to Health, Education of Women. [India] Observing that women were subjected to
various types of harassment in society, Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, today said importance has to be given to health and education of the
fairer sex to
help them out of the crisis. "Women are are getting worse treatment even
today. With respect to health and education, they are lagging behind.
to take the message of health and education to every home," she said while speaking
at a function organised to observe the 60th anniversary celebration of Kasturba Gandhi
National Memorial Trust at Gandhi Smriti here.
Face Risk of FSD. [India] Contrary to popular perception, it's
not just men who
suffer from sexual dysfunction. A great many women suffer from what is
sexual dysfunction (FSD). Doctors, however, say that most of them are
unaware of the
condition and therefore do not seek treatment for it. "Earlier the condition
was thought to exist only in post-menopausal women, but now, for the past couple of years,
we have realised that a high percentage of women from the age of 30 onwards
FSD," said Dr Rajeev Sood, head of department of urology at Ram
Manohar Lohia Hospital.
"In fact, studies abroad have shown that more than 40% women may
FSD as opposed to about 30% men suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED),"
In several parts of India,
the ratio between women and men is now so skewed that
there are only 750 women to every 1,000 men. The nationwide average is 927 to
1,000; in a nation of more than a billion people, that translates to a shortfall of about
40 million womenthe same as the entire population of Spain. Rising prosperity
and a historic preference for boys are exacerbating a worrisome imbalance between the
sexes. Soon after I had arrived in New
Delhi in spring 2002, I was horrified to read
in my morning newspaper that flooding in a Rajasthani village had been traced to a drain
behind a back-alley abortion clinic, which had been blocked with scores of discarded
fetuses. Since then, I've become accustomed to tales of fatal, amateur
terminations and of doctors who make money on the side by breaking a law banning them from
telling expectant couples the sex of their babies and offering discreet abortions
if the child is a girl. I've also heard the laments of young Indian men about the
difficulties of finding a mate; one mainstream newspaper even argued that the upside of
all this extermination is that the cost of dowries will come down due to the
of women. And now that my wife is pregnant again, I'm becoming accustomed to other
mothers praying for a boy on our behalf. Our Rajasthan receptionist and fellow
travelers, I now realize, were actually just being polite.
Access to Justice for Women. [Jordan
] three-month long rights campaign in
has revealed that women are unable to seek access to justice due to financial burdens and
social norms. "Either because of limited financial resources or social stigma,
some women abandon their rights," said Jordanian rights advocate Najah
Mizan, a local NGO which organized the campaign. "It's not easy to have access
to justice when you're poor. You need a lawyer, and not everyone can afford
According to Mizan, lawyers usually charge between 300 and 500 Jordanian dinars (US
$375 and US $625) per case. While a 1972 Bar Association Law guarantees the
provision of legal aid to low-income citizens, human rights activists say that in practice
women are often deprived of it. The campaign, which is to finish on 27
launched by the Ministry of Political Development and Parliamentarian Affairs in
cooperation with Mizan. "Our goal was to raise awareness about each person's
legal rights and obligations," said Rula Haddadin, campaign manager at
known as the Law Group for Human Rights. "Since the first days of
the number of phone calls we've received has increased considerably."
of Women Pour Out Hatred of Sacrilege. [Pakistan] Thousands of
students took part in rallies in the city on Saturday to protest the publication of
sacrilegious cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by some European newspapers.
Thousands of women, most of them veiled, gathered near the Quaid's mausoleum
along with a
significant number of children and men, and protested against the cartoons.
women started gathering at the Gurumandir Roundabout and the mausoleum well before the
scheduled time and moved towards the Old Numaish roundabout reciting the Durood Sharif
along the way. A number of women were carrying their infants with them. A
five-month baby named Fayez had a black band around his forehead. The
"I am here to sacrifice for your sanctity Ya Rasool Allah (PBUH)."
Another child was carrying a down-with-Bush effigy. A large number of
students also participated in the rally. They were carrying banners and placards
inscribed with slogans against Denmark,
the United States
and Pakistani rulers.
Committee Highlights Problems Facing Women in Quake Camps. [Pakistan] Over 30
women sitting in a tent are holding up their right arms high in the air, waiting for their
turn to talk. Many are clutching scraps of paper with meticulous lists
them. One by one they stand up and address the meeting in nervous, shaky voices.
But as the women around them nod in agreement and call out their support, their
confidence grows and so do their voices. This is Muzaffarabad's Female
for most of the women here, this is the first time they have aired their problems in a
public forum. "Women are being empowered and they are enjoying it,"
explained Catherine Harding, a community services officer with the office of
Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), who initiated the scheme and chairs the
committee meetings. "This is something new and innovative for them.
There's been a real change in the women, they are showing great initiative,"
she said. The Female Committee, which was established by UNHCR, represents some 60
camps in Muzaffarabad district and meets every week in the UN compound in Muzaffarabad,
the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
MPs to Tackle Sex Discrimination. [Palestine] Ask Huda Naeem how she intends to
use her influence as a newly elected MP for Hamas and she ticks off a list of wrongs done
to women in the name of religion. Forced marriage, honor killings, low pay and girls
being kept out of school are her priorities for change in the Palestinian parliament.
That is when she is not preparing her 13-year-old son to die in the fight
"A lot of things need to change," she said. "Women
in Gaza and
the West Bank should be given complete rights.
Some women and girls are made to
marry someone they don't want to marry. This is not in our religion, it's our
tradition. In our religion, a woman has a right to choose," Naeem
Hopeful of Victory as Elections Begin. [Saudi Arabia] Elections to the Eastern
Province Chamber of Commerce and Industrys board of directors began with Jubail and
Hafr Al-Batin voting yesterday. Voters will go to the polls today in Qatif and
Khafji and tomorrow women voters will cast their votes at the EPCCI headquarters in
Dammam. The final leg of the polling will be in Dammam on Tuesday and
Some 11,000 chamber members, who are eligible to vote, will elect 12 members of the
18-member board and the Commerce and Industry Ministry will appoint the remaining six.
The election to the chamber, which is contested every four years, has
interest than usual because of the six businesswomen candidates. Four
of the women
candidates have formed their own group called Watania (Nationalists), while
candidates are contesting as independents. The victory of two business
women in the
Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry elections has raised hope among the
of their winning the battle and gaining seats in the hitherto all-male board.
Opportunities and the Road Ahead. [Saudi Arabia] The 20-member group of
intellectuals who went before the visit of King Abdullah to China consisted mostly of
women. One of them, Aljohrah Alsodairy (23), spoke fluent Chinese. They made
waves and charmed the Chinese with their excellent quality and positive attitude.
Reem Al-Faisal, world-class photographer, was in China
three months ago, hobbling from one
town to another, six in all, in the Yunnan
Province, south of China to
show her Haj photo
collection. In the last decade, she showed her talent in at least ten cities
in Europe, Asia
and the Arab world. Her work was published and praised in prominent journals like Le
Monde, Le Figaro, The Guardian, Liberation, Canvas and Marie Claire.