Women Are Not 'Chattel,' Says India's Supreme Court In Striking Down Adultery Law

npr reports:

India’s Supreme Court has struck down a colonial-era law that made adultery illegal, calling it arbitrary and saying it is unconstitutional because it “treats a husband as the master.”
Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code makes it a crime for a man to have intercourse with another man’s wife “without the consent or connivance of that man.”
The law gives a husband exclusive right to prosecute his wife’s lover — and does not grant a wife power to do the same. It does not penalize the woman, nor any married man who has sex with an unmarried woman.
https://www.npr.org/2018/09/27/652075778/women-are-not-chattel-says-india-s-supreme-court-in-striking-down-adultery-law

'MeToo must become WeToo': Ardern's maiden speech to UN rebuts Trump

Eleanor Ainge Roy in The Guardian reports:
The prime minister of New Zealand has been met with thunderous applause at the UN for her speech espousing global cooperation and kindness from world leaders, in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s portentous rejection of globalism earlier in the week.
Jacinda Ardern’s national statement was viewed by many commentators as a direct rebuttal to the US president’s call for increased isolationism and national self-interest.
Ardern called for equality for women, action on climate change and a recommitment to multilateralism, saying : “We must rediscover our shared belief in the value, rather than the harm, of connectedness.”
Ardern concluded her address by committing to work towards the equality of women and girls not only in New Zealand, but around the world, a goal that earned her thunderous applause from world leaders, the first spontaneous applause all day, according to a Radio New Zealand reporter on the ground.
“Me Too must become We Too,” Ardern said. “We are all in this together”
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/28/we-are-not-isolated-jacinda-arderns-maiden-speech-to-the-un-rebuts-trump?

Disturbing gap identified in Queensland's revenge porn legislation

Felicity Caldwell for the Brisbane Times writes:

Speaking at a parliamentary committee hearing into proposed revenge porn laws, Brisbane Domestic Violence Service team leader Rebecca Shearman cited one horrific example that she thought would not be covered by the legislation.
In that example, an offender allegedly posted details about his ex-partner, including her phone number and the type of humiliation she would purportedly enjoy online, prompting a flood of messages from strangers, including some with graphic descriptions of violent sex acts.
Committee chairman Peter Russo asked Ms Shearman if she thought there was a gap in the legislation as it did not cover posts without images, to which she agreed.
Ms Shearman said women had been “extorted” and asked for $500 to $1000 by website operators to remove “revenge porn” photos.
Sharing, or even threatening to share, compromising images of another person in Queensland would result in three years’ jail, under a bill introduced to Parliament by Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath last month.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/disturbing-gap-identified-in-queensland-s-revenge-porn-legislation-20180917-p50477.html

Police could issue on-the-spot intervention orders for domestic violence under Victorian Opposition plan

Jessica Longbottom at ABC News reports:

Victoria Police will be given new powers to issue intervention orders on the spot in domestic violence situations, if a Liberal Coalition government is elected in November.
Currently, when police respond to a family violence call, they only have power to issue a family violence safety notice which provides immediate, but temporary, protection while the victim waits for a court to issue a more permanent intervention order.
The proposed changes would allow police at the rank of Senior Constable or above, with more than four years of experience, to issue an indefinite family violence safety notice when they are called to a dispute.
The effect would be the same as a court-ordered intervention order.
The matter would only go to court if one of the parties wanted to challenge the order.
“It’s about making the system less traumatic for victims of crime and giving police the powers they need to serve these notices for longer periods of time,” said the Opposition’s police spokesman, Edward O’Donohue.
However, several domestic violence groups have expressed concerns about the plan.
Joanna Fletcher, the chief executive officer of the Women’s Legal Service Victoria, said police weren’t ready to take on the power.
Commissioner Ashton has previously said family violence was the largest single issue police deal with — taking up a staggering 40 per cent of police work.
Mr Ashton said in the vast majority of cases, intervention orders aren’t contested in court, and victims would be better served not being required to attend court.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-16/victorian-opposition-backs-calls-spot-intervention-order/10253228

Guatemala: Indigenous Mayan Ixil Midwife and Activist Murdered

teleSUR English reports:
Juana Ramirez Santiago, a 57-year-old Mayan Ixil community leader and human rights defender, was shot dead on Friday in Guatemala’s Quiche department.
Ramirez was a founding member of the Network of Ixil Women, an organization fighting for women’s rights, and a prominent midwife in her community. People close to her say had been threatened before and had already filed a complaint with the Public Ministry (MP).
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Indigenous-Mayan-Ixil-Midwife-Defender-Killed-Guatemala-20180922-0020.html
[category: global, reproductive rights, violence]

ABC chairman told Michelle Guthrie to sack Emma Alberici to appease Coalition

Justin Milne of The Guardian writes:

The chairman of the ABC told Michelle Guthrie to fire economics editor Emma Alberici after the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull complained about her reporting of tax policy.
“They [the government] hate her,” Milne wrote. “We are tarred with her brush. I think it’s simple. Get rid of her. We need to save the ABC – not Emma. There is no guarantee they [the
Coalition] will lose the next election.”
The secretary of the ABC section of the Community and Public Sector Union, Sinddy Ealy, said Milne had to resign over the Alberici intervention.
“Protecting the ABC from political interference is the most important responsibility of the chair.
“There can be no more serious breach than the apparent demand that a journalist be sacked at the behest of the prime minister of the day.”
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/sep/26/abc-chairman-michelle-guthrie-sack-emma-alberici-appease-coalition?
More context from Denis Muller at The Conversation:
One first-hand example makes the point. In May, when Barnaby Joyce accepted money – reportedly $150,000 – to go on Channel Nine with his partner Vikki Campion and talk about their affair, the ABC invited me to write a commentary on the ethics involved.
I wrote that by agreeing to take the money, Joyce had called into question his fitness for public office.
This was too strong for the ABC, and the article did not run. I was told that it was a sensitive time for the ABC’s relations with the government. Instead the article was published by The Conversation and then by The Age and an online newspaper, The Mandarin.
It showed the effect of the water-torture approach the government has taken to the ABC, cheered on by News Corp’s The Australian: grizzles about the work of Emma Alberici as economics editor, most of which turned out to be baseless; grievances about Triple J’s changing the date of its Hottest 100 from Australia Day; more grizzles about Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s comments about Anzac Day.
https://theconversation.com/michelle-guthries-stint-at-abc-helm-had-a-key-weakness-she-failed-to-back-the-journalists-103759
[Ed: Patriarchy working to silence strong women!]

