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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

  Subject: [SRIJAN]: Towards Equal Power and Voice


Dear Friends,


Gender equality is central to achieving human development, so that people at large can make choices and have access to capabilities and opportunities to lead fulfilling lives. These should never be taken away or diminished solely on the basis of gender. Human development which rests on the principles of equality and participation is the only route forward that is efficient and sustainable—and extends justice to all and this requires deep, concerted efforts by all of us.

Books and Initiatives


Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific

This year’s human development report focuses on the critical question of advancing gender equality, as seen through the prism of women’s unequal power, voice, and rights. Despite the region’s many economic gains, the Report chronicles how in many instances women across the region continue to be held back and disadvantaged. Even as many women have benefited from their countries’ improved education, health, and prosperity, they continue to face barriers to the same opportunities available to men. The Report makes it clear that achieving gender equality promotes human development— not only for women, but for whole societies, and is central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.


To download this study report please log on to -


Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Toolkit for Humanitarian Settings

This Toolkit is intended to guide humanitarian programme managers and healthcare providers to ensure that sexual and reproductive health interventions put into place both during and after a crisis are responsive to the unique needs of adolescents. It provides user-friendly tools for assessing the impact of a crisis on adolescents, implementing an adolescent-friendly Minimum Initial Service Package, and ensuring that adolescents can participate in the development and implementation of humanitarian programmes. Other tools are specifically designed for healthcare providers to help them be more effective in providing and tracking services for adolescents at the clinic and community levels.

To download this Toolkit please log on to -


Climate change: perspectives from India

Climate change is no more an environmental concern. It has emerged as the biggest developmental challenge for the planet. Its economic impacts, particularly on the poor, make it a major governance issue as well. The debates and discussions building up for the next conference of parties (CoP) in Copenhagen and beyond are an indicator of this. We hope that this collection will ferment a debate that links climate change to overall development and will put a human face to the overall climate change debate. Because that is the way we can link economy to development.

To download this report please log on to -



News on wire


Reality check: UN shows shocking gender disparity

India has the maximum number of women dying in the Asia-Pacific region because of discriminatory treatment in access to health and nutrition and sex-selective abortion, according to a report prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that reveals shocking levels of gender disparity in the country. In 2007, the latest year for which figures were available, 42.7 million women died due to this reason. The report, released on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, pointed out that “Asia has the highest male-female sex ratio at birth in the world, with sex-selective abortion and infanticide leaving approximately 96 million missing women” in seven countries




Meena Radio introduces children to gender discrimination issue

Come next month, school children in Lalitpur and Lucknow districts will get to hear about issues related to girl child through a new programme in radio. Titled Meena Radio, the programme will be aired through All India Radio (AIR) and will sensitize school children about the issues like enrollment of more girls in schools, elimination of social vices like early child marriage and gender discrimination. The project is a joint collaboration of UNICEF and UP Education Department. Initially, it will be launched as a pilot project in the two districts on March 8. There are, however, plans to extend it to other districts based on the feedback from the school children and public.




Rajasthan attacked for encouraging child marriage

Child marriage is illegal throughout India, but the centuries-old tradition remains common in many Indian states, including Rajasthan. The decision by the government of Rajasthan state to register all marriages, including weddings of children, has outraged social activists who believe the state government’s move could encourage the practice of child marriages in the region. Kavita Srivastava, the secretary of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties in Rajasthan, said that although child marriage has long been banned across the country, the new measure might lead to many people believing that child marriage is no longer illegal and could encourage families to push more children into marriages.




Child ‘bride’ saved

A 15-year-old schoolgirl allegedly being held captive by her parents to force her into child marriage was rescued after she tested her class teacher, threatening suicide if her SOS went unanswered. Police found the Class IX student locked up in a room of her north Calcutta home on Saturday, hours after the teacher who received the SMS went to Lalbazar along with a senior to lodge a complaint. The message said she was being held captive by her parents for refusing to marry a boy of their choice. She pleaded with me to rescue her or she would commit suicide,” the teacher told Damayanti Sen, the deputy commissioner of the detective department.



UNICEF supports children in eastern India against early marriage

Girls learn to read in Bubel village in Orissa, India1 March 2010 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is supporting a new anti-child marriage movement in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, where nearly half of all girls become child brides and one-third become teenage mothers even though the legal marriage age is 18. “We need to have a zero-tolerance policy towards child marriage, so that every child, boy and girl, has the opportunity to live their childhood and gain an education.” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF India Representative.




‘Missing girls' increasing in East Asia: UNDP

The problem of “missing girls'' – a scenario where more boys are born than girls, as girl foetuses are presumably aborted, and women die from health and nutrition neglect – is growing in the Asia Pacific. Birth gender disparity is greatest in East Asia, where 119 boys are born for every 100 girls. China and India together account for more than 85 million of the nearly 100 million “missing'' women estimated to have died from discriminatory treatment in health care, nutrition access or pure neglect – or because they were never born in the first place, “Power, Voice and Rights – A Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific,'' a report brought out by the United Nations Development Programme.





HIV/AIDS: Curb mother-to-child transmission

The revelation by the Executive Director of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and Under Secretary General to the UN, Mr. Mitchel Sidibe that 70,000 babies are born every year with HIV in Nigeria gives serious cause for concern. A total of 400,000 babies, according to Sidibe, are born with HIV in Africa, with 70 per cent of them unable to reach their first anniversary. This, by inference, means that 70 per cent of the 70, 000 HIV-infected babies born yearly in Nigeria die before age one. This figure is alarming and unacceptable.  The continent’s profile on children living with HIV/AIDS has been horrendous in the last three years with a dim hope of reversal. While UNICEF has said that of the 420,000 children newly infected in 2007, over 90 per cent are from Africa, another report revealed that around 390,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa were infected with HIV in 2008.




News in Print


Needed: gender equity not just gender equality

I would have given my complete support to the write up "Stay-at-home mom" (Open Page, January 31) if I had not read a fantastic story before, shared by Nancy Folbre, a renowned economist, in her famous book The Invisible Heart – Economics and Family Values, which throws light on a very important and often overlooked perspective. The story is about a running race between three nations, designed by god. This was a contest to see which nation or society, acting as a g, team, and could collectively rung the greatest distance in a set period of time. The first prize declared was "health and prosperity for all" for the winning society.


Source: The Hindu, 14th Feb 2010.


Gender discrimination leads to chronic diseases among women

Gender discrimination in health care programmes pursued by South Asian countries, including India, leads to malnutrition and chronic diseases among women and children, Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has said. • The noted economist suggested that countries should develop a multidimensional approach to address health problems and should "heavily invest" on girls' education and nutrition for quick social uplift.


Source: The Indian express, 16th Feb 2010.


Treat unborn child at par with minor child: Delhi

NEW DELHI: In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court (HC) said that an unborn child can be treated at par with a minor child, in matters of accident compensation claim. The court said this while directing Reliance General Insurance Company to pay compensation of Rs 2.51akh to a man who lost his pregnant wife in a road accident. Justice J R Midha allowed an appeal med by one Prakash, seeking compensation for his unborn child as his plea was ignored by the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT).


Source: Hindustan Times, 10th Feb 2010.


High fertility rate leading to young population in UP

A Study by the International institute of population sciences has found that southern India is graying much faster than rest of the country. UP on the other hand, is projected to remain the youngest state fro three decades. However several diverse factors come in to play here, ranging from different fertility and mortality rates in different states to the success of family planning programme to other social parameters like education, migration and poverty.


Source: Times of India, 3rd March 2010.


India to showcase gender uplift schemes at UN meet

New Delhi: India will pitch itself as a nation working towards gender empowerment through flagship schemes like National Mission for Empowerment of Women and the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahayog Yojana or conditional maternity benefit scheme at a special session of the United Nations General Assembly from March 1-12. The Commission on the Status of Women will undertake a review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. Emphasis is expected to be on sharing of experiences and good practices, with a view to overcoming remaining obstacles and new challenges, including those related to the Millennium Development Goals.


Source: Times of India, 28th Feb 2010



Trainings/Workshops/ Conferences



International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities (22 to 25 June 2010, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada)


Organized by: Ontario International Development Agency and International Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Law - Laurentian University, Canada


Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 30 April 2010


Conference is serving as a forum to foster dialogue among various stakeholders, including senior level policy makers, academics, and practitioners. The conference proposes multidisciplinary strategies for economic, socio- political, cultural


Contact name: Neville Hewage





Conference: 37th Annual International Conference on Global Health, Washington, DC (14 - 18 June 2010)

2010 is a landmark year for many goals within in the global health community – ICPD, Universal Access, among others. This is the landmark conference to mark the progress on global health goals amongst all sectors within the global health community.

Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC

Contact Info: Rebecca Hamel: ; 202-833-5900 x3203





MAMTA-Health Institute for Mother and Child is a non-governmental organization working on various health and development issues with special focus on young people’s reproductive and sexual health and rights among various strata of the population.

The organization provides visibility and voice to young people and in this regard a portal acts as a platform for dissemination of scientific information as well.

SRIJAN (Sexual and Reproductive health Initiative for Joint Action Network) Electronic discussion forum attempts to bring together individuals and organizations to create and share resources, initiate discussion and debate on issues concerning young people’s reproductive and sexual health and rights.

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