Civil Society

World Social Forum Activists Unravel Roots of Israel’s Occupation of Gaza

Romi Ghimire has a busy life running a non-profit organization dedicated to Nepal’s rural people, but she also feels driven to do something about Gaza. “There are a lot of issues happening in the world, but right now the genocide in Gaza is the most urgent one,” she said inside the Palestine tent at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Kathmandu on Saturday.

Local Knowledge and Women’s Leadership are Key to Food Justice: Activists

Manjula Dungdung is explaining why she is fighting for land and agricultural rights for herself and other members of the Kharia tribe, who grow the food they eat. “Women’s right to land is especially important because it is an issue of our dignity, and since we are the ones who do most of the agricultural work, it is to maintain food security.”

Grassroots Voices Unite to Call for Climate Justice

Kiprotich Peter from the East African country of Kenya is trying to convey his climate crisis message using the platform of the World Social Forum (WSF) taking place in the mountain nation of Nepal, which has also been battered by the impacts of climate change.

World Social Forum Insists: Another World is Possible!

These are the worst of times, but they can become the best of times, said speaker Dr. Walden Bello, seeking to inspire thousands of progressives who gathered for the World Social Forum (WSF) in Kathmandu on Thursday with the planet under clouds of armed conflict and assaults on democracy.

Tracking Global Development in Child Benefits Through New Monitoring and Information Platform

Inclusive social protections for children would be a positive signifier of social development in a time where 1.4 billion children globally are denied them. A step towards realizing this has been taken through a new monitoring tool on current social protection and child poverty statistics.

Last Chance Saloon? Myanmar Junta Imposes Military Conscription

The news travelled like wildfire. In the teashops, bars, and market stalls that make Thailand’s border town of Mae Sot feel far more Burmese than Thai, the feared rumours circulating at the weekend were suddenly confirmed. Military conscription would be imposed on young men and women for two to five years, regime-controlled broadcasters in Myanmar announced on the Saturday night airwaves. Details were sparse.

World Social Forum Seeks to Reemerge as an Influential Gathering of Diversity

The World Social Forum (WSF) is today "more necessary than ever," according to Oded Grajew, promoter and co-founder of the global civil society meeting - a festival of diversity that has not yet succeeded in fomenting or designing the "other possible world" that it predicted when it was created and adopted that motto.

Is Anti-Woke a Grass-Root Movement?

“Woke” was for a century, especially among black people in the US, an inspirational concept. However, almost overnight it turned into a pejorative. Like using the term “politically correct” as an insult, calling someone “woke” came to imply that the referred person’s views are excessively ridiculous, or even despicable. Being “anti-woke” has become an indication that you do not belong to an assumed group of “do-gooders”, who at the expense of right-minded “ordinary” citizens assert the demands of interest groups, which declare themselves to be discriminated against due to their ethnicity/race, gender, sexual preference, and/or physical or psychological disabilities.

Landlocked Developing Countries Conference to Address Development

Landlocked developing countries need greater support from the international community so that they are no longer left behind when it comes to progressing with the SDGs, says the UN High Representative of the Least Developed Countries.

Moimuna Nursing Institute Ushers Hope for Vulnerable Rural Girls in Bangladesh

After passing her secondary school certificate (SCC) in 2019, Sweety Akter went door-to-door to collect money to enroll in a college, but she wasn't successful. Born to an extremely poor family in Fultala village under Baliadangi upazila in Thakurgaon district, Akter saw her dream of studying fading as she was unable to enroll in a college because of a lack of funding, despite her good results at school.

The West’s Addiction to War Must End in Gaza

Two months ago, an opinion piece I wrote, "The Cries of Gaza Reach Afghanistan," was published with the hope of reminding American and other Western leaders of how quickly wars ON terror descend into wars OF terror because of their disproportionate impact on civilians and the unpredictability once unleashed.

Solar Energy Gives Important Boost to Small-scale Farmers in Chile

The installation of photovoltaic panels to use solar energy to irrigate small farms is expanding quickly in Chile because it lowers costs and optimizes the use of scarce water resources.

Myanmar’s Military Catastrophe: Three Years and Counting

The military must have expected an easier ride. Three years ago, it ousted Myanmar’s democratically elected government. But the coup has been met with fierce resistance, unleashing a bloody conflict with no end in sight.

The Spectre of Migration: A conversation with Hammoud Gallego

Karl Marx’s Manifesto of the Communist Party begins with the now worn-out phrase: “A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre”. Nowadays the word “communism” could easily be substituted by “migration”. All over Europe, politicians claim that Europe is being destroyed by migrants. In country after country, ghosts of yesterday are awakened. Parliaments include xenophobic politicians who might be considered as inheritors of demagogs who once dragged Europeans into hate and bloodbaths.

Discrimination, a Killer of Dreams for People Affected by Leprosy

Tuji Sode detached himself from his family and hid himself from the public, embarrassed by his condition, which in biblical times meant exclusion from society and even death. Sode, a university student in Ethiopia, has Hansen’s Disease, also commonly known as leprosy. Leprosy is a bacterial disease that, left untreated, can cause severe disability and deformity.

Serbia’s Suspicious Election

Serbia’s December 2023 elections saw the ruling party retain power – but amid a great deal of controversy. Civil society has cried foul about irregularities in the parliamentary election, but particularly the municipal election in the capital, Belgrade. In recent times Belgrade has been a hotbed of anti-government protests. That’s one of the reasons it’s suspicious that the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) came first in the city election.

Rwanda’s Biodiversity Conservation Gains Momentum With Bird Sounds Recording

Claver Ntoyinkima wakes up early in the morning, at least three times a week, and goes into the Nyungwe rainforest to record bird vocalizations. Ntoyinkima is one of several community members in a remote village in rural southwestern Rwanda who volunteer with a group of scientists to help boost wildlife conservation.

Is Bangladesh Sleep Walking to Dictatorship ?

The parliamentary elections held in Bangladesh on 7 January, 2024, has created much controversy in the country, terming it an “election of the Awami League (AL) government, for the AL government and by the AL government", by many. Internationally, China and India have congratulated the government for victory and organization of a fair election. But, several western countries have termed it as unsatisfactory. However, irrespective of the diverse views, everyone agrees that it was not participatory elections. Voter turn out was significantly low and it was boycotted by the main opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP).

The Ghost of Oil Haunts Mexico’s Lacandona Jungle

The Lacandona jungle in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas is home to 769 species of butterflies, 573 species of trees, 464 species of birds, 114 species of mammals, 119 species of amphibians and reptiles, and several abandoned oil wells.

Trapped and Trafficked—Fishers Tell of Forced Labor Horror

“The thing is that when you come from an African country, they know that you’re basically trapped,” says Noel Adabblah. “You have the wrong documents; you can’t go home because you’ve already borrowed money there to get here, and you won’t risk losing what work you have, no matter how bad, because of that. They know all the tricks.” 

Guatemala’s Chance for a New Beginning

Guatemala’s new president, Bernardo Arévalo, was expected to be sworn in on 14 January at 2pm –the 14th at 14:00, as people repeated in anticipation for months. It was a momentous event – but it wasn’t guaranteed to happen.

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