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I spend hours reporting, analysing data and research to write clear, concise and moving journalistic reports.

Beyond Policies, Companies Need To Improve Culture To Help Retain Women In Workplaces

Porvorim, Goa: When Priya joined a US-based research firm in February 2022, she had not anticipated that the job would involve listening to 'wife jokes' after each meeting. "They would complain about their wives and then would point at me and say, 'We should not say anything in front of her because she will get ideas and will not let her husband live,'" Priya told IndiaSpend. Priya had inquired about the gender ratio of the organisation during her interview. She was told that the company was

Why Elderly Women With Disabilities Are At Highest Risk of Abuse, Neglect

Mumbai: Forced to depend on their family for support and care because of social norms and ineffective government policies, elderly women with disabilities are highly vulnerable to neglect and abuse in India, show studies and the material we collected through extensive interviews with researchers, activists and those affected. Why is it important for India to have more robust and supportive policies on the health and wellbeing of the elderly, especially those with disabilities? Increased longevi

Abortion Is Legal In India But Rules, Stigma Make It Hard To Access

Mumbai: At 25, and into the fourth year of an abusive marriage, N*, discovered that she was eight weeks into an unwanted pregnancy. She approached a doctor at a public hospital for an abortion, and also disclosed that she had endured sustained spousal abuse. The doctor insisted on getting her husband’s permission for the abortion. She somehow managed to get her husband to sign an informal application for the procedure, but was then asked to get a no-objection certificate from the police as well

Men dominate climate talks at COP summits

Since the first COP summit in 1995, India has sent four all-male delegations Alok Sharma, President of COP26, gestures as delegates applaud during the closing plenary session at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow. | Photo Credit: Getty Images Since the first COP summit in 1995, India has sent four all-male delegations Only 17% of the Indian delegation at the recently concluded COP26 climate summit were women. This proportion is lower than 169 other countries of the 195 that attended. Si

Tangled In Red Tape, The Disability ID Card Process Is Steeped With Gender Barriers

Mumbai: Khushi, 18, was elated to get admission to her dream Delhi University college to study English literature. Then, the teen, who was diagnosed with a visual impairment at birth, ran into a tough hurdle – the college asked for an up-to-date disability ID card within the next 15 days. Khushi herself had been waiting for two years to get one. The central government introduced a definitive disability ID in 2016 replacing all the old ones – the Unique Disability Identity Card (UDID), which aim

In Bihar, women face floods and increasing violence

After devastating floods struck the northeastern Indian state of Bihar in August 2017, the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas. At the time, nearly 3,000 square kilometres of the state were under water – an area twice the size of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. According to official figures, the disaster killed 815 people and forced nearly 900,000 people from their homes, leaving many with no choice but to live on roads, rail tracks

India’s Laws Fail To Uphold Abortion Rights Of Women With Disabilities

These barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare services rob women with disabilities of crucial choices and decisions about their bodies–decisions such as whether they want to continue with the pregnancy. “No one asks the pregnant woman if she wants to be a mother or not”, said Sengupta. “This is especially true with deaf women and women with intellectual disabilities.” Medical professionals make this alienation worse by ignoring their very presence and talking to their caregive

Women Farmers Are Losing Jobs, Earnings, Savings Even As Agriculture Booms

Mumbai, Ayodhya, Mahoba: "A day's farm work pays about Rs 250 but women earn even less, sometimes around Rs 100. But now that those who work in the cities are back, women's daily earnings are almost down to Rs 50," said Kranti Azad, 27, a farmer from Devlaha village in Ayodhya, 135 km east of Lucknow. Like Azad, millions of women for whom agriculture is the only source of income in rural India are now struggling with diminished savings and lost livelihood opportunities. Though the pandemic le

Rural Women's Collectives Struggle To Survive Even As They Help Manage Covid Fallout

Mumbai: Women's self-help groups across India have been playing a crucial role in managing the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, even as they deal with members' reduced incomes, which have caused unpaid dues to stack up over the past year, women across Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh told us in interviews. Nearly 76 million women in rural India had taken up self-help initiatives that proved instrumental in managing the food insecurity and healthcare challenges posed by the pandemi

Denied Visibility In Official Data, Millions Of Transgender Indians Can't Access Benefits, Services

Mumbai: Last year, as India went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government announced that each transgender person would receive Rs 1,500 as direct transfer and ration supplies. Despite an of 4.8 million, only transgender individuals received the bank transfer and 1,229 received the ration supplies. "When we asked persons from the community to send us their bank account details, to forward to the government, around 80% told us that they have no bank accounts," said Tinesh Chop

8 Poorest States May Spend 30% Of Health Budgets For COVID-19 Vaccines

The central government has passed the financial burden of vaccinating Indians aged 18 to 44 years against COVID-19 to state governments and, through opening up vaccination in private health facilities, to individual households. The cost of vaccination in private facilities, however, is beyond the reach of most Indians. Eight of India’s most socio-economically backward states are among 20 that have announced that they will provide free vaccination for 18- to 44-year-olds. Procurement alone could cost these states as much as 30% of their health budget for 2021-22, even as they face pandemic-induced revenue deficits, we find. The central government, meanwhile, has enough money left to buy vaccines for India's entire adult population, with funds to spare.

