News Archives

Saudi Arabia Joins G20 Women’s Empowerment Initiative

Arab News - Osaka, Japan, 6/29/2019

Saudi Arabia joined an initiative on women’s empowerment at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan – which is a renowned international economic summit where representatives various nations across the world take part. The Kingdom signed a pledge to promote participation of women in the workforce, enhance women’s education and stimulate involvement of women in the small to medium business sector. Saudi Arabia is now one of the members of the ‘troika’ that organises the summit’s activities to promote female participation in economics and politics. Though Saudi Arabia gave women the right to drive in 2018 – which was a significant women’s rights victory – the kingdom has been often criticised for its suppression of women’s agency and voices, and the various other social barriers it places on women.

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Dalai Lama’s Remark That a Female Successor ‘Should be More Attractive’ Irks Many

Indian Express, India, 6/28/2019

A statement by the spiritual leader Dalai Lama on a potential woman successor ended up stirring a debate and upsetting many. In the interview conducted by BBC News, the Dalai Lama talked at length about issues like growing intolerance in the world, but when asked about a woman successor, he replied, ‘If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive.’ Though the spiritual leader also went on to talk about equality and women’s rights, his comment about ‘attractiveness’ was called out online for being sexist. The Dalai Lama had made a similar comment in 2015, when he had said that a future Dalai Lama certainly could be a woman, but would be “not much use” if she wasn’t good looking.

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Goa: Government Approves Amendment to Factories Act to Allow Women to Work Night Shifts

The Times of India - Goa, India, 6/27/2019

An amendment proposed in the Factories Act, 1948 will facilitate women to work in night shifts from 7 pm and 6 am in Goa. The cabinet on June 26, 2019 approved the amendment and introduction of the same in Goa legislative assembly. The amendment, while allowing women to work in night shifts, further states that conditions for ensuring the safety of women who work in any factory or manufacturing process on the night shift be specified by employers. Deputy chief minister Vijai Sardesai said the amendment was necessary to make more job opportunities available and end discrimination against female factory workers. The previous specific provisions restricting the employment of women at night had had a deterring effect on the employment of women.

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Nakuru Sex Workers Protest Harassment by Police

Daily Nation - Nakuru, Kenya, 6/26/2019

Commercial sex workers in Nakuru are up in arms over alleged harassment by county askaris and police. Their protest comes a day after the law enforcers, acting on instructions of Governor Lee Kinyanjui, arrested dozens of sex workers and kept them in lockup for 48 hours. Sex work, like gay marriages and abortion, remain illegal in Kenya despite the strides Nairobi has made in its human rights record. Ms Daisy Achieng, the chairlady of Smart Ladies, the sex workers’ lobby, asked law enforcers to respect their work and treat them like other Kenyans. According to Ms Achieng, more than 100 commercial sex workers had been mistreated in police cells when they had been arrested, many of whom reported being brutally attacked.

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Non-Marriage Very Rare in India but Divorces Doubled in Past Two Decades: Report

Livemint - New Delhi, India, 6/25/2019

While non-marriage remains extremely rare in India, where less than 1% of all women aged 45-49 have never been married, the number of divorcees has doubled over the past two decades, revealed a report from United Nations released on June 25, 2019. The report titled ‘Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020: Families in a Changing World’ highlighted that despite increasing rates of divorce, only 1.1% of women are divorced, with those in urban areas making up the largest proportion in India. The report said that as the women’s rights have advanced over the past decades, families around the world have become a place of love and solidarity but also one where fundamental human rights violations and gender inequalities persist.

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