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The Action Thread Part Two

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JAN. 8, 2019

 

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EDUCATION

This Bus Provides Education and Hope to Homeless Children in Iraq

Half of primary school-aged children who miss out on education live in areas affected by conflict.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Around the world, 265 million children are unable to attend school due to armed conflict, natural disasters, and poverty. To end extreme poverty, access to quality education must be treated as a fundamental human right. The Iraqi Children Foundation is helping homeless children get back into the classroom. Join us in taking action here to promote education for all.

Dozens of homeless children in Iraq are back in school thanks to the "Hope Bus" — a city bus that has been converted into vibrant learning environment, BuzzFeed reports.

Launched by the Iraqi Children Foundation in 2017, the Hope Bus served more than 117 children in its first year of operation. And it is continuing to make a major impact on the lives of homeless, orphaned, and displaced children in one of Baghdad's poorest neighborhoods.

Take Action: Tweet at Japan's Foreign Minister to End NTDs and Fund Education in Emergencies

 

Complete with colorful desks, school supplies, and a blackboard, the bus fits 50 to 55 students at a time. Because of the Hope Bus, children who were unable to go to school because of the war are now learning to read, write, and do math on the repurposed vehicle.

But the Hope Bus is more than a classroom — it also provides the city's most vulnerable children with nutrition, health care, and social services.

After seeing the success of the first Hope Bus, Iraqi Children Foundation is investing in a second bus, with the hope of bringing tutoring and essential services to more kids in need.

Read More: This Global Teacher Prize Finalist Is Revolutionising Literacy in South Africa

An estimated 800,000 children were left orphaned after the Iraq War and approximately 1.3 million have been displaced due to violence by ISIS. Growing up around armed conflict makes it difficult for children to attend school and puts their development at risk.

Globally, 265 million children cannot attend school due to active conflict, natural disasters, and poverty. Approximately 22% are of those children are primary school-aged, and half live in areas affected by war and conflict, according to the United Nations.

Access to quality education is essential for eradicating extreme poverty. The UN has set the goal of ensuring that all of the world's children have equal access to education by 2030. Accomplishing this goal will demand both global action and community-based initiatives like the Hope Bus to ensure that children receive quality education, even under the most challenging circumstances.

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MAY 22, 2018

 

 
 
GIRLS & WOMEN

11-Year-Old Meghan Markle Has a Feminist Message You Need to Hear

She tackled her concerns about sexism head-on.

When Meghan Markle shut down her lifestyle website shortly before announcing her engagement to Prince Harry, it sparked concerns among fansthat her new enrolment into the British monarchy would curb her calling out sexism wherever she saw it.

But it looks like Markle — now the Duchess of Sussex — has no intention of letting herself be silenced. Her official profile on the royal family's website went live this week, and it made perfectly clear her continued commitment to gender equality. 

Take action: Sign This Petition to #LevelTheLaw and Empower Girls and Women Around the World

 

 

 

And, judging by this interview from 1993, 11-year-old Markle would be so proud. 

The footage shows her on Nickelodeon’s children’s news programme "Nick News," speaking about her first foray into activism. 

 

It all came about after she saw an advert for dish shop, with the slogan: “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” 

When she saw the advert at school, and two boys in her class joked that women "belong" in the kitchen, she reportedly went home and told her parents. Her father then suggested she write a letter "to the most powerful people" about it.

Read more: Meghan Markle Set to Break This Sexist Tradition at Wedding to Prince Harry

Her letter went to Procter & Gamble, the company behind the advert, as well as to First Lady Hillary Clinton, women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, and "Nick News" anchor Linda Ellerbee. 

And it worked — she got "women" changed to "people."

"I don’t think it is right for kids to grow up thinking that Mom does everything,” Markle says in the video, which was found by Inside Edition and rerun by TV programme NickSplat in honour of the wedding this weekend. “It’s always 'Mom does this,' and 'Mom does that.'” 

“I said, 'Wait a minute, how could somebody say that?'” she continues. “Just about one out of every three commercials is going to say something that’s going to hurt somebody’s feelings.” 

Read more: Meghan Markle Spoke About #MeToo and Everyone Needs to Hear Her Message

She added: "If you see something that you don’t like or offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people and you can really make a difference, for not just yourself but for lots of other people."

Preach. 

Markle told the story of her first experience of driving positive change when she spoke at the United Nations in 2015, as a UN ambassador for women’s rights.

"It just wasn't right and something needed to be done," she said in the speech. "At the age of 11, I created my small level of impact by standing up for equality." 

Read more: 5 Issues We Want Meghan Markle to Tackle as a Royal

Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, which include action on gender equality. We believe that the more women with public platforms who can speak out about feminism and raise awareness around gender discrimination, the better. 

Procter & Gamble is a partner of Global Citizen, working to achieve a world free from gender bias. You can find out more about the work P&G is doing to advance gender equality around the world here.

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The 'Salt Queen' working to transform the health of a nation

By Eliza Mackintosh, CNN
Photographs by Sarah Tilotta, CNN

Editors Note: CNN is committed to covering gender inequality wherever it occurs in the world. This story is part of As Equals, an ongoing series.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Fatick, Senegal — Marie Diouf, 35, is on her cellphone speaking swiftly in Wolof, a lyrical Senegalese language, as salt flies past her.
Dressed in a red boubou, a long traditional robe, Diouf cuts a striking figure in an otherwise muted landscape encrusted in white. As the sun sets, casting an orange hue over the salt flats of Fatick, in southwestern Senegal, Diouf stands, hand on hip, surveying a group of sinewy young men chipping away at a hardened, crystallized mound.
"When I saw other men who had their own land I thought, 'why not me?'" Diouf said, gesturing across the expansive plains, dotted with ancient baobab trees. In the distance, tucked away in fields of dry maize, is her village Ndiemou, which means "Salt" in the local Serer language.
 
When Senegal privatized land in the area in 2000, Diouf became the first woman to invest. It was a bold move in the west African country, where women have limited access to property despite providing the vast majority of agricultural labor. During the high harvesting season, from February to April, the salt flats are scattered with hundreds of women toiling away in over 40 degrees Celsius (100 degree Fahrenheit), scooping the crystalline mineral into baskets later carried aloft on their heads. But they're not necessarily the ones to benefit financially from the production.
Diouf walks along the edge of irrigation pools at her salt flat in Fatick. In the coming months, the water will evaporate, leaving salt behind.
 
Diouf walks along the edge of irrigation pools at her salt flat in Fatick. In the coming months, the water will evaporate, leaving salt behind.
It's an inequity that didn't sit well with Diouf.
"When I first started, men were telling me that I wasn't going to last in this business, but I would say to them that every job a man can do, a woman can too."
Today, she employs dozens of women and men -- including her husband -- in her own micro-business, producing about four to five tons of salt daily in peak season by extracting water from a nearby river to evaporate on land.
"At home my husband is the boss, but here, in the salt flats, it's me," Diouf said, breaking into an infectious laugh.
Young men chip away at a hardened mount of salt on Diouf's land in Fatick.
 
Young men chip away at a hardened mount of salt on Diouf's land in Fatick.
The same year Diouf leased her plot of land, a presidential decree mandated that all salt harvested in Senegal be iodized. It's a public health strategy widely considered to be the most effective way to prevent iodine deficiency, which can cause goiter (swollen thyroid glands in the neck), stunted growth and mental impairment -- health issues that had long plagued parts of Senegal. And it's cheap to do -- each ton of salt needs about 6 ounces of potassium iodate, which costs only $4.25.
In most developed countries around the world, table salt has been fortified for nearly a century, which is why the concept of iodine deficiency is almost unheard of in places like the United States.
But not here.
Bags of iodized salt ready for distribution.
 
Bags of iodized salt ready for distribution.
Despite being the largest salt producer in West Africa (Senegal mines nearly 500,000 tons annually), iodine deficiency is still a stubborn problem across the country. Experts say that's down to quality control. Most Senegalese people get their salt from small scale artisanal harvesters, like Diouf, who make up about one-third of the country's overall production. But many fail to iodize their salt effectively.
Those quality issues are why the Iodine Global Network, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and others are pushing for Senegal to pivot from supporting small scale producers to deploying iodized salt industrially instead: in processed foods, condiments and seasonings, such as stock cubes.
Only 37% of Senegalese households have access to adequately iodized salt, according to a 2015 nationwide survey, and the situation is worse in rural areas. For comparison, approximately 70% of all households globally had access in 2013.
And the need for iodine, which is critical to brain development, increases during pregnancy and infancy. In 2015, 30% of pregnant women in Senegal were iodine deficient, according to the same survey. Without the essential nutrient, they risk losing babies in miscarriages, or giving birth to children with permanent neurological damage. Even a slight deficiency can lower a child's I.Q. by 10 to 15 points.
Men working for Diouf use an iodization machine donated by NGO Nutrition International to mix potassium iodate into the salt before packaging.
 
Men working for Diouf use an iodization machine donated by NGO Nutrition International to mix potassium iodate into the salt before packaging.
Other than iodized salt, sources of iodine include seafood, as well as some dairy products and grains (depending on the soil where it's grown). But in rural regions of Senegal, those foods aren't always part of an average diet -- especially for those struggling with poverty and food security.
So Diouf, supported by Canadian-based non-governmental organization Nutrition International, has taken on the mantle of local businesswoman and evangelist, going door-to-door to raise awareness about the importance of iodine. As a result, Marie's village, where she is known as "the queen of salt," seems to buck nationwide data that shows access to adequately iodized salt is lowest in harvesting areas.
Marie Diouf outside her home in the village of Ndiemou, which means "Salt" in the local Serer language.
 
