POVERTY: The World Acts Up

Badi sex workers await rehabilitation. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

Caste Blocks Revamp of Nepal’s Sex Workers

Social activists say that attempts to rehabilitate sex workers in this former monarchy call for special efforts to uplift the Badi, a Hindu caste that has for centuries been associated with entertainment and prostitution.

Saffa Momoh Lahai lost his father in Sierra Leone’s civil war and said justice prevailed when former Liberian President Charles Taylor was convicted. Credit: Mustapha Dumbuya/IPS

Taking Solace from a Verdict that Can’t Bring Back Loved Ones

Saffa Momoh Lahai was just two years old when his father was killed during Sierra Leone’s civil war. Rebels attacked their family home in Kailahun District, in the eastern reaches of the country, and shot Lahai’s father when he tried to resist.

Millennium Goals Mock Nepal’s Slave Girls

Five years after Nepal abolished Kamalari, a system of girl slavery, thousands of young women are still awaiting promised rehabilitation and support from the new democratic republic.

Nurse Afroz counsels an expecting mother at the Aditmari centre. Credit: Naimul Haq/IPS

Bangladesh Cuts Maternal Deaths With Affordability

The Aditmari Maternity Centre (AMC) is unpretentious but hygienic, and its staff of paramedics welcomes pregnant women from the poor farming villages of this district, 375 km northwest of Dhaka.

Tighter Security Ignores Root Causes of Somali Crises

As Western forces step up their military presence in Somalia, locals and experts are worried that the country – struggling under multiple crises from piracy, to drought – is doomed to churn in a cycle of violence that fails to acknowledge root causes of the problems.

Bano and her cleric husband campaigning against child marriage. Credit: Zofeen Ebrahim/IPS

Fistula – Another Blight on the Child Bride

It was personal experience that turned Gul Bano and her cleric husband, Ahmed Khan, into ambassadors against early marriage and its worst corollary – obstetric fistula which allows excretory matter to flow out through the birth canal.

Rising Inequality Could be Asia’s Undoing

While developing Asian countries have experienced robust growth – lifting living standards and reducing poverty – increasing wealth is fuelling income disparities and inequality, posing a major threat to the region’s stability, warns the Asian Development Bank (ADB)'s flagship report released Wednesday.

HIV Compounds Poverty in Nepal

Life, already hard in Nepal’s remote western region, is getting worse thanks to HIV infection brought back by men who go to neighbouring India for seasonal work.

Austerity Plan Decapitates Greek Cultural Heritage

The broken display cases at Greece’s Museum of Olympia, the site where the first Olympic Games were held thousand of years ago, have stunned members of the Archaeological Service who have been registering a stream of missing cultural artifacts.

Kalpana at her pottery  Credit: Naimul Haq/IPS

Women Lead Poverty Reduction in Bangladesh

Kalpana Rani Pal’s pottery business is modest by any yardstick but it is small enterprises like these that are helping reduce poverty levels in Bangladesh.

Could the Druze Minority Tip the Scales of Syria’s Revolution?

The Druze stronghold of Sweida, Syria, witnessed several pro-democracy protests last week. While the movement remains marginal, it is charged with symbolism: the Druze have long been considered the "spiritual cousins" of the Alawites, the religious group to which the Assad family belongs.

Margaret Gamedze earns a living doing laundry for people in her community in Msunduza, Swaziland.  Credit: Mantoe Phakathi/IPS

Living on a Meal a Day in Swaziland

Margaret Gamedze earns a living doing laundry for people in her community in Msunduza Township, which lies about a kilometre outside Swaziland’s capital city of Mbabane. But since the country’s fiscal crisis began, she no longer earns enough to pay the rent for her one-roomed mud shack, which she shares with her five children.

Poverty Encourages Early Marriages in Tajikistan

When she was 16, Kibriyo Khaitova’s parents told her that if she didn’t marry, she’d soon be a spinster. So, like many girls from Tajikistan, Khaitova married a man her family found for her. Now 20, she has two children, no husband and is fending for herself.

In Kenya's urban slums the lives of many children remain a continuous fight for survival. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS

Africa’s Urban Slum Children Among Most Disadvantaged

Each day after school, nine-year-old Nelly Wangui hurries home with a bundle of firewood balanced on her head. The paper bag in which she carries her schoolbooks sits precariously on top of the stack and every now and then she reaches out to ensure that her books have not fallen down.

UNICEF Funding Falls Short Leaving Millions of Children at Risk

If the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had 1.28 billion dollars it could help 97 million people around the world.

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