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The Action Thread Part Two

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MEDIO AMBIENTE

El Parlamento Europeo prohibe los plásticos de un solo uso

“Esto es esencial para el planeta”.

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
La contaminación plástica está causando un daño inmenso a los ecosistemas del mundo, y los gobiernos están comenzando a frenar la producción de plástico de conformidad con los Objetivos Mundiales de las Naciones Unidas. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.


El Parlamento Europeo votó este miércoles y aprobó la prohibición de varios plásticos de un solo uso, incluidos los tenedores, cucharas, cuchillos, sorbetes y platos.

 

La votación representa un gran paso en la lucha mundial para reducir la contaminación plástica.

 

La ley entrará en vigencia en toda la Unión Europea en 2021, pero se espera que los países comiencen el proceso de transición de inmediato. La votación también incluyó la obligación para que los miembros de la UE alcancen el 90% de los objetivos de recolección de botellas de plástico para 2030 y los estándares adecuados para el uso de plástico reciclado. También se solicitarán nuevos requisitos de empaque que describan el impacto ambiental de la contaminación plástica para productos tales como toallitas húmedas.

 

"Esta legislación reducirá los daños al medio ambiente en 22.000 millones de euros, el costo estimado de la contaminación plástica en Europa para 2030", dijo Frédérique Ries, un político belga y miembro del Parlamento Europeo, en un comunicado de prensa.

 

"Europa ahora tiene un modelo legislativo para defender y promover a nivel internacional, dada la naturaleza global del problema de la contaminación marina con plásticos", agregó. "Esto es esencial para el planeta".

 

La lucha contra la contaminación plástica se ha globalizado en los últimos años, ya que los países reconocen la naturaleza insostenible de la producción de plástico y la creciente carga de daños ambientales causados por este material.

 

Más de 8 millones de toneladas de plástico ingresan a los océanos del mundo cada año, algo así como vaciar un camión de basura lleno de plástico en el océano cada minuto. La contaminación plástica daña la vida marina y contamina los alimentos y el agua disponible para los seres humanos.

 

Actúa: Firma ahora

 
 
 
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El colapso de los sistemas de reciclaje en el último año también ha estimulado que se trabaje para eliminar el plástico. Siguiendo una ley en China que prohíbe la importación de varios tipos de plástico basura, muchos países han estado luchando para lidiar con volúmenes sin precedentes de desechos plásticos en sus propias fronteras. En los Estados Unidos, muchos municipios han dejado de reciclar por completo porque es demasiado caro.

 

La UE también se había acostumbrado a enviar su plástico a China y otros países, y las recientes prohibiciones han causado serios cálculos.

 

La nueva ley está parcialmente inspirada en este desarrollo.

 

A nivel mundial, más de 60 países han tomado medidas contra la contaminación plástica en los últimos años. Mientras tanto, los fabricantes han estado invirtiendo en alternativas plásticas, y los ciudadanos ya están defendiendo un estilo de vida sin desperdicios.

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WATER & SANITATION

These Kits Provide Menstrual Health Education and Jobs for Incarcerated People

“It’s a basic human need that we’re meeting.”


Why Global Citizens Should Care
People affected by period poverty all around the world lack access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and/or waste management. To end extreme poverty, we must ensure all people have access to water and sanitation in correctional facilities. You can help us take action on this issue here

There are currently 80 incarcerated women who don’t have the resources to manage their periods with pride and dignity at the Mawelawela Women’s Correctional Institution in eSwatini, a small country in Southern Africa. 

That's why this weekend, Days for Girls International (DfG), an organization that offers menstrual health solutions to underserved people around the world, is setting up an enterprise in Mawelawela to help incarcerated people sustainably take care of themselves, and their communities, with education and products. 

On Saturday, April Haberman, a DfG development officer based in Washington State, is taking her daughter and five other high school girls to bring sustainable menstrual hygiene management kits to women at Mawelawela. The eSwatini country director will follow up on their visit and teach the women how to sew and assemble kits to generate income. The program will be the first to give incarcerated people a chance to earn a living while in a correctional facility by making the kits. Once they leave, they have some savings and a skillset to provide for themselves. 

Take Action: Prioritizing Menstrual Hygiene Management is Key to Ensuring Girls Can Stay in School

 

Actúa: Take Action

 
 
 
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“The government doesn’t supply anything,” Haberman told Global Citizen, referring to the lack of menstrual hygiene management and personal hygiene products in eSwatini correctional facilities. 

“If family and friends aren’t supporting menstrual hygiene management, they resort to using the mattresses or newspapers to manage their periods,” she explained. 

When incarcerated people don’t have access to adequate menstrual hygiene management, which is a common occurrence, they are at risk of infections, the spread of diseases, and causing plumbing issues. At least 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management (MHM). The exact number is unknown, but the lack of resources causes many young girls to miss school, and women to miss work, which harms their potential for economic growth. 

 

Together, with the help of volunteers and donors, we are able to give days of dignity, health and education back to girls all over the world!#DfGSpotlight #BalanceforBetter

 
 
 
 

DfG consulted thousands of girls and women around the world and went through 27 iterations to design several versions of menstrual hygiene kits. Many people don't have access to clean water to manage their periods safely, which is why the kits include waterproof shields and absorbent liners that use little water and limit waste. The products last three years, dry quickly, and save money compared to using disposable menstrual products. Deluxe versions of the kit come with washcloths, soap, and underwear. 

Read More: Maine Congressman Claims Free Period Products Don't Belong in Jail Because It's Not a 'Country Club'

The organization isn’t only focused on menstrual products. DfG doesn’t distribute kits anywhere without an ambassador of women’s health training, which covers basic anatomy, puberty, menstruation, sexually transmitted infections, self-defense, and trafficking. 

DfG first started servicing incarcerated people at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor, Washington. Washington State provides incarcerated people with period products, but five years ago, the organization visited a correctional facility there on a whim to teach incarcerated women how to make kits. The incarcerated women responded well to the initiative and the program grew from there.
DfG_at_womensprison_WA_group photo.jpgDfG women at a Washington correctional facility.
Image: Courtesy of Days for Girls.

Now at the Washington Corrections Center, incarcerated people can't wait to join the program. In order to sew for DfG, they need to have three years of good behavior in a row to ensure the safety of those working and other incracerated people as they use sewing machines and other dangerous tools. 

Incarcerated people all around the world –– in countries such as Cambodia, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, as well as within the US –– are receiving DfG kits. Kit distribution depends on the size of the correctional facility, but DfG usually delivers between 50 and several hundred. The organization says it reaches over 1 million women and girls and over 110 countries, and it has over 15 enterprise leadership programs where people learn how to generate income by making and selling kits. 

 

These rockstar women (and many others not pictured) have been working so hard. Their new enterprise in Senegal made 60 kits just in the first two weeks of establishment and they already received an order to make 200 more! Congrats team! #dfgspotlight

 
 
 
 

One DfG advocate, Julie Tsoukalas, focuses on working with the Deaf community in Zambia, where harmful myths about menstruation circulate. 

