Still of women from around the world.—Images by Agencies An Iraqi woman bakes bread in a traditional clay oven in the Hor or marshes near Nasiriyah, 300 kilometres southeast of Baghdad. The inhabitants of these ancient marshes are today suffering from the slow suffocation of the marshes due to drought which is altering their fishing patterns and the migration of birds and the breeding of water buffalo. During the regime of the late leader Saddam Hussein, sections of the marshes were drained. A Palestinian woman bathes her son near their dwelling on a hot day in Beit Lahiya, near the border between Israel and northern Gaza Strip. A Hindu devotee shouts into the ear of a woman devotee, tongue and cheek pierced with metal rods, as she participates in a religious procession during a chariot festival dedicated to Goddess Mutthumariamman in Bandel, about 55 kilometers from Kolkata, India. The ritualistic acts of inflicting pain on oneself are performed as an act of penance with the belief that it will prevent diseases and for the well-being of the families of devotees. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (R) speaks with FICCI women's wing president Kavitha Varadaraj at the annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Ladies Organisation (FLO) as in New Delhi. Modi said that women's empowerment was a must to make India a developed nation and that the dignity of women is a step towards nation building. An Indian woman (bottom R) files a complaint at the Delhi Police Women Cell in New Delhi. The savagery of the gang-rape attack in December of a young woman on a bus in Delhi triggered nationwide protests, prompting lawmakers to toughen punishments for sexual offences and pledge to make India safer for women. Optimists called it a "turning point", while Delhi's under-fire top police officer said his force had been "jolted" and would institute "major changes in the way offences against women are dealt with". Women march during what organized call a "Slut Walk," which they describe as a protest against the mistreatment of women, in Bogota, Colombia, Saturday. The words on their backs read in Spanish "If I was born nude, why cover me up?," left, and "Neither a whore, nor a saint." "Slut Walks" have been held around the world, asserting that women's rights should be respected no matter their occupation, beliefs, age, or physical appearance. The protests originated in Toronto, Canada, where they were sparked by a police of A Saudi girl drives an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) with a younger sister at Thumamah Park near Riyadh. Saudi Arabia's religious police have lifted a ban on women riding bicycles and motorbikes, but only in recreational areas and while dressed in full Islamic veil and accompanied by a male relative, local media reported. A fully-veiled Palestinian woman stands outside the offices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza city during a protest to demand resumption of food deliveries to refugees, stopped last week after dozens of Gazans stormed a UN depot, demanding reinstatement of a monthly cash allowance to poor families which was halted from April 1 due to budget cuts. Gaza's Hamas rulers urged the UN on April 5 to reconsider its suspension of food aid for Palestinian refugees. North Korean workers work at a factory of South Korean apparel maker Shinwon company in the inter-Korean industrial park in Kaesong, north of the heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone that divides the Korean peninsula. North Korea said it would withdraw its workers from the Kaesong factory park jointly run with South Korea and temporarily suspend all operations there. Jordanian designer Abla Azar shows a dress embroidered with an Arabic poem at her workshop in Amman. Abla Azar designs dresses embroidered with Arabic poems as a way to acquaint the world with the Arabic language. A member of an Indian nomadic group, which makes brooms for a living works by a roadside in Kathua, about 80 kilometers from Jammu, India. A health worker gives polio vaccine to a child at an alley in New Delhi, India, Sunday. India marked a major success in its battle against polio last year by being removed from the World Health Organization's list of countries plagued by the crippling disease. The country will have to pass without registering any new cases till February next year to be declared polio-free.