News from the Global South

Pandemic has Worsened Gender Inequality in India, Says Oxfam

Mint, India, 10/29/2020

According to a report by Oxfam, the COVID pandemic could have worsened inequality between men and women in terms of income. The report said that the inequalities that persisted before the pandemic were not good. It estimated that women and girls put in 3.26 billion hours of unpaid work every day. Diya Dutta, one of the authors of ”Oxfam’s 2020 India Inequality Report — On Women’s Backs” said that the burden of care work is so immense that it impacts women’s participation in the workforce, circumscribes their pursuit in education and discourages them from taking care of their health. She added that Indian women’s contribution to the GDP is one of the lowest in the world.

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Survey: Most Young Women Facing Violence Never Called the National Helpline

Dhaka Tribune, Bangladesh, 10/28/2020

According to a recent study conducted by ActionAid Bangladesh, more than 85% Bangladeshi young women facing gender-based violence have never used the national helpline for violence against women, children or any other help. The remaining 14.7% women who had used the helpline at some point in their life were not satisfied with the service. The respondents of the survey indicated various challenges they face such as unsafe environment for women in Bangladesh, services provided for their protection not being effective enough, and harassment and abuse in public spaces. Joya Islam, a female youth representative, said that she notices women getting harassed in public transport but no men raise their voices against violence.

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‘Pride Station’: North India’s First Metro Station Dedicated to Transgender People in Noida

The Hindustan Times - New Delhi, India, 10/27/2020

In a first for metro services in north India, the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) on October 27, 2020 officially renamed the Sector 50 station as “Pride Station”, dedicating it to the transgender community. Ritu Maheshwari, managing director of NMRC, unveiled the new name of the station in the presence of six members of the transgender community, who had been recruited by NMRC through contractors for services at the Metro station. The artwork and look of the Pride Station have also been changed to signify the essence and spirit of the transgender community. The Pride Station will also provide employment opportunities for the transgender community. In 2017, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited in Kerala had taken a similar step by employing transgender people.

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Qatar ‘Forcibly Examined’ Women, Drawing Angry Diplomatic Response

Deccan Herald - Doha, Qatar, 10/26/2020

In an incident labelled "offensive" and "inappropriate", women passengers flying from Qatar were subjected to invasive examinations after a premature baby was found abandoned in an airport bathroom. Airport officials have not denied the incident, saying women passengers “were asked to assist” with inquiries to locate the mother of the baby. According to reports, security officials escorted an undisclosed number of women from several flights to ambulances, where the women were examined for signs of having given birth recently. In response to the incident, Human Rights Watch has urged Qatar to examine the policy that led to the event. Qatar practices a strict form of Islamic law, with stiff penalties applied to women who bear children outside marriage.

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‘Indian Women Diagnosed with More Aggressive Breast Cancer Very Early’

National Herald, India, 10/25/2020

In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers have found that Indian and Pakistani women are diagnosed with Breast Cancer, including its more aggressive form at a very early age. The study also revealed the treatment and survival rate among women with Breast Cancer. Additionally, varied socio-cultural factors including lack of family support, prevented women from accessing health care services such as mammogram screening early. The author of the study, Anita Kinney, said that it was important to work towards health equity in cancer prevention, screening, early diagnosis and treatment through community engagement and a team science approach.

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