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1553719766788.jpgGayle E. SmithMar 28, 2019
SAVE
EXPERT VOICES

Cyclone-lashed southern Africa needs more support for recovery

people wading through floodwaters in Mozambique
 
People wading through flood waters in Buzi, Mozambique, after Cyclone Idai. Photo: Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

After making landfall earlier this month, Cyclone Idai caused devastating flooding and destruction throughout Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, leaving up to 1,000 people feared dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

The big picture: The UN called Idai "one of the worst natural disasters to hit southern Africa in living memory." Shortages of food and clean water and the risk of contracting fatal diseases like cholera or malaria only make the situation worse.

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Details: Like the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the post-Idai emergency didn't initially receive the attention crises of this scale often do, though the international humanitarian system has begun to respond.

  • Farmers have lost crops and livestock in the floods, and many impacted areas were already facing food insecurity. In response, the UN's World Food Programme has sent 20 tons of high-energy food, but more supplements will be needed.
  • Regional communications and transportation remain major challenges. Local officials are rushing to restore power while government workers slowly repair and reopen roads that were washed away.
  • Experts have warned of a "ticking time bomb" of disease as survivors are exposed to bacteria-infested flood waters. The World Health Organization has sent 900,000 oral cholera vaccines to the region (at least 5 cases of cholera have already been reported) and is preparing to send 900,000 bed nets in anticipation of a spike in malaria.

Where it stands:

  • The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has authorized $700,000 in emergency assistance — an amount likely to climb — and deployed a response team to Mozambique to determine the extent of the damage. Personnel from U.S. Africa Command have also been dispatched.
  • Nonprofit groups from Save the Children to the International Committee of the Red Cross have stepped up to deliver supplies, provide health services and help reunite families.

The bottom line: Even the smallest shocks to regions like southern Africa can trigger vicious cycles of poverty, violence and conflict — and the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai was anything but small. Hundreds of thousands of people now depend on a robust international response that will need to be sustained from emergency management through to rebuilding.

Gayle E. Smith is the president and CEO of the ONE Campaign and a former administrator of USAID.

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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.

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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.

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APRIL 2, 2019

 

 
 
ENVIRONMENT

This Airline Is the First Non-Coal Company to Join Europe's Top 10 Carbon Emitters

“Aviation is Europe’s biggest climate failure,” says EU campaign group.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN's Global Goals include a number of goals specifically calling for efforts to protect the environment, including Goal No.12 for responsible consumption and production, and Goal No.13 for climate action. Join the movement by taking action here in support of the Global Goals.

Irish airline Ryanair is now listed among Europe’s top 10 emitters of carbon, according to EU figures released on Monday. 

It’s the first time ever that a non-coal company has been named on the listby the EU’s Emission Trading System (EU ETS), launched in 2005 to help combat global warming. 

In total, Ryanair produced 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 — an increase of 7% compared to 2017, according to the Guardian, and up 49% over the last five years. 

Take action: Call on Businesses to #UnplasticthePlanet by Reducing Their Plastic Packaging Waste

Take Action: Sign Petition

 
 
 
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In partnership with: Flow Alkaline Spring Water

And according to Transport & Environment (T&E) — a European collective of NGOs working to promote sustainable transport — the ranking highlights aviation as “Europe’s biggest climate failure.” 

 

Ryanair is the new coal!

It's 1st Airline to become Top-10 carbon polluter in Europe - the other 9 being coal plants.

Aviation emissions have risen 26.3% since 2013 – far outpacing all transport modes.

Airlines pay no fuel tax. Air tickets have no VAT.https://transenv.eu/2uIGZYx 

 
 
 
 

The group said the ranking demonstrates that Europe is failing to “rein in the runaway emissions growth of aviation, which pays no taxes on its fuel and VAT on its tickets.” 

“When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal,” said Andrew Murphy, the aviation manager at T&E, in a statement. “This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line.”

Related StoriesMarch 21, 2019This UK City Just Declared a Climate Emergency

The group warned that relying on voluntary gestures from the sector isn’t enough, and that legislation is needed to limit airlines’ increasing carbon emissions. 

In response, Ryanair told Global Citizen over email: “Ryanair is Europe’s greenest and cleanest airline. Passengers travelling on Ryanair have the lowest CO2 emissions per km travelled than any other airline.” 

