Kavita Devi could not believe her luck when the local health authorities decided to award her a 21-inch color television. The 25-year-old lives in the Barmer district of Rajasthan – India’s biggest state and home to 68 million people.
The mother of two boys won the lucky draw after she opted for sterilization in September. “I am so happy. I am now going to tell my friends not to have more children. I understand that population
Date29.12.2011 | 19:39
Mirror, mirror on the wall, am I the fairest of them all? This is a question that seems to bother many people in South Asia. Advertisements for skin lightening products are not helping: “Want a better job? Want to find a decent husband? Want to make your parents happy and proud? Then use a fairness cream”, is what they profess. Whereas many white women go out of their way to get a tan, many South Asian women think they would appear more attractive and confident if they were two shades lighter.
When Simi Singh was growing up, her mother would forbid her from going outdoors.
Date29.12.2011 | 19:38
Ayesha Hasan, a young woman reporter from Pakistan, wants to be taken seriously in her profession, which is dominated by males in her country. Hasan is being sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and is currently doing an internship at the Deutsche Welle. She speaks to DW’s Martina Bertram about her future plans.
DW: Pakistan is an Islamic republic. How difficult is it to write about religious themes?
Ayesha Hasan: It is very difficult. One can actually write about all possible issues, lifestyle, celebrities and health. But religion in Pakistan affects all social spheres. If you report on issues like violence
Date29.12.2011 | 19:37
As if the constant threat of airstrikes were not enough to make a country dangerous, domestic cultural practices do their best to make life hell for women in Afghanistan. Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, an organization supporting women entrepreneurs, says, “Ongoing conflict, NATO airstrikes and cultural practices combined make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women. In addition, women who do attempt to speak out or
Date29.12.2011 | 19:07
While some Pakistanis are enraged by model and actress Veena Malik’s semi-nude photo shoot for an Indian magazine, others feel the criticism is proof of double-standards in Pakistani society. Veena Malik poses semi-nude on the Indian FHM magazine cover wearing an ISI tattoo on her left shoulder. That is more than enough to enrage a large part of the Pakistani population.
The Pakistani Army’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is considered a holy cow in Pakistan but maligned in neighboring India for allegedly supporting militant Islamists, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, which New Delhi accuses of orchestrating several terrorist attacks. Western nations also claim the ISI backs the Taliban.
Malik told a private Pakistani news channel, Geo TV, that she wore the ISI tattoo in the shoot for fun. In her defense, Malik claims some of her photos in the popular Indian lifestyle magazine were morphed, however she does not deny doing “bold” shoots for the magazine. She recently
Date28.12.2011 | 23:23
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy’s iconic novel on his famous female protagonist begins with the now popular quote: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Much of it is true for women – happy women are happy because they like who they are, regardless of being single, married or in a relationship. Unhappy women may be unhappy with their lonely lives as a singleton in Berlin, a partner in a troubled relationship in Bonn, a daughter in a big family with a million physical restrictions in a small town in India, a teenager suffering physical violence in Pakistan, a woman in Kashmir waiting for the curfew to get over so she can buy groceries. As cliché-ed as it may sound, suffering women across the world have a thousand problems they could list, which is precisely why we choose to address these issues specifically in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan at womentalkonline.
South Asia is at a turning point. Modern-day life and rapid industrialization is taking its toll on old cultural practices and on the role of men and women. The challenge for women is enormous: they are more educated than ever before, they have aspirations, they want a life and a career. At the same time, religious and cultural restrictions are causing tension and forcing women to redefine their
Date28.12.2011 | 18:11
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Date27.12.2011 | 19:03