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.”
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.
A former trainee nurse has spoken of suffering through 12 years of electroshock therapy and a concoction of drugs, for being gay.
Joan Bellingham, now 68, has spoken at a Royal Commission in New Zealand about her experience during the 1970’s when she first started training as a nurse at the Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.
During her training, at the age of 18, the fact she was gay became a contentious issue for tutors and students, to such an extent that she was moved to another hospital for treatment.
“I was told I needed treatment and was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital that same day, no clothes or anything, and no choice in the matter,” Bellingham told the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care. “I didn’t realise it at the time I’d spend the next 12 or so years there.”
It was to be the end of her nursing career and she would be subjected to sustained abuse including the “excessive” amounts of drugs that she was given daily and the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) sessions, more than 200 of them, that were given to her without explanation and against her will.
“It felt like razor blades going through my body,” Bellingham said.
A same-sex couple is “shocked and upset” that their request for a wedding cake was refused by a Warkworth baker who said marriage equality was against her beliefs.
Moe Barr and Sasha Patrick both live in Brisbane, but since Australia had not yet legalised same-sex marriage when they got engaged last year, they planned their wedding at Waipu in Northland for next January.
When they approached Kath’s Devine Cakes in Warkworth to make the cake, “Kath” refused, saying despite the New Zealand government legalising same-sex marriage, she believed it was not correct and therefore she would not make the wedding cake.
Lesbian representation on television and in movies gets a critical eye. Is there a ‘Need Not Apply’ sign for lesbians that are not white, thin and femme?
FujiTV in Japan will debut a new drama on November 7th featuring a love story between two women. Some argue the series isn’t going far enough in portraying current real world situations for Japan’s lesbian community.
Lesbian playwright and head writer of The Laramie Project, Leigh Fondakowski, is opening a new play, Spill, about the BP Oil spill in the Gulf Coast in 2010.
Civil unions began in heavily Catholic Chile on October 22nd.
The American Civil Liberties Union is taking on a northern California high school that sent a student home for wearing a ‘Nobody Knows I’m a Lesbian’ t-shirt. According to the school, the t-shirt was an “open invitation to sex,” which sounds scarily similar to accusations leveraged against rape survivors. The student fears she will be expelled if she wears the t-shirt to school again. On the opposite coast, a lesbian teacher in New York details the harassment and bullying she experienced from the principal and assistant principal of her school. When she complained about the bullying her son was getting at school she was told, “It is an abomination against God, and you made this child a victim of your poor choices.” Charming.
Did you ever wonder how Roberta Kaplan and Edie Windsor met? The Advocate does a great story on the powerhouse these two women created in changing the fight for marriage equality in the U.S. forever.
New Zealand lesbians are looking to have some fun with the introduction of a new lesbian ball in West Auckland. The organizers are hoping to draw in lesbians from all over New Zealand for this glamorous event.
Profound thanks to Lisa for compiling the vast majority of this edition of Lesbians in the News.
Researchers discovered that the inaccurate assumptions by doctors about the sexual history of women in same sex relationships resulted in fewer health screenings for lesbians than straight (or bisexual?) women.
The human papillomavirus is the leading cause of cervical cancer and is most commonly transmitted during heterosexual intercourse but can also be transmitted orally and through skin-to-skin contact.
Please be aware of your risk factors and get health screenings as required.