What should a poor father do if he has two options to choose from? Either he has to marry off his five-year-old daughter to his rival’s six-year-old son as a settlement of a dispute or give the rival one million Pakistani rupees (some 8,333 euros) as a settlement.
If answering that one is difficult, try this one. What should a 14-year-old girl in a typical rural area of Pakistan do when she wants to go to school or say play dolls with her friends when her newborn is crying waiting to be fed?
Date07.05.2012 | 15:16
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.
Date05.04.2012 | 10:42
“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
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.
Date07.03.2012 | 16:56
A council of clerics has put forward a series of recommendations to President Karzai that would drastically restrict women’s rights in Afghanistan. Activists fear the government might bow too easily to the pressure.
“Women are a by-product of creation,” states a declaration put last week by a senior council of Islamic scholars and mullahs to President Hamid Karzai for implementation. The recommendations of the Ulema Council, which has some 3,000 members, stipulate further that women should accept the leading role of men in all walks of life, without resistance.
Date07.03.2012 | 16:36
A 40-year-old woman was burned alive on Friday after a mob accused her of casting black magic spells in a remote village in southern Nepal, police said.
Dengani Mahato died after she was severely beaten, doused in kerosene and set alight for allegedly practising witchcraft, Gopal Bhandari, a superintendent of police in Chitwan district, told AFP. “Nine people started to beat her after a local shaman pointed the finger at her over the death of a boy a year ago,” the officer said. “They accused her of having something to do with the death of the boy, who had drowned in a river.”
Bhandari said the shaman and the nine locals suspected of taking part in the crime had been arrested on suspicion of murder. “They poured kerosene and threw straw over her and then set fire to her. No one came to her rescue. By the time we heard about it, she had already died,” he told AFP.
Date20.02.2012 | 9:57
According to the police, the bodies of Mitu Molla and Soud Sheikh were found with “each of their hands tied together with a scarf” after they jumped from a mobile phone tower in Gopalganj district. Police inspector Sarojit Biswas said, “They died on the way to a clinic. It appears that the teenagers, who are from two neighbouring villages, had a love affair and they chose Valentine’s Day to kill themselves.”
He said Molla’s family took her to a town 200 kilometres away from her village two months ago and married her off to a man twice her age against her will after the affair with Sheikh became public.
Date14.02.2012 | 15:00
Talking about sexual harassment remains a taboo in Pakistani society, where women usually choose to stay silent for fear of repercussions. But now, there is one woman with the courage to speak out. It took her three years to report and ten years to write about the sexual harassment she had faced at work.
Dr. Fouzia Saeed, author of “Taboo,” a story about the culture of prostitution in Pakistan, has recently launched her second book, “Working with the Sharks: Countering Sexual Harassment in Our Lives” in Pakistan. The book was officially launched in Islamabad on December 22 to coincide with the National Day for Working Women. It is an account of the author’s personal experience of sexual harassment by a senior male colleague when she was working at a senior administrative position at the UN Gender Program in Pakistan and how she and her eleven female colleagues took up the case against him.
Date10.01.2012 | 14:54