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The Action Thread Part Two

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PIP Summer of Action

This summer, Mencap and other members of the Disability Benefits Consortium will be supporting campaigners to meet with their MPs to talk to them about Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

There has been a lot of focus on Universal Credit recently, but we want to remind MPs that for lots of people with a disability people there are still some big problems with Personal Independence Payments (PIP). 

Problems the Government needs to fix.

What is the Summer of Action?

This Summer the Disability Benefits Consortium (which is a national group of charities and other organisations working towards a fair benefits system to meet the needs of all people with a disability) are supporting people with a disability, family carers and anyone with an experience of PIP to meet with their local MPs to discuss this with them.

We want MPs to be made aware of the problems with PIP and know what change is needed.

Activity started after the local elections in May 2018, and will continue throughout Summer, until September. So, you can get involved when it best suits you!

How can I get involved?

We are encouraging people with a learning disability and family carers to get involved. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never met your MP before or if you’re at your MP’s surgery every week - if you want MPs to be aware of the problems with PIP and to take action, this is for you!

Take a look at this campaign guide (PDF, 318 KB) which will help you to arrange a meeting with your local MP. The guide also gives ideas of what to say when you meet them.

If you're unsure of who your MP is you can find out who they are here.

We're also working on a video about this which will be available here soon! 

You can also see what is happening and get involved online, using the hashtag #GetAGripOnPIP.

Fancy taking part?

If you think you would like to get involved and meet with your MP we'd love to hear from you.

Get in touch with the Campaigns Team:

Read the Campaign Guide

 

Take a look at the campaign guide which explains all about the Summer of Action, as well as explaining how to arrange a meeting with your local MP and what to say when you meet them.

 

Download resourcePIP Summer of Action Campaign Guide

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27
GIRLS AND WOMEN

Here are 10 amazing comments on why ALL #GirlsCount

13 July 2018 3:04PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Last year, we partnered with Fossil to spread the word about the importance of girls’ education. To celebrate, we hosted a competition to give away 3 #GirlsCount tote bags by Fossil and asked YOU to share why all #GirlsCount.

As usual, we were blown away by the incredible responses. Keep reading below to hear from our winners themselves!

IMG_1941.jpg

#GirlsCount x Fossil winner, Chipo.

CHIPO, South Africa

#GirlsCount because they equate a full circle when included in sustainable and social development. They count because they are part of the human race. They count because they are the future and backbone of society.

IMG_20180702_113349-2-1024x1024.jpg

#GirlsCount x Fossil winner, Zack.

ZACK, Kenya

Show me a country that disregards women and girls and I will show you a failed state. The backbone of any society that respects girls also values equity and equality and upholds positive values, creating empowered communities. Girls need opportunity not sympathy, they need equality and equity. Girls count because they are our daughters, sisters and future mothers. Girls count because we count.

CATHERINE, United States of America

#GirlsCount because until everyone is able to thrive, personally and professionally, the world will not reach its true potential socially, economically or politically. Everyone has to be fully involved.

We couldn’t resist sharing a few more brilliant comments from our members! #GirlsCount because… 

We are unstoppable and we do what we put our mind to. We can achieve anything. We keep things running and if you give us a problem we make a solution out of it. — Hellena N.

We are amazing just as we are. — Cannel E.

Every girl has the potential to become a strong and wonderful woman who can make someone’s, or even everyone’s, world better. — bichoalcatifa

They are worthy of celebration; worthy of recognition; worthy of education and they make us one. — thatpublicschoolteacher

They are part of this world of diversity and they should be counted for what they are!!! — halima.laoualb

How can we live in a successful world when we are not using 50% of the world’s brain power? — taeschbach

They are the bedrock of any society and to achieve any change they must be fully involved. — adeolaraj

Inspired? Share why you think ALL #GirlsCount in the comments!

*answers have been edited for clarity.

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ROBYN DETORO
13 July 2018 3:04PM UTC

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NEW REPORT: World Bank says 132 million girls now out of school globally
50
EDUCATION

NEW REPORT: World Bank says 132 million girls now out of school globally

13 July 2018 11:08AM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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This story was originally reported by Ellen Wulfhorst and edited by Kieran Guilbert for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

NEW YORK — Failing to let girls finish their education could cost the world as much as $30 trillion in lost earnings and productivity annually, yet more than 130 million girls are out of school globally, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

Women who have completed secondary education are more likely to work and earn on average nearly twice as much as those with no schooling, according to a report by the World Bank.

IMG_5122-1024x681.jpgAbout 132 million girls worldwide aged 6 to 17 do not attend school, while fewer than two-thirds of those in low-income nations finish primary school, and only a third finish lower secondary school, the World Bank said.

If every girl in the world finished 12 years of quality education, lifetime earnings for women could increase by $15 trillion to $30 trillion every year, according to the report.

IMG_4908-1024x683.jpgOther positive impacts of completing secondary school education for girls include a reduction in child marriage, lower fertility rates in countries with high population growth, and reduced child mortality and malnutrition, the World Bank said.

“We cannot keep letting gender inequality get in the way of global progress,” Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank chief executive, said in a statement.

The benefits of educating girls are considerably higher at secondary school level in comparison to primary education, said Quentin Wodon, World Bank lead economist and main report author.

IMG_4941-1024x685.jpg“While we do need to insure that of course all girls complete primary school, that is not enough,” Wodon told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Women who have completed secondary education are at lesser risk of suffering violence at the hands of their partners and have children who are less likely to be malnourished and themselves are more likely to go to school, the report said.

IMG_5137-1024x682.jpg“When 130 million girls are unable to become engineers or journalists or CEOs because education is out of their reach, our world misses out on trillions of dollars,” Malala Yousafzai, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said in a statement.

“This report is more proof that we cannot afford to delay investing in girls,” said Yousafzai, an education activist was shot in the head at the age of 15 by a Taliban gunman in 2012.

The report was published ahead of U.N. Malala Day on Thursday, which marks the birthday of the Pakistani activist.

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organisations highlighted.

