Solidaritas #59

A female PM for Samoa!

Good morning!

It’s me, Kate, with your fortnightly round-up of news on women’s rights, gender, and feminism in Asia and the Pacific. I hope you are well.

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- Kate

Carceral feminism and coercive control: when Indigenous women aren't seen as ideal victims, witnesses or women.

Meet Dr Michelle Telfer, the doctor determined to help trans kids and who has become a target for attacks as a result of her work.

Affirmative consent is now law in New South Wales, thanks to advocates like Saxon Mullins.

First Nations women and non-binary authors and poets are gaining growing recognition in Australia.

It’s been eight years since the Rana Plaza factory collapse, but the agreement that bound factories to improve working conditions was set to expire on Monday. It has now been extended for three months so that all parties can continue discussions and hopefully develop a new agreement.

What’s it really like to try to access reproductive and sexual health services in Bangaldesh as an unmarried or childless woman?

Authorities and activists are alarmed at what appears to be an increased in child rape and subsequent pregnancy in Bhutan.

China suddenly announced a major shift in its population policy: it will now allow couples to have three children.

Despite these sorts of pushes for increasing China’s birth rate, single mothers still experience both social and legal discrimination, and are even unable to access government welfare.

Cook Islands
Men are still legally permitted to rape their wives in the Cook Islands.

Hong Kong
HK’s LBT women working in the financial sector open up about the discrimination and harassment they experience. Some have even been told they look “too butch” to meet clients.

Why is COVID-19 killing so many pregnant women? Related: Women are the unrecognised heroes in India’s fight against the pandemic, argues Akanksha Khullar.

A shocking gang rape was recorded and went viral in India. The rapists are believed to be involved in human trafficking of prostitutes from Bangladesh.

How are former sex workers coping during COVID-19?

The forgotten rights of Indigenous Papuan women.

Experts have convened to consider changing the Japanese royal family’s male-only succession laws due to a shortage of male heirs.

Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam used TikTok to tell the world about a teacher’s sick joke, sparking an outcry over the violence faced by schoolgirls.

Under Malaysian law, a Malaysian mother with a foreign spouse cannot automatically pass on her citizenship to her children born outside Malaysia. A Malaysian man, however, can confer his citizenship automatically even if the child is born abroad to a foreign spouse. Several Malaysian mothers are now challenging the discriminatory policy to court.

New Zealand
NZ Rugby has decided that transgender players can play in the league. They’re just not sure who they should play against.

Author and activist Tanzila Khan is fighting for disabled women’s access to reproductive and sexual health services in Pakistan.

Hazara women in Quetta are finding fun and healing in playing football.

Papua New Guinea
Despite the achievements of many exceptional PNG women, women still face multiple roadblocks, with a predominantly traditional Melanesian society providing limited opportunities for leadership.

Related: PNG is one of three countries without a single woman in parliament. This DevPolicy article looks at the past efforts and the challenges that lie ahead.

The Philippines
A look at how the US has historically relied on Filipina nurses as frontline health workers during health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of HIV/AIDS.

The Philippines have resumed sending migrant workers to Saudi Arabia.

Gender quotas in politics are still controversial, but more and more evidence show that they work, including in our regional neighbours like Timor-Leste and PNG.

Samoa will finally get its first female prime minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, after the Supreme Court validated her shock election win.

Women in Singapore report being less satisfied with their marriage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Islamic studies graduates are allegedly behind an online poll sexualising local female Islamic religious teachers.

South Korea
Is South Korea’s military ready to accept women? Short answer: probably not.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a problem with women in power.

The family of a Sri Lankan woman who died in Japan after being detained for overstaying her student visa have visited Nagoya to confront officials.

A secret snapshot launched a young female butcher into unlikely stardom, but she’s not enjoying it.

Women activists discuss the movement for digital rights in Thailand.

The trial of a former Catholic priest who allegedly sexually abused 14 young girls has begun. It is the first time such allegations against clergy have been made public:

The alleged sexual abuse was a secret until in February 2018, when a complaint was sent to Daschbach’s superiors. Immediately the Society of the Divine Word and the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith launched an investigation. According to the report prepared by the society, which has been seen by the Guardian, during a phone conference on 5 March 2018, Daschbach admitted the sexual abuse to his superiors, saying: “This is 100% true.”

A great look from DevPolicy at how women business owners are faring in post-COVID-19 Vanuatu.