Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Residents of Sydney, Australia attended the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras this week. This year marked the festival’s 20th anniversary. Sydney lawyer and journalist David Marr said, “behind the frivolity of the parade, the message is that there is unfinished business. In its outrageous, flamboyant way Mardi Gras is a reminder that the campaign for fairness and good sense goes on.”
Local politicians support the festivities, acknowledging the “pink dollar” that adds around $20 million to Sydney’s economy, and praised the parade for its reflection of “tolerance and diversity.”
The annual event began in 1978, when homosexuality was illegal and those convicted faced up to 14 years in prison. Sydney gay men held a street demonstration and coming-out party, protesting the law. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Australia in 1984.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .