Security Council Briefing on the Visiting Mission to Colombia: Gender-Sensitive Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Reintegration in Colombia

The 11-14 July Security Council visiting mission to Colombia co-led by the United Kingdom and Peru. (Photo: United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia @MisionONUCol)

On Friday 19 July 2019, the United Nations Security Council held sessions and closed consultations to report back from the 11-14 July visiting mission to Colombia co-led by Peru and the United Kingdom. 

Building on recommendations from meetings in Colombia with women-led civil society, government authorities, and community leaders, the discussion highlighted the importance of holistic and accelerated implementation of the peace agreement and action to address rising violence against human rights defenders and peacebuilders.

With 14 of the 15 Council representatives on the mission being men, if Council Members are to be taken seriously on gender equality, they must also strengthen women’s leadership within their own missions.



A woman’s greatest enemy? A lack of time to themselves

If what it takes to create are long stretches of time alone, that’s something women have never had the luxury to expect.

A few months ago, as I struggled to carve out time in my crowded days for writing, a colleague suggested I read a book about the daily rituals of great artists. But instead of offering me the inspiration I’d hoped for, what struck me most about these creative geniuses – mostly men – was not their schedules and daily routines, but those of the women in their lives.

Their wives protected them from interruptions; their housekeepers and maids brought them breakfast and coffee at odd hours; their nannies kept their children out of their hair. Martha Freud not only laid out Sigmund’s clothes every morning, she even put the toothpaste on his toothbrush. Marcel Proust’s housekeeper, Celeste, not only brought him his daily coffee, croissants, newspapers and mail on a silver tray, but was always on hand whenever he wanted to chat, sometimes for hours. Some women are mentioned only for what they put up with, like Karl Marx’s wife – unnamed in the book – who lived in squalor with the surviving three of their six children while he spent his days writing at the British Museum.

Women’s time has been interrupted and fragmented throughout history, the rhythms of their days circumscribed by the sisyphean tasks of housework, childcare and kin work – keeping family and community ties strong. If what it takes to create are long stretches of uninterrupted, concentrated time, time you can choose to do with as you will, time that you can control, that’s something women have never had the luxury to expect, at least not without getting slammed for unseemly selfishness.

[category herstory]


Implications of sex-change act amendment have not been fully explored

The question for Victorians – and indeed for all Australians, given that half of our states have now introduced this legislation – is what we want the law to protect when it comes to sex.

Despite the fact that this bill changes what it means to be a person of a particular sex in law, and despite the fact that sex is a protected attribute in both the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act and the Australian Sex Discrimination Act, the group that faces the most sex discrimination – namely female people – have not been consulted about the bill, and the implications of the bill on their legal protections, if any, have not been adequately acknowledged or explored.


Men assault and kill children because they are angry with women, while others escape conviction by claiming girl consented to violent sexual assault

Crown says B.C. father who stabbbed his daughters to death on Christmas Day, had a series of complaints about the how the girls’ mother had treated him

Jennings said the girls’ mother, Sarah Cotton, went to the Oak Bay police detachment on Dec. 25, 2017, after the father failed to return their daughters by noon as required by a court order.

She said police went to his apartment and found six-year-old Chloe Berry and four-year-old Aubrey Berry dead, lying on beds in separate bedrooms with multiple stab wounds to their bodies.

Berry was treated in hospital and underwent surgery to repair a serious injury to his throat or neck, she said. While in hospital, he never once mentioned his daughters or asked how they were doing, Jennings said.  Instead, she said, he had a series of complaints about his parents and the girls’ mother, and how they had treated him.

Man Who Threw Child Off Mall Balcony Was Upset Women Rejected Him

A man accused of throwing a 5-year-old boy off the third-floor balcony of Minnesota’s iconic Mall of America last week told police he was furious that women repeatedly rejected him, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Rough sex between girl and three males was consensual, judge rules

Justice Scott Brooker said he didn’t believe the girl’s evidence that she didn’t consent to having sex with the males, two of whom were adults on trial before the Court of Queen’s Bench judge.

The youth, who can’t be named, pleaded guilty to sexual assault for his involvement in the group sex.

