While opening a newspaper or watching a TV program we are every day made aware of the plights of irregular migrants. Some recent examples among many – on 24 October, 39 Chinese nationals were found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex. They had apparently frozen to death within a refrigerator container with temperatures as low as -25C (-13F). This while tragedies occur almost daily on the Mediterranean Sea. On 26 November, a rescue vessel found a boat almost completely sunken. It had three dead bodies aboard. Fifty-five migrants were saved. Three of them were in a critical condition, and one died after reaching Melilla in Spain, where the migrants were brought in. Three children were among the survivors, though a further ten individuals were reported missing. Nowadays, such news items pass by almost imperceptibly. Every day, thousands of unfortunate human beings are trafficked all over the world to suffer underpaid, hazardous work, or prostitution.
Great strides have been taken to empower women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing adopted an ambitious global agenda to achieve gender equality twenty-five years ago. Gender parity has been achieved in primary education. Maternal mortality has been halved. Today, the region’s governments are committed to overcoming the persistent challenges of discrimination, gender-based violence and women’s unequal access to resources and decision-making.
-- I am Generation Equality because…
I didn’t want other girls to go through the same struggles I experienced. I got married when I was 14 years old. I had no idea what marriage was.
Statistics and stories. When aid agencies appeal for funding to tackle the latest refugee crisis and journalists do their reporting, then these are the two narratives most chosen -- one impersonal and the other upfront and individual. The sheer numbers can feel overwhelming. The UN refugee agency UNHCR
says more than 70 million people are currently displaced by conflict, the most since the Second World War. Among them are nearly 26 million who have fled their countries (over half under the age of 18) and 3.5 million more are registered as asylum seekers.
It has been two years since #MeToo went viral, and it’s about time the garment industry’s sexual harassment problem got the attention it deserves. Clothing and footwear brands can do much more to prevent and address gender-based violence in their supply chains, but first they need to confront how badly their inspection or “social auditing” programs fail women.
Violence against women and girls is among the most widespread, and devastating human rights violations in the world, but much it is often unreported due to impunity, shame and gender inequality, the UN highlighted ahead of Monday’s World Day
to stamp out abuse of women and girls.
Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United Nations this week launched a U.N. group that aims to put women at the centre of peace initiatives in Afghanistan.
If I could have one wish granted, it might well be a total end to rape. That means a significant weapon of war gone from the arsenal of conflict, the absence of a daily risk assessment for girls and women in public and private spaces, the removal of a violent assertion of power, and a far-reaching shift for our societies.
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.
While women find it hard to talk about their painful experiences, some have found a way of expressing themselves through art. Women, trained as artists, from Nairobi’s informal settlements Kibera and Kangemi, have produced a beautiful quilt that tells stories about their daily challenges.
The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA Ethiopia country representative, Bettina Maas speaks to IPS at the ICPD25 Nairobi Summit and she says she is optimistic that this time around that the three critical commitments; bringing preventable maternal deaths, gender based violence and harmful practices, as well as unmet need for family planning to zero will be realized.
Every day in developing countries it is estimated that 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth. This amounts to 7.3 million births a year.
Governments across the world must ban all state-implemented harmful practices against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community delegates at the ICPD25 tells IPS.
One in five women globally lives with a disability even as they have same needs and interests as women without disabilities, their access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights remains severely limited.
Young women and girls are still subjected to a range of harmful practices and violence, including early marriage. Every year, an estimated 12 million girls get married before the age of 18.
For each of the 830 women dying each day from pregnancy complications and childbirth, an estimated 20 others suffer serious injuries, infections or disabilities.
This is the reality that millions of women face, and informs the Nairobi Summit’s three critical commitments which are to bring preventable maternal deaths, gender-based violence and harmful practices, as well as unmet need for family planning, to zero. To achieve this objective money is needed.
More than 6 000 delegates in the population development sector are gathering in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi this week to renew the promise made to girls and women 25 years ago in Cairo.
Every day 830 women die while giving life. At least 33,000 girls are forced into child marriage with 11,000 girls undergoing female genital mutilation. These are some of the cruel realities young women face every day. However, there is renewed hope that delegates expected to attend the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Nairobi this week will re-energise and breathe new life to the Cairo Promise
Central America is an impoverished region rife with gang violence and human trafficking - the third largest crime industry in the world - as a major source of migrants heading towards the United States.
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’.