“If a male member of your family sees your period blood, they will go blind,” is one belief Tsouk heard. People who menstruate in Zambia sometimes resort to transactional sex or sexual favors to pay for or receive sanitary products, Tsouk said. She also visited one correctional facility in Zambia in January, to distribute kits where the water is shut off at night, making it difficult for incarcerated people to manage their periods safely.

Haberman recalls speaking during a presentation about a Washington correctional facility’s contributions to nonprofit organizations over the course of the year. An incarcerated woman told Haberman one word included in the slide about DfG’s impact resonated with her.

DfG_at_womensprison_WA_sewing instruction1.jpgIncarcerated people sewing DfG kits at a Washington correctional facility.
Image: Courtesy of Days for Girls.

“The word that stuck out for me was ‘freedom,’” Haberman said the woman told her. “I love sewing for you because I don’t have my freedom any longer, but sewing for Days for Girls and giving this kit to someone else, I can give freedom to someone else, and that makes me happy.”

DfG also distributes kits to people who are preparing to leave correctional facilities. Once incarcerated people are released, their options are limited, Haberman said. If they have a criminal record it may be harder to find employment, and they don’t always have the income to purchase menstrual hygiene products.

Talking about menstrual hygiene management is the first step toward educating others, normalizing menstruation, and getting people involved in advocacy, Haberman said.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

Thirty @TVAelementary students are assembling 100 washable feminine hygiene kits to girls and women in Ghana - in support of Days for Girls international charitable organization. @CTVWindsor

 
 
 
 

“We often say people would rather talk about diarrhea than periods,” she said. “Toilet paper is provided when you have diarrhea –– imagine having diarrhea five straight days and not having toilet paper. It’s the same thing when a woman menstruates for an average of five days.”

Haberman encourages people to host fundraisers, donate, join one of DfG’s 1,000 chapters, or start one to stand up for menstrual equity. 

“It’s not a luxury,” Haberman said. “It’s a basic human need that we’re meeting and it brings dignity and better health.”

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98
CULTURE

5 things we discovered about Bill Gates from his Reddit AMA

February 27 2019 | By: ROBYN DETORO

JOIN

Join the fight against extreme poverty

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Over the last decade, Bill Gates has transformed himself into an icon of philanthropy as the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, he took a spot in the virtual hot seat and turned the mic over to the Reddit community for an in-depth Ask Me Anything (AMA) session.

Here are five of the most intriguing questions and responses:

What would you still like to achieve that you haven’t? — Swcomisac

thisisbillgates: The goal of the Foundation is that all kids grow up healthy – no matter where they are born. That means getting rid of malaria and many of the other diseases that affect poor countries. It should be achievable in my lifetime.


It’s well known you are an avid reader – what are a few books that come to your mind when asked to recommend reading materials for anyone that can have a true impact on their life – either professionally or personally? — TheQueenIsASpy

thisisbillgates: I read a lot of non-fiction. There are so many great book. I do reviews on gatesnotes.com. I am reading Hacking Darwin now – about gene editing getting very popular and what policies should control the usage. I love books that explain things like Smil’s Energy and Civilization or all of Pinker’s books. Factfulness by the Roslings is very readable – a great place to start to get a framework for the progress of humanity.


What’s a piece of technology that’s theoretical now that you wish you could make possible immediately? — Ironsheik84

thisisbillgates: However if I had one wish to make a new technology it would be a solution to malnutrition. Almost half the kids in poor countries grow up without their body or brain developing fully so they miss most of their potential. Second would be an HIV vaccine.


If you could go back in time and give your younger-self advice what would you say? — ImStarks

thisisbillgates: I was overly intense and socially inept. I would try and make myself more self-aware without getting rid of the focus and desire to learn.


I work in health-care in South Africa and I just want to say thank you for the work that your foundation has been doing for HIV research here. My question is how do I feel like I’m doing enough? With all the pain and suffering that I see every day, it’s hard to feel like I am actually making a difference in the grand scheme of things. How do you deal with feeling like it’s a never-ending struggle to actually make a difference and help people? — 511234

thisisbillgates: Your point is a great one. As soon as you get engaged in solving problems you have to face how tough things are. You need to focus on how much you can improve things and feel good about that. We need more people to visit Africa to see the progress but also to see how much needs to be done. Nothing is as good as meeting people who have to live with malaria or HIV or see their children die. People like yourself who work on the front lines deserve immense credit. Over time the deaths and suffering will go down but I am sure some days that is hard to see.


BONUS:

Hello, how’s your day going and what have you been watching on Netflix and/or TV right now? — ABrownForestShark

thisisbillgates: Melinda and I watch things like Silicon Valley, This is Us, A Million Little Things. I watched The Americans with my son (too violent for Melinda). I watched Narcos by myself. Billions, Lie to Me, Friday Night Lights, American Vandal, Black Mirror. There are so many good shows — people tell me about them but I can’t watch them all!

Want to hear more from Bill? Check out the annual letterpenned by him and Melinda Gates.

*Questions and answers have been shortened for clarity. Image via Flickr

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WATER & SANITATION

Period Poverty: Everything You Need to Know

It is a global sanitation issue affecting boys and girls around the world.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
More than 800 million people menstruate daily. The world must act to end period poverty and guarantee clean water and sanitation for all by 2030. Promoting menstrual equity is key to supporting women and young girls. You can join us in taking action on this issue here

Women and young girls who menstruate are ostracized from basic activities, like eating certain foods, or socializing, all over the world. The cultural shame attached to menstruation and a shortage of resources stop women from going to school and working every day. Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and, or, waste management.

Take Action: Urge The Australian Government to Show Leadership on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Actúa: Sign Petition

 
 
 
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A handful of US states have passed laws mandating schools provide period products to students, deeming them as essential as toilet paper, but more work needs to be done. Federal prisons only made menstrual products free in 2018. Activists recently organized a petition and march to put pressure on the Department of Education to eradicate period poverty in the US. They called on the government to treat period products as health necessities, support policies that protect students who menstruate, and fund period products in school bathrooms. 

“Meeting the hygiene needs of all adolescent girls is a fundamental issue of human rights, dignity, and public health,” Sanjay Wijesekera, former UNICEF Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene said

Inadequate menstrual hygiene is not a unique problem women in the US face. It affects populations in the developed and developing world, and women living in poverty are especially vulnerable.

Here’s everything you need to know about this serious human rights concern.

Who is affected?

Menstrual health is not just a women’s issue. Globally, 2.3 million people live without basic sanitation services and in developing countries, only 27% of people have adequate handwashing facilities at home, according to UNICEF. Not being able to use these facilities makes it harder for women and young girls to manage their periods safely and with dignity. 

Girls with special needs and disabilities disproportionately do not have access to the facilities and resources they need for proper menstrual hygiene. Living in conflict-affected areas, or in the aftermath of natural disasters, also makes it more difficult for women and girls to manage their periods. 

Related StoriesApril 24, 20184 Million Kenyan Schoolgirls Are Going to Receive Free Sanitary PadsMay 26, 2017CHIME FOR CHANGEThese Girls Are Sewing Re-Usable Period Pads to Keep Girls in School

Young boys benefit from menstrual hygiene education, too. Educating girls and boys on menstruation at an early age at home and school promotes healthy habits and breaks stigmas around the natural process. Achieving menstrual equity means access to sanitary products, proper toilets, hand washing facilities, sanitation and hygiene education, and waste management for people around the world all. 