Marie Diouf outside her home in the village of Ndiemou, which means "Salt" in the local Serer language.
Only 11% of populations living in salt harvesting regions have access to iodized salt, compared to 53% in urban areas, according to the 2015 government study.
Adama Nguirane, the regional representative for the government's universal salt iodization project, says this disparity is down to a few factors, but chief among them is a lack of means. It's difficult to convince people to buy iodized salt when they can get it in their backyards for free.
That's why it is critical to get women like Diouf involved in the supply chain, Nguirane says, because they're the ones cooking meals for their families and taking care of the children.
"I believe in the development of my country and it's essential that we fix this problem for our children and our future," Nguirane said. "Marie is the model, and we rely on her to show us the way."
Ndeye Faye, top left, and Seynabou Diouf, right, test salt for iodine content before sealing it in plastic bags, while Fatou Sarr, bottom left, looks on. Marie Diouf employs the women in her micro-business producing and packaging iodized salt.
 
Ndeye Faye, top left, and Seynabou Diouf, right, test salt for iodine content before sealing it in plastic bags, while Fatou Sarr, bottom left, looks on. Marie Diouf employs the women in her micro-business producing and packaging iodized salt.
Menno Mulder-Sibanda, a senior nutrition specialist with the World Bank, which has a long-standing partnership with the Senegalese government, says that reducing iodine deficiency is an "essential" part of investing in the economic growth of a nation, and, given the limited agricultural promise of Senegal, the key driver of its future will be in new service-oriented businesses and technology.
"There is a moral question, of not acting on something that is so, in a way, manageable," Mulder-Sibanda said. "Obviously salt iodization in a country like Senegal is tremendously difficult to implement as a public response. But it baffles me that we haven't moved on this issue."
Aby Faye, 17, holds her two month old baby, Sokhna. Faye says she was aware of the importance of iodine during pregnancy thanks to Marie's campaigning in their village.
 
Aby Faye, 17, holds her two month old baby, Sokhna. Faye says she was aware of the importance of iodine during pregnancy thanks to Marie's campaigning in their village.
Pape Coumb Ndoffene Faye, the headteacher at the village's elementary school, says he has noticed a big difference in his students' achievement as a result of Diouf's work. "Since the project began, I know children have been getting iodized salt at home and in the canteen here, and mental capacity has improved," Faye says, adding that the school now ranks fourth out of 31 for test results in the region.
Faye, who has been working as headteacher since 2004, adds: "If we look at it as a curve, it's been going up since I started."
Pape Coumb Ndoffene Faye, headteacher of Ndiemou's primary school, calls on students during a French lesson.
 
Pape Coumb Ndoffene Faye, headteacher of Ndiemou's primary school, calls on students during a French lesson.
Diouf has high hopes for her 13-year-old daughter Fatou, a graduate of Ndiemou elementary. She now walks about 2.5 miles to her middle school each morning. Diouf wants to see her become a powerful CEO, a diplomat, or even the first female president, one day.
Her aspirations may be high, but they feel attainable. President of Senegal Macky Sall was born in the city of Fatick, just 5 miles from Ndiemou, where he served as Mayor from 2009 to 2012. Local people here have a lot of pride in his success, but the region has changed little since his time in office -- it's still among the poorest in Senegal.
Marie's daughter Fatou, backpack in tow, sets off early one morning for school.
 
Marie's daughter Fatou, backpack in tow, sets off early one morning for school.
Elsewhere in the country, however, Sall's vision for the future looks bright.
On the road to Fatick from Dakar, Senegal's investment in technology and services is embodied in the promise of a glittering, futuristic city: Diamniadio. It's the crown jewel in Sall's Emerging Senegal plan, which aims to alleviate poverty and get Senegal on the road to development by 2035.
Critics have called the $2 billion urban center a vanity project for Sall, who is running for reelection in February.
In any case, it's clear that if basic levels of nutrition aren't delivered in places like Fatick, parts of the population will be left behind on Senegal's road to economic fulfillment.
Still, Diouf is hopeful.
"Macky Sall won't be here forever, we want our children to be prepared to replace him."
Meissa Seck contributed to this report from Fatick.
 
 
 

The As Equals reporting project is funded by the European Journalism Centre via its Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme. Click here for more stories like this.

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AGRICULTURE

Kenyan women have found a way to buy land, and make a profit

21 January 2019 4:52PM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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This story was originally reported by Kagondu Njagi and edited by Robert Carmichael for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

For the women of Tuluroba village’s self-help group, the goal was simple: use their combined savings to buy cattle, fatten them and sell them to the beef industry for slaughter.

But there was a problem.

“We had no land to graze the cattle. Nor could we obtain a loan from a bank to buy land, because as women we do not own title deeds,” said Fatuma Wario, who chairs the 13-strong group.

That is common. Few women in Kenya have land title documents, and few are getting them: since 2013, less than 2 percent of issued titles have gone to women, the Kenya Land Alliance, a non-profit, said in March 2018.

And because getting a loan from a mainstream bank requires collateral – typically in the form of a land title document – most women are locked out of the chance to start a business.

In the end, the women of the HoriJabesa group borrowed money from an institution that loans money to women’s groups without requiring land title. Instead, the cash from their savings underwrites the loan.

In Wario’s case, that meant switching their savings account to the bank that was prepared to extend a $1,000 loan. Using that money and some of their savings, “we bought cattle and hired land to graze our stock”.

That was in 2017. Doing so meant the group could rent 10 acres (4 hectares) of pasture at a cost of 30,000 Kenyan shillings (US$300) annually.

Interest on the loan is 12 percent per year. In their first year they earned $10,000 from their investment – with each fattened head of cattle bringing in a US$30 profit.

THOUSANDS BENEFIT

The first step for Wario’s group was to become a partner with the Program for Rural Outreach of Financial Innovations and Technologies PROFIT, which is funded by the U.N International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

David Kanda, an adviser at the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation who has seen the impact PROFIT has had on women like Wario, said about 60 women’s groups in eastern Kenya alone were benefiting from the PROFIT program.

“Apart from livestock enterprises, the programme also supports women to do poultry and bee-keeping on hired land.”

The programme began in December 2010 and is scheduled to run until June this year. After that, it will be evaluated with an eye to continuing it, an official from AGRA said.

Getting a loan requires that the person be an active member of an agribusiness network. She can then apply to a farmer-lending institution for a loan as an individual – in which case her share in the agribusiness network is her collateral – or with her group, as Wario’s collective did.

The Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), a government agency, is one such lending institution.

To date, said Millicent Omukaga, AFC’s head of operations, more than 40,000 women in Kenya have benefited from non-collaterised loans. None of those loans has gone bad.

“Our aim is to double the number … of women beneficiaries. But the overall aim is to see them financially empowered so that they can fight for their land rights.”

GRASS BOUNTY

That has proven the case for Mabel Katindi, a widow who lives in Kathiani village in Machakos county, 195 kilometres south of Wario’s village.

The 42-year-old lost her husband a decade ago. Since then she has had to fight off relatives trying to chase her and her three children from the one-acre plot she inherited.

The problem is that her late husband did not have a title deed. As it is ancestral land, it fell under one title deed held by the eldest member of his family, she said.

And without title, Katindi could not get a loan to finance money-earning ventures on her acre.

“Our land is not very good for growing food crops because the rains are not enough. Feeding my children alone has been the most difficult task,” she said.

But after joining the local women’s organisation in 2017, Katindi learned that, as an active member of the agribusiness group, she could use her share to apply for a loan.

In March of that year she borrowed 50,000 shillings from a savings and credit cooperative, and used that to plant drought-resistant brachiaria grass on half an acre of her land.

The grass has thrived, she said.

“Demand for the grass is very high because it makes cattle produce a lot of milk. It also does not require a lot of rain to grow,” said Katindi.

Each bale of grass earns up to 300 shillings, with the half-acre generating 100 bales each year. She uses the other half-acre to grow staple foods for the family.

“My children are all in school. I do not have to worry about feeding them,” Katindi said, adding that the financial returns from the loan had also helped to mend relations with her late husband’s family.

“I even use some of my money to support the relatives who wanted to chase me away from the land.”

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

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GIRLS & WOMEN

The Very Good Reason South Korean Women Are Giving Up Makeup and Cutting Their Hair

"We are not dolls, we are human beings."

south-korea-women-no-makeup-trf-grab.png__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.png
South Korean university student Yim Ji-su poses for a photo during an interview in Seoul, South Korea January 11, 2019.
Seulki Lee/Thomson Reuters Foundation

By Seulki Lee

SEOUL, Feb 19 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — South Korean university student Yim Ji-su used to sacrifice up to two hours of sleep each morning for her laborious makeup routine — from applying foundation and concealer to perming her shoulder-length hair.

But about six months ago, she joined a growing band of young women who have given up makeup and cut their hair short to rebel against long-held ideals of beauty they claim to have been subjected to in male-dominated South Korea.

The phenomenon has sparked debate in the beauty-obsessed nation, and brands are rethinking their marketing strategies to cater to the growing movement.

"We are not dolls, we are human beings," Yim, a third-year student in Korean literature told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from the capital Seoul.

She was bare-faced and sporting a buzz cut.

