“Duarte: Leadership fight risks split in ANC”| M&G

The ruling party is at risk of further splits amid a battle for senior positions in the ANC, deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said.

There is intense jostling to replace President Jacob Zuma, 74, as the head of the party and for other top positions, despite rules forbidding active campaigning, Duarte, 63, said in an interview. The concern is that the losing group could break away to form a new party, as has happened in the lead up to or after previous ANC elective conferences, she said.

The ANC’s leadership contest comes at a time when the party risks losing the majority it’s held in every vote since 1994. A split could drag its support down to below 50% in the 2019 national elections, giving an opportunity for the opposition to join forces to take power. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, 64, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 68, are seen by analysts as the main contenders to lead the ANC.

“Since 2007, every ANC conference has led to one or other split,” Duarte said. There could be “a spoilers’ breakaway after this conference,” she said.

Source: M&G

Gender, education and work: The weaker sex | The Economist

Boys are being outclassed by girls at both school and university, and the gap is widenin

“IT’S all to do with their brains and bodies and chemicals,” says Sir Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, a posh English boarding school. “There’s a mentality that it’s not cool for them to perform, that it’s not cool to be smart,” suggests Ivan Yip, principal of the Bronx Leadership Academy in New York. One school charges £25,000 ($38,000) a year and has a scuba-diving club; the other serves subsidised lunches to most of its pupils, a quarter of whom have special needs. Yet both are grappling with the same problem: teenage boys are being left behind by girls.

It is a problem that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. Until the 1960s boys spent longer and went further in school than girls, and were more likely to graduate from university. Now, across the rich world and in a growing number of poor countries, the balance has tilted the other way.

Source: The Economist

“Manchester city council to create UK’s first LGBT retirement home” | The Guardian

Manchester city council has announced plans to create the UK’s first retirement community aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

According to the local authority, the city is home to the country’s largest number of LGBT people outside of London and is due to see a rapid growth in the number of LGBT residents over 65 in the next two decades. More than 7,000 over-50s living in Manchester identify as LGBT.

A recent report by the Manchester-based LGBT Foundation, commissioned by the council, revealed that older LGBT people experience higher levels of loneliness and isolation.

Many were fearful of discrimination in existing accommodation and there was a desire for affordable LGBT-specific housing where people could be open about their identity in later life.

Source: The Guardian

“Merkel′s conservatives under pressure to allow gay marriage” | DW.COM

 

Marriage equality is legal in 22 countries, including Argentina, South Africa and the United States. Germany is not one of them. But now members of the junior governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) are pushing to change that. They are calling on their coalition partners, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), to go along with a change of law that would grant same-sex couples the right to get married and not just obtain civil unions.

Thomas Oppermann, the head of the SPD in parliament, said he planned to put marriage equality on the agenda for the next coalition meeting of the SPD, CDU and CSU.

“Everyone’s talking about preserving our values these days. That shouldn’t just be a talking point in grant speeches, but rather a part of actual policies,” Oppermann told the newsmagazine Der Spiegel. “Among these values are not only the protection of marriage and family, but also equal rights for different kinds of relationships.”

Source: DW.COM 

“LGBT change heroes 2017: breaking through from oppression” | The Guardian

Pioneers working in a country where homophobia is rife

Few – Forum for the Empowerment of Women – in Johannesburg was nominated by Jenny Ricks, convenor of the Fight Inequality network:

Few is the only organisation in South Africa specifically focusing on the rights of black lesbian women. They are pioneers, working in a country where rights are guaranteed under the constitution but the daily reality is far from the ideal. Patriarchy, homophobia, violence and inequality are rife.

Running for well over a decade Few has faced challenging times, not least the well-publicised violence targeting black lesbian women. In the Johannesburg area, Few has led work on combatting hate crimes, developing political education and life skills programmes for women and organising the Soweto Pride, which faced a clampdown from authorities last year.

Source: The Guardian

Unionists could make pact to keep blocking equal marriage in Northern Ireland · PinkNews

Arlene Foster and Roy Beggs (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Just days after Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party lost their veto power over same-sex marriage, another MLA has vowed to help them block it.

