Pakistan: “Reclaiming Space: from victimhood to agency: State and civil society response to VAW”
Islamabad—Speakers at a conference here on Thursday urged for collective struggle and structural reforms to challenge Violence Against Women (VAW) in South Asian countries particularly. The three-day South Asian conference on “Reclaiming Space: from victimhood to agency: State and civil society response to VAW” organized by Rozan in Islamabad was widely attended by women activists from all over Pakistan who were joined by delegates from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Are women with secure land rights less vulnerable to domestic violence?
The problem of domestic violence in the world can seem intractable. In a recent report, UN Women notes that in 17 out of 41 countries, “a quarter or more of people think that it is justifiable for a man to beat his wife.”
Think about that. In almost half of the countries the report studied, more than 25% of people think that husbands have a right to hurt their wives, that they have a right to use physical violence as a punishment and a method of control.
India: UNICEF report uncovers high prevalence of child marriage in West Bengal
Every second girl in the high prevalence child marriage districts of West Bengal were married off before they reach 18, the legal age for girls to get wedded, a UNICEF report said.
Murshidabad (61.04%), Birbhum (58.03%), Malda (56.07%) and Purulia (54.03%) are the districts having such dubious distinction, the report said quoting latest figures.
Though only these four districts have reported over 50 per cent child marriage cases, they are enough to pull the state figure of child marriage to a staggering 53.9 per cent.
India: Infant Sex Selection on Rise, Despite Stricter Law
When Sujatha’s husband learned that she had conceived just five months after they got married, he became agitated over what he called her "ill-timed pregnancy". To worsen her husband’s anxiety, a test to determine the sex of the foetus showed she was carrying a girl.
Sujatha, a public school teacher, and her husband, a civil engineer – who asked that their full names be withheld – are from well-off and educated families in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the southern state of Kerala. Yet they dared violate the law, approaching doctors at the Sree Avittam Thirunal Hospital for an abortion; they were granted one within a month.
India: How fruit trees in Indian village save girls' lives
In India, where traditionally boys have been preferred over girls, a village in backward Bihar state has been setting an example by planting trees to celebrate the birth of a girl child. In Dharhara village, Bhagalpur district, families plant a minimum of 10 trees whenever a girl child is born.
And this practice is paying off.
Nikah Kumari, 19, is all set to get married in early June. The would-be groom is a state school teacher chosen by her father, Subhas Singh.
India: Row after minister calls homosexuality a disease
India's health minister has sparked a furious row over comments in which he described homosexuality as a "disease". Ghulam Nabi Azad told a conference on HIV/Aids that gay sex was "unnatural". Later he said he had been misquoted. One leading Aids campaigner said the minister was "living on another planet".
Gay sex was decriminalised in the country in a landmark judgement in 2009 but anti-homosexual discrimination remains widespread.
India: Doctors turn baby girls into boys through genitoplasty
Girls are being 'converted' into boys in Indore - by the hundreds every year - at ages where they cannot give their consent for this life-changing operation.
This shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at conservative Indore's well-known clinics and hospitals on children who are 1-5 years old. The process being used to 'produce' a male child from a female is known as genitoplasty. Each surgery costs Rs 1.5 lakh.
Moreover, these children are pumped with hormonal treatment as part of the sex change procedure that may be irreversible.
India: Child marriages reduced through regional government UNICEF Program
HYDERABAD: Kiran Kumar Reddy may have made for a pretty picture helping a girl child write at a government school in Ameerpet, but it is in the distant revenue division of Adoni in Kurnool district that a real revolution is actually unfolding. Revenue officials here have stopped a whopping 400 child marriages in less than two months.
In a crackdown unseen earlier, officials spearheaded an anti-child marriage campaign along with other government departments and across the 17 mandals of Adoni. The result: this wedding season at Adoni saw fewer child marriages than the previous years.
India: Top court urges death penalty for honor killings, calling them ‘slur on our nation’
NEW DELHI — India’s top court recommended the death penalty for perpetrators of “honor killings,” calling the practice barbaric and feudal in a ruling cheered Tuesday by activists who hope it will inspire opposition to a crime seen as anathema to a democratic nation.
Most victims were young adults who fell in love or married against their families’ wishes. In some cases, village councils ordered couples killed who married inside their clan or outside their caste. While there are no official figures, an independent study found around 900 people were killed each year in India for defying their elders.
India: Supreme court calls for 'stamping out honour killing'
India's Supreme Court has told states to "ruthlessly stamp out" the so-called honour killings. The court also warned that senior officials who failed to act against the offenders would be prosecuted. In recent times, there have been many cases where people have been ostracised or killed for defying age-old notions of tradition and family honour.