"By escaping this corset, I feel like I am myself again," she said, adding that a number of students at her campus have also jumped on the bandwagon.

South Korea's wide range of skincare and cosmetic products has earned the industry the name "K-beauty", a term reminiscent of the moniker "K-pop" which refers to the booming pop music scene.

South Korea has become one of the world's top 10 beauty markets, according to global market research firm Mintel, with many women taking it to the extreme of plastic surgery to reach uniform beauty standards.

But it is also known as a socially conservative country — it has one of the worst gender wage gaps among developed nations, and is ranked 115 out of 149 countries in the World Economic Forum's 2018 Global Gender Gap report.

Against this backdrop, discontent among women about society's patriarchal aspects has been slowly growing.

'I Would Kill Myself'

Tens of thousands of women took to the streets in Seoul last year to protest against the spy-camera porn phenomenon, where victims were filmed illicitly when changing or having sex.

Around the same time, a small group of women also began joining what is known as the "Escape the corset" movement, taking to social media to post images of themselves destroying their cosmetics.

YouTube star Lina Bae used to offer makeup tutorials on the video sharing site, but in a viral video last June, she revealed the dark side of the rigid beauty standards and the ridicule she has had to suffer.

In her video, which has attracted nearly 7 million views, Bae said some viewers told her "I would kill myself if I were you" and "Didn't know pig can make up".

She said many women were so insecure about their own appearances that they have to put on makeup even for a short trip to nearby supermarkets.

"I am not pretty but it is fine," said Bae, whose real name is Bae Eun-jeong, as she wipes away her bronze eyeshadow and red lipstick in the video.

"I will not be able to wear this corset forever," she added.

Despite the growing movement, analysts said the K-beauty sector is unlikely to be affected, and Mintel data showed it is expected to reach a retail market value of $11.4 billion in 2019, from $10.7 billion in 2018.

 

"(It) is a movement that is emerging among South Korea's younger generations today, but it is a trend that has not yet reached the mainstream public," said Hwa Jun Lee, a senior beauty analyst at Mintel in Seoul.

But he warned brands not to take the trend lightly.

Some companies have already begun responding to the growing movement by shifting away from the existing rigid beauty standards to emphasise minimalism, with "all-in-one" beauty products that simplify skincare routines, said Lee.

Popular Korean cosmetics brand Missha, meanwhile, has featured a short-haired female model in one of its latest commercials, and other local brands like LAKA are the same.

"While still in its nascent stage, it is important for brands to note that the 'Escape the corset' movement has the potential to grow further in the future," the analyst said.

Sustained Effort

Supporters of the movement said giving up makeup is only the start of a bigger push for greater gender equality, as South Korean women confront daily sexism.

"It is about women's choice... The movement is about changing our everyday culture," said Shin Ji-ye, a 28-year-old politician who stole headlines last year when she ran for the post of Seoul mayor but lost.

But campaigner Heather Barr said it would be a long haul for feminists in South Korea to achieve greater women's rights, including introducing stronger legislation against abuse and sexual harassment. "(It) will take a sustained effort, but they show no signs of giving up," said the senior women's rights researcher at global watchdog Human Rights Watch.

(Writing and additional reporting by Beh Lih Yi @behlihyi; Editing by Jason Fields. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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London Fashion Week Just Took a Stand on FGM and Women's Reproductive Rights

Author:
Imogen Calderwood

Mario Bertieri at Moderne Lab

Feb. 19, 2019

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Why Global Citizens Should Care
The United Nations' Global Goal 5 demands gender equality, including an end to discrimination against women and girls; an end to all violence against and exploitation of women and girls; and the elimination of forced marriages and genital mutilation. Natalie B Colman’s latest fashion collection helps carry the message of these vital goals, spreading awareness through clothes, art, and culture. Join the movement by taking action here to help empower women and girls around the world. 

Activism is in the air at London Fashion Week, which launched in the UK capital on Feb. 15. 

The five-day event is one of the world’s biggest international fashion showcases, and it’s the perfect platform to get social issues front and centre. 

Already we’ve seen climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion launch road blocks to protest unsustainable “fast fashion”, some of the country’s leading models stand with Grenfell survivors, and the first-ever London Fashion Week that’s gone entirely fur-free. 

Take Action: Not One More: Help Global Citizen End Female Genital Mutilation

And on Sunday morning, as the capital rubbed its bleary Saturday night eyes, Global Citizen headed to Discovery Lab on the Strand to find out what exactly a fashion show inspired by 25 years of reproductive rights looks like. 

Beautiful, as it turns out. Highly symbolic, female-centric, full of strength, and inspired by a whole history of women’s handicrafts. 

full (111 of 120).jpgImage: Mario Bertieri at Moderne Lab

Irish-born Natalie B Colman is the designer behind the Autumn-Winter 2019 collection Sisters, created in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with the aim of using fashion to help spread the message of universal sexual and reproductive rights. 

Colman has — since establishing a design studio and launching her label in 2011 — become known for collections that play on feminine silhouettes and her sometimes subversive illustrative prints and motifs, that have developed a strong female rhetoric. 

Sisters has a main line of about 20 pieces, Colman told Global Citizen, as we watched the models slowly rotate around the studio space against a backdrop of video content created by the UN’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency. 

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Mario Bertieri at Moderne Lab

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It’s all very “female-centric, skill-led in terms of there’s a lot of embroidery, lace making, handknit,” she continues. “It was a way of connecting women all over the world who use these female-centric skills to raise families, to make money.

“Then we’ve got the underpinning commercial line, which has a lot of the motifs that are taken from the female body and flipped around and played with,” she added. “We’ve got a wedding dress … that’s got the whole reproductive system handmade on the sleeves, and then remade in a different kind of texture on the front.” 

Meanwhile, splashes of red on white dresses symbolise the fight to end female genital mutilation; black early 18th century wedding dresses represent the harmful practice of child marriage; and a repeating shield motif inspired by the basic meaning of the Latin word “vagina” being “sheath.” 

Related StoriesFeb. 1, 2019Mother Who Cut Her Daughter Is First Ever FGM Conviction in UK

The collaboration with the UNFPA first began last year, and was inspired by Colman’s collection Guaranteed to Bleed, which was “basically about periods,” she says.

The collaboration sees 10% of the profits from the Sisters collection go towards supporting the work of the UNFPA — but it’s about so much more than a financial link, and throughout the development of the collection Colman was “deeply engaged” with the UNFPA’s work to meet the critical need for family planning, to prevent maternal deaths, and to end harmful practices against women and girls.

“With fashion, it kind of filters through, so it’s a way of people engaging, of telling a story, and [one] that they can also become a part of,” continues Colman. “People are making a conscious decision when they’re buying something, and the commercial line is also all sustainable, organic cotton.” 

full (63 of 120).jpgImage: Mario Bertieri at Moderne Lab

“Just as the conscious consumer you’re buying something that has a story, or a narrative, behind it, so I think it’s very important,” she adds. 

The collection, she says, is highly influenced by the powerful bonds that exist between women and girls in our contemporary global society, and the partnership between Colman and the UNFPA aims to emphasise the importance of sisterhood in “times of rapid and turbulent change.”

It works to highlight the collaborative power of sisterhood, the “coming together of women to mobilise and build support systems — to fulfil the promise of rights and choices for all.” 

The date of the show was also highly significant.

Feb. 17 marked 25 years since the ground-breaking International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994, and 24 years since the Beijing Women’s Conference — both landmark events at which sexual and reproductive health became a fundamental human right, according to the UNFPA. 

full (104 of 120).jpgImage: Mario Bertieri at Moderne Lab

full (16 of 120).jpgImage: Mario Bertieri at Moderne Lab

“She’s really taken all these harmful practices and inequalities that women face, and melded that with her fashion design to come up with this collection,” Matt Jackson, the UNFPA’s UK director, told Global Citizen at the show. 

“Fashion is everywhere, this is the way we can take the message of our mandate of the International Conference on Population and Development into people’s homes and hearts and people talk about fashion at school, work, with friends, in the home, so it’s a really good way of trying to expand the message and get it to reach everyone,” he said.

Related StoriesFeb. 13, 2019UK Government Recommits to Ending Breast-Ironing of Young Girls

Even now, 25 years on from ICPD, there are still numerous challenges in the fight to make sure that everyone has the right to sexual and reproductive health.

According to the UNFPA, both women and men around the world are facing barriers that mean they aren’t able to access timely, respectful, quality care, and the information they need to ensure their sexual and reproductive health rights are met. 

To help make sure that everyone is able to enjoy this human right, we need to get talking about sex, reproduction, and choices for everyone. We need to be doing it all the time, at school, home, work, with your friends and family. And fashion is a great way to get started. 

Actúa: Sign Now

 
Millions of Girls and Women Are Still the Victims of Genital Mutilation, Sign Our Petition to #LeveltheLaw and Put an End to This Horrible Practice
 
Dear World Leaders, Recognizing that girls and women everywhere are disproportionately affected by poverty, violence and human rights violations, I urge you to champion the reform or repeal of laws that discriminate against girls and women, and the enactment of measures to outlaw discrimination and gender-based violence in order to achieve gender equality by 2030. An estimated 90% of all countries have at least one legal difference between women and men limiting women’s opportunities. In several countries, girls are restricted from attending school, forced into legally sanctioned child marriages and are not protected from violence and harmful practices, including female genital mutilation (FGM), despite their age. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), which place girls and women at the core, provide a critical roadmap to deliver on SDG target 5.3 and eliminate all harmful laws, norms and practices that are a direct violation of girls and women’s human rights - including FGM. At least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM, posing serious implications to their health, including high risk of HIV transmission and childbirth complications, and infringing on their autonomy and control over their lives. I welcome the global effort towards achieving this target, but urge for continued and accelerated progress to strengthen legal frameworks for girls and women and end FGM for good.
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ALIMENTOS Y HAMBRE

Restauró 240 millones de árboles en África occidental, y podrían ayudar a combatir el hambre

"La naturaleza se curaría a sí misma, solo necesitamos dejar de explotarla".

