied for in order to check on a case-by-case basis that the offences aren’t ones which are still illegal.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said the changes are an important step towards addressing the injustices faced by gay men in the past.

“These discriminatory laws, although abolished, continue to have implications for people to this day and it is only right that we address this historic wrong, which criminalised people simply because of who they loved,” he said.

England and Wales passed the Turing law in January 2017 , pardoning 50,000 gay and bisexual men who were convicted before homosexuality between men aged over 21 was decriminalised in 1967.

The law was informally named after Turing, who was convicted of “gross indecency” in 1952 and was chemically castrated, before committing suicide in 1954. He was pardoned in 2013.
Turing’s family and gay rights groups campaigned for pardons for other men historically convicted. Before the 2015 elections, they presented a petition with nearly 500,000 signatures to Downing Street.
The law would only be applied to men because gay women weren’t criminalised.

Sooner or later Love will Win especially in countries and continents where the LGBT+ people are hunted.

 

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions as well as Reduced Inequalities.

Good Health & Well-Being: The startling Facts About HIV/AIDS Today “KNOW The 6” #MakeHivHistory

Women and girls make up more than half of those living with HIV around the world.

For all the talk of the differences between millennials and preceding generations, there’s one difference that’s based in fact: If you were born after 1980, you’ve never known a world without HIV and AIDS.

The HIV virus was first discovered by scientists in 1983, after doctors in Los Angeles and New York began reporting rare types of pneumonia and cancer among gay patients they were treating.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young people between the ages of 13 and 24 today account for just over one in five HIV diagnoses. Over 80% of these cases occur in gay or bisexual males, and over half of them are African American.

In fact, “black, gay and bisexual men in the US have a higher HIV rate than any other country in the world,” says Alice Lin Fabiano, Global Director of Global Community Impact, a division of Johnson & Johnson that aims to help change the trajectory of health for the most vulnerable populations in the world through strategic partnerships.

That’s certainly sobering news given the strides we’ve made with treatment and prevention efforts in the US since the 1980s. Over the past 25 years, Johnson & Johnson alone has developed six HIV medicines and is investigating several promising preventive tools, including an HIV vaccine. The company has also launched programs worldwide to help reduce the burden of HIV on women and children.

“We hope that, with initiatives like these, we can help end HIV/AIDS within a generation,” Fabiano says

Here are six key things HIV/AIDS experts want the next generation of change agents to know in order to help #makeHIVhistory.

1. People with HIV today can live long, healthy lives.

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Twenty-five years ago, an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence. But that’s far from the case today, thanks to cutting-edge antiretroviral treatments that work by keeping patients’ virus loads low and their immune systems stay strong.

“Simply getting access to [antiretroviral treatment] has transformed HIV into a chronic illness, allowing people to live near-normal life spans,” says Tony Bondurant, Ph.D., M.P.H., Global Head, HIV, Global Public Health at Johnson & Johnson.

It’s also gotten easier to stick to treatment regimens over the course of a (hopefully long) lifetime.

“Over the years, we’ve developed drugs that are generally well-tolerated and require infrequent dosing, so you shouldn’t have to take more than one pill a day, and sometimes just one or two,” says John Trott, Global Marketing Leader, HIV and Respiratory, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Janssen is currently studying the use of a single-tablet HIV medication. An injectable treatment, given every four weeks, is also being developed.

“Going forward, it may become easier and easier for patients to stay adherent to their prescribed regimens,” Trott says, “so they don’t stop taking their medications.”

2.Equally amazing strides have been made on the prevention front.

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The holy grail for putting an end to HIV transmission would be a vaccine — Janssen has been studying a possible vaccine that would prime the immune system to fight the virus, then boosts it for an extra-potent response.

In a recent phase of the study, all of the healthy volunteers exposed to the vaccine developed antibodies to HIV, suggesting they may be shielded from the disease in the future.

“This is really exciting because, while there have been other promising vaccines, none have yet been successful in humans,” Trott says. “And while our results are preliminary, the vaccine was well-tolerated in people, suggesting that we may have a shot at our goal of developing an effective HIV vaccine.”

Janssen has also supported the development of a vaginal ring containing an antiretroviral drug — licensed by Janssen to the International Partnership for Microbicides for study that could help empower women and girls to protect themselves against HIV.

