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（共同通信） - 3月25日17時8分更新
XXVIII ILGA World Conference Geneva
Sunday 2nd of April
14:00-15:30 Plenary Panel session
Organising in Political arena
Mr Volker Beck
Member of the German Parliament and Whip of the Green Party Group
Ms Lissy Gröner
Member of the European Parliament, Spokeswomen on Gender Equality for the Party of the European Socialists and Vice President of Socialist International Women
Ms Kanako Otsuji
Municipal Councillor in Osaka, Japan
Ms Belissa Andia Perez
First Transgender Candidate for Parliament in Peru
Changing the world one mind at a time
Kiyomi Arai Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer
Having had abundant experience in promoting gender equality in Sweden and in international organizations, Carolyn Hannan is well-qualified for her post at the United Nations as the director of the Division for the Advancement of Women.
In a phone interview with The Daily Yomiuri, Hannan cited both the advances made in the last 10 years and the obstacles that remain.
"When we had the 10-year review of the 1995 Beijing world conference last year, it came out that there's been quite a lot of advances all around the world. You have many policies on gender equality, good strategies, action plans and legislation. What has remained unchanged is stereotypes about women--what women should do and should not do," she said.
At the U.N. commission on the status of women, Hannan and her colleagues work on policy, helping countries to develop new policies and recommendations on gender equality and women's empowerment. The advances prove that their work has been quite successful, but Hannan says the commission has not been able to change mind-sets and attitudes to the same extent.
"I think that's one of our major challenges in the next decade because that's holding women back in many cases."
Eliminating stereotypes and changing longstanding ways of thinking is no easy task. Hannan has started trying to spread information about what has been gleaned from the review of their 10 years of work.
"We're trying to spread the information so that at the national level, countries can start working on that. It's something that needs to be done across the board, in education, at workplaces, and through the media. It's something that nongovernmental organizations can also work on," she said.
Another thing she focuses on is the role of men. "We'd like to do more work on trying to find out how we can get men to be engaged in this issue, to let them know that it's important not only to women, but to the whole of the society."
Hannan has worked not only in the West but also in Africa for more than 10 years, and in Asia.
Asked what she thought of Asian women, she said: "One of the things that struck me when working with women in Asia was that they were very well-educated. I think that's an area where there has been quite a lot of advances."
However, she again stressed the ever-present obstacle of established mind-sets. "A question that could be raised is that how much difference has that made in [Asian] women's participation in decision-making. Have women been able to use that education to the same benefit as men? Do they get the same opportunity to be leaders and managers and actually play key roles in different areas of society in decision-making?"
In fact, women's participation in decision-making is the crucial topic at present at the United Nations. At the latest meeting of the commission on the status of women, which is held annually, it was the main topic of the discussion among member states representatives.
"There is still some way to go. It's one thing to get the education, but you have to be given an opportunity to use that education," Hannan said.
Relating gender equality to sport, she emphasized the need to give more attention to the topic. "It's a question of women's access to sports, to be able to practice sports on an equitable basis, whether they are doing it as amateurs or professionals. Women's sport doesn't get the support it needs either in terms of structures or in financing."
Hannan pointed out there are differences between women's sports and men's sports in rewards and incentives, even in schools and communities. There is a commission in the United Nations that is studying the topic, as Hannan repeatedly said, "We feel it's just not given enough attention."
She continued: "It's thought of as a second-class area and not considered as exciting as other topics. But it's an area of life. Recreation and sports are important."
Waiting for her first visit to Japan to hold lectures, she is looking forward to finding out what Japanese women are really like.
"We'll have a chance for dialogue [after the lecture], a question-and-answer session. That's a very important way to know what is the concern of people, of women in Japan. I'm looking forward to that, to be able to respond if I have answers and at least take back the questions people have raised if I don't have answers."
Although her work at the United Nations involves policies and legislation of countries all over the world, she has not forgotten how important it is to speak with and listen to people outside the halls of power. "I would hope that we would get some new ideas through this conference, in particular some practical strategies of how we should move forward."
Career of working for women
Born in 1947 in Sweden, Hannan obtained a doctorate in social and economic geography from the University of Lund in the country, and has worked extensively on gender equality.
She was the senior policy adviser on Gender Equality in the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency from 1992 to 1998. While working for her home country, she also worked as the chair of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's working party on gender equality between 1995 and 1997.
