As protests grew in India on Saturday over the death of a young woman who was raped in New Delhi this month by several men in a moving bus, the police said six men accused of attacking her had been charged with murder.
India moved one step closer to protecting millions of its working women from sexual harassment by passing a new bill to tackle unwelcome behaviour such as sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and sexual innuendoes made at work.
The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill was passed by the lower house of parliament on Monday and aims to ensure a safe environment for women working in both the public and private sector. The bill still has to be passed by the upper house of parliament, a move that is expected in the coming months.
The Indian government is mulling a proposal that would make it mandatory for men to share a percentage of their monthly income with wives who stay at home to do household chores and look after the children, the Indian Express reported on Monday.
Dr Ashok Dyalchand works at the Institute of Health Management, Pachod (IHMP) in India. IHMP has found that girls with low self-esteem are particularly vulnerable to child marriage and has been instrumental in developing new and creative ways to identify and supporting at risk children.
New Delhi: India moved one step closer to protecting millions of its working women from sexual harassment by passing a new bill to tackle unwelcome behaviour such as sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and sexual innuendoes made at work.
NEW DELHI – The Indian government is mulling a proposal that would make it mandatory for men to share a percentage of their monthly income with wives who stay at home to do household chores and look after the children, the Indian Express reported on Monday.
Dhenkanal/ Odisha, 15 February, 2012: Bharati Behra has great apirations for her people. As a recently elected Sarpanch or village head, she hopes to become the voice of tribals from the area. “I want to make the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act easier for women to access,” she says. The Act guarantees paid employment for a minimum of 100 days in rural India.
Elected from Kankadpal during panchayat or village council elections in Odisha state of India, Bharati’s victory is a trimuph for the tribal women of her region.
ISLAMABAD: Despite hard work on the part of numerous legislators and human rights activists, a steady number of ‘honour killing’ cases continue to be reported.
Earlier the killings were mostly isolated to northern Sindh, southern Punjab and some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, but now the capital police are registering cases regularly especially in its rural areas.
In an ashram perched high on a hill above the noisy city of Guwahati in north-east India is a small exhibit commemorating the life of India's most famous son. Alongside an uncomfortable-looking divan where Mahatma Gandhi once slept is a display reminding visitors of something the man himself said in 1921: "Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex (not the weaker sex)."
NEW DELHI: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, which runs the largest number of madrasas across the country, has sought inheritance rights for Muslim women through amendment of existing laws.
"According to the law of our country, women are denied right to inheritance in agricultural land. This is against the law of Islamic inheritance. So, the existing law should be amended to ensure her rights," JuH leader Mahmood Madani told TOI.
The biggest group of imams in the country, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, is taking the first tentative steps towards addressing issues faced by Muslim women.
At its two-day conference beginning here tomorrow, one of the resolutions before the thousands of imam delegates who are expected to participate is “introspection” on how the community treats its women folk and on giving “women their due”.
“Your skin glows with a fairness that’s superior in all possible ways”. This is the marketing message of a fairness cream advertisement spread over a quarter of the front page and the entire second/inside page of a leading Pakistani national news paper. The advertisement is directed generally at women who need to aspire to a fair complexion in order to receive privileges associated with the color.
The fatwa was issued in response to a query by a man who wanted advice on marrying twice. “Although Islam permits two wives at the same time, Indian traditions do not allow it,” the seminary said, adding that while Islam “allowed” second marriage, the practice itself was not encouraged. Serving as a leading institution of Islamic learning in India for over 150 years, the Deoband seminary also has a global presence from which thousands of Sunni Islamic scholars are graduated. In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.
As activists and researchers who have worked for many years to support and protect girls across India, we were dismayed to read a recent DoubleX article describing a mass wedding and betrothal ceremony of underage girls and boys as a “welcome event.” The article went on to compare child marriage to the prostitution of girls, describing child marriage as “the lesser of two evils." What a shameful rationalization!
Leading Islamic scholars fromreputed 250 ‘madrassas’ around the country will deliberate on the dissolution of marriage and other issues related to Muslim Personal Law at an international seminar in the MadhyaPradesh (MP) city of Mhow from March 2-5.
NEW DELHI, Feb 10 - Scores of South Asian charities struggling to curb high child-marriage rates are backing a global movement spearheaded by South African peace icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu to end the practice affecting millions of girls and women worldwide.
Representatives from charities in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka gathered in New Delhi last week at the regional launch of the "Girls Not Brides" alliance – created by Tutu, 80, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for speaking out against white minority rule in South Africa.
Oxford, United Kingdom - "Tradition" is usually taken to be an obstacle to reform. "Traditional societies" are assumed to be reluctant to change, or worse, harbour nostalgic notions of going back to some mythical golden age. Gandhi was criticised for imagining an India of ancient "village republics" for which no historical evidence could be found. In the Islamic world, traditionalists are often assumed to wish to return to medieval times, in a pejorative sense. In many contexts the term "traditional" is actually used to mean "backward".
KARACHI - "It was a dark and dingy room, where an elderly woman asked me to take off my panties, made me sit on a low wooden stool with my legs parted and then did something…I screamed out in pain," recalls Alefia Mustansir, 40, of her childhood experience.