Green economy news site Business Green has highlighted that low-cost airlines generally do have lower carbon emissions when considered per passenger because there are more passengers per flight. 

Related StoriesMarch 25, 2019These 50 Foods Aren't Just Good for You — They're Good for the Environment Too

Meanwhile, the other nine companies named and shamed in the ranking are all coal power plants — seven of which are in Germany, and one is in Bulgaria. The last — ranked No. 1 on the list — is Belchatow in Poland, which produces 38 megatonnes of emissions each year. 

Among other airlines in Europe that reportedly appeared on the ranking were EasyJet in 31st place following an 11% rise in emissions in 2018; Lufthansa, Norwegian, and British Airways. 

In total, airlines’ carbon emissions grew by nearly 5% within Europe last year, and by over 26% since 2014, according to T&E — “far outpacing” any other mode of transport. 

Related StoriesFeb. 26, 2019Qantas Will Remove 100 Million Single-Use Plastic Items From Flights by 2020

Currently, aviation is reportedly responsible for about 3% of Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions. But according to industry forecasts cited in the Guardian, this could rise by up to 700% by 2050 as the sector gets larger. 

Murphy added: “The time has come for a big change in Europe’s aviation policy.” 

There is some good news, however, with coal emissions falling across Europe by over 4%, largely thanks to moves towards cleaner energy alternatives. The power and heat sector reportedly saw a 6% drop in emissions.

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1 DE ABRIL DE 2019

 

 
 
CIUDADANÍA

El Papa Francisco dice que construir muros no solucionará la crisis mundial de migración

Dijo que los gobiernos deben resolver la crisis humanamente.

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
La migración se ha convertido en un problema polarizador en los últimos años y muchos países han respondido tomando medidas enérgicas contra algunas de las poblaciones más vulnerables del mundo. Las Naciones Unidas y el Papa han instado a los países a adoptar un enfoque más humano para manejar la migración. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.
 

El Papa Francisco dijo que el aumento global de la migración debería ser abordado enfocándose en resolver sus causas fundamentales, no construyendo muros, en una entrevista a bordo del avión papal el domingo, según informó Reuters.

 

"Los constructores de muros, ya sea que estén construidos de alambre o ladrillos, terminarán convirtiéndose en prisioneros de los muros que construyen", dijo el Papa.

El Papa explicó que los países ricos tienen la obligación de lidiar humanamente con la migración. Se refirió a esto cuando se le preguntó sobre la reciente amenaza del Presidente de los Estados Unidos Trump de cerrar la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México para desalentar la migración.

 

Y aunque no nombró a líderes específicos, el Papa reconoció que la migración se ha convertido en un tema preocupante en los últimos años.

 

"Me doy cuenta de que con este problema, un gobierno tiene una papa caliente en sus manos, pero debe resolverse de manera diferente, humanamente, no con cercos", dijo.

Actúa: Tuitea ahora

 
 
 
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En asociación con: CHIME FOR CHANGE


De acuerdo con el Informe de Migración Internacional de las Naciones Unidas, entre 2000 y 2017, la migración global aumentó en un 49%, convirtiéndose en un importante motor de ganancias económicas y también en una fuente de tensión en muchos países. Además de la migración voluntaria, actualmente hay 22 millones de personas en todo el mundo que han sido desplazadas de sus países por fuerzas como el conflicto, la persecución y los desastres naturales.

 

La mayoría de los migrantes terminan en países de altos ingresos donde generalmente hay más oportunidades laborales, pero los países de bajos ingresos acaparan el 84% de todos los refugiados y solicitantes de asilo, según el informe de la ONU. Aunque los migrantes y los refugiados son causados por diferentes factores, a menudo se agrupan cuando los países cierran sus fronteras.

 

La migración se ha convertido en un problema más polarizador en algunos países que en otros.

 

En los Estados Unidos, por ejemplo, el presidente Donald Trump ha amenazado con cerrar la frontera con México para evitar que los solicitantes de asilo crucen y dijo que eliminará la ayuda extranjera al Triángulo del Norte, donde se originan grandes cantidades de solicitantes de asilo.

