Nepal's Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gay Rights

BlueDiamondThe Nepalese Supreme Court recently ordered that the government should guarantee LGBTI people equal rights as other citizens. Last year, four LGBTI organizations, including Blue Diamond Society, a Global Fund grantee, had filed a petition demanding equal rights for all Nepalese citizens under the country's Constitution and human rights conventions.

As in the rest of South Asia, homosexuality is either strictly frowned upon and condemened and is "illegal" in many countries. In addition to this ruling, a committee is likely to be constituted to discuss and recommend legalizing same sex marriage.

Useful links:

Update posted by Blue Diamond

BBC's news report on the ruling


Kavita Ramdas in the SF Business Journal

Read a succinct article featuring Global Fund President and CEO Kavita Ramdas in the San Francisco Business Journal. View article (jpg)


Papua New Guinean grantee wins prestigious UNDP award

Kup Women for Peace (KWP), a Global Fund grantee based in Papua New Guinea, has won the seventh Pacific Human Rights Award  sponsored by the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT). A project of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), RRRT receives the majority of its funding from the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID). The award recognizes groups working on the ground that are keeping a spotlight on human rights abuses within the Pacific Region.  KWP is being recognized "for its outstanding work in situations of conflict, for its intrepid dedication to the cause of peace in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and for its bravery in challenging discriminatory customs and norms, including widespread violence against women."

In May 2007, Asia and Oceania program officer Dechen Tsering visited Papua New Guinea and met with the group at the 10th Triennial Conference on Pacific women and said: "Kup Women for Peace is providing an inspiring example of how women are playing a role in ensuring security. These women live in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and suffered 30 years of tribal conflicts. Women from different tribes came together, started talking and decided to end the violence by literally sitting in the middle of the warring factions and demanding peace. Kup women's strength, courage, and perseverance are truly inspiring and humbling particularly given the political and traditional barriers to peace and women's advancement in the highlands of Papua New Guinea."

We are excited that support from the Global Fund contributed to KWP emerging as a dynamic leader of peace-building initiatives in the region. In addition to addressing gender-based violence, the group is also seeking to reverse the increase in HIV/AIDS in this small nation of six million.

Coincidentally, we are pleased to note that one of the two runners-up to this UNDP award, the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, is also a grantee partner of the Global Fund.

Read the Oxfam press release about KWP winning this award!:


Global Fund Donor Paola Gianturco Interviewed on KPFA 94.1 FM

Listen to photojournalist Paola Gianturco being interviewed on KPFA 94.1 FM on her latest book Women Who Light the Dark and why she chose to give all royalties from the book to the Global Fund! Listen to the archived show (originally aired on December 17, 2007)


Read a Palestinian grantee's newsletter

Kayan-newsletter2-1 Kayan, a Global Fund grantee, is a Palestinian feminist organization based in Israel. Formed in 1998, Kayan seeks to put gender and feminism on the social agenda of the Palestinian community. The group's major programs revolve around empowerment through education and providing legal advice and assistance.

Kayan provides a 12-week curriculum for women from a variety of religious backgrounds. The program aims to give women a safe space to discuss and critically examine accepted social and cultural norms, build their self-esteem, and support them in their efforts to raise their status. Among its myriad activities, Kayan brings out a dynamic newsletter three times a year. Read their latest newsletter that features updates about their work from May-October 2007.

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