The U.N.’s safe cities initiative integrates women’s safety into development projects globally
- The cross-sector “Safe Cities Global Initiative” aims to stem sexual violence and harassment of women in urban spaces through infrastructure and program development.
- In Delhi, mobile app Safetipin crowdsources safety reviews of public spaces and integrates GPS for personal tracking and security.
- Projects have sprung up in other cities as well, including Cairo, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, and Kigali in Rwanda.
“Unsafe public spaces limit women’s and girl’s life choices. This daily reality limits their freedom to participate in education, work, recreation, and in political life.”
More on this story at the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Advocates and sports federation officials express unease at Iran’s equivocation on easing of restrictions on women’s attendance at sports matches
- With Tehran set to host a world league volleyball match, the FIVB, the sport’s international federation, says it is committed to ensuring open, inclusive participation globally, though it has indicated no countermeasures should the Iranian government refuse.
- Last week, Iran’s VP for women and family affairs indicated that women’s attendance would be limited to family members of athletes in a select set of sports, considered by many to be capitulation to the country’s vocal conservatives.
- British-Iranian Ghoncheh Ghavami was jailed for nearly five months for trying to attend a volleyball match, leading the FIVB to state that Iran would not be eligible to hold international championships until the ban was lifted.
“The situation has got worse in recent years and hardliners have become more extreme on this matter but on the positive side, more people are aware of our cause now than ever before.”
More on this story at The Guardian.
(Image Credit: Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters, via The Guardian)
Bahrain court sentences leader of Shiite opposition party to four years in prison
- Sheikh Ali Salman, leader of Al Wefaq, was arrested in December on charges of “publicly inciting hatred” and “insulting public institutions” in the Sunni-led country.
- The sentencing is the latest in a crackdown on the country’s Shiite-led pro-democracy movement, which has included citizenship revocation and banishment for the political opposition.
“Al Wefaq, the opposition group, said that the verdict was part of a ‘security campaign against every person demanding legitimate rights,’ and that the court ‘ruled against the majority of the people of Bahrain that adopt Salman’s path in demanding democratic transition, justice and dignity.'”
More on this story at The New York Times.
South Korean court rules LGBT march can proceed as planned following the police’s injunction against the event
- Police had earlier denied the necessary permits to the Korean Queer Cultural Festival as a result of permit applications filed by conservative Christian activists to block the event.
- Last year’s march saw conservative activists disrupting the parade through route blockage and protesting.
- Organizers expect around 20,000 to participate in the march.
“This court’s decision in relation to the police’s unjust notice prohibiting assembly is important. … Within a democratic country, built on civil society, the guarantee that society can use their voice has a deep meaning.”
More on this story at BuzzFeed.
(Image Credit: Simon Williams-Im via Flickr, via BuzzFeed)
Ahead of Myanmar elections, concerns mount over extremist tactics among Buddhist nationalists as memories of recent violence persist
- Hundreds were killed in 2012 and 2013 in clashes between Myanmar’s Buddhist majority and Muslim minority, particularly in the western state of Rakhine.
- Politicians are leery of alienating Buddhist-majority constituents by condemning the violence, but face international pressure to speak up for ethnic and religious minorities.
- Myanmar transitioned to semi-democratic rule in 2012, but with uneven rights to expression and anxiety over the upcoming elections, non-Buddhists (particularly Muslims) are fearful for their security.
More on this story at Reuters.
(Image Credit: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)