News from the Global South

Saudi Arabia Issues Blueprint for Women’s Reproductive Health Rights

Gulf News - Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, 4/22/2021

Saudi Arabia has issued a blueprint for women’s right to health including sexual and reproductive health care services. The Saudi Ministry of Health stipulated that women must review their premarital screening reports, and conduct routine clinical, laboratory and radiological examinations to ensure their ability to withstand pregnancy stress and receive the necessary health advice, procedures and recommendations to be followed in the event of associated risks. The blueprint further stated that women are entitled to assistance in childbearing in case of delayed pregnancy and obtaining clinical examinations that are complementary to the prevention of cancer and other diseases, especially with the presence of risk factors.

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Protecting Women’s Rights Challenging: NWC Chair Parajuli

Khabarhub - Kathmandu, Nepal, 4/21/2021

Kamala Kumari Parajuli, Chairperson of Nepal’s National Women Commission (NWC) recently said protection of the rights and interest of women, women empowerment and ensuring gender justice was becoming challenging. She added that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated problems like unemployment and violence for women. Chair Parajuli further said the NWC was working to prepare a five-year road map for the effective implementation of the commitments on protection of women rights made by Nepal in the various international bodies, and for ending all forms of violence against women.

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Pakistan Suffers Further Drop on Inclusive Internet Index

Business Recorder, Pakistan, 4/20/2021

According to the ‘Inclusive Internet Index for 2021’ conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Pakistan’s global ranking dropped to 90th place out of 120 countries. The report further stated that Pakistan, which has the highest gender gap in the world at 65th position, showed a 6 percentage point improvement in 2020. To ultimately bridge the divide, progress in such countries needs to be faster, the report urged. The report highlighted that gender gaps in mobile access persist despite mobile data becoming more accessible. It said that this could be due to the entrenched cultural factors that inhibit gender equality more broadly.

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Namibian Court Rules against Gay Couple in Fight to Take Newborn Daughters Home

Reuters - Windhoek, Namibia, 4/19/2021

Namibia’s High Court on April 19, 2021 ruled against a gay couple battling to obtain travel documents for their twin daughters, born to a surrogate in South Africa, after authorities refused to do so on the basis the infants were not citizens. Namibian authorities say that the parents must prove a genetic link to the children. In an urgent application to the court, the fathers asked the judge to compel the home affairs ministry to issue the documents to bring their new daughters home. Judge Thomas Masuku refused, however, saying such an order would be “judicial overreach”. Norman Tjombe, a Human Rights lawyer said the judgment was a blatant violation of the rights of the children and reflected the government’s stance on same-sex marriage.

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Wrong Photo of Hathras Rape Victim on Social Media: Plea in Delhi HC Seeks Details on Uploader

The Wire - New Delhi, India, 4/18/2021

The Delhi high court has sought responses of the Centre and social media platforms, Facebook, Google and Twitter on a plea seeking complete details of those who uploaded a wrong photo of the Hathras rape victim. The direction came after a petition was filed by the widower of the deceased in which he contended that his wife’s photograph was being circulated on social media platforms wrongly depicting her as the victim of the unfortunate incident of rape and murder of a young woman at Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. The petitioner also contended that even otherwise, revelation of the identity of the rape victim is an offence under the Indian Penal Code, though in the present matter the image of a wrong person is in circulation.

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