News Archives

COVID-19: Divorces Up 30% in Saudi Arabia As Women Find Out Husbands Married Others in Secret

Gulf News - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 5/31/2020

During the COVID-19 crisis, observers noted that there has been a 30 per cent increase in requests for divorce and Khula, a procedure through which a woman can divorce her husband in Islam. In contrast, the number of marriage contracts made across Saudi Arabia in February 2020 reached 13,000, an increase of 5 per cent over contracts made in the same month last year. Reportedly, the pandemic, home quarantine and the curfew has contributed to women discovering that their husbands had married other women in secret. Law offices recorded a remarkable increase in requests for divorce and annulment of marriage during the coronavirus crisis.

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No National Strategy Yet to Ensure Menstrual Hygiene

Dhaka Tribune - Dhaka, Bangladesh, 5/30/2020

In 2009, Bangladesh government initiated separate toilets for boys and girls in schools in order to facilitate menstrual hygiene facilities. Furthermore, in recent years following the advocacy of several NGOs and INGOs, the government also started taking several measures including distribution of sanitary pads. However, as per the reports Bangladesh is yet to ensure menstrual hygiene. Mahbuba Haque of Ritu project, Simavi, Dr Abu Sayed Hasan, program specialist, Sexual and Reproductive Health at United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and WaterAid Country Director Hasin Jahan have all raised the issue of the price of sanitary pads. Dr Abu Sayed Hasan stated, “Like other food products that were counted as essentials, taxes and duties should be lowered to make sanitary pads available to the masses.”

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Go-Go Bars Gone as Coronavirus Hits Bangkok's Sex District

The Jakarta Post - Bangkok, Thailand, 5/29/2020

Thailand shut its bars and clubs in mid-March as coronavirus cases surged. With tourism coming to a halt due to the lockdown, the whole sex industry seems to have collapsed in Bangkok. Patpong's nightlife district employed thousands of people, mostly young women who are now finding it difficult to find work as physical distancing has become the need of the hour. It has been predicted that go-go bars would be amongst the last places to open up and get back in business after the lockdown. The current situation along with the prediction highlights the challenging situation of sex workers who are now finding it difficult to make ends meet.

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Mexico Walks Back Campaign Against Domestic Violence After Backlash

Reuters - Mexico City, Mexico, 5/28/2020

A top official on May 27, 2020 said a new campaign against domestic violence would be revised after the video ads sparked strong public opposition from critics who said it misrepresented the growing problem. The initial campaign showed images of men and children, but no women, as potential victims of domestic violence, sparking criticism from activists who said female victims were made invisible. Activists have also criticised the voiceover of the #CountToTen campaign, which says, ‘Before you despair, count to 10’. According to rights groups, domestic violence has been rising across Latin America, especially as coronavirus lockdowns have left many women isolated at home with abusive partners. Contrary to official data, Mexico’s president has denied the rising violence against women during lockdown.

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NACO Writes to Govt Seeking Lockdown Relief for Transgenders, Other Vulnerable Communities

The Times of India - New Delhi, India, 5/27/2020

The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has written to the Union Ministry of Social Justice about the concerns of injected drug users, transgender persons, female sex workers and people living with HIV during the lockdown due to Covid-19. In the letter, NACO has sought the intervention of the ministry to include these sections in social protection schemes. NACO has also suggested in the letter that at the state level, State AIDS Control Societies could coordinate linkages of the social welfare departments with the vulnerable communities. The Deputy Director General at NACO, Dr Shobini Rajan, shared that many representatives from these communities had approached NACO and stated how they were greatly affected in terms of livelihood, nutrition and access to shelter.

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