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The SC Order is Welcome, But More Needs to Be Done for People with Disabilities

I vividly remember the first time visited a mental hospital in Mumbai. In one room, dozens of people lay on the dirty floor, the stench of urine overpowering the air. The women wore shabby green uniforms, their heads shaved because of the…
Women with perceived or actual psychosocial disabilities at a mental hospital in Mumbai
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Significant Victory Requires Holistic Approach to Implementation

I vividly remember the first time visited a mental hospital in Mumbai. In one room, dozens of people lay on the dirty floor, the stench of urine overpowering the air. The women wore shabby green…
Women lying on the ground in a room.
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Celebrating Change on International Albinism Awareness Day

June 13 is International Albinism Awareness Day, a day to celebrate people with albinism and join their fight to end discrimination. Earlier this year, people with albinism from around the world unanimously voted to form a global alliance on albinism…
Josina wearing her new prescription glasses outside her classroom in Chiuta District in Mozambique’s Tete province. Since getting eyeglasses, Josina has been performing better academically, but now schools are closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The Continued Discrimination Against Albinism in Mozambique is a Violation of Human Rights

This piece was originally published in The Globe and Mail and references photographs embedded in the original piece. To view these photos, please navigate to the original article via the link above. Three years ago, assailants broke into…
Josina with her niece, Luisa, both 8. “She is my best friend,” said Josina. “She is always asking if I’m ok, she helps me read after school and she looks after me.” 
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“Ten male and female cops surrounded me. They started kicking me against my shin with their boots, laughing as they pushed me into the police van,” Deepali, a 45-year-old mother of four, told me in Delhi. The police did not tell her why she was being…
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In India, many women and girls with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are locked up in institutions against their will. Some of the institutions for those women, who have disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy to schizophrenia…
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“Enroll now, become a voter,” says the Election Commission of India website. Tomorrow, over 12 million Delhi residents will go to the polls to elect a new state government. But not all of them. People with mental or intellectual disabilities will be…
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More than 1100 dead, many others coping with temporary or permanent disabilities, and people still missing. The 24 April 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse – Bangladesh’s worst ever industrial disaster – has left the country reeling and Bangladeshi rights…
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Doe-eyed and frail, with a mellow voice and a cheery smile, nothing about Sara (not her real name) suggested she had been through ordeal after ordeal in her 22 years. Forcibly married at 15 to a much older man, she discovered after the marriage that her…
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Around this time last year a friend sent me a link to the hilarious "Mother of the Year Award" online video from Momsrising.org. I was on maternity leave, and laughed until I cried at the witty lines about mothering.  I watched it with my two little boys…
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A vibrant democracy with raging debates about health care. A country that prides itself on pioneering medical treatment but continues to see shocking disparities between the wealthy, who can afford expensive, quality care, and the poor, whose access to…
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I gave birth in the developing world, in South Africa, to be precise. South Africa was in the spotlight recently when a government-commissioned report showed a 20 per cent increase in the number of deaths from pregnancy-related causes between 2005 and…
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Ignorance is not bliss - certainly not for a government trying to explain the repeated failure to avert an estimated 100,000 preventable maternal deaths each year. Last month I traveled through rural India to try to understand why so many women there die…
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Moving from guesstimates to information about maternal mortality

When 20-year-old Ranibai, from a poor family in Uttarakhand, began hemorrhaging during pregnancy, the path to treatment was not easy. Her family carried her on a charpai down hilly terrains to a health facility, but she bled to death before they got…
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Ads screaming "Girl or Boy?" are banned in India. Major internet search engines Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have been put on notice to ensure that they do not provide advertising platforms for sex-determining technology. Yet, efforts by prospective…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…