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Index March 2011

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2011-03-01: LA QUESTION DE LA VIOLENCE ET DE LA DISCRIMINATION;
2011-03-01: African Farmers Are on the Loosing End;
2011-03-02: Poverty, Class and Language;
2011-03-02: UN throws Libya off human rights council;
2011-03-03: Profit Pathology and Disposable Planet;
2011-03-04: Poverty is the Big Issue;
2011-03-04: Promotion de la femme: Le Burkina défend sa politique genre à l’ONU;
2011-03-05: Crisis in Côte d’Ivoire: What impact on women?
2011-03-05: Sénégal: Une rappeuse contre l’excision;
2011-03-06: Everyone matters, everyone is human;
2011-03-07: It’s About Who’s Sitting in: Reflections on the Early Global Springtime of Peoples;
2011-03-08: The Voluntourism Debate;
2011-03-08: Journée des Femmes;
2011-03-09: South Africa’s economy: No jobs, boys;
2011-03-10: Why do sparrows thrive in America but not here?
2011-03-10: Libya dispatches emissaries;
2011-03-11: What would life be without friends?
2011-03-11: Kenya: Le parcours tumultueux d’une femme vers la réussite;
2011-03-12: An activist response to abuse, personal and political;
2011-03-12: Liberia-Santé: Réduire la mortalité et la morbidité maternelles et infantiles;
2011-03-13: The Word on Women: Why Land Rights Matter;
2011-03-14: Landlessness is Not Forever;
2011-03-14: Le Reseau Siggil Jigeen implique la Guinée-Bissau dans la lutte contre l’excision;
2011-03-15: The Women of Benghazi;
2011-03-16: Our Planet HOME;
2011-03-16: L’avenir de la Genève internationale;
2011-03-17: The Charter for Compassion;
2011-03-18: There’s a New Non-ideological Political Power in the Arab World;
2011-03-19: The death of Nigerian progressive politics?
2011-03-20: Libya, Egypt, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire: Confusion remains;
2011-03-21: Female Genital Mutilation FGM: A Cultural Controversy in Cameroon;
2011-03-22: Grab and Bang – Man, Where’s the Condom?
2011-03-22: Latin ou pas latin pour tous: le massacre continue;
2011-03-23: Togo: Violating the right to information;
2011-03-24: The problem with Africans and Arabs;
2011-03-24: Amouna NGOUONIMBA: nous dévoilons dans notre ouvrage la supercherie qui veut faire de nos mères des exciseuses traditionnelles;
2011-03-25: Links for teaching about the earthquake in Japan;
2011-03-26: Turkish summit: Meeting to Change;
2011-03-27: Civil society is a major player in the democratic transition in Tunisia;
2011-03-28: Inter Press Service IPS news agency launches news portal on IBSA;
2011-03-29: Why Health Care Markets Can Never Work;
2011-03-29: L’excision: couper les petites-filles, un crime abject;2011-03-30: Collaborative Learning: a reality in Universities;
2011-03-30: Les mutilations génitales;
2011-03-31: Learn from History, 31st Anniversary of the Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

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Learn from History, 31st Anniversary of the Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero

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Published on National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book No. 339, by Kate Doyle and Emily Willard, March 23, 2011.

Washington, D.C., March 23, 2011 – Thirty one years ago tomorrow, El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was shot and killed by right-wing assassins seeking to silence his message of solidarity with the country’s poor and oppressed. The assassination shocked Salvadorans already reeling in early 1980 from attacks by security forces and government-backed death squads on a growing opposition movement. Romero’s murder further polarized the country and set the stage for the civil war that would rage for the next twelve years. In commemoration of the anniversary, the National Security Archive is posting a selection from our digital archive of 12 declassified U.S. documents that describe the months before his death, his assassination and funeral, as well as later revelations about those involved in his murder.  Continue Reading…

Les mutilations génitales

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Publié dans CIAO.ch /Violences, le 22 mars 2011.

Les mutilations génitales féminines sont pratiquées dans le monde entier et sont généralement justifiées par des motifs culturels, et ancestraux, bien qu’aucune religion ne l’exige. En plus des raisons traditionnelles, ces interventions violentes sur le corps des femmes ont pour but de garantir la virginité des filles en vue d’un futur mariage, de contrôler leur sexualité et de supprimer leur plaisir.

Pratiquées dans le milieu familial, les opérations sont réalisées en groupe ou individuellement, par des femmes appelées exciseuses.  Continue Reading…

Collaborative Learning: a reality in Universities

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Collaborative Learning among Universities by Naikumi mary, Lecturer Curriculum and Instruction at the Faculty of Science, department of Education Mbarara University of Science and Technology

Published on Portal Education Africa /Blog, February 4, 2011.