What are the main causes?

Menstruation is stigmatized around the world. In Nepal, for example, menstruating women are seen as impure by their community and banishedto huts during their cycles. While menstrual huts are technically illegal, families continue taking the risk because myths and misconceptions are deeply rooted in Nepalese culture. The non-governmental agency WoMena conducted a study in Uganda and found many girls skipped school while on their period to avoid teasing by classmates. 

Meeting the hygiene needs of all adolescent girls is a fundamental issue of human rights, dignity, and public health.

Sanjay Wijesekera, former UNICEF Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Many girls and women also cannot afford menstrual materials. The tampon tax, known as the “pink tax,” is named for the frequent marketing of the color pink toward women. Although some countries around the world have lifted the tax on period products as luxury items, others continue to use it as a form of gender-based discrimination. Ending the tax worldwide will notsingle-handedly make period products affordable — too many people cannot pay for them at all and are often torn between purchasing food or menstrual supplies. In Bangladesh, many families cannot afford menstrual products and use old clothing, according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). And in India, only 12% of menstruators have access to sanitary products, leaving the rest to use unsafe materials like rags and sawdust as an alternative, the Indian ministry of health reported

Why is it a problem?

Poor menstrual hygiene can cause physical health risks and has been linked to reproductive and urinary tract infections, according to UNICEF. It also stops women from reaching their full potential when they miss out on opportunities crucial to their growth. Young girls who do not receive an education are more likely to enter child marriages and experience an early pregnancy, malnourishment, domestic violence, and pregnancy complicationsas a result.

 

Girls' periods affect their #SDGs, especially school attendance. #Tanzania's WomenChoice Industries produce affordable menstrual products to end period poverty. They're also the winner of our #SDGsAndHer Competition w/ @WorldBank, @wharton & @UN_Women! http://ow.ly/hYrn50ikAdf 

 
 
 
 

Period shame has negative mental effects as well. It disempowers women, causing them to feel embarrassed about a normal biological process. 

Read More: These South African Women Are Using Menstruation Cups to Change the World

“Me and my sisters all hid our sanitary cloths under the bed to dry, out of shame,” Anita Koroma told the organization Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) of growing up in Sierra Leone.

On the contrary, menstruators should feel proud and confident in their ability to thrive within their societies. 

How can we stop it?

The first step is to normalize menstruation and destroy taboos around the natural process. Then policy must be enforced to make menstrual products, sanitation and hygiene easily accessible. Activists and advocates are demanding that governments prioritize menstrual equity policy, but historically the issue has presented a challenge. 

 

“Politicians don't like this issue because it's not sexy,” said Dr. Varina Tjon A Ten, a former parliamentarian in the Netherlands and a professor at The Hague University. 

Organizations like MINA Foundation are not waiting on the government to take action — they provide young women with menstrual products to help them stay in school. 

On a global level, the WSSCC is working to improve sanitation and hygiene for the most vulnerable populations. The organization aims to break the menstruation stigma and change national policy through education and behavior change with initiatives like hosting menstrual waste workshops in West and Central Africa, and promoting toilet designs that can handle menstrual material waste in India. 

“It’s simple,” head of human rights at WASH United, Hannah Neumeyer explained, “women and girls have human rights, and they have periods. One should not defeat the other.”

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Posted (edited)

We love your awesome rap skills and brilliant new video Harrow Mencap! 
Take three minutes out of your day to see this truly catchy film! 
#YourNetwork

 

Edited by tan_lejos_tan_cerca

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140
HEALTH

These health workers are fighting TB one community at a time

19 March 2019 4:23PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

SIGN THE PETITION

Tell world leaders to step up the fight against preventable diseases

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Tuberculosis (TB) is the number one infectious killer in the world, but around 36% of people with TB still go undiagnosed every year. To help step up the fight against TB, countries — like Ethiopia — are adopting community health worker programs.

MG_2798_e.jpg

At Mekelle Health Sciences College in Ethiopia, a class for health extension workers strengthens their skills as providers of services in their villages.

Ethiopia’s National Health Extension Program was founded in 2004 with funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. At the time, there was a critical shortage of health services, with a ratio of one health worker per 40,000 citizens. The extension program was introduced to help bridge the gap between rural communities and health care by training health extension workers (HEWs) to provide services at a community level.

By 2016, 38,000 HEWs — the majority of whom are women — were providing health services to 15,000 villages across Ethiopia.

Health Workers in Action

Every day, HEWs — trained for a full year in basic health delivery — trek through Ethiopian communities, knocking on doors to speak with local residents and check on their health. They are trained to conduct basic health tests for preventable diseases like TB, maintain family health records, provide treatment for diseases and encourage communities to use contraceptives and get vaccinated.

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Health extension worker Workalem talks to villagers during one her frequent visits to this rural community.

Workalem Haile, a HEW in Southern Ethiopia’s Chama Hembecho village, manages the local health centre which provides care to over 2,200 families. She tests patients for disease and provides long-term care and support as her patients go through treatment.

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Workalem visits a husband and wife who are both HIV-positive and explains proper use of antiretroviral treatment.

Abinet was one of Workalem’s patients. “At the beginning, I thought it was just a common cold but I had a very serious cough. I couldn’t sleep late at night,” he said. His condition did not improve with traditional medicines, so, with help, he made his way to the local clinic where he was tested for TB. After Abinet’s results came back positive and he was prescribed the proper medication, Workalem visited him regularly over the next 6 months to support him with his treatment. Abinet says, “My health has improved because of Workalem’s help. I would like to thank her very much.”

The Impact

By 2016, over 95% of Ethiopia’s population had access to primary health care resources within 10 kilometres. Now, communities are better educated about how to limit the spread of communicable and preventable diseases, like TB, and have better access to treatment. Plus, health issues are addressed earlier and communities have better access to effective long-term care. Life expectancy in Ethiopia has increased to 64 years, jumping by 10 years since the program’s launch in 2004.

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Sister Eden, another Ethiopian HEW, regularly visits 50-year-old tuberculosis patient Desta in her home to oversee the final months of her TB care.

Excitingly, the introduction of the program didn’t just improve people’s health. The HEW program shifted gender roles and cultural norms in Ethiopia by creating a wealth of new opportunities for women to enter the workforce. “In a country where unemployment is still high, finding fulfilling work can be life changing. The health extension worker program has transformed the lives of thousands of workers who have become breadwinners for their families,” said Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Ethiopia’s former minister of health.

The Global Fund

To make sure the Global Fund can continue its critical work, like funding Ethiopia’s National Health Extension Program, it will be hosting its sixth replenishment conference in October. They’re asking world leaders and private investors to come together and help save 16 million lives over the next 3 years by investing a minimum of US$14 billion.

This is the bold ambition the world needs to get us on track to stop the spread of diseases like tuberculosis — and it’s why we’re calling on world leaders to #StepUpTheFight by fully financing the Global Fund.

Add your name now to tell world leaders they must back this bold initiative this year.

