The Gender Beat: Cops Involved in 'Nearly Half' of All Rights Violation Cases; Gender Bias in Sports Awards

A round-up of what’s happening in the worlds of gender and sexuality.

Cops involved in nearly half of all cases of South Asian rights violation of sexual, gender minorities: report

According to a report by South Asian Human Rights Association, the police are “found” to have been “involved” in nearly 50% of the cases of human rights violations against sexual and gender minorities in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The report compiles over 156 cases of human rights violations against sexual minorities during 2014 and 2015, and states that although the age of the victims range from 14-57 years, in the majority of cases they are in the age group of 20-41 years.

“Among those of the perpetrators whose profession is known, the police constitute almost 50%. When the victims are transwomen, the police constitute 69% of the perpetrators,” the report stated.

The study also revealed that among lesbian and bisexual women and transmen, the picture is starkly different.

“Family members (16%) and neighbours (17%) are the major perpetrators of violence. The gay and bisexual men in this sample experience violence chiefly from family members (26%), neighbours (10%) and the police (17%),” the study claimed.

In Indonesia, ‘Orgasm Lady’ hopes sexual empowerment can help women fight for their rights

Indonesian campaigner Firliana Purwanti is encouraging women in the country to insist on equality in the bedroom, and believes that doing so can help them achieve equal footing in boardrooms and in politics.

If women are empowered enough to voice their demands in the bedroom, Purwanti said, then they are more likely to take the fight for equality outside the home.

By speaking up about sex, the 39-year-old hopes to spark discussion on issues such as virginity tests on women who want to join Indonesia’s military or police force and about the ritual of female genital mutilation, says Beh Lih Yi of the Reuters Foundation.

Purwanti, who is dubbed the “Orgasm Lady” for her unconventional approach, said “Your body, your sexual pleasure is your autonomy. The state has nothing to do with it.”

Indonesia was ranked 92nd out of 145 countries in the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Gender Gap Index after scoring poorly on economic participation and opportunity with data showing that only 54% of women are in the workforce against 86% of men.

Gender bias is deeply rooted in India’s sports awards

An opinion piece by Dipti Jain on LiveMint talks about how the gender bias in promoting sporting talent through awards might be holding back India’s performance in the Olympics.

Indian women have lagged behind men when it comes to getting government-conferred sports awards. Just over one-fourth of Arjuna awards have gone to women. Less than one in 25 of all Dronacharya awards – which are meant to recognise quality coaches – have gone to a woman.

A contributing factor to women getting fewer sports awards is their low participation in certain sports. While the share of women in awards for sports such as athletics is close to 40%, it drops to less than 10% for sports such as boxing and wrestling, which were until quite recently considered taboo for women.

Just 7% of CEOs at America’s largest companies are women

A recent Fortune report reveals that less than 7% of chief executives at Fortune 1,000 companies – America’s largest corporations based on revenue – are women.

According to Huffington Post, of the almost 10,000 C-level executives surveyed by sales analytics software company DiscoverOrg, just 18% were women and just 6.7% of all chairs of the board, 7.2% of chief operating officers and 8.8% of chief financial officers were women.

The gender leadership gap is, however, not limited to Fortune 1000 companies. According to a recent study by the American Association of University Women, in the US, women remain “underrepresented at all levels of leadership” from the realms of politics to education.

Male guardianship should apply only to marriage, Saudi cleric says

A senior member of Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim clerical body, Sheikh Abdullah al-Manea, said that he believes the kingdom’s system of male guardianship should apply only to marriage.

According to a recent report by Human Rights Watch, Saudi women are required to have male guardians their entire lives, regardless of age. A woman must obtain her guardian’s consent before she can travel, marry or be released from prison, and in some cases to work or access healthcare.

Manea’s comment to the Arabic language Okaz newspaper is unlikely to bring immediate change in the status of women, but may be an opening for women’s rights supporters to press for relaxation of strict social traditions, Reuters reports from Riyadh.

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