On 1 August 2021 Listening2Lesbians provided submissions in response to the following from the Commission on the Status of Women:
“Any individual, non-governmental organization, group or network may submit communications (complaints/appeals/petitions) to the Commission on the Status of Women containing information relating to alleged violations of human rights that affect the status of women in any country in the world. The Commission on the Status of Women considers such communications as part of its annual programme of work in order to identify emerging trends and patterns of injustice and discriminatory practices against women for purposes of policy formulation and development of strategies for the promotion of gender equality.”Commission on the Status of Women: Communication Procedure
Information was provided to the UN on incidents dating back approximately 2.5 years across the 57 countries we have reported on in that time.
Legal, social and familial punishment of lesbians for failing to conform with the expectations imposed on women illuminates the status of women around the world. Homosexuality is understood to be a breach of sex-based expectations. Strictly enforced sex roles are accompanied by increased consequences for those who break them, individually or collectively. Lesbians, or women read as lesbians, are doubly punishable for their non-conformity, both overt and inferred.
Listening2Lesbians is not an expert on these countries and provided this information to augment and support the information provided by women from individual communities. We can only provide information on cases we have been able to locate and based our submissions solely around the available facts. Please note that we welcome corrections and updates.
We are painfully aware of the many communities not represented.
Anyone with information on missing communities is invited to contact us with information on reporting violence and discrimination against lesbians in their community.
Liz, Ari and Devorah @ Listening2Lesbians
Posted in Listening 2 Lesbians, News
Tagged corrective rape, Discrimination, harassment, Indiana, Lesbian Murder Victims, lesbians in Afghanistan, lesbians in Algeria, Lesbians in Argentina, Lesbians in Australia, Lesbians in Barbados, Lesbians in Bolivia, Lesbians in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lesbians in Brazil, Lesbians in Bulgaria, Lesbians in Burundi, Lesbians in Cameroon, Lesbians in Canada, Lesbians in Chile, Lesbians in China, Lesbians in Colombia, Lesbians in Costa Rica, Lesbians in Cuba, Lesbians in Equatorial Guinea, Lesbians in France, Lesbians in Germany, Lesbians in Ghana, Lesbians in Guatemala, Lesbians in Honduras, Lesbians in Hungary, Lesbians in Iceland, Lesbians in Indonesia, Lesbians in Iran, Lesbians in Ireland, Lesbians in Israel, Lesbians in Italy, Lesbians in Jamaica, Lesbians in Japan, Lesbians in Kazakhstan, Lesbians in Kenya, Lesbians in Lebanon, Lesbians in Madagascar, Lesbians in Mexico, Lesbians in Namibia, Lesbians in New Zealand, Lesbians in Nigeria, Lesbians in Peru, Lesbians in Poland, Lesbians in Portugal, Lesbians in Russia, Lesbians in Saudi Arabia, Lesbians in Serbia, Lesbians in South Africa, Lesbians in Spain, Lesbians in Sri Lanka, Lesbians in the Netherlands, Lesbians in the Philippines, Lesbians in the U.K., Lesbians in the U.S., Lesbians in Uganda, Lesbians in Ukraine, Lesbians in Venezuela, Lesbophobia, persecution, Submissions, United Nations, violence against lesbians
A Room of Our Own
A Feminist/Womanist Network
“Lesbian sexual identity and choice is being eroded, erased and elided. This is being done by the literal obliteration of lesbians by state-sponsored violence, by the “corrective rape of lesbians” (imagine the 12 year old Pearl Mali being given the worst sort of reparative therapy by her very own mother), by the harassment and violence, by the firings (lesbians face more job discrimination than any other group within the LGBT alliance), by the enforced and compulsory heterosexuality of every society on earth. Aderonke Apata has been forced, by men, to provide not just spoken testimony and a pending marriage license, but also a sex tape of her having sexual relations with her partner to “prove” her lesbianism to the men who want to erase that aspect of her identity–the very identity that puts her and millions of other lesbians at risk of imprisonment and/or death.”