Tell world leaders to step up the fight against preventable diseases

More than 17 million people are alive today because of your investments in the Global Fund’s work to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Please fully finance the Global Fund so it can save 8 million more lives over the next 3 years.

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La imagen puede contener: 2 personas, personas sonriendo, personas sentadas, tabla e interior

 

Finding a place to live is an important part of a journey to living independently. 🏘️ 

However, there are often challenges to making this happen.  

We have produced an easy read guide that helps to explain the main issues you might face. Visit:https://bit.ly/2CXVVop 🙂

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The Agnes O’Kane Award 2019 goes to Mary Armitage

BY IAYO · MARCH 13, 2019

 

The Irish Association of Youth Orchestras presents The Agnes O’Kane Award 2019 to Mary Armitage from Donegal Youth Orchestra .

  • 28a_o-600x450.jpg Mary Armitage backstage just after receiving the prestigious Agnes O’Kane award at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Saturday 9 February 2019.

Pictured from left are Rosa Flannery, Music Generation Laois, who presented Mary the award; Mary Armitage; Ruth Crimmins, grand-daughter of the late Agnes O’Kane; and Philip O’Kane, Agnes’s husband.

The award is made annually to someone who has made a significant contribution to youth orchestras. Mary won for her work with our own Donegal Youth Orchestra.

She was nominated by Martin McGinley, Music Development Manager with Donegal Music Education Partnership, and Vincent Kennedy – Conductor of Donegal Youth Orchestra. Their testimonies to her commitment made her an obvious candidate.

Mary Armitage has been the heart at the centre of the Donegal Youth Orchestra for the past 20 years. Her unsparing commitment, reflected in her attendance at every rehearsal and concert, is extraordinary, as is her role in the development of music in Donegal. She was involved from the beginning in the efforts which brought about the Donegal School of Music, and also the Donegal Music Education Partnership.

The DMEP has transformed the music scene in Donegal, organising mainly one-to-one lessons in ´classical´ music for around 450 students of instruments and voice, as well as ten performing groups. These include the Donegal Youth Orchestra, the Donegal Chamber Orchestra, Donegal Junior Strings and the Donegal Youth Choir.

Mary´s influence can be seen in so many areas of the organisation, and particularly in relation to the orchestra. She has taken on the role of volunteer orchestra manager, to everyone´s benefit. She identifies the need for extra sectional work, and she arranges scholarships to meet orchestra needs. Her personal touch and impact on orchestra members deserves first mention.

Mary is always in good spirits and takes a keen interest in each person and makes everyone feel welcome. During every rehearsal she prepares refreshments for all the players and conductor. She also knows all the previous members who turn up to concerts or who play on occasion. She has a knack of knowing who is not well, who might be a bit lonely (ensuring that some other member is charged with helping that person).

A keen spotter of leadership from an early age, Mary gives people responsibilities as she sees fit. Such is the affection that the members have for Mary they are only too willing to help and many ask before they leave (and after they have done their chores in the tidying up) is there anything else that needs doing.

Each year from early October she is on the hunt for presents for the annual Christmas raffle which is a great source of funding for the orchestra. Each year the number of gifts from hotel weekend vouchers to Christmas hampers grows to the degree that the raffle at the Christmas concert of the Donegal Music Education Partnership must be the biggest concert raffle in the country.

Mary has a wonderful collaborative relationship with the conductor too and with all in the Donegal Music Office ensuring that the funding is always in place for travelling and instruments. She is a committee member of the Jim Rafferty Foundation, which has made two significant donations of orchestral instruments in 2017 and 2018. She is also active in attracting new players. In September 2018 the orchestra lost seven players and gained 19 – a very positive outcome!

The sense of professionalism and the courtesy the members show is a testament to Mary Armitage’s influence on the development of all the young people who have been privileged to be a member of Donegal Youth Orchestra under Mary’s loving and warm care and brilliant organisation. Mary deserves every recognition for her role and commitment.

Congratulations Mary!

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On 6th May 2019, just over 33 years after the devastating accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, HBO and Sky Atlantic are premiering a five part mini-series sharing the story of the fateful day in 1986 and its resulting impact.

This is the true story of the worst man-made catastrophe in history and tells of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. The mini-series focuses on the heartbreaking scope of the nuclear plant disaster revealing how and why it happened, sharing the shocking, remarkable stories of the heroes who fought and fell.

CCI will continue to lead commemorations for the victims and survivors of Chernobyl on 26 April, which is now known as Naciones UnidasChernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day following Adi Roche's landmark address at the UN General Assembly in 2016.

 

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EDUCATION

The World Receives an 'F' for Global Education as Millions of Children Are Still Out of School

Over the past decade, the number of school-aged children not in school has only fallen by 1.3%.

Millions of children around the world head back to school this month, marking the end of another summer free of homework and report cards, at least for most.

However, 123 million children ages 6-15 around the world will not return to school this year.

Take Action:Children Around The World Deserve To Go To School

Governments and organizations everywhere have been working to lower this number and keep more children in school. But based on a recently-released progress report from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the world received an “F” for its efforts.

Over the past decade, the number of school-aged children not in school has only fallen by 1.3%.

In 2007, nearly 12.8% (135 million) of children ages 6-15 were out of school; ten years later, 11.5% of school-aged kids (123 million) are still missing out on critical learning opportunities, UNICEF announced on Wednesday.

“This business-as-usual approach will not get the most vulnerable children into school — and help them reach their full potential — if they continue to be trapped in poverty, deprivation and insecurity,” UNICEF Chief of Education Jo Bourne said in the report.

Widespread poverty, prolonged conflicts and complex humanitarian emergencies, like the threat of famine in the Horn of Africa this year, are the main reasons why children are not attending school, according to UNICEF.

Global Citizen campaigns on increasing and improving education opportunities for children around the world, especially those affected in times of emergencies. You can take action here.

Children living in conflict zones and the world’s poorest areas are disproportionately affected and are far less likely to attend school.

Read More:How You Can Help Us Fix The Education Crisis (and See an Amazing Festival, Too)

Nearly 20% of the 123 million children missing out on an education live in conflict zones.

In Syria and Iraq alone, where war or conflict zones persist, the number of out-of-school children totals 3.4 million combined. 

Poverty-stricken areas and countries experiences humanitarian emergencies are even more affected and account for 40% of all children out of school.

About 75% of the global out-of-school population is located in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where high rates of poverty, skyrocketing populations, and recurring emergencies like famine, floods, and droughts continue to trouble countries.

In Nigeria alone, 10.5 million school-aged children are out of school, the most of any country in the world. Most of them are girls, and 60% are from the northeastern region of the country where the extremist group Boko Haram has grown in the past eight years.

Read More:Nigeria Says It Has the Highest Number of Out-of-School Children in the World

Countries that have high rates of children out of school, including Nigeria, have faced criticism for failing to direct funds toward education. Overall, less than 2.7% of all humanitarian aid requests are aimed at improving education, according to UNICEF.

While Bourne acknowledges that more funding is essential to improving education, he warns that funding alone would not be enough to decrease the number of children not receiving an education.

“Investment in education does not respond to the realities of a volatile world,” Bourne said in UNICEF’s report. “Governments and the global community must target their investments at eliminating the factors preventing these children from going to school in the first place, including by making schools safe and improving teaching and learning.”

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CULTURE

This award-winning journalist writes to spark compassion

February 22 2019 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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All photos credited to Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.

At five years old, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim sat with his father listening to the radio. He didn’t understand what the news was about, but remembers that his father was completely absorbed. From that moment on, Ibrahim was fascinated with journalism.

“I knew I wanted to collect people’s stories and amplify them. So it was an easy decision to study journalism.”

Now a seasoned journalist, his desire to tell people’s stories is as strong as ever. He feels journalism helps create “a greater understanding between people.”

In 2018, he won the Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling for All That Was Familiar. The report follows two women forced to flee their homes after Boko Haram uprisings.

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Zahra attending a counseling group.

Revealing untold tales

Boko Haram’s attacks shocked Ibrahim, living just five hundred miles away in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. The news itself was bad enough, but Ibrahim was also taken aback by how the news was reported. The many orphaned, widowed, killed, or displaced were reported as numbers, not people.

“I felt they weren’t sufficiently humanized,” says Ibrahim. “These are people with lives, with dreams and ambition, people who are grieving their loved ones and afraid for their own lives at the same time, people whose lives would never be the same.”

In All That Was Familiar, Ibrahim introduces readers to Sa’adatu and Zahra, two women living in separate camps after their encounters with Boko Haram.

Sa’adatu is a mother to nine children, who she is raising alone since the disappearance of her husband. Food meant for the camp was resold in supermarkets, leaving her children without enough to eat.

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Sa’adatu cooking for her children.

Boko Haram captured Zahra and her infant daughter. She escaped during an air raid, but her daughter did not survive. Now, she hopes to reunite with her remaining relatives, who do not know she is alive.

“I thought their stories needed to be told in a way that projected our collective humanity so we could all relate to their experiences as humans.”

Confronting a crisis

Not everyone was keen to get these stories out. Authorities denied Ibrahim entry to the camp where Sa’adatu was staying, forcing him to go undercover. He also feared that revealing the information he gathered would put Sa’adatu and Zahra at risk.

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The Dalori Camp, where Ibrahim went undercover.

“It was a moral crisis, and in the end, I still hope I have done what is best…”

Building bridges with stories

From his fiction to his journalism, Ibrahim’s work uses storytelling to connect people.

“We are nothing without stories. Our stories are part of our identity and stories are the way we know each other. It is through stories that we see beyond our different skin colors… or different faiths or nationalities. Deep down, we are essentially the same.

“Stories are the spears with which we poke our own fears of other people and realize that there is really little to fear and much to love.”

The Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling is a prestigious award given to up-and-coming journalists in Africa. The award is given by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with ONE and the Elliott family.

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MARCH 28, 2019

 

 
 
CITIZENSHIP

Pakistan Unveils Plan to Make Health Care, Housing, and Food Fundamental Human Rights

The plan is called "Ehsas," or "Empathy."

Why Global Citizens Should Care
More than half of Pakistan’s population live in multidimensional poverty, which covers issues such as housing, education, health care, and more. The United Nations is working to end extreme poverty and you can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled an ambitious anti-poverty plan on Wednesday that seeks to make housing, health care, food, and education fundamental human rights, according to the New York Times.

Khan said that the government would allocate 80 billion rupees (more than US $500 million), to the initiative, and increase funding for this project by 50% by 2021.

“No Pakistani government has spent so much money on alleviating poverty in the past,” Khan said Wednesday during a ceremony in Islamabad, the capital city. “The government has launched a war against poverty.”

Take Action: Demand Leaders Create a World Where She Is Equal

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Pakistan is currently mired in a financial crisis, which could make the implementation of the plan difficult as measures of poverty increase throughout the country. However, the prime minister said that financial challenges shouldn’t stand in the way of efforts to alleviate poverty and suffering.

The government also faces budget shortfalls. It’s currently working on a financial bailout package with the International Monetary Fund, and is asking for financial support from key allies such as China, which has been willing to invest massively in international development efforts.  

Prime Minister Khan came to power vowing to fight poverty and corruption and improve living standards throughout the country.

As of 2015, Pakistan had a multidimensional poverty rate of 38.8%, with higher rates of poverty in rural areas, and a “deprivation rate,” which looks at things like housing quality and access to health care, of 50.9%, according to the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

More than 60% of Pakistanis struggle to find enough food to eat, and 3.8 million children in the country have to work to support their families, according to the anti-poverty nonprofit the Borgen Project. Women are especially susceptible to multidimensional poverty, and violence against girls and women remains rampant, according to the UN.

Read More: What Does Pakistan’s New Prime Minister Imran Khan Mean for Poverty and Inequality?

Khan’s plan — dubbed “Ehsas,” or “Empathy” — is comprehensive in its approach to poverty. The plan would expand access to health care, provide financial assistance to families buying homes, and empower women to pursue higher education and enter the workforce. Under the plan, the government would spend more money on education and social services for people experiencing homelessness, transgender people, and children.

“In terms of social welfare, Pakistan probably ranks as one of the lowest countries in the world,” Marvin Weinbaum, director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Studies at the Middle East Institute, told Global Citizen. “There’s nothing really in the way of any kind of safety net, so in that sense, this plan represents, were it to be fulfilled, an important part of what’s missing in Pakistan.”

“This is virtually a New Deal for Pakistan,” he said. “It would change Pakistan from being a security state to being a social welfare state.”

Khan announced that a new ministry that brings together several existing departments will be formed to oversee the initiative.

The prime minister’s signature issue during his campaign was to combat corruption, and Weinbaum said that Khan may run into problems as the bureaucracy is expanded. The anti-corruption coalition Transparency International ranks Pakistan as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Read More: Pakistan's New Leader Vows to Plant 10 Billion Trees

“It’s all in the question of implementation,” Weinbaum said. “It could be successful if it’s kept out of the hands of the usual crowd of people who are accustomed to scraping off things for themselves. Generally in Pakistan, there are very few contracts where there’s not something set aside for the facilitators.”

When announcing the plan, Khan said China served as an inspiration. Over the past several decades, more than 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty in China, the most rapid social transformation in history.

“The good news here is that at least he’s set out a set of objective that are very much in the interest in the country,” Weinbaum said.

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MARCH 29, 2019

 

 
 
CITIZENSHIP

Beyoncé and JAY-Z Win Award for Being 'Passionate' LGBTQ Allies — and Dedicate It to Family

Beyoncé and JAY-Z are living proof that “everything is love.”

 


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Beyoncé and JAY-Z are a powerful force for change. From girls’ education to criminal justice reform to LGBTQ rights, the pair have used both their art and platforms to advocate for a more equal world — and once again, they are being recognized for their incredible work. You can take action on these issues and more here.

This year has been off the a great start for Beyoncé and JAY-Z. The pair have already taken home a Grammy and a BRIT Award, and now they've added yet another win to that list: the Vanguard Award.

The power couple accepted the award— presented by GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy organization — on Thursday night. The award recognizes “allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people, and has previously been given to performers such as Demi Lovato, Whoopi Goldberg, and Janet Jackson.

