News from the Global South

India’s First Transgender International Beauty Queen Wins Empress Earth 2021-22 Title

The Indian Express, India, 6/5/2021

In the wake of Pride Month being celebrated every year in June to recognise the LGBTQIA+ community, Naaz Joshi, a Delhi-based transgender woman, has won the Empress Earth 2021-22 title in a virtual contest. The first runner-up was Valentina from Colombia and the second runner-up was Olivia from Mexico. Naaz dons various hats including the Miss Universe Diversity 2020, Miss World Diversity 2017-20, Miss Republic International Beauty Ambassador, and Miss United Nations Ambassador. The contest, which was to take place in Dubai on June 1, 2021, was cancelled due to the pandemic and on the advice of the contestants was held in virtual mode. The countries that entered the top five were Colombia, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and India.

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36 Jharkhand Tribal Women Stranded in Tamil Nadu Return Home

The Times of India - Jharkhand, India, 6/4/2021

Thirty-six tribal women from Jharkhand, who were stranded in Tamil Nadu due to the Coronavirus-induced lockdown in the southern state, have returned to their home district of Dumka with the help of the state government. The women who are residents of remote areas of Dumka district used to work in textile firms in Tamil Nadu. However, many of them lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 situation and were stranded there with no means to return home. Dhanbad district transportation office, Om Prakash said that all women have been tested negative for COVID-19 and the district administration would decide to ask them to quarantine or return home.

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Tarun Tejpal Verdict Like a ‘Manual for Rape Victims’, Says HC

The Times of India - Panaji, Goa, 6/3/2021

The Goa Bench of the Bombay high court in a hearing on June 2, 2021 issued a notice to Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal challenging his acquittal by a trial court in a rape case. The bench noted that some observations in the judgment regarding the conduct of the survivor after the alleged incident were akin to ‘a manual’ for victims/survivors of rape. Objecting strongly to the trial court’s observations regarding the conduct of the victim/survivors, solicitor-general of India Tushar Mehta said “one cannot make out” if the victim/survivor or the accused was on trial. In addition, Mehta pointed out that trial judge Kshama Joshi remained a mute spectator and didn’t prevent the defence from raising questions about the victim/survivor’s precious conduct.

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Chile’s Piñera to Push Same-Sex Marriage Bill Long Stuck in Congress

Reuters - Santiago, Chile, 6/2/2021

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera on June 1, 2021 said he would seek to expedite a same-sex marriage bill that has languished in the South American nation for years. “I think the time for equal-marriage has come in our country,” Piñera said, adding that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be able to live, love and form a family with all the protection and dignity they need and deserve. Chilean lawmakers in 2015 had passed a measure that empowers couples, including same-sex ones, to register for a Civil Union Agreement that confers some legal benefits. Chile’s LGBTQIA+ communities have long pushed for the comparatively more universal bill, presented by President Michelle Bachelet in 2017. However, it has been stalled in Congress for years.

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Iraq: Changes Needed to Increase Women’s Participation in the Workplace, Says World Bank

The National News, Iraq, 6/1/2021

A World Bank Report has found that the labour force participation rate for women in Iraq is among the lowest in the world. According to the report, women in the Middle East and North Africa as a whole are four times as likely to be in the labour force than those in Iraq. Further, obstacles to entering and remaining in the labour market vary drastically for women from different socio-economic groups. With men’s participation being in line with global levels, standing at 74 per cent, Iraq has one of the highest gender gaps in labour participation worldwide. The World Bank has recommended some interventions to tackle these challenges, such as access to affordable childcare in addition to government measures to tackle child marriage.

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