Her friend, Sakina Haider, remembers "putting up a good fight" before she succumbed. "I was told by my grandmother that I was being taken to the doctor to address burning in the genital area when soap went there while bathing!"
In Sehruwa - a village in India's Uttar Pradesh state, women have never exercised one of their most important constitutional rights: vote Ironically, Sehruwa is only 144 km away from Lucknow - the state capital where Mayawati - the state's (woman) chief minister resides.
SRINAGAR, Indian-Administered Kashmir: Preference for a male child is a known fact in Kashmir. Like most South Asian societies this preference in gender can often turn into prejudice, discrimination and worse. Many modern cases of discrimination against girls are now resulting in death.
It is a country with a female president and where men revere female goddesses. And yet, India is far from a haven for women.
According to current estimates, Indian men outnumber women by nearly 40 million. That startling gender gap, activists say, is the result of gendercide. Nearly 50,000 female fetuses are aborted every month and untold numbers of baby girls are abandoned or murdered.
Dr Neelam Singh is on the front line of India's battle to save its girls. Modern medical technology - specifically ultrasounds for determining the baby's sex - coupled with ancient cultural values which give preference to boys, mean that hundreds of thousands of girls are never being born.
Having mapped out Delhi’s most dangerous sites from reports supplied by more than 50,000 citizens who shared women’s experiences of harassment or violence, this month Whypoll is releasing India’s first women’s emergency mobile phone app. The FightBack app aims to give women the ability to report crimes and call for help across a variety of platforms, using social networks like Twitter and Facebook, as well as Whypoll’s own site.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
Mr Azad told the meeting in Delhi on Monday that homosexuality "is a disease which has come from other countries".
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.
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.
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.
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.
Often these crimes are endorsed, or even encouraged, by village-based caste councils.
Many of the victims are young couples who marry outside of their caste or within their sub-caste.
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.
Haryana is a deeply conservative and patriarchal region.
Correspondents say that so-called "honour killings" are relatively common in the area.
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.
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.
An Indian village has banned unmarried women from using mobile phones for fear they will arrange forbidden marriages that are often punished by death, a local official said today.
The Lank village council decided unmarried boys could use mobile phones, but only under parental supervision, said one council member, Satish Tyagi. Local women's rights group criticised the measure as backward and unfair.
Nimera, Jaipur (Women's Feature Service) - Vimla Devi, 39, was preparing to go to bed when she heard loud bangs on her door. Her heart sank. At 9 p.m., everyone in Nimera village, 25 kilometres from the state capital of Jaipur, had already settled down for the night. Piercing the calm came the shouts of men wielding 'lathis' (sticks) and trying to break down Vimla's door: "We will kill this woman today," they shouted. Inside the house, Vimla and her two children shuddered with fear.
(New York) July 18, 2010 -- The Indian government should urgently investigate and prosecute those responsible for the recent spurt in reported "honor" killings, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should also strengthen laws that protect against kinship, religion-based, and caste-based violence, and take appropriate action against local leaders who endorse or tolerate such crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
KODERMA, India — When Nirupama Pathak left this remote mining region for graduate school in New Delhi, she seemed to be leaving the old India for the new. Her parents paid her tuition and did not resist when she wanted to choose her own career. But choosing a husband was another matter.
MONROVIA, LIBERIA — When darkness comes to Congo Town, women in crisp uniforms take the streets, patrolling with Kalashnikov rifles and long, black hair tucked into baby-blue caps.
The brisk sergeant in command, Monia Gusain, matter of factly calls them “my men.” But the stern Indian women facing her are actually wives and mothers who wage peace for a living on the rutted dirt roads of Liberia.
New Delhi - Honour killings in north India are making the headlines with sickening regularity. The unexplained death of Nirupama Pathak in her Jharkhand home is just one incident. The 22-year-old Delhi-based journalist had dared to fall in love with someone belonging to another caste and it seems she had to pay for it with her life.
PANCHKULA: After the 'record trial' in an honour killing case grabbed headlines,it was the local court's turn to frame murder and kidnapping charges against the father and maternal uncle of another such hapless victim, Sheenu.
Surajpur is like any of the semi-urban villages that have come to define north Indian cities. Jean-clad youngsters talking into mobile phones are as much a reality in this kasbah in Greater Noida as their hookah-smoking elders. On the face of it, it seems that the yesterday and today co-exist happily, but last week’s ‘honour killing’ of two teenage girls raised a difficult question: is this really the case?
AHMEDGARH (SANGRUR): Taking the fight for "honour" to a barbaric high, a 21-year-old boy out on a date with his lover, 18, was burnt alive by the girl's enraged family. Brought to a Ludhiana hospital with 60% burns, the youth, identified as Karan Sharma, was battling for life on Monday.
Things went horribly wrong for Karan, a TV mechanic, when he was caught with the girl at their regular meeting spot. Luck ran out on him as soon as the girl's father, Kuldeep Singh, who first spotted the couple, called up his brother-in-law Jagdev Singh and nephew Karmjit Singh.