News Archives

Access to Safe Abortion Remains a Challenge, Says Study

The Hindustan Times - Chennai, India, 2/28/2019

Though the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act has been in place since 1971, women are still finding it difficult to access affordable and safe abortion services. A study conducted by NGOs, involving a cross-section of women in Kancheepuram district, found that there was a lack of abortion services at the primary health centre (PHC) level in the public sector, and that only 10% of all abortions were captured by official data. For the study conducted by CommonHealth and Rural Women’s Social Education Centre (RUWSEC), researchers interviewed women, including those from marginalised groups such as HIV-positive and SC/ST women. Most of those who participated in the focus group discussions still considered abortion illegal and equivalent to murder – which highlighted the lack of awareness about abortion services.

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Chinese Broadcaster Censors Rami Malek's Oscars Speech Over Reference to Homosexuality

Evening Standard, China, 2/27/2019

Chinese broadcaster Mango TV has come under fire after removing a reference to homosexuality from its online broadcast of Rami Malek’s Oscar acceptance speech. Malek received the coveted Best Actor trophy for his role as Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and used his speech to pay tribute to the late star, referencing his sexuality. However, Mango TV, which is one of the most popular channels in China, removed the reference to ‘a gay man,’ reportedly replacing it with ‘special group’ – which led to outrage from LGBT Chinese people online. China was previously banned from showing last year’s Eurovision song contest by the European Broadcasting Union after censoring footage from a semi-final, including blurring LGBT pride flags.

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Sexual Assault Survivors March to End Gender Violence in India

Inter Press Service - New Delhi, India, 2/26/2019

In an historic first, thousands of people participated in a 10,000-kilometre long Dignity March across India to raise awareness about sexual violence, bring an end to stigma faced by survivors, and highlight the barriers women and children face in accessing justice. Covering 200 districts in 24 states, the March began in Mumbai on December 20, 2019, and ended on Feb 22, 2019, with around 5000 gathering at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi, a ground famous for hosting protests and political rallies. Organised by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan (National Campaign for Dignity), an Indian human rights group, The Dignity March was ‘a call for women and children to speak out their experiences of sexual abuse without shame’, and to take the fight for justice forward.

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Netflix's Indian Short Documentary 'Period. End of Sentence' Wins Oscar

Business Today, India, 2/25/2019

A documentary on menstrual taboos, set in rural India, titled ‘Period. End of Sentence’, has won the Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category at the 91st Academy Awards. Award-winning filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi has directed the short film, which has been produced by Indian producer Guneet Monga's Sikhya Entertainment. The film came to into being as a part of The Pad Project, started by students at the Oakwood School in Los Angeles and their teacher, Melissa Berton, and is set in Hapur village outside Delhi, where women lead a quiet revolution as they fight against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation. The film highlights the resilience and power of young women who are raising awareness and helping their community.

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Pakistan’s First Public School for Transgender Persons Opens Doors in Lodhran

Express Tribune - Lodhran, Pakistan, 2/25/2019

As many as 20 transgender people are in the process of getting educated from an educational institution established by the government-run Literacy department in Lodhran district. The Lodhran Deputy Commissioner said that it was a first of its kind initiative for the education of transgender people. The purpose of establishing this educational institution was to not just educate the transgender community but to enable them to access better employment and help them contribute more to society. In a bid to promote inclusiveness, the School Education Department (SED) in Punjab had also earlier directed district education authorities to ensure transgender children are treated as equals in both government and private schools across the province.

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