… The following are the benefits of Collaborative Learning approach:

  • Development of higher levels of thinking skills and abilities among learners; this is realized out of the interaction that takes place among the learners given the different knowledge levels. All are challenged to think better for individual and mutual benefits.
  • Promotion of student-faculty interactions, the learners benefit from the faculties available in the collaboration network. This facilitates the knowledge bank.
  • Increases student retention of knowledge and skills as a result of the mode of work that facilitates retention of knowledge acquired because the learners are key participants in the learning process.   Continue Reading…

L’excision: couper les petites-filles, un crime abject

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Publié dans Care Vox.

L’excision, une pratique ancestrale qui consiste en l’ablation totale ou partielle du clitoris et des petites lèvres, est une mutilation sexuelle dont sont encore victimes de nombreuses femmes à travers le monde.

Les mutilations génitales féminines sont en effet pratiquées par certaines ethnies en Afrique de l’ouest à l’est, mais aussi dans d’autres régions comme la péninsule arabique ( Yémen, Oman ) et en Asie ( Indonésie et Malaisie).

En Afrique, 1 femme sur 3 serait concernée par cette pratique. soit 130 millions! Et le phénomène perdure puisque 3 millions de petites-filles seraient excisées chaque année.  Continue Reading…

Why Health Care Markets Can Never Work

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Dabid Spero, March 26, 2011.

… Markets are good for things like cars. The buyer looks for what he wants. When he finds something close, the seller makes an offer and the buyer decides whether the price is acceptable. Eventually they agree on a price, or they don’t, in which case there’s no sale.

But healthcare is completely different. The sellers are in control. They’re steering purchase decisions. With or without “health care reform,” it makes no difference. Prices will keep going up; unnecessary services will keep proliferating. Individuals, companies, and governments will continue to be bankrupted. Millions will be denied care for lack of funding. And free market advocates will keep saying the market is the answer to our healthcare crisis.  Continue Reading…

Inter Press Service IPS news agency launches news portal on IBSA

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(India, Brazil, South Africa)

Published on IPS, March 25, 2011.

New global geographies of power are re-shaping our world. India, Brazil and South Africa, three democratic, multi-ethnic emerging countries, created IBSA to deepen their ties and bring their voice together on the international stage. IPS news agency has established an independent news portal ibsanews.com to curate the best reporting from and about IBSA and its members. The site, available in English and in Portuguese, offers a unique window on howIPS news agency and the media of India, Brazil and South Africa are reporting issues like trade, diplomacy, environment and energy through an IBSA and South-South lens.  Continue Reading…

Civil society is a major player in the democratic transition in Tunisia

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en français: La société civile, acteur majeur de la transition démocratique en Tunisie – Published on Ciranda International /english version, March 21, 2011.

… organized from 17 to 20 March 2011 in Tunis, an international seminar on democratic transition, including workshops on the role and needs of Tunisian civil society during this period. It is the first tome since the fall of Ben Ali that such an event hosts hundreds of participants. Foreign guests (from Spain, Belarus, Russia, Egypt, Morocco, Peru, etc..), international experts, officials from Tunisian government and European institutions, member organizations of Tunisian civil society, have spent two days debating the conditions for a successful democratic transition.

The objectives of these two events were threefold: to learn from the experiences gained abroad during democratic transitions, define the framework for this transition in Tunisia and, finally, to evaluate and clarify the role and needs of civil society in Tunisia. The outcome of this work shows full agreement on a number of principles that unite all humanity.

These principles are basically: … (full text).

Link
: Who is in charge here? on The Economist, March 25, 2011.

Turkish summit: Meeting to Change

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Linked on our blogs with Eric Walberg – Canada. – Published on Eric Walberg.com, by Eric Walberg, March 23, 2011.

The Leaders of Change summit 13-14 March in Istanbul was hosted by the Turkish Futures Researches Foundation TUGAV founded in 1987. The theme was “Changing to meet, meeting to change”, emphasising the radical changes in policymakers’ thinking now taking place and the importance of sharing new ideas to address the urgent problems facing particularly the Middle East.

The summit was the first of what TUGAV President Ahmet Eyup Ozguc plans to be an annual forum supported by the Turkish government and Istanbul University. Just as the G8 is losing out to a more representative G20 in global economic decision-making, the Turkish organisers intend that such summits can shift attention away from gatherings such as the elitist World Economic Forum (WEF) and provide a more democratic platform for voices of change.  Continue Reading…

Links for teaching about the earthquake in Japan

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Published on Global Dimension – the world in your classroom, by Moira, March 18, 2011.

The links below provide  background information and/or  teaching  ideas relating to the recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan:

… (full text).

Amouna NGOUONIMBA: nous dévoilons dans notre ouvrage la supercherie qui veut faire de nos mères des exciseuses traditionnelles

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Interview publié dans Tribune 2 l’Artiste.

Comment le qualifiez-vous donc votre livre sur l’excision ? Comme un rétablissement de la vérité historique?

Les personnes et associations qui luttent sur le terrain contre les mutilations génitales féminines effectuent un travail infiniment louable et colossal. Notre ouvrage vient, dans un élan de solidarité et en toute modestie, leur apporter une arme fatale contre l’argument consistant à renvoyer aux Ancêtres et à la Tradition la paternité des mutilations génitales féminines. De ce fait, c’est en toute assurance que notre travail s’affirme comme un rétablissement de la vérité historique en dédouanant notre Tradition, scientifiquement et sans complaisance, de toute responsabilité à cet égard.  Continue Reading…

The problem with Africans and Arabs

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Elleni Centime Zeleke, March 17, 2011.

The North African revolts have seen Arab countries portrayed as somehow separate from the rest of Africa. Elleni Centime Zeleke critiques the trend and exposes in whose interests it works … //

… Moreover, to call one’s self Black or African or Arab is to use identity markers that are not indigenous to Africans or even the vast majority of people we now call Arab. The question then is: who uses these identities and when? No doubt, mobilising these identities can be useful for making certain kinds of political claims that advance the needs of African and Arab peoples. But still, we need to always ask for whom is this mobilisation happening. Continue Reading…

Togo: Violating the right to information

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Bernard Bokodjin, March 17, 2011.

‘In a country where the opposition isn’t strong and structured enough to provide a counterweight to a repressive regime which flouts the principles of democracy and good governance, the media provides a rare space for some amount of freedom of expression. But now, the media have also become part of the Togolese regime’s blacklist,’ writes Bernard Bokodjin … //

… THE COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE PRESS:

For some time now, the media have begun airing interactive programmes in a bid to help people understand political developments and current affairs. These programmes, often in local languages, allow people to express their opinions on issues or question guests on the show. The programmes have solid audiences, an important factor to remember in the context of the huge illiteracy rate (80 per cent) in Togo. However, the regime fears that these kinds of programmes could spark unrest and hence uses everything in its power to prevent the media from carrying on.  Continue Reading…

Latin ou pas latin pour tous: le massacre continue

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Publié sur Maverick, par G de G, le 20 mars 2011.

… A la rentrée prochaine, fini le latin en 7e année (…) Le projet avait pour but d’offrir une initiation à la langue, mais surtout à la culture et à l’histoire latine (…). Le projet aurait été abandonné parce qu’il était considéré comme trop difficile pour le niveau scolaire de certains élèves de 7e. Et avec la votation sur le Cycle prévoyant les mêmes branches d’études pour tous, c’était soit le latin pour tous, soit pour personne.

L’article rapporte l’incompréhension, la déception et le mécontentement de la Fédération des Associations de Maîtres du Cycle d’Orientation FAMCO.

A aucun moment cependant celui-ci ne remet en question l’incroyable invraisemblance du système dans lequel il évolue. Et pourtant! Voici un exemple (authentique) pris entre mille: Un père de famille genevois s’insurge contre l’institutrice de sa fille recalée pour avoir écrit: des pommes rouges, au lieu de : des pommes rougent, comme l’aurait voulu la maîtresse. Stupeur du père à qui celle-ci répond : Mais bien sûr voyons, on l’écrit ainsi, puisque pommes est au plurielContinue Reading…

Grab and Bang – Man, Where’s the Condom?

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Published on Botsotso, by Vonani Bila, article not dated.

In 1990, South Africa had an infection rate of less than one percent. By 1999, an average infection rate had peaked to 22.4 per cent. By the same year, a projected twenty-five per cent of all pregnant women in the country were already HIV-positive. In 2005, these figures had risen to nearly thirty per cent, and the death rate among women between the ages of 25 and 34 had more than quadrupled. In 2005, a government national household survey estimated that 10,8% of all South Africans – about five million people – were living with HIV. By 2006 the figure had risen to 5.5 million.

International health agencies estimated that, in 2005 alone, 320 000 South Africans, mainly blacks, died of HIV-related illness; about eight hundred a day. All age and sex groups were affected – including infants, pensioned-off grandfathers and grannies. This catastrophic figure is estimated to reach one million deaths per year by 2008. Recent UNAIDS surveys indicate that HIV in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to constitute about 64% of the global total of 39.5 million people living with HIV.  Continue Reading…

Female Genital Mutilation FGM: A Cultural Controversy in Cameroon

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Published on Botsotso, by Denis F. Tembong, not dated.

Introduction: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) remains a health hazard as well as cultural problem in the communities where it is practised. The practice is common in some parts of Cameroon, a bilingual country with French and English as main official languages, situated in the Central African Region. According to the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR), FGM is not illegal in Cameroon.  This is also confirmed in Country Reports 2003 Section 5 and Fraternet October 2, 2001. In practice, according to the Web site Fraternet, there are still “too many cases of genital mutilation” in Cameroon. In addition, it is reported in the same source that “20% of Cameroon women are victims of sexual mutilation.” Also CRR 2003, 66; United Nations Nov. 2003, 133) reveal that the practice of FGM in Cameroon is particularly prevalent in the Extreme North, the South-West and the North-West Regions of the country where the practice is said to affect 100% of Muslim girls and 63.6% of Christian girls.”  Continue Reading…

Libya, Egypt, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire: Confusion remains

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Linked on our blogs with Kaddhafi – le peuple Lybien. – Published on Pambazuka News, by Sokari Ekine, March 17, 2011.

In this week’s round-up of social media activity around Africa, Sokari Ekine highlights reasons to oppose military intervention in Libya, the politics of a ‘no-fly zone’ and reports of torture of Egyptian activists at the hands of a military previously heralded as a champion of the people’s cause. She also focuses on the Cameroonian government’s Twitter crackdown, planned protests against Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and Côte d’Ivoire’s ongoing post-election crisis … //

… (LYBIA): … Despite statements to the contrary, are we really to believe that the Arab League and southern European countries are not secretly hoping Gaddafi will prevail? Their dilemma is now how to stop fleeing refugees from North Africa landing on their shores. Only yesterday Malta and Italy turned away a ship carrying 1,800 refugees from LibyaContinue Reading…

The death of Nigerian progressive politics?

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Ike Okonta, March 17, 2011.

Two weeks before Nigeria’s election, Ike Okonta takes aim at progressive politics in Nigeria – or the lack thereof. He traces the crisis back to the rule of General Ibrahim Babangida in the 1980s, when universities were devastated by economic policy … //

… The new regime of corrupt and self-serving editors unable to meaningfully analyse the policy platforms of the various political parties has its root in the ‘great transformation’ that the industry underwent in the wake of the Babangida cyclone in the late 1980s.

Elsewhere, the indigenous publishing houses and the local branches of international publishing, unable to walk the tightrope of importing raw material with scarce foreign exchange and selling their books locally at prices they knew the now vanishing middle class couldn’t afford, shut shop one after the other.  Continue Reading…

There’s a New Non-ideological Political Power in the Arab World

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Published on Qantara.de, Interview with Arnold Hottinger, translated from the German by Michael Lawton, March 16, 2011.

The uprisings in the Arab world have to a certain extent turned existing political systems upside down in the authoritarian states of the region. The Middle East expert Arnold Hottinger talks to Mona Sarkis about the consequences of the protests, and what is likely to happen in the future.

Dr. Hottinger, Egypt and Tunisia are the Arab countries which, as you put it, have the “first act” behind them, and have toppled their dictators. They now face the second act. What might that look like in Egypt?  Continue Reading…

The Charter for Compassion

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Linked on our blogs with Self-Compassion – a healthier way of relating to yourself.

Published on charter for compassion.org, by Karen Armstrong, unveiled to the world on November 12, 2009 (about).

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.  Continue Reading…

L’avenir de la Genève internationale

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à l’occasion de la sortie du livre de Blaise Lempen, les amis de la Librairie arabe L’Olivier ont le plaisir de vous inviter à une rencontre-débat vendredi 18 mars 2011, à 18 heures à la Librairie arabe L’Olivier, Rue de Fribourg 5, 1201 Genève, Suisse. Le thème: L’avenir de la Genève internationale, avec

  • Mme Sandrine Salerno, Maire de Genève, Conseillère administrative, Département des finances et du logement,
  • M. Raymond Lorétan, Ancien consul général suisse à New York,
  • M. Blaise Lempen, Correspondant de l’ATS au Palais des Nations, auteur du livre Genève, laboratoire du XXIème siècle (Editions Georg).

