We met 22-year old Ali B. in a park in Rome’s city center on a rather cold and windy April evening. We could not share a meal, or even a coffee, as all restaurants were shut due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions. He had travelled down from Cerveteri (a small town about 50km north of Rome) where he works for an old couple. They provide boarding and lodging as well as a decent salary and social security benefits. In return, he has to cook for them and look after the kitchen.
If you enter a garment factory in India, or any part of the world for that matter, you will see that the workforce is starkly female. The Indian textile and garment industry employs 45 million people
, out of which more than 60 percent are women
. This makes it the biggest formal employer of women in a country where 80 percent
of them are not engaged in paid work. While that might paint a rosy picture of women’s empowerment at the first glance, a closer look reveals something different.
India’s evolving Technical and Vocational Education and Training ecosystem (TVET) faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the national lockdown, organisations had to remain shut for 7-8 months, until September 2020.
On 12 January this year, somewhere in the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, 24 year old Dalit activist Nodeep Kaur was arrested by the Haryana police for protesting outside a factory. During the lockdown in 2020, Nodeep joined a local workers’ rights organization called Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan (MAS) in the Kundli Industrial Area in Haryana. In January Nodeep was accused of allegedly manhandling management and staff of an industrial area during a protest and also assaulting the police team.
The notion of “Clash of Cultures” is most frequently used as a justification for anti-immigrant prejudice and, particularly in Europe and in the USA, for islamophobia. The reasoning goes as follows: immigrants, especially Muslims, have a deeply different culture from the hosting communities and these differences create unsurmountable tensions and conflicts.
From small towns to big cities, sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest urban growth rate in the world. The continent’s population is expected to double by 2050 with the youth representing 60% of the overall population.
The UN Department of Global Communication, for example, projects that for the next 15 years urban growth is set to double for several African cities: Dar es Salaam will reach over 13 million inhabitants and Kampala will exceed seven million.
Last year, Jaxine Scott was off work as a caregiver at a primary school as a result of the pandemic. One day, she noticed a green shoot emerging from some garlic in her fridge. She decided to plant it, and to her surprise, it thrived. “I thought ‘It looks like I have a green thumb, let me plant something else,’” Scott says. She now has a backyard garden, including cucumber, pumpkin, melon, callaloo, cantaloupe, pak choy and tomatoes. “It makes me feel good,” she says. “I can help my family members and neighbours. It has saved me money. I’m not going to stop, I’m going to continue,” she says.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex condition that remains misunderstood.
The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms vary so much between individuals.
A compilation of testimonies collected by Blanca Velázquez Díaz and published by the Ebert Foundation (available at: http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/mexiko/17328.pdf
) offers an account of the harsh reality by which some workers of the maquila industry in the Mexican state of Morelos have gone through over these last twelve months. Their words reflect, undoubtedly, similar experiences of millions of workers in different parts of the country.
It’s now almost three months since the United Kingdom entered into a new trade agreement with the European Union.
During that time, we’ve seen traders struggle to get to grips with the new arrangements. From lorry drivers having their sandwiches confiscated
by Dutch customs officers to estimates of additional paperwork costs of $7 billion a year
, and pig breeders watching their meat rot on the quayside
for want of the correct forms.
The 410 Legal Aid Centers that I manage in Bangladesh for BRAC’s Human Rights and Legal Aid Services received approximately 35,900 requests for assistance in 2020. Almost all of them involve gender-based violence against women and girls.
Inequality characterizes the world we live in, predisposing how we act and think. We perceive our existence as composed of dichotomies – men and women, young and old, black or white, as well as a difference between those who have and those who do not have access to wealth, health, education and influence. Dichotomies are also born out of comparisons, about how things are now and how they could have been, how they were before and how they are now.
The COVID-19 crisis poses an unprecedented threat to development in the Asia-Pacific region that could reverse much of the hard-earned progress made in recent years. The good news is we know how to tackle this challenge. Recovery from the pandemic and our global efforts to deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 must go hand-in-hand. The Goals provide a compass to navigate this crisis, faster and greener, everywhere and for everyone.
After getting tired of searching for employment for seven years, Feston Zale from Chileka area in Malawi’s Southern Region decided to venture into agribusiness.
I am about 200 feet down a rickety old mine shaft, in the Ashanti gold mining region of Ghana. It is stiflingly hot and darker than a moonless night. I can only feel the touch of sweaty bodies passing in the darkness and hear the reverberating sound of miners coughing and breaking rocks. The lack of oxygen and dust make it hard to breathe. I have no idea how deep this shaft goes – hundreds of feet? More? If there is a Hell this must be what it feels like.
As the global effort to address climate change has strengthened over the last few years, so has the realization that rising temperatures and climactic disruptions disproportionately impact women, particularly in developing countries, as they tend to be more dependent upon natural resources
and are thus overrepresented in resource-intensive economic sectors. Furthermore, inherent in gender inequality are disadvantages for and discrimination against women in all facets of society, including in the economy and politics. Thus, it is unfortunate, yet perhaps unsurprising, that these structural disparities are mirrored in the negative effects of climate change. Therefore, if gender differences are not incorporated into climate change plans, women will be unable to access the co-benefits that arise from concerted climate action.
The trend of the Mexican economy during the last two years has not been positive. INEGI, the official bureau of statistics, has just reported that GDP registered a fall of 8.5 percent compared to 2019 with seasonally adjusted figures. But in 2019 GDP also receded, although in far less measure, less than one percentage point. However, it must be considered that the Mexican economy has been falling for 6 quarters (compared to the previous year). Considering the population growth rate (1.2 percent per year), the fall in the GDP per capita is close to 11 percent. This figure matters because it gives a more accurate idea of the size of the downturn. It is also necessary to take into account the two years, since our interest should be now to try to figure out how long the recession will be the endure, that is, when will Mexico reach the pre-pandemic level of GDP.
Access to an inclusive quality education is a universal human right. When the inherent right to a good education is ignored or denied, the consequences are severe. For a girl in country of conflict or forced displacement, the impact is brutally multiplied.
Power is an intriguing concept and it means different things to different people. In simple words, power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get what you want. Power distribution is usually visible in most societies when there is a clear and obvious division between the roles of the men and expectations from women. One can’t talk about power without talking about patriarchy - in which men always hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. Women are almost always taught power and ambition are two dirty words, and should not be linked to their personalities.
Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), and the theme for this year’s celebration is "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world."
We recognize the tremendous contribution and leadership demonstrated by women and girls around the world in shaping our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and a more sustainable future.
Almost exactly a year ago today, I packed my computer and a couple of necessities in the office in New York, hugged the colleagues, and headed home to what most people thought would be a couple of week’s Covid-19 lockdown. Little did we know.