The Human Consciousness Now...Our World in the Midst of Becoming...to What? Observe, contemplate Now.

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By Sima Bahous
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November, the color orange is used to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.Credit: UN Women

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November, the color orange is used to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.Credit: UN Women

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 25 2022 (IPS) - Five years ago, the global #MeToo movement brought new urgency and visibility to the extent of violence against women and girls. Millions of survivors came forward to share their experience. They forced the world to recognise a reality that shames every one of us. Their courage and voice led to a powerful collective activism and a sea-change in awareness.

This wake-up call, alongside other invaluable initiatives around the world, continues to resonate. Grassroots activists, women’s human rights defenders and survivor advocates remind us every day, everywhere.

They are revealing the extent of that violence, they collect and shape statistics, document attacks and bring the violence that happens from the shadows into the light. Their work remains as crucial as it ever was. They offer us a path to bringing this violation of women’s rights to an end.

The work of women’s rights movements and activists is the bedrock of accountability and making sure that promises made many times become reality. They are mobilizing and they are powerful. We celebrate them today.

The evidence is clear. We have to invest urgently in strong, autonomous women’s rights organizations to achieve effective solutions.

This lesson was taught to us most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries with powerful feminist movements, stronger democracies and more women in parliament were the most effective in responding to the surge in gender-based violence, the shadow pandemic of COVID.

In this area as in others, we see time and again that when women lead everyone wins. We all benefit from a more inclusive and effective response to the challenges we face. We all profit from more resilient economies and societies.

Alongside these efforts, men must step up and push forward. They must play their part in change. They can begin where they live. It is an uncomfortable truth that for some women and girls rather than being a place of safety, as it should be, home can be deadly.

The latest global femicide estimates presents an alarming picture, one made worse by COVID-19 lockdowns. Our new report, released with UNODC, shows that on average worldwide, more than five women or girls are killed every hour by someone in their own family.

(Read)NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY: INTER PRESS SERVICE
November 23,2022 11:09 PM
In our recent book, “The Connections World: The Future of Asia”, published by Cambridge University Press in October 2022, we argue that mutually beneficial links between dynastic business houses and political elites have been important drivers behind Asia’s extraordinary renaissance. Yet, these close ties now threaten future economic growth. That is because the ubiquitous Asian […]
November 23,2022 10:28 PM
This article is part of IPS coverage of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Nov. 25.
November 23,2022 4:36 AM
Countries worldwide, and as different as India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel and Italy, are struggling with the issue of how best to balance diversity and meritocracy across disparate ethnic, racial, caste, linguistic and religious subgroups in their populations. In a growing number of areas, including politics, employment, careers, education, armed forces, immigration, the judicial […]
November 23,2022 12:50 AM
The Dongria Kondhs say they are the descendants of Niramraja, a mythical god-king who is believed to have created the Niyamgiri range of hills in Odisha, an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal. This indigenous community has worshipped the Niyamgiri Mountain and lived in the region, which spans over 250 square kilometres through […]
November 23,2022 12:09 AM
Violence against women is a global crisis, prevalent in every community and society around the world. Globally, estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Yet, there is limited coordination and […]
November 22,2022 11:09 PM
Constance Okollet Achom, a Ugandan woman from Tororo, a rural village located in Eastern Uganda, has helped several dozens of her peers affected by domestic violence to address the issue by equipping victims with skillsets to manufacture eco-friendly biofuels from agro-forestry waste. “There have been a growing number of women in my village who experienced […]
November 22,2022 1:08 AM
Upheaval on the global stage, the war in Ukraine, conflict in the Horn of Africa, severe climatic shocks, high international inflation, increasing global commodity prices, high prices of agricultural inputs and low intra-continental trade are fuelling food insecurity across Africa. Of the 24 countries classified as hunger hotspots by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization […]
November 21,2022 11:31 PM
COP 27 delivered on what was the ‘litmus test’ for its success – consensus on the establishment of a fund on loss and damage. What seemed impossible was made possible, largely due to the unity of the G77 and China and the role of the Egyptian Presidency. Also important were efforts by civil society groups […]
November 21,2022 10:16 PM
The ongoing plunder of Africa’s natural resources drained by capital flight is holding it back yet again. More African nations face protracted recessions amid mounting debt distress, rubbing salt into deep wounds from the past. With much less foreign exchange, tax revenue, and policy space to face external shocks, many African governments believe they have […]
By Karlos Zurutuza
23-year-old Varin poses next to a mural for queer rights in Sulaymaniyah. It was not long before it was vandalized. Credit Andoni Lubaki/IPS - The campaign of harassment of members of the LGBTI community in Iraq condemns the majority to a life of isolation to avoid arrest, torture, and murder
23-year-old Varin poses next to a mural for queer rights in Sulaymaniyah. It was not long before it was vandalized. Credit Andoni Lubaki/IPS

23-year-old Varin poses next to a mural for queer rights in Sulaymaniyah. It was not long before it was vandalized. Credit Andoni Lubaki/IPS

SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq, Nov 25 2022 (IPS) - It’s mostly people in their twenties sitting on a terrace in the shade of a beautiful grove of trees: black clothes, piercings, tattoos and some purple streaks in their hair.

It could be a trendy cafe in Berlin, Paris or any other European capital, but the sunset call to prayer reminds us that we are in Sulaymaniyah. After Erbil, it’s the second city in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq.

We cannot disclose the cafe’s exact coordinates, nor the full name of the person who has brought us here. She is dressed in white -shorts and a T-shirt- and boasts a rainbow bracelet on her left wrist. She asks to be quoted as Kween. “It’s just queen with a k for Kurdish,” she explains. Kween is a trans woman.

The youngest of five children from a Kurdish family in Diyala, a district in the east of the country, this 33-year-old Kurd admits to IPS that she was “a boring man” for the first 25 years of her life.

“I learned to block my needs. However, I first dressed as a woman in my mother’s clothes and also put on makeup when I was only five,“ she recalls. In a dress, she adds, “I feel the person I am and the person I have always been.”

But that freedom mostly enjoyed in solitude has its price. How to forget the beating her older brother gave her when she was first caught, at six; the humiliation and bullying she suffered at school…

She was almost killed when she was 24. Someone contacted her on the Internet and asked to meet on the outskirts of the city. But they were five individuals, waiting to give her a thrashing. Completely numb from the beatings and covered in mud and blood, Kween still mustered the strength to walk to a local judge’s office.

“You have two options: either file a complaint and stain your family’s name forever, or simply stop doing what you do,” the magistrate blurted at her. Back home, she could not say what she had gone through or, above all, why. Even today, no one in Diyala knows that Kween is a woman.

Against all odds, she’s been working for several years with a foreign NGO focusing on the protection of vulnerable groups. Among other projects, she´s working on a list of Kurdish words to talk about the rights of the LGBTI collective that are not offensive.

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By Baher Kamal
It takes around 7,500 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans, equivalent to the amount of water the average person drinks over a period of seven years. Credit: pexels
Around 7,500 litres of water are used to make a single pair of jeans, equivalent to the amount of water the average person drinks over seven years. Credit: pexels

Around 7,500 litres of water are used to make a single pair of jeans, equivalent to the amount of water the average person drinks over seven years. Credit: pexels

MADRID, Nov 25 2022 (IPS) - Please take a quick look at this short report before rushing to shop on a Black Friday, Christmas sales and all those long chains of big discounts and wholesales, most of them are fake, as often denounced by consumers organisations that report that the business usually inflates prices before launching such deals.

Just a couple of figures to start with: the fashion industry is responsible for more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

Consequently, it is widely believed that this business is the second major producer of greenhouse gases, just after the other industries using fossil fuels.

And it is a big business, which is estimated as valued at upward of 3 trillion dollars.

