I had already heard many disturbing stories of violence by the time I interviewed Mercy Maina, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy. Even so, what Mercy told me was truly disturbing. She said she was raped during the post-election violence in August alongside her sister by two men wearing uniforms and helmets, and carrying guns and walkie-talkies.
Around the world, brave women have broken their silence on the sexual harassment and abuse suffered at the hands of those with power. Their courage is paving the way for others to speak out about their own experiences.
With discussions underway between Bangladesh and Myanmar about the repatriation of more than a half a million Rohingya refugees, many critical questions remain, including how many people would be allowed back, who would monitor their safety, and whether the refugees even want to return to violence-scorched Rakhine state.
The political crisis triggered in Peru by the presidential pardon of former president Alberto Fujimori granted on Christmas Eve casts a shadow of doubt over what actions will be taken to curb violence against women in this country, where 116 femicides were registered in 2017, and which ranks eighth with respect to gender-related murders in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Amid concerns that 160 people may have drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean this week alone, the UN refugee agency have urged countries to offer more resettlement places.
The repatriation of Rohingya refugees driven from their villages through violence and terror appears uncertain, with critics saying the agreement legalising the process of their return is both controversial and impractical.
Close to 10 years after its first edition, a fully updated International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education published today by UNESCO advocates quality comprehensive sexuality education to promote health and well-being, respect for human rights and gender equality, and empowers children and young people to lead healthy, safe and productive lives.
If there is one political principle that has been constant throughout the history of human civilization it is the fact that land is power. This is something that is particularly true, and often painfully so, for women who farm in Africa.
As the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations in New York draws near, women from every corner of the world will convene to deliberate on the theme of CSW 2018: Challenges and Opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. This year, the theme of empowerment has added significance. The #MeToo movement has shocked our collective conscience and made it impossible to ignore that empowerment goes far beyond economic agency.
Last year was an annus horribilis
for 52-year-old Newton Gunathileka. A paddy smallholder from Sri Lanka’s northwestern Puttalam District, 2017 saw Gunathileka abandon his two acres of paddy for the first time in over three and half decades, leaving his family almost destitute.
If Gen Ziaul Haq hijacked Islam to justify his military rule, then Gen Musharraf did the worst injustice to liberalism by using it as camouflage for his praetorian rule. Both generals benefited personally but have confounded Pakistanis about religion and liberties alike, pitting citizens into an unresolved search for a core national identity and a stable political model of governance.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugee women from Myanmar are currently living in the cramped camps along Bangladesh Myanmar border. Victims of sexual and physical violence in the Rakhine state, women have been disproportionately affected by this crisis and these women’s perils are far from over in the host country as they continue to face multifaceted challenges.
In 1994, Dr. David R. Hawkins wrote a book positing the difference between power and force (Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior
- the latest revised version came out in 2014).
On the occasion of the 2017 International Day of Human Solidarity observed on 20 December, the Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim calls for peace for and human solidarity with, the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.
A few years ago, someone shared a video with me that deeply impacted me. It was called "The Girl Effect". In three minutes, the video demonstrates the fate of millions of girls and teenagers around the world.
Lack of diet diversity is viewed as the major cause of micronutrient malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa. Imbalanced diets resulting from consumption of mainly high carbohydrate based-diets also contribute to productivity losses and reduced educational attainment and income. Consequently, micronutrient malnutrition is currently the most critical for food and nutritional security problem as most diets are often deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. In Tanzania, for example, most rural and urban households consume mainly staples as their main food, which are high in carbohydrates, but low in micronutrients and vitamins. Staple food items increase energy availability but do not improve nutritional outcomes if not consumed together with micro-nutrient rich foods.
Without reliable access to water, human beings cannot survive. Yet 3 out of 10 people do not have a safely managed water supply, and 6 out of 10 lack safely managed sanitation. Over 2 billion people drank water that was fecally contaminated in 2015, and the World Bank estimates
that the annual cost of poor sanitation is in excess of $260 billion annually.
While the media may be attracted by images of migrants drowning or sold as slaves, another flagrant but lesser-known drama is that of care workers, who are overwhelmingly women, often migrants, and who make a very large contribution to global public health, but are exposed to great health risks themselves with little or no protection, let alone basic labour rights.
Ferdous Begum was cleaning her child after he had defecated in the open, using leaves she collected from a nearby tree at Bangladesh’s Teknaf Nature Park. The settlement is packed with Rohingya refugees who fled military persecution in Myanmar since August.
As press freedom becomes increasingly limited, journalists are frequently finding themselves in more dangerous predicaments than ever before.