News from the Global South

Salvadoran President Rules Out Allowing Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage

Reuters - San Salvador, El Salvador, 9/18/2021

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on September 17, 2021 a raft of constitutional reforms the government will send soon to Congress will not contain decriminalisation of abortion, or legalisation of same-sex marriage. The president said he will study the proposals, which were drawn up at Bukele’s request by Vice President Felix Ulloa with a team of lawyers in 2020 to overhaul human rights legislation, the political and economic system and the state’s judicial structure. The president’s announcement on same-sex marriage and abortion was swiftly flagged by critics. El Salvador has some of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the Americas.

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Woman Sues China’s Reproductive Health Law for Right to Freeze Her Eggs

The New Indian Express - Beijing, China, 9/17/2021

A woman suing for the right to freeze her eggs in Beijing, China is getting her case heard in court on September 17, 2021 in a rare legal challenge against the country’s restrictions on unmarried women in reproductive health. Teresa Xu, who has been waiting for two years for her second hearing at the Chaoyang People’s Court in Beijing, is suing the public hospital that forbade her from freezing her eggs, citing national law. China only allows married couples to access reproductive services and related benefits and they must be able to prove their marital status. Xu’s victory could mark an important step for unmarried women in China who want to access reproductive health services.

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Minister Urges Extra Efforts to Meet Population Goals

The Express Tribune - Lahore, Pakistan, 9/16/2021

In a meeting with a delegation of the World Bank (WB), Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said the health department was the key stakeholder in the family planning initiative. WB Country Director Najy Benhassine, Programme Leader Ubaidal Razzaq and Senior Operations Manager Amna Raja were part of the team. The minister discussed with the visiting delegation family planning, universal health coverage and the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic. She shared details of measures taken to improve primary and secondary healthcare services. The minister said, “…Pakistan loses thousands of women and children to birth-related complications. The government is developing seven state-of-the-art mother and child hospitals in the province.”

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Assam Records Highest Rate of Crime against Women for 4th Year

Hindustan Times, India, 9/15/2021

Assam recorded the highest rate of crime against women in the country for the fourth consecutive year, reveal National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures for 2020. The rate is calculated as the number of crimes recorded per 100,000 population. “The figures could also indicate that unlike states where such crimes are not registered promptly, in Assam, survivors reach out to police,” said a senior police officer requesting anonymity. While Uttar Pradesh topped in the crime rate for dowry deaths at 2.1, there has been an increase in such cases in Assam as well. The state recorded 150 dowry deaths in 2020 and four cases of acid attack on women.

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Ola Electric Scooter Factory to be Largest All-Women plant Globally, says co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal

The Indian Express, India, 9/14/2021

Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal on Monday said its electric scooter factory will be run entirely by women and employ over 10,000 women at full scale. In a blogpost, Aggarwal said the company welcomed the first batch this week and “at full capacity, Futurefactory will employ over 10,000 women, making it the world’s largest women-only factory and the only all-women automotive manufacturing facility globally”. Ola had announced a Rs 2,400-crore investment last year for setting up its first electric scooter factory in Tamil Nadu. Aggarwal further added that the company has invested significantly to train and upskill women in core manufacturing skills and they will be responsible for the entire production of every vehicle manufactured at Ola Futurefactory.

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