News from the Global South
Govt Report Red-Flags Gender Gap in Karnataka
Deccan Herald, India, 9/17/2020
According to a government report on Sustainable Development Goals, women’s representation in higher levels of governance and public services is woefully low in Karnataka. There is only 29% of women's representation in the IAS, 28.46% in High Court, 13% in IFS, 7% in the police and 3.57% in the state Legislative Assembly. Women’s representation in the local self- government was comparatively high, with 51% women in gram panchayats and taluk panchayats and 50.6% in zilla panchayats. The Executive Director of ITForChange, Anitha Gurumurthy, said that while the South Indian states fared better than other states, there was a long way to go with regards to representation and legitimate participation.
99% of Sex Workers in Pune’s Major Red-Light Area Want Alternative Livelihood, Study Finds
The Print - New Delhi, India, 9/16/2020
A study conducted by Asha Care Trust in Pune has revealed that 99% of sex workers living in Pune are looking for alternative employment opportunities in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the study that included responses from 300 sex workers in India’s third largest red-light district Budhwar Peth, an alarming 87% of the respondents said that even before the pandemic their incomes were not sufficient to support themselves or their families. The Asha Care Trust, in the survey report, suggested that the district and state administration can launch basic skill-training programmes to upskill women in areas such as telecalling, sales and working with NGOs.
Afghanistan Secures a Coveted Seat at the UN Women's Commission
Al Jazeera, Afghanistan, 9/15/2020
Afghanistan has secured a seat at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women for the first time in history along with India. Afghanistan’s representative to the UN, Adela Raz, said that winning a seat was of “critical importance” and represents a victory for the process that was started 19 years ago when the country committed to the empowerment of women. The issue of women’s rights in Afghanistan is significant in negotiations between the current Afghan government and the Taliban aimed at bringing an end to conflict in the country. Shkula Zadran, Afghanistan's youth representative to the UN, said that the important position will pave the way for Adela Raz to advocate more efficiently for Afghan women and their rights.
Delhi HC to Hear PIL on Same-Sex Marriage
Hindustan Times - New Delhi, India, 9/14/2020
A PIL filed in the Delhi High Court seeking to recognise the right of same-sex couples to get married under the 1995 Hindu Marriage Act is likely to be heard by the court on September 18, 2020. The petition filed by Abhijit Iyer Mitra, Gopi Shankar, Giti Thadani and G Oorvasi pointed out that the non-recognition of the rights of same-sex couples violates various provisions of the Indian Constitution as well as various conventions that India is signatory to. This is the second PIL to be filed on the issue of right of people in same-sex relationships to get married in 2020. In January, 2020, a couple had filed a petition in the Kerala High Court challenging the Special Marriage Act.
COVID Curbs Bring Down Abortions in Mumbai by 50%
The Times of India - Mumbai, India, 9/13/2020
According to the data obtained from the public health department of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC), the abortion rate in Mumbai plummeted by half with only 7,865 women undergoing medical abortions between April and August, 2020. Sangeeta Rege of CEHAT, which helps with the running of Dilaasa crisis intervention centre in BMC hospitals, said that although abortion was declared an essential service by the Centre, the private health sector has failed to provide support to public hospitals. In a recently published paper, the international NGO IPAS estimated that 1.85 million abortions were compromised during the first phase of lockdown in the country due to various factors impacting the health system, supply and chain of the medicines and drugs and mobility of women.