En toda Europa, la migración ha impulsado a grupos anti-inmigración de extrema derecha al poder en Italia y Alemania, y ha impulsado eventos como el Brexit en el Reino Unido. En Tailandia, una ofensiva contra los inmigrantes indocumentados también afectó a los refugiados y solicitantes de asilo, y Marruecos tiene una política de casi cero tolerancia para los migrantes del África subsahariana.

 

La intolerancia general hacia los migrantes en todo el mundo ha llevado a muchos a correr riesgos extremos, como ponerse en contacto con contrabandistas, atravesar paisajes peligrosos y cruzar cuerpos de agua peligrosos en busca de seguridad y oportunidades. Desde el año 2000, más de 60,000 migrantes han muerto mientras buscaban seguridad.

 

El Papa Francisco ha pedido a los países que adopten un enfoque más humano para manejar a los migrantes, refugiados y solicitantes de asilo. Mientras tanto, la ONU insta a los países a adoptar un nuevo pacto sobre la migración que reconozca la naturaleza cambiante de la economía mundial, el papel que desempeña el cambio climático en el desplazamiento de las personas y las diversas causas fundamentales que impulsan la migración.

 

El Papa dijo que abordar los crecientes niveles de desigualdad contribuiría en gran medida a reducir los flujos migratorios.

 

"Con miedo, no avanzaremos. Con muros, permaneceremos cerrados dentro de estos muros", dijo a la prensa el domingo.

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APRIL 2, 2019

 

 
 
EDUCATION

Sesame Street Is Teaching Viewers What It's Like to Have an Autistic Family Member

“All children, autistic and neurotypical alike, are amazing in their own ways.”


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Over 93 million children in the world live with disabilities. All children have the right to learn in safe, accepting environments, no matter their physical or intellectual capabilities. Learning about different conditions is the first step to fighting discrimination. You can join us and take action on this issue here

This April, in honor of Autism Awareness Month, the nonprofit organization Sesame Workshop is providing educational resources for families touched by the condition.

In 2017, Sesame Street introduced Julia, the first muppet with autism spectrum disorder –– a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. Now, viewers get to meet her family, showing how they deal with many of the same challenges anyone else’s does. Julia’s mom is an art teacher, and her dad is a saxophone player, the company announced Monday. She also has a protective older brother and a dog. 

Julias Family Gets Ready 4_Photo Credit Richard Termine.jpgImage: Courtesy of Sesame Workshop/Richard Termine

Take Action: What Do You Know About the Inequalities Faced by People Living with Disabilities?

Actúa: Take the Quiz

 
 

 



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En asociación con: Coty

"Children with autism often face unique challenges, as do their parents and siblings,” Sherrie Westin, president of global impact and philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, said in a statement to Global Citizen. “But every family faces challenges of some sort, which is why we are focusing on what all families have in common. In a family, everyone has different roles, challenges, and strengths, and everyone can learn from one another."

Jeanette Betancourt, the senior vice president for US social impact at Sesame Workshop, told Good Morning America she hopes that Julia's family can help other families with autistic children. 

 

Go behind-the-scenes to see the creation of Julia’s family! From Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to the Sesame Street set, witness the incredible process of bringing characters to life.

 
 
 
 

Sesame Workshop released additional materials on its website about autism, which currently affects 1 in 59 children in the US and their families. The resources specifically address bullying, which can disproportionately affect autistic children. Bullying affects a child’s ability to learn, leads them to avoid school, negatively affects their grades, and makes it more difficult for them to concentrate. 

On its "Bully-Busting" page, Sesame Workshop recommends parents stay observant of their children to see if they are showing signs of being bullied, like withdrawing or behaving differently. If they are verbal, the site recommends talking to them about bullying and trying to get the bully the help they need as well. 

Julias Family Gets Ready 2_Photo Credit Richard Termine.jpgImage: Courtesy of Sesame Workshop/Richard Termine

Read More: Lego Is Giving Sesame Workshop $100 Million to Help Educate Refugee Children

Sesame Street has historically promoted diversity and inclusion on the show, encouraging children to accept each other by writing in characters from all walks of life. 

One of the show’s most famous muppets, Elmo, told Good Morning America he has a lot of fun playing with Julia.

"Julia has autism," Elmo said. "And that makes Julia different ... But it's really cool that everybody's a little bit different but same, too.”

Julia is also the face of the organization Autism Speaks’ new Ad Council campaign to raise awareness of early signs of autism and the need for support early on. 