 

Por qué los Global Citizens deberían preocuparse
La restauración de los bosques en todo el mundo puede aumentar la seguridad alimentaria, mejorar el acceso al agua y proteger a las comunidades de los peores efectos del cambio climático. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.


Tony Rinaudo estuvo a cargo del crecimiento de 240 millones de árboles en docenas de países, según informó recientemente The Guardian.

El "Fabricante de bosques", como él mismo se autodenomina, llegó por primera vez a Níger desde Australia hace 30 años e intentó restaurar el paisaje devastado plantando tantos árboles como sea humanamente posible.

Después de dos años, hizo pocos progresos y comenzó a reevaluar su modo de trabajo. Fue entonces cuando se dio cuenta de que podía trabajar en un método para mejorar el suelo, la poda regular de las ramas y la protección de los troncos cuando se araban los campos.


"En ese momento, todo cambió", le dijo a The Guardian. "No necesitábamos plantar árboles, no se trataba de tener un presupuesto de varios millones de dólares y años para hacerlo, todo lo que necesitabas estaba en el terreno".

"La naturaleza se curará a sí misma, solo tenemos que dejar de hacerle daño", agregó.

El método de Rinaudo se conoce como regeneración natural administrada por el agricultor y permite que los bosques se desarrollen en condiciones difíciles. A medida que los árboles florecen, las comunidades aledañas obtienen un gran impulso en la seguridad alimentaria, la calidad del agua y la resistencia ante las tormentas.

Tony-prunes-a-tree-760x500.jpgImage: World Vision

A partir de 2013, Nigeria ha cultivado alimentos suficientes para alimentar a otros 2,5 millones de personas con la ayuda del método de Rinaudo, según informó World Vision.

En Níger, donde Rinaudo comenzó con esta tarea, los agricultores vieron grandes mejoras en sus cosechas una vez que la red subterránea de árboles se afianzó.

El año pasado, viajó al oeste de Afganistán para ayudar a los agricultores afectados por la sequía a restaurar los paisajes montañosos. La inseguridad alimentaria en Afganistán afecta a un tercio de la población.

Ahora ha comenzado a divulgar su técnica de mejora del suelo y a hacer campaña en las Naciones Unidas para mejorar el manejo forestal en todo el mundo, informó The Guardian.

A nivel mundial, se destruyen 18,7 millones de acres de bosques cada año, lo que equivale a perder 27 campos de fútbol por cada minuto, según datos de WWF.

A medida que los árboles desaparecen de un área, la biodiversidad se desvanece, las sequías se vuelven más comunes y los paisajes se vuelven más vulnerables a las tormentas, inundaciones y deslizamientos de tierra. La deforestación también es un importante motor del cambio climático, ya que representa el 15% de las emisiones anuales de gases de efecto invernadero a medida que se libera el carbono almacenado en los árboles.

Los principales impulsores de la deforestación son las tierras desmejoradas como consecuencia de la ganadería, la agricultura y el desarrollo, señaló WWF. Los incendios forestales y las plagas también son amenazas crecientes para los árboles a medida que las temperaturas aumentan en todo el mundo.

Rinaudo cree que su método de regeneración de bosques puede ayudar en la lucha contra el cambio climático, al mismo tiempo que refuerza la seguridad alimentaria y la resistencia al agua.

"Podemos hacer esto de un modo muy barato y rápido", le dijo a The Guardian.

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Lebanon Just Appointed the Arab World's First Female Interior Minister

Raya al-Hassan is ready to ensure safety for domestic violence survivors and refugees.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Equal representation in government is key to achieving gender equality. Raya al-Hassan’s appointment empowers young girls and women to enter male-dominated workplaces. You can join us in taking action on this issue here

Raya al-Hassan is determined to make women in politics the norm. 

Lebanon has appointed Hassan as the Arab world’s first female interior minister, Reuters reports. She is one of four recently appointed women cabinet members in the country who are shaking up the new government and bringing the nation’s politics closer to achieving gender equality. 

Take Action: Encourage girls & women to follow their dreams

Actúa: Tweet Now

 
 
 
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En asociación con: HP Inc.

The interior minister typically oversees national security, immigration policies, and emergency management — and in Lebanon, the position has always been occupied by a man.

“This is a point of pride for all women and all the people who believe in women’s capabilities,” Hassan told Reuters.

 

First meeting today w/ HE @rayaelhassan, first female Minister of Interior in the Arab world and a good friend of Europe! Discussed important #EU cooperation w/ MoI, incl citizen-oriented policing, human rights training of security officers, GBV, election follow up etc.Good luck!

 
 
 
 

 

 

Hassan’s nomination is a big step forward for the country, which ranked the 10th worst in the world for women in 2018 in a World Economic Forum report and also appointed a man as minister for women in the last administration.  

Some of Lebanon’s religious laws currently dictate marriage, divorce, and inheritance, enforcing a patriarchal society that restricts women from receiving equal rights.

Hassan, who previously served as the country’s finance minister, hopes that, in the future, women holding office isn’t considered unique. Nada Boustani Khoury, minister of energy and water, May Chidiac, minister of administration development, and Violette Safadi, minister of economic empowerment of women and youth, will work alongside her.

Read More: Lebanon Is Campaigning For More Women In Parliament

In her new role, Hassan plans to focus on helping domestic violence survivors, who face ongoing physical and mental challenges after suffering abuse. It’s estimated that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. In the majority of countries with available data, less than 40% of the women who experience violence seek help. Lebanon passed the Law on the Protection of Women and Family From Domestic Violence in 2014 but it didn’t criminalize all forms of domestic violence, including marital rape. An unreliable criminal complaint process also stops many women from reporting their cases.

"Police posts in every village or city of Lebanon have to listen to abused women and take in consideration women's complaints ... I will be strict about this issue," Hassan promises.

Hassan is ready to take on Lebanon’s biggest security challenges. She’s also committed to supporting Lebanon’s large Syrian refugee population. Of Lebanon’s nearly 1 million Syrian refugees, 41% of the young women were married before the age of 18. Girls who enter child marriages are 50% more likely to face physical or sexual partner violence and stay out of school.

“There are a lot of female interior and defense ministers in the world and they have proved their efficiency,” Hassan said

Now it’s her turn. 

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FEB. 18, 2019

 

 
 
OPINIONENVIRONMENT

What's Next for the Climate Activists Who Skipped School to Protest?

Four pieces of advice for what's to come.

By Marc Hudson, PhD Candidate, Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester

School students across the UK (and the world) went on strike on Feb. 15, leaving their lessons to protest the lack of effective action on climate change. Coordinated school strikes may be a novel tactic, but mass environmental activism isn’t. So will things be any more successful this time around?

The first big global wave of ecological concern began in the late 1960s and involved fears of overpopulation, air and water pollution and the extinction of species. It peaked with the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which kicked off international environmental politics.

Take Action: Take the Pledge to #UnplasticThePlanet

Actúa: Take the Pledge

 
 
 
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United StatesUnited KingdomGermanyCanadaAustraliaAfghanistanÅland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCabo VerdeCambodiaCameroonCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo (the Democratic Republic of the)Cook IslandsCosta RicaCôte d'IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands  [Malvinas]Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambia (The)GeorgiaGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHoly See  [Vatican City State]HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia (the Federated States of)MoldoviaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorth KoreaNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestine, State ofPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarRéunionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint BarthélemySaint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth KoreaSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands (British)Virgin Islands (U.S.)Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe

 

 

En asociación con: Flow Alkaline Spring Water

The next mass movement began in the late 1980s with concerns over the ozone hole, Amazonian deforestation, and newly-voiced fears of climate change — then known as the "greenhouse effect". That wave peaked with the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, which sought to tackle both global warming and biodiversity, and marked the beginning of coordinated climate action through the UN. That conference was addressed by a passionate and articulate young woman representing “ECO” — the Environmental Children’s Organization:

 

From about 2006 to 2010 there was another, climate specific wave, beginning with Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth documentary, and groups like Climate Camp in the UK. It climaxed (or fizzled out) with the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen. This wave saw the creation of various “Youth Climate Coalition” organisations in Australia and the UK.

In academic terminology these periods of concern and relative indifference are known as the “Issue Attention Cycles”.

A new wave of activism

This latest wave of climate action emerged in 2018, in the shape of Extinction Rebellion and its French cousin (or inverse) the gilets jaunes. Earlier in the year, Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg had begun her solo “school strike” in Stockholm while, more or less simultaneously, activists in America launched the “Zero Hour” youth climate march.

Alongside this activism, the IPCC released its report on what it would take to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and Mother Nature lent a hand with blistering hot summers in the UK, California, and (more recently) Australia.

Previous bursts of environmental activism occurred before climate breakdown had been quite so obvious and severe. This time around, the heatwaves, hurricanes, and floods will keep coming, perhaps making the latest wave of enthusiasm last longer.

