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Four on Friday: The Injustice to Women Edition

27 May

OK, now I’m really mad. The universe is conspiring to give women around the world a really bad deal. (Though it did find fugitive from justice Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general infamous for orchestrating the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica in which some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered, among other war crimes. But other than this late-week bit of good news, it’s been pretty depressing.)

1. A Lancet study came out this Tuesday on the selective abortion of girls in India. The preliminary census numbers released by the government in April already showed that the number of girls aged 0-6 had declined overall from 927 girls to 1000 boys in 2001, to 914 girls in 2011—the lowest it has been since India won its independence in 1947. The Lancet study found:

The conditional sex ratio for second-order births when the firstborn was a girl fell from 906 per 1000 boys…in 1990 to 836…in 2005; an annual decline of 0·52%… Declines were much greater in mothers with 10 or more years of education than in mothers with no education, and in wealthier households compared with poorer households.

It added:

After adjusting for excess mortality rates in girls, our estimates of number of selective abortions of girls rose from 0—2·0 million in the 1980s, to 1·2—4·1 million in the 1990s, and to 3·1—6·0 million in the 2000s… Selective abortions of girls totalled about 4·2—12·1 million from 1980—2010, with a greater rate of increase in the 1990s than in the 2000s.

Despite making it illegal for Indian parents to learn the sex of the foetus through the 1994 Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act(PDF), followed by a Supreme Court directive to the worst offending states to enforce the Act, there is little to no punishment for breaking the law, and female foeticide is a common occurrence. The practice is worse in educated and affluent families, and even the states that didn’t display a trend of sex-selective abortion are now starting to kill their unborn daughters. Plus, this phenomenon knows no borders: not only are Indians skewing the sex ratio in India, they are also carrying this abhorrent practice with them when they emigrate to other countries. Continue reading

Four on Friday

13 May Saravana Bhavan at 26th and Lex

THIS is a new format of blog post that I am trying out—to post four links, or highlight four interesting news items, or show you four photographs I really like, and so on—for Friday afternoons, when the yawns come frequently, the sun is shining outside so why are you stuck inside, and the brain cells are mushy. They might be a random collection or might share a common thread—I haven’t decided yet. Continue reading

Watch This Movie!

11 May A still from Nero's Guests

NERO’S GUESTS: The Age of Inequality is being shown at CUNY tomorrow at 7 p.m. Continue reading

So Can We Leave Afghanistan Now?

2 May United States Marines raise the USMC flag at Ground Zero as a crowd celebrates the death of Osama bin Laden.

I HAD another post planned for today, but this news is too big to ignore. Since there are others with way more knowledge and experience on this subject (I’m referring to the shooting in the head till dead of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Special Forces last night), I’ll just get out of the way and let them talk.

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How The Pakistani Legal System Subverted Justice

28 Apr Protests against the Pakistani Supreme Court Ruling on the Mukhtar Mai Case

IN a previous blog post, I provided an account of the gang rape of Mukhtar Mai by four Mastoi clan members in Meerwala village in Pakistan. Here is a brief explanation of how her case was treated in the courts.

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