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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:07 pm 
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'Sex harassment' scandal rocks skating in Japan
August 21, 2014

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Sex harassment scandal rocks skating in Japan. AFP

Tokyo (AFP) - A sexual harassment scandal was gripping Japan's skating world Wednesday after pictures emerged of a young heartthrob Olympian in the clutches of the 49-year-old boss of his sport.

Snapshots purportedly taken at a party held after the Winter Olympics closed in Sochi show skater-turned-politician Seiko Hashimoto hugging and kissing the now 28-year-old Daisuke Takahashi. In one photo Takahashi, dubbed the "Prince on Ice" by his huge band of female followers, appears to be turning his face away from the older woman as the two danced at an alcohol-fuelled party in February.

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Daisuke Takahashi of Japan performs at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Photo: Getty Images

Hashimoto, a married mother-of-three and a former Olympic speed skater and cyclist, was Japan's chef de mission in Sochi.

Shukan Bunshun, the best-selling of Japan's lurid weekly magazines, broke the story, describing the encounter between Takahashi and Hashimoto as "an unprecedented sexual harassment incident". "Hashimoto is the supreme figure in the skating world. This could be called power harassment or sexual harassment using her power," the magazine said.

The magazine quoted one participant at the post-Games party as saying Hashimoto had suddenly -- and very insistently -- pounced on her younger charge. "Naturally Daisuke didn't like it but he may have eventually resigned and accepted her kisses," the witness said. "It wasn't once or twice... It must have continued for several minutes," the witness was quoted as saying. "She couldn't stop once she started. She did it again and again, even while everybody was watching."

Former men's world champion Takahashi, who is admired by legions of female fans for his smouldering good looks and his well-toned body, has not made any formal complaint, according to his management agent. "Takahashi does not think he experienced power- or sexual-harassment," the agent was quoted as saying.

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Seiko Hashimoto at Sochi International Airport. Photo: Getty Images

Hashimoto, who heads the Japan Skating Federation and sits in the upper house of Japan's parliament, denied any wrongdoing. "All athletes and officials (in Sochi) had respect and gratitude towards Mr. Takahashi and I have no further particular feelings," she said in a statement. As athletes and officials have opportunities to socialise with those in foreign teams, they "hug and kiss (each other) very naturally", she said. "If this invited misunderstanding from other people, I regret it and think I should be careful," she said.

Hashimoto's name has been mentioned in connection with an expected cabinet reshuffle Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans for early September. Her elevation would fit with Abe's stated aim of boosting the number of women in senior positions by 2020, when Tokyo will host the summer Olympic Games.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:13 pm 
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1 in 10 foreign female workers sexually harassed in South Korea
By Claire Lee
24 October 2014

One in 10 of female migrant workers were sexually harassed while working in South Korea last year, according to Rep. Lee Jasmine’s office.

According to Lee, who is the first non-ethnic Korean and naturalized citizen to become a lawmaker in South Korea, 10.7 percent of the female workers from foreign countries experienced sexual harassment in South Korea last year.

Among them, 35.5 percent were raped, 35.5 percent had to endure unwanted physical contact, and 29 percent were inappropriately touched while being forced to drink alcohol. Meanwhile, 12.9 percent said they were asked to provide sex for money. Up to 88.9 percent of the victims said employers or those in managerial positions abused them, and 16.7 percent said they were harassed by fellow migrant workers from the same country of origin.

Lee pointed out that the current law does not require local shelters or service centers for sexual harassment victims to have a special program designed specifically for migrant workers, who are often faced with unique linguistic and legal challenges. “The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family must come up with measures to protect and support female migrant workers who have been sexually harassed at workplaces here,” she said.

Source: Korea Herald.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:55 pm 
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Gender equality at work more than 80 years off
By Nina Larson
October 27, 2014

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Inequality at work is not expected to be erased until 2095, the World Economic Forum warns (AFP Photo/Johannes Eisele)

Geneva (AFP) - If you're waiting for gender equality in the workplace, be prepared to wait a long time.

While women are rapidly closing the gender gap with men in areas like health and education, inequality at work is not expected to be erased until 2095, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) Tuesday. The organisation, which each year gathers the global elite in the plush Swiss ski resort of Davos, said that the worldwide gender gap in the workplace had barely narrowed in the past nine years.

