Naomi Fontanos is seeing a change from when she went holidaying in 2002. Then she had run into ignorance about transgender people or worse at hotels, restaurants and other business establishments in Boracay, the popular tourist destination south of Manila.
Ten years after she was trafficked to an Indian circus, 22-year-old Radha has returned home stateless, with no document to prove she is a Nepali citizen. Her parents are Nepali but she married a fellow Indian circus member, and does not qualify to be a Nepali citizen any more.
Last December, Pradeep Dongol, child protection officer at the Kathmandu-based Children and Women in Social Service and Human Rights (CWISH), received an urgent call from one of the NGO’s many offices in Nepal’s sprawling capital city.
As the chief of building codes and earthquake safety of the Lalitpur Municipality, located about 10 km from Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, Sainik Raj Singh has the tough job of cracking down on builders who fail to comply with the government’s construction regulations.
Radhika Thapa was just 16 years old when she married a 21-year-old boy three years ago. Now, she is expecting a baby and is well into the last months of her pregnancy. This is not the first time she has been with child – her first two pregnancies ended in miscarriages.
Sabitri Kumari Das, a middle-aged mother of two, is rightfully worried about her two young daughters: both girls attend a public primary school in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, and neither one of them seems to be advancing academically.
Over 40 percent of Nepal is covered in thick forest, but most of it has been degraded. Rural communities that have traditionally relied on the forests for survival now live in abject poverty, struggling to secure the food necessary for survival. Most men have migrated to the Gulf in search of employment.
Nearly 300 km from Nepal’s teeming capital, Kathmandu, in a small village dug into the steep slopes of the mountainous Palpa district, 35-year-old Dhanmaya Pata goes about her daily chores in much the same way that her ancestors did centuries ago.
Residents of Jhirpu Phulpingkatt, a village nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, about 110 km from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, are on red alert.
“If I am thirsty and want a bottle of Coca-Cola I can get it, no matter where in the world I am. Why can’t I get contraceptives or sexual heathcare?” asked Carlos Jimmy Macazana Quispe, a youth representative from Peru currently in Kuala Lumpur for the third edition of the Women Deliver global conference on the "health and well-being of women and girls."
With a combined population of over 1.7 billion, which includes some of the world’s poorest but also a sizeable middle class with a growing spending capacity, South Asia is a policymaker’s nightmare.
From Zimbabwe to El Salvador, women in poor countries suffer the brunt of climate change, but also learn to recover from disasters, to adapt and even to find opportunities in the new weather conditions.
Currently classified as one of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Nepal has one of the highest malnutrition rates globally, with over 41 percent of children suffering from chronic under-nourishment, particularly in rural areas.
Sita Tamang’s husband went missing sometime in 2004, two years before Nepal’s civil war came to an end. A native of Dharan, a town about 600 kilometres southeast of Kathmandu, Tamang waited seven years after his disappearance before she tried to claim compensation offered by the government after a 2006 peace deal ended this country’s bloodshed.
Nepal now ranks 11th
on a list of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, yet it remains one of the least disaster-prepared nations globally.