Sat, Mar 09, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Women in Asia tackle thorny issues


Emotional protests and one bizarre tribute marked International Women's Day in Asia yesterday.

In Bangladesh, the focus was on attacks against women by jilted lovers. In the Philippines, the protests were aimed at the US military presence and the problems of prostitution that go with it. But in North Korea, there was nothing but praise for the what it called the "flowers of society."

Nearly 50 Bangladeshi women, their faces disfigured by acid thrown by angry lovers or family foes, took to the streets of Dhaka to call for an end to cruelty against women.

Some Filipinas used International Women's Day to protest against the US military training local troops to fight a Muslim rebel group

Women lawmakers in India used the day to press the government to speed passage of a measure to set aside a third of all seats in parliament for women.

In North Korea, women were paid a slightly over-the-top tribute in an editorial in the Communist Party daily.

"Korean women are the flowers of the society, the country and the revolution as they are possessed of noble spiritual and moral traits under the benevolent care of leader Kim Jong-il," it said.

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