Since 2006, when the WEF first began issuing its annual Global Gender Gap Reports, women have seen their access to economic participation and opportunity inch up to 60 percent of that of men's, from 56 percent. "Based on this trajectory, with all else remaining equal, it will take 81 years for the world to close this gap completely," the WEF said in a statement. The world would be better served to speed up the process, according to WEF founder and chief Klaus Schwab.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (L) meet in Berlin. There are 50 percent more female ministers worldwide than nine years ago, a new report says (AFP Photo/Clemens Bilan)

"Achieving gender equality is obviously necessary for economic reasons. Only those economies who have full access to all their talent will remain competitive and will prosper," he said.

Some 'far-reaching' progress

The report, which covered 142 countries, looked at how nations distribute access to healthcare, education, political participation and resources and opportunities between women and men. Almost all the countries had made progress towards closing the gap in access to healthcare, with 35 nations filling it completely, while 25 countries had shut the education access gap, the report showed.

Even more than in the workplace, political participation lagged stubbornly behind, with women still accounting for just 21 percent of the world's decision makers, according to the report.

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French Minister for Women's Rights and Sports Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (R) rings the Euronext stock exchange bell along with Irene Natividad (L), president of the Global Summit of Women on June 4, 2014 (AFP Photo/Eric Piermont)

Yet this was the area where most progress had been made in recent years. "In the case of politics, globally, there are now 26 percent more female parliamentarians and 50 percent more female ministers than nine years ago," said the report's lead author, Saadia Zahidi. "These are far-reaching changes," she said, stressing though that much remained to be done and that the "pace of change must in some areas be accelerated."

More equality in Nordic countries

The five Nordic countries, led by Iceland, clearly remained the most gender-equal. They were joined by Nicaragua, Rwanda Ireland, the Philippines and Belgium in the top 10, while Yemen remained at the bottom of the chart for the ninth year in a row. The United States meanwhile climbed three spots from last year to 20th, after narrowing its wage gap and hiking the number of women in parliamentary and ministerial level positions.

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UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson gave a speech at the United Nations on gender equality on 20 September as part of the HeForShe campaign.
Credit: United Nations

France catapulted from 45th to 16th place, also due to a narrowing wage gap but mainly thanks to increasing numbers of women in politics, including near-parity in the number of government ministers. With 49 percent women ministers, France now has one of the highest ratios in the world. Britain meanwhile dropped eight spots to 26th place, amid changes in income estimates.

Among other large economies, Brazil stood at 71st place, Russia at 75th, China at 87th and India at 114, the report showed.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:04 am 
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Ugandan 'revenge porn' victim Desire could be arrested
11 November 2014



So-called revenge porn - the publication of nude pictures of an individual without their consent - has become a global issue over the past few years.

In Uganda, naked photos of the musician Desire Luzinda have gone viral on social media networks, and have been published in newspapers. Her ex-boyfriend is alleged to have posted them, saying he wanted to teach her a lesson.

Now she is in hiding as the country's minister for ethics has called for her arrest.

Source: BBC.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:51 am 
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Navy's first openly gay SEAL builds his life anew
By David Zucchino
29 May 2015

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Brett Jones, left, the first openly gay Navy SEAL, plays basketball with his husband, Jason White, and their son, Ethan, 13, outside their Alabama home. (David Zucchino / Los Angeles Times)

After becoming the first openly gay Navy SEAL, Brett Jones lost his family and his career. So he started over.

For years, Brett Jones lived a double life. He was a Navy SEAL, a muscular M-60 gunner trained to kill and survive in enemy territory. He was also gay. He held his secret close, so close that his SEAL teammates — his closest friends — never suspected. Jones was careful to introduce his male lover, a Navy sailor, as his roommate. He persuaded an attractive friend to pose as his girlfriend whenever the SEALs threw parties.

But one day in 2002, Jones accidentally outed himself. He left an "I love you'' phone message for his lover — a stupid mistake, he realized the instant he hung up. A sailor heard it and turned him in. The Navy launched an investigation designed to dishonorably discharge him.

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Brett Jones is seen in uniform at a military firing range.

That mistake led Jones here, to the deeply conservative Bible Belt country of north Alabama, to a brick ranch home on Drury Lane he shares with his husband, Jason White, a burly former police detective and self-professed country boy raised in northern Alabama. The two men are parents to Ethan, a precocious 13-year-old known in the flat, clay and pine country as the only kid in school with two gay dads.

The first openly gay SEAL has built a new life here at age 41 with a family that has replaced the two families he lost — the one that raised him and the one he built with fellow SEALs. Both his parents and the Navy banished him because he's gay.

