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The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran in his latest report, published on March 7th, welcomed the omission of stoning as a punishment in the newly ratified Islamic Penal Code, but expressed his concern that severe punishments may still be issued at a judge's discretion in accordance with sharia law or fatwas.

In the State of Minnesota, services for victims of domestic violence were deemed “essential” by Special Investigator Kathleen Blatz during the state’s government shutdown, and all violent crimes were ranked high priority during the 2011 legislative session when the legislature considered significant funding cuts to court services. That the political will in Minnesota exists to ensure that our criminal justice system is addressing cases of domestic violence is good news.

 The sun is about to set in Sunda village in Kishanganj block of Baran district that lies in southeast Rajasthan, on the border with Madhya Pradesh. A group of men and women dig the earth with spades on a small plot at one end of the village. They are Sahariyas, categorised by the government as a ‘primitive’ tribal group, hard at work on a self-initiated special project: A grain bank for their community.

 

Listen in to this new ditty that’s being sung in Tentulikhunti block of Odisha’s Nabarangpur district: “Gagar bayele ke TT suja/Rang matra nani pasri na ja/Magur machke aamat jhol kesri bali ke jatan kar.” Roughly, this translates as: “Don’t forget tetanus shots for pregnant women and red tablets for adolescent girls/ Just as sour flavouring makes fish gravy delicious, so does the well-being of adolescent girls impact society’s well-being.”

 

Talking to other children, most of who live in small rented rooms in the city’s narrow bylanes, a similar story unfolds. If it weren’t for the Mid Day Meal, Class V student at the Rajkya Prathmik Vidyalaya, Madhuban Housing Board, Kanchan Yadav, 12, who has five siblings, would go hungry most times. But Kanchan, and her friend, Pushpa Kumari, 11, would like milk to be included in some form in their Mid Day Meal, either as ‘kheer’ (rice pudding) or as a wheat and milk porridge or as ‘chhach’ (a yogurt drink with salt and jeera).

 

Amy Chua’s ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ may be the story of one mother’s journey in strict parenting techniques, but today this ‘comic’ critique of what Chua considers the weak American parenting style, has created huge controversy internationally.

Nearly 90 percent of pregnant women who are HIV positive in Papua New Guinea fail to receive care to help prevent the virus infecting their unborn child, a leading expert said.


I was home alone with my 5-month-old daughter, Emar. My mother and mother-in-law had left. The phone kept ringing. I wanted to break it.

The IWMF’s initiative provided capacity assistance and training to journalists in effectively covering agriculture and the role of women in transforming food production and rural development in African countries.

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead.

 Those words of Margaret Mead rang very true in a recent meeting of the Pacific Young Women’s Leadership strategy group in Suva, Fiji  where a powerful new Alliance to support young women's leadership was formed.

In a cement-walled room at the end of a rutted road in the rural Indian district of Bhiwani, a teenage girl named Lado sits in a shaft of sunlight and talks confidently about her future. “I want to be a math teacher,” says the 17-year-old, her printed green scarf falling on to her lap. “I tell my parents, ‘Do whatever you want, but educate me. Let me go to school.’”

In a cement-walled room at the end of a rutted road in the rural Indian district of Bhiwani, a teenage girl named Lado sits in a shaft of sunlight and talks confidently about her future. “I want to be a math teacher,” says the 17-year-old, her printed green scarf falling on to her lap. “I tell my parents, ‘Do whatever you want, but educate me. Let me go to school.’”

Improving maternal health gives a high return on investment. The loss of a woman’s life or health is not just a loss to her family, but it is also a loss to the community and the nation as a whole. While nations need to keep building towards the ultimate goal of strengthening health systems, there are investments that can be made today, right now, to decrease maternal death and injury. Most of these solutions are low-cost, highly effective, and can begin to show results almost immediately

At a time when world resources are dwindling and global population is growing rapidly, finding sustainable solutions to nourish people and the planet is more important than ever.

It has been a sad week for many people in Zimbabwe as the issue of underwear became a public policy issue. The poor, mostly women have become so poor, that the country had to regulate the importation of second hand underwear.

ONE-THIRD of cases of sexual violence reported to rape crisis centres last year were perpetrated by family members, according to a report released yesterday.

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The ministerial committee on the status of women, headed by Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat (Likud), held deliberations Tuesday night to discuss the marked increase in incidents of women being excluded from the public sphere. The committee voted to create an inter-ministerial panel that will take two months to submit recommendations for combating the phenomenon.

 

Nine months after the overthrow of the former president, Tunisia has voted in the first open and fair election in the region. The Islamist party al-Nahda has claimed victory by a fairly large margin, assuring the party a strong say in future political processes. What will this victory mean for Tunisia’s historical legacy of women’s rights?

 

The idea that women’s bodies can be allowed to walk the streets, exist in the paid workplace, or appear anywhere in public without enhancement or embellishment is becoming less and less acceptable. Once, make-up and false bosoms were a signal that a woman was either on the stage, haunting the backstreets in hope of a paying customer, or appearing in movies labelled ‘porn’. In the 21st century, they are signifiers of ‘mainstream’ woman.

A new study by the New York Guttmacher Institute states that the number of women having induced abortions has stayed stubbornly high since the last such report in 2003, and that the marked reduction in the eight years before that has not been maintained.

For all their talk of empowerment, initiatives by development agencies and donors fail to tackle power imbalances, and do not allow women to realise their own hopes and dreams.

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