Séance de dédicace avec Blaise Lempen à 19h, Verre de l’amitié dès 19 heures.

Our Planet HOME

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Watch the Video HOME, 1.33.18 hour (in english- today has be seen by 15,019,214 visitors – YouTube lets you choose the language):

  • We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate.
  • The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being.
  • For this purpose, HOME needs to be free. A patron, the PPR Group, made this possible. EuropaCorp, the distributor, also pledged not to make any profit because Home is a non-profit film.
  • HOME has been made for you : share it! And act for the planet. Yann Arthus-Bertrand, HOME official website, http://www.home-2009.com.

The Women of Benghazi

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Watch this video, published on allAfrica resp. AlJazera resp. YouTube, 2.29 min: With husbands, sons and brothers at the front, women are supporting them with meals and supplies.

See also YouTube’s search results for The Women of Benghazi.

Le Reseau Siggil Jigeen implique la Guinée-Bissau dans la lutte contre l’excision

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Publié dans Agence de Presse Sénégalaise, par MG/AD, le 12 mars 2011.

… La rencontre est organisée par le Réseau Siggil Jigeen, en partenariat avec le district de santé de Kolda, avec l’appui d’IntraHealth.

Elle permettra de faire le point des interventions de l’année 2010 et de planifier des activités pour combler les gaps, en vue d’optimaliser les efforts consentis dans la lutte contre les mutilations génitales féminines.

Nous avons tenu l’atelier qui regroupe les acteurs de la société civile notamment avec une forte mobilisation des femmes et des organisations de la Guinée-Bissau pour avoir une synergie des interventions dans la promotion de l’abandon de l’excision, a dit Sékou Baldé, point focal du réseau Siggil Jigeen dans la région de Kolda.  Continue Reading…

Landlessness is Not Forever

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Published on Landlessness is not forever, by Robert Mitchell, on March 9, 2011.

After more than a decade meeting with government officials and families in rural areas of the developing world, I have yet to encounter anyone who would discount the importance of land, or who would challenge the fact that landlessness is a severely disempowering condition for the rural poor.

It’s easy enough to grasp the concept that land is important, and that it’s especially important to rural families in the developing world. After all, most poor rural families that lack land of their own earn their living by working as day laborers on other people’s land, and land is a primary source of power for their employers. Landlessness and land insecurity, the lot of hundreds of millions of rural people worldwide, is a defining personal and social characteristic, greatly limiting their current options and future prospects.  Continue Reading…

The Word on Women: Why Land Rights Matter

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Linked on our blogs with SocialEarth. – Published on SocialEarth, by Renee, March 10, 2011.

… Rural women in particular are at the strategic center of reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty because they produce 60%–80% of food in the developing world.1 The FAO estimates that globally, almost one billion people are undernourished and that more than three million children die each year from under-nutrition before their fifth birthdays. Women play a central role in household food security, dietary diversity, and children’s health.

When considering household well-being, it is important to consider who within the household manages the family’s resources, including land, as women are much more likely than men to spend income from these resources on their children’s nutritional and educational needs (Quisumbing 1996).   Continue Reading…

Liberia-Santé: Réduire la mortalité et la morbidité maternelles et infantiles

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Publié dans Afrique en ligne, par Pana, le 10 mars 2011.

La présidente du Liberia, Ellen Jonhson Sirleaf, a lancé mardi la feuille de route pour l’accélération de la Réduction de la mortalité et de la morbidité maternelles et infantiles, mais aussi la Politique nationale de santé sexuelle et reproductive, dans le cadre des activités marquant la Journée internationale de la femme 2011. La feuille de route est un plan quinquennal qui entend accroître de 50 pour cent le nombre d’accoucheurs qualifiés, à tous les niveaux du système de distribution de soins de santé, mais aussi la couverture et l’accès 24 heures par jour et 7 jours sur 7 à des soins généraux et d’urgence de qualité en obstétrique et pour le nouveau-né, au regard du Paquet de Base des Services de Santé (Basic Package of Health Services – BPHS). Continue Reading…

An activist response to abuse, personal and political

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Published on rabble.ca, by Zainab Amadahy, March 10, 2011.

What if you were in a dysfunctional and abusive relationship? How many times would it be effective for you to ask or demand of your partner that s/he stop the abuse? How many times do you put up with situations where you have no choice but to defend yourself as best you can from vicious attacks against you and/or your children? How productive is it to argue or attempt rational discussion with your abuser in the hope s/he’ll see there error of her/his ways? How many times should you appeal to family, friends or authorities to exert influence over your abuser’s actions?