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13 July 2018 11:08AM UTC

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Do you know these 10 surprising world population facts?
19
CULTURE

Do you know these 10 surprising world population facts?

July 11 2018 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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So, what is World Population Day and why should you care about it?

Celebrated every year on July 11th, it is a day that focuses the public’s attention on the importance of issues that affect the population, such as gender equality, poverty eradication, maternal health and human rights.

The first unofficial Population Day was on July 11th, 1987, also known as the Day of Five Billion as this was the approximate date on which the world’s population reached five billion people!

The world’s gotten a lot bigger since then, so we’ve decided to share some surprising facts to about the global population to celebrate:

1. The world population is growing rapidly.

via GIPHY

The world population increases by about 83 million people every year. Right now, there are about 7.6 billion people around the world. That means there are over half a billion more people in the world than when we reached the 7 billion mark in October 2011 – less than 7 years ago.

If populations continue to increase as they are now, there will be about 10 billion people worldwide by 2050.

2. The three most populous nations in the world will change.

For half a century, China has been the most populated country in the world. This will change, as India is expected to overtake China by 2022. Additionally, the United States will lose its third-place spot to Nigeria.

3. Of the 10 most populous countries, Nigeria has the fastest growing population.

Nigeria is currently the 7th most populated country in the world, but that will quickly change. Nigeria has a growth rate of 2.6% a year – the highest among the 10 most populous countries in the world. By 2050, its population will more than double from 195 million to an estimated 410 million.

4. 9 countries will account for half of the population growth.

via GIPHY

As the world inches closer to 10 billion people, some nations will play a larger part than others. India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America, Uganda, and Indonesia will contribute to the most population growth from now until 2050.

5. The African population is growing, while the European population is shrinking.

The amount of young people currently living in Africa will make a substantial difference to the world’s population. The number of people who will reach adulthood in the coming years ensures that the continent will experience significant growth by 2050.

Europe will experience the opposite. All European countries are experiencing fertility below what’s needed to maintain current population levels, meaning that not enough babies are being born to replace the generation before them. European countries are expected to get smaller, if they aren’t already.

6. Monaco is currently has the most dense population in the world.

The independent city-state of Monaco may be the second smallest sovereign state in the world, but it’s population is far from small. Despite only covering .78 square miles, it has a population of 38,897. This evens out to about 26,105 people per square kilometer.

7. Overall fertility is declining, despite increased fertility in some parts of the world.

via GIPHY

The global birth rate has fallen since the 1960s, and is expected to keep falling over the next few decades. Although the overall rate is declining, fertilities differs greatly across the world. For example, Africa experiences about 4.7 births per woman, while Europe experiences 1.6.

8. Life expectancy is increasing and becoming more universal.

In 2000, the global life expectancy was 67 years old. Fifteen years later, that number grew to 71. Life expectancy is expected to continue growing, reaching 77 years old by 2050.

As global life expectancy increases, there will also be less variation between different places in the world. Life expectancy in Africa was 60 years old in 2015, compared to 79 years in Europe. However, life expectancy is growing faster in Africa, meaning that the difference will become less drastic by 2050.

9. Millennials make up about 27% of the world’s population.

via GIPHY

Millennials, roughly defined as people born between 1981 and 1997, make up a large portion of the world population. In fact, about 2 billion people worldwide are part of this generation. About 71% of millennials live in Asia or sub-Saharan Africa.

10. Niger currently has the youngest population of any country in the world.

A nation’s median age means that half the population is older than that age, while the other half is younger. In Niger, the median age is 15.3 years old. While Niger has the youngest median age in the world, a majority of African nations have median ages below 20.

Which population fact surprised you the most? Leave a comment below!

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SADOF ALEXANDER
July 11 2018

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 Flickr: EpSos.de
ENVIRONMENT

These Are the Biggest Recycling Mistakes You're Probably Making

It's nothing personal — most of us are.

 MARCH 16, 2018

 

We all love recycling, right? And we’re more aware than ever of the importance of disposing of our waste properly for the sake of the environment. 

Generally, we’re pretty good on the basics. Aluminium cans, glass bottles, cardboard. Check, check, check. 

But the British Science Association (BSA) just released some research — in honour of British Science Week — that showed not a single one of the 2,000 adults they quizzed about the dos and don’ts of recycling got full marks. 

Take action: Fight Waste to Protect Our Oceans

 

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It’s not a great sign for the rest of us. 

But getting recycling right is a big deal. Between 2012 and 2016, there was an 84% increase in recycling being rejected because of people contaminating it with non-recyclable items. And when that happens, the whole lot can get sent to landfill instead. 

So, to make sure all of our recycling records are squeaky clean — here are some of the most common mistakes in recycling: 

 

1. It can’t be recycled if it’s covered in food

Even if a container is recyclable, if it’s got food waste on it it’s likely to be rejected. That means, wash out bottles, plastic containers, and tin cans. 

Read more: Adidas Sold 1 Million Shoes Made of Ocean Plastic Last Year

And it also means that those greasy pizza boxes can’t be recycled either. The best thing to do is tear off the parts of cardboard and paper containers that are contaminated and recycle the rest. 

It’s the same for dirty kitchen roll too. Some 34% of us think you can recycle it, according to the BSA’s research , but you can’t. 

 
2. Plastic bottle tops

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According to the BSA, 44% of people are putting the pump dispenser tops of hand soap bottles in the recycling — but these should be removed from the bottle first. 

Plastic bottle tops are a much-debated topic in the world of recycling. According to the National Recycling Week website , however, you should remove plastic tops from your recyclable bottles and cartons and throw them in the rubbish. 

That’s because, when the lid is left on the bottle it is more likely that there will be liquid in the bottle — so it will weigh more than it should and the sorting machines can’t process it properly. 

Read more: Recycled Cell Phone Gold Will Be Used for 2020 Olympic Medals

Another reason is that when the top is left on the bottle, it also traps air inside. It means that when the bottles are baled together in the sorting process, they can pop back into shape and force the bales apart. They then need to be re-baled, using more energy than necessary. 

A second option, according to the site , is to remove the lid, squeeze out the air, and then replace the lid. This means the lid will be recycled along with the bottle, but won’t cause issues with the baling. 

 

3. Coffee cups

The UK ditches 2.5 billion disposable cups every year . But of every 400 disposable coffee cups thrown away, just one gets recycled. 

It’s because of a thin layer of tightly bonded polyethylene liner — which is what makes the cup waterproof — that means the cups can’t be recycled in the usual way. 

Read more: This Coffee Chain Is the First in the UK to Charge a 'Latte Levy' for Disposable Cups

Best option? Get yourself a reusable cup for your hot drinks. You’ll be rewarded for it. Starbucks and Costa Coffee both offer a 25p discount on any drink, while Pret a Manger recently doubled its discount to 50p. With some independent coffee shops also moving towards recyclable cups, it's worth asking whether their cups can be recycled, or whether they offer facilities for recycling. 

 

4. Nappies

You can’t recycle these. Just don’t.

 

via GIPHY

 

5. Other common non-recyclables include: 

Laminated pouches, crisp bags, plastic toys, cotton wool, toothpaste tubes, wrapping paper, tissues, and wine glasses (which have been heat-treated). Soft plastics — such as the bags that Quorn products come in — can be recycled with plastic bags at major supermarkets. 

Read more: 7 Ways to Cut Junk Plastic From Your Life

 

6. Putting recyclables in plastic bags 

Any recycling that’s thrown out in a plastic bag will go straight to landfill , so it’s really just a waste of your time. 

 

7. Batteries and electrical products

These can’t be recycled, and you shouldn’t even be putting them in the bin. Instead, take your electrical waste to household waste centres, or find out if your council does a collection 

Read more: Outright Ban on Disposable Coffee Cups Rejected by Government

Disposable batteries leak all kinds of chemicals into the earth when they’re left in landfills. But most local supermarkets offer collection points for used batteries, where they will be safely recycled.

Another option is to start using rechargeable batteries, so you don’t have to throw them out at all. 

 

8. Food waste

compost arizona food wasteImage: Facebook/UA Compost Cats

Food is another thing that is often thrown in the bin, but often unnecessarily. Things likeeggshells and peel from fruit and vegetables should really be going to compost rather than landfill. 

You could install a compost bin in your garden or, if you don’t have a garden, a lot of local authorities have food waste collections where the compost goes to local parks and gardens. 

 

9. Old clothes 

On a similar line, what are you doing with your old clothes? According to WRAP , which works to reduce waste, a quarter of clothes in the UK end up in the bin. 

Read more: This 8-Year-Old Mexican Girl Won a Prize for Making a Solar Heater From Recycled Objects

Rather than ditching them, you could sell your old clothes on — for example through eBay — or you could donate them to charity shops. 

If they're in such bad shape no one will want them, many local councils also offer clothes and textile collections.


According to the BSA’s new research, millennials are apparently less inclined to recycle than older generations — with a fifth of people between 25 and 34 finding recycling too time-consuming. Just 6% of over-55s said the same. 

But promisingly, 80% of people said they believe recycling makes a difference. 

“It’s encouraging to see lots of people are concerned about plastic waste, but what you can and can’t put in the recycling bin can often be confusing,” said Ivvet Modinou, head of engagement at the BSA. 

 

via GIPHY

Read more: These Solar Panels Don't Need Sun; They Harvest Energy From Rain

“The industry as a whole needs to address this issue if we are to collectively improve recycling performance,” he said. “Manufacturers of plastic products could provide clearer information on packaging and local councils could be actively working to improve guidance for local residents.” 

Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN's Global Goals, which include action on life on land, life below water, and creating sustainable cities and communities. You can join us by taking action here 

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TECHNOLOGY

Kenyan girls to fly to Google HQ after inventing app to end FGM

2 August 2017 4:43PM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

Animated chatter spills out from a corner of tech giant Google’s Nairobi offices as five Kenyan schoolgirls discuss their upcoming trip to California where they hope to win $15,000 for I-cut, an app to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

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From left: Stacy Owino, Purity Achieng, Ivy Akinyi, Synthia Otieno and Macrine Atieno outside a classroom in school. The five girls from Kenya will be representing Africa in the annual Technovation challenge in San Francisco. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Technovation

The five teenagers, aged 15 to 17, are the only Africans selected to take part in this year’s international Technovation competition, where girls develop mobile apps to end problems in their communities.

“FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve,” Stacy Owino told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, while snacking on chocolate on a break from boarding school before flying to the United States on Aug. 6.

“This whole experience will change our lives. Whether we win or not, our perspective of the world and the possibilities it has will change for the better.”

The five girls from Kenya’s western city of Kisumu call themselves the ‘Restorers’ because they want to “restore hope to hopeless girls”, said Synthia Otieno, one of the team.

One in four Kenyan women and girls have undergone FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, even though it is illegal in the East African nation.

Although the girls’ Luo community does not practice FGM, they have friends who have been cut.

“We were very close but after she was cut she never came back to school,” said Purity Achieng, describing a classmate who underwent FGM. “She was among the smartest girls I knew.”

I-cut connects girls at risk of FGM with rescue centres and gives legal and medical help to those who have been cut.

Its simple interface has five buttons – help, rescue, report, information on FGM, donate and feedback – offering users different services.

Kenya is one of the most technologically advanced countries in Africa, known for its pioneering mobile money transfer apps.

Technovation, which is sponsored by Google, Verizon and the United Nations, aims to teach girls the skills they need to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders.

“We just have to use this opportunity as a stepping stone to the next level,” said schoolgirl Ivy Akinyi who plans to become a computer programmer.

This story was originally published at Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Reporting by Daniel Wesangula; Editing by Katy Migiro and Ros Russell.

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856
AID AND DEVELOPMENT

Why ONE isn’t just bipartisan — we’re NONpartisan

June 19 2017 | By: SAMANTHA URBAN

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When you think of the ONE Campaign, a lot of our causes probably come to mind: global poverty, preventable disease, HIV/AIDS, gender inequality.