“Sesame has long celebrated the uniqueness of every child as well as what all children share in common,” Westin said. “Julia has shown that all children, autistic and neurotypical alike, are amazing in their own ways.”

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Image for Event Search

Advocacy in Action: ONE’s 2019 agenda to end extreme poverty

Saturday, April 6, 10:00 AM

ONE events are a great way to learn about ONE, international development and the fight against global poverty, and meet other ONE members in your area. Please enter your information below to sign-up and the event host will be in contact.

TIME

VENUE

Indiana University, Global and International Studies Building, Room 0009

ADDRESS

355 N Jordan Ave
Bloomington, IN 47405

EVENT DESCRIPTION

INDIANA and Indiana University! On Saturday, April 6th the Indiana University ONE Campus chapter and community team will be hosting the Advocacy in Action: ONE’s 2019 agenda to end extreme poverty training! 

At this exclusive training, led by Regional ONE staffer Shawn Phetteplace and the IU ONE Chapter, you will learn about our plan to help end extreme poverty, end AIDS and make sure that the most at-risk people get the help they need. We'll give you a background briefing on ONE, these issues and you'll be able to even take action right then and there! Want to step your activism and make a difference? Sign up now! 

Light refreshments will be provided. This training will last for 2 hours. 

In Bloomington we are going to be tabling on campus, at Earth Day, at the Bloomington Farmers Market and be organizing other events to help us fully fund the Global Fund to end HIV, TB and Malaria and help those most at risk. Want to help make the world a better place and get the skills and influence to make an impact with lawmakers? Join us for this training to get started!

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ENVIRONMENT

Canada Is Warming Twice as Fast as the Rest of the World

"Warming reduces snow and ice, which contributes to more warming."


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The effects of climate change are far reaching and impact more than just the environment. Taking urgent action on climate change is necessary to achieve Global Goal 13. Join the movement and take action here.

Climate change is causing the world’s average temperatures to rise — and Canada is warming at double the global rate, a new report revealed.

The report, "Canada in a Changing Climate," is the first in a series to come from Environment and Climate Change Canada that will highlight the impacts of climate change within the country.

Canada’s annual average temperature over land has increased by an estimated 1.7 degrees Celsius since 1948, with higher increases in the North, the Prairies, and northern British Columbia, the report noted. In northern Canada, the increase was 2.3 degrees Celsius.

Take Action: Call on Businesses to #UnplasticthePlanet by Reducing Their Plastic Packaging Waste

 

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In comparison, the average global temperatures have increased by 0.8 degrees Celsius in the same timespan.

There are two key reasons behind this according to Dr. Chris Derksen, research scientist, climate research division, at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

First, land areas are warming faster than ocean areas, and given Canada’s size, it’s expected that it would be greatly impacted, Derksen told Global Citizen.

The second reason, he explained, is related to the fact that Canada is a northern country with a lot of snow and ice.

 

Canada’s #ChangingClimate Report provides strong scientific support for taking action on #ClimateChange, including climate adaptation and mitigation in our country. Read the report: http://ow.ly/ql4S50oSE0l 

 
 
 
 

“Sea ice over the ocean and snow over land reflect a lot of energy from the sun back into space, and as the climate has warmed, the duration of the year for which we have snow and ice at the surface has decreased,” he said.

“So that means for a longer time of the year, you’re absorbing more energy into open water or the land surface that’s not covered by snow. That, in turn, contributes to more warming … Warming reduces snow and ice, which contributes to more warming.”

In other words, it’s a constant cycle of global warming.

Related StoriesJan. 12, 2018Scientists Warn That the Arctic Might Not Be the Arctic for Very Long

The increased temperatures are a result of burning fossil fuels, according to the report.

It highlights a number of intense consequences that are likely to arise if the issue is not addressed: intense heat waves, rainstorms, droughts, floods, wildfire risks, and shortages of fresh water.

“The warming that we’ve experienced to this point — which is driven by … human activity and increased CO2 in the atmosphere — that’s pretty much locked in,” Derksen said, noting that the country can expect to face issues similar to those of recent years.

Related StoriesMarch 15, 2019Youth Leaders Tell Us Why They're Skipping School for Climate Action

The report suggests that Canada and the world must reduce carbon emissions to near zero early on in the second half of the century, and significantly reduce emissions of other greenhouse gasses in order to minimize impacts of climate change.

