#CleanWater & #Sanitation: Photos of Cape Town in Crisis as the City’s Water Runs Out #SDGs #SouthAfrica #Agenda2030 #CapeTown #SA

Cape Town would become the world’s first major city to run out of water.

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After years of severe drought, Cape Town, South Africa, is about to run out of water — unless businesses and residents comply with water restrictions designed to prevent Day Zero from arriving.

On May 11, the municipal dam’s water level will fall below 13.5% and force the Cape Town government to turn off taps around the city. After Day Zero, government officials said water will still flow at hospitals, health clinics, and other essential service providers, but individual residents will have to wait on line at 200 community taps to receive a 25-liter daily water ration.

That will be a major disruption for the region’s wealthy residents who are used to freely consuming water and, in many cases, seem unwilling to comply with the current 50-liters-per-day ration, according to the Associated Press .

But it’s a familiar experience for millions of poor Capetonians who share taps and toilets inside Apartheid-era settlements known as townships. The townships were designed to segregate black South Africans and continue to divide the city by race, income, and even access to clean water, according to the Guardian .

The water crisis puts Cape Town on pace to become the world’s first — and likely not the last — major city to run out of water.

 

A man carries water at a source for natural spring water in Cape Town, Feb. 1, 2018. South Africa’s drought-hit city of Cape Town plans to introduce new water restrictions in an attempt to avoid what it calls “Day Zero,” the day in mid-April when it might have to turn off most taps.

 

Cape Town’s main water supply from the Theewaterskloof dam outside Grabouw, Cape Town, Feb. 1, 2018.

 

Theewaterskloof Dam dips to 15.5% capacity on Jan. 15, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. 

 

Cape Town residents queue to refill water bottles at Newlands Brewery Spring Water Point on January 30, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. 

 

 

A woman collects water in a settlement near Cape Town on Feb. 2, 2018. 

 

Theewaterskloof Dam dips to 15.5% capacity on Jan. 15, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. Water will be restricted from 87 litres per day to 50 litres as temperatures reach 82 degrees Fahrenheit later this week. Politicians are blaming each other and residents for the deepening crisis. 

 

 

Cape Town residents queue to refill water bottles at Newlands Brewery Spring Water Point on Jan. 30, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.

 

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#Poverty, #Women & #Girls: Poverty Is Forcing More Refugee Girls to Become Child Brides #Refugees #ChildMarriage #EarlyMarriage #ChildBride #SDGs #GlobalGoals

“I regret that I got married. Girls my age are now studying. I am totally destroyed.”

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By Heba Kanso

BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, March 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As 17-year-old Aziza sat in her dark tent in a refugee camp, she rocked her baby while her tiny hands adjusted his pacifier, looking down at all she had left from two broken marriages.

Aziza’s parents arranged for her to marry her cousin when she was 14. Her mother, Rashida, said it was normal for girls her age to become brides in their Syrian tribe as it protected them from harassment and reduced pressure on the family budget.

“I regret that I got married,” Aziza, who declined to give her full name, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as her eyes welled up with tears.

“The girls that are my age are now studying. They have ambition. I have nothing. I am totally destroyed.”

A growing number of girls among the 1.5 million Syrian refugees who have fled to Lebanon since 2011 are becoming wives amid rising poverty, aid groups said on the eighth anniversary of the conflict.

Around one in five Syrian girls aged between 15 and 19 in Lebanon is married, according to the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF), which fears more young girls will be married off by families that cannot afford food, rent and medicines.

More than three quarters of the refugees in Lebanon are living below the poverty line and struggling to survive on less than $4 per day, UNICEF said.

Kafa, a local rights group, is calling on Lebanon to pass a law to make 18 the minimum age for marriage.

There is no minimum age of marriage in Lebanon. Religious communities’ personal status laws can allow girls younger than 15 to marry, according to Human Rights Watch.

The rights group said Lebanon is behind many other countries in the region that have set 18 as the minimum marriage age, including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

“It is escalating … because they are living in a very closed community,” said Salwa Al Homsi, a spokeswoman for Kafa.

“The parents, they cannot afford to support their children.”

