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Fashion event attempts to show Pakistan’s progressive side

Pakistani liberals insist their country is not just about bearded extremists and suicide bombers. The recent fashion week in Karachi, they say, is a good example of Pakistan’s progressive outlook.

Of late, fashion weeks have become a regular feature in Pakistan. The most recent one was the Fashion Pakistan Week, which showcased works of Pakistan’s most celebrated fashion designers from April 7-10. The event took place in Karachi, a city which normally gets negative publicity for its ethnic and sectarian violence.

Date

13.04.2012 | 13:20

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Keralan families pay a high price for remittances

Almost a tenth of Kerala’s population lives in the Gulf States and in Europe. While highly skilled graduates leave to seek lucrative jobs elsewhere, many poor families depend on remittances from abroad – at a high price.

One morning, Aisha P.N. decided to go on hunger strike. Her employer rushed into the dark hut made of rough plywood and cardboard, hidden from sight under his mahogany staircase. He stood over her worn mattress, threatening to beat her with a stick if she didn’t get up. His wives and children looked on, impassively. “But I just didn’t care,” Aisha says, absent-mindedly tugging at her loose red scarf.

Date

05.04.2012 | 10:42

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Pakistani civil society demands justice for victims of acid attacks

While civil society in Pakistan demands stricter punishment for the perpetrators of acid attacks, hundreds of women continue to fall victim to the heinous crime of vitriolage.

The Pakistani Senate recently passed the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill of 2011, which stipulates a maximum prison term of life and fines perpetrators up to Rs1 million (around 11,000 US dollars or 8,000 euros).

Date

01.04.2012 | 9:46

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The UN’s mandate for International Women’s Day 2012

“Invest in rural women. Eliminate discrimination against them in law and in practice. Ensure that policies respond to their needs. Give them equal access to resources. Provide rural women with a role in decision-making.” – United Nations Secretary-General,  Ban Ki-moon

Recognizing the critical role and contribution of rural women, the theme of International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.

Key contributors to global economies, rural women play a critical role in both developed and developing nations — they enhance agricultural and rural development, improve food security and can help reduce poverty levels in their communities. In some parts of the world, women represent 70 percent of the agricultural workforce, comprising 43 percent of agricultural workers worldwide.

Date

07.03.2012 | 16:56

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A one-woman crusade to improve the lives of Afghan villagers

Zarifa Qazizadah is the only female village head in Afghanistan. She moves around on a motorbike and hopes to win a seat in the national parliament. The 50-year-old mother of 15 thinks education for women is paramount.

And she’s off again. Zarifa Qazizadah is making her way from one house to the next, asking the villagers how they are – her villagers. As the only female village head in Afghanistan, she takes special care of the thousand or so families that fall under her care in the Narsoyi district of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Date

07.03.2012 | 16:46

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