In The News

October 12, 2018
No country is immune from boorish behavior by some powerful elites. The #MeToo movement began in the United States, with accusations and investigations against film directors, journalists, corporate and political leaders, a Supreme Court nominee and more – and may be spreading to India with an accusation of a Bollywood actress. An Asian Age opinion essay poses questions that apply to the movement...
Chris Lau July 12, 2018
Hong Kong’s top court ruled in favor of LGBTI rights in early July, “requiring immigration authorities to grant same-sex partners spousal visas previously available only to heterosexual couples.” The decision was unanimous and will give the city a boost in welcoming skilled foreign workers. Marriage in Hong Kong is still confined to between a man and a woman, but the special administrative region...
September 29, 2017
On September 26 Saudi Arabia announced an end to its longstanding ban on female drivers. As the lone country in the world “to have such a stricture … [the law has become] a symbol of the ultraconservative kingdom’s repression of women.” As the Economist observes, “For many Saudi women, the change is long overdue.” Saudi Arabia adheres to strict interpretations of sharia law and tribal customs....
Ralph Jennings May 31, 2017
Taiwan’s Constitutional Court declared that same-sex marriage is part of the “people’s right to equality” in May and became the first place in Asia to legalize the practice. The island has a history of practicing progressive values, with the LGBT movement forming more than two decades ago as politicians attempted to build a more pluralistic society. “Taiwanese LGBT groups are wondering now who...
Shashank Bengali April 3, 2017
Censorship of art in one country can put a global spotlight on the banned material. “’Lipstick Under My Burkha,’ which follows two Hindus and two Muslims searching for personal and sexual freedom, was blocked from Indian theaters this year by the national censor board even as it collected awards at international film festivals,” reports Shashank Bengali for the Los Angeles Times. The women have...
Alexandra Topping and Molly Redden March 9, 2017
Women in more than 50 nations celebrated International Women’s Day by donning red or black, going on strike from work or school, donating to programs that support women’s issues, meeting for discussions about women’s issues, or patronizing businesses owned by women. “From Thailand to Poland, the United States to Australia, the first International Women’s Strike will see action on both the...
Neha Thirani Bagri February 10, 2017
Regulating longstanding cultural traditions to protect individuals can ignite political backlash. Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh, strives to be a champion of women’s empowerment, but proposed legislation that would allow marriage for underage girls who become pregnant is under fire. “Critics say the bill would weaken the existing law and send the message to parents that child...