As Cases Peaked, 22 States/UTs' COVID Vaccination Rates Fell

The central government’s announcement liberalising India’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy from May 1 comes as India’s daily vaccination rate has been falling for a week. Over the last week, India administered about 2.7 million doses on average per day, down from 3.6 million during the previous week. The new policy shifts the monetary burden of vaccinating under-45s on to state governments, who must now also compete with private buyers for purchase of scarce vaccine doses, whose prices manufacturers are now free to raise.

India May Not Have Enough Doses To Meet Its COVID Vaccination Targets, Data Show

Mumbai and New Delhi: At the current pace of vaccination, India only had enough vaccine stock to last a week from April 8, our analysis of data released by the central government has found. This could deplete faster considering India's average wastage rate of 6.5%. On April 8, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan that India has 24 million vaccine doses in stock and 19 million doses in the pipeline. At the rate of 3.5 million doses per day that India has averaged in April, the doses in stock wo

Large Employers Are Required To Provide Creches, But Most Don't

At 21%, India has one of the lowest participation rates of women in the workforce. Motherhood responsibilities are one of the main reasons why Indian women quit their jobs. The central government amended the Maternity Benefit Act in 2017 to make it easier for women to return to the workforce by mandating, among other things, that companies with more than 50 employees provide creche facilities. Four years on, only two states have notified rules to this effect. Compliance is limited to large companies, and even when facilities are provided, they are often not used.

As Courts Went Virtual, 40% Of Jails Had No Video Conferencing Facilities

Bengaluru and Mumbai: Only 60% of India's jails had video conferencing facilities just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, finds a report released by today. Less than half of all states and UTs had these facilities in 90% of their jails. As in many countries, India's Supreme Court in April 2020 that court proceedings be conducted via to minimise physical appearances and enable social distancing. However, India's justice systems were not fully equipped to deal with the emergency, the (IJR 202

Gig Jobs Give Women Higher Incomes But Little Security

The potential to earn more and choose their working hours are drawing women to online service platforms such as Urban Company and Housejoy. But these pros come with age-old issues of occupational segregation, gender pay gaps and lack of social security benefits. Also, while these platforms have empowered women and boosted their incomes, gig work is largely an urban phenomenon and excludes the majority of women who are not digitally literate.

How Official Data Miss Details On Half Of India's Citizens

Mumbai: Lack of sex-disaggregated data and other gender-related gaps in Indian government's official data sources is making it difficult to track issues such as girls' and women's employment, asset ownership, health, sanitation and education, our analysis shows. This results in limited understanding of gender issues and poorly designed policies and programmes. In the second story in our Data Gaps series, we examine which women-specific data points are not collated or made public, and how this m

14 Years On, No State/UT Has Fully Implemented SC-Mandated Police Reforms

Mumbai & Bengaluru: No Indian state is fully compliant with 14-year-old Supreme Court directives for police reforms, an analysis by the international non-profit Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has found. Of the 28 states, only two--Andhra Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh--were partially compliant with the five binding directives included in the analysis. All the other states have failed to comply, as per CHRI's report. The set of seven directives, aimed at kick-starting reforms, was in

Lockdown Pushed 3 In 4 Dalit, Nomadic Tribe Hamlets Deeper In Debt: Survey

Loss of livelihood and limited access to government relief measures during the COVID-19-induced lockdowns have further pushed India’s marginalised communities into poverty, found a survey representative of 98,000 families across 476 hamlets and mohallas (urban areas) by Praxis India, a Delhi-based non-profit, released on September 2. In four in 10 locations, not a single person from marginalised communities such as the dalits, Muslims, tribals and denotified and nomadic tribes found a job under MGNREGS, the rural jobs programme. The financial crisis had led to increased indebtedness, the survey conducted April to June found, and this may push many into forced and even bonded labour.

75% Of India’s Diabetes Patients Face A Higher COVID-19 Mortality Risk

Mumbai: With one in 11 Indian adults living with diabetes, the country has the largest share (16.6%) of the world’s diabetics after China. In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, studies show that patients with diabetes face an increased risk of a severe form of the disease and resultant death. Reports from national health centres and hospitals in various countries until April 2020 have shown that patients with diabetes have a 50% higher risk of dying than those without. In India, 73% of the COVID-1
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