As the devastating images of flooding in Pakistan went round the world and the country declared a state of emergency, some 4,000 miles away in Stockholm, delegates had just arrived for World Water Week – an annual focal point for global water issues.
Fatuma is a 24 year old girl from Korogocho, an informal settlement in Nairobi. She died in December 2021, from complications arising from an unsafe abortion. Her friend and a few of her neighbors found her bleeding profusely and unable to move. They rushed her to the hospital. Unfortunately, she died before she could see the doctor.
Leaders from across the world are uniting at the UN Secretary-General’s Transforming Education Summit
to address a global education crisis that threatens to derail decades of development gains and is depriving millions of girls across the world of their inherent human right to access a quality education.
International Equal Pay Day, observed officially by the United Nations on 16 September, aims to draw attention to the gender pay gap – the difference between what a woman earns compared to a man for work of equal value – and the systemic inequalities it is rooted in.
While women in rich societies are paid around 25% less than men for equal jobs, those living in impoverished countries receive by far much lower salaries, if any at all.
Agnes Opus sells cereals in Busia, the border town between Kenya and Uganda. This is her lifeline through which she caters for her immediate family’s needs from school fees to housing and medical care and support to her extended family. While she dedicates all her energy and time to this work which she loves, she struggles to meet all her needs. She faces many non-tariff barriers including harassment by officials and unclear and ever-changing information on trade requirements.
"Without recognition of your identity by the State and society, there is no exercise of citizenship or rights," said Leyla Huerta, director of Féminas Perú, an organization that has been working since 2015 to empower transgender women in the face of the highly vulnerable situation they find themselves in.
For more than five years, Ritta Achevih was harvesting one bag of maize or less from her small plot each season. She could hardly provide enough healthy food for her big family.
Schools, students and teachers continue to be targeted and attacked in countries around the world. Over the past two years, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of attacks on education. Innocent children, adolescents and teachers are being killed, raped and abducted. Schools and universities are bombed, burned down and used for military purposes. Girls and boys are too scared to walk to school and face intimidation and other attacks. These are severe breaches of international humanitarian law and ultimately – and absolutely – inhumane.
Parliamentarians play a decisive role in addressing population issues, as was demonstrated when the majority voted against a private member motion to end the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in Zambia in 2020.
This week, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, released his first report
. It is a catalog of abuses under Taliban rule since August 2021 and their devastating impact on Afghans.
The American author Sue Monk Kidd's award-winning novel The Book of Longings has a sensational beginning, despite the simplicity of the phraseology: It starts: "I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus bin Joseph of Nazareth". It would be impossible for anyone not to swallow this bait with enormous curiosity, and follow through with reading what is well and truly a 'page-turner'. The book is crafted to be breezy and exciting, necessary perhaps to better deliver its message. This historical work of fiction was the subject of discussion at a recent seminar organized by the Dhaka -based 'The Reading Circle'. The event was held in a 'hybrid' format, an experiment of the Circle in consonance with the evolving practices of the Covid era. There was a core of participants in Dhaka, and other members joining in from London, Paris, and Singapore. Chaired by Professor Razia Khan, the list of speakers and commentators included Niaz Zaman, Nusrat Huq, Tanveerul Haque, Ameenah Ahmed, Shahruk Rahman, Asfa Husain, Nazmun Nahar, Sarazeen Ahana and myself. The following essay is based on my remarks made on the occasion.
Afghanistan is where history has taken it! The Trump-Taliban "Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan," signed on 29 February 2020, is deemed by many as the submission of a superpower to a group that had perpetrated acts of extreme ferocity and terror.
As we approach this year’s Transforming Education Summit
, global leaders can and must prioritize expertise and mobilize political will to support efforts to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, especially girls. This is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 4
in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the commitments made in the Charlevoix Declaration
and the G7 Declaration on Girls’ Education
Elvie Gallo no longer hangs around her local grocery store, hoping for the odd job to put food on the table. Her hand-to-mouth life has been replaced by a viable chicken rearing and selling business in Iloilo province in the Philippines.
Asia and the Pacific is the most digitally divided region of the world, and South-East Asia is the most divided subregion. The Covid-19 pandemic detonated a “digital big bang” that spurred people, governments and businesses to become “digital by default;” a sea change that generated vast digital dividends. These benefits that have not been distributed equally, however. New development gaps have emerged as digital transformation reinforces a vicious cycle of socioeconomic inequalities, within and across countries.
On Friday, November 24, 2017, Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn as interim leader during a colourful ceremony at the National Sports Stadium in the capital Harare, after the ouster of President Robert Mugabe in a military coup more than a week before.
Feminist movements are powerful, and donors who want to contribute to solving the biggest challenges facing the world today, should fund them deeply, and without restrictions. Research by Htun and Weldon back this up, showing that globally, feminist movements have been some of the biggest drivers of progressive social change
In the year that has passed since the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan we have seen daily and continuous deterioration in the situation of Afghan women and girls. This has spanned every aspect of their human rights, from living standards to social and political status.
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) - the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises - is proud to support and participate in the 2022 Global Citizen Festival. Participants will call on world leaders at the UN General Assembly - and ahead of the G20 and COP27 in November - to step up and invest $600 million into the future of women and girls, close the annual $10 billion climate financing shortfall, deliver $500 million to help African farmers respond to the global food crisis, and provide relief from crushing debts to End Extreme Poverty Now.
The under-representation of women in research is well documented
. Emerging evidence
suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this inequality and disrupted the research enterprise globally.