More recently, Hannan was the principal officer for gender mainstreaming in the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues at the United Nations' headquarters in New York. She assumed her present post as the director of the Division for the Advancement of Women in December 2001.
Her work experience covers policy development for gender equality and competence development for gender mainstreaming, including many areas such as health, natural resource management, governance, and poverty eradication.
Hannan will give a lecture at the opening ceremony of the 2006 World Conference on Women and Sport in Kumamoto, on May 11 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., about how men and women can overcome the fixed sharing of roles.
(Mar. 25, 2006)
Californians more accepting of gays
Attitudes change on marriage, military since '97, survey finds
- Wyatt Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Public support for gays is increasing in California, according to the first comprehensive statewide poll in nearly a decade looking at attitudes on rights for gays, lesbians and legal protection for same-sex couples.
The nonpartisan Field Poll, to be released today, found a significant shift in whether Californians believe sexual relationships between people of the same sex are wrong.
Attitudes on same-sex marriage also have changed, with 51 percent of Californians opposing same-sex marriage in the February poll and 43 percent approving of it, in contrast with 56 percent disapproval and 38 percent approval in 1997.
When those polled were given the option of civil unions, they split evenly among the three offered categories, though: 32 percent favor marriage, 32 percent favor civil unions and 32 percent neither.
Throughout the poll, approximately a third of all respondents oppose legal protection of same-sex relationships and 40 percent favor amending the federal constitution to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.
"As time passes, there is a greater acceptance of gay and lesbian rights and greater support of anti-discrimination policies," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. "That's the key finding."
The clearest-cut issue was whether gays and lesbians should be able to serve openly in the military. Sixty-seven percent of Californians support that proposition, 22 percent oppose it, and 11 percent have no opinion.
Field surveyed 1,000 California adults between Feb. 12 and Feb. 26; the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The last comprehensive poll on gay and lesbian rights in 1997 found that 45 percent of Californians believed sexual relationships between adults of the same gender were always wrong, and 38 percent said such relationships were not wrong at all. The new poll shows that 32 percent of Californians believe those relationships are always wrong, a 13 percentage-point drop, and 43 percent say they are not wrong at all.A majority of Californians -- 55 percent -- support adoption by same-sex couples; 40 percent oppose it. A majority of Roman Catholics in the state -- 51 percent -- also support adoption by same-sex couples, while 45 percent disapprove. Opposition to same-sex adoption was higher among born-again Christians, at 59 percent, and Protestants in general, at 50 percent.
Throughout the poll, those who most opposed legal protections for same-sex couples also were least likely to personally know any lesbians or gays.
"To me, that's one of the most revealing numbers in the survey because it says familiarity with gays and lesbians in your own life has a powerful influence over whether (you think) these couples should have regular marriage laws apply to them," DiCamillo said.
Forty-eight percent of respondents said they had close friends or family members who are gay or lesbian, and 41 percent of respondents said they are more accepting now of same-sex relationships than they were when they were 18 years old.
Gay rights activists said the poll shows that aggressively pursuing their agenda results in progress, not in the backlash that some conservatives and some Democrats have predicted.
"You see in this poll that when people are given the opportunity to think about and discuss the issues, they move forward," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, the major gay rights organization in the state. "The real backlash has been against those who spew hatred, who are seeing their support for hatred erode and erode fast as their rhetoric becomes more inflammatory."
But Ben Lopez, legislative analyst and lobbyist for the Traditional Values Coalition in Anaheim, a major conservative group, highlighted the finding that opinions on same-sex marriage have remained stable.
"It shows that Californians have not bought hook, line and sinker the notion that marriage and family should be redefined to include two men and two women," Lopez said.
Polls in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York show a majority of citizens in each of those states supports same-sex marriage, said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry in New York. In Vermont, where same-sex civil unions were legalized in 2000, 40 percent support same-sex marriage, he said.
E-mail Wyatt Buchanan at email@example.com.
FIELD POLL / Gay and lesbian rights
Page B - 1
Field Poll: Backing for gay rights increases
Californians' support stops short of same-sex marriage, with 51 percent against it.
By Peter Hecht -- Sacramento Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 2:15 am PST Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Story appeared on Page A3 of The Bee
Californians strongly back civil rights protections for gays and lesbians - but their support stops at the altar of marriage, according to a Field Poll released Tuesday.
