Domestic Violence ‘Pandemic’ is Costing Countries Billions
Aljazeera, Lesotho, 9/25/2020
According to a Commonwealth study, about one in three women have suffered from physical or sexual violence often by their partners in Lesotho. This scourge has cost the African kingdom more than 113 million dollars a year. Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said that countries could save “billions by tackling the pandemic of domestic violence.” She expressed the hope that a greater global focus on domestic abuse, which has soared since the Coronavirus-induced lockdowns, would encourage governments to take action. Lesotho’s Gender Minister, Mahali Phamotse, said that domestic violence was affecting development in the country and that the study would enable them to shape efforts to address it.
UN Report Takes Note of Policies, Initiatives in India to Combat Child, Forced Marriages
Outlook, India, 9/24/2020
A report of the UN Secretary General on child and forced marriages has taken note of national policies and capacity-building initiatives taken in India to promote gender and child-sensitive health services. The Report of Secretary General Antonio Guterres on ‘Issue of child, early and forced marriage,’ which covers the period from June 2018 to May 2020, said that several States adopted legislative and policy measures to raise the minimum age of marriage and also put in place comprehensive strategies to combat child, early and forced marriage. The report contains an overview of progress made towards ending child, early and forced marriages worldwide.
Thailand’s Sex Workers Petition to Decriminalize Prostitution
The Asahi Shimbun - Bangkok, Thailand, 9/23/2020
Sex workers in Thailand have launched a petition calling for sex work to be decriminalised and urging authorities to remove all penalties related to sex work. Empower Foundation, a Chiang Mai-based group that supports sex workers, said it hoped to collect 10,000 signatures and present the petition to parliament to help persuade lawmakers to consider changing the country’s sex work law. Mai Junta, a representative from Empower said, “The law punishes sex workers, 80 percent of whom are mothers and the main breadwinner for the whole family.” Women and LGBTQIA+ rights activists say the current law, which made sex work illegal in 1960, does little to protect sex workers, while repeated arrests and fines for doing sex work has driven them further into poverty.
IFC Study Calls for Improving Women's Contribution, Participation in Hydropower Sector
My Republica - Kathmandu, Nepal, 9/22/2020
A study carried out by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group said that companies and women in Nepal would stand to benefit if greater action were taken to improve women's participation in and contribution to the hydropower sector. Wendy Werner, IFC Country Manager for Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan said, “Women make up more than half of Nepal's population, yet the study reveals only 10 percent of all employees in the country's hydropower sector are women." The study has recommended that companies need to develop and enforce gender-sensitive policies, including mechanisms to address cases of bullying, sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation.
In a First, 2 Women Officers to Operate Helicopters from Indian Navy Warships
The Hindustan Times, India, 9/21/2020
In a first, two women officers have been selected to join as ‘Observers’ (Airborne Tacticians) in the Indian Navy’s helicopter stream that would ultimately pave the way for women being posted in frontline warships. Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh would, in effect, be the first set of women airborne tacticians in India who would operate from the deck of warships. As per a Defence Statement, the two are a part of a group of 17 officers of the Navy, including four women officers and three officers of the Indian Coast Guard, who were awarded ‘Wings’ on graduating as ‘Observers’ at a ceremony held on Sept 21, 2020 at INS Garuda. Earlier, entry of women was restricted to the fixed wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore.