AHRC TV: JUST ASIA, Episode 113

This week’s episode of Just Asia covers International Women’s Day, marked annually on March 8, to reflect on women’s struggles to achieve their rights. This year’s theme is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.

Looking at women in Asia, Just Asia begins with Pakistan, where many cultural and religious practices pose a huge threat to women, particularly child and forced marriage, acid attacks, honor killing and denial of education. Just Asia speaks to Bushra Khaliq, Director at the Women in Struggle for Empowerment, for more details.

In Indonesia, women activists marked the day by gathering in front of the presidential palace. Participants called for gender equality in families, before the law, and in politics. To learn more, Just Asia speaks to Ms. Novia Seni Astriani, a women’s right activist from Sudut Kota advocating against discrimination.

Nepal has a woman President, a woman Speaker in Parliament, and a higher female literacy rate than ever before. It even has a five-year national strategy and action plan on eliminating violence and gender empowerment. At the same time, Nepali women still have insufficient access to quality education, basic health facilities, and employment opportunities.

In Burma, the new parliament has an increased number of women parliamentarians, and women ministers are also expected in the new government in April. Burmese society continues to view women as the inferior gender however, and its laws reflect this.

From Sri Lanka, Just Asia reports on the fate of a shunned six-year-old pupil, due to his father’s death wrongly attributed to AIDS. Parents removed their children from the school the boy attended, and villagers erected a sign warning people to avoid the school.

In Thailand, human rights lawyer Miss Sirikan Charoensiri is facing criminal charges that could have her in prison for up to 8 years. The charges relate to her representation of pro-democracy student activists, and pursuing a complaint against the police.

Finally, the Urgent Appeals Weekly features five cases highlighting the extraordinary collapse of rule of law in India, the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

The bulletin can be watched online at AHRC TV YouTube. We welcome both human rights feeds to be considered for weekly news bulletin, and your suggestions to improve our news channel. Please write to news@ahrc.asia. You can also watch our Weekly Roundup on Facebook.