Should global emissions be greatly reduced, in what the report calls its low-emission scenario, average Canadian temperatures will only increase by about 2 degrees Celsius, which would be in line with targets set in the Paris agreement. This would help prevent the harsh events currently being predicted if the world continues on with business as usual.

While this report focused on Canada, its findings are part of a much more global issue relating to climate change. Extreme weather changes caused by climate change impact food security, influence poverty and can ultimately lead to premature deaths.

Related StoriesFeb. 27, 2019How the Plight of Polar Bears Has Shown Us the Dangers of Climate Change

“It’s a problem that is being driven at the global scale and so a solution for it will also have to be found for it at the global scale,” Derksen said.

If the world fails to act, increases of 7 to 9 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Celsius in the Arctic) are predicted, according to the Guardian, which would result in the predicted devastating events.

It's too late to reverse course — but Derksen says that it’s not too late to get this under control.

“The future is still open as to which of these pathways we go down,” he said.

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APRIL 3, 2019

 

 
 
GIRLS & WOMEN

Why This Woman Is Crowdfunding to Send a Feminist Book to All 650 British MPs

For Tracy King, the world is designed around men — and it’s costing women’s lives.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Achieving gender equality is an essential mission of the UN's Global Goals, which work together to end extreme poverty. It's only by taking women into account when making decisions and forming policies that we'll achieve this goal. Join the movement by taking action here in support of Global Goal No.5 for gender equality. 

At the beginning of March, US space agency NASA announced that it had scheduled its first-ever all-female spacewalk. That is, until just weeks later when it had to abandon the mission

The reason? Because there weren't enough spacesuits for women. 

It’s a timely example that also perfectly explains why Tracy King, a writer and producer from Birmingham (now living in London), is working to get a particular book in front of all 650 members of parliament (MPs) in the UK.

Take action: The Next World Bank President Must Support Women and Girls

 

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The book is Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez — the feminist activist most famous for getting Jane Austen’s image on the new £10 note — and it’s all about highlighting the fact that our world really isn’t designed for women. 

According to its blurb, the book “exposes the gender data gap — a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.”

That might sound unbelievable, but the NASA spacesuit fiasco is a great demonstration of women being held back because what they need to move forward just doesn’t exist — because no one seems to have thought women might need spacesuits. 

As highlighted in the book, there are lots of other examples of how our society is shaped around the idea of what’s known as the “default male.” That essentially means that everything in our societies has been created with men in mind. 

“Cupboards are too high, my phone’s too big,” King tells Global Citizen. “And yet I’m average height and average hand size for a woman. And it had never occurred to me before that it’s not me being too small, but that the world is designed for a male body. 

“Sometimes it’s an inconvenience, like a phone, but at the other end of the spectrum it can be life-threatening,” she adds. 

There are many examples in the book of how the gender gap can cost women’s lives in the context of natural disasters or conflict. 

“We didn’t have firm data on the sex disparity in natural disaster mortality until 2007, when the first systemic, quantitative analysis was published,” reads one section of the book. “This examination of the data from 141 countries between 1981 to 2002 revealed that women are considerably more likely to die than men in natural disasters.” 

Related StoriesMarch 26, 2019NASA Abandons First All-Female Spacewalk Due to Lack of Suits for Women

“It’s not the disaster that kills them,” explains Prof. Maureen Fordham, from University College London, in the book. “It’s gender — and a society that fails to account for how it restricts women’s lives … In Sri Lanka, swimming and tree climbing are ‘predominantly’ taught to men and boys; as a result, when the December 2004 tsunami hit (which killed up to four times as many women as men) they were better able to survive the flood waters.”

The book adds: “There is also a social prejudice against women learning to swim in Bangladesh, ‘drastically’ reducing their chances of surviving flooding.”

For King, there are “a million examples” that are similar — “but it highlights that it’s the same issue for all women everywhere: failure to acknowledge that women don’t navigate the world in the same way that men do.” 

It’s for these numerous reasons that King launched her crowdfunding campaign, raising funds to make sure that every MP in the UK has no excuse to ignore the data laid out in Criado-Perez’s book. 

