We're sorry to announce that due to ill-health November's issue is suspended. At the moment it is next to impossible to use the computer. There may also be no issue in December, or a very limited one, but we hope to return at full strength in the new year. Apologies too for the lack of main features in September and October - delayed for the same reasons. Please stick with us, we will be back.
A word on navigation. There's a lot here, and a lot to post each month. To help you, the archive is at the top right of the page, just under this editorial. You'll see posts listed by month and topic. If you want to skip straight to Sport, or Arts, you can do so using these links. Otherwise you'll have to scroll down through more than one page to read everything each month. Please note that any queries about content or other matters should be directed to the original publications of linked articles as WHTW? can't be responsible for fact-checking and vetting sources of all of them.
This month's issue
While you are waiting, October's issue is full of fascinating articles. We are asking is child labour wrong? Girls in Bolivia's new child union don't think so (see Women/Work) and are demanding respect from society for their labour (and give us your view in our poll at the foot of the page). In Politics, Denmark has a new woman prime minister and you can read a statement on increasing women's political participation from UN women leaders, and research on peace and gender. In Family and society, there's a list of the best and worst countries for women and an article on the pros and cons of pirate husbands in Somalia. In Arts there's a comment on the furore over pop-star Rihanna's in-your-face raunch. And in Science and technology we celebrate Thai and Kenyan women's scientific achievements. In Health, there's a warning about injectable contraceptives and HIV infection, and a rise in breast cancer in UK Asian women. In Law, a US lawyer is protesting at the treatment of jailed women in childbirth. In the Mind, body and spirit post you can engage in debate over the Pill - or the lack of it - and its transformative effects on society. And, for a giggle, look at the men in pin-up poses in the And another thing section of this blog.
Our special feature this month will be a collection of links on Women in the Arab Spring. Look out for it coming soon!
We hope you will find this blog a useful resource and a provocative and productive place for debate. We look forward to your comments and feedback.
Anna Purna

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Women/Family and society

A new draft law in Rajasthan, partly the result of concerted efforts by women's groups to end abuses, bans witch-hunting. But will it ever be passed or implemented? Voting bank politics and police complacency in the Indian state have so far ensured that violence against women, often widows or outspoken single women, continues, with the underlying aim of driving them out of the area and grabbing their land and property:

Lack of brides
Abortion of female foetuses in China and India has led to a generation of missing girls and a lack of brides for men to marry.  Now Chinese men are looking to Korea and Vietnam for wives, with the consequential risks of trafficking, violence, exploitation and the funding of an industry of pimps and brokers. In Tamil Nadu, southern India, cribs are placed in special centres to encourage women to leave unwanted girls instead of killing them. But does the lack of women lead to greater respect? It appears not: http://www.newint.org/blog/2011/09/05/mari-marcel-thekaekara-china-gender/ .

Moral policing
Women and couples are being beaten and harassed on 'moral' grounds for associating together. Women in Kerala travelling with or visiting a male friend are grabbed, questioned, and sometimes arrested for alleged moral offences as zealots clamp down on unauthorised relationships:  http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/devil-s-own-country-for-women .

Army misogyny
A deeply misogynistic culture in the Australian Defence Force has been revealed by a series of scandals over the filming of a sex acts without knowledge of woman involved and other invasions of privacy. When investigated, more women came forward with with claims of rape and other abuses: http://feministing.com/2011/08/26/yet-another-sexual-violence-scandal-at-the-australian-defence-force-academy/ . 

Violence unchecked
Guatemalan women experience some of the highest levels of violence in the world and few perpetrators are ever convicted: http://www.newint.org/blog/majority/2011/08/22/guatemala-femicide-murder-womens-rights/ . 

Honour killings
'Honour' crimes account for a third of all violent deaths in Jordan and  claim at least 25 lives a year. http://www.newint.org/columns/makingwaves/2005/04/01/rana-husseini/ is an interview with a Jordanian journalist who campaigns against honour killing of women in her country.

Later marriage
Asian women are now marrying much later or not at all, in large part because of women's changing attitudes to the burdens they have to bear in marriage. Statistical report on attitudes to marriage, numbers of children, divorce rates and age at marriage across South Asia, South East Asia, China and Japan.

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