Civil Society

Coming Down the Davos Mountain with a Gender Lens

In a recent report by World Economic Forum (WEF) shows women suffer a “triple whammy” in the workplace. Without drastic action, gender parity will take more than a lifetime to achieve. This is the challenge that Katja Iversen, President and CEO of Women Deliver is staring down.

World’s Young Activists at War: First, Occupy Wall Street, Next Un-Occupy Palestine

The world’s young activists, numbering over 3.8 billion, are on the war path. The rising new socialist movements—which included “Black Lives Matter,” “Occupy Wall Street” “Un-Occupy Palestine” and "the #Me Too Movement" triggering women's marches— were aimed at battling racism, institutionalized inequalities, political repression and sexual harassment.

International Summit on Balanced and Inclusive Education in Djibouti concludes with establishment of new Organisation of Educational Cooperation

At the Closing Ceremony of the III ForumBIE 2030, 38 governments, civil society organisations and academic entities became the first to sign the Universal Declaration of Balanced and Inclusive Education (UDBIE). Furthermore, with the objective of achieving the aspirations and commitments contained within the UDBIE, 30 signatories, including governments and civil society organisations, agreed to establish the Organisation of Educational Cooperation (OEC), a new international organisation from the Global South creating platforms and mechanisms of solidarity-based technical and financial cooperation and support for educational reforms.

US Mideast Peace Plan: from a Paper Pharaoh & a Fake Moses

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu was slapped corruption charges last week while he was hobnobbing with US President Donald Trump in Washington. Bibi has, apparently, done his homework in psychology. He knew the quickest way to get around Trump was to flatter him.

Our Message at Davos: Water & Sanitation Are a Critical Line of Defence Against Climate Change

There was only one topic on everyone’s lips at Davos this year – climate change. The headlines focused on the cold war between Greta Thunberg and Donald Trump, but there was much greater consensus among those gathered for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

US Mideast Peace Plan: Israelis Offered the Cheese & Palestinians the Holes

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has described the much-ballyhooed US Middle East peace plan as “more like Swiss cheese-- with the cheese being offered to the Israelis and the holes to the Palestinians”.

Inclusive Education Still Evades People with Disabilities

Neema Namdamu, 42, grew up in the village of Bukavu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where children with disabilities were considered a curse. As a child Namdamu contracted polio, leaving her paralysed from the waist down. Her neighbours advised her mother to do what they felt was the "right thing": to leave the child alone in a hut until she died of starvation.

Urbanization as a Path to Prosperity

Growing up in New York City in the 1970s, Edward Glaeser saw a great metropolis in decline. Crime was soaring. Garbage piled up on sidewalks as striking sanitation workers walked off the job. The city teetered on the edge of bankruptcy.

Addressing the Low Female Representation in STEM Education

Dr. Anne-Maria Brennan loved science as a young girl. But instead of encouraging her, those around her made attempts to steer her in the "right direction". “The right direction was in nursing, teaching and secretarial courses. I was told that girls do not study physics,” she tells IPS.

Balanced and Gender-Inclusive Education is a Smart Investment

Fihima Mohamed’s mother never attended school and until two years ago she could not read or write. Mohamed’s mother had been born in neighbouring Somalia but was sent to Djibouti as a young girl to live with her aunt. The expectation had been that she would have a better life by escaping the ongoing conflict in her home country at the time.

When UN’s Cash Crisis Undermines Human Rights, Are the World’s Torturers the Key Beneficiaries?

The UN’s ongoing cash crisis, which has virtually destabilized the Organization’s day-to-day operations, has also undermined the human rights mandate of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC).

“For Generations, We Have Been Nominating Men Just Because They are Men”

Marlène Schiappa, Minister of State for Gender Equality and the Fight against Discrimination in France, attended the 25th year Regional Review Meeting of the Beijing Platform for Action for the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Region last month. She highlighted why this meeting is key for advancing the gender equality agenda and the priorities for the Generation Equality Forum in 2020, a global gathering for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-chaired by France and Mexico.

Cybersecurity Threats Call for a Global Response

Last March, Operation Taiex led to the arrest of the gang leader behind the Carbanak and Cobalt malware attacks on over 100 financial institutions worldwide.

Women’s Groups Applaud Gender Action Plan Following COP 25

After nearly two weeks of negotiations at COP 25 climate negotiations in Madrid last month (2-13 December), governments will be adopting a new 5-year Gender Action Plan (GAP) that progressively builds upon the first GAP, and works to address many of the concerns raised by women and gender groups at the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including calls for greater focus on implementation and scaling up gender-just climate solutions.

India’s Citizenship Law Triggered by Rising Right-Wing Ideology

“Fire bullets at the traitors of the country,” chanted mobs of Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, supporters wrapped in Indian flags in Delhi last week.

2020 Is the Decade of Action & It Has to Be a Sprint

Happy New Year, Kenya. 2020 marks a decade of action towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Peace and development are inextricably linked, with each making the achievement of the other far more likely. This puts the conflict-prevention and development work of the UN at the heart of the agenda in East Africa, but in a multi-agency and programme environment, making meaningful progress is challenging.

Carbon Markets Can Provide a Crucial Part of the Solution to the Climate Crisis

One of the main discussions at the COP25 climate change talks was Article 6, which is designed to provide financial support to emerging economies and developing countries to help them reduce emissions by using global carbon markets. Carbon pricing is an essential piece of the puzzle to curb emissions. Without a value on carbon, there is less incentive to make positive changes, especially in the private sector. The most efficient way to carry this forward is to allow trading of carbon both nationally and internationally, which will ensure the lowest cost of mitigation for participants globally.

Arab Region’s Largest Youth Gathering Focuses on New Tech

On late Monday morning, a motley group of more than a thousand youth gathered in a hall in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to listen to Sophia — a humanoid robot capable of displaying humanlike expressions and interacting with people. Yahya Elghobashy, a computer science engineering student from Cairo, sat excitedly in the audience. A few meters away from him, also in the audience, was Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — the President of Egypt.

EU Policies Don’t Tackle Root Causes of Migration – They Risk Aggravating Them

According to political scientist Zaki Laïdi’s La tyrannie de l’urgence (The tyranny of emergency) from 1999, crisis and emergency situations leave no time for analysis, prevention or forecasting. As an immediate protective reflex, they prevent long-term solutions and pose a serious risk of jeopardising the future.

2019 – A Devastating Year in Review

By any measure this has been a devastating year: fires across the Amazon, the Arctic and beyond; floods and drought in Africa; rising temperatures, carbon emissions and sea levels; accelerating loss of species, and mass forced migrations of people.

Mainstreaming Leprosy-affected People a Big Challenge in Bangladesh

When Feroza Begum was first diagnosed with leprosy in 2006, it felt as though she had been struck by a thunderbolt due to the deep-seated prejudice in her society that the disease is a curse from Allah (God).

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