But at our core, our main goal is almost always the same: We pressure governments around the world to do more for the world’s poorest. We want them to use their influence and resources to help fight AIDS and other preventable, treatable diseases in the poorest places on the planet; to help girls everywhere get access to education; to empower small-holder farmers; to expand access to energy and connectivity; and more. ONE and its members are dedicated to educating and petitioning governments so that they will enact policy solutions that can save and improve millions of lives.

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Assistant Secretary Anne Richard at the U.S. State Department with ONE members and partners for a petition delivery. (Photo credit: Esther Chan)

And that’s why we’re not just bipartisan… we’re nonpartisan. There are no sides in the fight against extreme poverty — and to work with only one party or the other would do a disservice to the people we are trying to help. Though there might be disagreements over how best to fight it, we know there are politicians on both sides of the aisle who are committed to the fight, period.

So what does that look like? Well, here in the United States, ONE pushes for a fully funded International Affairs budget, which is currently just 1% of the entire U.S. budget. That funding — also known as foreign assistance or foreign aid — saves innocent lives, makes America safer, helps creates jobs here in America, and is just the right thing for the strongest and most successful country on earth to do.

And there are both Democrats and Republicans who are strongly in favor of foreign aid. But every year, budgets and policies that would help the fight against poverty come under threat from cuts and other priorities. That’s when we organize, mobilize, educate, and advocate — regardless of party affiliation — so people living in extreme poverty will have the chance not just to survive, but to thrive.

A family makes the daily trek to the village market, where they hope to sell vegetables they've grown.

A family in Chad makes the daily trek to the village market, where they hope to sell vegetables they’ve grown. (Photo credit: Joe Mason)

We’ve been doing this work for about 13 years — through now two Republican presidential administrations and a Democratic one; through Republican-led Congresses and Democrat-led Congresses. And together, we’ve made huge strides in eliminating poverty and preventable disease. (In fact, thanks to a bipartisan commitment to PEPFAR and the Global Fund, we are close to turning the tide against the HIV/AIDS epidemic!)

This year, we have our work cut out for us: President Trump has proposed cutting the budget for State and USAID by 32 percent next year. That proposal becoming law would really hurt people living in extreme poverty and weaken America’s leadership in the world. But we’ve been putting pressure on Congress since getting word of these cuts, and a wide array of senators and representatives from both parties have already voiced their opposition to cutting the foreign aid budget.

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ONE members mobilizing in support of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. (Photo credit: ONE)

But not everyone’s on board yet. That’s why we need you — regardless of your party affiliation — to stand with us and urge your elected official to do the same. Your voice matters.

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Yesterday a group of students, parents and friends in Tonbridge Kent performed a routine to 'This is Me' for Disability Awareness Day. 
Three weeks ago, none of the adults, bar one, could sign. Everyone worked hard to learn, including the students who had not learned to sign before this. 
It was a big deal for all involved to perform in public, but they did it with pride. Thanks so much to all involved for sending and sharing this video with us!

 

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16/07/2018

Domhnaill’s story: from trad to synth in South Dublin

Domhnaill’s story: from trad to synth in South Dublin

Image: David Reilly

Domhnaill Corrigan from Lucan, County Dublin, is a musician, songwriter and audio engineer. In addition to creating and recording his own music, 17-year old Domhnaill is a member of two independent bands, a participant in the SubSounds: Tallaght programme, the Dublin Youth Choir and a full-time student with a radio slot on Liffey Sound 96.4FM. Although his passion for music has traditional Irish roots, already his musical journey has taken turns through rock and jazz to whole new paths for collaboration and musical creativity. Earlier this year we met Domhnaill in RUA RED, Tallaght, where he took a break from his work with Gerry Horan (CONTACT Studio) and Martin Moran (Alternative Entertainments) to talk to us about his music and how he first encountered Music Generation...

I started off with Irish traditional music. I think at the age of five I picked up the violin… I was really into a band called Lúnasa and I said I want to play music like them. They’re an Irish traditional band... I did classical for about a year but I didn’t dig it… it was just trad all the way from the start. I picked up guitar through playing accompaniment; I just found a guitar, my dad tuned it for me and I taught myself from then on. Then the banjo came along because I joined a band… Banjo was pretty much like the violin and guitar put into one—it’s played like a guitar but tuned to a violin! There’s so many different instruments in traditional music so although I don’t play it anymore, I can still play all those instruments, and I love playing bluegrass banjo now which is really cool.

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Domhnaill with other members of the SubSounds programme at Áras an Chronáin, Clondalkin, for the SubSounds Listening Party February 2018
 
While he appreciated having access to music lessons early on, Domhnaill found he was more interested in self-teaching and learning.
 
I had many teachers over the years... I’m just not into lessons. I don’t think it works for me. You’re told what to do and it’s sort of an awkward environment. I think it can put some people off playing sometimes. So I just buy an instrument and say, ‘Ok I need to learn this’. It was the same with drums, we just bought the drum kit – I’ve been drumming ever since, never took a lesson.

Over the years, Domhnaill’s appreciation of new and diverse genres and styles of music opened the doors to entirely different approaches to playing and creating songs.

I sort of lost interest in traditional music when I discovered a band called Radiohead…They just had such an interesting approach to writing music, so I was really into them and I said ok this is really what I want to do… I was really into guitar but they were sort of pushing away the guitars and getting more into synthesisers…  I got FruityLoop Studios on my laptop and started playing around with synthesisers on the computer… that’s sort of where I learned about software and that was, I think, the beginning of my interest in audio engineering...

A chance conversation at home enabled Domhnaill to take his studio work to the next level.

I’m really into studio work and I’m always writing my own music and recording it in my makeshift studio space upstairs at home. It’s all in my house, in my attic... I was telling my Mam that I had my little interface and my microphones and I said, ‘I’d love to have a proper studio someday, this is just really what I’m into.’ And she says, ‘Apply for a grant… I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere that there are bursary awards for under 18s with South Dublin County Council, and Music Generation are involved in that as well.’ And I was like: ‘Alright, it’s a long shot, but I’ll go for it’… And then one day I got a letter in the post and it said: ‘Congratulations, you’ve received €1,000’!

