News from the Global South
NIA Chargesheets 12 for Trafficking Women from Bangladesh
Mumbai Mirror, Maharashtra, 10/19/2020
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has chargesheeted 12 people, including nine Bangladeshi nationals, for allegedly trafficking young women from neighbouring countries into India to force them into sex work in Mumbai, Hyderabad and other cities. The accused, belonging to a criminal network, allegedly promised lucrative jobs and a better life in India. The women were trafficked into India by crossing the Sonai River in West Bengal. The agency seized several digital devices, fake Indian identity documents and other incriminating material during searches at premises belonging to the accused. The case was initially registered in September, 2019 in Hyderabad’s Pahadi Shareef police station, following the arrest of 10 human traffickers from two brothels.
Government Develops Procedure for Collecting Data on Women, Children
The Himalayan Times - Kathmandu, Nepal, 10/18/2020
The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens (MoWCSC), Nepal has developed a “Procedure for Data Collection and Updating of Women, Children and Differently-abled Persons - 2020” for the purpose of incorporating data in reports, which the Government of Nepal is obliged to submit to international forums. As per the procedure, local and provincial levels shall collect data and information about women, children, senior citizens, people with disabilities and sexual and gender minorities, and send them to the MoWCSC. The objectives of the procedure are to establish an integrated reporting system by collecting and updating data and records from local to central level, formulate policies and programmes based on available data, and gradually enhance the quality of statistical and record systems.
Revised Minimum Age for Girls' Marriage Soon
The Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 10/17/2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 16, 2020 said the government will soon decide on revising the minimum age of marriage for women after it receives a report from the committee constituted for the purpose. Currently, the legal age of marriage for women in India is 18, while it is 21 years for men. There have been concerns that early marriage in girls leads to a disadvantage in education and leads to large family size. In June, 2020, the Centre had formed a 10-member task force to recommend, among other things, whether the legal age of marriage for women could be changed from 18 years.
Egypt’s Sisi Doubles Women’s Quota in the Senate
Egypt Today - Cairo, Egypt, 10/16/2020
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has issued a presidential decree to appoint 20 women in the Egyptian Senate (the upper house of the parliament), doubling the women quota in the parliamentary formation. As per Article 24 of Law No. 141 of 2020 for the Senate, the president has the right to allocate at least 10 percent of 100 appointed members for women. Egypt’s Senate is ready for its inaugural session on October 18, 2020, which will be witnessing the electing of the Speaker and the two deputies. The historic hall of the Senate was announced to be fully prepared with all needed technologies and equipment including a fully electronic voting system.
Indian Women ‘Learn to Ignore’ Sexual Abuse at Work
Al Jazeera, India, 10/15/2020
According to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), 95% of Indian women work in the informal sector and many face sexual abuse regularly. According to Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW South Asia Director, the #Metoo movement helped bring into focus the violence and harassment women face at work, but experiences and voices of millions of Indian women working in the informal sector remain invisible. She further said that India has progressive laws to protect women from sexual abuse at the workplace but has failed to enforce these laws. Shalini Sinha, country representative of WIEGO, emphasised the need to form and strengthen associations, self-help groups and trade unions to empower women.