News from the Global South

Uganda Strives to Consolidate Gains in HIV/AIDS Fight Amid Covid

The Morung Express - Kampala, Uganda, 12/2/2021

Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) Nelson Musoba raised concerns about the decline in HIV testing and referrals for diagnosis treatment due to COVID-19 during the commemoration of World AIDS Day. Musoba stressed that the country will continue to fight HIV and AIDS to achieve the global target of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The Presidential Fast Track Initiative launched in 2017 is being followed and steps are being taken for awareness generation. Substantial progress has already been achieved in terms of diagnosis and HIV prevalence is currently down to 5.4%. Local leaders, government leaders and health professionals were all urged to play their part in ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

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Rajasthan Govt Approves 'Back To Work' Scheme For Women Forced To Quit Jobs

News 18 - Rajasthan, India, 12/1/2021

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot approved a scheme named ‘Back to Work’ for women who had to quit their jobs for some reason. The scheme was initially announced by Gehlot during his reply after the discussion of the Financial and Appropriation Bill in Budget 2021-22. The target is to provide jobs to 15000 women in the next three years and priority will be given to women who are widows, abandoned, divorced and survivors of violence. The scheme also aims to provide the option of working from home (WFH). Women will also be re-skilled or up-skilled as the need arises and they will be connected with employment providers in the private sector. Monitoring and evaluation will be executed for the project for which a committee will be formed.

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Women, Children Take to the Streets Against CPEC in Gwadar

ANI - Islamabad, Pakistan, 11/30/2021

To protest against China’s multi-billion belt and road project that have had adverse effects for fishermen, hundreds of women took to the streets in Pakistan’s Gwadar district. After a ban imposed on border trade left fishermen deprived of earning their livelihood. The march began from Al Johar Public School and concluded at Marine Drive. Women could be seen in large numbers demanding an end to illegal fishing by trawlers and lifting trade restrictions with Iran. The leader of the movement reiterated that every citizen of Gwadar had mobilised for their basic rights. Pictures and videos of women holding placards and chanting slogans like “Gwadar ko haq do” (Give rights to Gwadar) went viral on social media platforms. The demonstrations saw participation from female students, political workers and working women who came from areas including Turbat, Ormara, Jewani and Pasni.

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557 Women Army Officers Granted Permanent Commission

The Times of India - New Delhi, India, 11/29/2021

In accordance with the Supreme Court directive from February 2020 to end gender bias in the force, the army has granted permanent commission to 557 women officers. For too long the military brass had been opposed to permanent commission for women citing “operational, practical and cultural problems”. Earlier women could only serve for a maximum of 14 years as short service commission officers, however the defence ministry issued the formal order to grant permanent commission to women in July 2020. Women are still not allowed to join main combat arms like infantry, mechanised infantry, artillery and armoured corps in the Army but eight other branches of the Army in addition to the existing ones of the legal and educational wings have been opened up.

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Ritu First Transgender UP Chairperson in Bangladesh

The Daily Star, Bangladesh, 11/28/2021

At the Trilochanpur union of Kaliganj in Jhenaidah, Nazrat Islam Ritu, a member of the transgender community was elected as the chairperson during the third phase of the Union Parishad (UP) elections. Ritu was running as an independent candidate and bagged 9,569 votes while her rival, Awami League-backed candidate Nazrul Islam Sana, got 4,517 votes. As per Ritu, she has very strong bonds with the people of Trilochanpur. She had previously commissioned two mosques in her ancestral village of Daudapur. Recently the transgender community can be seen in the political arena. Pinki Khatun, another person who identifies as transgender had previously been elected vice chairman of Kotchandpur upazila in Jenaidah.

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