Related StoriesFeb. 15, 2019Young People Are Ditching School to Protest Climate Change. We Asked Why They Care.

Maintaining momentum

But what goes up must come down, and the students will find that it is very hard indeed to sustain emotional and physical mobilisation for a prolonged period. Right now, this issue is roughly where the Parkland shooting protests were last year — newsworthy for now, but the media caravan will inevitably move on.

That has consequences: When protests and actions stop getting the same amount of attention, and it seems that momentum is stalling, internal disagreements as to what is the best way forward, beyond a cycle of marches and symbolic strikes, will emerge, and will need to be managed skilfully. Some will want to work “within the system” and get invited onto advisory panels and into consultative processes. Others will have to get on with real life (university, paying the rent, working on, ah, zero-hour contracts).

On one front, the young are lucky – their age means it is hard to see any direct infiltration and “strategic incapacitation” by undercover police. But the flip side is that social media offers virtually limitless surveillance possibilities.

 

Heroic students all over the country just skipped school to protest climate change! ✊🌍 So we talked to a few of them to ask them why it's so important.

(Wait until the end — it's worth it we promise) 💕#YouthStrike4Climate #SchoolStrike4Climate #ClimateStrike

 
 
 
 

One possibility is an attempt to discredit and demoralise those who seem vulnerable. Elements of special interests like the oil and gas industry often try to “pick off” individual scientists or activists rather than take on a whole field — climate scientist Michael Mann has dubbed this the Serengeti Strategy as it resembles lions hunting the weakest zebras. We are already seeing this strategy in the latest wave of climate activism: recently Greta Thunberg had to address some rumours being circulated about her.

Youth activists also face the problem that they may annoy their parents and grandparents. Yet before offering advice to the young, we older people have to ask ourselves, why should they listen to us? We’ve known about the problem and either been ineffective or done nothing. It is children who are owed an enormous apology and expression of humility.

So for the latest generation of climate campaigners, my top four pieces of advice (see here for a longer list), based on both my activism and my time in academia, are as follows:

  • Be aware of emotions. People won’t be persuaded just by being given more information on global temperatures or carbon budgets – psychological skills will matter, too.
  • Your parents are probably wrestling with fear (aren’t we all?) and guilt for not having sorted this out before you had to. Fear and guilt make can make people oscillate from action to inaction, pessimism to optimism.
  • Traditional “social movement” activities (marches, petitions, protests, camps) have a short shelf-life. The media gets bored and stops reporting. Meanwhile, those in power learn how to cope with the pressure. Be very careful about getting drawn into the Big Marches in London syndrome. You’re going to need to innovate, repeatedly.
  • Even though time is short, this is still a marathon, not a sprint.

But what would you say? How should we older people offer advice, when, who to, and about what? Suggestions in the comments please.

This article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original article here.

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1 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2015

 

6
 
CIUDADANÍA

Esta granja de piñas en Colombia podría convertirse en un ejemplo para la paz

Esta fruta es la ganadora.

pineapples_colombia_hero.jpg__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg
 Wikimedia Commons- Abejaobrera

¿Alguna vez tuviste una pelea importante con un buen amigo? Hay gritos y maldiciones... ¿tal vez incluso un golpe o algunas lágrimas?

 

Por lo general, en algún momento, independientemente de qué tan explosivo haya sido el argumento, hay una "resolución". La gente se disculpa, murmura "lo siento" y la pelea termina.

 

Pero realmente no ha terminado.

 

Como probablemente recuerde cualquiera que alguna vez ha estado en una pelea real, que una "buena batalla haya terminado" en realidad no significa que todo vuelva a ser color de rosa. La transición lleva un tiempo. Persiste el resentimiento y la ira después de la "resolución".

 

Imagino que los distintos grupos opuestos de un conflicto armado deben tener esta sensación multiplicada por un millón.

Pero, sinceramente, cuando das un paso atrás y lo piensas, es una locura cómo los países se mueven más allá de una guerra civil. ¿Cómo después de años de hacer estrategias contra el enemigo, de odiarse mutuamente, de matarse unos a otros, de repente se firma un tratado de paz y se supone que todos deben volver a vivir pacíficamente en el mismo país? Es bastante loco. Si a los estudiantes de secundaria de dieciséis años les toma un tiempo hacer la transición, seguro que a los ejércitos también les lleva un tiempo.

 

Tampoco es difícil imaginar momentos en que los soldados simplemente se derrumban. A medida que pasa el tiempo, su hostilidad se disipa. Se dan cuenta de que no quieren contribuir a más dolor y sufrimiento. Y aunque desearían poder comenzar de nuevo, no tienen idea de cómo hacerlo.

 

Esta es la situación que enfrenta Colombia a medida que se acerca a un acuerdo de paz después de 50 años de conflicto civil. Es un conflicto que involucra a miles de personas que lucharon entre sí durante décadas y ahora, de alguna manera, necesitan aprender a seguir adelante.

Colombia's army .jpgImage: Wikimedia Commons- Mrnico1092

 

Se siente como una tarea imposiblemente difícil. Pero puede haber un modelo para la paz, un ejemplo de esperanza, en un lugar inesperado: una granja de piña.

Colombia ha estado involucrada en un conflicto extremadamente complicado y prolongado. Aunque actualmente es de baja intensidad, en sus cincuenta años de duración, el conflicto se ha cobrado más de 220,000 vidas(80% de ellas civiles) y ha desplazado a más de 6 millones de personas.

 

Hoy, Colombia tiene la segunda población de desplazados internos más grande del mundo. Solo Siria, un país que ha estado dominando los titulares internacionales, tiene más.

 

Como la mayoría de los conflictos globales, este se reduce al control del territorio y el poder. Los muchos actores involucrados -el gobierno, grupos paramilitares, guerrillas de izquierda- todos creen que sus intereses son más importantes y deberían ser dueños de la tierra. Pero todas las partes han sido acusadas de abusos contra los derechos humanos. Tanto los grupos guerrilleros como los grupos paramilitares que luchan contra ellos han sido acusados de participar en el tráfico de drogas y el terrorismo.

 

En pocas palabras: nadie tiene las manos limpias y son incontables las vidas inocentes que se han destruido en el proceso.

Colombia's internally displaced people.jpgImage: Flickr- Sally

Afortunadamente, en 2012, Colombia dijo basta y el gobierno comenzó las negociaciones de paz. Hubo altibajos, y muchas promesas incumplidas. Las conversaciones continúan hoy en La Habana.

 

Pero aún queda una pregunta importante: ¿qué pasará con todas las ex guerrillas y paramilitares de Colombia? ¿Cómo se convencerá a las personas de que dejen sus armas y vivan pacíficamente?

 


En la granja de piñas La Fortuna ha surgido una fuente de inspiración.

 

"La Fortuna", ubicada en el este de Colombia, está a cargo de 100 ex combatientes que, debido a sus antecedentes, deberían estar matándose unos a otros. Algunos pertenecían a las FARC (el principal grupo guerrillero de izquierda), otros al ELN (otro grupo guerrillero) y otros a dos grupos paramilitares. Son todos hombres que, en esencia, fueron entrenados para odiarse y sabotearse mutuamente, pero han encontrado la manera de ir más allá y trabajar juntos.

 

La granja comenzó a funcionar en 2005 cuando se ordenó a un grupo paramilitar, las AUC, que se desmovilice. Las AUC habían estado luchando contra los grupos guerrilleros y otros rivales por el control del territorio durante más de una década, y el número de víctimas estaba aumentando. El gobierno le pidió a todas las partes involucradas que detengan la violencia. Ellos lo hicieron, pero luego encontraron que era extremadamente difícil reintegrarse a la sociedad. El estigma también alcanzó a los rebeldes y los paramilitares. Las víctimas los querían muertos. Y era muy difícil encontrar trabajo para estos ex soldados.

 

Todos estos ex soldados, independientemente de su afiliación, se sentían como parias, que eran odiados o juzgados por el resto de la comunidad.

 

Fue desde este lugar de exclusión que nació “La Fortuna”. Al principio, todos los soldados desmovilizados se reunieron en un gimnasio de la escuela y realizaron talleres. Un día, a alguien se le ocurrió la idea de pedirle fondos al gobierno para comprar una granja.

 

Ahora 100 socios, todos ex combatientes, comparten la propiedad de 635 acres. Han plantado 500,000 piñas, además de maíz y arroz. Cualquiera que tenga algo de dinero en efectivo puede trabajar la tierra por un día de salario, pero los ingresos se destinan a mantener la granja a flote.

 

En lugar de pelearse, ahora se están ayudando unos a otros. Cambiaron la batalla por la labor en la granja. En lugar de imponer miedo en la sociedad, están plantando esperanza.

Colombia pienapple smiles.jpgImage: Flickr- castigatrote

 

Estos ex soldados dicen que la granja les ha ayudado a hacer la transición de regreso a la sociedad. Se ha convertido en un proyecto compartido, un proyecto que motiva a todos.

 

Un agricultor dijo que esperaba que La Fortuna fuera una fuente de inspiración para sus antiguos amigos de las FARC.

 

"Creo que mostrarles esto les dará la idea de que 'sí, podemos hacerlo'. Sabemos que no todos quieren estar asociados con personas como nosotros, y no todos quieren apoyar a personas como nosotros, pero estamos tratando de dejar de lado ese estigma. Todo lo que queremos hacer es trabajar ".

