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Zahra Joya: the Afghan reporter who fled the Taliban – and kept telling the truth about women

As a child in Afghanistan, she pretended to be a boy in order to get an education, before starting her own women’s news agency. Now living in Britain, her fight continuesJust over a month ago, Zahra Joya left her house in Kabul to walk to her office, as she had been doing every day. From this small office, Joya, a journalist, ran Rukhshana Media, the news agency she founded last year to report on the stories of women and girls across Afghanistan. By the time she returned home in the afternoon, h...
Tags: Media, Women, Life and style, Society, World news, Newspapers & magazines, Afghanistan, Britain, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Global development, Kabul, Joya, Zahra Joya, Rukhshana Media


#DoNotTouchMyClothes: Afghan women’s social media protest against Taliban

Women around the world are sharing pictures of themselves in traditional colourful clothes in a campaign against the new strict dress code for female studentsAfter street demonstrations across major cities in Afghanistan, women have now taken to social media to protest against the Taliban’s hardline policies towards them.An online campaign has seen Afghan women around the world share photos of themselves wearing traditional colourful clothes, using the hashtag #DoNotTouchMyClothes. Continue read...
Tags: Law, Religion, Women, Life and style, World news, Afghanistan, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Islam, Global development, Sharia law, Inequality, Women's rights and gender equality


‘Every man was drinking’: how much do bans on alcohol help women in India?

Women’s protests led to prohibition in Bihar but can alcohol bans end domestic abuse and harassment?Holding sticks and brooms, the women marched to the liquor shop in the centre of Konar village. It was a rare ambush in the staunchly patriarchal Bihar state in eastern India. But they were at breaking point.“In every village women were troubled by alcohol. Men harassed them on the streets. Husbands beat them at home,” says Sunita Devi, 52, a former seamstress who led the crowd. “When they saw us ...
Tags: Health, Family, Law, Alcohol, India, Women, Life and style, Society, World news, Domestic Violence, South and Central Asia, Global development, Alcoholism, Sexual Harassment, Bihar, Sunita Devi


The Taliban are not the only threat to Afghanistan. Aid cuts could undo 20 years of progress

The most vulnerable people will bear the cost of sanctions, as services and the economy collapseWatching Afghanistan’s unfolding trauma, I’ve thought a lot about Mumtaz Ahmed, a young teacher I met a few years ago. Her family fled Kabul during Taliban rule in the late 1990s.Raised as a refugee in Pakistan, Ahmed had defied the odds and made it to university. Now, she was back in Afghanistan teaching maths in a rural girls’ school. “I came back because I believe in education and I love my country...
Tags: Health, Business, Politics, Human Rights, Education, Children, Law, Women, Economics, Life and style, Society, UK News, World news, Teaching, Afghanistan, Taliban


‘Tomorrow they will kill me’: Afghan female police officers live in fear of Taliban reprisals

With at least four women, including a pregnant mother, targeted and killed by Taliban fighters, female ex-officers feel abandoned by the worldNegar Masumi, a female police officer with 15 years of experience, was determined not to flee when the Taliban took control of her home province of Ghor in central Afghanistan.On Saturday night, gunmen, who called themselves Taliban mujahideen, stormed Negar’s home. They took her husband and four of her sons into another room and tied them up. Then they be...
Tags: Women, Life and style, World news, US foreign policy, US news, Afghanistan, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Nato, Global development, Internally displaced people, Ghor, Women's rights and gender equality, Masumi


Kareena Kapoor Khan on breaking pregnancy taboos: ‘No one wants to talk about belching and swollen feet!’

One of Bollywood’s most bankable actors has written a revolutionary pregnancy book that lifts the lid on libido, caesareans and more. She discusses power, pay and the reality behind the glamourDays after giving birth to her first child – an emergency caesarean after the cord had wrapped itself around the baby’s neck – Kareena Kapoor Khan stood undressed and alone in front of a mirror in her bedroom. “There I was: scarred, chubby, puffy, tired,” she recalls of that moment in 2016. “I saw the baby...
Tags: Family, Film, India, Pregnancy, Life and style, World news, Culture, South and Central Asia, Health & wellbeing, Parents and parenting, Bollywood, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kapoor Khan


‘They came for my daughter’: Afghan single mothers face losing children under Taliban

Life for single mothers in Afghanistan has always been marred by stigma and poverty. Now with the Taliban in control, what few protections they had have disappearedThe day after Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital of Balkh province, fell to the Taliban on 14 August, gunmen came for Raihana’s* six-year-old daughter.Widowed when her husband was murdered by Taliban forces in 2020, Raihana had been raising her child as a single mother. After her husband’s death she had fought her in-laws for cust...
Tags: Children, Women, Life and style, Society, World news, Divorce, Afghanistan, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Global development, Internally displaced people, Sharif, Mazar, Balkh, Raihana


Fashion brands sign new deal on Bangladesh garment workers’ safety

Campaigners and union leaders praise accord, which replaces one agreed after 2013 Rana Plaza fireCampaigners have hailed a new agreement designed to protect garment workers in Bangladesh, signed by the likes of H&M and Inditex, which owns Zara and Bershka.The accord replaces another agreement signed by more than 200 international fashion companies after the Rana Plaza factory fire in 2013, in which more than 1,100 people died. For the first time, these companies faced legal action if their healt...
Tags: Fashion, Life and style, World news, South and Central Asia, Fashion industry, Global development, Bangladesh, Garment Workers, Zara, Rana Plaza, Inditex


‘My crime is I fell in love’: should India rethink tough laws on underage sex?

Laws intended to tackle child abuse are resulting in young men in consensual relationships being imprisoned. Activists argue a more nuanced approach is neededMani*, 21, began dating Noor*, 17, two years ago. They couldn’t see each other during the Covid lockdowns, but when restrictions began to ease, they would meet on the deserted banks of a canal in a small town in Tamil Nadu. The couple hoped to marry one day, but then Noor fell pregnant, and life turned into a nightmare.Two months ago, Mani ...
Tags: Sex, India, World news, South and Central Asia, Sexuality, Global development, Young People, Teenage pregnancy, Tamil Nadu, Noor, Mani


‘We lost everything’: Afghan wheelchair basketball team captain speaks out

Nilofar Bayat begins rebuilding her life in Spain after days of fear for her life under Taliban ruleWhen the Taliban entered Kabul, Nilofar Bayat, the captain of Afghanistan’s female national wheelchair basketball team, knew she had to get out.“There were so many videos of me playing basketball. I had been active in calling for women’s rights and the rights of women with disabilities,” she said. “If the Taliban found out all of this about me, I knew they would kill me.” Continue reading...
Tags: Europe, Women, Spain, Sport, Life and style, World news, Afghanistan, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Basketball, Nilofar Bayat, Disability and sport, Kabul Nilofar Bayat


‘Sometimes I have to pick up a gun’: the female Afghan governor resisting the Taliban

Salima Mazari, one of only three female district governors in Afghanistan, tells of her motivation to fight the militantsIt is early morning in Charkint, in the northern Balkh province of Afghanistan, but a meeting with the governor is already well under way to urgently assess the safety of the 30,000 people she represents. Salima Mazari has been in the job for just over three years, and for her, fighting the Taliban is nothing new, but since July she has been meeting with the commanders of her ...
Tags: Gender, Women, Life and style, World news, Afghanistan, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Refugees, Global development, Women in politics, Migration And Development, Balkh, Charkint, Salima Mazari, Afghanistan Mazari


Workers return to Bangladesh’s garment factories despite record Covid deaths

Hundreds of thousands flock to cities as government allows manufacturers to reopen, with exporters citing fears Western brands would divert ordersCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers have returned to major cities, besieging train and bus stations after the government said export factories could reopen despite the deadly coronavirus wave.Authorities had ordered factories, offices, transport and shops to close from 23 July...
Tags: Fashion, World news, South and Central Asia, Global development, Bangladesh, Garment Workers, Coronavirus