Advocates fear NSW child protection bill reduces rights of birth parents

Lorena Allam for The Guardian writes:
Lawyers working with vulnerable families in New South Wales are demanding the government make public its plan to overhaul child protection laws, saying they are worried the government wants to significantly reduce the legal rights of birth parents in a greater push towards adoption.
More than 20 of the state’s community legal centres and Aboriginal legal services have written to the NSW government to call for public consultation on its draft bill. They claim a draft has been shared with some government agencies but not with the sector itself.
There has also been a policy shift towards adoption. The non-government agency Adopt Change was awarded a $2.3mcontract to recruit and support foster carers for the next three years, with an emphasis on finding carers who can double as adoptive parents if needed.
The government is also offering a fortnightly adoption allowance, to encourage eligible carers to adopt, and last week said it would pay specialised foster carers $75,000 a year to temporarily look after children with complex needs.
It also sought views on “whether the Adoption Act should be amended to provide additional grounds for dispensing with parental consent”, a question that has alarmed community legal centres and the Aboriginal legal service.
They are “particularly concerned about proposals to transfer jurisdiction to decide adoption matters from the supreme court to the children’s court and to dispense with parental consent in these matters”.
“To dispense with parental consent … for many of our clients, there’re reasons why people don’t want that to happen. Homelessness is sometimes due to domestic violence. And they are potentially going to have no say in the custody of their children.”
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/sep/25/advocates-fear-nsw-child-protection-bill-reduces-rights-of-birth-parents?

INTERVIEW: The irrepressible Venice Allan on her fight against changes to the UK Gender Recognition Act

Julie Moss speaks with Venice Allan for Feminist Current:
Caroline Flint, a Labour MP, stood up in the House of Commons on July 3, 2018 and asked for debate on the Government’s LGBT action plan. It’s an issue that divides every party. David Davies wants debate. But all that lobbying. Groups like Stonewall and Mermaids have public money to brief the government — they have full-time paid employees to do that. We are just volunteers and mums. It’s so sinister.
One good thing is that the general public is behind us — the average person thinks this all is wrong. A YouGov poll sponsored by PinkNews found that only 18 per cent of people are in favour of allowing individuals to change their legal sex through self-identification. Nobody goes along with this shit.
I don’t think the average person actually understands that all lesbian and female-only spaces are under threat. That can engage quite a lot of people. We all have to keep fighting. The Consultation period for amendments to the GRA ends on October 19th, but we must continue fighting after that whatever the outcome.
My message has always been that I’m just an ordinary concerned mother and woman. I haven’t really done anything and everyone needs to stand up — this is not the time to be worrying about our reputations and what people think of us. It’s now or never, and if these laws go through, we’re fucked.
https://www.feministcurrent.com/2018/09/24/interview-irrepressible-venice-allan-fight-changes-uk-gender-recognition-act/

German Catholic Church to own up to decades of child abuse

According to the study, 1,670 clergymen in Germany committed some form of sexual attack against 3,677 minors, mostly boys, between 1946 and 2014, Spiegel Online reported.
It points to a pattern of priests who have taken the vow of celibacy and diocese staff abusing minors. They kept the victims quiet by intimidation, instilling guilt and using their own status as figures of authority and trust.
More than half of the victims were 13 years old or younger, the study concluded, after examining 38,000 documents from the 27 German dioceses.
Researchers from three universities who carried out the survey warned that the true scale of the abuse was far greater, as many documents had been “destroyed or manipulated”.
Predator priests were often transferred to another parish, which was commonly not warned about their criminal history.
Only 38 percent of the accused were prosecuted by civil courts, mostly on complaints lodged by victims or their families.
https://www.afp.com/en/news/205/german-catholic-church-own-decades-child-abuse-doc-19c9392

Girl Guide leaders expelled for questioning trans policy

Andrew Gilligan of The Sunday Times writes:
Two Guide leaders who had raised safeguarding concerns about the organisation’s transgender policy have been expelled and had their units closed down.
Helen Watts, one of 12 leaders who signed a letter to The Sunday Times in April asking for a review of the policy, was told on Friday that her membership was being terminated after more than 15 years with the Guides.
Watts was told she was being removed because she was “not willing to follow Girlguiding’s equality and diversity policy in so far as it provides for transgender inclusion”.
Since last year the Guides have allowed male-bodied trans adults who self-identify as women to be Guide leaders and trans children who self-identify as girls to be members. On trips the children can share lavatories, showers and sleeping accommodation. The policy says parents should not be told if their daughter’s leader, or a child, is transgender.
Another expelled leader said: “I was told my membership was revoked, I had to shut my unit down and I was not allowed to talk to the girls or their parents. They said I was refusing to follow Girlguiding procedures. I told them I would follow any procedure unless it conflicted with the safety of a girl in my care.”
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/girl-guide-leaders-expelled-for-questioning-trans-policy-550x7m55r