Aziza cradles her baby in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, February 2, 2018. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Heba Kanso

Aziza lives with her mother, father and five siblings in a small tent covered in plastic sheets in eastern Lebanon’s fertile Bekaa Valley – home to more than 300,000 refugees, the most densely populated area of refugees in Lebanon.

They escaped their hometown of Aleppo five years ago.

“My life in Syria was beautiful,” said Aziza, whose small-frame and adolescent features make her look younger than her years – a striking image of a child holding a child.

“I used to go to school … and wanted to be a doctor,” said Aziza whose favorite subject was Arabic.

Her father and two of her sisters earn about 6,000 Lebanese Pounds ($4) a day, picking grapes and potatoes seasonally.

“I have four daughters, I can’t give them everything they need,” said Rashida, adding that poverty was one reason they decided that Aziza should marry her 17-year-old cousin.

Aziza said she did not oppose the marriage at first, but she divorced after one year because of troubles with her mother-in-law and moved back into her parents’ tent.

When other refugees in her community started to “gossip” about her because she was divorced, she said the shame drove her into a second marriage, aged 16, to a 30-year-old Syrian man.

“I didn’t like him. I only married him because people were talking,” she said from inside her family’s tent.

Aziza said she left the man after about a year because he physically abused her.

“The younger a girl gets married, the more at risk she is of domestic violence,” said Jihane Latrous, a UNICEF child protection specialist.

“It is an extremely worrying factor because they aren’t able to deal with such situations.”

Nearly 35 percent of women aged 20 to 24 in Western Bekaa surveyed in 2016 were married before reaching 18, according to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA).

Beyond setting a minimum age for marriage, education of girls is key to break the cycle of poverty, said Latrous.

“The less this young generation is educated, the less they are able, themselves, to bring up their children in a way that will empower their children,” she said.

As the oldest girl in her family, Aziza was adamant that her sisters learn from how she “suffered” and do not marry until they are 20 or older.

“Don’t get married and finish school,” is her message to fellow Syrian refugee girls.

As Aziza looked down at her five-month-old son, she imagined a better life for him.

“When he gets older, I want him to be educated and not be like me, not knowing how to read and write. I want him to know Arabic and English,” she said with a smile. ($1 = 1,505.7000 Lebanese pounds)

Women And Girls: Uber Wants to Put Women Behind the Wheel in Saudi Arabia #TimeIsNow #PressForProgress #WomensHistoryMonth

Female drivers would also give women riders who are uncomfortable with male drivers more options.

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Women account for the vast majority of Uber’s passengers in Saudi Arabia, but the ride-hailing app wants to start putting more women behind the wheel.

Until September, Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world where women were not allowed to drive, according to Quartz.

Without an independent means of transport, Saudi women have relied heavily on services like Uber and its Dubai-based rival, Careem, in recent years. Currently, female riders make up 80% of Uber’s customers and 70% of Careem’s passengers, CNN reported.

And though both companies stand to lose users once King Salman’s royal decree granting women the right to drive goes into effect this June, they hope to gain new female employees and have already begun recruiting, according to CNN.

“We’re proud to have been able to provide extraordinary mobility for women in Saudi, and are excited by the economic opportunities this change could represent for them in the future,” Uber said in a statement in September. In fact, Uber quietly lobbied for Saudi women’s right to drive for the better part of a year, Quartz reported.

Over the past few months, Careem has been conducting training sessions — led by women who already work for the company in administrative roles — that cover road laws, how to use the app, and customer service, CNN reported. And thousands of Saudi women have already applied to become drivers, Abdullah Elyas, Careem’s co-founder and chief privacy officer, told CNN.

The company aims to hire over 10,000 female drivers by June in anticipation of the royal decree officially going into effect.

But hiring female drivers is about more that just providing economic opportunities to these women.

“Female [drivers] will help us provide a better service to many women who want to travel but refuse to be driven by men,” Elyas said.

Still, while women’s rights in Saudi Arabia have improved in the last few years, there is much work to be done. Under the country’s male guardianship, women will still need permission from a man in order to apply for a job with Uber, Careem, or any other company. And Saudi labor laws prohibit women from working after sunset and before sunrise, with a few exceptions, according to CNN.

Though many Saudi women are excited to hit the road this summer and be more self-reliant, the country still has a long way to go before it can claim to have gender equality.

 

 

 

Quality Education: Focus “Africa, Discrimination and Albinism” A Girl With Albinism Just Defied the Odds to Come Top in Kenya’s School Exams #Albinism #Albinos #GirlsCan

People with Albinism face “deep-seated DISCRIMINATION” across Africa.

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People with albinism face persecution across Africa. Persistent superstitions put them at risk from criminals and even their own family members. 

They face what Amnesty International described as “deep-seated discrimination” and, as a result, don’t have the same access to healthcare or education opportunities as people without albinism.

But now, a 14-year-old schoolgirl with albinism has overcome these societal barriers and health problems to come top in the whole country in Kenya’s primary school leavers exams.

Remarkable Goldalyn Kakuya beat a million other children, scoring 455 out of 500 in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams.

Kakuya, from Kakamega County, said her success sends a strong message to Kenyan society, that albinism and other disabilities should be celebrated rather than rejected.

“I am honoured to be here celebrating this,” she told journalists  after finding out her result. “It’s wonderful because I didn’t expect to do very well.”

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“Today, I don’t want us to celebrate just me alone,” she added. “I want us to celebrate albinism, and embrace people with disabilities to help them achieve their dreams.” 

“There is nothing that we cannot be,” she said.

People with albinism can’t produce melanin properly, the pigment that gives our skin, hair, and eyes colour.

The persecution of people with albinism is particularly pronounced in Tanzania, where children are being killed by witch doctors because locals believe they have “healing” powers and that their limbs can bring luck.

In Tanzania alone, 75 people with albinism have been killed since 2000, and in Malawi, 18 have been killed in the last three years. Between 2000 and 2013, the UN said it received 200 reports of ritual attacks on people with albinism across 15 African countries.

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Amnesty International last year highlighted their plight, saying: “This unequal treatment is fuelled by superstition and mistaken beliefs. In Malawi, some think that people with albinism have magic in their bones that could make others rich. Many will pay huge sums for their body parts, allowing a gruesome trade in human bones to flourish.”

Another belief is that having sex with a person with albinism can cure HIV.

Skin cancer is also a serious problem for people with albinism in Africa. Just 2% of people with the condition in Tanzania survive beyond their 40th birthday due to crime and health issues.

But Kakuya is determined to send a message to African society.

Her mother, Matilda Tanga, said : “Goldalyn has passed a message to people who look down upon children with albinism and proved that, if such a child is given love and an opportunity, then they can reach their potential.”

Kakuya described when she was younger to journalists, when her condition made her ashamed and afraid to leave the house. Over time, she said she gained self-confidence — which she credited to support from her parents and teachers.

Her father, Harrison, described the first time he saw his daughter: “When I saw her, I embraced my wife. She is my gold.”

Disability rights activists across Kenya added their voices to the praise of Kakuya.

“Goldalyn, you don’t know what you have done to us who have struggled with albinism for over a decade,” said Alex Munyere, founding chairman of the Albinism Society of Kenya (ASK), which works to build awareness around albinism, and gives its members free sunscreen.

The ASK national coordinator, Isaac Mwaura, added: “This girl can be anything, even the President of the Republic of Kenya.”

Human Rights, Civil Union #LGBTQ+: “Focus Tanzania”; A Tanzanian Woman Was Arrested for Kissing Another Woman at a Party.

Her arrest is the latest in a government campaign against homosexuality.

In Tanzania, police have arrested a woman after a video of her hugging and kissing another woman at a party went viral online.

Her alleged crime was homosexuality. If she is convicted, she could face 30 years in prison for having “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature.

Though the woman is the first suspected lesbian to be arrested by Tanzanian officials for homosexuality, her detention follows a clear pattern of discrimination against gay men. Since coming to power in 2015, President John Magufuli has initiated a severe crackdown on homosexual activities across the socially conservative country.

As police prepare a case against the newly arrested woman from the video, and continue their search for the second woman involved, they are also building similar cases against dozens of men charged with homosexuality who are systematically rounded up for arrest.

African outlet News24 reported that these arrests took place in suspected gay clubs, among other locations. Buzzfeed News reported that other men have been arrested at cafes and restaurants in sting-like operations involving coordinated efforts from police.

Following these arrests, men reported to Buzzfeed that they were often subjected to invasive anal exams, ostensibly administered to check for homosexuality, though reports have shown them to be ineffective in this regard. Men who underwent these exams likened the experience to assault.

The criminalization of homosexuality in Tanzania has been problematic in more ways than one. While targeted campaigns to arrest gay and lesbian people is condemnable in its own right, the Tanzanian government’s efforts to eliminate all homosexual behavior has also involved the systematic dismantling of resources for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment across the country.

In August of 2017 the government suspended programs designed to prevent HIV infection among gay men, NPR reported. The same report noted that over 40 clinics offering HIV/AIDS treatment to gay men, sex workers, and transgender people were prevented from serving these vulnerable populations.

The World Health Organization reported that HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in Tanzania, killing over 73,000 people in 2012 alone. Eliminating centers that increase awareness about treatment and prevention of the disease puts the Tanzanian population at risk of even higher rates of infection.

Furthermore, the government’s campaigns against homosexuality has included persecution of all NGOs and nonprofits working on LGBTQ rights across the country. In one high-profile event 20 activists were arrested while attending a workshop on HIV/AIDS prevention.

It remains unclear when the case against the recently arrested woman will be brought to court. Reuters reported that the local police chief could only confirm that she was in fact in a detention center as a result of her arrest.

“I can confirm that a Tanzanian woman is under police custody over that video clip,” police chief Mponjoli Mwabulambo told Reuters. “We will issue more details later after we conclude our investigation.”

Its March 2018: A look at the word of the year “2017” ‘Feminism’ was The Word. Here’s Why That Should Make Us All Proud #FeministCulture #Feminism

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines feminism as…

Let’s not beat around the bush. This year has, in some ways, been pretty rough.

There have been natural disasters, man-made disasters, and a general feeling of despair that spawned the inception of twisted abominations known as existentialist memes.

BUT—

It’s also been a year that has shown human resilience and dedication to ideals. People around the world have rallied to help rebuild earthquake- and hurricane-stricken lands; cities and nearly all countries have stepped up to fight climate change; and humans are demonstrating in the streets about the policies they want to see enacted. It has definitely not been a year of apathy.

This week, the world got another indication that humans are doing okay, and working toward doing a whole lot better. It comes in the form of one word.

Today, dictionary titans Merriam-Webster declared “feminism” to be their annual word of the year.

Merriam-Webster made their decision based on a series of metrics that calculated how many people searched their site for a given word. In 2017, no term received more searches or more intense spikes in search frequency than feminism. And here’s why that matters.

feminism

With the Women’s March in January, and the rise of the #MeToo movement, 2017 has witnessed some historic moments in the progression of women’s rights and a surge in global attention being paid to women’s issues.

Around the world, most countries still have laws on their books that allow for discrimination against women — whether through violence against women, economic or educational disadvantages, or marriage laws that allow young girls to be married off without their consent.

The World Health Organization reports that roughly 1 in 3 women will face sexual violence in their lifetime. In the US, recent data reveals that women still make only 83% of the money men make.

To make real change and ensure an end to gender discrimination, people in all countries will have to demand equality under the law. Global Citizen campaigns to #LevelTheLaw for women everywhere, and you can join us in taking action here.

The fact that “feminism” is the most-looked-up word of 2017 signals that there is growing awareness of women’s issues and the need for collective action to demand and ensure women’s equality.

Our desire to move forward doesn’t mean that everything is already rosy.

Last year, Merriam-Webster’s list included such gems as post-truth, snowflake, xenophobia, and even fascism. Yikes.  If the words of the year for 2016 were all about coming to grips with the bad, feminism taking the top spot in 2017 shows that this year has been about pushing back against those forces.

This year’s word should give us hope that we are having the right conversations, asking the right questions, and moving in the right direction. Here’s to feminism.

Focus India: Indian Sex Slaves Are Being ‘Hidden’ in Secret Passageways and Cupboards #HumanTrafficking #Prostitution

Rescued child sex workers in India reveal hidden cells in brothels.

NEW DELHI, Dec 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A ladder propped against a stained wall leads up into a dark passage on the second floor of an Indian brothel, lined by a series of locked doors. Hidden inside are tiny cubicles, stashed with sex workers’ clothes, blankets, cosmetics and condoms.

The barely-lit passageway meanders along, intersected by many other dank corridors, and arrives at a trap door, which swings open to reveal another secret space, rarely seen by clients or outsiders.

“They are actually meant to deceive and hide,” one sex worker said quietly.

“A person can get lost and then simply disappear.”

Trafficked young girls are being “broken into prostitution” – and hidden from the law – behind a maze of passages and secret cells in crumbling brothels across New Delhi and other major cities, campaigners say.

Of an estimated 20 million commercial prostitutes in India, 16 million women and girls are victims of sex trafficking, according to campaigners.

Thousands of children, largely from poor families, are lured or abducted by traffickers every year, and sold on to pimps and brothels who force them into sexual slavery.

“These tehkhanas (hidden cells) harbour minors and have also become an escape route for them when there are raids,” said Swati Jai Hind, head of the Delhi Commission for Women, which has rescued 57 girls this year.

“We get specific tip-offs about children being brought here but when we come for rescue, we sometimes find no girls – they vanish.”

The government has introduced a number of measures to combat sex trafficking – from strengthening laws to boosting social welfare schemes.

But reports of young girls being sold for sex and hidden in labyrinths are rising, campaigners say.

“There are increasing cases where girls are describing life inside these dark and dirty places,” said Rishi Kant of the anti-slavery charity Shakti Vahini.

“We were part of a rescue where a seemingly regular cupboard led to a hidden passage from where girls were found. Urgent action is needed.”

HIDDEN IN BUNKERS

When policeman Prabir Kumar Ball started investigating a missing persons complaint in India’s eastern West Bengal state this year, he thought it was a routine case.

But the search for a teenage girl led him to the brothels of New Delhi and Agra, a popular tourist destination some 200 km (124 miles) south of the capital and home to Taj Mahal.

“The brothels in Agra had bunkers, just like the ones found along international borders,” he said.

“We had to break into them to rescue the girl. We found six others hidden in these bunkers. Rescuing them was like going to war,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Ball said the traffickers take girls from West Bengal to Delhi safe houses, then sell them on to brothels in other towns.

The arrest of a couple from Delhi in November dismantled one of the region’s biggest trafficking networks and gave “a rare insight into how bunkers and tunnels are used to hide young girls when police raids happen”, he said.

Many trafficked young girls end up on the congested streets of New Delhi’s largest red light district, known as GB Road.

Dimly lit staircases, next to ground floor hardware stores, lead up to hundreds of multi-storied brothels. Pimps haggle with customers, older women solicit and younger ones watch quietly.

As exchanges are agreed, customers enter the brothels. They are led to small, windowless rooms and the doors are closed.

“Nothing in this place has changed since I was brought here 20 years ago,” a sex worker said as she applied make-up and got ready for clients.

“It was a dirty place when I came and still is. The maze of rooms, the way deals are struck and the plight of the women stuck here is frozen in time.”

More and more survivor testimonies are providing evidence about brothel layouts and the extent of exploitation in them, spurring many agencies to push for their closure.

West Bengal’s child welfare committee ordered the police in May to demolish “hidden places” in GB Road brothels, after listening to the testimony of a rescued girl.

The Delhi Commission for Women has also written to the police and civic authorities, demanding they identify and seal the cells and passages.

“No action has been taken,” said Hind.

“We are working on a database of people who own these brothels and are determined to see they are shut down.”

Child Labor Is Most Rampant in These 5 Regions, New Report Shows #Childlabor #slavery #SDGs #GlobalGoals #ReducedInequalities #HumanRight #ChildRight

Children continue to toil their childhoods away in dangerous conditions.

In the United States, the first successful effort to end child labor began in 1938. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 16 became the minimum age for jobs during school hours, 14 for jobs after school hours, and 18 for hazardous jobs.

The seedy history of 12-year-olds laboring in factories for 18 hours a day, six days a week seemed to be a thing of the past.

Except that wasn’t the end of child labor. All over the world, and even in the US, children continue to toil their childhoods away often in dangerous conditions, according to a new report.

Today, an estimated 152 million children aged 5-17 work, according to the United Nations’ International Labour Organization.