On this steamy night, the two gay parents and their straight son are sweating and shoving as they fight to win a roughhouse driveway basketball game called Cheater Ball. That's followed by shooting practice at a dirt berm in the backyard — a .357 pistol for Ethan, a 12-gauge shotgun for Jones and a Colt M4 carbine for White.

And then Ethan launches a home experiment, constructing a camp stove from a beer can and rubbing alcohol. Flames erupt from the contraption as it boils a pot of water on the kitchen counter. The three of them horse around, joking and teasing like teenagers. They are close, and necessarily so, since a gay marriage — not to mention gay parenting — is viewed with deep suspicion and outright hostility in perhaps the most anti-gay state in the country.

When Jones and White attend Ethan's baseball games, they say, coaches and other parents barely speak to them. There are loud whispers and hard stares. No one will sit with them. "I just want to tell them: 'It's not contagious, man. You're not going to catch it,'" Jones says, drawing cackles from White and Ethan.

The parents of Ethan's friends refuse to allow them to spend the night in the house Jones and White built together in little Toney, population 13,000. But the friends are allowed to stay over with Ethan when he's at the home of his mother, White's ex-wife.

School is worse, the family says. It's a rural county school, almost entirely white and deeply conservative. In science class one day, White says, a teacher stressed that marriage was strictly between a man and a woman. Teachers and students pass Bible verses to Ethan. "They're telling him we're sinners and need help,'' White says. "I tell Ethan: 'Try not to look at them as being hateful. They care about your soul, but they just don't know any better.'"

Jones is accustomed to rejection. When he was in high school, his mother, a devout Christian, overheard his phone conversation with a gay friend. The next day, Jones says, his parents confronted him. His father, an Air Force pilot, was wearing his blue dress uniform. He was livid. He asked his son, "Brett, are you a homosexual?" Jones, caught off-guard, denied it at first. But they knew. "My mom told me homosexuals go straight to hell," Jones says. "My dad said he wasn't going to have me infecting our family with that disease." They kicked him out. He spent the night in a cheap motel, contemplating suicide. Not long after that, he joined the Navy, serving for 10 years.

It took Jones two tries to pass the Navy's punishing physical, psychological and emotional tests to qualify as a SEAL, a unit so elite that at least three-quarters of applicants wash out. He had served for six years and two deployments on demanding, secretive missions when his homosexuality was discovered.

It was the "don't ask, don't tell" era. Jones, a quarter master 2nd class, lost his security clearance. He was interrogated by a military lawyer who demanded he confess to being gay. He was forbidden to associate with his SEAL teammates unless he was escorted by a Navy master of arms. His closest SEAL buddies supported him. But other SEALs ostracized him. They gossiped about him, ridiculing gays and saying a homosexual SEAL would destroy unit cohesion.

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The family left their names and handprints cemented near their home in Toney, Ala. (David Zucchino / Los Angeles Times)

The Navy dropped its investigation after Jones enlisted a national group that advocates for gays in the military, and after members of Congress intervened. But he knew his SEAL career had been irrevocably destroyed, and he decided not to reenlist. He quietly left the Navy in 2003. For years afterward, Jones kept quiet. Then he fell in love with White, who had come out to fellow cops at age 25 in nearby Athens, Ala. White proposed on Christmas morning in 2011, presenting Jones with a ring he and Ethan had picked out. Last December, they drove to Indiana to be married by a court clerk.

White, 37, had lived his own secret, tormented life growing up in Athens, where gays were ridiculed and demonized. His father cracked jokes about homos and fags. The day White decided to come out, he says, "I told my dad and he stood up and I was bracing for a punch. Instead, he gave me a hug." His father apologized for all his gay slurs over the years.

White and his brother, Matt, helped convince Jones to self-publish a memoir, "Pride: The Story of the First Openly Gay Navy SEAL," released in October. Writing the book helped heal the pain of scorn and rejection, but Jones has neither forgotten nor forgiven the Navy. "They treated me like a criminal," he says. "I was humiliated." He misses his life in the SEALs. "I loved it. I thrived in it. It was my whole life. The bonds I made with those guys was the family I had always wanted," he says. "I hated lying to them."

Both White and Jones embrace the holy pursuits of Southern males. They have a safe full of guns and a weight room in the garage. They take Ethan shooting, fishing, hiking and camping. Ethan is taking flying lessons. He wants to be a pilot and an industrial engineer. He says he loves both his dads — he calls White "Dad" and Jones "Brett."

