Iraqi Women do not have equal opportunities, Take Action!

DUBAI, May 2013 (IRIN) - In the 1980s, the UN says, Iraqi Women enjoyed more basic rights than other women in the region. But years of dictatorship, sanctions and conflict, including the US-led invasion one decade ago, led to deterioration in women’s status. “Across the board, women are suffering more [than they used to],” said Sudipto Mukerjee, deputy head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq. Despite steps taken towards gender equality since 1990, Iraqi women today do not … [Read more...]

MADAGASCAR: Traditional midwives back in fashion

BETRAKA, December 2012 (IRIN) - Madagascar’s traditional midwives, or ‘matronnes’, are often thought to undermine safe childbirth practices, delivering babies in unsanitary environments and without provisions to manage complications. Yet they are now being recruited to a campaign to get women to deliver in clinics or hospitals, part of a move to lower maternal and newborn death rates. “We have more work than ever,” said matronnes Bertine, 52, and Marnette, 51. The women, who are cousins, … [Read more...]

SOUTH SUDAN: Women and children bear brunt of Jonglei violence

SOUTH SUDAN: Women and children bear brunt of Jonglei violence Women and children are increasingly being caught up in violent attacks Women and children disproportionately affected Disarmament stalled in Pibor Fears of violence grow as dry season arrives JUBA, December 2012 (IRIN) - Women and children are increasingly being caught up in violent attacks related to cattle rustling and inter-communal rivalries in South Sudan’s Jonglei State, say officials.Photo: Hannah … [Read more...]

COTE D’IVOIRE: Marital equality law sparks controversy

ABIDJAN, December 2012 (IRIN) - The adoption by Côte d'Ivoire’s parliament of a law on equality between legally married couples has sparked anger, especially among religious people. For them, this law will create more problems in the home than it will solve. Adopted on 21 November, the law says family affairs should be managed jointly by both spouses in the interests of the household and children. The previous law stated that the husband was the sole head of the family. "To remove this … [Read more...]

UGANDA: Family planning pledges need on-the-ground action

KAMPALA, October 2012 (IRIN) - Family planning advocates in Uganda have scored some major financial and policy wins this year, but experts remain concerned that inadequate political commitment and poor health services will continue to impede women’s and girls’ access to contraceptives. At a global family planning summit in July, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni announced that his government would increase its annual expenditure on family planning supplies from US$3.3million to $5million for … [Read more...]

GUINEA: Fresh tears, steeled will, hundreds of women raped

CONAKRY, September 2012 (IRIN) - One after the other, women visiting their sick friend Aïssatou Baïlo Diallo, a 42-year-old teacher in Guinea’s capital Conakry, are overcome with emotion and leave her bedside crying. Diallo has been in and out of hospitals since she was raped in the 28 September 2009 stadium attack, and in recent weeks her health has deteriorated rapidly. Three years after the stadium massacre, the pain is fresh. Three years ago, at Conakry’s 28 September Stadium, hundreds … [Read more...]

SOUTH AFRICA: The (re)making of men

JOHANNESBURG, September 2012 (PlusNews) - Manhood might be hard to define but South African media make it even harder, according to editors of a new book, who argue that negative coverage of men is doing more harm than good, especially when it comes to HIV. Now they are looking to rewrite masculinity in a country that ranks among the most gender inequitable in the world. (Un)covering Men: Rewriting Masculinity and Health in South Africa is a compilation of works by journalism fellows through … [Read more...]

Africa and “sisterhoods” formed to provide a common voice to women

JOHANNESBURG, August 2012 (IRIN) - Boys learning new ideas of masculinity around campfires in rural Africa and “sisterhoods” formed to provide a common voice to women are starting to change attitudes about African women farmers, say the authors of a forthcoming book about gender and agriculture. But it will take many more such efforts to support women food producers, who make up 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. In some countries, that number rises to 70 to 80 … [Read more...]

IRIN, Philippines conditional cash transfer programme

GOAL #5 - MATERNAL HEALTH Many people consider the day their child was born the happiest day in their life. In the world's wealthier countries, that is. In poorer countries, the day a child born is all too often the day its mother dies. The lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth in Africa is 1 in 22, while it is 1 in 120 in Asia and 1 in 7,300 in developed countries. MANILA, August 2012 (IRIN) - A nationwide conditional cash transfer programme in the Philippines is slowly … [Read more...]

BANGLADESH: Bureaucratic hitch leaves women farmers high and dry

BANGLADESH: Bureaucratic hitch leaves women farmers high and dry       DHAKA, (IRIN) - A significant number of women farmers in Bangladesh are unable to access fertilizer, cash assistance and other government subsidies intended for farmers, because the land they work is registered in their husband’s name, according to government officials, NGOs and women farmers.Close to half of all farmers in Bangladesh are women, and the majority have not received their … [Read more...]

NEPAL: Gender discrimination fuels malnutrition

"Girls are neglected because they are thought not to need strength." Gender discrimination lies behind much of the malnutrition found in under-five children in Nepal, say locals and experts. (..) "Malnutrition in Nepal is an intergenerational cycle,” said Sophiya Uprety, a nutritionist for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Kathmandu. She explained that supporting pregnant women with a nutritious and adequate diet, rest and care did more than improve a person’s strength - it bolstered … [Read more...]

VIETNAM: Trafficking victims lured by “friendly” acquaintances..?

  VIETNAM: Trafficking victims lured by “friendly” acquaintances..?   Photo: Michael Ives/IRIN   Many of the girls are lured by the prospects of a better life     HANOI,  February 2011 (IRIN) - Last year an ostensibly friendly woman asked Nguyen Thi Ha* if the 23-year-old felt like leaving Vietnam to work in China.  Nguyen Thi Ha was intrigued by promises she could earn 6-7 times more selling clothes there than the US$50 per month she was making at home. She never thought the woman, a … [Read more...]

IRAQ – No Country for Women

IRAQ: No Country for Women Photo: Jason Fudge/Flickr   Insecurity and the threat of violence limits Women's freedom   MADRID, 28 November 2010 (IRIN) - The improved political representation of women in Iraq is in sharp contrast to their broader disempowerment, as highlighted by the persistence of domestic violence and early marriage, according to a new report by the UN Inter-Agency Information and Analysis Unit. Women may hold 25 percent of seats in the Iraqi parliament, but one in five in the … [Read more...]

NEPAL: Pushing back against Domestic Violence

Photo: Kate Holt/IRIN Click here to view the photogallery KATHMANDU, 28 September 2010 (IRIN) - Across Nepal, which has declared 2010 the year to end gender-based violence, women continue to fall victim. The village of Shipawa is one Nepalese community in which the issue is particularly apparent. Three women there demonstrate the depth of the problem and share a determination for justice: Yadev, a 60-year-old widow, dispossessed of her land and who deals with constant death threats; Amarawati, … [Read more...]

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