Inequality

Amid Crisis, Puerto Rico’s Retirees Face Uncertain Future

A feeling of insecurity has overtaken broad sectors of Puerto Rican society as the economy worsens, public sector debt spirals out of control, and the island's creditworthiness is put in doubt.

World Bank Urged to Rethink Reforms to Business-Friendliness Report

Civil society groups from several continents are stepping up a campaign urging the World Bank to strengthen a series of changes currently being made to a major annual report on countries’ business-friendliness.

Bangladeshi Girls Seek Equal Opportunity

Until five years ago, Shima Aktar, a student in Gajaghanta village in the Rangpur district of Bangladesh, about 370 km northwest of the capital Dhaka, was leading a normal life. But when her father decided that it was time for her to conform to purdah, a religious practice of female seclusion, things changed.

When Land Restoration Works Hand in Hand with Poverty Eradication

Tugging at the root of a thorny shrub known as ‘juliflora’, which now dots the village of Chirmiyala in the Medak District of southern India’s Telangana state, a 28-year-old farmer named Ailamma Arutta tells IPS, “This is a curse that destroyed my land.”

Innovation Offers Hope in Sri Lanka’s Poverty-Stricken North

In this dust bowl of a village deep inside Sri Lanka’s former conflict zone, locals will sometimes ask visitors to rub their palms on the ground and watch their skin immediately take on a dark bronze hue, proof of the fertility of the soil.

Can Land Rights and Education Save an Ancient Indian Tribe?

Scattered across 31 remote hilltop villages on a mountain range that towers 1,500 to 4,000 feet above sea level, in the Malkangiri district of India’s eastern Odisha state, the Upper Bonda people are considered one of this country’s most ancient tribes, having barely altered their lifestyle in over a thousand years.

Youth Suicides Sound Alarm Across the Pacific

Suicide rates in the Pacific Islands are some of the highest in the world and have reached up to 30 per 100,000 in countries such as Samoa, Guam and Micronesia, double the global average, with youth rates even higher.

Zimbabwe’s ‘Casualisation of Labour’ Leads to a New Form of Exploitation

Ethel Maziriri, 27, holds an Honours Degree in Social Work from the University of Zimbabwe, but instead of working in her chosen profession, she works as a cashier in one of the country’s leading clothing retail company. And it’s not by choice.

Nepal’s Poor Live in the Shadow of Natural Disasters

Barely 100 km north of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, the settlement of Jure, which forms part of the village of Mankha, has become a tragic example of how the country’s poorest rural communities are the first and worst victims of natural disasters.

For Disenfranchised Haitian Islanders, Tourism Signals a Paradise Lost

Calm waters lap the shore beneath stately coconut palms. Mango trees display their bounty alongside mangrove forests. Goats graze peacefully on hillsides.

Child Malnutrition Doesn’t Take Vacation in Spain

It’s two in the afternoon, and María stirs tomato sauce into a huge pot of pasta. School is out for the summer in Spain, but the lunchroom in this public school in the southern city of Málaga is still open, serving meals to more than 100 children from poor families.

The Deadly Occupation Attracting Kenya’s Youth

Allan Karanja, 22, is a sand harvester. His job is a complex and arduous one that involves him working in deep pits, equipped only with a shovel, crowbar and no protective gear, as he mines sand. It’s also a deadly occupation.

Will Climate Change Lead to Conflict or Cooperation?

The headline of every article about the relationship between climate change and conflict should be “It’s complicated,” according to Clionadh Raleigh.

Ethics of ‘Mercy Killing’ Up for Debate in India

If a terminally ill patient, with scant hope of recovery, pleads for his death to be facilitated, should the doctors comply? Or, if the family of a patient who has been declared brain-dead requests that her life-support system be withdrawn, should their will be respected?

Indigenous Leaders in Costa Rica Tell Ban Ki-moon Their Problems

Indigenous people in Costa Rica, hemmed in by violent attacks from farmers and ranchers who invade their land and burn down their homes, have found a new ally: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who met with 36 native leaders during a recent visit to this country.

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