BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 20 November, 2000, 15:09 GMT
South Asian sexism 'among the worst'
Women in Rajasthan, India
Women account for two-thirds of the illiterate population
By Sushil Sharma in Kathmandu

A South Asian organisation has called for urgent action to improve the condition of the women in the region.

The Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre has said in a report that South Asian women are treated unequally in all spheres.

A spokeswoman for the centre, Khadija Haq, said that steps should be taken to reserve places for women in government jobs.

The report was released on Monday in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.

Discriminatoin

According to the report, gender discrimination in South Asia is among the worst in the world.

It says that a majority of women are deprived of equal access to jobs, education, health, property and justice.

Woman in Bangladesh
Women are denied basic rights
Many of them are forced to work as unpaid family helpers, which means that their contribution to the national economy goes unnoticed.

The report says that women account for two-thirds of the illiterate population of the region.

They have little access to health services, which in turn has resulted in a high maternal death rate.

Pregnancy-related deaths alone number more than 200,000 a year and South Asian women do not enjoy equal parental property rights.

It points out that sons rather than daughters are entitled to inherit the property of their parents.

Jobs

South Asian women also do not enjoy legal equality despite the constitutional guarantees.

It says that in many cases, these guarantees are contradicted by other laws and traditional practices.

The president of the Islamabad-based Human Development Centre, Khadija Haq, said that while some progress has been made in reducing gender inequality in the region, it has been very slow.

She called for the setting aside of a third of the jobs in judiciary, legislature and the executive branches of the government for women.

Named after a noted Pakistani economist, Mahbub ul Haq, the Human Development Centre has been publishing annual reports with the support from the United Nations.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

14 Jun 00 | South Asia
South Asian women 'vulnerable'
17 Apr 00 | South Asia
Commonwealth push for women's rights
15 Mar 00 | South Asia
Pakistani rights abuse 'widespread'
27 Apr 00 | South Asia
Bangladesh probes abuse allegations
12 Apr 00 | South Asia
Call for tougher Indian rape laws
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories