Stories: Social Issues

  • Women in India Are Turning a Curse Into ‘Positive Action’ With Entrepreneurship

    CHATWAL, India — A group of about half a dozen women are gathered at a lone cement home in a vast expanse of farmland covered in waist-high wheat and mustard seed plants in tribal Eastern India. Sitting on the ground around a wicker basket and large silver bowl, the women expertly roll a dough-like mash into balls. They are...

  • Apply Today to Report on Global Religion Issues

    About This Fellowship The International Reporting Project is now accepting applications from professional journalists to report on global religion issues. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.  Some of the areas on which proposals might focus include the relationship of religion to:  conflict and peace  environment and sustainability  political economy and development  health and education  gender, race...

  • Myanmar’s Inle Lake is just a small body of water, but this man is dedicating his life to saving it

    In the early morning hours on Myanmar’s Inle Lake the quiet is broken by small tourist boats rumbling across the water to catch some of the lake’s famous performing fishermen. The motorboats slow to an idle to watch as a father and his young son step onto the prows of their canoes, balance on one foot,...

  • Pakistan City’s Affluent Women Bring Islam Into Their Lives and Lifestyles

    KARACHI, Pakistan — It was a weekday afternoon in an upscale neighborhood of Karachi, but the hall was packed for the lecture on Islam and marriage. Laughter burst forth as the speaker asked how husbands change over the years. They’re terrible listeners, one woman said. Inattentive, offered another. Other women, apparently without husbands, offered more charitable attributes: They...

  • Meet Our Newest Fellows

    The International Reporting Project is awarding fellowships to report on gender and LGBTI rights as well as religion issues around the world. The deadline to apply for the gender and LGBTI rights reporting fellowship has passed for spring and summer travel. We will reopen the application for fall and winter travel shortly. The application for religion reporting fellowships will continue...

  • Japan Prefers Robot Bears to Foreign Nurses

    NAGOYA, Japan — If you want a protector for the elderly, what’s better than a robot bear? Robear, “the strong robot with the gentle touch,” is a nursing-care robot — with a cuddly look — touted as strong enough to lift up elderly Japanese and bring them to the bathroom, but also gentle enough to provide...

  • In Rural India, MIT Grads Aim to Improve Access to Sanitary Pads for Women

    DUMANDIH, India — Anita Kumari was scared and apprehensive when, at age 13, she first started her period. Though she'd learned about menstruation at her school in rural eastern India, she didn't fully understand what was happening to her body. But her mother calmed her nerves and gave her a cloth to use to absorb the blood. Like the...

  • A Carnaval of Resistance

    In Rio, locals joke that Carnaval starts one day earlier every year. On a weekend in mid-January, a full month before the five-day event’s official kick-off on Feb. 24, hundreds of people wearing costumes and shimmery face-paint crammed into Flamengo Park to see performances by samba street bands known as blocos (“blocks”), the key element of Brazil...

  • Olympic Abandonment

    The behemoth sports stadiums on the sprawling grounds of Rio’s Olympic Park were built to impress international visitors for the 2016 Summer Games. Today, they are eerily deserted. The space re-opened as a public recreation area in January, but aside from the occasional security guard, there is hardly a human in sight at the 2.5 billion real ($800 million), 300-acre complex. ...

  • Rio street band drums up support for Carnival without harassment

    She didn't have a musical bone in her body, but that didn't stop Renata Rodrigues from starting a samba street band in Rio de Janeiro two years ago. When the 40-year old saw a viral Facebook post showing a man with a sign reading, "I don't deserve women who get around," she ironized the message by founding...