How much of your energy should be spent on trying to get your abuser to change, find supports or grapple with the demons that haunt her/him. At what point do you decide that you have to take care of yourself, draw on available supports and build the life you need and deserve?  Continue Reading…

Kenya: Le parcours tumultueux d’une femme vers la réussite

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Publié dans IPS, par Miriam Gathigah, le 8 mars 2011.

… Le district du Mont Elgon, dans l’ouest du Kenya, est si pauvre qu’il ne peut se vanter d’un centimètre de route pavée. Le sort des femmes et des filles ici est difficile – le mariage précoce et la mutilation génitale féminine (MGF) sont monnaie courante.

Pourtant, à partir de ces conditions difficiles, Jennifer Masis a évolué pour devenir une force dans la lutte pour l’autonomisation des femmes.

Masis est née en 1970 dans la communauté Sabot – une société fortement patriarcale rencontrée dans les régions de ‘Western Kenya’ (Ouest du Kenya) et de la vallée du Rift.  Continue Reading…

What would life be without friends?

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Published on A View on Buddhism /what is the Sangha (community).

To clarify, there can be some confusion in the way the Sanskrit word Sangha is commonly used. In fact, there are three distinct definitions:

  • 1. A currently popular definition is to include all Buddhist practitioners.
  • 2. The most generally applied term includes only the community of ordained monks and nuns.
  • 3. A more strict definition from the scriptures applies to the practitioners who have at least directly realised emptiness.

During his life, the Buddha gave advice to many people on ways to avoid distraction from following the spiritual path. The Buddha never actually taught “a set” of vows for monks or nuns, but these have been extracted afterwards by Buddhist Masters from the teachings of the Buddha.

It is important to realise that monasteries and nunneries have proven to be absolutely essential in preserving the Buddhist teachings and practice. One could say that monasteries are the “power plants” of the Buddhist tradition.  Continue Reading…

Libya dispatches emissaries

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Diplomats said to be holding talks with EU officials in Brussels while deputy defence minister arrives in Cairo – Published on Al Jazeera, March 9, 2011.

Libyan envoys are in talks with European Union officials in Brussels, the Belgian capital, while the Libyan deputy defence minister has arrived in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, reports say.

The delegation in Brussels is also expected to meet NATO officials in the coming days.

The European Union’s 27 foreign ministers will be meeting in Brussels on Thursday in advance of a crisis summit on Libya.

Separately, defence ministers from the 28-member NATO alliance will also gather in Brussels to weigh options on Libya following calls for a no-fly zone to be enforced over the north African country. Continue Reading…

Why do sparrows thrive in America but not here?

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Published on The Independent, by Michael McCarthy, March 4, 2011.

Last spring I spent some time in the US looking at birds in Washington DC and New York City. That’s not such an improbable idea as it may seem, for both metropolises harbour parks with wonderful wild bird populations, especially in May, when I was there: Washington has Rock Creek Park, a 2,000-acre stretch of natural forest to the north of the city centre, while New York’s Central Park is an 800-acre green glade in the forest of skyscrapers.

Both are teeming with birdlife, above all when the spring migrants arrive, the birds which winter in the Caribbean and Central America and fly up to breed in the northern US and Canada, and of these the most stunning are the warblers, the brilliantly-coloured small songbirds which have been described as “the butterflies of the bird world”. I saw several of them both in Rock Creek and Central Park, and wrote about it here; but what I did not mention were the birds I saw first in both cities, which were sparrows.  Continue Reading…

South Africa’s economy: No jobs, boys

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The unemployment rate refuses to come down – Published on The Economist, Feb 24th 2011.

THE ruling African National Congress (ANC) came to power in 1994 on a promise of “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” But ever since then the number of jobless, including those too discouraged to keep looking, has hovered around 30%. Participation in the labour force is a good 10-15 percentage points below other comparable developing countries. In 2004 the government pledged to cut unemployment in half by 2014. But the best it can now promise is to do so more or less by 2020 … //

… Under proposed labour laws, recently approved by the cabinet, employers would no longer be able to take on short-term staff save in exceptional circumstances. Temping agencies would be abolished and companies would be required to register all vacancies with government labour centres.   Continue Reading…

Journée des Femmes

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Publié dans Agora Vox, par Jahanshah Rashidian, Mars 5, 2011.

