News and Views by Region
Pakistan: Women Move Beyond Traditional Roles
JALOZAI, — A visit to the Jalozai camp, originally established in 1980 for Afghans fleeing the Soviet invasion, gives an idea of how the fighting between the Pakistani Army and militants has affected families in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
In 2008, all the Afghan refugees left. Their place was taken by about 100,000 Pakistanis known as the “internally displaced” of their country. Children, women and men arrive with what they can carry, then spend weeks, months, even years in tents.
Pakistan: Statement by National Commission on the Status of Women against Supreme court verdict on gang rape case
The National Commission on the Status of Women, an official organisation, and members of Insani Huqooq Ittehad, including PODA, Mehergargh, Aurat Foundation, Rozan, Sungi, Bedari, Ethno Media, Pattan and SPO convened an emergency meeting to express deep shock and disappointment at the verdict given by the superior court in the Mukhtara Mai gang rape case today. Although the judgment did prove that Mukhtara was raped because one accused did get life imprisonment, while others were acquitted. We are surprised to see why only one accused was punished and others were acquitted on a charge of 'gang rape'.
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.
India: Haryana widows battered to death
Two widows have been bludgeoned to death by a man in the northern Indian state of Haryana, officials say. Police arrested a 23-year-old man, the nephew of one of the women. He was on parole, having served a sentence for rape.
Eyewitnesses told police he killed his aunt and another woman in full view of other villagers, after he accused them of being in a lesbian relationship.
UN Women: Bringing Widows to the Forefront in South Asia
New Delhi—UN Women has launched a three-year regional programme to address the needs of widows in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Funded jointly by UN Women’s Swiss National Committee and the Standard Chartered Bank, the programme will be implemented to reduce the social ostracism faced by widows. This will be done by collecting data and evidence to highlight the stigma widows face, working with widows’ coalitions so they can speak up and access public services, and by guaranteeing that discriminatory social practices against widows are reviewed and repealed.
Malaysia: Why Some Women Wear a Hijab and Some Don’t
In Malaysia, which is predominantly Muslim, some women wear the hijab, a head scarf that shows the face but covers the hair, ears and neck. And some do not. A new documentary, “Siapa Aku?” or “Who Am I?” by Norhayati Kaprawi, a young Muslim woman, explores the reasons why.
Pakistan: Rape Media Coverage Sensationalized, Politicized, Insensitive
Islamabad: Senior journalists and women rights activists like any ordinary crime, at the launching ceremony of a report on the media’s role in sex crimes.
Tasneem Ahmar, director of Uks, Dr Salman Tariq, gender advisor at United Nations, Huma Khawar, senior journalist, Quatrina Hosain, director of current affairs at Express News and Tahira Abdullah, a well known rights activist, were speaking on Monday at the launching ceremony of a report titled ‘How rape is covered by the media in Pakistan’. The report has been compiled by Uks Research Centre, Islamabad in collaboration with the Global Fund for Women.
India: Sons Preferred by Couples, Served by Bangkok Clinics
NEW DELHI: Aamita from Delhi has a dark secret. Last year, without telling family or friends, she boarded a plane to Thailand to undergo IVF treatment. A mother of two girls by then, Aamita was perfectly fertile and would have had no problem conceiving again. But she wanted a boy.
Gender selection is illegal in India, but a growing number of women like Aamita are finding a way round the ban by going to Thailand where there are no laws against it.
Malaysia: Nazreen Nizam of Sisters in Islam laments Malaysian regression in rights
BANGKOK (TrustLaw) – Malaysia is considered a tolerant, progressive and successful developing Muslim nation; its capital is a gleaming metropolis with one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world.
Yet the politicisation of religion in recent years has led to a regression in gender rights under the country’s Islamic Family Law, a prominent women’s rights group, which is aiming to reform the legislation, told TrustLaw.
Bangladesh: High Rate of Child Marriages, Warnings to Parents
DHAKA, 6 April 2011 (IRIN) - Despite various government and non-governmental initiatives to stem child marriage in Bangladesh, parents are continuing to marry off their underage daughters, health experts say.
“Early marriage is a big problem for Bangladesh. We cannot reduce maternal mortality and morbidity if we do not stop early marriage,” Gias Uddin, a project manager for the , the largest family planning NGO in the country, told IRIN.