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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.

Zahra-1024x683.jpg

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.

Saadatu-1024x768.jpg

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.

DaloriCamp-1024x435.jpg

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

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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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GIRLS AND WOMEN

How this inspiring program is helping girls soar

November 9 2018 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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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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