Mildren Ndlovu* knows the mental toll of Zimbabwe's long-drawn economic hardships in a country where a long rehashed statistic by labour unions puts unemployment at 90 per cent.
Women constitute nearly half of the country's 1.25 billion people and gender equality -- whether in politics, economics, education or health -- is still a distant dream for most. This fact was driven home again sharply by the recently released United National Development Programme’s Human Development Report (HDR) 2015 which ranks India at a lowly 130 out of 155 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII). India trails behind most Asian countries, including lesser developed Bangladesh and Pakistan which rank 111 and 121 respectively, and fares not much ahead of war-ravaged Afghanistan at 152.
It is a grim fact that prisoners in most countries suffer from poorer health than non-prisoners, and that their right to health is not always protected. But for certain groups these rights can be even more elusive. Such is the case for women.
Busia County in western Kenya is home to an array of indigenous vegetables. But for decades there has been a shift in popular taste leading to leading to little interest in what is indigenously grown. This relegated the vegetables to the periphery with most farmers cultivating kale and cabbages among other more exotic varieties.
In an isolated ward of one of Kashmir’s largest government-run hospitals, 54-year-old Ashraf Ali Khan is finding it hard to sleep properly. His 15-year-old son, Asif, is sitting on a bench near the bed staring at his ailing father.
“We aren’t happy here but cannot go back to our country because the situation there was extremely bad,” Ghareeb Gul, Afghan refugees told IPS.
In the semi-darkness of her hut in Berdaballa, a forest village 610 km northeast of Mumbai, 28-year old Babita Mavaskar sat with her newborn baby boy watching him checked by a paramedic in an important antenatal exam. After about 20 minutes the health worker emerged from the shelter and made a big announcement, “All is well. Everything, the weight, temperature and height … is normal.”
Few dispute that women’s autonomy and betterment of their lives are moral imperatives. But whether these are also key to economic development is contested.
The 193 member states of the United Nations have adopted an ambitious 15-year sustainable development agenda, the 2030 Global Goals.
For many women in Mandera County – a hard to reach, insecure and arid part of North Eastern Kenya – the story of life from childhood to adulthood is one about sheer pain and struggle for survival.
The new Sustainable Development Goals, agreed upon recently by the member states of the United Nations, are all interconnected, as has been reiterated time and again. However, it is in the new Goal 6 – “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all”—for which this interconnectedness is most apparent.
My country, the Philippines, is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Even though we are among those countries that hardly contributed emissions and benefited least from burning fossil fuels, we find ourselves at the frontline of the climate crisis.
Africa is known as the ‘paradox of plenty’. How can a continent so rich in natural resources be so poor?
We are witnessing a shift in the original rationale behind the unique relationship between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries of the ACP group, which goes beyond the logic of “unilateral aid transfer”, “donor-recipient approach” and “North-South dialogue”.
Patient and leading health organisations in South Africa have now joined a Fix the Patent Laws
campaign launched in 2011 by Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to push for reform of the country’s current patent laws.