Democracy

A Gender-equal Ethiopian Parliament can Improve the Lives of all Women

Recent gains by women in the Ethiopian political landscape offer a chance to improve gender equality around the country and put an end to long-standing societal iniquities. Since coming to power in 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has reorganised the cabinet to ensure that 50 percent of the government’s top ministerial positions have been given to women.

Chinese vs. Western Governance: The case of COVID-19

During January the onslaught in the Western media, notably the US and the UK, against the Chinese government’s handling of the Covid-19 epidemic, was merciless. The Chinese government stood accused of an inhumane attitude towards its people, secrecy, a cover-up, and an overwhelming concern for its own survival above all other considerations.

Polycephaly* in Afghanistan: Failure of the US or Curse of History

The fourth and last presidential election in Afghanistan on 28 September 2019 was yet another setback to the democratic process. Not only did it take months for the Independent Election Commission to announce the results but they were again marred by allegations of massive fraud that culminated with two candidates declaring themselves as winners.

A Woman Peacebuilder’s Reflections on Beijing+25 & the Generation Equality Forum

Where are the women and youth peacebuilders in the Beijing+25 and the Generation Equality Forum processes? Their absence raises serious questions about the effectivity and coherence of the work of the UN on gender equality since armed conflict is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality.

Journalists Tell Slovakia’s PM-elect: ‘Thanks, but No Thanks’

Plans announced by Slovakia’s prime minister-elect to fund investigative journalists to act as corruption watchdogs on government and state bodies have been dismissed as “a road to hell” by local journalists.

Personal Conviction Versus Fandom: The Case of Mitt Romney

The great American impeachment show has ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. The dirt was washed away from President Trump, the perfect Teflon Guy. Maybe his invulnerability comes from the fact that he appears to be more of a brand than a real person, adapted to a frame of mind that increasingly dominates social media – cheap entertainment, shallowness, vulgarity, invectives, and catchy phrases without support in well-founded facts. Trump is all and nothing, a shape shifting trickster pretending to be the role model for voiceless masses.

A Glut of Arms: Curbing the Threat to Venezuela from Violent Groups

Power in Venezuela is slipping away from state institutions and concentrating in the hands of criminals, guerrillas and other non-state actors. Any new negotiations between government and opposition must consider how to defang these armed irregulars, who might otherwise scuttle an eventual settlement.

UN Chief Should Lead by Example on Human Rights

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has long needed to overhaul his approach to human rights. Hopefully his call to action announced in Geneva yesterday is the start of something new.

How Nigeria’s Police used Telecom Surveillance to Lure & Arrest Journalists

As reporters for Nigeria’s Premium Times newspaper, Samuel Ogundipe and Azeezat Adedigba told CPJ they spoke often over the phone. They had no idea that their regular conversations about work and their personal lives were creating a record of their friendship.

Venezuela: Violent Abuses in Illegal Gold Mines

Residents of Venezuela’s southern Bolívar state are suffering amputations and other horrific abuses at the hands of armed groups, including Venezuelan groups called “syndicates” in the area and Colombian armed groups operating in the region, both of which exercise control over gold mines, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday, February 4.

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.

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.

Reflections for a New Year

In a world shaken by so many problems, it is difficult to look at 2020 and not make some kind of holistic analysis. While enormous progress has been made on many fronts, it is clear that the tide has turned, and we are now entering – or have already entered – a new low point in the history of humankind..

Impeachment: An Ordinary Citizen’s View

When I decided to become a US citizen in 1990s, it was a deliberate decision to spend my life fighting for preserving and deepening democratic freedoms at a place where I have spent all my adult life. Having struggled against a brutal military dictatorship while I was a teenager, I knew that democracy is something you have to fight hard for. Therefore, when I became a citizen, for the swearing in event I took with me key documents of US democratic heritage. These included the constitution, the federalist papers and related documents from the 1780s. Since that ceremony I have tried to learn as much as I could about the crucial idea of democratic checks and balances among the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of our government. I have come to realize how prescient some of the revolutionaries from the 1770s and 1780s were in identifying the potential sources of tyranny and corruption of democracy. I have always looked at the impeachment provisions in this light.

The Ignoble Fall of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Appearing before 17 judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto civilian leader of Myanmar, became a public apologist for the military government of Myanmar which has long been accused of genocide and forcing over 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighboring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown.

Five Lessons for Journalism in the Age of Rage– & Where Lies Travel Faster Than Truth

The news-media industry has long lamented how the digital revolution has broken its business models. Today, a majority of digital advertising money goes to Facebook and Google, and media companies are struggling to reinvent themselves through digital subscriptions.

We Shouldn’t Expect Philanthropists to Fund Activism

Since philanthropists are unlikely to fund anything that destabilises their businesses, building independent institutions can be an effective approach to create lasting impact.

End Rape—an Intolerable Cost to Society

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.

Dangers and Questions of the Zuckerberg Era

This year the Worldwide Web is thirty years old. For the first time since 1435, a citizen from Brazil could exchange their views and information with another in Finland.

The UN at 75: Time to Give Citizens a Voice

Next year the United Nations will commemorate its 75th anniversary. The General Assembly determined that all the UN’s activities in 2020 shall be guided by the theme “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”.

PNG Bougainville Prepares for Historic Vote on Nationhood

The people of Bougainville, an autonomous region in eastern Papua New Guinea (PNG), have aspired to self-government for more than a century. Now their longed-for opportunity to vote on independence will occur on Nov. 23.  But, even with a clear majority in the vote count, the region’s future, which must be agreed and ratified by PNG, is far from certain.

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