Related StoriesJan. 23, 201814 Badass Women Who Fought for Their Beliefs in the Past 100 Years

King points out that the gender data gap and the “default male” concept “is not something that I personally can do anything about, but our members of parliament, anyone who’s involved in policy or regulation, here or in the developing world” can. 

“It’s not the public whose minds you need to change, it’s the decision makers,” she continues. “It’s all about policy, everything in this book. It’s about something that was designed without considering women.”

“If you’re going to build a building, put in more toilets for women than men,” she adds, as a basic example. 

While she’s realistic about the fact not every MP who receives a book will read it, she says “the point is the publicity, the noise, the peer pressure of doing a crowdfund.” 

Related StoriesSept. 10, 2018Sandi Toksvig Reveals QI Paid Her 40% of Former Host Stephen Fry's Salary

For King, there was no lightbulb moment when she realised she was a feminist and what that meant, but there was a moment when she realised she had to start doing something to help bring about gender equality: the death and rape threats that Criado-Perez received just for campaigning to get a woman’s face on a banknote. 

“It doesn’t matter how big or small the thing you’re trying to achieve is, if you’re a woman and you’re sticking your neck out, someone will try to cut your head off,” she continues. “What on earth is wrong with asking for a woman to be on a bank note that people send death and rape threats because they’re so outraged?" 

This prompted a realisation for King that, to make real change happen in terms of how women are treated in society, we need to reshape our world so that everything considers women to the same extent as it considers men. 

And to achieve this, it means educating the people who shape the world about the gender gap — and make them realise that women need to be as front and centre as men. 

Related StoriesJan. 2, 2018Iceland Starts 2018 in Style by Making Gender Pay Gap Illegal

“Absolutely any MP who sits on a committee, shadow ministers, everybody needs to be thinking about this first, before you begin to plan a damn thing,” she says. “Is this discriminating or excluding 50% of the population?” 

But King highlights that, while the campaign centres around Criado-Perez’s book, it’s “about all books, and all women who are doing analysis and pointing out biases.” 

“So yes, I picked on one book to give to MPs,” she says, “but it’s about way more than one book and more than MPs, it’s the whole zeitgeist that we’ve had enough.”

And giving out the books is most definitely just the start for King.

“That’s just the beginning,” she says. “Then it’s about, what are you going to do about it?” 

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03/04/2019

International Soprano Sinéad Blanchfield appointed as Music Development Officer for Kilkenny

International Soprano Sinéad Blanchfield appointed as Music Development Officer for Kilkenny

Music Generation, together with Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB), is delighted to announce the appointment of Irish soprano, recording artist, vocal coach and music educator Sinéad Blanchfield to the role of Music Generation Development Officer for Kilkenny.

In her new post Sinéad will develop and oversee an affordable, accessible programme of performance music education for children and young people ages 0 to 18 across the County. This will include building partnerships with music and arts tuition services in the area and coordinating with schools, youth and community groups to create ensembles, choirs and other initiatives, embracing all musical genres and styles.

Under the leadership of KCETB and in partnership with Kilkenny County Council, Music Generation Kilkenny is one of 22 cities and counties now participating in Ireland’s national music education programme. Initiated by Music Network in 2010, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Sinéad’s appointment is an important milestone in the development of Music Generation Kilkenny, marking the beginning of a focussed phase of planning which will build towards the implementation of a full and comprehensive programme of vocal and instrumental tuition later in 2019.

Commenting on her appointment Sinéad said: ‘I’m thrilled to return to my native Kilkenny to take up this new role as Music Generation Development Officer. Music has always played such an important role in my life, from my very earliest beginnings singing and playing piano, through my years of study, training and performance. As a mentor and educator I’ve seen the enormous difference that music can make in young people’s lives, developing skills, confidence and creativity. I’m excited and energised to create access to these same inspiring opportunities for many more children and young people within our local communities and to build on Kilkenny’s already rich musical landscape.’

Born in Kilkenny, Sinéad is an international Irish soprano who has performed in concerts and recitals at major venues and festivals across Europe. Sinéad is a music educator, having taught in schools and at the University of Limerick, and is also a voice coach and singing teacher to adults and children in her private practice. She holds a BA Hons degree in music, a postgraduate diploma in education and a postgraduate award in performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. As a classical crossover artist Sinead has produced and performed her one woman shows drawing on the depth and beauty of the Irish/Celtic songs she sang as a child, combined with her years of experience in the classical arena. Sinéad began her musical journey singing and studying piano and has amassed numerous television and radio appearances across UTV, BBC and RTÉ. In recent years Sinéad has built a strong reputation on the European classical opera circuit.

Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive of KCETB Eileen Curtis said: ‘We’re delighted to announce Sinéad’s appointment to this pivotal role at Music Generation Kilkenny, which will enable programme set-up to get underway. Sinéad’s extensive professional music career and her rich experience in music education and consulting will be invaluable in the post. We very much look forward to working with Sinéad over the coming years to create access to new musical opportunities for children and young people throughout Kilkenny.’

Kilkenny was among nine new areas of Ireland selected for participation in Music Generation’s second phase in September 2017, following an open national call for applications from new Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs). Expansion of the Music Generation initiative into Kilkenny was made possible as a result of philanthropic donations by U2 and The Ireland Funds, which will seed-fund 50% of the costs of establishing the programme during a three-year set-up phase. Kilkenny LMEP will also generate a further 50% in funding locally. This matched funding will then be sustained on a long-term basis by the Department of Education and Skills once the philanthropic donations cease.

Welcoming the announcement of Sinéad’s appointment, Colette Byrne, CEO of Kilkenny County Council, said: ‘We are delighted to be partnering with KCETB and Music Generation on this wonderful initiative. The Music Generation funding, together with funding from Kilkenny County Council and the KCETB, will enable us to work closely to provide high quality performance music education to young people across the county.’

Further information about Music Generation Kilkenny is expected to be announced over the coming months. 

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This award-winning journalist writes to spark compassion
89
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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776
GIRLS AND WOMEN

25 facts that show the harsh reality girls face right now

9 October 2018 4:43PM UTC | By: MELANIE RHODES

SIGN THE PETITION

An open letter to leaders

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What does your future hold? University, your own business, fame and fortune? Whatever your hopes, you will not have imagined a future in which you got married off as a child, were denied an education, or infected with HIV by a husband that’s twice your age. But this is the reality for millions of girls living in extreme poverty. And it’s time to call it out for what it is: Sexist.

Nowhere on earth do girls and women have the same opportunities as men. But for girls living in extreme poverty, sexism can be a death sentence. This is unacceptable.

If we don’t fight for every girl to have the future she deserves, we’re limiting all of humanity’s potential. We need to demand that those with power and resources put women and girls at the heart of their investments.

Here are 25 shocking facts showing why #PovertyisSexist  →

Child Marriage

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  • Globally, girls are being married off at a rate of 33,000 a day.
  • Girls from poor families are more than three times more likely to marry before 18 as girls from wealthier families.
  • An estimated 650 million women alive today were married as children. That’s double the population of the United States.

Education

  • 130+ million girls are out of school.
  • Half a billion women can’t read.
  • Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Burundi expel pregnant girls from school and deny adolescent mothers the right to study in public schools.
  • Attacks on schools increased 17-fold between 2000 and 2014, and girls’ schools were targeted three times more often than boys’ schools.

Female Adolescent HIV and HIV death rates

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  • Globally, 340,000 girls and young women are infected with HIV every year.
  • Girls make up three out of four new infections among children aged 10-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • A young woman in sub-Saharan Africa is twice as likely to be infected with HIV than a young man her age.
  • Globally, only 3 in every 10 adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years have comprehensive and accurate knowledge about HIV. The lack of information on HIV prevention and the power to use this information in sexual relationships, including in the context of marriage, undermines women’s ability to negotiate condom use and engage in safer sex practices.
  • In 2017 29,000 girls aged 15-24 died due to AIDS-related illnesses.

Violence Against Women

  • Almost one third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.   
  • Globally, 44% of girls aged 15-19 think a husband is entitled to beat his wife.

Domestic labour inequities

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  • Globally, girls aged 5–14 spend 550 million hours every day on household chores, 160 million more hours than boys their age spend.
  • 104 countries around the world have laws stopping women from doing certain jobs.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls spend roughly 40 billion hours a year collecting water—the equivalent of a year’s worth of labour by the entire workforce in France.

Access to Finance/Financial Inclusion

  • Over one billion women do not have access to a bank account.

Maternal Mortality/dying in childbirth

  • 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.

