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LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Gender Recognition Changes In Scotland, Same-Sex Ice-Skating — And Other News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

TW: This content may address topics and include references to violence that some may find distressing.

🌐 5 THINGS TO KNOW

• Poland to veto discriminatory law: Polish President Andrzej Duda said he would veto a controversial bill that limits access to comprehensive sex ed and anti-discrimination classes in schools, after weeks of protests led by students and activists.

• Protests against homosexuality trial in Tunisia: Activists gathered on Dec. 19 in front of a court in Kairouan, Tunisia, to denounce the trial of six men prosecuted for homosexuality — which is punishable by up to three years in prison in the country.

• Scotland to introduce “gender recognition” changes: The Scottish government has introduced a bill to reform how transgender people can change the sex on their birth certificate, in favor of a self-declaration system that removes the need for a psychiatric diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

• Anti-LGBTQ+ Ghana churches received millions in Western aid: An exclusive investigation by CNN shows how over the past six years, some Western governments spent millions aiding churches in Ghana that have a long history of anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda and activities.

• Canada okays same-sex ice-skating teams to compete: Skate Canada, the national governing body for figure skating, has announced it is now allowing “two skaters” to compete in the ice dance and pairs figure skating competitions at the most elite levels of the sport.

🇦🇷🎧 From church choir to DJ icon: the singular rise of Anita B Queen

Alex Zani, writing for Buenos-Aires-based news agency Agencias Presentes, draws the portrait of Ana Belén Kim, daughter of conservative Korean immigrants to Argentina and a rising star in Latin America's electronic music club scene who's impossible to categorize.

In a world that insists on labels, Ana Belén Kim, also known as Anita B Queen, considers herself a "degenerate." That is: someone impossible to classify. The 26-year-old daughter of a Catholic mother and an Evangelical father, both of whom were Korean immigrants who came to Argentina in their early childhood, her musical career began at Cheil, the First Korean Presbyterian Church in the country.

Anita was still a teenager and was surprised to see so many instruments she could use. She taught herself how to play and was soon in charge of the youth band of the church. When she turned 18, her life turned upside down as she questioned her values and her sexuality.

“Imagine, a lifelong Christian girl, growing up in a small, closed, conservative and orthodox Korean community, trying to understand what she was feeling and trying to accept herself.” That year she left the church, withdrew from her peers, separated from her boyfriend, and began dating other women.

Photo of Anita B Queen with other musicians while in Madrid on Europe tour

Anita B Queen with other musicians on Europe Trip in Madrid — Photo: anitabqueen

"It was at that moment that I started working as a DJ, making electronic music, learning from local and foreign DJs who, without knowing it, were my mentors." It was a world commanded by men into which Anita stormed confidently, without asking for permission. "It's simple," she says. "Breaking through is a matter of attitude.”

Read the full story on Worldcrunch.com

👉 OTHERWISE

• LGBTQ Nation focuses on Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer of Swan Lake and Nutcracker fame, and how his being homosexual was carefully from Russian history.

• 76Crimes highlights the challenges transgender Pakistanis have to overcome today, faced with both a strong conservative Muslim society and a groundbreaking transgender rights law.

• “You've probably heard of the male gaze, but what exactly is the lesbian gaze?” asks Pride.

• T’is the season for queer couples to try to survive Christmas with the family ...

• Feeling nostalgic and looking to binge some good flicks for the holidays? Here’s a nice list of 17 Gay Period Dramas That Will Take You Back in Time.

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LGBTQ+ International: Spain’s Transgender Bill, Istanbul Pride Arrests — And The Week’s Other Top News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — a topic that you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

Featuring, this week:

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Unzipped! The African Women Breaking Taboos Of Sexuality

In countries and communities where sexuality is often kept under wraps, more and more women are taking up their microphones, pens and keyboards to talk about intimate issues without filters.

When the subject of African women's sexuality gets media coverage it's almost always a bad thing, says Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, a Ghanaian writer based in London: "through the spectrum of disease, HIV or repeated pregnancies."

While universal access to sexual and reproductive health services remains a central issue in West Africa, Sekyiamah wants to share other narratives. To do this, she co-founded the blog: Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women.

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African Feminism Exists! A Brief Manifesto

There is a persistent misconception that African women fighting for their rights and building their identity owe a debt to feminism passed down by White women and the West. It is crucial to understand that there are unique forms of feminism that have developed on and of the African continent.

-Essay-

"You cannot go around claiming that an idea or an item was imported into a given society unless you could also conclude that — to the best of your knowledge — there is not and never was any word or phrase in that society's indigenous language which describes that idea or item.”

