Articles in Gender News
Among the world’s many social development indices is the 2013 Mothers’ Index recently published by the Save the Children charity. The index is a composite of five factors: maternal health (measured as lifetime risk of maternal death), children’s well-being (measured as under-5 mortality rate), and women’s educational, economic, and political status. The latter three components involve such criteria as “expected number of years of formal schooling”, “gross national income per capita”, and “participation of women in national governments” (specifically, the percentage of national legislative seats held by women). It is, however, questionable whether these measures are true reflections of the selected factors. Moreover, the data for the various components comes from different years, ranging from 2010 (maternal health) to 2013 (political status).
A recent article in Health Affairs by David Kindig and Erika Cheng examined trends in male and female mortality rates from 1992–1996 to 2002–2006 in 3,140 US counties. What they found is a worrisome trend of female mortality on the rise in 42.8% of counties. The situation with male mortality rates is much better, increasing in only 3.4% of counties.
While in Western countries the issue of abortion concerns the legality of pregnancy termination (and it is more generally a women’s rights issue), in Eastern Europe the high rates of abortion present a bigger problem. But not all countries in the former Soviet bloc follow the same trends when it comes to birth control practices.
Over the last half-century, peace and stability have remained elusive goals in East Timor, officially known the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Invaded by Indonesia shortly after it achieved independence from Portugal in 1975, East Timor has only been a formal country with de facto control of its borders only since 2002.
Flooding in Northeastern India and its sometimes-fraught political backdrop.
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party is working on a bill to ban abortions after four weeks, except in emergencies. But Erdogan’s words that “there is no difference between killing a baby in its mother’s stomach and killing a baby after birth” may have had an unforeseen outcome, as a Turkish school principal Mustafa Aydın called for infanticide of newborns “with violent genes”.
Yonlada Suanyos, a transsexual woman, recently gained fame by becoming Thailand’s first katoey (or openly transgender person) to be elected to public office. Ms. Suanyos, a PhD candidate who also runs a television station and a jewelry business, will soon become a councilor in Nan province in northern Thailand. She was formerly a member of a transgender music group called Venus Flytrap, performing under the name of Posh Venus.
The issue of gender stereotypes in Ukrainian society remains ignored. Last week this issue was brought to the fore in the Ukrainian press by sexist remarks made on May 17 by the country’s Minister of Education Dmitry Tabachnik.
Several Russian news websites report that life expectancy in Moscow has reached 75 years. The improvement is quite marked, as the corresponding figure in 2010 was only 73.6 years.
Ambikesh Mahapatra, a chemistry professor of the prestigious Jadavpur University, sent an email to 65 of his friends. The email contained a political cartoon criticizing Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal’s first female Chief Minister. The professor was assaulted by alleged activists, then arrested by the police.
According to Australia Network News, a recent World Bank report lists Solomon Islands as suffering from more violence against women than any other country. The Bank’s recent Gender Equality and Development Report states that 64 per cent of women in the Melanesian country claim that they have been victims of domestic violence.
International marriages are on the rise worldwide, and one of the countries that “imports” many brides is South Korea. This influx of foreign brides arouses concerns as to the fate of these women who search for new opportunities outside of their home countries, both within Korea and in the “bride-exporting” countries.
While tension between ultra-Orthodox, religious, and secular Israelis are mounting, there is one thing that women in all three groups agree on: mid-20s is the best age to wed. According to a new poll, conducted in Israel by Maagar Mochot for the national religious women’s organization, Emunah, which surveyed 553 women in all three sectors of the society, 87% of ultra-Orthodox women believe the “right age” for marriage is 22, national-religious women feel 24 is preferable, whereas secular women stated 26 is the right age to walk down the aisle.
As the world celebrated Women’s Day on March 8, the issue of equal rights for women was once more brought to the fore. The recently published figures present a rather bleak picture of the role of women in Ukraine’s political scene.
Although Vietnam is in name a Communist state, the practice of mother goddess worship endures through much of the country. For the first time, the worship of Mother Goddesses is on display at a public museum in Hanoi.