News from the Global South

31% Adolescents Battled Extreme Anxiety in Past Few Months due to COVID-19, Says Survey

National Herald, India, 10/24/2020

According to a survey of 7,300 adolescents from four states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Odisha, around 31% adolescents surveyed faced extreme anxiety in the months of April, July and August, 2020 due their concerns about the impact that COVID-19 would have on their families’ financial status. The survey also revealed that adolescent girls faced significant gender discrimination during the lockdown. Only 12% adolescent girls had access to their mobile phones to be able to attend their classes online. Additionally, 51% of adolescent girls did not have access to essential textbooks in comparison to boys. About 39% of the girls were involved in housework as opposed to the number of boys at 35%.

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India Inc Fails to Settle Sexual Harassment Cases

The Economic Times - Mumbai, India, 10/23/2020

According to data provided by BSE 500 companies, the number of sexual assault cases at the workplace have surged four times since 2015 and the total number of complaints have increased by 75% during the same period. Although India passed a law to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace in 2013, several companies are unable to resolve the issue. Vishal Kedia, PoSH trainer and founder of Complykaro Services, suggested various reasons including lack of expertise and lack of urgency. He said that Internal Committee members may not be adequately trained to address the complaints they receive or people may not take complaints of sexual harassment seriously.

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As Many as 1,673 Rape Cases Recorded in the Past Six Months across Nepal

My Republica - Kathmandu, Nepal, 10/22/2020

Nepal has recorded as many as 1,673 rape cases from May, 2020 to October, 2020. 44 cases of gang rape, 825 cases of domestic violence and 51 cases of attempt to rape were recorded. More than 90 percent of rape or attempt to rape cases were found to have been committed by family members or close relatives of the victims, according to latest data from Women’s Rehabilitation Center, Nepal (WORAC). The data also shows that most of those accused of rape crime are youths between 26 to 35 years old. A total of 474 youths were accused of their involvement in the cases of violence against women.

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Women with Disabilities at Greater Risk of Violence during COVID-19 Crisis: Survey

The Jakarta Post, Indonesia, 10/21/2020

In a survey, conducted in August, 2020 by the Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI) and the Association of Indonesian Women with Disabilities found that 80 percent of the respondents (who were people with disabilities) had experienced abuse during the health emergency. Of that figure, 70 percent said they had experienced sexual abuse, while 15 percent said that they had been raped and 10 percent said that they had been sexually exploited. Involving 50 respondents in 14 provinces across the country, the survey participants comprised 48 women and two men with disabilities, of whom 54 percent have physical disabilities, 20 percent have sensory disabilities, 6 percent have intellectual disabilities, while the remainder have various other forms of disabilities.

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Railway Minister Allows Women to Travel in Mumbai Local Trains

Outlook - Mumbai, Maharashtra, 10/20/2020

In a much-needed relief to women commuters from across the Mumbai city and suburban areas, the Railways has finally given a go-ahead to them to travel in the suburban local trains. The decision comes two days after the exchange of letters between the Railways and the state government after the latter asked to permit the travel. The Maharashtra government on October 16, 2020 requested the Railways to allow women to commute by local trains during non-peak hours – from 11 am to 3 pm, and from 7 pm till the end of the day's services. With this, women commuters who do not fall in the essential staff categories and had been spending long hours and huge money to commute would soon be able to access local trains during non-peak hours.

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