Stories written by Mehru Jaffer
Mehru Jaffer is an Indian journalist based in Vienna, Austria. She is the author of ‘The Book of Muhammad’, published by Penguin. She writes on gender issues and the role of religion and Islam in contemporary society.

Will Apex Court Ruling Remove Stigma for Sex Workers in India?

Social activists, including Lucknow-based Tahira Hasan, have welcomed the Indian Supreme Court’s recent ruling recognising sex work as a profession.

Youth Icon’s Fight for Rights Among India’s Destitute

Pooja Shukla, 25, a socialist candidate, has lost her maiden elections to the provincial parliament in Uttar Pradesh (UP), India. But Shukla is no loser.

Women’s Voices Raised Against Hate in India

More and more women from different walks of life and corners of the world are raising their voices against the treatment of minorities in India today.

Boys Sold by Trusted Villager Turned Human Trafficker

Friends Ajay and Durgesh were lured from the same village in the remote and poverty-stricken countryside of eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP) in January 2021.

Once Tossed and Abused, Human Trafficking Survivor Finds Solace

For over two decades, Nina tossed around like a leaf in a storm. While a teenager, she was lured into the sex trade, and pimps kept a huge chunk of the money that she earned as a sex slave. Nina was often bruised. Once, she refused sex with a man who did not want to use a condom. He beat her so severely that she had found it difficult to breathe.

Extraordinary Lives of Indian Muslim Women Documented

It’s time the achievements of Indian Muslim women were documented to make their contribution to society visible, says international health and gender expert Dr Farah Usmani.

PAKISTAN: Women Shield Children From Extremism

When Farah’s 16-year-old son began to disappear for several nights a week without saying where he went, she was naturally worried. After he returned one day and shattered the television screen in their Peshawar home, the mother of three decided it was time to quit her job as a teacher and to find out what was making her youngest child so angry.

YEMEN: Youth Ready to Confront Gender Roles

Despite being at the forefront of sweeping changes taking place in the country, the lives of the majority of Yemeni women are restricted to early marriage, motherhood and serving husbands, according to a new study by Women Without Borders (WWB), a Vienna based public relations and advocacy platform for women’s voices around the world.

Q&A: ‘Women Are Shackled During Childbirth’

Female Palestinian prisoners detained in Israel are often denied legal representation and medical care while being housed in squalid conditions that can include sharing cells with rodents.

Lack of Funds Hampers Global Fight Against AIDS

The global conference on AIDS in Vienna last week will be remembered for "Broken Promises Kill", a slogan echoed by a coalition of activists who had gathered from around the world.

Worse Than HIV, the Stigma

Kiren Kaur, 37, has come to terms with HIV she contracted from her husband in 1997. The HIV positive status, per se, is not difficult to deal with. But dealing with the stigma that comes with it is an excruciating experience.

Women Vital in Global Fight Against AIDS

Empowering women could more effectively help in curbing the spread of HIV, Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and philanthropist said at the AIDS conference here Monday.

More Information to be Shared on AIDS Vaccine

Scientists participating in the 18th International AIDS conference that opens in Vienna Sunday promise to share more information on vaccine research.

DEATH PENALTY: World Moving Towards Abolition

Anti-death penalty activists meeting in the Austrian capital to discuss the eighth quinquennial report of the United Nations Secretary-General have hailed a worldwide trend towards total and universal abolition of capital punishment.

DEVELOPMENT-EU: Saving Agriculture From Climate Change

Climate change will top the agenda of an international food conference on Europe that begins Thursday in Innsbruck, Austria.

IRAQ: IAEA to Send Inspectors to Nuclear Plant

The IAEA is sending a team of seven inspectors to Iraq this week to investigate reports of illnesses around the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre south of Baghdad.

RIGHTS: UN Takes a Closer Look at Trafficking

”For three months I was in tears, receiving 50 clients a day. I lost sense of time. I tried to commit the room next door a girl did commit suicide. In the morning her body was taken away and another girl put in the same room, to do the same job!”

ENVIRONMENT: Nuclear Hope for Fresh Water Debated

About 300 experts from around the world concluded an international symposium on water resources management here Friday, but could not discuss the acute crisis in Iraq.

IRAQ: IAEA Fears over Damage at Nuclear Plant

Officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) say they have been reduced to bystanders in the face of reports of widespread damage to Iraq's nuclear facilities.

IRAQ: Oil Giant Makes its Absence Felt

OPEC, the exclusive cartel of eleven oil-producing and exporting countries stands at the crossroads as it tries to balance supply in a world where the demand for oil seems unlimited.

HEALTH: UN Firm Against Legalisation of Drugs

A summit called by the United Nations has reaffirmed its opposition to any legalisation of drugs.

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