A (repeated) personal note: as you likely know, Indonesia is currently struggling with the Delta variant of COVID-19. New case numbers are smashing records on a daily basis, and I know so many people in hospital or fighting against the illness at home. We at Jakarta Feminist just launched a new fundraising campaign last night to support vulnerable groups like domestic workers and female labourers. If you’d like to donate, I’d be thrilled! For international donors, the easiest way is to transfer to me via PayPal (paypal.me/katewalton); I’ll be sending donations to Indonesia every two or three days via TransferWise. Thank you so much for even reading this far.
Women have taken up guns in northern and central Afghanistan, marching in the streets in their hundreds and sharing pictures with assault rifles on social media, in a show of defiance as the Taliban make sweeping gains nationwide.
‘I definitely want to stay’: Afghan women grapple with prospect of life under the Taliban again.
How the Strong Grandmothers Group of the Central Desert are bringing up the community’s children.
Sexual harassment training for politicians will run for one hour and be optional. I’m sure it’ll be very effective! 🙄
On the realisation that “all clothes are handmade”: in this case, by Vietnamese-Australian piece-workers at home.
Australia’s first women-only mental health hospital will open in September.
A new film screened at the 74th Cannes International Film Festival highlights widespread sexism and dangers for women in Bangladesh. The film, Rehana Maryam Noor, is based on the story of a woman who comes from a society where sexism and gender-based abuse is the norm. The movie also breaks ground for the Bangladeshi film industry, as the country's first official entry to Cannes.
On being transgender during the pandemic in Bhutan and facing constant questioning about ID cards.
Meet Sinet An, Cambodia’s best wheelchair basketball player.
Cleaning up Cambodia’s kitchens could curb deforestation and climate change, plus improve women and children’s health:
Sim Saran spent years navigating the badly ventilated traditional kitchen of her small family home in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province. Choking on acrid smoke daily, she found it hard to breathe as she cooked for her family of six over a wood fire, just as past generations had done. “I know it’s smoky, but I had no choice,” the 20-year-old said.
A prenatal test taken by millions of pregnant women globally was developed by Chinese gene company BGI Group in collaboration with the Chinese military and is being used by the firm to collect genetic data, a Reuters review of publicly available documents has found.
Two of China’s biggest fims this year, “Hi, Mom” and “Sister,” are part of a wave of movies made by female directors that are challenging the notion of what it takes to conquer China’s vaunted film market. And while each film is distinct, together they stand out for what they represent: a rejection of the one-dimensional female roles often seen in commercial Chinese movies.
Jin Xing, the first person in China to openly undergo transition surgery, is a household name, as well-recognised as Oprah Winfrey is in the US. But Jin says she’s no standard-bearer for the L.G.B.T.Q. community:
[Jin Xing] has attracted fierce criticism for her views on womanhood. In a 2013 memoir, Ms. Jin wrote that a “smart woman” should make her partner feel that she was a “little girl who needs him.” On “The Jin Xing Show,” she told the actress Michelle Ye that only after giving birth would she feel complete.
Rarotonga's only anti-domestic violence group, which mainly works with survivors of abuse, have seen an influx of perpetrators coming forward for therapy. The Cook Islands Women's Counselling Centre - Punanga Tauturu is now helping more men than women.
Over 150,000 Moderna vaccines have just arrived in Fiji, which is currently struggling with COVID-19. Pregnant women will be prioritised for access to Moderna.
Photographs of more than 80 Muslim women, including students, activists and journalists, were put up for sale on an app, triggering outrage and calls for action.
India’s “COVID widows” are women who have lost a spouse — often the sole breadwinner of the family — during the pandemic. These widows find themselves saddled with additional financial burdens such as hospital bills while they grieve the loss of their partner. The government and nonprofit groups are now trying to support these women, especially those from low-income backgrounds, but researchers say it's not enough.
India now has more female STEM grads than the UK, the US, and France.
A profile of Finance Minister Sri Mulyani calls her a reformer working for women’s rights.
An alarming rise in female suicides during the pandemic has seen hundreds of Japanese women take their own lives. (video)
2011 Women’s World Cup soccer victors Japan are eyeing a return to glory, with the establishment of the country's first professional league for female players.
27-year-old Kinaua Biribo is Kiribati’s first ever female judo Olympian:
Kinaua Biribo is unlikely to win an Olympic medal. When the elimination rounds of her judo category begin later this month, the 27-year-old will be a firm underdog; she has been knocked out in the first round of both of her international competition appearances to date.
But Kinaua, whom the Guardian is referring to by her first name as is culturally appropriate, has ambitions far grander than any Olympic medal. She wants to inspire the women of her Pacific homeland and combat the scourge of domestic violence.
Mongolia is among several new countries to join the International Cricket Council. Women’s cricket is a priority for Mongolia with girls accounting for 39% of all participants playing school cricket.
Maternal mortality has dramatically increased in Nepal during the pandemic, with up to 90% of pregnant women in some areas missing their antenatal check-ups:
Earlier this month, 21-year-old Lakhu BK decided to have her baby at home in her village in the far west of Nepal. She had feared contracting Covid-19 if she went to a health centre. She lost her life giving birth.
“I thought my daughter-in-law will die from [the] virus but did not think she would die from being unable to give birth,” said her mother-in-law, Pamfi BK, 50.
Using old family photographs, a young woman was been able to trace the history of patriarchy over four generations in her clan, right down to the present socio-political milieu in Nepal.
In NZ, women are still more likely to present and report the news than appear in it.
Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places for journalists. This is especially true for women journalists, who regularly face widespread online abuse, hatred, and physical violence.
Baswaliha, a 55-year-old woman living near the Afghan border, lost her husband and a son in militant attacks. Today, fears of the Taliban's return are rife in the area.
Women form only a very small part of the workforce in Pakistan, with the country ranking second to last for them in leadership roles. Women’s participation in the labour force is actually declining, too, dropping from 23.8% in 2016 to 22.2% in 2020.
Papua New Guinea
On violence against women and children in PNG, following Port Moresby being named one of the least liveable cities in the world:
To our leaders I say this: if the plight of your sisters, wives and mothers is not enough to convince you of the need for change, then do it for our reputation, do it for your precious liveability survey.
Dozens of Filipina women trafficked to Syria have been repatriated.
Under Philippines law, a 12-year-old can consent to sex. Activists are trying to change that.
Surprising news: A significant new study has analyzed the longterm effects of a program measuring the impact of contraceptive access among some the world’s poorest women. It found that, decades later, those women were not richer than mothers who did not have such easy access to family planning. And in some respects, they had worse health.
Childfree by choice: seven Asian women share their stories.
International migration and COVID-19 deaths are depriving Global South nations of their health workers, including many women.
Older women are increasingly becoming influential voices in South Korea, even being targeted to become influencers and brand ambassadors.
The Sri Lankan government, factory owners, and international clothes brands sourcing from Sri Lanka must protect the safety and employment rights of garment workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.