In fact, two large later phase clinical trials have shown that the ring significantly reduced HIV incidence by more than half among women over the age of 21. Another study found it was tolerated well in girls under the age of 18

3. There’s one demographic in the US at particularly high risk of contracting the disease.

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This sobering statistic may surprise you: Despite the great strides we’ve made in preventing and treating HIV, over 39,000 people were diagnosed with the disease in the US in 2015, according to the CDC. Almost half of them were black and 70% were gay and bisexual men.

“Young, black, gay men have a one in two chance of HIV infection over the course of their lifetime,” confirms Phill Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Black AIDS Institute. “Black people, in general, have a higher risk of HIV infection than any other racial or ethnic group.”

Rates are particularly high in the Deep South, due to a lack of HIV/AIDS education and access to healthcare, and stigma around the condition.

This group is particuarly vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS because their sexual networks tend to be homogeneous. A black, gay man’s sexual network tends to be composed primarily of other black, gay men. “Since there is a higher level of HIV among this group, there is a higher level of risk,” Wilson says. And many young black men are unaware they even have the virus, increasing the risk of HIV transmission.

4. In much of Africa, HIV/AIDS remains a fact of life.

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In 2016, 1 million people died of HIV-related illnesses globally, according to the World Health Organization. Almost half of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.

Why is the mortality rate in countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe so high?

Simple. “In some of these areas, people still don’t know their HIV status, so they can’t take medications,” explains Thomas Lobben, Manager of Global Community Impact at Johnson & Johnson.

And even when they are aware, there’s a stigma associated with treatment, so they put it off until they start to show symptoms, Lobben adds. At that point, when their immune systems are greatly weakened, they’re at higher risk of developing such deadly illnesses as tuberculosis.

“Just over half of people around the world with HIV are accessing antiretroviral therapy, but that means another half isn’t,” Bondurant notes.

There is some good news, however. In eastern and southern Africa, treatment coverage more than doubled from 2010 to 2015, increasing from 24% to 54%, according to the World Health Organization. Johnson & Johnson has helped to contribute to this positive stat by volunteering to make generic versions of its drugs readily available in countries hard-hit by HIV, and by reaching licensing agreements with other companies to produce them at more affordable costs.

5. Two demographics most at risk outside the US are women and girls.

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Women and girls make up more than half of those living with HIV around the world. In fact, young women aged 10-24 are twice as likely to contract HIV as males the same age.

“A large part of this is due to the fact that, especially in lower-income countries, women have virtually no decision-making power when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health,” explains Lobben. Due to social norms, many women find it difficult, if not impossible, to practice safe sex and use condoms.

Johnson & Johnson has vowed to become part of the solution. In 2015, the company became a major partner in the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, Safe women) initiative, a partnership between the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other groups aimed at reducing HIV infections among teen girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. As part of its commitment, Johnson & Johnson is providing up to $15 million in funding to help empower girls and young women by supporting such services as offering access to HIV testing and condoms.

“The ambitious aim is that we can reduce the incidence of HIV in these communities by 40%,” Bondurant says.

6. There’s a lot you can do personally to help #makeHIVhistory.

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According to the American Psychological Association, 50% of millennials say they want more information about the disease, and 63% say the government needs to spend more on both treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDs.

“We need to really focus on personal awareness and education — what you do not know can kill you,” Wilson says. “It’s 2017, not 1985, but a lot of people are still stuck with old information and not aware of new treatments and preventive tools, as well as how easy and fast it is these days to find out their HIV status.”

You can help spread the word by volunteering or donating to such groups as Greater Than AIDS and the Black AIDS Institute, which both work to reduce stigma of the disease, encourage HIV testing and promote prevention strategies in at-risk communities.

It’s also critical to stay on top of HIV issues politically, not just on the national level, but on the state and city level, as well.

“It’s not just about calling your representatives to ask for more HIV funding,” explains Wilson. “It’s also about, for example, knowing why state laws that make it a crime not to disclose your HIV status can cause people to shy away from both testing and treatment.”

A simple phone call or letter to your congressperson or senator is one way to get your voice heard—and help support the people who need it most.

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