Sexual exploitation of women and girls

  • Women and girls make up 96% of those trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Health

  • Anaemia, a condition strongly connected to iron deficiency and poor nutrition, afflicts twice as many women as men – nearly one in three women and girls worldwide.

The good news:

  • 70% fewer mums could die in childbirth – if all girls had primary education.
  • 66% fewer child marriages could happen globally – if all girls had a secondary education.
  • US$28 trillion could be generated – if all gender gaps in work and society were closed.

If you believe that ALL girls should be able to build the future they want, then turn your outrage into action this International Day of the Girl!

An open letter to leaders

Dear World Leaders,

We’re putting you on notice.

For 130 million girls without an education. For one billion women without access to a bank account. For 33,000 girls who became child brides today. For women everywhere paid less than a man for the same work.

There is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunities as men, but the gender gap is wider for women living in poverty.

Poverty is sexist. And we won’t stand by while the poorest women are overlooked.

You have the power to deliver historic changes for women this year. From the G7 to the G20; from the African Union to your annual budgets; we will push you for commitments and hold you to account for them. And, if you deliver, we will be the first to champion your progress.

We won’t stop until there is justice for women and girls everywhere.

Because none of us are equal until all of us are equal.

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YES. YES. YES. → As an HIV activist, Evelina is fighting stigma and teaching kids how to protect themselves against preventable disease.

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469
TECHNOLOGY

This woman is solving water shortage with a little Majik

February 4 2019 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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Did you know that anywhere that air exists, water exists? At sea level, air contains roughly 1% of water vapor and, according to research scientists from Harvard University, even in the desert, a cubic area the size of a house can contain up to 16 litres of water!

Now, thanks to the advancement of science and technology, and the determination of people like Beth Koigi, we’re able to turn air in to water, literally. This a huge deal, and if it sounds a bit like magic, then that’s because it is. Well, kind of…

Beth, a technology and community development specialist from Kiambu County, felt compelled to found Majik Water after experiencing water scarcity first hand. Their name isn’t just a description of the remarkable work that they do their, it’s a nod to the company’s roots and comes from combining the Swahili word for water ‘maji’, with the first letter of the word for harvest ‘kuna’, because that’s exactly what Majik Water does – they harvest water.

A problem that hit home

Beth Koigi, CEO of Majik water, began tackling water scarcity in college. In only a few months, she developed and sold water filters to clean the dirty tap water in the college dormitories. In 2016, Koigi’s water supply shut off because of a drought.

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“Going for months without any tap water became a very bad situation,” she says. “Where I used to live, we didn’t get any tap water at all… I would go to the mall instead. Having no water at all is worse than just having unpurified water, so I started thinking about a way to not have to rely on the council.”

Koigi traveled to Silicon Valley for a program at Singularity University. This global learning community uses technology to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. While there, she met Anastasia Kaschenko, an American environmental scientist, and Clare Sewell, a British economist. The three women formed and lead Majik Water.

“The three of us were connected by the need to see a world where everyone has access to adequate and clean drinking water,” says Koigi.

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Their company certainly tackles a major world issue. 1.2 billion people – one fifth of the world’s population – currently faces water scarcity. By 2025, that number will expectedly grow to 1.8 billion. Sub-Saharan Africa has more water-stressed countries than any area in the world

There’s an estimated six times more water in the atmosphere than in all rivers combined. By tapping into this untouched resource, the most affected parts of the world can have water. The resulting water also helps prevent the spread of waterborne diseases, according to Koigi.

How the magic happens

The device they created uses silica gels, which are able to draw water from the air. The gel releases water when it heats up. As an added perk, the device uses solar panels, meaning it does not rely on electricity.

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This process can currently generate 10 liters of water a day. The team is working to increase that to 100 liters per day, while being cheaper to produce. The device will also work as a “water ATM,” allowing people to buy the amount of water that they need.

The company is quickly gaining recognition for their game-changing invention. Majik Water won Africa’s first EDF Pulse Awards. They were also finalists for 2018’s UN Environment’s Young Champions of the Earth, and are shortlisted for the 2019 African Prize for Engineering Innovation.

There’s no doubt that access to water is a huge global problem. With innovative companies like Majik Water, the possibilities for solutions are sky-high.

All photos pulled from Beth Koigi’s video “Majik Water Situation & Product”.

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