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More Than Ever, The Rights Of Women Are On The Line In Afghanistan

On paper, at least, the rights of Afghan women have improved significantly over the past decade. But what happens after NATO troops pull out in 2014? Some fear that President Hamid Karzai, in an effort to appease the Taliban, will use women’s rights as a

An Afghan woman spins wool into yarn in Kabul (isafmedia)
An Afghan woman spins wool into yarn in Kabul (isafmedia)
Tobias Matern

CHARIKAR - Girls are playing volleyball in a dusty courtyard. Gazing toward the foothills of the Hindu Kush offers some pretty spectacular scenery. But right now that's the last thing on the girls' minds. The landscape, after all, is nothing new for them. Playing sports is what's changed for these girls, who openly laugh and whoop it up when they score points.

Back in their villages, under the eyes of the boys and men, sports are off limits. Here, at the Refugee Education Trust (RET) center in Charikar, the capital of Parwan province in eastern Afghanistan, sports are encouraged – along with reading, writing, computer work, learning to speak English and knowing about the fundamentals of human rights. It's a kind of refuge in male-dominated Afghanistan that gives women and girls the kind of opportunities they simply aren't going to get in a state-run school.

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Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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