asia

In this photograph taken on March 5, 201...In this photograph taken on March 5, 2014, sixty-five year old Indian widow Urmila Tiwari poses at the Meerasahabhagini Ashram in Vrindavan, some 135 kilometres (80 miles) south of New Delhi, ahead of International Women's Day. Tiwari has lived at the ashram for over a year and says, I love to live here, among good people. Banished by families who see them as a financial drain, or believe they bring bad fortune, desperately poor widows have for centuries travelled to the northern city of Vrindavan, where the Hindu god Krishna is said to have grown up, to pray and wait to die. Traditionally, Vrindavans widows sung hymns and begged in the pilgrimage city on the banks of the Yamuna River, living in seclusion and shame and expected to dress in white, signifying the loss of colour from their lives. The Meerasahabhagini Ashram run by the Sulabh International NGO offers a place where some of Vrindavans estimated 15,000 widows can live together, providing support and friendship that bind them into a community. International Women's Day falls on March 8.

Rebecca Conway/AFP

Sixty-five-year old Indian widow Urmila Tiwari poses at the Meerasahabhagini Ashram in Vrindavan, some 135 kilometres south of New Delhi, ahead of International Women’s Day. Ms Tiwari has lived at the ashram for over a year and says, “I love to live here, among good people”. Banished by families who see them as a financial drain, or believe they bring bad fortune, desperately poor widows have for centuries travelled to the northern city of Vrindavan, where the Hindu god Krishna is said to have grown up, to pray and wait to die. The Meerasahabhagini Ashram run by the Sulabh International NGO offers a place where some of Vrindavans estimated 15,000 widows can live together, providing support and friendship that bind them into a community. International Women’s Day falls on Saturday Read more

Chinese security personnel form up before the arrival of delegates at the Great Hall of the People to attend sessions of National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ng Han Guan/AP

Security personnel await the arrival of delegates at the Great Hall of the People to attend sessions of National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, China Read more

A supporter of Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for Bharatiya Janata Party, wears a headgear with a portrait of Modi during a rally in Ahmedabad...A supporter of Gujarat's chief minister and Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), wears a headgear with a portrait of Modi during a rally being addressed by Modi ahead of the 2014 general elections, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad February 20, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Amit Dave/Reuters

A supporter of Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s chief minister and the prime ministerial candidate for India‘s main opposition Bharatiya Janata party, at a rally addressed by Mr Modi in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad ahead of the 2014 general elections Read more

***BESTPIX*** Forced Eviction Turns Violent In Phnom Penh...PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA - FEBRUARY 14:  A woman and two children are surrounded by police and municipal security forces during clashes with residents of Borei Keila community on February 14, 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  A building which has been occupied for the last two days has been raided by the Cambodian Security forces who sought to forcibly evict the residents. . Early on the morning of Valentine's Day, the road leading into Borei Keila was blocked by riot police, military police, and municipal security guards, who had been deployed to remove all of the families which had occupied the building. Over the course of the violent eviction, at least 6 people were injured, including a woman who was 6 months pregnant. Two days before, on Wednesday, more than 150 people, who had been evicted from their former homes in Borei Keila in January 2012, had moved into the building. The housing building had been promised to them in 2003, as part of a land sharing agreement when the land of Borei Keila had been leased to a private company. The families who had chosen to stay in Borei Keila were violently evicted in 2012 by over 100 security forces, who destroyed more than 200 homes.

Omar Havana/Getty

A woman and two children are surrounded by police and municipal security forces during clashes with residents of Borei Keila community in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A building which has been occupied for the last two days has been raided by the Cambodian Security forces who sought to forcibly evict the residents. Early in the morning on Friday, the road leading into Borei Keila was blocked by riot police, military police, and municipal security guards, who had been deployed to remove all of the families which had occupied the building. Over the course of the violent eviction, at least six people were injured, including a woman who was 6 months pregnant.

Kashmiri Muslim devotees pray as the head priest displays a relic of Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani outside his shrine in Srinagar, India, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. Hundreds of devotees thronged the shrine which houses the relic of the saint to mark the saint's Urs, or yearly commemoration. (AP Photo/ Dar Yasin)

Dar Yasin/AP

Kashmiri Muslim devotees pray as the head priest displays a relic of Sufi saint Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani outside his shrine in Srinagar, India. Thousands thronged to the shrine during the Urs festival Read more

Chinese visitors enjoy sledding and skat...Chinese visitors enjoy sledding and skating on the partially frozen Houhai Lake during the Lunar New Year holiday in Beijing on February 6, 2014. Beijing saw its warmest New Year's period in six decades with temperatures averaging 8 degree celcius above normal and with no snowfall yet to hit the city.

Marl Ralston/AFP

Visitors enjoy sledding and skating on the partially frozen Houhai Lake during the lunar new year holiday in Beijing. Beijing is seeing its warmest new year period in six decades with temperatures averaging 8 degrees centigrade above normal, with snowfall yet to hit the city. Read more

A worshipper looks on as she waits to bu...A worshipper looks on as she waits to burn incense and pray at the Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the Chinese New Year of the horse in Hong Kong on January 30, 2014. Tens of thousands of worshippers flocked to temples across to pray for good luck and fortune for the new year.  AFP PHOTO / Philippe LopezPHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Philippe Lopez/AFP

A worshipper wearing a Chinese opera outfit waits to burn incense and pray at the Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the lunar new year of the horse in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of worshippers flocked to temples across Hong Kong to pray for good luck and fortune for the new year. Read more

A student dressed as a bear waits backstage while participating in a cultural event at a school in Mumbai...A student dressed as a bear waits backstage while participating in a cultural event at a school in Mumbai January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

A student dressed as a bear waits backstage while participating in a cultural event at a school in Mumbai, IndiaRead more

Children are silhouetted against the setting sun as they play on the outskirts of Lahore January 28, 2014.

Mohsin Raza/Reuters

Children play on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan Read more

Employees take pictures though a window as anti-government protesters march through Bangkok's business district...Employees take pictures though a window as anti-government protesters march through Bangkok's business district January 23, 2014. The government declared a 60-day state of emergency from Wednesday hoping to prevent an escalation in protests now in a third month.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Employees take pictures though a window as anti-government protesters march through Bangkok’s business district on Thursday. The government declared a 60-day state of emergency, hoping to prevent an escalation in protests that have entered their third month. Read more