The singer and rapper each dedicated their wins to close family members — JAY-Z to his mother, who publicly came out as a lesbian through his song "Smile," and Beyoncé to her uncle Johnny who lived with HIV.

"He lived his truth. He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn't as accepting," she told the audience at the award ceremony.

"Witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I've ever lived...I'm hopeful that his struggles served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely," she added.

Take Action: Test Your Knowledge: Gender-Based Violence

Actúa: Take the Quiz

 
 

 



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The Carters are clearly a force to be reckoned with, both on stage as captivating performers and off stage as powerful advocates for human rights and equality.

The inspiring couple embody the idea that “Everything Is Love” — also the title of their recent joint album — and encourage others to do the same.

“We’re here to promote love for every human being, and change starts from supporting the people closest to you. So let’s tell them they are loved," Beyoncé said. "Let’s speak out and protect them. And parents, let’s love our kids in their truest form.”

JAY-Z, who said he following in his mother's "footsteps of spreading love and acceptance," has long supported same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights.

"What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business,” he told CNN in 2012. “[It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination plain and simple."

The couple jointly won the Vanguard Award this year, but this isn’t JAY-Z’s first GLAAD award. The rapper also received a Special Recognition Awardlast year in recognition of his song “Smile.”

Read More: Anne Hathaway Speaks Up for LGBTQ Rights, Racial Justice in Award Speech

Beyoncé has also consistently used her platform to advocate for equal rights and support for the LGBTQ community. The singer has included same-sex couples in her music videos, featured trans icon Laverne Cox in an ad for her fitness clothing line, and spoken out against the North Carolina “bathroom bill” preventing LGBTQ people from using the bathroom consistent with their gender identity.

The Carters’ activism isn’t limited to advancing LGBTQ rights. Both JAY-Z and Beyoncé are Global Citizen Ambassadors and, for years, have called for greater gender and racial equality, as well as and an end to global poverty. The pair performed together at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg, South Africa, last December.

“LGBTQI rights are human rights. To choose who you love is your human right. How you identify and see yourself is your human right,"  Queen Bey told the cheering audience. "Who you make love to and take that ass to Red Lobster is your human right!” she said, referencing the lyrics from her hit "Formation."

This story was originally published on March 12, prior to the Carters' acceptance of the award, and has been updated to reflect the honor.

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MARCH 29, 2019

 

 
 
ENVIRONMENT

New York Approves Milestone Ban on Plastic Bags

The multi-year fight over plastic bags has reached a milestone.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
More than 8 millions tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans each year, causing immense harm to marine life. The United Nations urges countries to recognize the environmental toll of plastic waste and take action to restrict plastic production. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

For more than a decade, environmental activists have been trying to get New York to ban or restrict plastic bags.

That fight reached an important milestone on Thursday, when lawmakers agreed to a partial ban starting next March, according to the New York Times. At that time, stores won’t be allowed to give customers single-use plastic bags during the checkout process. Counties across the state will be able to opt into a program to charge 5 cents per paper bag going forward to raise revenue for the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, which would buy reusable bags for customers.

Environmental groups were quick to applaud the decision.

“Plastic bags pollute our oceans and bays, damage our stormwater infrastructure, litter our neighborhoods, and become entangled in our trees,” Jessica Ottney Mahar, New York policy director for the Nature Conservancy, said in an email statement. “The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Cuomo and the State Senate and Assembly for coming to a budget agreement to ban plastic bags, which will reduce this source of wasteful pollution all across our state.”

Take Action: Urge Philippine Mayors to Implement a Zero Waste Program in Their Cities

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Business lobbies expressed concern that the new law will burden small companies with a steep expense, according to the Times.

However, numerous exemptions will be built into the law when it’s approved in the days ahead, including for takeout bags at restaurants, bags for bulk items and deli meats, and newspaper sleeves.

As a result, millions of single-use plastic bags will still be used annually in the state.

But the law will eliminate the vast majority of plastic bags that end up being used in the state. In New York alone, an estimated 9.37 billion plastic bagsare discarded annually, and only 5% of plastic wraps in the US ever get recycled. The rest wind up in landfills, where they take hundreds of years to break down, or in ecosystems such as oceans.

Read More: The Long, Strange Journey of a Plastic Bag

In recent years, awareness of the environmental consequences of plastic pollution has become widespread and governments around the world are beginning to take action to restrict plastic production.

More than 60 countries have taken action against single-use plastics, and the European Union recently passed a sweeping measure to ban single-use plastics such as cutlery, plates, straws, and more.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo first championed the plastic bag ban in early 2018, when he introduced legislation. Previously, he had killed an effortto enact a 5-cent tax on plastic bags.

Read More: Philippines Launches Massive Effort to Clean 'Unflushed Toilet' of Manila Bay

"The blight of plastic bags takes a devastating toll on our streets, our water, and our natural resources, and we need to take action to protect our environment," Cuomo said in a statement after introducing the ban. "As the old proverb goes: 'We did not inherit the earth, we are merely borrowing it from our children,' and with this action we are helping to leave a stronger, cleaner, and greener New York for all."

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5.2k
GIRLS AND WOMEN

How this inspiring program is helping girls soar

November 9 2018 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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Join the fight against extreme poverty

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The Zulu Sierra – Papa Whiskey Whiskey (ZS-PWW) may look like any other plane. But, this aircraft is special because it carries bright young minds to an exceptional future. The plane is owned by Refilwe Ledwaba. She’s the first black woman to fly for the South Africa Police Service and the first black woman to be a helicopter pilot in South Africa!

Refilwe grew up in Lenyenye, a small township in the Limpopo region of South Africa. She is the youngest of seven children, all raised by their mother in a single-parent home. Originally, she wanted to become a doctor, but everything changed on a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. That fateful flight had a female pilot, inspiring her to take to the skies!

She wrote to over 200 South African companies asking them to help fund her education. The South Africa Police Service responded, offering to pay for her training and help her get a commercial pilot license.

But Refilwe’s story doesn’t stop there. She’s since left the Police Service to focus on teaching. In fact, she founded the Girls Fly Programme in Africa Foundation(GFPA), giving a head start to the next generation of women aviation and space leaders in Africa.

GFPA is a non-profit that has set-up a training program and an annual flying camp for teenage girls. The camp, run with Women and Aviation, teaches girls from across South Africa, Botswana, and Cameroon about aviation.

The girls spend their days figuring out computer coding, building robots, and completing flight simulations. They also get an opportunity to take a flying lesson on board the ZS-PWW, where they learn the basics of soaring through the skies. At night, they get to know each other around an open fire and sing and dance, forming lifelong friendships.

The girls come from different backgrounds, from townships to private schools, but all achieve high scores in math and science at their schools. GFPA gives them the opportunity to meet professionals working in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM), and learn about the exciting and hugely varied career opportunities for them in these fields.

“I think STEM is very important because, on a personal note, it opened a lot of doors for me,” says Refilwe. “So if you’re not going to prepare women for those jobs in the future, then we’re lost.”

Refilwe made history in South Africa. Now, she’s paving the way for a new generation of girls to do the same.

