Barely five months into the start of Sneha's year at a government school in Bhilwara, a town in India's desert state of Rajasthan, the bubbly 15-year-old was pulled out by her parents. They wanted her to stay at home instead, to look after her four younger siblings and to cook and clean for the family as her parents worked on their farm.
Ministers and senior policymakers across Asia and the Pacific are gathered in Bangkok this week to focus on population dynamics at a crucial time for the region. Their goal: to keep people and rights at the heart of the region’s push for sustainable development. They will be considering how successful we have been in balancing economic growth with social imperatives, underpinned by rights and choices for all as enshrined in the landmark Programme of Action stemming from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, or ICPD.
Last week’s announcement by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) of £50m ($64.3m) to help end female genital mutilation (FGM) is great news. The biggest ever financial commitment by any donor, it could be a game changer for the African-led movement to end this abhorrent subjugation of women.
‘Do not let us off the hook; keep our feet to the fire’. These were the words of the UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres
when he promised to personally lead the global body towards greater gender equality.
The recent rise of nationalism in some western countries has been fuelled by an anti-immigration campaign based on the assumed negative influences migrants may have on the host country’s “culture”. Nationalists seem to conceive culture as a static concept. However, culture is not invariable, it develops and changes over time and as most things created by humans, it is also connected with power. Generally, when people define themselves as “cultured” they assert themselves as superior to others.
When Deputy Principal Rose was a student, there was a week every month that she dreaded: the period every twenty-eight days or so when she had her period. A keen student with an innate love of learning, she loathed this forced truancy.
Neha is a first-generation learner. Her mother, Hema, a maid, wants her only daughter to grow up to become a government servant. This, according to her, will give her family security, stable water and electricity connections, and also an attached toilet, apart from a better living environment.
That almost one in five Kenyan teenage girls is a mother represents not only a huge cost to the health sector, but also a betrayal of potential on a shocking scale.
Yaw Owiredu Mintah from Ghana has been working as an all-round processor of bamboo and rattan since the 1980s. And while he says that he can do most things with bamboo like weaving, framing and finishing, he admits, “I need to improve my skills and designs because all of us are, most of the time, doing the same things.”
THAT the State must make available a complete, adequate and integrated system of education is not debated.That everyone who desires to should be admitted to universities or colleges of their choice is not only debatable, it is false! More perverse yet is the proposition that when the State grants students the benefits of free tertiary education, the beneficiaries owe the State no service at all!
The Migrants as Messengers awareness-raising campaign (MaM), developed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), uses innovative mobile technology to empower migrants to share their experiences and to provide a platform for others to do the same.
As the youth population has increased to unprecedented levels in Arab and Asian regions, governments need to do more to invest in them.
Asia and the Pacific needs more women entrepreneurs. Women’s economic empowerment and gender equality depend on it, as does the inclusive economic growth needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This drives a new initiative by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, generously supported by Global Affairs Canada, focused on improving women entrepreneurs’ access to finance in our region.
Young people – a growing population segment in developing countries – are intrepid innovators and entrepreneurs who can help solve pressing climate and development challenges today.
Rose lives in Nairobi. Getting safe, reliable drinking water for her six daughters in the slum where they live used to involve risking disease from an illegally tapped water supply.
When it was time for Joe Lupinacci to graduate from his high school in Stamford, Connecticut, he knew he wanted to go to college. While other students were deciding which college to apply to, the choice required more thought and research on Lupinacci and his parents’ part. Lupinacci, who has Down Syndrome, needed a college that would meet his needs.
'Think Bigger', urge the colourful posters on the walls of Ideario
, an innovation hub in Chamanculo, a modest neighbourhood in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. The message is right on target for the new female trainees, eager eyes glued to laptop screens as they learn internet and computer skills.
The right to land and water, as well as to multicultural education, are the top priority demands of Mapuche leaders working with their communities in the Araucanía region and in Santiago, Chile’s capital.
At 12, Mohammed* is an orphan. He watched his parents being killed by Myanmar government soldiers a year ago. And he is one of an estimated half a million Rohingya children who have survived and been witness to what the United Nations has called genocide.
It is a cold evening in Antwerp, Belgium’s second-largest city, famous for diamonds, beer, art and high-end fashion. Inside a small restaurant, a mix of the latest American pop and rap—clearly enjoyed by diners—is playing on a radio. Nigerians Olalekan Adetiran and Adaobi Okereke, enjoying a kebab dinner, are startled when the radio begins playing the unmistakable “Ma Lo”—a catchy, midtempo and bass-laden song by popular Nigerian artistes Tiwa Savage and Wizkid.
States around the world must take effective action to guarantee the human rights of indigenous peoples, says a group of UN experts. In a joint statement marking International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the experts say it is crucial that the rights of indigenous peoples are realised when they migrate or are displaced from their lands: