Labour

Green Steel

How Indonesian craftsmanship is undergoing a revival at the world’s first ‘bamboo university’. It’s fast-growing, flexible and strong. Standing underneath a bamboo canopy, it is easy to understand why people have been using this grass plant for years, in the construction of houses, bridges and scaffolding.

Evo Morales: Hero or Villain?

To be president in a country like Bolivia might be like a precarious act performed by a tightrope-dancer between “the Devil and the deep blue sea”. After 23 years as Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales finally lost his foothold and ended up as political refugee in Mexico, adding his name to a long list of previous revolutionary exiles, like Augusto Sandino, Fidel Castro, and most prominently – Leon Trotsky. The last one was murdered, though the others came back, something Evo Morales has promised to do:

Bringing Silicon Valley to Kathmandu Valley

For those who think that Nepal is too underdeveloped to make full use of artificial intelligence (AI), think again. That is exactly what they used to say about computers and mobile phones in the 1990s.

Empower Young People to Sustain Our Planet, and Let Peace and Prosperity Thrive

Q: At ICPD25 we heard that women and girls are still waiting for the unmet promises to be met? DO you think this time around there is a commitment to ensure that these promises are met? The Nairobi Summit is about the Future of Humanity and Human Prosperity.

World’s Sewage Workers ‘Underpaid, Sidelined and Risking their Lives’

People who empty out sewage tanks and scrub down latrines doubtless perform a vital, thankless and even undesirable task. A new report, however, shows that doing such jobs could also cost workers their lives.

A New Deal for Sustainable Development

Almost nine decades ago, newly elected US President Franklin Roosevelt introduced the New Deal in 1933 in response to the Great Depression. The New Deal consisted of a number of mutually supportive initiatives, of which the most prominent were: a public works programme financed by budget deficits; a new social contract to improve living standards for all working families, including creation of the US social security system; and financial regulation to protect citizens’ assets and channel financial resources into productive investments.

The Nairobi Summit Is about the Future of Humanity and Human Prosperity

As we count down the remaining days to the opening of the Nairobi Summit or the International Conference for Population and Development(ICPD), I am confounded by how much humanity has managed to simultaneously empower more women than at any other time in history, while at the same time failing to see that ‘women’s issues’ are actually ‘everyone’s issues’.

Industrial Policy Still Relevant

Industrial policy refers to the promotion of new investments and technology by governments to encourage the growth and development of specific economic sectors. However, scepticism persists about the feasibility and desirability of using industrial policy, especially of the ability to ‘pick winners’, often accused of leading to ‘propping-up failing industries’.

More Women in Latin America are Working, but Gender Gap Persists, New UN Figures Show

More women are entering the workforce across Latin America, with an increase in 11 per cent in the last 30 years, putting the region ahead of the curve when it comes to growth in female labour force participation, according to new data published by the United Nations on Monday. 

More than 90 per cent of Africa Migrants Would Make Perilous Europe Journey Again, Despite the Risks

A landmark UN migration study published on Monday shows that 93 per cent of Africans making the journey to European countries along irregular routes, would do it again, despite facing often life-threatening danger.

Africa’s Investment Drive Gathers Pace

Headwinds are blowing amid IMF warnings of a “synchronised slowdown” in global economic growth, yet Africa’s investment drive is still gathering pace, supported by intense international competition in development finance.

Rural Poverty Is Still a Scar on the Soul of Colombia, but a New Program Supporting Agri-Entrepreneurship Can Help Heal the Wounds

Rural poverty and inequality continue inflicting large swaths of population in Colombia, especially in rural areas. This situation, endemic since at least the beginning of the twentieth century, was at the root of the 50-year long conflict that shattered the country, leaving 220,000 deaths and 5.7 million displaced persons, and devastating a significant part of the rural areas, where government services and infrastructure vanished.

The #MeToo Movement’s Powerful New Tool

If one dreamed up an ambitious global #metoo success story, it might involve governments around the world enthusiastically supporting legal norms and action on sexual harassment with active support and cooperation from businesses and workers.

Austerity, the “New Normal”

While this week Ministers of Finance and economists meet in Washington to confront global economic challenges at the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings, the majority of the world population lives with austerity cuts and see their living standards deteriorating. World leaders must reverse this trend.

‘Salty’ Concern: Tackling High Salt Consumption in China

China’s almost meteoric transition from a being a low income to a middle income country within a span of four decades is often perceived as a miracle analogous to the post Second World War Japanese economic development experience.

Human Trafficking – It Came Disguised as the Opportunity of a Lifetime

Six years ago Mary Njambi* received news of a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity far away from her poverty-stricken village situated in the heart of Kiambu County, Central Kenya. She was 20 years old, a single mother and out of work.

Wall Street can Free the World’s 40 Million Modern-Day Slaves

Financiers in Wall Street, the City of London and other banking centres should play a bigger role in freeing the millions of people who endure slave-like working conditions globally, according to a new study.

No to Ageism, Yes to Intergenerational Equality

As we are celebrating the International Day of Older Persons today, we recognize that population ageing is a human success story, a story of longer and often healthier lives of the world’s people. The many faces of older persons that we see in Asia and in the Pacific, and, indeed, all over the world, attest to this fact. Still, however, ageing is considered a threat. There is talk about the “burden of ageing”, exploding healthcare costs, and concerns about plummeting economic growth due to the shrinking labour force. In many cities of Asia-Pacific, we see advertisement for “anti-ageing cosmetics” and surgeries. The current ideal is that we must be young, dynamic and without wrinkles or grey hair, especially older women.

10,000 People a Day Must be Freed to End Slavery by 2030

"Six years after initiating my term as Special Rapporteur, it is sobering to say that the way to freedom from slavery remains long in spite of the legal abolition of slavery worldwide," said UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery, Urmila Bhoola.

Hiring for Inclusion

As companies begin to focus on hiring people with disabilities, we need to shape how they think and act on this interest.

Do Women Suffer Greater Loss of Employment than Men in Morbidity?

In a life peppered with tragedy, Mary Shelley wrote in 1818, “Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery?” That this accurately sums up the fate of many women in South Asia who suffer a major health shock such as a serious illness or a disability or both, is hard to dispute.

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