UN Secretary General Promotes Women's Rights, Gay Rights
In a speech to the African Union Summit in Ethiopia, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for the end to discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. General Ban Ki-moon encouraged renewed efforts to ensure women's greater representation in parliaments in African countries and stated the importance of ensuring that women are part of the peace process in Africa.
He remarked, "We must ensure that women are fully represented in in decision-making bodies, including in Egypt and Tunisia where they played a role" in the protests of the Arab Spring. He also described women as "champions of peace."
The Secretary General denounced discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which is criminalized in many African countries, saying, "This has prompted some governments to treat people as second-class citizens, or even criminals. Confronting discrimination is a challenge." Homosexuality is illegal in most African countries with the exception of South Africa, which recognizes gay marriage, but even there, anti-gay practices such as "corrective rapes" of lesbians, are commonplace.
Media Resources: UN News Centre 1/29/12; Huffington Post 1/29/12; BBC 1/29/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/30/11
7/24/2014 From Passion to Progress Briefing Brings Together Feminist Leaders and Hundreds of Young Activists - Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) staff, two congresswomen, and over a hundred DC interns came together yesterday for FMF's Intern Student/Activist briefing in Dirksen Senate building to discuss how to put a women's rights agenda into action.
Over plates of donuts and cups coffee, participants listened to a succession of engaging and passionate speeches from congressional and feminist leaders: Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and FMF President Eleanor Smeal. . . .