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Indian Women At-Risk with Education Going Online after Lockdown

Women’s rights activist Dr Aparajita Gogoi tells us how the lockdown has impacted women and girls and what can be done to address their issues

Throughout history, whenever there has been a crisis, it has always taken a larger toll on girls, women and children. The COVID pandemic has resulted in women and girls facing the brunt of it. Dr Aparajita Gogoi, Executive Director of the Centre for Catalyzing Change (C3) and the National Coordinator of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood India, has been working for the rights of women and young girls. She explains how this pandemic and the subsequent restrictions have placed women and girls at more risk and what they are doing about it. Excerpts…

Japan’s Central Bank Names Its First Woman Executive Director in 138 Years

55-year-old Tokiko Shimizu, has been appointed as an executive director of Japan’s Central Bank, making her the first woman to fill one of the six executive posts, since the Bank’s inception in October 1882. Shimizu was appointed as part of a sweeping reshuffle at the Bank of Japan, becoming one of a team of six executives responsible for running the central Bank’s daily operations. She joined the Bank of Japan in 1987, taking up roles in the financial markets division and foreign exchange operations, and was general manager for Europe and chief representative in London between 2016 and 2018. Women make up 47% of the Central Bank’s workforce but only 13% of senior managerial posts and just 20% of expert positions dealing with legal affairs, payment systems and banknotes, according to the Bank’s data. Women have been represented on its policy board — the highest decision-making body responsible for setting monetary policy —since it…

Malaysia’s Lockdown Pays Little Attention to Women’s Needs

When the Malaysian government imposed a Movement Control Order in mid-March, requiring almost all workplaces to close and employees to work from home, after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, the last thing it expected was jokes about men shopping. But a specific measure of the Movement Control Order, or MCO, is to allow only one person, the “head of the family,” to go out to buy groceries. Despite there being close to 240,000 single mothers in Malaysia, who are likely in charge of their households, the presumption remains strong that the head of the family is a man. After this announcement, jokes abounded among Malaysians on how untenable it is to make a man go out to buy fish and vegetables because knowledge about these things is the woman’s domain. The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development did not ask how this rule might impact single mothers going…

South Korea’s First Feminist Party Holds Out Hope Of Election Miracle

Two years year after South Korea became the centre of Asia’s #MeTooMovement, the country’s first feminist party is hoping to keep women’s issues on the political agenda by winning seats in Wednesday’s national assembly elections. In a campaign dominated by the government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic, the newly formed Women’s party has warned that South Korea’s poor record on sexual discrimination and violence risked being overlooked. Young women have shaken up the country’s political culture in recent years with high-profile campaigns targeting the country’s molka spy cam voyeurism epidemic, strict beauty standards and the decades-old ban on abortion. Despite its economic power, technological prowess and the soaring global popularity of its pop music and cuisine, South Korea remains a deeply conservative, patriarchal society. It ranked 108th out of 153 on the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index, while women comprise just 17% of MPs in the national assembly – well below the global average of about 25% – according…