Assembly elections were held last week in Northern Ireland after the collapse of the previous government, with the anti-gay marriage DUP losing ground to Sinn Féin.

The DUP, which lost nearly all of its hefty majority, had previously used peace process powers known as ‘petitions of concern’ to block same-sex marriage.

Hopes of progress were raised over the weekend when the DUP won just 28 seats – two short of the 30 needed to pass a petition of concern by themselves.

However, it’s far from plain sailing, and unionists from two other parties, the Ulster Unionist Party and Traditional Unionist Voice, have vowed to prop up the DUP on the issue.

Source:  · PinkNews

!Trans Student Honored for Making Catholic Schools More Inclusive” – Bondings 2.0

Tru, center, with her mother, Michelle, right

In the same week that the U.S. Catholic bishops praised President Trump for revoking guidelines to protect transgender students, across the border in Canada, a trans teen was honored for bringing equality to her Catholic school. Tru Wilson, 13, a resident of the suburb of Ladner, was named a Sexual Health Champion by Options for Sexual Health, a nonprofit agency in Vancouver. The Georgia Straight reported:

“[Wilson’s] family filed a human-rights complaint when Ladner’s Sacred Heart [school] refused to allow her to attend as a girl. As a result, the Catholic Independent Schools Vancouver became one of the first Catholic school boards in North America to change their policy to support gender expression and identity.”

Source:  – Bondings 2.0

The Tablet

Nearly 2,000 Catholic perpetrators, including 572 priests, allegedly abused 4,444 children over many decades in complaints made to the Church between 1980 and 2015, Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been told. The shocking figures were delivered on the opening day of the Commission’s “wrap-up” hearing into the Catholic Church.

Senior Counsel Assisting the Commission, Gail Furness, said in her opening address that 60 per cent of survivors attending a private session with the Commission had reported abuse in faith-based institutions – nearly two-thirds of them in Catholic institutions. Overall, 37 per cent of all survivors who attended private sessions reported sexual abuse in a Catholic institution. It was the Commission’s 50th public hearing in the past four years

Source: The Tablet

“Restless Ulster may beat Scots to the exit” | The Times

It’s not a question of watching the wrong, Scottish, pot boil. The almost complete absence of reports in yesterday’s London-based “national” newspapers on the Northern Ireland election shows the capital is barely aware of what’s going on across the Irish Sea now the bombs aren’t going off.

England is clearly fed up with Scotland, dispatching a schoolmarmish Theresa May to inform the Scottish National Party that “politics is not a game”. Quite right: it is the pursuit of long-term objectives by whatever means are available in a democracy — just ask Nigel Farage.

Yet there is now a distinct possibility that the people of the six counties of Ulster could jump the queue to be the first out of the United Kingdom. In the EU referendum, 55.8% voted to remain.

Couldn’t a Celtic Euro-belt around nationalist England, comprising Scotland and all of the island of Ireland, keep everybody happy one day — except perhaps for a hostage Wales?

Source: The Times & The Sunday Times

Changing rooms and beyond: How British schools are adapting to growing numbers of transgender pupils | The Economist

ST PAUL’S, a fee-paying girls’ school in west London, often tops the league tables for exam results. But it is in the news for another reason: the publication of a new “gender-identity student protocol”, which allows pupils older than 16 to wear boys’ clothes and to be addressed by boys’ names. Although the school would not accept a male applicant, it is happy to support existing pupils who wish to change gender, explains Clarissa Farr, the school’s head teacher. Growing numbers of her pupils, she says, no longer see themselves as girls.

Schools are often in the front line of social change. But rarely has it come so fast. The Gender Identity Research and Education Society, a charity, estimates that the number of children who identify as transgender in Britain is doubling each year. Mermaids, an outfit that supports transgender children, received 3,000 phone calls last year, up from 600 in 2014. Most children simply identify as another gender, or none; a minority begin medical treatment to alter their bodies.

Source: The Economist