News Archives

Single Women Cry Foul as China Doubles Down on Egg Freezing Ban, Accusing Authorities of Gender Bias and Forcing Women into Marriage

South China Morning Post, China, 2/28/2021

China’s National Health Commission has claimed medical risks and ethical issues are behind its recent ban on single women freezing their eggs. The commission’s stance has come under fire from Chinese internet users, who described the ban as discriminatory and said it deprived women of their right to have children later in life. In China, assisted reproductive technology is largely used to help married women with fertility issues. Medical regulations deny single women access to treatments for in vitro fertilisation and egg freezing offered by Chinese hospitals and agencies. However, single men are legally entitled to freeze their sperm for use at a later date.

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Women Run Fewer than 13% of India's MSMEs; Inaccessibility of Credit, Govt Schemes and Now COVID are Key Hurdles

Firstpost - New Delhi, India, 2/27/2021

According to a report by the Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE), a gender research and advocacy organisation, only seven of 100 entrepreneurs in India are women and of them, nearly half (49.9% percent) get into business out of necessity rather than aspiration. Globally, India ranks third among countries reporting gender gaps in business. Only 33 percent of the early-stage entrepreneurs in India are women, as per 'Financial inclusion for woman-owned Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India', an August 2019 report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). India also ranks 70th among 77 countries covered in the Female Entrepreneurship Index, as per the IWWAGE report.

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Chinese Court Backs Publication of Textbook Calling Homosexuality ‘Psychological Disorder’

Reuters - Hong Kong, China, 2/26/2021

A court in China’s eastern Jiangsu province recently ruled in favour of a publisher who described homosexuality as a “psychological disorder” in a book on mental health education for university students. The court ruling claimed the description resulted from “perceptual differences” and was not a factual error. Homosexuality was decategorised as a mental disorder by the Chinese Psychiatric Association in 2001. XiXi (pseudonym), who filed the case against Jinan University Press, expressed disappointment over the judgment which was passed without a trial. Peng Yanzi, the Director of LGBT Rights Advocacy, China said the judgment was damaging to the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Egypt Launches Closing Gender Gap Accelerator's Action Plan in Partnership with WEF, Private Sector

Egypt Today - Cairo, Egypt, 2/25/2021

Egypt's Ministry of International Cooperation with the National Council for Women, World Economic Forum and the Private Sector has launched the ‘Closing the gender gap accelerator’ action plan. The launch comes within the state’s continued efforts to close the gender gap and in celebration of the forthcoming International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021. By this launch, Egypt became the first country in Africa, Middle East and North Africa to launch this accelerator, which is a public-private collaboration model supported by the World Economic Forum. The Ministry of International Cooperation noted in a statement that the accelerator aims to address current gender gaps and reshape gender parity for the future.

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Women Inch Towards Equal Legal Rights Despite Covid-19 Risks, World Bank Says

Reuters, 2/24/2021

Women gained legal rights in nearly 30 countries in 2020 despite disruption due to COVID-19, but governments must do more to ease the disproportionate burden shouldered by women during the pandemic, the World Bank said on February 24, 2021. The World Bank said in the annual ‘Women, business and the law’ report that a total of 27 countries reformed laws or regulations to give women more economic equality in 2019-20. Around 40 countries brought in extra benefit or leave policies to help employees balance their jobs with the extra childcare needs created by coronavirus restrictions. However, such measures were “few and far between” and women on average still have only about three quarters of the rights granted to men, according to the report.

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