Irish governing party elects first out gay, Indian-descendent PM
- The Fine Gael voted Leo Varadkar its new leader, a gay, half-Indian man set to become the youngest PM in Irish history.
- Varadkhar, 38, was born to an Indian immigrant father and an Irish mother and has become a polarizing conservative firebrand in Irish politics since his first election in 2007.
- The election has been lauded as a monumental moment for the predominantly Catholic country that in 2015 became the first in the world to codify marriage equality into law through referendum.
“Varadkar becomes Irish PM-in-waiting in social, generational shift” (Reuters | June 2017)
“Leo Varadkar wins: Ireland set to install first openly gay Prime Minister” (The Independent | June 2017)
“From Enda (66) to Leo (38): Ireland set to replace oldest EU leader with youngest” (The Irish Times | June 2017)
(Image Credit: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)
The Mutual Tensions of Chinese-Senegalese Relations in Senegal
At 2,000-strong, the population of Chinese immigrants in Senegal has become a visible presence in major urban areas like Dakar, though immigrants remain largely cloistered within enclaves. With commercial potential driving immigration into the country, Chinese people in Senegal have depended on an uneasy relationship with native Senegalese, a microcosm of a broader burgeoning relationship between China and African countries built on uncertain economic hopes. The New York Times profiles the Chinese community in Dakar and the state of Chinese-Senegalese relations in the country.
“Chinese Merchants Thrive in Senegal, Where People ‘Needed Stuff’” (The New York Times | May 2017)
(Image Credit: Sergey Ponomarev/The New York Times)
Hate crime reports surge in U.K. in wake of Brexit
- Since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, a 500% increase in hate crimes reported online has drawn attention to a wave of racist, anti-immigrant sentiment in the country.
- Some 331 reports have been filed through the online report filing portal in the week since the vote (a significant increase from the weekly average of 63) as critics of the “Leave” campaign have accused the anti-E.U. movement of stirring xenophobic sentiment in the country.
- PM David Cameron announced additional funding to security forces to stem the tide and called on politicians across political parties to condemn hate crimes.
“Hate crime reports surge in Britain after divisive EU referendum, police say” (Reuters)
“Cameron announces plan to tackle hate crime after vote to leave EU” (The Guardian)
“U.K. Announces New Plan to Tackle Hate Crimes” (The Wall Street Journal)
(Image Credit: PRU/HO/AFP/Getty Images, via The Wall Street Journal)
U.K. PM Cameron appoints MP to investigate racial discrimination in British criminal justice system
- Labour PM David Lammy will lead a government review of the British criminal justice system.
- Black and other ethnic minorities account for more than 25% of British prisoners despite only comprising 14% of the population of England and Wales.
- Minorities are also disproportionately more likely to represent Crown Court defendants and receive custodial sentences if found guilty than white counterparts.
“David Cameron calls on David Lammy to investigate race bias in UK courts” (The Guardian)
“David Cameron appoints David Lammy to lead review into racism in the justice system” (The Independent)
(Image Credit: AFP/Getty, via The Independent)
British PM announces name-blind admissions and hiring measures, new gender pay equity policies
- PM David Cameron announced that the UK’s University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) will switch to name-blind applicant evaluation in 2017 to reduce racial bias in college admissions.
- Numerous studies have indicated that culturally inflected differences in names significantly impact job applicants’ likelihood of being hired, with those with names traditionally from black and other ethnic minority communities receiving fewer interviews.
- Cameron also outlined new policies to address the gender pay gap, including forcing private companies to publish bonuses, requiring large public sector organizations to publish pay data, and pushing for the elimination of all-male FTSE-350 boards.
“Ucas to enforce ‘name-blind’ applications to tackle racial bias” (The Guardian)
“The perfect name for a job application, based on biases” (BBC)
(Image Credit: David Cheskin/PA, via the Guardian)
Trapped in Silence
Women in the UAE–particularly the country’s large population of Asian and African migrant women–have long faced a brutal catch-22 under the Gulf nation’s Sharia-driven legal system after being raped. When attempts at legal justice can lead to their own prosecution for extramarital sex, women find themselves coerced into silence and, for migrant workers, at the mercy of employers who control their movement in the country and ability to leave. BBC and the Guardian highlight the stories of rape victims and the structural disadvantages they face, from illegal abortions to imprisonment with illegitimate children.
“Raped, pregnant and afraid of being jailed” (BBC)
“UAE imprisoning rape victims under extramarital sex laws – investigation” (The Guardian)
(Image Credit: BBC)
At the Intersection: Queer & British Asian
The UK has made major strides in LGBT political rights in recent years, but the social acceptance of gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals has struggled to keep up. DESIblitz takes to the streets to survey British Asian perspectives on their community’s evolution regarding LGBT rights. Tackling religion, education, and the factors at work in the cultural politics of immigration and integration, interviewees present the complexity of acceptance and homophobia in British Asian families.
“Is being Gay acceptable in British Asian society?” (DESIblitz)
(Image Credit: via DESIblitz)