Getting the Annette Halpin Memorial Award was insane. It’s not like it’s a talent show or anything, where you have to perform. This is serious – sending an application in – really professional stuff… that was the most incredible thing I’ve accomplished… And it was because of that I met everyone I know now, and it just turned my whole life around.

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Domhnaill with band Groove Killer perform at the SubSounds 2018 Concert at The Grand Social, Dublin. Image: David Reilly

Domhnaill was invited to accept the Award at a special reception with the Mayor of South Dublin County Council, where he met Gerry Horan from CONTACT Studio. Gerry filled Domhnaill in on SubSounds – a partnership programme of Music Generation South Dublin – where young musicians have the opportunity to work with professionals, host their own gigs and write and record their own music. More familiar with working independently, Domhnaill had reservations about joining the programme but decided to give it a go in the hope of meeting other young musicians that shared his passion for composition and performance. Thankfully, the risk paid off…

There are so many incredible musicians…. everyone in there is just so good at what they do – it’s changed my life, you know, meeting everyone... I met all sorts of people who taught me different things. Like, my mate Jack taught me a lot about playing drums, Lyndsey is really good at song writing—she helped me with my song writing skills… The great thing about it is that Martin and Elton and Gerry [who develop and manage the programme], just treat you as equals. They don’t treat you as if you’re the student and I’m the teacher. Martin can very well be the student some days. He’s an amazing guitarist. We learn from each other... So, it’s more so ‘DIY, with a bit of help’, if you get me.

In April, the SubSounds class of 2018 released their own album, featuring songs written by the participants and recorded at one of Ireland’s most iconic studios, Windmill Lane.
 

Windmill Lane just blew my mind. Everyone’s in there going ‘look at the size of the room’ but I’m in the control room like, ‘Look how many controls this desk has!’ It’s incredible. They have such amazing equipment there. I’m nowhere near any sort of similar set-up to them but it is the dream…. It’s insane that we actually get to go there. This is where ACDC, Queen and all sorts of people have been. You just think ‘Man, famous people have been in this room and I’m recording here as well’. It’s mind-blowing.
 
Domhnaill Corrigan records his track as part of the SubSounds Class of 2018 recording session in Windmill Lane Studios
SubSounds Class of 2018 album recording session at Windmill Lane Studios

Before joining the programme, the idea of forming a band and collaborating with other young musicians seemed distant for Domhnaill. In his school and locality he found few others to jam or gig with, and so he took to using software to create full songs where he could be the sole musician – he could play and record the drums, guitar, vocals, and more, all through the use of technology. But within months at Suburban Sounds, Domhnaill met three other young musicians that inspired the formation of a brand new group.

It’s called Groove Killer – Elton Mullally came up with that name – it’s me, Megan, Jack and Dean – just four of us, and it’s sort of a Beatles thing we have going on, we’re just writing tunes in our own time…  You know, the intention isn’t to get famous or anything, it’s just to get a reputation, get gigs… We already have an EP out. It’s going on Spotify in four days (it’s called Late Night Leche)… And after we did that we started to get really excited and said, ‘Ok, let’s work on an album’… I mean, I have studio equipment, I can record it for nothing – we just need to write the songs. That’s the only really hard part... I do enjoy writing songs but it’s a lot harder than someone else writing the song and saying, ‘Look can you just come up with some guitar lick over this?’ You have to block out the self-conscious side of yourself, thinking ‘What will people think of this lyric?’ You just have to say it… My friend Megan, she usually writes the lyrics and then I’ll try and come up with the music... I find that collaboration a lot easier but I think you feel a lot better about yourself if you write a full song yourself… So an album – that would be the next big goal. It would just be amazing to say you’d put a full album together.


Groove Killer performs their song 'Netherbends' live earlier this year

Domhnaill already has many more musical ambitions for the future. Last year he went to see Radiohead play in Dublin’s 3Arena, and the experience reawakened a love of the live music experience. He and his friends were inspired to set-up, promote and play their own gig at a local community centre, and since then he has also performed to a packed house at The Grand Social  to launch the ‘SubSounds Class of 2018’ album. Now he has his sights set on booking more gigs as well as recording sessions, and hopes to study music at third level. Domhnaill is certain that he wants to make his career in music – be it on stage, behind the recording desk, or both – and he’s working hard towards achieving that goal. With such a broad range of interests and experiences, we asked Domhnaill if he could explain what, for him, is the most powerful aspect of music?

 

Right off the bat, just the communal aspect of it. I used to say, ‘Ok I can just do this by myself. But after coming to Sub Sounds… You know, I’d just sit in Gerry’s office some weeks and he’d play me Television and he’d say, ‘This is the foundation of all guitar music today’, and you know, all sorts of stuff I wouldn’t have found out unless I met these guys, which is so cool. And writing music with people makes writing music a lot easier. You get different inputs, and when I was by myself I was just listening to too much Radiohead, trying to sound just like them and you need other influences. You know, our drummer is really funky, our singer is really jazzy, I’m getting into the jazz scene myself and then our bass player is into death metal, which is odd, but then he’s into playing pop music which is cool!.. We’re all best friends… I’m pretty sure we’re just going to keep going forever.
___

The SubSounds Class of 2018 album is available now from Spotify and iTunes.

SubSounds is an evening-course in music which is open to young people ages 14 to 18 with a passion for song writing, music composition and/or music performance. It is developed and managed by Alternative Entertainments in association with South Dublin County Arts Office and CONTACT Studio, with funding from Music Generation South Dublin. For more information visit Alternative Entertainments online, or contact Music Generation South Dublin

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CULTURE

Meet the cool illustrators behind our gender equality campaign

16 July 2018 2:40PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Poverty is Sexist: Join the movement

 
  

To celebrate International Women’s Day this year we worked with a group of incredible female illustrators to produce a full suite of assets that depicted strong, bold women. Since then, we’ve used these powerful illustrations to promote our open letter to world leaders, host a #PovertyIsSexist event with Tanya Burr and ask Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to empower women around the world to reach their full potential.

