News and Views by Region

Pakistan: Women's Police Stations for Gender Violence

Publication Date: 
February 21, 2011
Nine women police stations have been established in various cities where female police officers deal with cases involving women

ISLAMABAD: A total number of 11,789 cases of violence against women have been registered in the country since January 2009.

According to the available data from Ministry of Interior: 8433 cases in Punjab, 680 cases in Sindh, 1656 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 333 cases in Balochistan, 272 cases in Islamabad Capital Territory, 362 cases in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and 62 cases in Gilgit and Baltistan have been recorded since 2009.

Pakistan: Forced marriage - 12-year-old seeks divorce from 35-year-old husband

Publication Date: 
April 8, 2011
The Express Tribune
"End Forced Marriage" Poster
FAISALABAD: 12-year-old Alina* wants a divorce from her 35-year-old husband to whom she was married against her will in January. Her parents and husband’s family are however insistent that the girl live with the man because divorced women are not respected in the society.

Nepal: Custom & Dangers of Isolation of Women During Menstruation

Publication Date: 
March 21, 2011
Women's News Network
Nepali girl and brother in western Chitwan district. (Image:Symmetry_mind/Flickr)

The centuries old practice of chhaupadi in Nepal can cause prolonged depression in girls and women. In extreme cases it can also cause death.

Chhaupadi pratha, or ritual practice, places Nepali women and girls in a limbo of isolation. In history it is a practice that has been largely accepted. The word chhaupadi, translates in the Achham local Raute dialect as ‘chhau’ which means menstruation and ‘padi’ – woman.

Interview: Muslim women in southern Thailand face discrimination by civil and religious law

Publication Date: 
March 14, 2011
Trust Law
Muslim girls stand by a Thai soldier securing an event in the troubled Yala province in southern Thailand 1 March 2011 (Reuters)

BANGKOK (TrustLaw) – Muslim women in Thailand’s insurgency-plagued southern region face problems of discrimination under state and religious law, as well as cultural norms, that are exceedingly difficult to address, a prominent human rights activist told TrustLaw. 

Tajikistan: Tighter Marriage Rules

Publication Date: 
March 3, 2011
A wedding in Tajikistan. Foreigners wishing to marry local nationals now have to meet a number of legal requirements. Photo:IWPR

Changes to the law in Tajikistan making it harder for foreigners to marry locals seem to be a move to stop Afghan and Chinese nationals entering into marriages of convenience.

The amended legislation, passed at the end of January, requires foreigners to have lived in Tajikistan for a year before they can marry locals. They must also sign a prenuptial agreement committing them to provide housing for their spouse. Since foreigners can only buy property after five years’ residence, this provision seems designed to ensure the family home is registered to a Tajik national.

Child Brides Often Stop Education & Continue Poverty

Publication Date: 
February 28, 2011
The Economist

In South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa 38% of women marry before they are 18 years old. Child marriages, as defined by UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s agency, are those undertaken by women under the age of 18 and include unions where a woman and a man live together as if they were married.

Bangladesh: Women Commit Suicide to Escape Sexual Harassment

Publication Date: 
February 19, 2011
Asia Calling
Resisting sexual harrassment in Bangladesh

Sexual harassment against women in Bangladesh is turning deadly. According to local human rights groups 28 women committed suicide this year to escape frequent sexual harassment. Before killing themselves most of them wrote a note demanding an end to the sexual harassment known locally as ‘eve teasing’ where boys intercept girls on the street, and shout obscenities, laugh at them, pull or touch them or worse.

Pakistan: Inter-University Film Festival ‘Violence is not our Culture’

Publication Date: 
March 4, 2011
Shirkat Gah

Shirkat Gah (SG) organized an inter-university film festival on Thursday, 3rd of March 2011 at the Ali Institute of Education, as part of its campaign titled ‘Violence is not our Culture’. This event also marked 100 years of International Women’s Day (1911-2011). The event was attended by university students, Civil Society and NGO members as well as people from all walks of life.

Pakistan: Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, critic of blasphemy laws, shot dead in Islamabad

Publication Date: 
March 2, 2011
The Guardian
Shahbaz Bhatti

Self-described  gunmen have shot dead 's minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, an advocate of reform of the country's blasphemy laws, as he left his Islamabad home.

Two assassins sprayed the Christian minister's car with gunfire, striking him at least eight times, before scattering pamphlets that described him as a "Christian infidel". The leaflets were signed "Taliban  Punjab". 

India: Tribal Girl's Courage Award after Harassment & Torture

Publication Date: 
February 27, 2011
Women's Feature Service
Sunita Murmu with the Welfare Home Superintendent (Credit: Saadia Azim\WFS)

Birbhum (Women's Feature Service) - Sixteen-year-old Sunita Murmu is quite the celeb in her locality these days. This teenager had the courage to approach the remote Mohammadbazar police station in Birbhum, one of West Bengal's most backward districts, and lodge a complaint against the powerful criminal elements from within her community. Of course, she did not stop there - young Sunita also ensured that these men were arrested for sexually harassing, torturing and ostracising her.