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[16days_discussion] IGLHRC honors "16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence"

Jessica Stern jstern at
Mon Nov 28 10:26:33 EST 2011

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Day Against Violence Against Women 16 Days of Activism Against Gender
Violence Campaign

For Immediate Release

*Media Contacts:*
*Roberta Sklar*, Press Secretary, 917-704-6358, robertasklar at
*Brian Tofte-Schumacher*, Communications Associate
212-430-6015, btofte-schumacher at
  Statement from Grace Poore and Jessica Stern
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

Masculine girls, girls who love girls, feminine boys, transgender women and
men all, at times, bear the brunt of prejudice and vilification by
religion, media, government, and even their own families. Even in countries
with visible women’s rights movements, patriarchal values dictate that all
women should be controlled—especially women’s sexual autonomy. Yet, typical
means of crisis support are unavailable to lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender individuals. As a result, LGBT individuals and human rights
defenders in Asia and the Pacific Islands may find themselves in
unexpected, desperate and even life-threatening situations.
*-Grace Poore, Program Coordinator Asia and Asia Pacific Islands*, IGLHRC

When the ‘Sixteen Days Campaign’ comes around, it insists that we reflect
on how we’ve lived out the previous year. How many women were punished for
being too independent? How many women were abused? How many lesbians,
bisexual and transgender women and men were murdered for simply being
themselves? As gender-based violence continues to plague communities
internationally, let us say never again, and together work to make a world
free from violence, not a cautious hope, but a brave reality.
*--Jessica Stern, acting Executive Director*, IGLHRC

November 25th marks *International Day for the Elimination of Violence
Against Women*<>and
the launch of UN
*16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence
which calls upon everyone to take action to end violence against women and

*Courage Unfolds*, a video
by IGLHRC staff working with activists in Asia and the Pacific
Islands, is designed to draw attention to lesbian, bisexual and transgender
(LBT) people’s activism and illuminate the way in which the Yogyakarta
Principles—a set of principles describing how international human rights
law applies to sexual orientation and gender identity—can be used to combat
domestic and social violence against sexual minority women.

*The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s Asia
staffed by Malaysian and Filipino activists, promotes acceptance of sexual
and gender diversity at all levels of society. Nineteen Asian countries
have laws criminalizing intimacy between same-sex couples. Individuals who
challenge sexual or gender norms also confront non-state violence in the
“private” sphere of the family; the threat of family or community rejection
or recrimination often prompts people to lead double lives, making them
vulnerable to police blackmail and extortion.

IGLHRC partners with local and regional groups in Asia, Africa, the Middle
East and Latin America to bolster ongoing efforts to achieve equality and
justice at national, regional and international levels, and to increase the
visibility of Asian activists internationally. Our work includes responding
in a crisis, conducting research and documenting human rights abuses, as
well as pursuing structural and institutional change and lobbying at the
United Nations.

Recognizing the difficulty that activists from Asia face in traveling to
New York or Geneva where treaty bodies meet, we periodically lobby at the
UN on their behalf. We are currently working closely with local groups in
Asia to raise visibility about violence against lesbian, bisexual and
transgender women at the United Nations vis-à-vis the Committee on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the UN
Human Rights Committee.

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*Jessica Stern*
*Director of Programs*
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission<>
Voice: +1.212.430.6014  |  Skype:
Email: jstern at
Address: 80 Maiden Lane, Suite 1505, New York, NY 10038 USA
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