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Illustration by Laura Callaghan.

Now, we’re taking you behind the scenes to learn more about the creators and what inspired them to join us in telling the world #PovertyIsSexist!*

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Illustration by Juliet Crossley.

How do you think illustration plays a role in activism today?

Zoe-Zoe: We need to be open to hearing people’s stories and art is one way in which we tell those stories. With the way we use social media and the internet, activist art has a greater chance of reaching a large audience. Meaning more voices can be heard, more connections made, and hopefully inspire action for us all to do and be better.

Arnelle: Art lends itself so well to storytelling and has the ability to resonate with people across cultures. Illustration is vital in activism today as it brings people together to stand behind a unifying message.

Juliet: Art is a universal language which has the potential to surpass boundaries and reveal truths that challenge the status quo. The role it plays in activism today is essential. Illustration creates a visual representation of social justice and becomes a banner that we carry into the field of action.

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Illustration by Arnelle Woker.

What inspired you to take part in ONE’s Poverty is Sexist campaign?

Zoe-Zoe: I’m happy when I get to spend my energy and use my skills towards something that can have a beneficial impact. My mother was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States to study Computer Sciences. Her ability to do that for herself has made her life richer and helped give me a chance to do the same. I want that for everyone.

Arnelle: As a ONE member, I am proud to support this campaign. Fighting for a world where all women have equal opportunity to be educated and to be independent. Because none of us are equal until all of us are equal.

Juliet: When I first learned of ONE’s Poverty is Sexist campaign, it spoke directly to what I believe in and I immediately knew I wanted to take part in it. Poverty is Sexist is powerful because it tackles the most pressing issue facing the advancement of all humanity — the inequality of women — and as consequence, the poverty, lack of equal rights, equal pay, access to education and opportunities for advancement.

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Illustration by Zoe-Zoe Song.

Tell us more about the meaning behind your illustration(s).

Zoe-Zoe: My favourite podcast, Call Your Girlfriend, coined the term ‘Shine Theory’, [which] is living the mantra “I don’t shine if you don’t shine.” It’s understanding that someone else’s efforts, accomplishments or confidence don’t take anything away from your own. That’s why I wanted to illustrate an inclusive group of young girls happily embracing each other in friendship.

Arnelle: Both illustrations portray diversity and empowerment through unity. In the first, three women stand together, fists clenched and arms raised. In the second, a close group of women from various backgrounds. I am hoping these pieces will become recognisable as a symbol for empowered women.

Juliet: The three women are intertwined as they stand in solidarity. Their unity and diversity serves to uplift them beyond the individual and their gaze intentionally looks to our world leaders, representing the fact they see them and are NOT willing to back down.

If like us you can’t get enough of these illustrations, click here to download a set of free desktop and phone backgrounds!

*Responses have been edited for clarity.

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EDUCATION

These shipping containers are being repurposed as schools

26 February 2018 11:35AM UTC | By: GUEST BLOGGER

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Story by Megan Gieske; photos courtesy of Breadline Africa.

Breadline Africa started as a grant-giving organization, where those in need applied for funding and Breadline Africa raised the funds to meet them. Almost 25 years later, those in need can still apply, but assistance comes in a new shape and size — infrastructure!

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Marion Wagner, Director of Breadline Africa, says that much of South Africa’s infrastructure is unsafe. For parents who work, this can mean sending their children to schools or care centers that are overcrowded or under-equipped to deal with extreme seasonal temperatures.

Few would look at old shipping containers and re-imagine them as schools, libraries, and kitchens, but the fireproof, stable and durable containers provide a creative solution to the problem of unsafe infrastructure.

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To become a classroom or childcare creche, the shipping containers undergo a conversion process that adds sunny windows to let light and warmth in, burglar guards to keep school supplies safe at night and full kitchens with indoor gas burners and ventilation.

The shipping containers have also transformed into libraries filled with books (provided in partnership with Help 2 Read and Room to Read), floor cushions, reading benches, and doors that open onto a veranda.

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“A lot of the areas that we work in are socially and economically disadvantaged, with high unemployment, huge overcrowding, and parents very often away looking for work,” Wagner said. Breadline Africa has placed more than 350 containers in areas of need across nine provinces, providing a safe space for children in the critical after school hours. “If we can reach more and more children, we can help them choose a path out of poverty.”

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In July, the program and its partners gave Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School and their 1,240 students in the Western Cape a new library complete with 7,000 books. In thanks, school Principal Mkhului Qaba said, “What this means for the children is they have a place of refuge, a place of hope and a place of learning.”

“Without an education, they really are never going to be able to find a way out of poverty,” Wagner said.

The Breadline Africa director echoed, “For children, their safest place is not on the street.”

There are hundreds of children who will benefit from each of those 350 container sites, which can last for 20 to 30 years.

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organizations highlighted.

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News

 

2018 Allianz Business To Arts Awards Shortlist Announced

Kerrie Patten, dancer with Sean McGrath, Chief Executive, Allianz & Andrew Hetherington

Kerrie Patten, dancer with Sean McGrath, Chief Executive, Allianz & Andrew Hetherington

The 2018 Allianz Business to Arts Awards received a record number of entries in its 27th year, showcasing a diverse range of arts from visual art, architecture, literature, dance, theatre, design and music.

The 2018 Allianz Business to Arts Awards will be presented on September 4th at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.  The awards recognise businesses, artists and art organisations that develop creative partnerships. The shortlist shows collaboration between business and arts which takes place through sponsorship, staff engagement, commissioning, CSR initiatives or community engagement. Many of the collaborations are the result of long-term relationships.

This year’s Allianz Business to Arts Awards saw high levels of entries from expanding sponsorship portfolios, increased regional activity and long-term partnerships, that continue to evolve through diverse activation campaigns.

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts, said:

“In our special Business to Arts’ 30th anniversary year, we are inspired and motivated by the level of creativity, partnership and commitment those recognised on the shortlist display. Each year our Awards highlight the best examples of creative partnerships between the corporate and creative communities. We look to forward to celebrating these partnerships on September 4th as we mark our significant 30th Anniversary milestone with our partners, members and friends’.

