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Caste – India’s curse

[By Mari Marcel Thekaekara|New Internationalist] It’s been a nasty, brutish week. On the heels of 2 little girls being raped, India awoke to another horror story: just outside Delhi, 2 Dalit children, aged 9 months and 2.5 years, were cold-bloodedly burnt to death in a ghastly tale of revenge and caste hatred. To settle scores from an older feud, some ...

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Opinion: Women breaking barriers to clean energy

By Gisele Bündchen New York (Women’s Feature Service) – Did you know how big an impact a simple wood-burning stove can have on a woman’s life? Stoves produce toxic smoke that harms the environment as well as human health. In fact, more people die from this smoke than malaria – globally, about 4.3 million every year. And that’s not all. ...

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This Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl is Born

[By Zsuzsanna Gal] In an atmosphere where every morning newspapers greet people with stories of girls being tormented, raped, killed or treated like a doormat, India’s beautiful small village communities can still bring some good news from time to time. Many parts of India historically favors the birth of a son, but villages like Piplantri in Rajasthan state have a ...

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Surviving modernity: Matrilineal tribes lean on each other during tough times

[By Linda Chhakchhuak] Shillong (Women’s Feature Service) – ‘How are the Khasi-Jaintia-Garo (KJG) tribes resisting patriarchy? What is their secret of survival?’ These two questions were on the minds of Padma Mon and Padamvathi Ashok, researchers and activists from the Koraga tribe, one of the fast-fading matrilineal tribes of southern India, when they travelled from Karnataka all the way to ...

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This Policewoman Has Zero Tolerance For Domestic Violence

Ramallah (WFS) — As the head of the Palestinian Civil Police Family & Juvenile Protection Unit, Lieutenant Colonel Wafa Muammar, the highest-ranking female officer in the country’s police force, is a role model for women trying to find their own space in a “man’s profession”. Among the first generation of women to enter the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) right after ...

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9 Things to Remember About Coming Out as LGBTQIA+

“I think there are some really important discussions to have about why disclosing aspects of personal identity can be challenging but important for all kinds of people, why the concept of “coming out” has appealed at times to a wide variety of groups (including people who are poly or kinky, sex workers, people with HIV, atheists, and people with mental ...

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The Box Office Goes Pink

[By Surekha Kadapa-Bose|WFS] Mumbai  – Is the face of the male-dominated Hindi film industry finally undergoing a much-needed change? If one looks at the hits of the year it certainly appears to be that way. Unobtrusively and without much hue and cry, young female actors are slowly but surely starting to pull in the crowds to the theatres on their ...

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Kiss of love protests

To kiss or not to kiss? A very Indian question

|By Mari Marcel Thekaekara|New Internationalist| ‘To kiss or not to kiss’ appears to be the almost existential question being discussed on the front pages of Indian newspapers recently. If this seems slightly ridiculous to many societies, let’s be clear: it is currently a very serious issue in India. Young people, united as never before by social media, have rallied together ...

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Twin concerns in commercial surrogacy

|By Mari Marcel Thekaekara|New Internationalist| An abandoned Australian baby, born to a surrogate Indian mother, has apparently caused some concern in Australia. In India, where life is cheap, one more baby born, abandoned or dead, in a land of over one billion, rarely makes waves. The baby in question was left back with the Indian birth mother because the Australian ...

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India’s Muslim women say ‘no second wife!’

|By Mari Marcel Thekaekara, New Internationalist| ‘No Second Wife, please’ is an intriguing headline that caught my eye. Jyoti Punwani’s illuminating article, carried by The Hindu’s Sunday magazine last month, described some unexpected reactions from Indian Muslim women’s groups to banning polygamy. (India has Hindu, Muslim and Christian Personal law, in addition to national civil law, which complicates legal matters ...

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