 

Aunque los agricultores de La Fortuna probablemente no lo piensen, su granja podría servir como modelo para el mundo en general. Su proyecto es una prueba de que incluso las personas menos esperadas pueden convertirse en aliadas en una causa compartida. Una prueba de que cuando te tomas el trabajo en conocer a alguien, en sentarte y hablar, a menudo descubres que hay más terreno común de lo que imaginabas.

 

Es un mensaje que los Global Citizens pretenden lograr incluso en los momentos más simples de la vida cotidiana. Nuestro objetivo es encontrar siempre una manera de cerrar las brechas, comunicarnos y conectarnos. Ya sea a través de una actitud compasiva hacia los refugiados o simplemente tratar a un vecino con un carácter difícil con amabilidad, ser un Global Citizen implica esforzarse por ver más allá de la superficie y creer que tus acciones pueden hacer la diferencia. Es ahí donde se encuentra el verdadero progreso.

 

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0
HIV/AIDS

These Zambian acrobats are flipping HIV taboos on their head

28 September 2018 3:47PM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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This post was originally written by Emma Batha. Editing by Claire Cozens for Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Zambian slum of Chibolya is notorious for crime and drugs, but acrobat Gift Chansa wants to get the township’s youth hooked on a very different high – circus.

Chansa is co-founder of Circus Zambia, the country’s first social circus, which provides disadvantaged young people with education and job opportunities while teaching them everything from unicycling and fire-eating to tumbling and juggling.

The circus also runs a “Clowns for Condoms” project to help tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia, where myths persist that the disease is linked to witchcraft.

Set up in 2015, Circus Zambia has already gained international attention, performing in Britain, the United States, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands and across Africa.

Chansa grew up in Chibolya, a poor Lusaka township which one Zambian journalist recently likened to Sodom and Gomorrah.

It is an image the charismatic acrobat is keen to dispel. He says young people are discriminated against and refused jobs simply for mentioning they come from Chibolya.

“When you grow up there, no one takes you seriously,” Chansa told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during a tour of Britain this month.

“So we wanted to say, ‘Look, not everybody is a criminal. There are young people coming up that are knowledgeable … young people that are ready to take over the world’. And that’s why we created the platform Circus Zambia.”

 

Source: BBC What’s New? Circus Zambia UK Tour, August 2018

 

While in London, Chansa met Queen Elizabeth to receive the Queen’s Young Leader Award which recognises “exceptional people” from across the Commonwealth who are transforming lives in their communities and beyond.

Drink & drugs

The eldest of six children, Chansa never knew his father. He was raised by his mother and grandparents, who provided him with his distinctive name, calling him a “a gift to the family”.

There were no parks, libraries or youth centres in the township so Chansa and his friends, including Circus Zambia co-founder Benard Kaumba, amused themselves with acrobatic contests in the street.

In 2014, Chansa and Kaumba were invited to train at a circus school in northern China under a scheme sponsored by Beijing after their talents were spotted by a Chinese circus troupe visiting Lusaka.

Chansa, 27, and Kaumba, 28, say if they had not discovered circus they could have easily been dragged into a world of drink and drugs.

“Things were hard for me. Circus kept me busy and helped me stay away from bad influences,” said Kaumba, dressed in his brightly coloured African-print tumbling costume.

“When you go back and see your friends, you see their life is just drugs,” he added, reeling off a list of illicit substances available on the streets of Chibolya.

Today the circus boasts 15 performers and works with 80 children. It has new premises which include a library, class room and training room and is raising money to finish building a theatre.

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Source: Circus Zambia

Circus Zambia is part of a growing global movement of social circuses including Circus Kathmandu in Nepal, created by survivors of trafficking, and Circolombia in Colombia, which works with children from areas where gangs and drugs are rife.

Through circus skills, marginalised young people learn self-esteem, discipline, trust and team-work as well as physical fitness and creative expression.

Social circuses also use entertainment as a tool to engage communities on social or health issues such as alcohol abuse or HIV/AIDS.

Juju myths

Two years ago, Chansa watched a young friend die of HIV/AIDS after he refused medicine, believing he had been cursed. Chansa is now determined to help tackle widespread ignorance around an epidemic that has left one in six people in Lusaka HIV positive.

“In Zambia it’s hard to talk about sex, nobody talks about sex,” said Chansa, who believes the HIV rate is even higher in Chibolya.

“A lot of people will say (HIV/AIDS) is witchcraft, it’s juju, and then they won’t take their medicine – and then they die. We want to say it’s not juju.”

Last year Circus Zambia launched Clowns for Condoms, an initiative that uses circus to bust taboos around HIV, increase awareness and distribute condoms.

Chansa says their colourful wigs and costumes help overcome barriers.

“It’s easy to attract people when you go into the community and people see you dressed as clowns,” he said. “You can (talk to) them just there and then, so that’s why we use circus.”

Chansa wants to expand Circus Zambia to other regions and ensure it has a secure future for the next generation of performers.

He is also dreaming big for his own future.

“I want to be a politician,” Chansa said. “That’s my ambition – because people don’t understand what young people are going through, especially in communities like mine.”

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

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20
GIRLS AND WOMEN

How you can get ready for International Women’s Day!

6 March 2019 6:20PM UTC | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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International Women’s Day is fast approaching! On March 8th, we’ll celebrate the strides and accomplishments of women worldwide, while also taking a critical look at the barriers that millions of women still face.

No matter who you are, what gender you are, or where you live, you have a part to play. When women are given equal opportunities to success, everyone is empowered. When half of the population is held back, the whole world is prevented from moving forward. We all have the power to help create an equal world, but we need to step up to the challenge. International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to learn, spread awareness, and figure out what actions to take next.

Here are five ways you can prepare for International Women’s Day:

1. Get informed about the issues women face.

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First thing first: you can’t be part of the solution if you don’t know the problem. Information is a friend to equality, and there’s plenty of it out there. These five fact-based blogs will get you caught up on the obstacles women and girls still face:

2. Learn about the accomplishments of incredible women.

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Wherever an obstacle exists, chances are you’ll find someone who’s facing it head-on. Celebrating the successes of women and girls reminds us that amazing things happen when everyone is given equal opportunity. There’s an outstanding number of women who deserve recognition, but we’ll start you off with just a few:

3. Support female artisans.

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that good jobs lead to economic empowerment. Women should have fair access to jobs, and they should have fair pay for the work they do. You can support female artisans by buying products from sources that are committed to women’s economic empowerment! You can even find some products that directly support African female artisans in our ONE shop.

4. Show your support with these stylish wallpapers.

Use your screen to make a statement with an inspirational wallpaper! You’ll get a motivational message every time you look at your phone, and it’ll serve as a reminder of the fight ahead.

5. Keep your eyes open – there’s way more to come!

There’s always more knowledge to gain, women’s stories to share, and ways to support the fight for gender equality. Something big is coming on International Women’s Day, so be on the lookout!

Take action for women everywhere

Dear World Leaders,

We are the women at the frontlines of the fight against gender inequality and global poverty.

Every day we see the determination and dignity of girls and women facing down the toughest challenges. We see real advances and the power of people to achieve change. We won’t surrender this fight, but we need you to play your part.

You promised to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030, but at the current rate of progress, this will take 108 years. This is unacceptable. We need genuine progress, not grand promises.

We want implementation and accountability at every level - from this year’s G7 Summit to the Global Fund Replenishment; from our African Union leaders to our community leaders. We will be looking for your actions not your words; for funding to follow promises; and policy to turn into practice. It’s both the right and the smart thing to do for everyone.

To accelerate progress men must demand change with us so that we rise united not divided. And women must have a seat at the decision-making table – because you can’t change what you don’t see.

We’re not looking for your sympathy, we’re demanding your action. Because none of us are equal until all of us are equal.

Yours,

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These young girls already know it's hard being a girl in this world – but they're not letting it stop them. Happy International Women's Day to women and girls everywhere!

 

 

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CITIZENSHIP

8 Photos of Badass Women Who Made Hatred Shrink in Their Presence

Inspiration to keep smiling in the face of hatred.

An image of Saffiyah Khan, a young woman from Birmingham, made waves as it reminded the world of the power of peaceful resistance in the face of grotesque hatred. Stepping into a circle of supporters from the English Defence League to defend a woman wearing a hijab, her expression is rebellious and dignified at the same time. Laidback and seemingly happy — everything the EDL assumes Muslim women not to be — her smile and her stance are the ultimate revenge to the pillar of rage in front her. 

Captured by photographer Joe Giddens, in her denim jacket and Specials t-shirt, Saffiyah has become a symbol of resistance in the 21st century (let’s hope Pepsi have learned their lesson). The moment it has immortalised is powerful in itself, representing the clash between a multicultural and a racist vision, but also because it offers a refreshing picture of a human being who simply has no more time for bigotry. It’s a reminder that hatred shrinks in the face of true humanity. 

Read More: This Woman Stared Down a Far-Right Racist With the Ultimate Act of Defiance

It goes without saying that the internet swelled with hope at the viral photo. After Twitter user @_Xas_ launched a thread labelled "Just a a wee thread of women who truly don't have any time for your sh*t," the Twittersphere responded in kind. Here's a selection of iconic women like Khan who have chosen to step out and bravely stand their ground. 

1/ Tess Asplund vs. 300 neo-Nazis 

 

Just a wee thread of women who truly don't have any time for your shit.