Commenting on this year’s entries, Sean McGrath, CEO of Allianz Ireland, said:

“As Business to Arts celebrates its 30th anniversary, we look back in pride at our association with the Allianz Business to Arts awards that showcase the best in collaboration between the Irish Artistic and Business communities.  From an Allianz perspective, it has been very fulfilling to be able to help encourage and acknowledge partnerships that have and continue to deliver lasting value for our artists and for business. It has been our privilege to see the hugely positive impact such partnerships have on communities across the country and on our society at large”.

 

The winners of the 2018 Allianz Business to Arts Awards will be announced on 4 September at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

The Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2018 Shortlist:

Best Large Sponsorship – over €50,000 value

  • Aer Lingus & Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board for ‘Irish Filmmaker Competition’
  • Axonista & Irish Film Institute for ‘IFI Player’
  • Goodbody & IMMA for ‘IMMA 1000’
  • TileStyle for ‘TileStyle Supporting the Arts’

Best Mid-Size Sponsorship – over €15,000 – €50,000 value

  • Airbnb & Irish Architecture Foundation for ‘Open House Dublin’
  • BNP Paribas & IMMA for ‘IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016-2021’
  • Colourtrend & Sirius Arts Centre for ‘One Here Now: The Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland Project’
  • The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards in association with TileStyle

Best Small Sponsorship – €15,000 value and under

  • Bray Municipal District with Bray Credit Union, Megazyme & Platform Pizza with Chris Judge and Donna Carroll for ‘Brave Maeve Children’s Myth & Art Trail’
  • Colourtrend & Waterford Walls Project for ‘Waterford Walls’
  • KPMG & Children’s Books Ireland for ‘Bold Girls’
  • Medtronic & Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Best Long Term Partnership

  • A&L Goodbody & Suas
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch & Trinity College Dublin for ‘The Early Irish Manuscripts Project’
  • BNP Paribas & Helium Arts
  • U2 & The Ireland Funds with support from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for ‘Music Generation’, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by the Department of Education and Skills & Local Music Education Partnerships
  • TileStyle for ’10 Years of the Jim McNaughton/TileStyle Bursary for Artists’

 Best Use of Creativity in the Community

  • Bray Municipal District with Bray Credit Union, Megazyme & Platform Pizza with Chris Judge and Donna Carroll for ‘Brave Maeve Children’s Myth & Art Trail’
  • Colourtrend & Waterford Walls Project for ‘Waterford Walls’
  • Dublin City Council & Dublin’s Culture Connects for ‘The National Neighbourhood’
  • Iarnród Éireann & John Murphy Piano Tuning and Repair

Best Creative Staff Engagement

  • Bank of Ireland ‘Be Our Inspiration’
  • Diageo & Beta Bajgart for ‘Press for Progress: International Women’s Day European Photographic Exhibition’
  • KPMG & Children’s Books Ireland for ‘Bold Girls’
  • William Fry & Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation for ‘Incognito’

Jim McNaughton Perpetual Award for Best Commissioning Practice

  • Bray Municipal District with Bray Credit Union, Megazyme & Platform Pizza with Chris Judge and Donna Carroll for ‘Brave Maeve Children’s Myth & Art Trail’
  • MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre & Ani Mollereau for ‘Kilkenny Famine Experience Sculpture’

Judges’ Special Recognition Award for Portfolio of Investment

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch for ‘The Early Irish Manuscripts Project’ at Trinity College Dublin and their support of ‘Music Generation’ via The Ireland Funds
  • Hennessy for ‘Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA’, ‘Hennessy Literary Awards’ with New Irish Writing and The Irish Times, and ‘Hennessy Lost Friday’ with Royal Hibernian Academy
  • IMMA for ‘IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016-2021’ with BNP Paribas, ‘IMMA 1000’ with Goodbody, ‘Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA’ with Hennessy, ‘New Art at IMMA’ with Matheson, O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer and The Dean
  • RTÉ for ‘RTÉ Supporting the Arts’

Allianz Community Art Award

  • Brave Maeve Children’s Myth & Art Trail
  • Brokentalkers Theatre Company
  • Martina Galvin
  • The Forget-Me-Nots Choir

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A couple of our colleagues went to see #Jellyfish last week, which stars the wonderful Sarah Gordy! They were blown away! In their words 'It is truly remarkable… it will have you howling with laughter and tears.' Congratulations to all involved! 2b50.png 2b50.png 2b50.png 2b50.png 2b50.png

La imagen puede contener: 4 personas, personas sonriendo, personas de pie e interior

 

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GIRLS & WOMEN

This Female-Run Syrian TV Station Seeks to Empower Women

The content will "put a spotlight on issues that affect women in Syria and the region."

 

By Nisan Ahmado

Jin TV — which means Women TV in the Kurdish language — is the first television station in Syria run entirely by women. The station began officially broadcasting late last month and aims to provide a platform for women to raise their voices.

"This TV was established to shed light on the role of women in all walks of life because women are always marginalized and confined to limited roles, even though women are the foundation of the society," Dalsha Othman, chief of the Arabic division at Jin TV, told VOA.

Take Action: Ask Governments and Corporations to Support Girls' Education

 

Managers of the new station say their content will give a voice to women and put a spotlight on issues that affect women in Syria and the region.

The TV station is located in the Kurdish-controlled town of Amude in northeastern Syria.

Broadcasts will be multilingual and multicultural; the programs will air in Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish, and Farsi.

Currently, there are 18 staff members at the TV station, and the plan is to add workers in the future.

Countering extremism

Amude was once part of an area controlled by the Islamic State terror group when the group expanded its presence in large swaths of land in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a force of Kurdish and Arab fighters, expelled IS militants from the region and liberated the town.

Kurdish female fighters in the YPJ (Women's Protection Units), a brigade fighting with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), played a key role in defeating IS in northeastern Syria, including Amude. 

