News from the Global South

US Body Announces USD 50 Million Loan to Promote Gender Equity in Businesses Financing

Hindustan Times, India, 3/3/2021

The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) on March 2, 2021 announced the second disbursement of a USD 50 million loan to promote gender equity in financing of women-owned businesses. The DFC said the loan distributed through Northern Arc Capital will primarily benefit women-owned businesses as well as products and services benefiting women, along with businesses in the food security and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors. "The investment by US DFC will help Northern Arc expand financing to many such deserving borrowers," said Northern Arc MD and CEO Kshama Fernandes.

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Indian Women Face Most Workplace Bias

Mint, India, 3/2/2021

According to the LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021, working women in India have been impacted more by the COVID-19 pandemic than their global counterparts and battle the strongest gender bias across the Asia-Pacific countries, fighting for both equal pay and opportunity. The report focuses on the way women perceive opportunities and how the gender gap is further slowing down career progress for working women in India amid the pandemic. In India, 85% of working women claim to have missed out on a raise, promotion, or work offer because of their gender, compared to the regional average of 60%. The report also highlights the difference in perception of available opportunities in the market for men and women.

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In a First, Chhattisgarh Police Hire 13 Transgender Persons as Constables

Hindustan Times - Jharkhand, India, 3/1/2021

In a first, the Chhattisgarh police recruited 13 transgender people as constables in four districts of Jharkhand, a senior police official said after the Chhattisgarh Constable Recruitment examination results for 2019-20 came out on March 1, 2021. Until now, only two transgender police personnel were recruited in India – one in Tamil Nadu, another in Rajasthan. The Kinnar Samaj and Mitwa Committee of Chhattisgarh have thanked the Chhattisgarh government for giving the opportunity to transgender constable aspirants. DM Awasthi, Director General of Chhattisgarh Police, and Vidya Rajput, Chairperson of Mitwa Samiti, congratulated those who were recruited.

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Single Women Cry Foul as China Doubles Down on Egg Freezing Ban, Accusing Authorities of Gender Bias and Forcing Women into Marriage

South China Morning Post, China, 2/28/2021

China’s National Health Commission has claimed medical risks and ethical issues are behind its recent ban on single women freezing their eggs. The commission’s stance has come under fire from Chinese internet users, who described the ban as discriminatory and said it deprived women of their right to have children later in life. In China, assisted reproductive technology is largely used to help married women with fertility issues. Medical regulations deny single women access to treatments for in vitro fertilisation and egg freezing offered by Chinese hospitals and agencies. However, single men are legally entitled to freeze their sperm for use at a later date.

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Women Run Fewer than 13% of India's MSMEs; Inaccessibility of Credit, Govt Schemes and Now COVID are Key Hurdles

Firstpost - New Delhi, India, 2/27/2021

According to a report by the Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE), a gender research and advocacy organisation, only seven of 100 entrepreneurs in India are women and of them, nearly half (49.9% percent) get into business out of necessity rather than aspiration. Globally, India ranks third among countries reporting gender gaps in business. Only 33 percent of the early-stage entrepreneurs in India are women, as per 'Financial inclusion for woman-owned Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India', an August 2019 report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). India also ranks 70th among 77 countries covered in the Female Entrepreneurship Index, as per the IWWAGE report.

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