Tag Archives: Science & Technology

Pakistan Feature | Trans Women

The Fitful Progress of the Movement for Pakistani Trans Lives


Source: CGTN YouTube

By way of Pakistan’s landmark 2017 census, some 10,000 transgender Pakistanis have become officially visible in the eyes of the government, though community organizers say the number is likely much larger. Illiteracy, poverty, disenfranchisement, trafficking, threats to sexual health, and the dangers of unregulated sex work plague Pakistan’s trans women (khawaja siras, a reclaimed term in the trans community), but the recent securing of legal protections have given hope to a community where precarity reigns.

While communities of trans women have provided kinship and security where mainstream society has offered a mix of scorn and fetish, hierarchical systems within the communities have layered additional vulnerabilities upon threats already faced. The women have organized and built security-focused civil groups, and the last decade has seen a number of victories including census recognition, a third-gender option on ID cards, limited economic investments, and technological and political tools for accountability in law enforcement. Some hardline conservatives have become unlikely allies as trans women are seen among some Islamic sects as holy, though they have stopped short of supporting partnership rights. Recent international media coverage has highlighted recent gains as well as ongoing insecurity for Pakistan’s increasingly visible trans community.

Read

Pakistan’s Transgender Women, Long Marginalized, Mobilize For Rights” (NPR | January 2018)

Tabooed transgender community still facing discrimination but to be protected in Pakistan” (Xinhua | January 2018)

New App TransMuhafiz Puts Pakistani Transphobic Offenders in the Spotlight” (Planet Transgender | January 2018)

Watch

Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret (Clover Filmsvia Real Stories/YouTube | December 2016)

Somebody (TriumF Mediavia YouTube | September 2017)

Connect

TransAction Pakistan

Caribbean News | Marginalized Communities

New database catalogs human rights violations for the Caribbean’s vulnerable communities
  • The Shared Incidents Database (SID) will document violations affecting people with HIV, sex workers, people with substance addiction, gay and bisexual men, trans people, vulnerable youth, migrants, and the incarcerated.
  • The database is a collaboration between the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and the Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN), based in the Dominican Republic.
  • Human rights and social justice organizations across the Caribbean are being trained in the use of SID, which creators envision as a tool in program development, policy creation, petitioning, and reporting.
Read

Caribbean’s first online human rights database launched” (The Jamaica Observer | May 2017)

New Database Aims to Track Rights Violations of Caribbean’s Most Vulnerable Communities” (Global Voices | May 2017)

Caribbean’s First Online Human Rights Incidence Database Launched” (Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition | May 2017)

India News | Women, Indigenous & Dalit

India PM launches entrepreneurship initiative for members of historically disadvantaged communities
  • PM Narendra Modi announced Stand Up India, a program to spur entrepreneurship and business-technological integration among women and India’s Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, historically disadvantaged groups subject to affirmative action by the government.
  • Banks will be required to sponsor relatively inexpensive loans for entrepreneurs from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.
  • The initiative comes ahead of next year’s elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh, with the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition seeking to court Dalit and tribal votes.

Read more:
PM promises to ‘change’ lives of tribals, Dalits with ‘Stand up India’” (The Hindustan Times)
‘Stand Up India’ will transform lives of Dalits, tribals: Modi” (The Hindu)
‘Stand up India’: PM Modi to book first e-rickshaw through Ola” (The Times of India)

(Image Credit: Sandeep Saxena/The Hindu)

The Americas News | Indigenous Americans

Research: One major migration from Siberia led to American settlement no more than 23,000 years ago
  • The results of two studies appeared in Science and Nature, with the first indicating there was a single migration that brought anatomically modern humans to the American continents.
  • Researchers claim that the migrants inhabited the now-submerged area connecting Russia and Alaska until roughly 15,000 years ago, when ice melt led to population divergence as some migrated to the newly accessible American interior (American Indians) and others remained in the region (Native Alaskans).
  • The second study found closer ancestral connections of Amazonians to indigenous Australasians than to native Americans, spurring further questions about early American settlement.

Read the full AFP story at GlobalPost.

(Image Credit: Mario Tama/AFP/Getty Images, via GlobalPost)

Iowa Supreme Court declares telemedical abortions legal in the state
  • The practice, where doctors prescribe women pills for a medical abortion prior to the second trimester via medical-conferencing system, first began in 2008 before being effectively being effectively banned in 2013.
  • The Court ruled that the ban placed an undue burden on women in Iowa seeking an abortion, where access to such care is limited.
  • Because the case was analyzed under federal law, the ruling could encourage other states–including the 18 states where the practice is banned–to look into establishing telemedical abortion services.

“Without remote access to medication abortion, more women would have to delay or even forego abortion care. …This is especially true in a state like Iowa, where many women would have to travel hundreds of miles in order to reach an abortion clinic.”

More on this story at BuzzFeed.

(Image Credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP, via BuzzFeed)

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.

Sri Lankan mangrove preservation efforts turn to local women to lead the work.
  • The country’s new mangrove protection scheme relies on women to tend the trees, which are vital to the area’s ecosystem and protect against flooding and erosion.
  • Sudeesa, an environmental protection organization, provides the women with financial assistance (from $50 to $2,000 each) and training.
  • The program hopes to establish 15,000 community groups, providing 15,000 with job training and micro-loans.

“Now we know – and from us, our husbands and our community also have become aware.”

More on this story at the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

(Image Credit: REUTERS/Parth Sanyal)