Read More: Meet the Heroic Women Who Are Saving Lives as Volunteers for the White Helmits

At the peak of its rule, approximately 10 million people lived under IS control in Iraq and Syria. The terror group committed large-scale atrocities against civilians and sought to indoctrinate them with its ideology.

Jin TV aims to counter that and increase awareness among women to prevent future attempts by extremists to recruit women by luring them through propaganda.

Jiyan Heve, a founding member of Jin TV, said that one of the station's goals is to provide a platform for female victims of terror groups such as IS so that they can talk about the atrocities and the true nature of these militant groups.

"We seek to counter the terrorist propaganda, and Jin TV is a good platform for doing that," she told VOA.

Experts believe that women can play a key role in preventing extremism and radicalism in communities around the world.

According to a report published in April 2018 by Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, women are considered a community's gatekeepers who can play a vital role in countering extremism.

"Identifying, empowering and consulting credible women leaders is a crucial part of creating sustainable deradicalization and rehabilitation programs that address individual and community needs," the report said.

Stereotypes 

Everyone at the new broadcast operation is seeking to change stereotypes about women's capacity and their role in the society.

Dilav Hori, a video editor at Jin TV, said she wanted to help change perceptions about women.

"We women at Jin TV are trying to disperse the traditional notion about women's ability to rely on themselves on their own. We want women to be confident and know that running a TV [station] is not something difficult," Hori told VOA. 

Jin TV is the second all-female station in the region. In 2017, Zan TV began broadcasting in Afghanistan with the aim of empowering women there.

Dalsha Othman, chief of the Arabic division at Jin TV, said they already receive videos and content produced by women from several countries in the region. The ultimate goal, she said, is to connect women from different parts of the world.

"Although our channel is Kurdish, we want to establish a bridge for women in the world to communicate, share, and support each other," Othman said. 

VOA's Zana Omar contributed to this report from Amude.

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Benedict Cumberbatch Won't Take a Role if Female Co-Star Isn't Paid Equally

"Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism."

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch has never shied away from speaking about why he’s a feminist. But now, the “Sherlock” and “Doctor Strange” star is putting his money where his mouth is. 

Speaking with Radio Times magazine, Cumberbatch opened up about his personal policy for dealing with unequal pay: Don’t stand for it. 

“Look at your quotas,” Cumberbatch said in last week’s interview. “Ask what women are being paid, and say: ‘If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it.’”

Take Action: Tweet at Influential Companies to #BuyWomenOwned

 

“Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism,” he added. 

Cumberbatch also told Radio Times that he was “proud” to be one of only two men at his production company, SunnyMarch — and hinted at a new project about motherhood, Vulture reports

 

“If it’s centered around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects,” Cumberbatch said of his production company.  

Read More: Female Stars of ‘Big Bang Theory’ Are Demanding Equal Pay for Equal Work

Cumberbatch isn’t the only male celebrity to stand up against the gender wage gap. 

Other male actors who have adjusted their salaries to support female colleagues include the male cast of “The Big Bang Theory, Bradley Cooper, and several of Emma Stone’s male co-stars.  

 

Well before this, other male actors like Paul Newman had done the same. 

Still, it could take as many as 170 years for women to earn the same wage as men for equal work, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. 

Read More: Emma Stone: Male Co-Stars Have Taken Pay Cuts to Promote Gender Equality

With that sort of a wage gap, it’s going to take a whole batch of Cumberbatches to end pay inequality for good. 

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and gender equality is goal number five. You can join us and take action here

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GIRLS & WOMEN

This Nigerian Woman Transforms Tires Into Cool Recycled Furniture

The popular entrepreneur is inspiring a new career path for women in her country.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Incinerating tires can negatively impact the environment through polluted air, water, and soil. Finding creative uses for giving old rubber tires a second life is an important conservation effort. You can join us in taking action on this issue and the rest of the Global Goals here.

A female entrepreneur is turning discarded rubber tires into thoughtful home decor.

Olabanke Banjo, founder and CEO of Cyrus45 Factory, recycles and transforms used tires into interior design — setting a new example for many women in her community in Nigeria, reports the BBC.

Take Action: Call on Governments and Business Leaders to Say No to Single-Use Plastics

Take Action: Sign Now

 
 
 
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"When women see what I do they are inspired to do something similar,” Banjo told the BBC in an interview — “go into carpentry … or something that’s seen as a male-dominated field.”

To those who might have the desire but lack the courage, Banjo implores them to search for inner strength.

“Do not let fear of striking out keep you from exploring your talents and creativity,” she said, according to an earlier report in the Guardian. “I once read a woman should be two things: who and what she wants to be.”

A former writer and digital strategist, Banjo graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife Osun State.

Read More: Indian Fishermen Are Using Ocean Trash to Build New Roads

But having expressed an interest in literature and fine arts from an early age, it wasn’t entirely surprising when Banjo quit her job in May to pursue a new entrepreneurial venture that combined her sense of creativity with an affinity for the environment.

“I have always been art inclined,” Banjo told The African Woman (TAW). I recall starting a jewelry and greeting cards-making business in my 200 level at the university. I also learnt how to make handbags during my NYSC. Art has always been an innate part of me, and it’s one of my first true loves.”

The idea for Cyrus45 emerged organically while spending time with family, according to the report.

“It all started last year while I was living with my elder sister in Lagos,” Banjo told TAW. “She had about a pile of 20 used tires in her compound, which her neighbours wanted to dispose. But being a lover of revamping old items, I asked them to give the tires to me instead and the rest is what you see today.”

Read More: This UK Store Will Buy Back Old Clothes to Cut Down on Waste

Banjo now upcycles tires sourced from refuse centers, incinerators, and individuals looking to replace the ones on their vehicle, as well as those found on the side of the road.

 

 

From there, the entrepreneur creates “artsy and ultra-modern” pieces of furniture, including chairs, rockers, and ottomans that happen to be sustainable and earth-friendly.

“If I don’t do something for my environment, who will?” said Banjo in the interview with the BBC. “With recycling and upcycling, the possibilities are endless.”

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