Civil Society

Solar Power and Biogas Empower Women Farmers in Brazil

A bakery, fruit pulp processing and water pumped from springs are empowering women farmers in Goiás, a central-eastern state of Brazil. New renewable energy sources are driving the process.

Migration in the Americas: A Dream That Can Turn Deadly

The Darién Gap is a stretch of jungle spanning the border between Colombia and Panama, the only missing section of the Pan-American Highway that stretches from Alaska to southern Argentina. For good reason, it used to be considered impenetrable. But in 2023, a record 520,000 people crossed it heading northwards, including many children. Many have lost their lives trying to cross it.

Rural Entrepreneurs Thriving Against All Odds in Zimbabwe

With heavy sweat drenching his face and his shirt soaked in the sweat, 39-year-old Proud Ndukulani wrestled with a homemade knife, which he dipped in some used oil, before turning the glistening knife upon a rather tough and dusty tyre obtained from what he said was a forklift. His assistant stood by his side as he (Ndukulani) cut some tough rubber from the giant tyre lying outside an open shade roofed with aging asbestos sheets at Juru Growth Point, located 52 km east of Harare in Zimbabwe’s Goromonzi district in the country’s Mashonaland East province. 

The Climate Alarm Is Ringing – It’s Time to Stop Silencing It

The heat records keep tumbling – 2023 was the hottest year in recorded history. Extreme weather events keep mounting up. And yet the voices most strongly calling for action to prevent climate catastrophe are increasingly being silenced.

IPCI 2024: Oslo Commitment Protects Sexual and Reproductive Rights Across All Contexts

Parliamentarians from 112 countries have adopted the IPCI statement of commitment to protect and promote sexual and reproductive health rights, committing to the principle that "life or death is a political statement." As IPCI Oslo drew to a close on Friday, April 12, 2024, parliamentarians adopted a new Statement of Commitment that was “the collective effort of every single delegate,” said Alando Terrelonge, MP from Jamaica and chair of the drafting committee.

IPCI 2024: Technology as a Tool to Advance and Threaten Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights

Technology emerged as a core theme of IPCI Oslo for its relevance in advancing the objectives of the Cairo Programme of Action. When channeled for good, it is an effective tool that can fill accessibility gaps in the health sector and spread awareness of sexual and reproductive health rights. Yet, the way in which digital technology has been weaponized against SRHR is of great concern for parliamentarians, especially for women.

China, India & Sri Lanka Embroiled in the Geo-Politics of the Indian Ocean

Unfortunately, a rivalry that should not exist and did not exist historically between China and India is being stoked by the media and some policy makers, especially in the West. It is not too difficult to discern the Machiavellian geo-strategic objectives of this complex game plan.

30 Years On, Genocide Survivors Embark on a Journey To Build a Resilient Future

A minute of silence was observed on April 7 across Rwanda as the country held a memorial ceremony to mourn more than one million people, overwhelmingly Tutsis, who were systematically killed in the 100 days of atrocities between April and July 1994.

Senegal’s Democracy Passes Crucial Test

The fact that Senegal’s election took place on 24 March was in itself a triumph for civil society. That an opposition candidate, campaigning on an anti-establishment and anti-corruption agenda, emerged from jail to become the continent’s youngest leader offered fresh hope for democracy.

Civil Registration is Shaping World’s Largest Election Year With 76 Nations Going to the Polls

Over four billion people will take to the polls in 2024 as 76 countries are set to hold elections. In Asia, this includes populous countries such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Russia.

Can Preserving Goa’s Khazans Address Climate Threats?

Growing up in a khazan ecosystem, the traditional agricultural practice followed in the south-western Indian state of Goa, Elsa Fernandes would love sitting in a koddo, a woven bamboo structure for storing paddy. Her family members would pour paddy around her and with the growing pile, she would rise to the top and then jump down with joy.

India’s Farmers Could Use Better Monsoon Forecasts

Agriculture in India need not 'gamble' with the monsoons if accurate weather and climate forecasts are proactively made available to farmers, according to the results of a new experimental study conducted by the University of Chicago.

WHO Calls for More Data on Violence Against Older Women and Women With Disabilities

Older women and women with disabilities experience abuse that is unique to their demographics, yet they are underrepresented in national and global databases, according to findings shared by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Why Farmers in India and Pakistan Are Shifting to Natural or Regenerative Farming

Nine years ago, farmer Sultan Ahmed Bhatti gave up tilling the soil and using most fertilizers and pesticides on his farm in Doober Bhattian, Pakistan. His brothers at first derided him. But soon, his first experiment with growing wheat on raised beds was a runaway success. “We produced more wheat than what we grew on ploughed, flat land,” he said.

Revival of Hope: How a Remote Indian Village Overcame Water Scarcity

The people of Patqapara Village, a hamlet in India's West Bengal State, were until recently reeling under absolute distress due to water scarcity. The lack of irrigation facilities in this far-flung and inaccessible hamlet had resulted in a steady decline in agricultural activities. With a population of around 7,000, as per government estimates, the village primarily depends on agriculture for its livelihood. However, in recent years, drastic changes in weather patterns, including unseasonal rainfall, delayed monsoons, and soaring temperatures above normal levels, led to the drying up of irrigation canals and wells in the village. This left the local population in chaos, as their cultivable fields were bereft of any irrigation facilities.

Global Governance: Time for Reform

At last the UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. While stopping short of demanding a permanent end to the violence, it goes further than the world’s peak peace and security body had so far managed since the start of the current brutal phase of conflict in October. But the time it’s taken to get to this point signals an ongoing failure of global institutions to uphold human rights.

Abandoned Children Growing Problem in Northern Syria

Wael Al-Hassan was returning from work in the Syrian city of Harim when he heard the sound of a baby crying. He was returning from work on December 10, 2023. He stopped momentarily, turned on his mobile phone flashlight to investigate, and spotted a baby girl, around one month old, wrapped in a white blanket, lying by the roadside.

Parents Harness Pedal and Wind Power To Demand Climate Action

Extreme sports are not just for young people. Climate activism isn’t either. Yamandù Pagliano is proof.

Building Resilience and Mental Health Capacity of Youth

Sri Lankan lawmaker Hector Appuhamy, in conversation with IPS ahead of a two-day conference aimed at educating  and involving university students in mental health issues, said parliamentarians were concerned about gaps in the programmes and financing for youth mental health. They were looking beyond the country's health budget for support in ensuring that youth were able to access mental health facilities in a supportive environment.

New Report Examines Progress on Global Sustainable Development Goals

At the half-way point of the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “are in deep trouble.” The need to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals has never been more urgent as only approximately 12% of targets are currently on track. “Planet” is equally at risk as “people”.

Women’s Land Rights in Farming Need Further Recognition

In the developing world, land rights for women remain tenuous in the agricultural sector. But if women farmers are recognized as landowners in their own right, it can lead to greater economic empowerment and be a positive step towards eradicating poverty. This formed part of the wider discussions that are being hosted during the 68th session of the Commission for the Status of Women (CSW68) in New York. The leading theme of CSW68 and its side events is the effort to accelerate gender equality by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions.

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