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.
As our planet continues to heat up, extreme weather has affected many of us. From the west coast of North America across Europe, the Middle East and Asia to Pakistan and New Zealand, wildfires and flash floods have destroyed homes and property and disrupted the daily lives of millions.
In Chitungwiza, right next to the highway, 36-year-old Nesbit Gavanga and his five colleagues use shovels as they load trucks with sand.
The six apparently are in the business of sand-poaching and openly explain that every other day they engage in running battles with environmental officials who seek to curtail land degradation here. The group’s informal sand quarry lies 25 kilometers southeast of the Zimbabwean capital Harare.
The UK’s new Prime Minister (and former Foreign Secretary), Liz Truss, enters Downing Street with a full and urgent in-tray, dominated by the highest inflation rate for 40 years and concerns across the country about the cost-of-living crisis.
Most of the 2.1 billion strong workforce in Asia and the Pacific are denied access to decent jobs, health care and social protection but there is an array polices and tools that governments can use to remedy these deficiencies and ensure that the rights and aspirations of these workers and their families are upheld and that they remain the engine of economic growth for the region.
The long and distant epoch of pre-history, dated to the time before the start of the Common Era, is conventionally divided into three periods: the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Subsequently, in the era of written history, we generally have not relied upon specific metals or minerals to define our periods. Too many metals and minerals, harnessed by new production techniques and new labour patterns, have contributed to our immense capacity to generate large surpluses. There is the Age of Industry but not, for instance, the Age of Steel, the core metal of our period.
When COVID-19 prompted economic shutdowns across the globe, many analysts predicted that youth would be especially at risk. This is because young people tend to have fewer economic assets and limited experience in the labor market.
African leaders are increasingly aspiring to “modernise”
their cities. That is to make them “globally competitive” and “smart”. The hope is to strategically position cities in Africa to drive the continent’s much-needed socio-economic transformation.
Half a century after the 1970s’ stagflation, economies are slowing, even contracting, as prices rise again. Thus, the World Bank warns
, “Surging energy and food prices heighten the risk of a prolonged period of global stagflation reminiscent of the 1970s.”
In March, Reuters reported
, “With surging oil prices, concerns about the hawkishness of the Federal Reserve and fears of Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, the mood on Wall Street feels like a return to the 1970s”.
The world economy is on the brink of outright recession, according to the International Monetary Fund
(IMF). The Ukraine war and sanctions have scuttled recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Human beings have proved to be capable of producing innumerable practical inventions while much too often making the worst use of them. Take the case, per example, of how criminal groups heavily rely on digital platforms to trap and enslave their victims also for extracting and selling their organs.
In the afternoons he draws with chalk on the sidewalk of a downtown street in the Peruvian capital. Passersby drop coins into a small blue jar he has set out. He remains silent in response to questions from IPS, but a nearby ice cream vendor says his name is Pedro, he is 11 years old, and he draws every day on the ground for about four hours.
Many of us assume that an identification with a certain gender, race, nation or even age makes us particularly knowledgeable. When it comes to age, it is in most cultures of the world assumed that age and experience favour wisdom. I am not entirely sure about that, though I am convinced that as we grow older we tend to overestimate our own knowledge and importance. An arrogance that might burden and even marginalize the youth.
Joining or ratifying dubious trade deals is supposed to offer miraculous solutions to recent lacklustre economic progress. Such naïve advocacy is misleading at best, and downright irresponsible, even reckless, at worst.
TPP ‘pivot to Asia’
US President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ after his 2012 re-election sought to check China’s sustained economic growth and technological progress. Its economic centrepiece was the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
While the world’s big private business pours billions of dollars in producing automatic machines and assuring their optimal functioning, bareley no money has been invested in the hundreds of millions of human workers, who are left shockingly unprotected, treated like cheap robots, or even worse.
Eduardo Reyes, originally from Puebla in central Mexico, was offered a 40-hour workweek contract by his recruiter and his employer in the United States, but ended up performing hundreds of hours of unpaid work that was not authorized because his visa had expired, unbeknownst to him.
For 30 years, Tomasa Chávez visited the Central Market of Buenos Aires and rummaged through the tons of fruits and vegetables that the stallholders discarded, in search of food. Today she continues to do so, but there is a difference: since 2021 she has been one of the workers hired to recover food as part of a formal program launched by the Central Market.
It is time for countries, especially those with slow growing
human populations, to welcome androids
, i.e., humanoid robots
with human-like appearance and behavior, including speech, sight, hearing, mobility, and artificial intelligence.
Older persons are highly visible across Asia and the Pacific: they work in agricultural fields producing our food supplies, peddle their wares as street vendors, drive tuk-tuks and buses, exercise in our parks, lead some of the region’s most successful companies and form an integral part of our families.
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.