Continue reading Victoria Brownworth and other contributors to A Room of Our Own at: Erasure: The New Normal for Lesbians by @VABVOX – A Room of Our Own (Source)
AND MORE Victoria Brownworth at: https://www.victoriabrownworth.com/
Posted in Blogs We Love
Tagged A Room of Our Own, Aderonke Apata, Ciara Murphy, compulsory heterosexuality, corrective rape, Discrimination, Freedom from religion, Hate crimes, homophobia, Jackie Nanyonjo, Keshema Tulloch, language matters, lesbian erasure, Lesbian history, lesbian identity, lesbian voices, Lesbians in India, Lesbians in Ireland, Lesbians in Jamaica, Lesbians in Kyrgyzstan, Lesbians in Nigeria, Lesbians in Russia, Lesbians in Saudi Arabia, Lesbians in South Africa, Lesbians in Sudan, Lesbians in Sweden, Lesbians in the U.K., Lesbians in the U.S., Lesbians in Uganda, Lesbophobia, Maria Barin, Pearl Mali, persecution, Roisin Prendergast, seeking asylum, Threats of violence, Victoria A. Brownsworth, violence against lesbians, violence against women
Lesbians in the News 30 October 2015
Guyana loses Woman of Courage Zenita Temall Nicholson
Guyanese LGBT activist, Zenita Temall Nicholson died on October 26th. Temall Nicholson was honoured last year by the US Embassy in Georgetown as an International Woman of Courage. She was the Country Coordinator for Caribbean Vulnerable Communities/PANCAP Global Fund, and past Secretary on the SASOD Board of Trustees (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Guyana).
On presentation of the Woman of Courage award in March 2014, Temall Nicholson was described as being “an energetic, effective and passionate advocate at both the national and international levels for the principle that both women’s rights and the rights of lesbian, gays, bi – sexual and transgender persons are human rights, deserving of equal attention and protection”.
Guyana remains the only country in South America where homosexuality remains illegal and is punishable by imprisonment, with additional laws criminalising gender non conforming dress, although men may cross dress or express their gender identity as long as it is not for “improper purposes”. Women may wear trousers but do not appear to be covered by the same ruling enabling cross dressing.
As reported in a 2012 report to the UN CEDAW Committee, Guyanese lesbians remain subjected to harassment and sexual threats, compulsory heterosexuality, compulsory femininity and/or gender conformity.
Zenita Temall Nicholson’s activism will be missed in a country which requires significant improvements to secure the safety and wellbeing of lesbians, and our thoughts are with her family.
Arts & Entertainment
- Curve magazine will contain an in-depth story on lesbian erasing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in their January issue.
- Listen to author Michael Helquist discuss his new book about Marie Equi; lesbian doctor, activist and anarchist.
- Follow bloggers Wandering Wives, a UK lesbian couple that sold everything they owned to travel the world.
- Copies of Blood and Visions: Reconciling with Being Female by Autotomous Womyn’s Press are now available at Green Woman Store. It includes writing by ten womyn who stopped their transition from female to male.
- Listen to the recording of “The Sounds of MichFest 2015: a Radio Documentary of the 40th and Final Fest” on WORT. It can be found under “Access Hour” in the archives from October 26th.
Laws, Politics and Policies
- State Representative Celia Israel, the first out lesbian lawmaker in Texas, isn’t letting her colleagues get away with using Christian religious beliefs about homosexuality to run her state. In an episode titled, “God and Governing” produced by The Texas Tribune, Israel speaks out against turning Texas into a theocracy.
- The Movement Advancement Project (MAP), has released a report showing that 70% of the geographic area of the United States lacks any city, county, or state employment protections for LGBT people.
- The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya is seeking donations to complete several human rights cases, including a petition to seek freedom of association and registration of LGBTIQ organizations, challenging forced HIV testing and a class action suit to decriminalize consensual adult sex regardless of sexual orientation.
- Simone Bell, the first black and openly lesbian state lawmaker in Georgia is resigning after accepting a position with Lambda Legal.
- Homosexuality remains illegal in at least 76 countries – more information is available on the Erasing 76 Crimes blog.
Social and Health Issues
Crimes against Lesbians
- A lesbian couple vacationing in Hawaii was attacked and arrested by a police officer that didn’t like their public displays of affection in a grocery store. Taylor Guerrero and Courtney Wilson spent three days in jail before charges were dropped. The Honolulu Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident. Wilson and Guerrero have filed a lawsuit against the officer for discrimination.
