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Transgender Persons Invisible In India’s Prisons

Transgender persons in India’s prison systems  remain invisible among all the vulnerable groups, with their rights and dignity as citizens denied, according to a new report “Lost Identity: Transgender Persons Inside Prisons” by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and  University of Dundee.Take the case of Ishu, a transwoman, who was incarcerated when she was 19 in  Bengaluru Central Prison on charges of attempted murder and abduction in 2017. Inside the prison, she developed a serious infection after a breast augmentation surgery a few months prior to her arrest. Her situation worsened as the prison officials administered generic painkillers. She


Menstrual Interventions Vary Across Countries; Still A Long Way To Go

As India announced one of the harshest lockdowns in the world, among the many groups that remained invisible in the government policy announcements were menstruating persons. Hygiene essentials for menstruating persons were missed out in the essentials list of items and services announced by the government. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in an affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court in response to a petition seeking that sanitary products be declared an essential commodity, said such a decision could only be taken after due process of assessing the demand and supply gap. Disposable pads were added to

Women farmers in Punjab protesting against the Farm Bills in Patiala. Photo Credit:


How Farm Acts Affect Women In Agriculture

On 27 September 2020,  three Farm Bills became law after receiving presidential assent.The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill 2020 , Farming Produce, Trade, Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020,collectively referred to  as the Farm Bills were earlier passed  in both houses of the Parliament on 20 September  and 22 September  respectively.  Despite repeated requests  from the opposition to send the Bills to a Parliamentary Committee for scrutiny, the bills were passed through a voice vote.The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services

Photo Credit: The Population Council

Concerns of Raising The Age Of Marriage

In February 2020, the Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman announced a new proposal to raise the legal age of marriage from 18 to 21. A task force led by Jaya Jaitley was set up to examine, among other things such as improving maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and improving educational outcomes for women and girls , the feasibility of raising the age of marriage. Age of marriage in India  was was raised from 15 to 18 by amending the Child Marriage Restraint Act, popularly known as the Sharda Act (1929) in 1978.“There are imperatives of lowering MMR as well as

Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, the NPP alliance contestant in national elections in Sri Lanka. Photo credit:

“Women in Sri Lanka Need to Change The Masculine, Toxic Political Space”: Dr. Harini Amarasuriya

Sri Lanka is all set to elect its ninth Parliament on 5 August 2020. According to officials, 7,452 candidates, 70 parties and 313 independent groups are contesting the elections.Sri Lanka has a unique place in history for electing the world’s first female Prime Minister- Sirimavo Bandaranayake. However, only 5.3% Members of Parliament in the last session were women. Women’s representation in the Parliament as well as grassroots institutions has been abysmally low, inspite of better gender indicators in the South Asia region.Only 24 women have been fielded by the main political alliances in these elections.Dr. Harini Amarasuriya is one of


States With Worst Sex Ratios Have Most Female MLAs

States with poor development indicators for women (mainly sex ratio and female literacy) have higher representation of women in their vidhan sabhas (legislative assemblies) according to an analysis of Census and Election Commission data.The top five states of India with the highest percentage of women MLAs (members of legislative assembly) are also states with the worst sex ratios.The female literacy rate in three of these states is lower than the national average of 64.4%. The northern states of Haryana and Punjab, known for their poor female sex ratio, have higher literacy rates than the national average.Political empowerment, an important indicator of gender development, does not necessarily