News from the Global South

Education Ministry Takes Flak for Child-Abuse Failings

Bangkok Post, Thailand, 5/23/2020

A network of 92 organisations on May 22, 2020 has called on the Education Ministry of Thailand to step up proactive measures to eradicate sexual abuse of school children following recent abuse scandals in three provinces of Thailand. Network representatives of the organisations handed a letter to the Education Minister, Nataphol Teepsuwan, urging him to take action. In addition, nearly 10,000 people signed a petition supporting the call. Waraporn Chamsanit, manager of the Women’s Wellbeing and Gender Justice Programme, urged that the ministry must file lawsuits against the offending teachers and come up with proactive measures to prevent sexual abuse in schools along with guidelines for teachers on protecting student’s rights.

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StanChart Extends Staff Mediclaim to LGBT Partners

The Times of India - Mumbai, India, 5/22/2020

Standard Charter (StanChart) Bank has decided to extend medical and domestic relocation benefits to LGBTQIA+ partners of all employees in India. The employees can now declare an LGBTQIA+ partner as an eligible beneficiary under the bank’s medical reimbursement policy and domestic relocation policy. StanChart has been taking successive steps in ensuring an equal and inclusive workplace for LGBTQIA+ employees over 2019, such as the launch of an online resource group for LGBTQIA+ employees and allies, sensitisation sessions for employees with the help of activists and NGOs, and participating in the Mumbai pride in 2020. In 2019, another multinational bank Citi had extended family benefits to all domestic partners, including live-in partners and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender partners.

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Mumbai: India Hospital Delivers 100 Babies from Covid-19 Mums

BBC News, India, 5/21/2020

A team of 65 doctors and two dozen nurses have been treating Covid-infected mothers in a 40-bed special ward at the Mumbai’s Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and with the surge of infections, the hospital is planning to add another 34 beds for infected pregnant patients. Dr Arun Nayak, head of gynaecology at the hospital said, "We are fortunate that most of the women who have tested positive are showing no symptoms at all. Some of them had fever and reported breathlessness. We have treated them and sent them home after delivery." The doctor further added that they have allowed feeding of the breast milk as the possibility of mother-to-child transmission of the virus is rare.

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SC Notice to Centre, Others on Plea Seeking Entry of Women in Mosques

The Economic Times - New Delhi, India, 5/20/2020

The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to respond to a plea seeking that Muslim women be allowed to enter mosques across the country claiming that such restrictions were ‘unconstitutional’ and violate the right to equality and gender justice. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, heard the matter through video-conferencing and has agreed to hear the petition which has sought setting aside of directions or 'fatwa' restraining Muslim women from entering the mosques. The plea, filed by a Pune-based Muslim women, has referred to the constitutional provisions and said there should not be any discrimination against any citizen on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

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2 Pakistani Women Allegedly Killed by Relatives for Kiss Seen in Online Video

CBS News - Peshawar, Pakistan, 5/19/2020

Reportedly, Pakistani authorities have arrested two men for allegedly murdering two female family members after a video which showed them being kissed by a man was posted online. The two men – one of whom was the father of the first victim and the other was the brother of the second, were both being held in custody pending trial. Police said the victims were in their 20s and had appeared in a short video that was posted online that showed them being kissed by a man. The women were later gunned down in North Waziristan's remote Garyum village and buried by family members in a case of so called, ‘honor killing’.

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