- A Welsh lesbian is speaking out after her attackers received a slap on the wrist for verbally and physically attacking her in north Wales in July. 44-year old Jackie Hatton-Kesketh says the attack left her unable to continue working at her job and contributed to the breakup of her 12-year relationship.
- The leading scorer in the history of international soccer, Abby Wambach, announced her retirement on October 27th. Wambach finishes her amazing career as the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, only the second American to win the title since Mia Hamm (2011 & 2002).
- Jamaica held its first Montego Bay Pride on October 25th and announced it was a complete success. The event included music, networking, a 10-minute Flash Stand in front of the Summit Police Station and a speech by leading Jamaican activist Yvonne McCalla-Sobers.
Lesbians in the News compiled by Liz and Lisa.
If you have any other stories, corrections or comments, please add them below or email them to email@example.com.
Posted in News
Tagged compulsory heterosexuality, corrective rape, Hate crimes, Lesbians in Guyana, Lesbians in Jamaica, Lesbians in Kenya, Lesbians in Taiwan, Lesbians in the U.K., Lesbians in the U.S., LGBTI community, Michfest, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, persecution, representation, seeking asylum, violence against women
Lesbians in the news
12/04/2015 – 18/04/2015
Violent Crimes against Lesbians:
Mary Kristene Chapa
Laws, Politics and Policies:
- Leading child welfare organisations and the Humans Rights Campaign jointly denounced a Florida anti-LGBTI adoption bill and religious freedom bills across to country on the ground of the harm they could do to children, both in terms of promoting homophobic messages and in the withholding of vital services.
- Although the children conceived to married heterosexual couples using assisted reproduction and donor sperm are automatically recognised as children of the husband, this is not the case for married lesbian couples. A married lesbian couple is challenging the state of Utah to force them to automatically recognise the female partner to be recognised as the parent of children born in this circumstance, as is the case in other parts of the world.
- Continuing the worsening state of LGBT safety and protection in Egpyt, the state has now been granted the right to ban or deport LBGT foreigners. It’s not entirely clear how this measure will be applied across the LBGT community. Egyptian lesbians face additional barriers including silencing and invisibility, as well as the rampant sexual violence against women, which would also affect lesbians visiting Egypt.
- A French court has permitted 4 lesbians to adopt children born to their wives and conceived through artificial insemination in other countries. Lesbians have sought artificial insemination overseas because under French law only heterosexual couples can access assisted reproduction services.
- In Italy, a woman’s relationship ties to the children born during her relationship have been recognised in a court case that granted shared custody, which is significant in a country with a lack of legal protection for the relationship between children and their non-biological lesbian co-mother.
- Fears over custody and ongoing family context in case of accidents underpin desires to protect our families from the problems posed by our relationships with each other and our children not being recognised.
- Living in a country that recognises your relationship but a state that does not – the tax headaches for LGB Americans may have a disproportionately high effect on lesbians.
- Freedom Indiana, the organisation that fought the state ban on same-sex marriage, will focus on helping cities and town implement anti-discrimination measures, following the backlash over the religious freedom laws. At the same time, Indiana hires a PR firm to repair its tarnished image. Perhaps state-wide discrimination laws would be more convincing than more spin?
- After originally denying a Cameroonian woman’s claim for asylum on the basis of sexuality, rejecting her fear of being jailed for her publicly known sexuality, Spain has granted Christelle Nangou asylum. Homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon, punishable by 5 years in jail. Spain’s laws have explicitly included asylum protection on the grounds of sexuality-based persecution since 2009.
- The Florida Senate approves a bill which removes the unconstitutional ban on lesbians and gays adopting children.
- Officials debate same sex marriage in Guam as the attorney general and acting director or the Department of Public Health and Social Services issue contradictory messages after a lesbian couple approached the US District Court for the right to marry after having been denied a marriage license.
- A South African discrimination case has been settled with the owners apologising for the consequences of their refusing accommodation to a gay couple. It was acknowledged that the matter was small compared to the violent homophobia may LGBT South Africans face but that it was a part of the broader picture of addressing dehumanising treatment of lesbian, bisexual and gay South Africans.
