We are living through a decisive moment. The COVID-19 pandemic’s devasting impact is reaching every corner of the world. As we look back at this period, we will see history divided into a pre-COVID and a post-COVID world.
When Dr Aqsa Sheikh Tweeted and asked if she was the only transgender person to head a vaccination centre, it seemed extraordinary that in a country with 1.3 billion people, that this could be true.
Children all over the world are having tough times while coping with the consequences of the pandemic but the circumstances affecting them in the Philippines are even more daunting.
If you enter a garment factory in India, or any part of the world for that matter, you will see that the workforce is starkly female. The Indian textile and garment industry employs 45 million people
, out of which more than 60 percent are women
. This makes it the biggest formal employer of women in a country where 80 percent
of them are not engaged in paid work. While that might paint a rosy picture of women’s empowerment at the first glance, a closer look reveals something different.
Have you ever heard of a workers’ strike or similar labour action for press freedom? And how long do you think it lasted? A day? A week? A month? And where and when do you think this happened?
Workers strike for press freedom
Six decades ago, in 1961, Said Zahari
, the editor of the Malay language daily, Utusan Melayu
, led a strike of journalists and other employees. The protracted strike, in both Malaysia and Singapore today, was for press freedom rather than employee welfare.
With more than 300,000
new COVID cases a day and hospitals and crematoria facing collapse, Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called the situation in India “beyond heartbreaking
Conventional wisdom is that the health of young children is not at great risk from COVID-19, but, in the Global South, the space constraints imposed on young children by the pandemic pose a significant risk to the stimulation on which brain development thrives. Early childhood development is further jeopardized by the pandemic’s impact on caregivers.
Gaps in laws, illegal out-of-court settlements, rape survivor intimidation and law enforcement failure to adequately respond to sexual violence reports are hindering women from seeking justice and maintaining impunity for perpetrators of rape in South Asia.
The numbers are so staggering that is hardly imaginable striking a positive tone about the situation of child trafficking in Nepal and yet some positive developments are occurring here in a country that soon could be set to graduate from the group of least developing countries.
India’s evolving Technical and Vocational Education and Training ecosystem (TVET) faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the national lockdown, organisations had to remain shut for 7-8 months, until September 2020.
Sandra* had a baby born of rape. The young Nigeria woman had plans of a better life in Europe, but when her 'recruiters' abandoned her in Libya she was sexually assaulted and abused.
On 12 January this year, somewhere in the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, 24 year old Dalit activist Nodeep Kaur was arrested by the Haryana police for protesting outside a factory. During the lockdown in 2020, Nodeep joined a local workers’ rights organization called Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan (MAS) in the Kundli Industrial Area in Haryana. In January Nodeep was accused of allegedly manhandling management and staff of an industrial area during a protest and also assaulting the police team.
Although learning centres in Cox’s Bazar Kutupalong Refugee Camp are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mariom Akhter, a Rohingya mother of four, is grateful not only for the schooling her children have had but the training sessions she as a parent was able to attend. The skills she learnt has helped her assist her children with their education at home in a crisis.
It’s something she’s likely needed to help her children with over the last few weeks after a Mar. 22 fire spread through the camp, destroying the shelters of at least 45,000 people as well as important infrastructure, including hospitals, learning centres, aid distribution points and a registration centre. At least 15 people were reported dead and 400 missing.
Delayed, or no, justice and perpetrators’ impunity effectively silence rape and sexual assault survivors of communal violence in India.
Activists and human rights lawyers have been speaking out about how rape and sexual violence, especially during communal conflicts, aims to humiliate religious and other minorities by turning the women into symbols of dishonour.
Residents of Ngadirejo village in Sukaharjo regency, Central Java province, had often found themselves helpless when their wells dried up or water flooded through their homes. But thanks to a national campaign called Program Kampung Iklim
, known by its acronym ProKlim
, they now have solutions to this flooding that generally occurs because of a lack of adequate water catchments.
It is the oceans that engendered life. The lives of humans remain connected to the seas, making the good health of the seas and the efficient management of sea-based activity essential elements for the wellbeing of people and nations.
Women hold up half the sky.
Some years ago, Sarah al-Amiri, a young Emirati engineer, had a fixed gaze beyond the sky and towards our galaxy. “Space was a sector that we never dared to dream growing up,” she noted.
Girls in Asia don't want to go back to normal – they want to go "back to better than normal", says Zara Rapoport, a delegate during an online seminar on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender.
As the sun sets over the canopy of Albizia amara trees, a thin blanket of fog begins to descend over the forests of the Malai Mahadeshwara Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, which lies roughly 150 km south of the Indian city of Bangalore.
Not so long ago, plumes of smoke would rise from the hamlets dotting the forests as women busily cooked dinner for their families over wood stoves. But tonight, dinner will be a smokeless affair in dozens of villages as communities have opted for the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a clean burning fuel that has given a boost to the health and safety of both the forest and its people thanks to a unique conservation project.
The world is emerging from the biggest social and economic shock in living memory, but it will be a long time before the deep scars of the COVID-19 pandemic on human well-being fully heal.
In the Asia-Pacific region, where 60 per cent of the world lives, the pandemic revealed chronic development fault lines through its excessively harmful impact on the most vulnerable. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) estimates that 89 million more people in the region have been pushed back into extreme poverty at the $1.90 per day threshold, erasing years of development gains. The economic and educational shutdowns are likely to have severely harmed human capital formation and productivity, exacerbating poverty and inequality.