Stories written by Sania Farooqui

‘When it Comes to Gender Equality, Our Best is Not Good Enough’: says Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted lives all over the world. According to this report, gender is emerging as a significant factor in the social, economic and health effects of Covid-19. Women have been hit much harder socially and economically than men. The greatest and most persistent gender gap was seen in employment and uncompensated labour, with 26% of women reporting loss of work compared with 20% of men globally in September 2021.

Taliban: The Return of Misogynistic Gynophobes in Afghanistan

Gynophobia is defined as an intense and irrational fear of women or hatred of women, it may be characterized as a form of specific phobias, which involves a fear that is centered on a specific trigger or situation, which in the case of gynophobia is women.

War & Peace 2.0: Ukraine Showing the World How to Fight Back

It has been over 100 days since Russia first invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, turning the country into a slaughterhouse. The United Nations (UN) in this report says that, as of 1 June, 2022, more than 6.9 million refugees have left Ukraine and 2.1 million have returned, while eight million people are displaced inside Ukraine itself. War in Ukraine has caused the fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II.

Those Who Dare: Feminist Movements in Sudan, Lebanon & Syria

The year 2019 was not just a time before the world saw the global pandemic, but also a time when the world saw mass political uprisings with women at the forefront. The MENA region in a way led this force, in Sudan women played as drivers of the revolution, protesting decades of corruption, socioeconomic grievances and gendered violence. Nubian queen became the symbol of the revolution in Sudan which finally saw the overthrow of the dictatorship in 2019.

Alarm Bells for Africa, Child Labour in Agriculture Requires Urgent Action

The Global Estimate on Child Labour estimates 160 million children are in child labour worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years – with millions more at risk due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Those Who Dare: Voices of Women in the MENA Region

When it comes to gender equality and development, the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and the Arab States region continues to be in a paradoxical situation. While within the region, several laws, policies and programming focused on gender equality are growing, women’s representation in government jobs, corporate roles, and national programming seem to be dismissed. Healthcare, education have seen improvement, most countries have become tech inclusive as well, but access to hospitals and educational institutions –at times due to social programming or gender-related policies continues to prevent women from accessing them and using them.

War, Displacement & A Global Refugee Crisis: A Wake-Up Call to Increase Refugee Participation

It has been a month since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has now created one of the biggest refugee crises of modern times. More than 3.7 million people have left the country, in what has become the fastest exodus globally since World War II.

Addressing Global Food Security with Optimism and Resilience

In an exclusive interview with IPS, Ambassador Cindy Hensley McCain, Permanent Representative of the US Mission to the food and agriculture organizations of the United Nations in Rome, Italy, shares her thoughts on food security, sustainable food systems, the impact of climate change on food production, conflicts and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and her plans while working with the Food Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP) with Farhana Haque Rahman and Sania Farooqui.

Bangladeshi Lawyer Rizwana Hasan Awarded International Women of Courage Award

In an exclusive interview to IPS UN Bureau, journalist Sania Farooqui is in conversation with Bangladeshi lawyer, Rizwana Hasan who was recently awarded the 16th Annual International Women of Courage Awards by the U.S Department of State. Hasan works primarily to protect the environment and defend the dignity and rights of marginalized Bangladeshis. Through landmark legal cases over the past 20 years, Hasan has changed the dynamics of development in Bangladesh to include a people-centered focus on environmental justice.

Power of Connection & Collaborations to Fight Modern-day Slavery

The Covid-19 pandemic affected countries and people globally, at the same time exacerbated vulnerabilities such as modern-day slavery. There are over 40.3 million people estimated to be in modern-day slavery, and certain population groups, sectors and geographies such as children, migrant workers, women and girls that were already vulnerable, became more vulnerable to recruitment and exploitation during the pandemic. The United Nations has called the pandemic more than a health crisis, “it is an economic crisis, a humanitarian crisis, and a human rights crisis.”

Human Rights Violations and Culture of Impunity in South Asia

As countries across South Asia continue to battle the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, causing serious public health and economic crisis, this region, which is home to almost 2 billion people, is also grappling with the erosion of democratic norms, growing authoritarianism, the crackdown on freedom of press, speech and dissent.

‘Building Back Better’: Jordan’s Road to Green Economic Recovery

For the first time in decades, Jordan’s economy contracted in 2020. COVID-19 took a heavy toll on the economy, and it was concerning for the country, particularly because Jordan had managed to grow at an average rate of 2%, despite regional and international shocks to its economy amounting to 44% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the past decade.

Integrating ITMDs into Healthcare Could offer a Solution for the Pandemic Crisis in Canada

Last year, as the world grappled to survive the Covid-19 Pandemic, Megan Fernandas an accountant living in Toronto, was trying to face her biggest fear, not the COVID-19 virus, but missing her doctor's appointment after surviving a rigorous fight against stage 2 breast cancer.

A Tale of Two Internationally Trained Medical Doctors in Canada

Wagma Saad, is an Internationally Trained Medical Doctor (ITMD) from Kabul Medical University, Afghanistan, currently living in Canada with her family. Saad graduated in 2016, an education that didn’t come easily to her. With numerous restrictions, blocks and challenges placed at every step, fighting numerous social and political battles, she chased her passion for science and medicine, and after seven years at medical school, she finally got to call herself a doctor.

Is Canada Missing out on Leveraging ITMDs in Its Healthcare Plans?

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.

Why Do Organizations Fail to Keep Workplace Harassments in Check

“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.

‘Proud of Being Able to Speak the Truth’: Journalist Nidhi Razdan on her Cyber Attack

Earlier in January, Indian journalist Nidhi Razdan found out she was a victim of one of the most sophisticated and elaborate cyber attacks. Razdan wrote in a piece that it was all an attempt to access her bank account details, personal data, emails, medical records, passport and access to all her devices, including computer and phone.

Alarming Crisis of Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists in DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most hostile and dangerous regions for journalists. A complex conflict, deeply rooted in the country’s past, allows very little freedom, both movement and the press.

‘Sulli Deals’: Muslim Women in India Being Put Up for Sale

Ongoing online sexual harassment of Muslim women through ‘Sulli Deals’, an auctioning app hosted by GitHub, has been reported to the authorities – but not before it called untold trauma to the targeted women.

A Film Challenging Religious Norms

When Turkish- Norwegian writer and filmmaker Nefise Ozkal Lorentzen heard about Seyran Ates’ mixed gender mosque in Berlin, Germany, she immediately decided to make a film on Seyran’s life. It took three years to produce the film, ‘Seyran Ates: Sex Revolution and Islam’ a portrait of a female Imam and her struggles in activating revolution within Islam.

France Needs More Civil Liberties and Less Hypo-Securitization of Religion

In 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron announced plans for tougher laws to tackle what he called, “Islamist Separatism”, and a crackdown on “radical Islamists” in France, which he said were materializing through repeated deviations from the Republic’s values. To counter this, President Macron announced his plans to create a “French Islam”, a practise of the faith which would be regulated by the state.

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