Stories: Social Issues

  • School for Underprivileged Girls Teaches Feminist Principles in India

    LUCKNOW, India — Kunti Rawat was around 11 years old when she left her government-run school in northern India and joined a school for underprivileged girls. It's where, she says, she finally learned how to be confident in herself and speak up. Today, the 24 year old has attained her MBA, studied in the U.S., and has returned to India...

  • Trump Towers Rio still hasn’t been built—and the residents it pushed out couldn’t be happier

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil –– José Paulo Simplicio de Souza was devastated when the government forced him out of his home near the commercial center of Rio de Janeiro to make way for a luxury waterfront property three years ago. The 33-year old food-vendor’s sorrow later turned to disgust when he found out the 45th U...

  • South Africa’s plan to tackle HIV among sex workers

    Johannesburg, South Africa - In the shadow of an underpass, wearing a black bob wig, Tlaleng paces along her patch of Nugget Street, scanning the downtown Johannesburg traffic. Behind her, other women lead clients behind the crumbling walls of a gutted building in the brisk morning light. But Tlaleng, a boiled egg in one palm, is distracted, her eyes roaming...

  • Rio hits the brakes on controversial favela cable car

    The black cables scarring the skyline of Complexo do Alemao stopped running months ago. For the residents of the favelas below, they're a constant reminder of how even one of Rio de Janeiro's most ostentatious projects built ahead of the 2016 Olympics has fallen victim to the financial crisis gripping the state. From the start, plans for the...

  • 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...

  • The beauty and mystery of voodoo in Haiti

    Although it’s been long associated with the dark and dreadful, voodoo is very much a celebration of life and nature. And just like there’s another side to the age-old religion, there’s a vibrancy to life in Haiti that’s been overshadowed by its troubles. Haiti is in the midst of redoubling its welcome...

  • A New Bridge in Johannesburg Reveals How Little South Africa has Changed

    It’s a 15-minute drive from the Ferrari-lined streets of Johannesburg’s Sandton suburb to Alexandra, one of South Africa’s poorest townships. But for 56-year-old cleaner Mooko Dikotla and thousands of others who commute by foot from Alexandra to what’s known as “the richest square mile in Africa,” the four-mile trek over...

  • Why Vodou and lesbians get along

    When Marjorie Lafontant wants to reach the LGBT community, she grabs a megaphone and heads to a peristyle, a Voodoo temple. The leader of Haiti’s first lesbian rights organization starts her outreach efforts with the Voodoo world because, in her view, peristyles are the last safe spaces left in her home country of Haiti. We’re sitting...

  • ‘It’s not safe’: South Africans fear using public toilets after woman murdered

    * Warning: Some details in this story are disturbing.* In Khayelitsha, a township just outside Cape Town, South Africa, community activists amping up their efforts to get safe, private toilets after a 19-year-old woman was murdered on her way to a public bathroom. It's a story that is told in the documentary, When She Didn't Come Back, in which...

  • Queer Haitians Find a Refuge in Vodou

    It’s just past 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning when Stephenson Meus tips back a bottle of Barbancourt. The rum comes out early in the 30-year-old’s congested Port-au-Prince neighborhood, but he doesn’t drink nearly as much as he pours into the sunbaked earth. A houngan, or Vodou spiritual leader, Meus isn’t talking...