The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Saying no to violence

They dream of a world where women and men live on equal terms. And they are making an honest effort towards realising it.

Led by Swayam, a Calcutta-based non-profit women’s organisation, more than 20 such groups have joined hands to take part in an international campaign protesting against violence on women and girls. Mass awareness programmes that began on November 20 will be staged in various parts of Calcutta and its suburbs till December 10 in the form of workshops, exhibitions, rallies and cultural programmes.

On Sunday, ‘Half the Sky’, an exhibition of posters will be held from 11am- 3pm at the Kalabagan Hoglapara slum beside Navina cinema hall. But what’s really heartening is that students in the city have decided to lend their voice to the campaign too. Moulana Azad College will play host to an inter-college debate competition on violence against women on November 29. A human chain at Bhupen Bose Avenue on November 30 and a street play on domestic violence on Mayurbhanj Road on December 9 are the other highlights of the campaign.

Rape of law

The Mukhtaran Mai incident might have made them the butt of international hatred, but Pakistani village councils are not changing their ways. Last week, one such council in the Punjab province decreed that five young women should be raped or killed for refusing to honour childhood “marriages”. The women were married in absentia when they were aged between six and 13 by a mullah as part of a compensation agreement that was reached at gunpoint after the father of one of the girls shot dead a family rival. The women, who are studying in Pakistani schools and universities, have threatened to commit suicide if forced into the marriages.

Lager largesse

As if anyone needed a reason to have a swig of her favourite tipple! But now you have varieties of ‘health beer’ that claim to do everything from calming the mind to preventing cancer. Health beer is a mix of hops and herbs and is low on alcohol. German beermaker Karla says its concoction brings “calmness and equilibrium” thanks to herbs and ingredients like folic acid and vitamins. Another German health beer, Xan, claims to prevent cancer with its high anti-oxidant content. Tall claims' Perhaps. But we don’t mind as long as the beer’s good.


Women’s meet

Fifty-five countries, around 800 delegates and four days of intense discussion and debate ' the fourth edition of the international congress titled Women, Work and Health (WWH-2005) starts in New Delhi today. Organised by Swedish NGO National Institute for Working Life and the Delhi-based Society for Working Life, the congress will discuss gender awareness and a higher profile of all jobs performed by women. “Short films and video sessions have been initiated to facilitate global experience sharing,” said Indira Kothiar, chairman of the congress. The event has the support of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the UGC Centre for Women’s Studies, the Indian Council of Medical Research and Unicef.


Angry' Well, go ahead and give vent to it if you want to. And don’t worry, your partner’s heart won’t take it too kindly if he decides to retaliate with angry words. A paper published in the British Journal of Medicine recently said that extremely hostile women have a lesser risk of heart diseases than their placid sisters. But men who snarl at others at the drop of a hat are twice as likely to suffer heart ailments compared to even-tempered guys. “Hostile men, but not women, are more than twice as likely to suffer recurrent coronary heart disease events,” the paper said. “Hostility may have different consequences in men and women,” it concluded.

Overheard: That women who breast-feed their babies for a longer period of time are less prone to developing diabetes, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last week.

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