Bien que la charte des Nations Unies propose l’égalité des sexes comme un des droits fondamentaux de l’homme, elle est incapable de fixer des normes, des programmes, et des buts pour avancer le statut des femmes dans le monde musulman. Par exemple, l’ONU évite de condamner le voile obligatoire en Iran qui est le joug le plus symbolique de la misogynie des mollahs qui châtient et harassent des centaines des milliers de femmes mal voilées par an … //

… La communauté internationale doit prendre des actions adéquates pour l’égalité des genres en condamnant tous les régimes et institutions islamiques qui sont responsables actifs de la misogynie. Au vingt et unième siècle, le monde ne peut pas accepter que les droits des femmes soient conditionnés par une doctrine moyenâgeuse et patriarcale. Il est temps de cesser d’ignorer une telle doctrine qui considère les femmes comme des demi hommes avec des demi droits sociaux !  Continue Reading…

The Voluntourism Debate

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Published on a Social Edge, by Saul Garlick, January 2011.

What would you say if I told you that all of the work that Westerners do in the developing world for less than 6 months amounts to nothing more than poverty tourism?

Is there a small part of you that might agree?

This is a question that we face at ThinkImpact directly, and we are eager to learn more from the social enterprise community about the lines between poverty tourism, slum tourism, volunteer service, experiential learning, and ultimately, for ThinkImpact,
social entrepreneurship training in villages at the base of the pyramid.  Continue Reading…

It’s About Who’s Sitting in: Reflections on the Early Global Springtime of Peoples

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Paul Street, March 5, 2011.

… And then there’s the remarkable state-level progressive labor rebellion that has erupted in the United States, where right wing governors’ and state legislators’ attack on public worker benefit levels and negotiating rights amounts to the largest assault on labor’s political and collective bargaining power in recent United States history. Much to the surprise of Wisconsin Governor Stott Walker, the clumsy, messianic, business-backed Tea Party governor who launched the assault, workers and citizens have responded with an historic uprising in defense of labor rights. The Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison has become the  site of an incredible three-week (so far) protest that has sparked support demonstrations across the country and received statements of solidarity from Egypt. Continue Reading…

Everyone matters, everyone is human

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Published on Pambazuka News, by David Ntseng with Mark Butler, March 3, 2011.

David Ntseng reflects on his visit to villages in KwaZulu Natal at the invitation of a Rural Network militant, to see how the communities lived and ‘connect their struggles to their daily experiences’. Unless there is ‘commitment to organising and mobilising in numbers’, efforts to dismantle the forces that condemn people to poverty ‘will be in vain’, notes Ntseng.

Over a number of years, Thulani Ndlazi has been Church Land Programme’s primary link with the emergence, growth and struggles of the Rural Network. During 2010, while Thulani took some sabbatical leave, colleague, David Ntseng, took on temporary responsibility for sustaining those links. Up until then, David’s contact with militants of the Rural Network in Northern Zululand had mostly been enabled through participating in solidarity actions – especially at the eShowe Magistrates Court where a case of murder of two scholars is being tried against two security guards:  Continue Reading…

Sénégal – Une rappeuse contre l’excision

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Publié dans Slate Afrique, par le staff, le 3 mars, 2011.

Rappeuse, Sister Fa a décidé de mettre sa musique au service de la lutte contre l’excision en Afrique. Comme le souligne l’hebdomadaire sud-africain Mail & Guardian, c’est son beau-père autrichien qui l’a encouragée à s’engager dans ce combat.

Sister Fa vit à Berlin, mais est née au Sénégal. Elle connaît bien le problème: elle-même a été excisée étant petite. A Dakar, la capitale, elle fait campagne sous la bannière «L’éducation contre l’excision». Elle veut ouvrir les yeux aux femmes, aux hommes, mais aussi aux ONG étrangères. Sister Fa explique:  Continue Reading…

Crisis in Côte d’Ivoire: What impact on women?

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Published on Pambazuka News,by Massan d’Almeida, March 3, 2011.

Côte d’Ivoire has been in a political impasse since the declaration of contested results of a second round of presidential elections held in November 2010. Since both candidates claimed victory and have been sworn in, the country has two presidents and two governments. In order to understand the impact of this situation on women and women’s rights organisations, AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development) spoke with two women’s rights defenders, Mata Coulibaly, president of SOS EXCLUSION and Honorine Sadia Vehi Toure, president of Génération femmes du troisième millénaire (GFM3), as well as with an Ivorian politician who prefers to remain anonymous and to whom we have given the pseudonym of Sophie … //  Continue Reading…

Promotion de la femme: Le Burkina défend sa politique genre à l’ONU

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Publié sur le faso.net, par Safiatou TAMBOULA /DCPM/MPF, 28 février 2011.