1) Tess Asplund, Borlänge, Sweden - 2016 (Photo - David Lagerlöf)

 
 
 
 

 

42-year-old Tess Asplund marched to face off 300 members of the Nordic Resistance Movement in 2016, an avowedly anti-Semitic and racist movement. “It was an impulse. I was so angry, I just went out into the street,” Asplund told the Guardian. “I was thinking: hell no, they can’t march here! I had this adrenaline. No Nazi is going to march here, it’s not okay.” 

In tribute to her courage, she was named one of the BBC’s 100 Most Inspiring Women in 2016 

 


2/ Jasmin Golubovska Fighting the Ugly Side of Power  

 

 

2) Jasmin Golubovska, Skopje, Macedonia - 2016 (Photo - Ognen Teofilovski, Reuters)

 
 
 
 

 

During a protest in Macedonia over allegations that the prime minister hid the circumstances around the death of a 22-year-old, Jasmin Golubovska’s stared straight into a policeman’s shield to… apply some lipstick. In an interview about the image that spread worldwide, she said: "In principle I do not use a lot of make-up, I wear red lipstick only when I need to repair the tired look of the systemic suppression of freedom" — an original response to the ugliness of oppression. 


3/ Ciara for Scottish Independence

 

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Just a wee thread of women who truly don't have any time for your shit.

1) Tess Asplund, Borlänge, Sweden - 2016 (Photo - David Lagerlöf)

View image on Twitter
 
 

 

Ciara was just 8 years old when she appeared in this photo on the occasion of a visit from Nicola Sturgeon before the Independence referendum in Scotland. To celebrate her boldness, a Just Giving campaign raised £500 for her 10th birthday


4/ The Woman with the Eagle Feather 

 

 

During an intense protest against potential fracking near Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, Canada, 28-year-old Amanda Polchies dropped to her knees in front of a wall of heavily armed police, raised a feather and began to pray. 

The image was shared more than 160,000 times in four hours, and became a symbol of the ongoing battle for Native rights over their home territories. 

Read More: Native Girls Rise — How a Generation of Native Women Are Standing Up and Fighting Back

5/ Ethiopian-Israeli Woman Against State Police 

 

 

After a video emerged of an Israeli police officer beating up a soldier of Ethiopian origin, thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest police brutality. More than 135,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, but integration is a continuous challenge. 


6/ Iesha L. Evans Standing to Show #BlackLivesMatter 

 


Captured during the #BlackLivesMatter protest in Baton Rouge after the death of Alton Sterling, this image of Iesha L. Evans was celebrated around the world as a symbol of grace and resilience in the face of police brutality. Shortly after the photograph was taken, Evans was arrested, but she did not regret her actions, stating: “this is the work of God. I am a vessel.” 

 

7/ Two Women Kissing at an Anti-Gay Marriage Protest

 

 
 

 

Despite protests from conservative sections of society, gay marriage was made legal in France in 2013. However, those still opposed to the law see the upcoming election as an opportunity to repeal it. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen has been accused of burying a pledge to  repeal same-sex marriage in her manifesto,  although she has received high-profile support from some members of the LGBT community. Whatever the results, the ongoing dispute is a reminder to persist. 


8/ A Palestinian Girl Who Just Wanted to Go to School 

 

In this devastating photo, a Palestinian schoolgirl walks past Israeli border police officers on her way home from school — a powerful reminder of the conflicts that prevent 75 million children worldwide from completing their education.

Read More: Millions of Kids Are Stranded Without an Education


A visual reminder of the power of resistance — these images capture the courage and radical charm of a person who stands her ground. 

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1 DE FEBRERO DE 2019

 

1
 
SALUD

Así es como los anti-vacunas dominan las búsquedas en redes sociales

La mitad de los padres con niños pequeños están expuestos a información errónea sobre las vacunas.

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Las vacunas salvan vidas y ayudan a promover la salud mundial. La investigación encontró que los sitios web de redes sociales exponen a los usuarios a información errónea contra la vacunación. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.

Según informó recientemente The Guardian, Facebook y YouTube están dirigiendo a los usuarios a información anti-vacunas errónea, aunque ambos sitios web digan que están trabajando para prevenir la propagación de este tipo de información falsa.

 

Según los investigadores, ambos sitios web han luchado durante mucho tiempo contra la desinformación, las "noticias falsas" y el fanatismo, pero el problema con el movimiento anti-vacunas es que pone en riesgo la vida de las personas.

 

El movimiento anti-vacunas se basa en la idea de que las vacunas causan autismo y trastornos cerebrales, aunque no hay evidencia científica que respalde esa afirmación.

 

En realidad, los datos estadísticos estiman que gracias a las vacunas se evitarían más de 21 millones de hospitalizaciones y 732,000 muertes entre los niños nacidos en los últimos 20 años. Las investigaciones muestran que aproximadamente 1,4 millones de niños menores de 5 años en el mundo aún mueren cada año debido a la falta de acceso a las vacunas.

 

Cuando los padres no vacunan a sus hijos, también perjudican a la población que los rodea, al reducir la llamada "inmunidad de rebaño", que es la que impide los brotes.

 

La información anti vacunación es especialmente dañina en este momento. Recientemente el estado de Washington declaró el estado de emergencia debido a un brote de sarampión que continúa propagándose.

 

Nita Bharti, profesora asistente de biología en la Universidad Estatal de Pennsylvania, dijo a The Daily Beast que solo hay una manera de prevenir que la enfermedad viral infecciosa se propague.

 

"No hay nada en nuestra caja de herramientas que sea mejor que las vacunas", dijo.

 

Para ver cómo los usuarios se cruzan con la información de vacunación, The Guardian creó dos nuevas cuentas de Facebook y YouTube que no se verían afectadas por búsquedas anteriores. Descubrieron que las búsquedas de "vacuna" arrojaron información falsa contra las vacunas, lo que obligó a los usuarios a buscar términos como "movimiento de verdad sobre las vacunas" y "movimiento de resistencia a las vacunas".

 

Técnicamente, las publicaciones contra la vacunación no violan las reglas de contenido de Facebook. Pero Facebook sí permite que los grupos anti-vacunas se anuncien en esta plataforma de redes sociales.

 

"Tenemos más que hacer y continuaremos los esfuerzos para conectar a las personas con información educativa sobre temas importantes como la salud", dijo la portavoz de Facebook, Andrea Vallone, en un comunicado.

 

Un portavoz de YouTube le dijo a The Guardian que su sitio web intenta monitorear los videos contra la vacunación, categorizándolos bajo "contenido que podría informar mal a los usuarios de manera dañina".

 

El internet es un caldo de cultivo para el material anti-vacunación. La Royal Society for Public Health realizó un estudio y descubrió que la mitad de los padres con niños pequeños estaban expuestos a información errónea sobre las vacunas en las redes sociales.

 

Si las plataformas de redes sociales no actúan rápidamente para monitorear los mensajes de vacunación, las consecuencias podrían ser graves. En enero, la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) publicó una lista de las 10 mayores amenazas mundiales para la salud. En el informe, la OMS advirtió que el movimiento anti-vacunas podría paralizar, e incluso sabotear, el progreso general que el mundo ha hecho para reducir los casos de enfermedades prevenibles.

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We are hiring! Programmes Administrator

21 February 2019

2019_recruit_progadmin.jpg

 

Music Network is a national music touring and development organisation, passionate about making live music happen. The organisation holds a unique position in the Irish music sector and has been a highly valuable resource for the development and presentation of quality live music in Ireland.  

Working with our Programmes Manager, Music Network is now seeking to appoint a Programmes Administrator to support the effective planning, delivery and management of our programmes.  As well as providing important administrative support, the role focuses on enhancing the participatory and audience development impact of programmes through targeted initiatives and engaging and supporting musicians, promoters and other stakeholders.  

Working as part of a small, close-knit team, this role needs someone who has experience in delivering music learning and participation programmes, a high standard of administrative skills and the personal impact to ensure strong professional relationships with the various stakeholders engaged and supported by Music Network’s funding schemes and other initiatives.

The Programmes Administrator will play an important role in assisting in the delivery of a range of well-organised, imaginative, quality music programmes.  The programmes focus primarily on classical, jazz and traditional music in order to enhance the development of Music Network’s three strategic priorities - Musicians, Audiences and Partnerships.

For a full job description and details of the application process, please contact operations@musicnetwork.ie Tel 01 4750224.

Closing Date: Friday 15th March 2019 at 12 noon.

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Chernobyl-lunch-18-8yhb6cx2c4xur23p0t87x

NEWS: 7 Mar 2019

CHERNOBYL SURVIVOR SHARES HER HARROWING STORY AT GALA INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY LUNCH ATTENDED BY IRELAND’S LEADING MEDIA, MUSIC AND SPORTING PERSONALITIES

7 Mar 2019

 

  • “She is the embodiment of everything ‘International Women’s Day’ represents” – Adi Roche

Irish stars turned out in force this afternoon for ‘Liz and Noel’s Chernobyl Lunch’ at the Intercontinental Hotel to raise vital funds for Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International charity.

The annual fundraiser is hosted by Chernobyl Children International (CCI) Board Directors Liz O’Donnell (RSA Chairperson) and Noel Kelly (Businessman, Talent Manager) – who have played a pivotal role in supporting the charity to reach its goals for the past fifteen years.   Each year the event is supported by Ireland’s much loved stars, as well as the full voluntary Board of Directors of CCI, which is chaired by Peter Lacy and includes Ali Hewson, as well Chernobyl survivor Julie Shynkarenka.

