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Global Justice Center Blog

House’s Two Major Spending Bills Omit Long-Standing Abortion Restrictions—But Senate Battle Remains

Excerpt of Ms. Magazine article by GJC Special Counsel Michelle Onello.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two major spending bills—a package of federal appropriations authorizations and a foreign aid appropriations bill—which do not include decades-old discriminatory reproductive rights prohibitions that have prevented women, especially women of color, from exercising their basic sexual and reproductive health rights in the U.S. and abroad.

The two bills, passed largely along party lines, will face a difficult path in the evenly-split Senate and stand in stark contrast to the recent rash of state-level abortion restrictions and the increasing possibility that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade.

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Myanmar’s Garment Workers Are Fighting for Freedom. It’s Time We Fought with Them.

Excerpt of Women's Media Center op-ed by GJC Legal Intern Courtney Vice.

Since Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup d’état on February 1, garment worker union members across the country have stood at the forefront of protests and marches. Thanks to their activism, there is now a long overdue spotlight on their struggle, both as workers and as allies in the movement against the coup. Yet, they are not only fighting for an end to military dictatorship; they are also fighting for the elimination of systemic harassment and violence that has plagued their lives long before the coup.

Myanmar’s antiquated labor system has created a breeding ground for this abuse. International sanctions were dropped in 2016 as Myanmar moved toward democracy and started to set its own labor standards. After the removal of these sanctions, the garment industry boomed. Western brands seeking cheap labor flocked to the country, setting up numerous factories. In 2018, the garment industry accounted for 31 percent of all of Myanmar’s exports.

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Yazidi Genocide: Slavery, Gender, & Sexual Violence

Description:

The Yezidi Genocide sadly included a number of highly gendered and especially brutal crimes. When ISIS abducted Yezidi women, elderly women were executed. Other women and girls were sorted and selected like animals, trafficked through a highly organized slavery system that included court documents certifying ‘ownership’, and subjected to horrific sexual violence, in some cases for many years. Even today thousands of Yezidis, mostly women, remain unaccounted for and missing. Panelists will discuss the legal and psychological impact of slavery, crimes of sexual violence in the context of a mass atrocity like the Yezidi Genocide, and how to best legally address these crimes.

Participants:

  • Akila Radhakrishnan, President, Global Justice Center (Host)
  • Patricia Visuer Sellers, Special Gender Advisory to the ICC Prosecutor's Office
  • Beth Van Schaack, Visiting Professor of Human Rights, Stanford Law School
  • Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, Associate Professor of Clinical Law, Cardozo School of Law
  • Alexandra Lily Kather, Visiting Fellow for Global Justice, Goldsmiths University London
  • Mayan Hussein, Psychotherapist, Free Yezidi Foundation

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The US Campaign to Deny Healthcare to War Victims

Description:

The Biden administration has repeatedly asserted itself as a champion of sexual and reproductive rights abroad (albeit without ever having said the word abortion), and yet it continues to impose draconian anti-abortion policies which deny access to abortion to pregnant people around the world without exception. As the largest global health funder in the world, these restrictions have an enormous impact on global health providers. This impact is no more destructive than in conflict zones, where local clinics and providers are routinely forced to turn away victims of war rape seeking abortion care, leaving these pregnant victims with no alternative other than to seek out unsafe alternatives.

Over the past decade, policymakers, advocates and medical providers have sought to change these policies, and ensure that pregnant people are able to access safe abortion care as they are entitled to under international law. In parallel, journalists and others have worked to tell the stories of those whose lives have been impacted by these policies and expose the sweeping brutality of the United States’ actions on abortion access around the world.

Participants:

  • Patrick Adams, Journalist (Host)
  • Jill Filipovic, Attorney and Author
  • Akila Radhakrishnan, President, Global Justice Center
  • Tamara Fetters, Senior Researcher, Ipas
  • Melissa Upreti, Chair, UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls

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An Affirmation of Feminist Principles

We the undersigned organizations and individuals from across the world come together in this letter to emphasize our shared belief that to achieve justice, equality and liberation, we must combat and dismantle the patriarchal systems of power which continue to oppress and exclude many of us. 

We affirm some key feminist principles and their alignment with issues pertaining to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.

We reinforce and defend the place that trans, intersex and nonbinary people have alongside many others in feminist movements.

We underscore the recognition that human rights do not distinguish between persons, they are, in their construction, universal, indivisible and inalienable.

We affirm that the realization of the human rights of any one group of persons does not come at the cost of the rights of any others. These shared principles and values have united diverse feminist movements everywhere.

Read the Full Letter