Some 67 percent of Californians support the rights of gays and lesbians to serve in the military, 59 percent favor prohibiting employers from discriminating against homosexuals and 55 percent say gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children, according to the telephone poll conducted Feb. 12-26.
In the survey of 1,000 adults, including 680 registered voters, Californians by a 57 percent to 33 percent margins also said they believe homosexual relations between consenting adults should be legal. The margin is higher among registered voters, 64 percent to 27 percent.
But on the question of marriage, just 43 percent of the state's residents support legalizing same-sex marriages, while 51 percent disapprove. The numbers are similar among registered voters: 44 percent in favor of gay marriage compared with 50 percent against it.
Although they don't want to sanction gay marriage, state residents by a 50 percent to 40 percent margin oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
While Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said, "The consensus has still not moved toward supporting same-sex marriage," he said the poll reveals that gay marriage is significantly more acceptable to younger residents. And he said other poll indicators reveal a growing acceptance of homosexuals in society.
For example, only 29 percent of Californians aged 65 or older back same-sex marriage, compared with 64 percent who believe it should be illegal. But among residents 18 to 29, 54 percent support gay marriage and 42 percent are against it.
DiCamillo also attributed a softening in attitudes on homosexual issues to the simple fact that more Californians know gays and lesbians than in past years.
In a 1977 poll, 49 percent of Californians said they knew someone who was gay or lesbian. This year, 64 percent of the recent poll respondents said they either know or work with somebody who is homosexual.
"If a person knows gays and lesbians, they are much more likely to be accepting and tolerant," DiCamillo said.
Six years ago, 61.4 percent of California voters backed an anti-gay marriage initiative, Proposition 22, which declared: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
But the issue has continued to simmer in the Legislature. Last year, California became the first state in the nation to pass a bill that would have recognized gay marriage. But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the measure, Assembly Bill 849.
The governor said the legislation went against the will of voters who passed Proposition 22. He also said he didn't want to interfere with pending legal challenges to the initiative.
Seth Kilbourn, political director of Equality California, a gay and lesbian advocacy group, said he was "encouraged" by the Field Poll, saying the results "reflect a lot of familiarity and understanding by California voters for and about gay and lesbian issues. ... That gives us a solid foundation to have a conversation with Californians about marriage."
But the conversation remains complex for Californians.
When the Field Poll asked state residents to consider three possible public policies for same-sex couples, the answers were evenly split. Thirty-two percent of Californians say they don't support any legal recognition for gay couples. Thirty-two percent said they support gay marriage. And 32 percent backed the idea of allowing civil unions.
"Most people don't even know what domestic partnerships entail in California. They don't know that domestic partners have all the rights of marriage," said Benjamin Lopez, a legislative analyst for the Traditional Values Coalition, an Orange County group advocating a constitutional amendment to ban all same-sex unions.
"The whole dynamics of this debate will change if and when a gay marriage bill is passed by the Legislature, and the governor, whoever he may be, signs it into law," Lopez said. "I think you will see the (poll) numbers change as a backlash to that action, and that will be favorable to our cause."
More than one in three Californians, 37 percent, said they believe the gay rights agenda is moving too fast, according to the Field Poll. Ten percent of respondents said progress on gay rights is moving too slowly and 39 percent said things are proceeding at about the right pace.
PDF: Full poll results
About the writer:
The Bee's Peter Hecht can be reached at (916) 326-5539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 22, 2006
FIELD POLLS SHOWS STRONG SUPPORT FOR LESBIAN AND GAY EQUALITY
Debate on Marriage For Same-Sex Couples Leads to Progress, Not Backlash
San Francisco, CA - The Field Poll released today shows that California overwhelming supports fairness and equal treatment for its lesbian and gay citizens. The poll asked 1,000 California adults their opinion on a wide range of issues, including how same-sex couples should be treated under the law. By a 3 - 1 margin, Californians support extending comprehensive legal protections to lesbian and gay couples; 44% registered voters would support a bill legalizing marriage for same-sex couples.
"This poll demonstrates that California is committed to ensuring that all of its residents are treated fairly under the law," said Geoff Kors, Executive Director of Equality California. "When people are given the opportunity to think about and discuss issues like marriage for lesbian and gay couples, they move forward. The real backlash has been against those who spew hatred and fear."
