Access to quality healthcare is a basic human right, but for many, especially those in vulnerable communities, the right is not fully realized.
Joe Biden provided a stirring soundbite days ago when he spoke
from the White House just after suicide bombers killed 13 U.S. troops and 170 Afghans at a Kabul airport: “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
A strong movement of feminism is sweeping South Korea. While women feel empowered to stand their ground, the men are retaliating.
When South Korean archer An San won two gold medals in just two days during the recent Tokyo Olympics, the response the 20-year-old received at home was a mixed. Some men were angered and said her medals should be taken away. Why? Because her short hair was a sign that she was a ‘man-hating’ feminist.
With elections right round the corner in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said that a re-elected Liberal government would spend billions in the coming years to hire family doctors. This report
says, Justin Trudeau promised that the Liberals would spend $3 billion over four years starting in 2022 to hire 7500 family doctors and nurses as well as tax and student loan incentives for health professionals who set up shop in rural or remote communities and also pledges an extra $6 billion to wrestle with wait lists.
Whether desperately trying to get a place on the last evacuation flights out of Kabul or trekking to the borders with neighbouring Pakistan and Iran, tens of thousands of Afghans are fleeing their country once more.
Events are unfolding at speed. The Taliban are establishing a central government in the capital to fill the void of the collapsed western-backed administration, but they do not control all the country as the protracted civil war enters a new stage. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says that in its “worst case scenario
” it is preparing for around 500,000 new refugees in the region by the end of this year. As with many past estimates that could prove optimistic.
Some years ago, on a piece on the Afghan crisis I had written that Mullah Omar’s face bore no resemblance to that of the impossibly beautiful, albeit mythical, Helen of Troy. Yet it too had caused the launch of a thousand ships (airships to be more precise), just as Helen’s had done in Homer’s epic tale, the Iliad. Like Troy in that ancient narrative, Afghanistan of the present times was swarmed with invaders who could also be seen as the counterparts of those Greeks- the Americans and their NATO allies. This war lasted for double the time of the Trojan episode, twenty years instead of ten. At its end it led to a reverse situation, victory of the Trojans, in this case, of the Taliban. Though the Greeks destroyed Troy by the ruse of a gift of the Wooden Horse, eventually a Trojan warrior, Aeneid, sailed to southern Mediterranean and laid the foundation of the Rome and its empire. The Greek epoch ultimately yielded to the Roman age, and the annals of geopolitics of that time took a completely new turn. Will the impact of the Afghan war be the same? Shall we see a power transformation in a new paradigm from what we have at the present time? Will American predominance make way for a risen China, now or in the future?
As the Western occupation of Afghanistan has come to an end, TV news is broadcasting harrowing scenes of death and destruction, citizens in fear, allies abandoned, and dreams dashed.
Manual scavenging is a caste-based profession that leads to discrimination and atrocities against those engaged in it. Generations of families
from marginalised communities in India have been forced to continue in this profession because of social ostracism and a lack of alternatives.
Before the pandemic, many Pacific Island countries grappled with low numbers of students completing secondary education. Now experts in the region are concerned that the closure of schools to contain the spread of COVID-19, and the economic downturn, will lead to even more students dropping out of education early.
Albert Einstein said, “In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity.” The year 2020 was a year of crisis across many sectors in Canada, especially the health care sector. There was a severe strain on the health care system through long waiting lists for family physicians, specialists, and vaccination clinics, and Intensive Care Units were working at a high level of capacity.
The political and human catastrophe in Afghanistan is threatening to boost autocratic tendencies in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
With the withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan and the rapid takeover by the Taliban, neighbouring Central Asian countries are once again at the focus of international attention.
Fourteen Pacific Island Countries have enacted specific legislation to address domestic violence. While these laws have been developed to respond to domestic violence, implementation continues to be a challenge. It is affected by various factors that include practical social, cultural, religious, political, environmental and economic challenges.
“Sexual harassment is not about sexual attraction, it is about power. If an individual uses power plays to subjugate other people, when we have such dynamics going on in the workplace, what we need is a system that fights back against it, which unfortunately a lot of workplaces, they allow it to persist,”, says Adrienne Lawrence, anchor and legal analyst in an interview given to me here
Documentary photographer and filmmaker Mohammad Rakibul Hasan has documented the health crisis in Bangladesh over the past several months. In these haunting images, Hasan brings to life the conditions in which many patients are being treated in poor conditions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When 11-year-old Mitali Padhi hugged her childhood friends to say goodbye, she felt a deep-seated foreboding.
The desperate scenes at Kabul airport of Afghans trying to flee and the image of the US Airforce flight taxying down the runway with people scrambling to climb on, is an image that will be etched on our minds forever.
It is a metallic sound, harmless. It lasts just over a second, but it can become as sharp as a machete blade or as devastating as the burst from an assault rifle. It is a beep, just the beep of a phone notification. A woman is on the ground, her belly open, her intestines exposed and her severed head resting on her arm. A pagne of colorful fabric still girds her hips. Where? Why? Then, a video. Do you hear those voices? It happened there, in that village. It was them who did it, it was them.
As I write this, India has just celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence from British rule (Pakistan celebrated it a day earlier). But there is little cause for celebration. A dark shadow looms over both countries, indeed over much of the world as well.
Instead of a health system striving to provide universal healthcare, a fragmented, profit-driven market ‘non-system’ has emerged. The 1980s’ neo-liberal counter-revolution against the historic 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration
Migrants across the Southern Africa region are massively disadvantaged as they find themselves excluded from vaccine programmes – even when the global vaccine initiative COVAX often funds these programmes.
Politicians from Asia and Africa shared activism anecdotes demonstrating their determination to meet ICPD 25 commitments. They were speaking at a hybrid conference held simultaneously in Kampala, Uganda, and online.