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news roundup: sunday may 17, 2015

Image: Daniel Lobo

Image: Daniel Lobo

Australian Government considers GPS tracking for domestic violence perpetrators

The federal government says it is considering keeping tabs on domestic violence perpetrators with GPS technology.

‘We want to look at really lifting our game when it comes to dealing with the scourge of domestic violence,’ Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

GPS tracking is presently used on some sex offenders in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Discussion of the measure will be on the agenda at the next Coalition of Australian Governments meeting.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash says gaps between state and territory and the Commonwealth frameworks for dealing with violence against women will also be addressed.

The news comes as the government also pledges $4 million to 1800RESPECT, the national sexual assault and DV counselling hotline, amid increasing demand.


Moroccan king wants to ease abortion restrictions

King Mohammed VI has decreed restrictions will be eased to allow abortions in the case of rape, incest, complications with the mother’s health and foetal defects, after an inquiry into the Moroccan penal code.

Prior to the inquiry, only threat to maternal life would sanction the vital healthcare.

Local pro-choice organisations and NGOs estimate 600 – 800 abortions are carried out in Morocco daily in contravention to present laws, as the conservative society finds unwed mothers ‘shameful’.


International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), with events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane raising awareness of sexual and gender diversity.

This year’s happenings mark the 25th anniversary since the World Health Organisation officially declassified homosexuality as a mental illness.


Toy Like Me: dolls represent disabled children

A doll-making company in the United Kingdom has responded to the Toy Like Me campaign, pushing for dolls to bear likeness to people with a disability or a physical difference.

The company, Makies, has a ‘design your own’ setup, but have created prototypes including dolls with hearing aids, a cane and glasses, as well as a doll with a distinctive birthmark for a new line of more inclusive toys.

Makies is also working on a doll with a wheelchair.


Also making news:

Funding row over campaigns involved in Ireland’s marriage equality referendum,

Hillary Clinton’s immense wealth cited as campaign liability,

And the UN hosts panel at Cannes Film Festival to discuss inequalities in film industry.

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