WEF's Gender Gap Index: India Slips 28 Places, Ranks 140 among 156 Countries
The Times of India - New Delhi, India, 3/31/2021
India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in South Asia. According to the report, India has closed 62.5% of its gender gap till date. Most of the decline occurred on the political empowerment subindex, where India regressed 13.5 percentage points, with a significant decline in the number of women ministers (from 23.1% in 2019 to 9.1% in 2021). Wide gaps in sex ratio at birth are due to the high incidence of gender-based sex-selective practices. In addition, more than one in four women has faced intimate violence in her lifetime.
'Trying to Break My Own Preconceived Notions': Madras HC Judge Hearing Same-Sex Couple's Plea
The Wire, India, 3/30/2021
At Madras High Court, a bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh has heard a petition for protection filed by two men who wished to recognise each other as partners but whose parents were opposed to their relationship. The two men, both students and aged 20 and 22 respectively, told the court that they had known each other for the last two years. Justice Venkatesh referred the parents of the couple to a counsellor who is experienced in LGBTQIA+ issues, noting that this was “unchartered waters” for his court and a report from such a specialist would help provide support. Counselling psychologist Vidya Dinakaran has been asked to submit her report in a sealed cover by April 26, 2021.
Obama Family Matriarch Dies Aged 99 in a Kenyan Hospital
The Hindu, Africa, 3/29/2021
Sarah Obama, the matriarch of former US President Barack Obama's Kenyan family, died at 99, relatives and officials confirmed on March 29, 2021. She was a philanthropist who promoted education for girls and orphans. “If a woman gets an education she will not only educate her family but educate the entire village,” she said. The Mama Sarah Obama Foundation helped provide food and education to children who lost their parents — providing school supplies, uniforms, basic medical needs and school fees. She received the inaugural Women's Entrepreneurship Day Education Pioneer Award in 2014, in recognition of her work to support education.
Sexual Harassment at Work: Panels Can be Altered Sans Violation of Law, Says HC
The Hindustan Times - Chandigarh, Punjab, 3/28/2021
The constitution of committees appointed to deal with complaints of sexual harassment in universities cannot be changed in violation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, a Punjab and Haryana high court bench has held. The high court dismissed a plea which stated that the Internal Committee (IC) of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala was not presided over by a senior member of staff. The court found that an associate professor had been appointed as chairman of the IC, since there was no woman faculty member in the rank of professor. In response to the petition, the bench observed that the 2013 law is a Parliamentary Act and cannot be superseded by the UGC Regulations.
UN Commission Urges Equality for Women in Decision-Making
The Times of India, United Nations, 3/27/2021
The UN's premiere global body fighting for gender equality called for a sharp increase of women in global-decision making as there has been a continuing pushback against women’s rights and a refusal to address issues of gender identity. In the document titled ‘Agreed conclusions’, the Commission on the Status of Women reaffirmed the blueprint to achieve gender equality adopted 25 years ago at the Beijing Women’s Conference and shone a light on several major issues, including the imbalance of power between men and women in public life and the growing impact of violence against women and girls in the digital world. The document was adopted by the commission’s 45 members on March 26, 2021.