Top fashion brands face legal challenge over garment workers’ rights in Asia

Pan-Asian labour rights group launches groundbreaking attempt to hold global labels accountable for alleged rights violations during pandemicLegal complaints are being filed against some of the world’s largest fashion brands in major garment-producing countries across Asia in a groundbreaking attempt to hold the global fashion industry legally accountable for human rights violations in the countries where their clothing is made.The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA), a pan-Asian labour rights group...
Tags: Asia, Fashion, Human Rights, H&m, Unions, Indonesia, India, World news, Asia Pacific, South and Central Asia, Pakistan, Global development, Garment Workers, Sri Lanka, DKNY, Asia Floor Wage Alliance AFWA


Dilip Kumar was a Bollywood great who epitomised India’s emotional struggles

The actor, who has died at 98, gave expression to the intense cultural complexities raised as independence met modernity – with respect, depth and subtletyRarely do Narendra Modi and Imran Khan agree, but the death of Indian film great Dilip Kumar united the prime ministers of India and Pakistan in grief as each expressed their admiration and affection for the actor who has died aged 98.Born Muhammed Yusuf Khan in 1922, in Peshawar, close to the border with Afghanistan in what was then British I...
Tags: Celebrity, Film, India, Narendra Modi, Life and style, World news, Afghanistan, Culture, South and Central Asia, Pakistan, Imran Khan, Bollywood, Peshawar, Bombay, Dilip Kumar, Muhammed Yusuf Khan


‘Wage theft’ in Primark, Nike and H&M supply chain – report

No laws were broken but brands failed to ensure workers were paid properly during the pandemic, says Clean Clothes CampaignCampaigners claim to have found evidence of “wage theft” in the supply chains of Primark, Nike and H&M in a report that outlines the devastating consequences of the pandemic on garment workers in Indonesia, Cambodia and Bangladesh.Research by the Clean Clothes Campaign found that, while none of the brands had broken any laws, they had failed to ensure that their workers were...
Tags: Business, Fashion, Human Rights, H&m, Indonesia, Nike, Life and style, World news, Retail industry, Poverty, Asia Pacific, South and Central Asia, Fashion industry, Global development, Cambodia, Bangladesh


Revert to type: how Goa’s last typewriter repair shop defied the digital age

Luis Abreu once thrived on servicing India’s many typewriters but computers are eclipsing his tradeIn Goa’s capital, Panaji, on Rua São Tomé, not far from the main post office, is a shop that offers packaging services. For a small fee, they will wrap your parcel in a sheet of muslin sewn with precise stitches to protect its contents from being damaged in the post.It started as a sideline to the main business of the store, but now it is the main earner for Luis Francisco Miguel de Abreu as he str...
Tags: Business, Technology, India, Life and style, World news, Retail industry, South and Central Asia, Global development, Hobbies, Goa, Panaji, Luis Abreu, Rua São Tomé, Luis Francisco Miguel de Abreu


‘Pray for Myanmar’: Miss Universe pageant gets political

Thuzar Wint Lwin, in dress of besieged Chin minority, highlights brutal repression since coup in Myanmar In the months leading up to the Miss Universe pageant, most contestants were busy making promotional films and rehearsing for their moment in the limelight. Thuzar Wint Lwin of Myanmar was on the streets of Yangon, protesting against the country’s brutal army.As the military used increasingly deadly force to crush rallies opposing its February coup, she visited the relatives of those who had ...
Tags: Fashion, Human Rights, Singapore, Women, Americas, Life and style, World news, Asia Pacific, South and Central Asia, Beauty, LGBT rights, Global development, Myanmar, Uruguay, Yangon, Chin