At the time of his sentencing, youth court Judge Richard O’Gorman — who viewed two segments of the video recordings — had a different view of the conduct, calling it a “prolonged, brutal and vicious assault.”

[category global, violence, sexual assault, domestic violence]


Paula Radcliffe: Transgender runners who identify as female get ‘unfair’ advantage to qualify for Boston Marathon

Paula Radcliffe has waded into a row over the entry requirements for transgender athletes at one of the world’s most elite marathons, suggesting it is “unfair” on women.

Responding to a story about several transgender runners in last year’s Boston marathon, she wrote: “The serious significance here is worse because Boston is notoriously difficult to qualify for.

“Opening women’s (qualifying times) up to any male who ‘self-identifies’ as female is unfair because the end result will be that female (Boston qualifying times) are made harder due to the added numbers achieving them.”

One user hit back that “people should be able to identify how they chose”, to which Radcliffe replied: “They can identify however they want to. Just not in a sporting competition where they can deprive a woman of a qualifying place.

“This is because qualifying times for women are slower than for men since biological men are capable of running faster than biological women.”

[category global, inequity, trans]  

The United States cannot erect a wall and expect women to resign themselves to being slaughtered.

Honduras is one of the world’s deadliest places to be a woman — a 2015 survey ranked it in the top five countries, with El Salvador and Syria. According to official statistics, 380 Honduran women were murdered last year (slightly fewer than in recent years), in a country with roughly the population of New York City. But no one believes the government’s numbers. The number of women who have “disappeared” continues to rise.

Unlike in much of the world, where most murdered women are killed by their husbands, partners or family members, half in Honduras are killed by drug cartels and gangs. And the ways they are being killed — shot in the vagina, cut to bits with their parts distributed among various public places, strangled in front of their children, skinned alive — have women running for the border.

Understanding what is going on in Honduras is crucial to understanding, and solving, what is going on at the United States border, where 268,044 migrants were stopped in the first five months of fiscal 2019, nearly twice as many as in the same period last year. A growing proportion — half — were families with children.

It’s about machismo — the culture of which goes back to colonial times, when conquering Spaniards came without wives and treated the indigenous like slaves. Today, in a world ruled by gangs and narco groups, it’s about engendering maximum terror in your enemies, and you do that by showing how macabre you can be in the way you torture or kill. Honduras is locked in a war of grisly one-upmanship, and women’s bodies are the battlefield.

A 2018 study of cases in San Pedro Sula found that more than 96 percent of women’s murders go unpunished. The prosecutor’s office blamed this largely on family members being afraid to testify — in a place where you can buy a hit on a person for $50 and no one believes the police can or will protect them. Of 783 killings of women in Cortés between 2013 and 2018, prosecutors here say that just 17 percent have begun a court process and an estimated 12 percent will get a verdict — statistics they trot out as an improvement.

[category global, violence, domestic violence, sexual violence]


Calls to end transgender ‘experiment on children’ | News | The Times

An investigation series at The Times looking at medical transition services for UK children reveals that five NHS clinicians have resigned over the encouraging of “conversion therapy for gay youth,” while an Oxford professor of evidence-based medicine questions the research used to support medical treatments for children.

[category global, trans]

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Tasmania’s Upper House on track to pass landmark legislation to make gender optional on birth certificates

  • The amendments will make gender optional on birth certificates and allow 16-year-olds to change their registered gender without parental permission
  • The bill was introduced by the Liberal Government to ensure state marriage laws were in line with federal marriage laws, but opposition parties added contentious amendments
  • The bill will go through a third formal reading in the Upper House before returning to the Lower House for a tick of approval

But the Tasmanian Coalition for Kids expressed “dismay” at changes it described as “radical”.

“Teenagers as young as 16 will be able to change their gender and name without parental consent and without any medical certification,” spokesperson Ben Smith said.

“This step goes well beyond community expectation.”

Mr Smith said the changes had been “rushed” and went against the advice of senior figures including the Solicitor-General and the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

“On top of that the Legislative Council has ignored the will of the 70 per cent plus of the Tasmanian people who we know from publicly released polling are against these changes.”

[category Aust, trans]