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India

Chief of India's ruling Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, waves to her supporters during an election campaign rally ahead of state assembly elections at Rajkot, in the west Indian state of Gujarat, Oct. 3, 2012 | Photo: REUTERS/Amit Dave

Oct 2012: India's most powerful politician, Sonia Gandhi, called for strict punishment for rapists following a spate of rapes in the country...

 Kashmir-scooter

Sajad uses the school bus when she doesn’t drive her Scooty, but she says she is afraid of public transportation... “Traveling by a Scooty is so much easier and more convenient.”

Dongria Kondh tribal girls. Photo: Manipadma Jena/IPS

Sikhsya Niketan is a residential school meant exclusively for girls of the Dongria Kondh tribe in eastern Odisha state. The school is part of the federal government’s intensified efforts to take universal education to extremely marginalised groups in India.

A broker looking at her computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe

India moved one step closer to protecting millions of its working women from sexual harassment by passing a new bill to tackle unwelcome behaviour such as sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and sexual innuendoes made at work.

Aamir Khan

Shining light on inequities like the rampant abortion of female fetuses, caste discrimination and the slaying of brides in dowry disputes, actor Aamir Khan has reached an estimated one-third of the country with a TV talk show that tackles persistent flaws of modern India that many of its citizens would prefer to ignore.

A woman affected by floods feeds her cattle at a temporary shelter on an embankment in Pazarbhanga village in Barpeta district, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, July 12, 2012. | Photo: REUTERS/Utpal Baruah

India's annual monsoon has claimed 109 lives since rains started in June and left at least 400,000 people homeless in the northeastern state of Assam, in a tragedy experts say was made worse by corruption and poor management of the Brahmaputra River.

Indian girls in Vadia, near Ahmedabad. A traditional anti-females bias exists as girls mean wedding dowries and less income for many families, especially rural ones. | Photo: Divyakant Solanki/EPA

Elsewhere, it would have been front page news: a couple on the run after being caught trying to bury their newborn baby girl alive.

But in India, where there are now 914 girls for every 1,000 boys, the case this week in Dausa, Rajasthan, warranted just 300 cursory words on an inside page.

"Yet another incident of apathy towards the girl child", said the Deccan Herald.

A group of survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy hold placards during a protest against Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the London Olympics, in Bhopal on Wednesday. Photo: A. M. Faruqui

In a setback to 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims, a US court has held that neither Union Carbide nor its former chairman Warren Anderson were liable for environmental remediation or pollution-related claims at the firm’s former chemical plant in Bhopal.

US District Judge John Keena in Manhattan dismissed a lawsuit accusing the company of causing soil and water pollution around the Bhopal plant due to the disaster, and ruled that Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and Mr. Anderson were not liable for remediation or pollution-related claims.

Indian-orphan-girls

One wants to be a singer, one an astronaut, one a math teacher. For girls at this pioneering orphanage in Mumbai anything seems possible

Ahmedabad

May 2012: The biggest earners are women who volunteer for tests of medicines used to treat comatose patients. If they recover from the artificially induced coma, they are paid Rs80,000 to Rs1 lakh.."

Sheila Devi was elected as the leader of the Jharia Panchayat or village government in Koderma district, Jharkhand in 2011. | Photo: Sonia Faleiro

It can take over an hour and a half by car from the guarded entrance of the forest to the village. It takes four hours walk to get a cell-phone recharged.

In 2011, Jharkhand held its first elections for a Panchayat or village government, and 50 percent of the seats were reserved for women. Villagers urged Sheila Devi to run on their behalf. She emerged victorious.