‘Hosnia had dreams’: grief in Kabul as girls’ school targeted

Hazara community in mourning but defiant after more than 60 people killed in school bomb blastsLatifa and Hosnia had been sharing a wooden bench in their classroom at Kabul’s Sayed Al-Shuhada school for the past three years.When Latifa transferred to Sayed Al-Shuhada, the two girls were immediately drawn to each other and became best friends, always together in their free time, studying side by side, walking home together after school. They found comfort in each other’s presence; support in a pl...
Tags: Education, Islamic State, Religion, Women, Life and style, World news, Afghanistan, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Global development, Kabul, Latifa, Women's rights and gender equality, Hosnia, Sayed Al Shuhada


Rape victims in south Asia still face vaginal tests, report finds

Unscientific ‘morality’ examination linked to low conviction rates and violates women’s rights, says Equality NowPhysical vaginal tests are still used to determine whether women and girls have been raped in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, according to a new report.The practice remains widespread in all three countries and some courts refer to the test in judgments, despite it having no scientific basis and being banned in India. Continue reading...
Tags: Asia, Human Rights, Law, India, Women, Life and style, Society, World news, South and Central Asia, Nepal, Global development, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India Nepal, Sexual Violence, Rape and sexual assault


UK south-Asian diaspora despairs as India joins Covid red list

With India, Pakistan and Bangladesh travel banned, some UK families are stuck abroad, while others cannot visit frail relatives Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFor the past 17 months, Saurav Dutt has had to watch from afar as relatives were lost to Covid, ancestral homes were damaged by a typhoon, and the mental toll of isolation, grief and illness led elders to question their very existence.He had flights booked for May, but with cases soaring and India on the UK’s t...
Tags: Family, UK, India, Life and style, UK News, World news, South and Central Asia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India Pakistan, Dutt, Coronavirus, Saurav Dutt


Afghan TV station 'can't hire women' over security fears after four killed

Government blamed for not ensuring safety as broadcaster’s female staff told to stay home after attacks by IsisA radio and television broadcaster in eastern Afghanistan that has had four of its female employees murdered since December has said it will not hire any more women until security in the country improves. The broadcaster, Enikass Radio and Television, has also told all female employees to work from home. Islamic State (Isis) has claimed responsibility for killing all four women, but Eni...
Tags: Media, Islamic State, Women, Life and style, World news, Afghanistan, South and Central Asia, Television industry, Global development, Journalist safety, Islamic State ISIS, Women in journalism, Enikass Radio and Television, Enikass


Female workers at H&M supplier in India allege widespread sexual violence

Multiple women at Natchi Apparels have reported abuse weeks after 21-year-old worker was allegedly killed by her supervisorWomen in India making children’s clothes for H&M have spoken out about widespread sexual violence they claim to have faced at one of the company’s suppliers in India.The allegations come just weeks after the body of Jeyasre Kathiravel, a 21-year-old Dalit garment worker, was found in a field close to her family home after she failed to return from her shift at the Natchi App...
Tags: Fashion, H&m, India, Women, World news, Poverty, South and Central Asia, Global development, Garment Workers, Sexual Violence, Tamil Nadu Continue, Jeyasre Kathiravel, Natchi Apparels


Indian fashion designer Satya Paul dies aged 79

Paul revolutionised and revitalised the sari as well as launching one of India’s best-known fashion brandsSatya Paul, the Indian fashion designer who invented the modern sari, has died at the age of 79. His son, Puneet Nanda, said in a Facebook post that the designer had suffered a stroke in early December from which he had not recovered. Continue reading...
Tags: Facebook, Fashion, India, Life and style, World news, South and Central Asia, PAUL, Satya Paul, Puneet Nanda


New-sprung: the project turning PPE offcuts into Covid patient mattresses

Cheap, hygienic and sustainable, the mattresses made by Indian fashion designer Lakshmi Menon also generate income for rural womenCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAt the height of the pandemic in the Indian state of Kerala, fashion designer Lakshmi Menon, 46, heard that every new Covid care centre had to have 50 beds. Mattresses were in short supply. Every time a patient was discharged, the mattress had to be incinerated. “I thought: that’s a lot of mattresses and a lo...
Tags: Fashion, India, Environment, Life and style, World news, South and Central Asia, Global development, Recycling, Sustainable Development, Waste, Kerala, Menon Menon, Coronavirus, Lakshmi Menon


