• Tanzania = women’s sexuality is being targeted, in the name of preventing the spread of HIV. A 21 year old woman was forced to strip naked in a public market and then was beaten up by a group of men for “dressing inappropriately” and therefore trying to spread the HIV. Community elders (male elders) are also using HIV as an excuse to “return to ancient cultural values” where women dressed “decently” and therefore did not entice men into sex, which spreads HIV. (IRIN)
o Thankfully community educators are challenging these ideas that HIV is not a personal responsibility and that the way women dress negates a man’s free will. In fact, Mkinga’s HIV/AIDS Committee has been facilitating educational workshops to educate community members about the legal consequences of perpetuating violence against women. (IRIN)
• South Africa = the currently proposed legislation, the Protection of Information Bill would severely restrict the independent press corps from reporting on governmental activity, as officials and state agencies would be given broad discretion to classify data as secret. The ANC is also proposing a special Media Appeals Tribunal to address complaints against the press. (CPJ)
• Pakistan = The effects of the massive flooding are obviously still being felt. For a Westerner’s take on what the past week has been like, click here to view UNICEF Regional Director Daniel Toole’s day-by-day diary. (UNICEF)
• Afghanistan = couple stoned to death (CNN, HRW)
• Bangladesh = Yay! In a move that supports the human right to freedom of religion and the practice thereof, a Bangladesh court has ruled that the wearing of religious clothing is a “personal choice” which may not be legally imposed upon anyone. (BBC)
• United States = Birthright Citizenship debates are the new racism (CAP)
• Italy = Racism against people of the Roma and Sinti ethnicties has escalated again. Roberto Maroni, Italy’s interior minister, is continuing his lobbying efforts to be able to expel from Italy EU citizens who do not meet minimum income and housing requirements, despite the European Commission’s concerns about this racist plan. (AJ)
o France = Claiming that the repatriation was voluntary, France sent over 200 people of the Roma minority to Romania this week. (AJ, WP)
• A new musical compilation is out, entitled Yes We Can! Songs About Leaving Africa … it includes titles by K’Naan and Daara J Family among others.
o What do you think of this message? Its reference to Obama’s campaign?
ALSO OF INTEREST:
• The UN’s World Youth Conference is being held in Mexico this week and UNIFEM has organized a Young Women’s Forum for 24 August 2010 which will include a live webcast. Check it out here! (UNIFEM)
• Human Rights Watch and 95 other groups called upon the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to cancel the “Obiang Prize” to be rewarded in October because President Teodoro Obiang, for whom the prize is named and who donated $3million toward the prize, is widely criticized for his highly repressive regime, including his violation of the rights of his people to freedom of expression—one of the core rights recognized by UNESCO (HRW)