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By Jeffrey Moyo
Forty-year-old Admire Gumbo has invested in cattle back home in Zimbabwe's rural Mwenezi district. The picture shows Gumbo's cattle in Mwenezi. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/ IPS.
Forty-year-old Admire Gumbo has invested in cattle back home in Zimbabwe's rural Mwenezi district. The picture shows Gumbo's cattle in Mwenezi. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/ IPS.

Forty-year-old Admire Gumbo has invested in cattle back home in Zimbabwe's rural Mwenezi district. The picture shows Gumbo's cattle in Mwenezi. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/ IPS.

MBERENGWA, Nov 25 2022 (IPS) - In 2007 as inflation walloped the Zimbabwean currency, rendering it valueless, then 54-year-old Langton Musaigwa of Mataruse village west of Zimbabwe in Mberengwa district switched to cattle as his currency.

He wasn’t alone; scores of other villagers in his locality followed suit.

In no time, cattle became a new currency as the Zimbabwean dollar went down the drain, pounded by inflation.

“We had no choice. It appeared cattle was the only money we could stare at and not the real Zimbabwean bank notes, which were now losing value every day as prices skyrocketed,” Musaigwa told IPS.

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By Marty Logan
A meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Credit: UN / Jean-Marc Ferré

A meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Credit: UN / Jean-Marc Ferré

KATHMANDU, Nov 25 2022 (IPS) - Human rights defenders are alarmed at what appears to be a new process permitting countries to keep confidential their responses to UN experts about allegations of human rights abuses.

A page on the website of the UN human rights office hosts letters (known as “communications”) from human rights experts, or “special rapporteurs”, to those alleged to have committed the abuse — usually a government. In most cases the page also hosts the response, but in some recent instances a placeholder document has appeared that says, “The government’s reply is not made public due to its confidential nature.”

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By Myles Benham
Credit: Qatar Tourism Authority

Credit: Qatar Tourism Authority

DOHA, Qatar, Nov 25 2022 (IPS) - The sun is shining, and the temperature sits at an idyllic 28 degrees Celsius. The Uber driver taking me to work is from Pakistan and devastated about the recent loss to England in the T20 Cricket World Cup final in Australia.

On route to the office, I stop to get a coffee and the barista is from Gambia, the server from Uganda and the cashier from Nigeria. They all smile and greet me as I travel through the line. As I enter the office, I am greeted by the Indian and Bangladeshi security guards and then pass the Filipino, Togolese and Algerian cleaning staff who are preparing for the rush of staff on what will undoubtedly be a busy morning.

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By Felix Dodds and Chris Spence
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, chair of COP27, reads the nine-page Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Plan, the document that concluded the climate summit on Sunday Nov. 20, to an exhausted audience after tough and lengthy negotiations that finally reached an agreement to create a fund for loss and damage, a demand of the global South. CREDIT: Kiara Worth/UN
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, chair of COP27, reads the nine-page Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Plan, the document that concluded the climate summit on Sunday Nov. 20, to an exhausted audience after tough and lengthy negotiations that finally reached an agreement to create a fund for loss and damage, a demand of the global South. CREDIT: Kiara Worth/UN

COP 27 was both better and worse than expected, say Prof. Felix Dodds and Chris Spence

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, chair of COP27, reads the nine-page Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Plan, the document that concluded the climate summit on Sunday Nov. 20, to an exhausted audience after tough and lengthy negotiations that finally reached an agreement to create a fund for loss and damage, a demand of the global South. CREDIT: Kiara Worth/UN

SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov 24 2022 (IPS) - It’s finally over. After the anticipation and build-up to COP27, the biggest climate meeting of the year is now in our rear-view mirror. The crowds of delegates that thronged the Sharm el-Sheikh international convention center for two long weeks have all headed home to recover. Many will be fatigued from long hours and sleepless nights as negotiators tried to seal a deal that would move the world forwards. Did all this hard work pay off? In our opinion, COP 27 was both better and worse than we’d hoped.

(Read)NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY: IPS