Broadcasting legends Joe Duffy, and Ryan Tubridy, Operation Transformation’s Kathryn Thomas and Karl Henry, as well as Claire Byrne, Dave Fanning, Jenny Buckley, Aidan Power, Today FM’s Doireann Garrihy, Dermot Bannon and Morah Ryan all supported the event, which is in its ninth year.  Lyric Soprano extraordinaire Celine Byrne entertained guests with her elegant repertoire, ahead of the highly anticipated Madama Butterfly at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre later in the month.

Speaking at the event was 26-year-old, Raisa Carolan, who was rescued by Adi Roche and CCI to be adopted by the Carolan family from Trim, Co. Meath.  Raisa was abandoned into the No. 1 Home for Abandoned Babies in Minsk at birth. It was here that Adi Roche and Ali Hewson met Raisa, who was born with significant physical impairments which denied her the ability to walk or even eat properly from an early age.   Through Chernobyl Children International’s Rest and Recuperation programme, Raisa was welcomed to the Carolan family in Co. Meath at the age of 5.  After several years and great perseverance, Raisa was officially adopted into the Carolan family in 2002 however Raisa’s adopted mother, Ann, sadly passed away in 2009.  Raisa is a determined young woman despite being an amputee and having undergone over 30 operations in her lifetime.  Raisa is also on the Irish Wheelchair Rugby team and has represented Ireland at international competitions.

Raisa spoke about her memories and life’s experiences in an emotionally charged speech at the lunch;

“If I had stayed in Belarus, I can say for a fact I would not be alive today.   Unfortunately, the pain, memories and trauma experienced during my time in Belarus is something that will always remain with me.  I know that if I ever want to have my own children one day, there is a 50% chance they can be born with the same genetic conditions as I was. This means that I have to think long and hard about having a biological family of my own, because Chernobyl is crossing generations.”

The importance of Raisa’s powerful speech and the event were echoed by CCI’s Voluntary CEO Adi Roche, who said;

“Raisa truly is an exceptional young woman with an incredible tenacity to achieve. In her lifetime she has demonstrated uncommon bravery and courage despite the challenges she has faced such as being institutionalised, adopted at an older age and then losing her adopted mother, Ann. A lesser person would not have survived.  She is the embodiment of everything ‘International Women’s Day’ represents.”

Before the lunch, guests enjoyed a champagne reception sponsored by Marks and Spencers.  Businesses from all over the country showed their support for Liz and Noel’s Chernobyl Lunch with weekend breaks at a selection luxury resorts including The Blue Book, Wineport Lodge as well as a selection of auction items including an architectural consultation from ‘Room to Improve’ expert, Dermot Bannon and a signed Ronnie Wood painting of his Rolling Stones bandmate Mick Jagger.

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7
GIRLS AND WOMEN

What we want for women and girls in 2019

8 March 2019 8:42AM UTC | By: MEGAN O’DONNELL

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Take action for women everywhere

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In 2015, in signing onto the Sustainable Development Goals, world leaders made a promise to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” by 2030. But at this rate, we are nearly 100 years behind schedule.

The latest data from the World Economic Forum estimates that it will take over a century (108 years) to close global gender gaps in health, education, economic opportunity, and political representation. It will take even longer in sub-Saharan Africa – 135 years.

We need to accelerate progress – and 2019 offers us the opportunity to do just that.

What’s needed from world leaders in 2019 to improve the lives of women and girls, and by extension their families, communities, and countries? Here are ONE’s gender equality-focused recommendations for the year:

Recommendation #1: Create a global, independent accountability mechanism, modelled on the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which will track policy change commitments by both governments and private sector actors to promote gender equality.

Part of the reason we’re not moving fast enough in closing gender gaps is because there is a lack of accountability. World leaders must be accountable to meaningfully invest in women and girls.

We need a platform that pushes them to increase ambitions. That platform must also track progress towards concrete, time-bound, measurable outcomes. A new accountability mechanism would provide a space for civil society, governments, and the private sector to discuss, create, and implement commitments collaboratively.

Recommendation #2: Agree to a gender equality financial commitments package. The package must ensure the world is on track to meet critical SDG targets focused on women and girls’ health, education, economic empowerment, and broader well-being.

Additional, targeted financing will be necessary to meet SDG targets related to gender equality across sectors. A gender equality financial commitments package of this kind should focus on breaking the range of barriers facing women and girls and limiting their potential.

Recommendation #3: Allocate at least 85% of overseas development assistance to gender equality. 20% of this should promote gender equality as its primary purpose. At the same time, country governments should adopt gender-responsive budgeting practices.

Outside of a dedicated package of new funds, world leaders must commit to more, as well as better, financing — and do so in a sustained way.

Currently, G7 donors only allocate 49 percent of bilateral aid to programs that focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Of that, just 3.4 percent is principally targeted at closing gender gaps.

Recommendation #4: Commit to progressive laws and policies on gender equality, and develop action plans for implementation under the new OGP-style partnership.

Financing alone won’t be enough to move the needle. It must happen alongside the repeal of discriminatory laws and private sector practices. Gender-responsive laws and policies must be adopted in their place.

To ensure that commitments by countries and the private sector are implemented and impactful, they need to be monitored through an independent and institutionalized accountability mechanism gathering different stakeholders, like the one mentioned above.

In sum, we need world leaders to make ambitious moves to get us on track to achieving global gender equality.

Read our full policy brief and sign our open letter calling on world leaders to take action.

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Equality for African women

Forty-five female African activists from 15 African countries call on world leaders to play their part in the fight against gender injustice

Letters

Fri 8 Mar 2019 06.55 GMT

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Adolescent girls attend an after school programme in Dodoma, Tanzania  Adolescent girls attend an after-school programme in Dodoma, Tanzania. Photograph: Jake Lyell/Alamy

Dear world leaders, We are the women at the frontlines of the fight against gender inequality and global poverty.

Every day we see the determination and dignity of girls and women facing down the toughest challenges. We see real advances and the power of people to achieve change. We won’t surrender this fight, but we need you to play your part.

You promised to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030, but at the current rate of progress, this will take 108 years. This is unacceptable. We need genuine progress, not grand promises.

We want implementation and accountability at every level – from this year’s G7 summit to the Global Fund replenishment; from our African Union leaders to our community leaders. We will be looking for your actions not your words; for funding to follow promises; and policy to turn into practice. It’s both the right and the smart thing to do for everyone.

To accelerate progress men must demand change with us so that we rise united not divided. And women must have a seat at the decision-making table – because you can’t change what you don’t see.

We’re not looking for your sympathy, we’re demanding your action. Because none of us is equal until all of us are equal.
Melene Rossouw Women Lead Movement, South Africa
Joannie Marlene Bewa Young Beninese Leaders Association, Benin
Wadi Victoria Ben-Hirki ONE Champion/Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation, Nigeria
Samira Sanusi Samira Sanusi Sickle Cell Foundation, Nigeria
Fridah Githuku GROOTS, Kenya
Naomi Tulay Solanke Community Health Initiative, Liberia
Chmba Ellen Chilemba Tiwale Women’s Organization, Malawi
Togola Hawa Semega KUNAFONI, Mali
Dieynaba Sidibe Grafitti artist known as Zeinixx Works at Africulturban, Senegal
Lola Omolola FIN, Nigeria
Aya Chebbi African Union youth envoy, Tunisia
Lydia Charles Moyo Femina Hip, Tanzania
Elizabeth Wanja Ngeth Kijiji Afrika, Kenya
Olaoluwa Abagun Girl Pride Circle, Nigeria
Mercy Abang United Nations journalism fellow, Nigeria
Karimot Odebode ONE Champion, Nigeria
Dr Stellah Wairimu Bosire UHAI EASHRI, Kenya
Dolapo Olaniyan The UnCut Initiative, Nigeria
Scheaffer Okore Pan African Chamber of Commerce, Kenya
Diana Ninsiima DOT Tanzania, Tanzania
Salimatou Fatty GPE youth advocate, Gambia
Mildred Ngesa FEMNET, Kenya
Memory Kachambwa FEMNET, Zimbabwe
Julie Cissé GIPS WAR, Senegal
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng Global Doctors for Choice, South Africa
Mylene Flicka Blogger, Benin
Mercy Juma Broadcast journalist, Kenya
Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi Stand to End Rape Initiative, Nigeria
Amina Abdulazeez ONE Champion, Nigeria
Hauwa Liman Inspire for Impact, Nigeria
Linet Kwamboka DataScience, Kenya
Saran Keïta Diakite Malian Advocacy Group on SDGs, Mali
Sagara Saran Bouare Women in Law and Development, WILDAF, Mali
Maimouna Dioncounda Dembele Human Rights Activist, Mali
Mariam Diallo Association for Women’s Leadership and Development, AFLED, Mali
Nana Toure Sahel Youth Network, Mali
Valérie Traoré Niyel, Senegal
Imameleng Masitha The Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition, South Africa
Mama Koité Doumbia FEMNET Mali, Mali
Refilwe Ledwaba Girl Fly Programme in Africa Foundation, GFPA, South Africa
Anta Fall Basse Konté FAWE Sénégal, Senegal
Danedjo Hadidja APAD Maroua, Cameroon
Martha Muhwezi FAWE, Kenya
Françoise Kpeglo Moudouthe Co-founder of Girls Not Brides
Nana Semuah Bressey Nurse, Ghana

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