'The brides feel like Cinderella': the free wedding shop helping India's poor

Fashion designer’s scheme provides secondhand shoes, clothes and jewellery free to women who can’t pay for their big dayA section of a boutique in Pappinisseri town in Kerala’s Kannur district brims over with colourful bridal lehengas, saris, gowns and shiny salwar suits.An exuberance of fabrics adorns mannequins that stand next to tables spread with sparkly sandals, shoes, bangles and beaded bags. Tableware, bedlinen and miscellaneous items are scattered in other spaces. Continue reading...
Tags: Fashion, India, World news, South and Central Asia, Global development, Wedding Dresses, Weddings, Cinderella, Kerala, Kannur, Pappinisseri


Hungry and afraid: life for factory workers meeting UK demand for cheap clothes

Pakistani workers describe trying to survive on the less than £50 a month many of them earn making items for firms such as BoohooWhen Qasim Ahmed* arrived in Faisalabad a year ago, he didn’t want much – just enough money to pay for a roof over his head, buy food and send a little home each month.Today, that seems like a fantasy. Instead of having enough to get by, he claims, he has found himself struggling to survive, frequently going hungry, feeling abused by his boss and fearing he is working ...
Tags: Business, UK, Life and style, Retail industry, South and Central Asia, Pakistan, Global development, Boohoo, Faisalabad, BoohooWhen Qasim Ahmed


Boohoo selling clothes made by Pakistani workers 'who earned 29p an hour'

Guardian investigation finds claims of safety issues, with workers saying they sometimes work 24-hour shiftsThe fast fashion brand Boohoo is selling clothes made by Pakistani factory workers who say they face appalling conditions and earn as little as 29p an hour, an investigation by the Guardian has found.In interviews in the industrial city of Faisalabad, workers at two factories claimed they were paid 10,000PKR (£47) a month, well below the legal monthly minimum wage for unskilled labour of 1...
Tags: Business, Life and style, World news, Retail industry, South and Central Asia, Pakistan, Global development, Guardian, Boohoo, Faisalabad


'It's not a grave we must fit in': the Kashmir women fighting for marital rights

Women are slowly gaining rights and finding the strength to shake off the social taboos around ending a bad relationshipParveena Jabeen was all set to get married, but in Kashmir weddings are extravagant affairs.Traditionally, brides in the valley of Kashmir would take a trousseau with them to the groom’s house, including clothes, jewellery, makeup, gifts for the in-laws and even furniture. Continue reading...
Tags: Marriage, India, Life and style, World news, South and Central Asia, Global development, Kashmir, Women's rights and gender equality, Jabeen


All change: India's railways bring back tea in clay cups in bid to banish plastics

Stations switch to humble earthen kulhads in move to cut down on toxic waste and boost incomes of village pottersA small and humble relic from India’s past is about to stage a major comeback. At all 7,000 railway stations in the country, tea will be served in earthen cups known as kulhads.The kulhads, redolent of a bygone pastoral era, are unpainted, unglazed and have no handles, but are perfectly biodegradable and environment-friendly, which is why the country’s railways minister, Piyush Goyal,...
Tags: India, Environment, Life and style, World news, South and Central Asia, Global development, Rail transport, Waste, Diwali, Piyush Goyal


World’s garment workers face ruin as fashion brands refuse to pay $16bn

Analysis of trade figures reveals huge power imbalance as suppliers and workers in poorest parts of the world bear cost of Covid downturnCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePowerful US and European fashion companies have refused to pay overseas suppliers for more than $16bn (£12.3bn) of goods since the outbreak of Covid-19, with devastating implications for garment workers across the world, according to analysis of newly released import data.Two US-based groups, the Cente...
Tags: Fashion, US, World news, Retail industry, Asia Pacific, South and Central Asia, Fashion industry, Global development, Garment Workers, Coronavirus outbreak, Center for Global Workers ' Rights CGWR, Worker Rights Consortium WRC



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