Stories written by Becky Bergdahl

Q&A: A Portrait of the Superstars of Celebrity Activism

Start a global debate about the underlying reasons why poverty exists – and do it through cinema.


Focus on Swing States Could Weaken Democracy in the U.S.

A small number of states in the United States have a peculiar power. As swing states, they are extremely influential in the outcome of the presidential election. As presidential candidates focus intensely on these states, some argue that this imbalance and several other factors threaten to undermine the country's democracy.

Cultural Barriers Falling in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

In one night, Hurricane Sandy devastated large parts of the East Coast of the United States. But in the long run, the aftermath of the storm could have some positive effects as different religious communities learn to work side by side to tackle challenges brought on by the disaster.

Climate Change, the Taboo Phrase in U.S. Electoral Politics

The United States endured its hottest summer in history this year, with droughts and wildfires ravaging the country. And according to a new report from the global reinsurance giant Munich Re, insurance losses related to extreme weather have nearly quadrupled in the U.S. since 1980.

Politics of War Crimes Trials Under Spotlight

Ten years after the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened its doors in The Hague, the United Nations Security Council held its first open discussion on the role of the court, with some nations reiterating complaints that its docket is highly politicised and has unfairly singled out African nations for censure.

Food Sovereignty Prize 03

Groups Rewarded in Their Fight for Fair Food

The Korean Women's Peasant Association won the 2012 Food Sovereignty Prize for its efforts on behalf of the survival of small-scale and ecologically sustainable farming in South Korea.

Courtesy of Donald Green.

Q&A: Tracing Hate Crimes to the Fear of the “Outsider”

Donald P. Green is a U.S. professor of political science who turns theories about hate crime upside down with his research.

Tarun Tejpal. Credit: Shailendra Pandey

Q&A: “Indian Reality Is Infinitely Complex”

One morning, Tarun Tejpal awoke to learn that five hitmen had been arrested for having a contract to kill him. Suddenly, the life of the prominent Indian journalist and editor was turned upside down.

Task Force to Kick Start Cairo Population Goals

Gathered at the Ford Foundation in New York Monday, international luminaries, family planning experts and women's rights activists repeatedly expressed a common sentiment: “I cannot believe that we are still having this discussion today."

New Roadmap for NGOs in Haiti Aims to “Weed Out Bad Apples”

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and representatives from more than 50 non-governmental organisations, including actor-activist Sean Penn, met in New York on Monday to present a new roadmap for humanitarian aid in the country.

U.N. Women Demands End to Impunity for Wartime Rape and Violence

At a high-level event at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, U.N. Women, the United Nations body for female empowerment and gender equality, called for stronger action from world leaders to prevent and punish sexual violence in conflict.

Nobel Laureate Calls for Armed Intervention in Nigeria

On the International Day of Peace, Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka visited the United Nations - and called for armed intervention against the terrorist group Boko Haram in his home country of Nigeria.

Lilia Sales.

Q&A: “Women’s Participation in Peace Processes Is Still Very Small”

Friday is not just any day – it's the International Day of Peace. Concerts, debates and moments of silence will be held all over the planet to commemorate the ideal of global truce and tolerance.

A Rohingya woman in a refugee camp. Credit: Rohingyarefugeebangladesh/cc by 2.0

Mob Violence Continues Against Myanmar’s Rohingya

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has taken important steps towards democracy and greater respect for human rights during the last months with one exception, activists say – the situation for the Rohingya minority, which has faced an outburst of violent attacks this summer.