Women's Health

India’s New Maternity Benefits Act Criticised as Elitist

The passage of the landmark Maternity Benefits Act 1961 by the Indian Parliament, which mandates 26 weeks of paid leave for mothers as against the existing 12, has generated more heartburn than hurrahs due to its skewed nature.

Kenya’s Health Sector Challenges Present the Ideal Setting for Creating Shared Value

The increased budgetary allocations to the health sector by county governments point to an acknowledgement not only of the enormous challenges facing the sector, but also of good health as a prerequisite to overall development.

Indian Jails Slammed as Purgatory for the Poor

A media frenzy ensued in New Delhi last month when a popular television channel highlighted the horrific living conditions of women inmates in ward number six of Tihar Jail, South Asia's largest prison.

Sustainable Development in Africa Will Not Be Achieved Without Women’s Full Participation

In some parts of the world, the proverbial “glass ceiling” is shattering. As Theresa May and, most likely, Hillary Clinton join Angela Merkel at the leadership of three major world powers, women’s leadership in politics is on the ascent.

Pan African Parliament Endorses Ban on FGM

After years of wrangling and debates among African leaders, the movement to end female genital mutilation (FGM) is gaining real momentum, with a new action plan signed this week by Pan African Parliament (PAP) representatives and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) to end FGM as well as underage marriage.

The Right to Not Disappear

It goes something like this: there’s a murder in the name of ‘honour’ in a village somewhere in Pakistan. The story is reported and journalists are inspired to look for more such instances to cover. They disperse in all directions and no matter where they go searching, they return with more such murder cases to dump on the ‘honour’ killing pile.

Uganda Ill-Equipped for Growing Cancer Burden

Lying on a dirty bed in a crowded, squalid hostel in Kampala, emaciated Jovia, 29, managed a weak smile as a doctor delivered her a small green bottle containing a liquid.

Entrenched Inequalities

Do a girl born in a poor household in rural Balochistan and a boy born in a rich household in Karachi have the same or even a similar set of opportunities in life? Are their chances of acquiring an education similar? Do they have access to comparable healthcare services and facilities? Do they have equal opportunities for access to physical infrastructure and the freedom of movement and association?

Large-Scale Rainwater Harvesting Eases Scarcity in Kenya

Rainwater harvesting in Kenya and other places is hardly new. But in this water-stressed country, where two-thirds of the land is arid or semiarid, the quest for a lasting solution to water scarcity has driven useful innovations in this age-old practice.

The Eugenics Debate

The current debate on the re-emergence of eugenics is worrying, as most of its proponents seem to be urging for gene manipulation for higher intelligence and beauty, while only a few are concerned with its dystopian implications.

Latin American Development Depends On Investing In Teenage Girls

Latin America’s teenage girls are a crucial force for change and for promoting sustainable development, if the region invests in their rights and the correction of unequal opportunities, according to Luiza Carvalho, the regional head of UN Women.

Talking Openly – The Way to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy

In plain and simple language, an Argentine video aimed at teenagers explains how to get sexual pleasure while being careful. Its freedom from taboos is very necessary in Latin American countries where one in five girls becomes a mother by the time she is 19 years old.

Malagasy Children Bear Brunt of Severe Drought

Voahevetse Fotetse can easily pass for a three-year-old even though he is six and a pupil at Ankilimafaitsy Primary School in Ambovombe district, Androy region, one of the most severely affected by the ongoing drought in the South of Madagascar.

Closing the Gaps in Sexual Education for People with Disabilities

From forced sterilisation to sexual abuse, young women and men with disabilities are much more likely to have their sexual and reproductive health rights violated than other people.

First Independent Expert To Tackle LGBTI Discrimination: “Historic Victory”

Human rights groups have described the UN Human Rights Council's (HRC) decision on Thursday to appoint an independent expert to target the ongoing discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people all over the world as a "historic victory."

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