La Commission de la Condition de la femme (CSW) tient sa 55e session du 22 Février au 4 Mars 2011 à New York aux Etats Unis d’Amérique. Organe directeur mondial, la Commission de la condition de la femme est une commission fonctionnelle du Conseil Economique et Social (ECOSOC) exclusivement consacrée à l’égalité des sexes et à la promotion des femmes.  Continue Reading…

Poverty is the Big Issue

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Published on Barefoor Social Worker /radical.org, by Hilary Searing, not dated but more and more valuable.

There is no evidence that this government’s anti-poverty strategy is having any effect in reducing relative poverty in the UK. A recent report, Poverty and wealth across Britain 1968 to 2005, confirms what many social workers already know – that while the very poor may have been lifted out of extreme poverty there has been a continuing rise in poverty defined as ‘breadline poverty’. The report draws attention to the problem of social segregation and shows that poverty is ‘clustering’ as the wealthy flee to the outskirts of cities. It also shows that the gap between rich and poor is currently the highest it has been in 40 years.  Continue Reading…

Profit Pathology and Disposable Planet

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Published on political affairs pa, by Michael Parenti, Feb. 27, 2011.

… The Profiteering Madness:

Sad to say, the environment cannot defend itself. It is up to us to protect it—or what’s left of it. But all the superrich want is to keep transforming living nature into commodities and commodities into dead capital. Impending ecological disasters are of no great moment to the corporate plunderers. Of living nature they have no measure.  Continue Reading…

UN throws Libya off human rights council

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Published on Google.com, by Tim Witcher/AFP, March 2, 2011.

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations suspended Libya from its main human rights body over Moamer Kadhafi’s crackdown on protests as the Security Council warned of new action against his regime.

With growing western calls for a no-fly zone over Libya, Britain’s UN envoy said the council would take “whatever measures we consider necessary to respond to events on the ground.”

The 192-member assembly passed a suspension resolution by consensus, without a vote, after UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged the body to “act decisively.”  Continue Reading…

Poverty, Class and Language

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Published on Barefoot Social Worker, by Hilary Searing, not dated.

There seems to be a prevailing orthodoxy in social work debates which silences unfashionable opinions. Ideas about poverty and class, which are part of social work’s heritage, almost never get a hearing. If social work is to keep its radical tradition it must resist these Orwellian trends.

The thrust of my argument is that language is being used to re-shape public perceptions of poverty. The reason for this is that the middle class, the dominant group in society, wishes to deny the truth about poverty and to close down clear-thinking and intelligent debate on the subject. Furthermore, the social work profession is abandoning its traditional concern with poverty and inequality because middle class leaders of the profession want to ‘forget’ these problems.  Continue Reading…

African Farmers Are on the Loosing End

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… Their States Are Leasing Farmland to Foreign Investors – people observe with great concern that large tracts of land will be sold or leased to investors

Published on Current Concerns, No 3, February 2011. – (Source: Schweizer Radio DRS Inter­national, by Agrar-Gerbstedt.de resp. by Neil Mac Farquhar, 7 November 2010).

Soumouni, Mali — The half-dozen strangers who descended on this remote West African village brought its hand-to-mouth farmers alarming news: their humble fields, tilled from one generation to the next, were now controlled by Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and the farmers would all have to leave.

“They told us this would be the last rainy season for us to cultivate our fields; after that, they will level all the houses and take the land,” said Mama Keita, 73, the leader of this village veiled behind dense, thorny scrubland. “We were told that Qaddafi owns this land.”  Continue Reading…

LA QUESTION DE LA VIOLENCE ET DE LA DISCRIMINATION

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la commission de la condition de la femme s’appuie sur le témoignage de trois jeunes pour s’attaquer à la question de la violence et de la discrimination

Publié sur UN /Conseil économique et social /Commission de la condition de la femme, 8e séance – matin, FEM/1845, le 25 février 2011.

… Après une première semaine de débats et le lancement officiel hier soir de la nouvelle entité composite, ONU-Femmes, la Commission de la condition de la femme a organisé ce matin une table ronde centrée sur les discriminations et les violences à l’égard des filles. Elle a entendu Ika l’Indonésienne, Ya Marie la Sierra-Léonaise et Lil Shira la Camerounaise, trois lycéennes, membres de l’organisation non gouvernementale (ONG) Plan International qui ont livré des témoignages concrets de cette violence.  Continue Reading…