These words, spoken by the Ghanaian feminist writer and playwright Ama Ata Aidoo, perfectly illustrate why feminism is tirelessly put on trial the moment it is used in reference to sub-Saharan or Afropean girls and women. Here, feminism is seen by many to be an import from the West, an imposition from white women to women of African descent, going against the "true" traditional values of the latter.

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Green
Carl Karlsson

Six Massive Clean Energy Projects That Offer A Shot Of Climate Hope

Last fall's COP26 climate summit showed the way to, not, move forward on tackling the climate crisis. But all's not lost. From the biggest solar farm in the world to a huge storage plant for C02, here are some of the largest renewable energy projects in the pipeline around the globe.

Following a decade-long fanfare of private and government pledges to combat the warming of the planet, last month’s United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow painted a grim picture of the world’s climate progress. The takeaway: the world is on course to overshoot the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accords in all but the most optimistic scenario, which would require all announced targets to be fully implemented.

That scenario, however, seems distant today as the pivot to a sustainable energy market is unevenly distributed across the globe, with many fossil-fuel-dependent countries still struggling to close the energy gap as demand for power increases. What is worse, while some countries have improved their ambitions, others slipped backward at COP26 by retracting set climate targets.

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Ghana
Marie de Vergès

How Facial Recognition Technology Is Different In Africa

There's a reason many Africans are wary of the identification technology: It doesn't work as well for people with dark skin. That's where Charlette N'Guessan, a young Ivorian researcher, comes in.

ACCRA — She's not ashamed to say it: The coronavirus pandemic has been "a very good thing" for Charlette N'Guessan. The same goes for Africa's forward-looking tech entrepreneurs in general.

"With the challenges posed by COVID-19, the continent is waking up," the young Ivorian says. "People are thinking innovation, ideas, change. This crisis gives credibility to what we are doing."

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Ghana
Moina Fauchier-Delavigne

Meet Janet Adu, 'President' Of The Slums Of Ghana

ACCRA — Ghana has two presidents. The first was elected last December, and is named Nana Akufo-Addo, a 73-year-old British-educated son of a former head of state. The other is Janet Adu, 57, who never studied abroad and has always lived far from the luxuries of the official presidential palace. But she too was elected by popular vote to her mandate of "leader of communities' of the slums in Ghana.

"I was not candidate, but the people insisted," Adu recalls of her election in 2012.

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Ghana
Caterina Clerici

Can Chinese Solar Panels Keep The Lights On In Ghana?

ACCRA — It's a hot and humid night in this capital city and a long line waits at the entrance of Papaye, Ghana's top fast-food chain and a symbol of the country's burgeoning middle class. But the restaurant seems closed, its neon lights turned off.

The restaurant's staff struggle to turn on the generator. A light flickers on, briefly illuminating two large halls full of patrons eating plates of fried chicken and rice. Seconds later, darkness once again envelops the Papaye outlet.

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Smarter Cities
Emily Liedel

Smart Cities: Thinking Electricity, Mexican Bike Vests, Korean Internet

Here is a preview of our exclusive newsletter to keep up-to-date and stay inspired by Smart City innovations from around the world.

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Ghana

Shopping Mall Collapses In Ghana, Hundreds Trapped

CITI FM (Ghana), AFP (France)

Worldcrunch

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Ghana

Micro-Livestock In Ghana: Rodents Of Unusual Size - And Taste

WORLD ARK/HEIFER INTERNATIONAL (U.S.A.), BBC (U.K.)

Heifer International, a charity that provides livestock to poor and landless farmers worldwide to help them lift themselves out of poverty, has recently "downsized" its offerings. In addition to cows and goats, they are now also donating cane rats, more appetizingly known as grasscutters, whose meat is prized in West Africa.

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Ghana
Christian Putsch

Stemming Over-Population in Sub-Saharian Africa

In a culture where having a big family is a sign of wealth, it is very difficult to stem the population explosion that is threatening these countries' development and their inhabitants' health.

DOWODA - Adjoa Ankra carries her baby, wrapped in a white blanket, on her back. The 28-year-old woman set off from home at dawn and is now standing with several dozens other women in the courtyard of a health center in Dodowa, a city in Ghana. Rain drops fall on the brightly-clad women and the corrugated iron roof of the facility, but the sound is drowned out by the song the women are singing: "Thank you Lord for protecting our children."

It is hours before it is finally Ankra's turn to step up to the rickety table. Doctors fill out forms before her seven-month-old son Samuel can get the jab in his upper thigh that could save his life. With the support of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) two vaccines are being introduced in Ghana, one against pneumococci and the other against rotavirus. They are the main cause of pneumonia and diarrheal illness that kill 2.7 million people around the world every year.

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