When thousands of participants from around the world gather in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur next week, the primary focus will be on health and empowerment of girls and women.
Since the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the United Nations has consistently maintained that family planning is a basic human right to be exercised by all - not just the wealthy and otherwise privileged.
The Uruguayan Congress passed a law Wednesday decriminalising abortion, making it one of the few countries in the region where abortion is allowed in cases other than rape, incest, malformation of the fetus or danger to the mother’s life. But activists who backed the bill are not pleased with modifications introduced in the final version.
When Philippines President Benigno Aquino III delivered his annual state of the union address in July, he appealed to the country’s lawmakers to break a deadlock on progressive birth control laws in this predominantly Catholic nation.
From a wooden, weather-beaten building on the edge of this border town, Mahn Mahn charts dangerous missions deep Myanmar (also Burma) for the 2,000-odd health workers under his wing.
Sri Lanka has long enjoyed a low 0.1 percent HIV prevalence but, as the number of fresh infections rises steadily, experts are calling for a change in the country's archaic laws that make sex work illegal and criminalises homosexual activity.
Conservative attitudes toward women die hard in Vietnam, as seen in the country’s worsening sex ratio at birth (SRB). Yet, social mores have relaxed sufficiently for women to tune in to late night TV talk shows to learn about the acceptability of one-night stands.
“No scalpel, no stitch and no rest needed,” guarantees Dr. Ghulam Shabbir Sudhayao, referring to the surgical procedure called vasectomy - the least popular method of birth control around the world, including Pakistan.
Almost unnoticed, Nepal’s burgeoning adult entertainment industry has been drawing young girls away from being trafficked across the border to the fleshpots of India’s big cities.
On May 18, some 800 women in Sri Lanka’s northern region will hold Hindu religious ceremonies for the welfare of thier husbands who disappeared or surrendered to the military as it moved in to mop up nearly three decades of armed Tamil separatism.
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.
Just before the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, some of the industrial nations, and specifically the United States, were lambasted for their obscenely high consumption of the world's finite resources, including food, water and energy.
The U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) rightly believes the road to Rio goes via Cairo - and that sustainable development and population are inextricably linked.
Sexual harassment of school-going girls is one factor that may prevent this Pacific island nation from achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of eliminating gender disparity in education by 2015.
With a whopping 40 percent of Ghana's population under the age of 24, the government's ability to foster their development and include them in the country's development are critical to the country's future.