As the heat rises, women farmers in South Asia face the harshest conditions
Happy Friday afternoon!
Apologies for the lack of newsletter last fortnight - I was on my first holiday in three years (!!), traveling around the Northern Territory of Australia with my dad. Today’s header image is from Darwin - it’s a mural that commemorates the 1966 Wave Hill/Gurindji walk-off and the 1975 handing back of some of the traditional Gurindji land.
As always, please subscribe if you enjoy Solidaritas. There’s a monthly option of US$5/month or an annual one, which is heaps cheaper at just US$40/year.
Have a great weekend, and for those of you in Australia, don’t forget to attend your local abortion rights rally tomorrow:
Canberra: Garema Place at 12pm on Saturday July 2
Melbourne: State Library Victoria at 12pm on Saturday July 2
Sydney: Sydney Town Hall at 1pm on Saturday July 2
Adelaide: Beehive Corner, Rundle Mall at 5pm on Friday July 1
Brisbane: King George Square at 5.30pm on Friday July 1
Perth: Murray St and Forrest Place at 1pm on Saturday July 2
Hobart: Salamanca market at 11am on Saturday July 2
Wollongong: Crown Street Mall Amphitheatre at 12pm on Saturday July 2
More coverage of the bleak situation facing Afghan women: “We exist, but it is not a life.”
But: women’s activism is still taking place, and they need as much support as they can get.
More than eight million Australians will have access to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave by the end of the year under new legislation.
Australia will be the first country to use a new self-test for cervical cancer as part of a national program to improve screening rates.
Access to affordable abortions and contraception is still a postcode lottery across Australia, with access and cost differing significantly depending on where you live.
In late June, Je Khenpo, the senior Buddhist authority in Bhutan, began ordaining a group of 144 women as bhikshunis, or female monks. All other lineages of Buddhism have had women fully ordain as monks, but this is the first time Tibetan Buddhist women have been given that opportunity:
The ceremony is the culmination of a decades-long movement for full ordination for women in the Tibetan lineage, which has faced heavy resistance from top-level monks, scholars and political leaders across Asia. The bhikshuni movement has picked up steam in recent years as women worldwide have sought to restore a practice of ordaining women established, they say, by the Buddha himself, but which slowly disappeared from much of the Buddhist world until now.
Hajah Romaizah has been appointed as Brunei’s new minister of education, becoming the first female minister ever in the Brunei government.
In Cambodia, the gender imbalance on time spent on unpaid care and household work is one of the worst in the world. Cambodian men perform only one-tenth of their families’ caring and household services per day - approximately just 18 minutes compared to women’s 188 minutes.
A new documentary tells the story of the Lotus Sports Club and Pa Vann Sovann, its much-respected transgender coach, exploring why football is a vital lifeline for queer teens in Cambodia.
Five men in Tangshan, Hebei province, brutally assaulted a group of women in a restaurant after one woman turned down unwanted attention. The deputy police chief of the region has been sacked, after police took almost half an hour to arrive on the scene.
BJP have named former Jharkhand governor Draupadi Murmu as the ruling National Democratic Alliance's presidential candidate. If elected, the 64-year-old leader from Odisha will be the first tribal and the second woman to become the President of India.
Why birth control remains a women’s burden in India.
Activist Teesta Setalvad and two former police-turned-whistleblowers are being investigated by the police for criminal conspiracy and forgery for their activities while pursuing accountability for the 2002 mob violence targeting Muslims in Gujarat. Setalvad is well known for seeking the prosecution of senior officials, including then-Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who was elected prime minister in 2014.
Japan's upper house election next month poses a major gender equality test, with a record number of female candidates running. Women account for 181, or 33%, of the 545 contenders registered for the July 10 poll.
Arfiya Eri is the youngest candidate in the upcoming election. She’s just 33, and stands out not just for her age but for her heritage: in one of the world’s most ethnically homogenous countries, Eri is of Uyghur heritage on her father’s side and Uzbek heritage on her mother’s. She was born in Japan, gained Japanese nationality as a child, and speaks seven languages.
The Malaysian Court of Appeal has reinstated a Mongolian woman’s civil suit seeking declarations that she was unlawfully detained and sexually assaulted by a former police inspector.
Malaysian women have long migrated overseas to study and work, but now, more and more are not returning.
Nepal is planning to lower the marriage age, despite the fact that it was raised so that girls could finish education and make their own choices.
New Zealanders broadly support abortion rights: 77% of the population supports a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy in some or any circumstances. In 2020, the country formally decriminalised abortion, allowing terminations at up to 20 weeks. But local activists are concerned that with high-profile anti-abortion politicians in parliament, the overturn of Roe v Wade could galvanise similar movements in NZ.
An Australian woman has been killed by her father-in-law after she traveled to Pakistan in order to bring her kids to Australia.
Papua New Guinea
PNG will hold elections this month, and independent Southern Highlands Province candidate Ruth Undi Siwinu is encouraging voters to elect a woman:
“Let’s make history and vote a woman candidate into Parliament.
“I have travelled the length and breadth of this province. I have been to all the five districts in the province and I saw that my people are still struggling to live? Why are my people struggling when Southern Highlands is blessed with all resources…
“There is a mistake somewhere and we have to find out. We want a women leader to lead the province, we have given enough time to the men to lead the province but they have failed us big time.”
The PNG women’s football team is aiming to qualify for the 2023 FIFA World Cup, and their chances are looking good.
Maria Ressa’s Rappler has been ordered to shutdown.
More and more farmers in South Asia are women. Why? Because as the crops fail more often, young men are taking contracts to work overseas or in other parts of the region. So how are the women left behind coping with climate change?:
As heat rises, women are more likely to work in agriculture. We find that this is particularly true for women with little education, and previous research suggests impoverished women are most likely to take agricultural work, because of a lack of other opportunities. While men can migrate for work, norms about women’s responsibilities to stay at home and care for children and the elderly leave them with few other opportunities to make a living.
New DNA analysis suggests that the earliest Pacific seafarers were a matrilocal society with communities organised around the female lineage. DNA analysis of 164 individuals from 2,800 to 300 years ago shows men would move to be with their wives.
Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Samoa, gave the keynote address at the inaugural Pacific Islands Forum Women Leaders Meeting on 8 June 2022:
We have an expression in Samoa: “E au le ina’ilau a tama’itai”. Women achieve what they set out to do. …
Excellencies, and sister participants, women are every bit as capable of being good responsible leaders as men. We need to move beyond rhetoric and enhance our effort to promote and educate, and to lift the representation of women in decision-making roles in politics, businesses, and communities. We must do better to strengthen outcomes for women and girls across key national and regional priorities and ensure that Pacific women and girls are not left behind.
A majority of women who had planned to have a child within two years have yet to give birth, a new study shows. Just 30 percent of female respondents who had plans to ‘give birth to a child within two years’ had actually done so.
Taiwan is racing to fix its plummeting fertility rate, but experts say the problem may be embedded in cultural and economic life.