The widespread 21-month-old lockdown, triggered by the corona virus pandemic, had a destructive impact on the global economy, claimed over 5.2 million lives, destabilized governments and radically changed lifestyles worldwide.
No matter what it is called -- it is the abhorrent daily life of a billion enslaved humans. The real number of “modern” slaves is understandably unknown. The International Labour Organisation
(ILO) estimates that more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery.
This week I called out to the world to warn them that inequalities are making us all unsafe. I noted starkly our new analysis that we face millions of additional AIDS deaths – 7.7 million in the next decade alone – as well continued devastation from pandemics, unless leaders address the inequalities which drive them. We have to treat this threat as an emergency, as a red alert.
Despite the advances that have been made against HIV, the world has 37 million people living with HIV. And 680,000 people died from AIDS-related causes in 2020
. While the prevention of mother to child transmission, and provision of treatment as prevention, are great successes
, there are still gaps
. Over 1.5 million new HIV infections were recorded in 2020
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase in domestic violence rates has led the United Nations to declare
a ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender-based violence. In the most brutal cases, the violence has led to murder – or ‘femicide’, as the World Health Organisation
calls the killing of women specifically because of their gender
Carbon offset markets allow the rich to emit as financial intermediaries profit. By fostering the fiction that others can be paid to cut greenhouse gases (GHGs) instead, it undermines efforts to do so.
Meals at schools not only give each child a nutritious meal but increase enrolments, among other benefits.
While COVID 19 is keeping the world and news media in its constant grip and national politics often come to the forefront, it might be easy to forget urgent and nevertheless related matters. One is how global education has suffered and how children and youngsters have been forced to cope with a different reality. This aspect like so many other of human existence is gendered and while addressing education it is relevant to talk about changing gender roles as well.
There is a resurgence of anti-trans sentiment right now. It’s not only Dave Chapelle’s toxic rants in his most recent Netflix special: we see it across social, political and cultural arenas including in JK Rowling's ongoing embrace of trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs); the introduction of bills designed to harm trans kids in the US; Uganda's Sexual Offenses bill, which violates international human rights; and “gender-critical” academics like Kathleen Stock profiting from their inflammatory rhetoric.
Thirty percent of women and girls suffered physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner. And more than 70 percent of all sold, bought and enslaved victims of human smuggling and trafficking are women and girls -- three out of four of them are sexually exploited.
With world population approaching 8 billion
humans, the demographic growth of nations is unfortunately largely ignored by governments whenever climate change is considered.
The overuse and misuse of antimicrobial medicines and chemicals
has become the main driver of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and drug-resistant infections that threaten human health and the global economy.
The planet is already 1.1°C warmer than in pre-industrial times. July 2021 was the hottest month
ever recorded in 142 years. Despite the pandemic slowdown, 2020 was the hottest year
so far, ending the warmest decade
Betrayal in Glasgow
Summing up widespread views of the recently concluded Glasgow climate summit, former Irish President Mary Robinson
observed, “People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty,… nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster”.
It has been said that when Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war. The summit of the leaders of world’s two strongest powers, the United States and China, came face to face at long last. Albeit virtually. Still, this was undoubtedly the “mother of summits” this year. There were two telephone conversations earlier, but according to US officials this nearly four hours of summitry was far more “candid intense, and deeper interaction”. If there was one single take-away from this meeting, it was the establishment beyond all reasonable doubt of the incontrovertible fact that the US and China were indeed the two most influential global state actors. The decisions between the two, represented by their leaders, would profoundly impact the rest of humanity far into the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects across the globe, but the data and evidence show that women have borne the brunt of the crisis. While inequalities in health, economic power, and other areas existed long before the pandemic began, the pandemic has widened these gaps.
A week has gone by since COP 26 with 197 Parties ended in the Scottish city of Glasgow on extended time last Saturday. Climate change which covers wide array of issues affecting all living beings engaged the people around the world for COP 26 in a way never experienced since COP1 was held in Berlin in 1995.
"I was told to wait and cry it out. How could I explain to them that I have been crying for years? That was not the solution," asks Azra Zeng, a divorced mother of four in an interview with IPS. "I wanted to speak to someone. I wanted to seek help where I could feel whole again. It felt that I was dying from inside, but no one could see."
Did you know that half of the world's population do not have toilets
? And that, globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces? And that every day, over 700 children under five years old die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene?
In the whirl of effort nations are making to combat COVID-19, the powerful role that children and young people can play in overcoming the harmful effects of school closures is too easily overlooked.
For the last ten years, Angeline Wanjira’s food stall at Kirigiti Market in Kiambu County has featured the same foods, cabbages, potatoes and carrots, keeping with the community’s most preferred food types.
The cost of infectious diseases
is somewhere between staggering and incalculable. Around $8 trillion and 156 million life years were lost in 2016 alone. Throughout human history, pestilences
have wiped out more lives than famine and violence.