Stories: Social Issues

  • South Africa Sets Up Program to Break the Link between HIV/AIDS and Violence

    Miranda was four months pregnant and extremely anxious when she got her first HIV test. She had long been afraid of a positive diagnosis, and shortly after stepping into a tent offering free HIV tests at a taxi stand in central Johannesburg, her fear was confirmed. Miranda—who asked to use a pseudonym to protect her safety and privacy...

  • Apply Today to Report on Global Religion Issues

    About This Fellowship The International Reporting Project is accepting applications from professional journalists to report on global religion issues. Applications will be reviewed in cycles on a rolling basis. For proposals requiring travel by August 2017, the deadline is Friday, April 28, 2017 at 11:59pm EST. The next round, for projects requiring fall travel, will be announced shortly. Some of the...

  • ‘She’s like my wife, you know how it is’

    Sushant, 18, was accompanying two girls from his college to a nearby market to shop for make-up supplies when he was stopped and questioned by the Nepal police. “These checks are a complete nuisance,” said the young man. “It’s harassment!” His other young friends laughed and waved as they strolled across the border from Nepal...

  • How Tanzania Is Cracking Down On LGBT People — And Getting Away With It

    ZANZIBAR — Mohamed had just finished a beer at one of the cluster of bars popular with gay men, just beyond touristy Stone Town. It was around midnight on a Friday in December last year, and he noticed a police officer he knew — Zanzibar is like a small town; most gay men know the local police, and the officers...

  • In Pakistan, women are driving the demand for Islamic content in relatable, meme-sized bites

    In bookshops across Pakistan, there is no shortage of religious literature – translations and interpretations of the Quran, books of Hadiths (oral traditions of Prophet Mohammed) and stories of the prophets abound. Book stores stock long, elaborate texts, replete with quotes from scripture and anecdotes from the earliest days of Islam. But over the past few years, a couple of...

  • 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...

  • 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...