News from the Global South

UN Chief Calls for Efforts to Address Inequalities while Ending AIDS by 2030

CGTN, Africa, 5/1/2021

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General has called for efforts to address inequalities in order to bring the world back on track to end AIDS by 2030. In a report released on Friday, April 30, 2020, Antonio Guterres stated that while there has been intensive action and progress against HIV in some places and population groups, inaction in other places has allowed HIV epidemics to expand and deaths to mount. According to the report, the 1.7 million new HIV infections that occurred in 2019 are more than three times higher than the 2020 target of less than 500,000 new infections. In addition, the 690,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2019 far exceed the 2020 target of reducing deaths to fewer than 500,000 a year.

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FOGSI Recommends Administering Covid-19 Vaccines to Pregnant, Breastfeeding Women

The Indian Express, India, 4/30/2021

The Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Society of India (FOGSI) has recommended that obstetricians and gynaecologists and women’s healthcare providers should be allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccines to pregnant and breastfeeding women with preparations to manage adverse events. Dr Alpesh Gandhi, FOGSI chairperson said that there is a need to prevent another wave of COVID-19 and vaccines are the long term solution to this. He also said that this protection should extend to pregnant and lactating women and the benefits of vaccinating pregnant and lactating women may outweigh any remote risks of vaccination. In a statement on April 30, 2021, FOGSI said, “Lactating women should also be considered as Covid vaccine candidates as there are no known adverse effects on the neonate who is breastfeeding.”

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SC: Protect Disabled Women Who Face Threat of Violence

The Times of India, India, 4/29/2021

The Supreme Court batted strongly for more systematic protection to women with disabilities and women facing caste-oppression, saying they live under a constant threat of violence, both physical and sexual, that curtails their constitutionally guaranteed right to lead a full and active life. Upholding the life sentence awarded to an accused of Andhra Pradesh for sexually assaulting a girl with visual impairment, who was the sister of his friend. The bench said women with disabilities are more susceptible to sexual violence as the accused perceives that the testimony of the rape survivor would not be full proof because of her physical impairment. The bench laid down a set of guidelines to make the criminal system more disability-friendly.

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Vietnam Promotes Gender Mainstreaming in Climate Change Policies

Vietnam Plus, Vietnam, 4/28/2021

Gender mainstreaming in climate change policies is crucial to promoting gender equality in Vietnam, according to Deputy Director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) Nguyen Trung Thang. At a workshop held in Hanoi on April 28, 2021, Thang said that ISPONRE carried out research on the state of gender equality in climate change policies in Vietnam, with focus sharpened on the four sectors of renewable energy, agriculture, water resources management, and garbage management. The research showed that Vietnam has made efforts to complete policies on gender equality and climate change response but pointed out that women’s participation in policy making and management is limited.

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Sri Lanka Cabinet Clears Proposal for Burqa Ban

The Hindu, Sri Lanka, 4/27/2021

Sri Lanka’s Cabinet cleared a proposal to ban all forms of face veils in public places “due to national security concerns”. The announcement comes at a time when the government is urging the public to wear face masks – dozens of violators have been arrested – to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and a likely third wave in Sri Lanka. The proposal to ban the burqa was announced in March, 2021 by Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekara, weeks before the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka. The proposed ban on face veils, seen as targeting the burqa worn by Muslim women, had triggered concern domestically and among international actors.

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