Every girl deserves the opportunity to reach the skies. If you want to support girls worldwide, join our Poverty is Sexist movement!

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It’s not every day two amazing female activists get together to discuss equality. But that’s exactly what happened when Phoebe Robinson and Melene Rossouwwere together in Zambia recently! They joined each other for an Instagram Live interview where they talked all things on equality and empowerment.

Phoebe Robinson is a comedian, best-selling novelist, and podcaster for Two Dope Queens and Sooo Many White Guys. When she’s not taking the internet by storm, she’s advocating for ONE and (RED)!

Melene Rossouw is an attorney in South Africa. She’s also a founder of the Women Lead Movement (WLM), which educates women on their constitutional rights, how to campaign, and how to hold governments accountable. You might recognize her as one of the spokeswomen of our gender equality open letter!

There’s plenty of incredible insights in their conversation. But if you weren’t able to catch their full Q+A live on our Instagram, don’t worry! We’re breaking down the biggest takeaways (including — a lot needs to be done before we achieve gender equality).

Here are five things we need to achieve gender equality according to Melene + Phoebe:

#1. Demand world leaders to act

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On International Women’s Day, we released our fifth annual Open Letter to world leaders. Over 40 co-signers, including Melene, contributed to this letter that demands genuine progress towards gender equality.

Why? Melene put it best:

“While you are dragging your feet to put in place a comprehensive policy and the framework that will protect women, that will promote women’s interests, they are being abused. They are being victimized. They are being sidelined. They are being undermined every day of their lives. And that, we are saying, is unacceptable.”

#2. Create change locally

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World leaders need to step up for women everywhere. While their role in equality is essential,  we need local change, too.

“The promotion of gender equality should start at the family,” says Melene. “As much as gender inequality is a pervasive issue that touches on education, touches on health, poverty, economic opportunity … it starts in the family. It is how we are brought up. It is how we become accustomed to certain gender roles.”

Local communities can bring about big changes, as well. Community engagement is a huge part of Melene’s work at WML.

“We believe that the solutions to most of these social ills, including the issue of patriarchy and the issue of gender inequality, can only be solved in communities,” says Melene.

#3. Inform women and girls on their rights

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How is Melene fighting for gender equality? By teaching women and girls about their rights. When people are aware of their rights, they have the power to demand change. But without that knowledge, women and girls may not know that they can fight back, or how to do it.

“How do we start empowering women to become change agents in their community if they don’t even understand that they have rights and can enforce these rights?”

Melene is on a mission to achieve gender equality through human rights. If we’re ever going to end extreme poverty, women and girls must have equal opportunities to succeed.

#4. Provide education for all

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Educating women and girls on their rights is vital, but the learning can’t stop there. Access to an education opens a world of opportunities for people everywhere. But, the world leaves women and girls behind too often.

Before they went live on Instagram, Phoebe and Melene spent the day with female students who dream of growing up to be journalist, teachers, and nurses. The girls they met love learning and have incredible ambition.

But, too often, girls living in poverty face challenges in getting an education. Obstacles like school fees and lead to girls dropping out of school and abandoning their dreams. When girls receive an education, they are better able to combat poverty.

“The key to change everything is education,” says Phoebe.

#5. Make sure everyone plays their part

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There are lots of moving parts in the fight for gender equality. No matter where you are, you can contribute to the fight. This includes men, who need to be part of the shift towards a more equal world.

In our daily lives, we can be part of conversations that create a better understanding of the issues and how to solve them. Sharing knowledge between people creates a domino effect that helps bring these issues to light. Making room for equality and activism essential.

“It needs to be part of our everyday life. It needs to be part of our dialogue.”

Are you ready to play your part? You can join Phoebe, Melene, and thousands of people across the world by signing this open letter to world leaders.

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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WATER & SANITATION

These Kits Provide Menstrual Health Education and Jobs for Incarcerated People

“It’s a basic human need that we’re meeting.”


Why Global Citizens Should Care
People affected by period poverty all around the world lack access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and/or waste management. To end extreme poverty, we must ensure all people have access to water and sanitation in correctional facilities. You can help us take action on this issue here

There are currently 80 incarcerated women who don’t have the resources to manage their periods with pride and dignity at the Mawelawela Women’s Correctional Institution in eSwatini, a small country in Southern Africa. 

That's why this weekend, Days for Girls International (DfG), an organization that offers menstrual health solutions to underserved people around the world, is setting up an enterprise in Mawelawela to help incarcerated people sustainably take care of themselves, and their communities, with education and products. 

On Saturday, April Haberman, a DfG development officer based in Washington State, is taking her daughter and five other high school girls to bring sustainable menstrual hygiene management kits to women at Mawelawela. The eSwatini country director will follow up on their visit and teach the women how to sew and assemble kits to generate income. The program will be the first to give incarcerated people a chance to earn a living while in a correctional facility by making the kits. Once they leave, they have some savings and a skillset to provide for themselves. 

Take Action: Prioritizing Menstrual Hygiene Management is Key to Ensuring Girls Can Stay in School

 

Take Action: Take Action

 
 
 
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“The government doesn’t supply anything,” Haberman told Global Citizen, referring to the lack of menstrual hygiene management and personal hygiene products in eSwatini correctional facilities. 

“If family and friends aren’t supporting menstrual hygiene management, they resort to using the mattresses or newspapers to manage their periods,” she explained. 

When incarcerated people don’t have access to adequate menstrual hygiene management, which is a common occurrence, they are at risk of infections, the spread of diseases, and causing plumbing issues. At least 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management (MHM). The exact number is unknown, but the lack of resources causes many young girls to miss school, and women to miss work, which harms their potential for economic growth. 

 

Together, with the help of volunteers and donors, we are able to give days of dignity, health and education back to girls all over the world!#DfGSpotlight #BalanceforBetter

 
 
 
 

DfG consulted thousands of girls and women around the world and went through 27 iterations to design several versions of menstrual hygiene kits. Many people don't have access to clean water to manage their periods safely, which is why the kits include waterproof shields and absorbent liners that use little water and limit waste. The products last three years, dry quickly, and save money compared to using disposable menstrual products. Deluxe versions of the kit come with washcloths, soap, and underwear. 

Read More: Maine Congressman Claims Free Period Products Don't Belong in Jail Because It's Not a 'Country Club'

The organization isn’t only focused on menstrual products. DfG doesn’t distribute kits anywhere without an ambassador of women’s health training, which covers basic anatomy, puberty, menstruation, sexually transmitted infections, self-defense, and trafficking. 

DfG first started servicing incarcerated people at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor, Washington. Washington State provides incarcerated people with period products, but five years ago, the organization visited a correctional facility there on a whim to teach incarcerated women how to make kits. The incarcerated women responded well to the initiative and the program grew from there.
DfG_at_womensprison_WA_group photo.jpgDfG women at a Washington correctional facility.
Image: Courtesy of Days for Girls.

Now at the Washington Corrections Center, incarcerated people can't wait to join the program. In order to sew for DfG, they need to have three years of good behavior in a row to ensure the safety of those working and other incracerated people as they use sewing machines and other dangerous tools. 