- Lesbian suicide is a neglected issue in India with a toxic combination of blatant lesbophobia in Bollywood and minimal representation, with reporting of lesbian suicides not including supporting information or openly reporting the facts of stories. A country of over 1.25 billion people, India seems to have only 5 organisations supporting lesbian and bisexual women, reflecting their lack of visibility.
- Organisations representing lesbians in the tech field work to support women who are significantly less satisfied with their jobs on average and receive lower pays. This support includes mentor programs.
- Apple’s Siri appears to have been programmed to be homophobic in Russian, although it’s now apparently been fixed, in a measure reflecting the increasing homophobia and persecution in the country.
- LBGT history at the university of Chicago is being shared in the “Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles” exhibition.
- More reflections on poor lesbian representation as yet another lesbian relationship on TV succumbs to the mad, bad, sad or dead cliché. This may look like an unimportant issue to those who have thousands of (diverse) examples representing them, but this is far from the case for lesbians. Movies are no better, with only 17.5% having any LGB representation, mostly minor or token roles.
- South African photographer Zanele Muholi sees the role of her exhibition to be to bear witness, saying “Looking at where we’re at right now in the struggle [against homophobic violence], there’s nothing to laugh at, there’s nothing to enjoy except when one is intimate with her lover. I ask my sitters to think about the situation, think about being black, being a lesbian, being a woman.”
- Heteronormativity in the Australian curriculum and school setting has been criticised for its effects on Australian youth and its perpetuation of homophobia.
- UK clothing company Matalan advertises their clothing using lesbian and gay couples, and the media writes an article about it. The photos and the increased representation are positive, but the fact that articles are written about our representation indicates just how unusual it still is.
- Night Fliers is a film by Sara St. Martin Lynne which can be watched here. Sara St Martin Lynne says of the film: “My friends and I saw very few reflections of ourselves and our friendships and romantic interests in the media. Night Fliers is free because it should be seen by the young people for whom it was made, regardless of an ability to pay a rental fee. In 2015, 60% profits for this film will be donated to organizations and projects that directly impact and empower girls.”
Social and Health Issues:
Remembering our sisters:
- An Iranian Ayatollah has blamed homosexuality on bizarre causes including a man thinking of a woman other than his wife when she conceives and women not wearing the hijab correctly. Iran remains a dangerous country in which to be lesbian, with four counts of sex between women being punishable by death.
- The US Mennonite Church licences a lesbian pastor and refuses to remove her despite calls to from this congregation that has now left the church. Some Mennonite churches have also performed same sex weddings. Meanwhile the Alleghne Mennonite Conference, covering 27 churches in Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, welcomed the LGBT-welcoming Hyattsville Mennonite church back, agreeing to disagree with them on lesbians and gays in the church.
- In line with other sections of Irish society, including the technology sector and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Irish theologian Prof Linda Hogan argues that there is a a theological case for same sex marriage. While this isn’t very compelling for the non-Christians among us, it may be relevant for the fight for marriage equality in the overwhelmingly Christian country. The question not being asked, though, is why we are focussing on a fight for rights to an institution so hopelessly rooted in misogyny and oppression of women instead of (also) fighting for equal legal rights, irrespective of marital status, to protect our families from the problems posed by our relationships with each other and our children not being recognised.
- A female Norwegian bishop is refusing to ordain lesbian Hanne Marie Pederson-Erikson, although other Lutheran Bishops disagree with her stance and may ordain Pedersen-Erikson in a situation that reflects the changing position of some churches on homosexuality.
***If I have missed an important news story, please either post a link in the comments section here or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in News
Tagged bullying, compulsory heterosexuality, family law, freethefive, Hate crimes, Health and well being, Lesbians in Australia, Lesbians in Cameroon, Lesbians in Egypt, Lesbians in France, Lesbians in India, Lesbians in Iran, Lesbians in Ireland, Lesbians in Italy, Lesbians in Jamaica, Lesbians in Norway, Lesbians in Russia, Lesbians in South Africa, Lesbians in Spain, Lesbians in the U.K., Lesbians in the U.S., LGBTI community, persecution, Politics, Religious Freedom laws, seeking asylum