from Chrystia Freeland:

Falling birthrates: the threat and the dilemma

By Chrystia Freeland
December 7, 2012

Which is the more powerful agent of social change: fear or sympathy? Women in rich and middle-income countries may soon find themselves enrolled in a real-life experiment testing this proposition. That is because birthrates are dropping in much of the world. Demographics may soon rocket to the top of the political agenda, demanding an entirely new way of thinking about women and motherhood and the economy.

from India Insight:

Civics clashes with religion as women face bans from some Indian shrines

November 6, 2012

(The opinions expressed are the author's own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Thomson Reuters)

Many U.S. Catholics have independent streak – survey

October 28, 2011

A majority of American Roman Catholics feel strongly about the sacraments and traditional church values such as caring for the poor, but they may not agree with the church teachings on topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage and maintaining a celibate, male clergy, a survey has found.

from Photographers' Blog:

Signs of hope through music in Iran

July 1, 2011

For some people, here is the end of the world, but for some who live here, it is paradise.

Islamic reality TV show in Malaysia seeks best women preachers

June 19, 2011

("Solehah" hopeful Nur Shamseeda preaches during an audition for the new Islamic reality television show "Solehah" in Kuala Lumpur June 18, 2011/Bazuki Muhammad)

Pakistan’s booming female madrassas feed rising intolerance

By Reuters Staff
June 15, 2011

(Covered Pakistani female madrassa students take part in an anti-government demonstration in Islamabad August 27, 2004 after a government raid in their mosque and Islamic seminary/Mian Khursheed)

Family, Taliban scare off actresses in Afghan film industry

June 14, 2011

(Afghan film actress Nafisa Nafis puts on make-up at the sets of a television series directed by Saba Sahar in Kabul June 7, 2011/Ahmad Masood)

Q+A: Women’s rights in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban

June 13, 2011

(Afghan men and women teachers attend their graduation ceremony in Kabul March 30, 2011/Omar Sobhani)

How will Afghan women fare if Kabul and the Taliban reconcile?

June 13, 2011

(Schoolgirls listen to a speech by Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a ceremony marking the start of the school year at Amani High School in Kabul March 23, 2011/Omar Sobhani)

Pity the pandering U.S. candidate

June 9, 2011

Politicians pandering for votes on conservative family values issues may want to think again.