News from the Global South
Centre Denies Plan for Two Child Policy
The Hindu, India, 7/24/2021
The Centre has denied having a two child policy, a question that has gained resonance following the Uttar Pradesh government’s draft policy under which it proposes to disincentivise those with more than two children and even bar them from government benefits. On July 23, 2021, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharati Pawar underlined that the Centre had no plans for a two-child policy in the Lok Sabha. The Centre, she said, has been implementing the National Family Planning Programme which provides voluntary and informed choices to all citizens. The Programme of Action (PoA) of the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 1994, to which India is a signatory, is unequivocally against coercion in family planning, added Dr. Pawar.
Nepal’s COVID-19 Crisis Exacerbates Hardships for Women
The Diplomat, Nepal, 7/23/2021
Nepal’s second deadly wave of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown have severely affected many citizens throughout the South Asian country. Historically marginalized groups including single women – or women who are widowed, divorced, or in a female-headed household – face especially difficult circumstances as the pandemic exacerbates existing social and economic hardships and creates unanticipated challenges. A study conducted by the government of Nepal assessing the gendered impacts of the pandemic found a 337% rise in the number of women not involved in any paid work. The study also found that women’s unpaid care workload increased during the COVID-19 lockdowns due to school closures and restrictions on mobility outside the home.
‘A Thousand Ways to Love’: Argentina Rolls Out Non-Binary ID Cards in Latam First
Reuters - Buenos Aires, Argentina, 7/22/2021
Argentina rolled out identification cards on July 21, 2021 for non-binary citizens allowing them to use “x” in their important national ID document and passports in the field corresponding to gender. Argentina is the first South American country to enable this via decree, joining countries such as New Zealand, Canada and Australia, which have already carried out the change. President Alberto Fernández, together with the Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, delivered the first three ID cards using the new “x” format. The use of the “x” has already been accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and includes people who identify outside traditional gender definitions.
Rich Outlive Poor by 7.5 Years, Upper Caste Women Live 15 Years More than Dalits: Oxfam Report
The Print - New Delhi, India, 7/21/2021
Stark inequalities in access to healthcare exist in India across caste and class, a new Oxfam report on India’s health system has found. According to ‘Oxfam’s inequality report 2021: India’s Unequal Healthcare Story’, the rish outlive the poor by seven and a half years, and an upper caste woman lives 15 years more than a Dalit woman. India was the worst performing BRICS nation on health expenditure ranking 154th globally, the report found. On the other hand, Brazil had the highest allocation, followed by South Africa, Russia and China. The report used five major indicators to highlight inequalities in the healthcare system: gender, geography, wealth groups, social groups and religion.
Hyderabad Gets India’s First Trans Clinics
Telangana Today, India, 7/20/2021
The city is now home to the first two clinics for transgender persons in the country. These are part of the Union government’s plans to have exclusive clinics for transgender people in different metro cities as mandated in the Transgender Persons Act, 2019. The clinical services are being promoted among the transgender community, with social and sexual networking sites/apps also being engaged for the purpose. Transgender and Hijra leaders are being used as ambassadors to advocate the various services being offered in the clinic. Reportedly, the clinic is completely led by trans representatives as this can help in spreading a positive message among the community about the friendly environment and staff.