Incarcerated people all around the world –– in countries such as Cambodia, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, as well as within the US –– are receiving DfG kits. Kit distribution depends on the size of the correctional facility, but DfG usually delivers between 50 and several hundred. The organization says it reaches over 1 million women and girls and over 110 countries, and it has over 15 enterprise leadership programs where people learn how to generate income by making and selling kits. 

 

These rockstar women (and many others not pictured) have been working so hard. Their new enterprise in Senegal made 60 kits just in the first two weeks of establishment and they already received an order to make 200 more! Congrats team! #dfgspotlight

 
 
 
 

One DfG advocate, Julie Tsoukalas, focuses on working with the Deaf community in Zambia, where harmful myths about menstruation circulate. 

“If a male member of your family sees your period blood, they will go blind,” is one belief Tsouk heard. People who menstruate in Zambia sometimes resort to transactional sex or sexual favors to pay for or receive sanitary products, Tsouk said. She also visited one correctional facility in Zambia in January, to distribute kits where the water is shut off at night, making it difficult for incarcerated people to manage their periods safely.

Haberman recalls speaking during a presentation about a Washington correctional facility’s contributions to nonprofit organizations over the course of the year. An incarcerated woman told Haberman one word included in the slide about DfG’s impact resonated with her.

DfG_at_womensprison_WA_sewing instruction1.jpgIncarcerated people sewing DfG kits at a Washington correctional facility.
Image: Courtesy of Days for Girls.

“The word that stuck out for me was ‘freedom,’” Haberman said the woman told her. “I love sewing for you because I don’t have my freedom any longer, but sewing for Days for Girls and giving this kit to someone else, I can give freedom to someone else, and that makes me happy.”

DfG also distributes kits to people who are preparing to leave correctional facilities. Once incarcerated people are released, their options are limited, Haberman said. If they have a criminal record it may be harder to find employment, and they don’t always have the income to purchase menstrual hygiene products.

Talking about menstrual hygiene management is the first step toward educating others, normalizing menstruation, and getting people involved in advocacy, Haberman said.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

Thirty @TVAelementary students are assembling 100 washable feminine hygiene kits to girls and women in Ghana - in support of Days for Girls international charitable organization. @CTVWindsor

 
 
 
 

“We often say people would rather talk about diarrhea than periods,” she said. “Toilet paper is provided when you have diarrhea –– imagine having diarrhea five straight days and not having toilet paper. It’s the same thing when a woman menstruates for an average of five days.”

Haberman encourages people to host fundraisers, donate, join one of DfG’s 1,000 chapters, or start one to stand up for menstrual equity. 

“It’s not a luxury,” Haberman said. “It’s a basic human need that we’re meeting and it brings dignity and better health.”

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MARCH 4, 2019

 

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GIRLS & WOMEN

This Airline Will No Longer Force Female Cabin Crew to Wear Makeup

It’s a “significant” change in an industry plagued by sexual harassment and objectification.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
It might sound like a small step, but in an industry where sexual harassment is “rampant”, an end to the objectification of female flight attendants is an important step towards achieving UN Global Goal 5 for gender equality — including an end to violence towards women in all its forms. Join the movement by taking action here to help achieve gender equality. 

Traditionally, female cabin crew members have faced strict demands in terms of how they should present themselves: perfect hair, layers of makeup, and uniforms designed to make them look as attractive and polished as possible. 

But now, UK-based airline Virgin Atlantic has announced changes that indicate the industry is beginning to move away from its highly sexualised and objectifying attitude to female flight attendants.

Take Action: Tell World Leaders to Redouble Their Efforts by Amending Laws to Prevent Sexual Violence

Take Action: Sign Petition

 
 
 
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In partnership with: Equality Now and CHIME FOR CHANGE

Female cabin crew have reportedly been told that they don’t have to wear makeup, and also now have the option of wearing trousers as standard, rather than having to have a request approved. 

While it might not sound like a particularly groundbreaking announcement, it's important in an industry famed for its objectification and, frankly, sexism. 

A survey last year, by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), revealed that sexual harassment is “rampant” in the industry — with nearly 70% of flight attendants having experienced sexual harassment at some point in their career. 

Related StoriesFeb. 25, 2019Menstrual Health and FGM Will Finally Be Taught in England's Schools by 2020

Of those, 68% said it had happened three or more times in the past year, and a third said it had happened five times, according to Business Insider.

Meanwhile, nearly one-fifth of respondents said they had been sexually harassed physically by a passenger in the past year — and over 40% of those said it had happened three or more times. 

“They also report being subjected to passengers’ explicit sexual fantasies, propositions, request for sexual ‘favours’, and pornographic videos and pictures,” said the union. 

Related StoriesFeb. 7, 2017Flight Attendant Rescues Human Trafficking Victim With Note Left on Toilet Mirror

Sara Nelson, president of the AFA, said: “The time when flight attendants were objectified in airline marketing and people joked about ‘coffee, tea, or me’ needs to be permanently grounded. #TimesUp for the industry to put an end to its sexist past.”

Virgin’s executive vice-president of customer, Mark Anderson, said in a statement to HuffPost: “We have been listening to the views of our people and as a result have announced some changes to our styling and grooming policy that support this.

“Not only do the new guidelines offer an increased level of comfort, they also provide our team with more choice on how they want to express themselves at work,” he added. “Helping people to be themselves is core to our desire to be the most loved travel company.” 

Related StoriesJan. 25, 2017Thomson Reuters FoundationWomen Shouldn't Be Asked to Wear High Heels or Make-up at Work, Says UK Report

If staff do choose to wear makeup, there is still a colour palette of lipstick and foundation in the airline guidelines.

Most international airlines do still tell their staff what type of makeup to buy and wear, according to the Guardian; however, easyJet and Ryanair are reportedly more relaxed. 

Meanwhile British Airways still reportedly requires women to wear makeup — at least lipstick and blusher, to “groom and maintain” their eyebrows, and conceal “obvious blemishes … wherever possible” — but they are allowed to wear trousers. 

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36
GIRLS AND WOMEN

ABLE x ONE: Be inspired to fight for equality everywhere, every day

29 March 2019 4:17PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Take action for women everywhere

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Do you know how long it will take us to achieve gender equality at the current rate of progress? 108 years.

We know that women and girls everywhere deserve to have access to the opportunities that will empower them to thrive. That’s why we’re on a mission to amp up the fight for gender equality everywhere this year.

P1030722.jpgTo help us make progress towards our goal, we partnered with ABLE — a lifestyle brand focused on ending generational poverty through providing economic opportunity for women — to launch two new products.

The ABLE x ONE Alem passport wallet and ABLE x ONE Martha pouch are hand-crafted by female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia. They’re engraved with statements inspired by our #PovertyIsSexist campaign and were createdwith ABLE to remind you of the world we’re fighting to build every day.

To celebrate our exciting partnership, we’re giving away 10 ABLE x ONE Martha Pouches and 10 ABLE x ONE Alem Passport Wallets right now! Head on over to our Facebook and Instagram pages and enter for your chance to win.

P.S. If you can’t wait to win one of these, head on over to the ONE Store to get one now.

Full giveaway terms & conditions can be viewed here.

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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