Sex & sexuality

“I am officially legal,” gay activist Frank Mugisha tweeted shortly after Uganda’s Constitutional Court ground-breaking decision to overrule the country’s notorious anti-gay bill. Uganda’s LGBTI community and human rights activists the world over rightly applauded the ruling. However, activists are asking: is this enough?
Niken Lestari of Forum Aktivis Perempuan Muda – Indonesia (FAMM-Indonesia) examines the cultural expectations in Indonesia and how she was inspired to appreciate and assert who she is through her childhood friend Dede and her transsexual friend Ajeng.
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Read Everjoice Win's razor-sharp snapshot of the Southern Africa's changing context—dynamics and trends—as well as opportunities and challenges for women's rights agendas.
For three days in Johannesburg, JASS has been asking the big questions for feminist movement building and activism in Southern Africa: where, what, who, why and how.
Winnet Shamuyarira and Maggie Mapondera recall seven striking things about the Stop Rape Now peaceful protest in Zimbabwe that saw hundreds of women take to the streets to end violence.
"The effects of rape mostly affect women; who because of their biological make-up get easily infected with HIV, they get bruised and hurt in the process, they live with permanent hurt and shame, and worse still, in a country where abortion is a crime, they are forced to live with unwanted children of rape, a permanent reminder of the erosion of their dignity."
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On the occasion of the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, Thai women activists made use of creative platforms to popularize taboo topics like abortion. An outdoor street performance, film screening and dialogue with young women, professionals and safe abortion advocates and allies sought to highlight abortion stories from women’s perspective.
Just like a saga, the recent media brouhaha on virginity testing for young girls in Indonesia proves that the discourse on this testing is far from over. In 2007, several students of Indramayu got involved in a sex video case. Indramayu regent Irianto MS Syafiuddin said back then that mandatory virginity tests will be enforced on young female students to determine if they are virgins – subject to their dismissal if proven otherwise. Although the testing never happened, the ‘virginity’ discussion continues to roll.
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Sometimes you just don’t know where things will end up. In 2009, JASS held a series of movement building institutes (MBIs) in Southern Africa that were attended by feminist activists in the region. These institutes catalysed energy and intent in different ways. The young women from Zambia who participated in the MBIs returned to their homes determined to ensure that their societies and communities transform. As Wala Nalungwe says, “The flame that was lit at the MBIs it would not end there. We did not want that.
Indonesian young women activists: safe space, solidarity, power While the personal courage it takes to speak up is a crucial ingredient in the battle to address violence against women, progress depends on our collective power, more than sheroes and heroes. In fact, the collective and solidarity one feels from others is essential for being brave enough to cross the line. That’s why we’re honoring networks during these #16DaysofActivism.
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