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The Action Thread Part Two

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NEWS: 7 Mar 2019


7 Mar 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What we want for women and girls in 2019

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


Take action for women everywhere

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Equality for African women

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


Fri 8 Mar 2019 06.55 GMT


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winner of the ‘alternative nobel prize’ turns desert to forest in Burkina Faso



Join the fight against extreme poverty

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This story was originally reported by Nellie Peyton, editing by Claire Cozens for the Thomson Reuters Foundation

A farmer from Burkina Faso who popularized an ancient farming technique to reverse desertification is among the winners of Sweden’s “alternative Nobel prize”, announced on Monday.

Yacouba Sawadogo shared this year’s award with three Saudi human rights activists and an Australian agronomist. The 3 million Swedish crown ($341,800) prize honours people who find solutions to global problems.

Sawadogo is known for turning barren land into forest using “zai” – pits dug in hardened soil that concentrate water and nutrients, allowing crops to withstand drought.

The technique has been used to restore thousands of hectares of dry land and in doing so reduce hunger in Burkina Faso and Niger since he began to teach it in the 1980s, according to the Right Livelihood Award Foundation.

Sawadogo said he hoped he would be able to “use the award for the future”.

“My wish is for people to take my knowledge and share it. This can benefit the youth of the country,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from his village in Burkina Faso.

The country dips into a semi-arid zone below the Sahara desert known as the Sahel, where climate change and land overuse are making it increasingly difficult to farm, experts say.

“Yacouba Sawadogo vowed to stop the desert – and he made it,” said Ole von Uexkull, executive director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation.

“If local communities and international experts are ready to learn from his wisdom, it will be possible to regenerate large areas of degraded land, decrease forced migration and build peace in the Sahel.”

Last year, erratic rains left nearly a million people in need of food aid across the country.

Sawadogo initially faced resistance for his unconventional technique, based on an ancient method that had fallen out of practice. Now “zai” have been adopted by aid agencies working to prevent hunger in the region.

Sawadogo told his story in a 2010 film called “The Man Who Stopped the Desert“.

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

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7 DE MARZO DE 2019



La NASA acaba de anunciar su primera caminata espacial realizada por mujeres

La misión incluirá a Anne McClain, Christina Koch y la controladora de vuelo Kristen Facc




La agencia espacial estadounidense NASA ha confirmado que ha programado una caminata espacial que será realizada por mujeres astronautas por primera vez.


Una portavoz de la NASA dijo a CNN el miércoles: "Como está programado actualmente, la caminata espacial del 29 de marzo será la primera realizada solo por mujeres".


La caminata espacial, compuesta por los astronautas Anne McClain y Christina Koch, será la segunda caminata espacial durante la Expedición 59, que se lanzará el 14 de marzo.


Koch es miembro de la Expedición 59, mientras que McClain actualmente forma parte de la tripulación de la Estación Espacial Internacional.


Además de las dos mujeres en el espacio, se espera que otra mujer, la controladora de vuelo de la Agencia Espacial Canadiense Kristen Facciol, esté en tierra operando la consola del Centro Espacial Johnson en Houston, Texas, brindando apoyo en este paseo espacial de siete horas.


I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina and I can not contain my excitement!!!! #WomenInSTEM #WomenInEngineering #WomenInSpace



Los astronautas masculinos Nick Hague y David Saint-Jacques también participarán en el paseo espacial.


Aún no está claro qué se va a lograr en la caminata espacial. La NASA dice que se realizan caminatas espaciales para reparaciones, equipos de prueba y realización de experimentos.

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

Inspiration to keep smiling in the face of hatred.

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

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

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

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

1/ Tess Asplund vs. 300 neo-Nazis 


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

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



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

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


2/ Jasmin Golubovska Fighting the Ugly Side of Power  



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



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

3/ Ciara for Scottish Independence



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

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

View image on Twitter


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

4/ The Woman with the Eagle Feather 



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

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

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

5/ Ethiopian-Israeli Woman Against State Police 



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

6/ Iesha L. Evans Standing to Show #BlackLivesMatter 


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


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




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

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


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

Read More: Millions of Kids Are Stranded Without an Education

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


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