Of California registered voters, 44% would support a state law allowing same-sex couples to marry. Among other issues asked in the poll, 67% favor lesbians and gays serving openly in the military and 55% favor gay and lesbian parents adopting children.
"The core values reflected in the poll should also be reflected in our laws, including our laws on marriage and other basic family issues," said Kors. "Clearly, Californians are listening to our message that same-sex couples deserve the rights and protections of marriage. Leadership on this issue leads to more support for our issues, not less."
Posted 3/23/2006 10:46 PM
Wave of lawsuits targets bans on same-sex marriage
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Heather McDonnell and Carol Snyder of White Plains, N.Y., have been a couple for 16 years.
Heather McDonnell, left, and Carol Snyder of White Plains, N.Y., together in their kitchen.
By Todd Plitt for USA TODAY
When Snyder was in the hospital for breast cancer surgery early in their relationship, McDonnell wanted to be at her side, just as a spouse would. And so McDonnell was — but only after she was first challenged by a nurse who did not think of her as family.
The episode, and others like it, prompted McDonnell, 52, an administrator at Sarah Lawrence College, and Snyder, a 61-year-old special education teacher, to join several other gay and lesbian couples in lawsuits challenging policies against same-sex marriages.
MILESTONES IN GAY RIGHTS
"There is nothing more universal in this country as saying you're married," McDonnell says. "When you are at your most vulnerable ... you need something like that."
The lawsuits, sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union and gay rights groups such as Lambda Legal, utilize carefully selected plaintiffs and locales. They argue that particular state constitutions contain a right to same-sex marriage.
The lawsuits were inspired largely by a 2003 ruling by Massachusetts' highest court that led to that state being the first to legalize such unions. David Buckel of Lambda Legal says the lawsuits are focused on states where public attitudes toward same-sex unions seem particularly friendly and where amending the state constitution to counter any ruling for same-sex marriage would be difficult.
Such lawsuits are awaiting rulings by the top state courts in Washington state and New Jersey. Similar lawsuits are making their way through state courts in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland and New York. The lawsuits generally claim that the states' constitutions allow gay couples to marry on the same terms as heterosexuals.
'67 Supreme Court ruling cited
The state-by-state approach is somewhat similar to the strategy gay rights groups used in recent years in a successful fight against laws that made sex between people of the same sex a crime.
However, before the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated such laws in 2003, many legislatures were lifting their bans on sodomy.
Gay marriage does not have that kind of legislative momentum. Nineteen states amended their constitutions to ban such marriages in recent years, and similar ballot initiatives will be before voters this year in seven other states.
Gay-marriage advocates are trying to link their effort with a 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that rejected state bans on interracial marriages. A few state court judges have accepted that comparison.
"It was only less than 40 years ago that the U.S. Supreme Court held that anti-miscegenation statutes ... violate the Constitution because they infringed on the freedom to marry a person of one's choice," Manhattan Judge Doris Ling-Cohan wrote last year. "Similarly, this court must so hold in the context of same-sex marriages."
Some courts that have rejected same-sex marriage have said the comparison to racial discrimination is inapt. In December, when a state appeals court in New York overruled Ling-Cohan's decision, it said the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on interracial marriage arose from the "fundamental right to be free from racial discrimination" — and that there was no similar fundamental right to same-sex marriage.
That sentiment is in line with arguments made by groups that oppose such marriages. "The laws that once limited one's marriage partner on the basis of race were designed to build walls and keep blacks and whites apart," says Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council. "But preserving the traditional definition of marriage brings men and women together."
'Race between lawsuits'
Overall, the gay rights groups' strategy seeks to win state court rulings that could help change public attitudes and help prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to guarantee a right to gay marriage.
It's unclear how the court, under new Chief Justice John Roberts and with new Justice Samuel Alito, will view gay rights cases.
Critics of same-sex marriage, cite elected legislatures' moves against same-sex marriage while casting the current lawsuits as an attempt to make an end run around the will of the people.
"It's a race between these lawsuits and the (state constitutional) amendments" against same-sex marriage, says Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage. Daniels' group is backing the state initiatives against same-sex marriage as well as a measure in the U.S. Senate that calls for a constitutional ban on such unions.
William Hohengarten, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who was part of the team that argued successfully against anti-sodomy laws at the Supreme Court in 2003, says winning cases in state courts is key for groups backing same-sex marriage. "It's important to have a number of states where same-sex marriage becomes a way of life ... to help change public attitudes."