Jones and White want to sell the house and move Ethan to a public school in nearby Huntsville, which they call "a progressive island" in a state so hostile to gay marriage that its chief Supreme Court justice ordered counties to disobey a federal court order in February permitting gay marriage. The family feels comfortable in Huntsville, home to scientists and engineers from across the country who work in defense and aerospace. Dads and son attend a Unitarian-Universalist church there and say they have been warmly welcomed. Jones and White own a private security service in the city. Ethan is convinced he and his dads will be accepted at the Huntsville school. "I'm counting the days," he says.

Not everyone in rural Madison County is hostile. Some of the neighbors have been friendly and supportive. "We have the only tornado shelter on the street," White cracks. Still, they don't expect a gay pride parade in Toney anytime soon. "Of course, every day I take a drive is a gay pride parade,'' White says.

The clients of their security company don't particularly care that it's owned and managed by two gay men, White says. The two are a former SEAL and former cop, after all, and Jones served for years as a security contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq after leaving the Navy.

Today, Jones is active in the Trevor Project, which operates 24-hour suicide hotlines for troubled lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people. He also volunteers with the American Military Partner Assn., which advocates for LGBT service members. He gets several messages a week from young gays, some in the military, who are battling depression and discrimination. A young, gay military officer recently wrote him from Singapore, where homosexuality is illegal. He thanked Jones for "being someone I can identify with and aspire to be like."

Jones says he has finally reconciled with his mother, though he and his father are not close and only talk by phone a few times a year. "I love her and she loves me, but we just agree to disagree," he says of his mother. They never discuss Christianity or "the gay thing," Jones says. Cathy Jones, who lives in Austin, Texas, says she loves and admires her son for his honesty and courage. "I'm a very strong Christian, so it was a very hard adjustment for me," she says. "I had to come to a place where I could love him and still not agree with him. Now we each accept the other one's choices in life. I'm all right with the way he is."

She laughs and recalls Brett's reckless boyhood. "I was afraid he'd end up in the penitentiary or the graveyard," she says. "He was a little stinkpot — impulsive, a real daredevil. "That's why he did so well in the SEALs," she adds. Cathy Jones says she loves Ethan and considers him her grandson. She calls White, her son-in-law, "a wonderful person."

Jones closed his book with an open letter to Ethan: "No matter what the state of Alabama or anyone else says, we are and always will be a family.... You and your dad make being a father and a husband the most remarkable and unexpected accomplishment of my life."

On Drury Lane, dinner is almost ready. Jones is coating chicken with chipotle sauce. White is chopping broccoli. Ethan tries another experiment: making a light bulb from a glass, wire, eight batteries, duct tape and lead filament. Ethan tapes the batteries to the wire and hooks it to the filament with alligator clips. Nothing happens. His two dads tease him mercilessly. But moments later, the filament is glowing bright red, lighting up the glass. Jones wraps his son in a bear hug. "I never doubted you," he tells him.

Source: Los Angeles Times.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:04 pm 
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$18M verdict in Wall Street sex harassment suit
June 29, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — A young Swedish woman who sued her former Wall Street executive boss over lurid allegations of sexual conquest, betrayal and stalking was awarded $18 million by a federal jury Monday.

Hanna Bouveng, 25, accused Benjamin Wey in an $850 million lawsuit of using his power as owner of New York Global Group to coerce her into four sexual encounters before firing her after discovering she had a boyfriend. The jury in federal court in Manhattan awarded her $2 million in compensatory damages plus $16 million in punitive damages on sexual harassment, retaliation and defamation claims. It rejected a claim of assault and battery.

Bouveng, who was raised in Vetlanda, Sweden, testified that soon after Wey hired her at New York Global Group, the CEO began a relentless quest to have sex with her. She says he fired her six months later after she refused any more sexual contact and he found a man in her bed in the apartment he helped finance.

Wey, 43, also sought to defame Bouveng by posting articles on his blog accusing her of being a "street walker," a "loose woman" and an extortionist, her lawyers say. Wey walked into a Stockholm cafe in April 2014 where she was working a few months after she was fired from Global Group, attorney David Ratner told jurors. "The message was: 'Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I am going to find you and I am going to get you," Ratner said.

The married financier denied ever having sex with Bouveng. He portrayed her as an opportunist who bragged that her grandfather was the billionaire founder of an aluminum company when Wey first met her in the Hamptons in July 2013. Wey testified that Bouveng knew nothing about finance before he hired and began mentoring her. He claimed she betrayed his generosity by embracing a party-girl lifestyle that left her too exhausted to succeed.

According to its website, New York Global Group is a U.S. and Asia-based advisory, venture capital and private equity investment group with access to about $1 billion in capital.

Source: AP

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