More than half of the total jobs held by children, 73 million, are in dangerous conditions. The vast majority of children, seven in 10, are working in agriculture, according to the report

“Poverty is the main cause of child labour in agriculture, together with limited access to quality education, inadequate agricultural technology and access to adult labour, high hazards and risks, and traditional attitudes toward children’s participation in agricultural activities,” ILO said in a newly released report, Ending child labour by 2025: A review of policies and programmes.

Across countries, boys are at a higher risk of being forced into work than girls, but the report notes that this figure does not fully take into account domestic chores and labor. Throughout the world, girls are regularly pulled from school so that they clean homes, collect water, and prepare meals, among other tasks.

Since 2000, the number of children working has dropped by 94 million, which the ILO attributes to laws being passed, greater enforcement of these laws, investments in education, and a decrease in conflict in parts of the world.

Conversely, the report found that child labor is 77% higher in countries with armed conflict than the global average, which means that finding solutions to conflicts in countries such as Syria and Yemen will likely lead to less child labor

Overall, the ILO report makes clear that there is a lot of work to be done.

“Now we must turn this renewed commitment into accelerated action and consign child labour to the dustbin of history, once and for all,” the report states.

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.4 Quality Education. which  campaigns to ensure universal access to education, as a tool to combat child labour.

Here are how the five regions of the world compare when it comes to child labor.

1/ Arab States / 2.9% Child Labor Rate / 1,162,000 Children Working

yemen child

The real level of child labor is hard to gauge throughout Arab states because, according to the ILO, many children work in the informal sector. In the United Arab Emirates, it’s common for child victims of human trafficking to work as camel riders, the ILO notes. In recent years, warfare has devastated countries including Yemen, Syria, Libya, and Iraq, and children are being forced to work as sex workers, soldiers, and drug traffickers.  

2/ Europe and Central Asia / 4.1% Child Labor Rate / 5,534,000 Children Working

europe and c.asia child labour

In Moldova, for example, some schools have reportedly signed contracts with agricultural groups that require students to work. In Bulgaria, many children work in the the tobacco industry, where putting in 10 hours a day is common. Children in Albania, also work predominantly in agriculture. Drug trafficking, forced begging, and sexual exploitation are some of the worst forms of labor children are subjected to in not just this region, but globally.  

3/ Americas / 5.3% Child Labor Rate / 10,735,000 Children Working

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Throughout the Americas, agriculture and domestic work are the dominant forms of child labor, but a high proportion of children are engaged in sex work, according to the US Department of Labor. Progress is being made, however. In 2016, Argentina banned hazardous work for children under 18, Brazil passed a new law criminalizing sexual exploitation, and Belize and Haiti both secured their first child trafficking convictions, according to the DOL.

4/ Asia and the Pacific / 7.4% Child Labor Rate / 62,077,000 Children Working

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Child labor throughout this region varies considerably, as do mitigation efforts. In Afghanistan, child laborers are involved in everything from farming to mining to selling goods, and the worst forms of child labor in the country are likely armed conflict and sexual exploitation. In Indonesia, children fish, lay bricks, and drive buses, and, as elsewhere, are forced into sexual exploitation, forced begging, and more. Both of these countries have made efforts in recent years to crack down on wage exploitation, slavery, and the use of child labor in general, but children are still being forced to work.

5/ Africa / 19.6% Child Labor Rate / 72,113,000 Children Working

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With nearly one in five children working throughout the continent, the forms of child labor in Africa are diverse. More than a million children are engaged in gold mining and cocoa producers across West Africa regularly enlist children. The vast majority of children engaged in agricultural work across Sub-Saharan Africa are working on family farms, highlighting how familial poverty can push children out of school. Young girls in Southern Nigeria are routinely forced into international sex work.

While policies throughout the continent are being enacted to stamp out the worst forms of child labor, enforcement is inconsistent, and six countries in Sub-Saharan lack a framework for dealing with the worst forms of child labor.

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.10, for Reduced Inequalities.

 child labor africa

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation #FGM #SDGs #FemaleGenitalMutilation

What is FGM?

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a practice that involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons, and it is internationally recognized as a human rights violation. Globally, it is estimated that 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM. Although FGM is declining in the majority of countries where it is prevalent, most of these are also experiencing a high rate of population growth – meaning that the number of girls who undergo FGM will continue to grow if efforts are not significantly scaled up.

To promote the abandonment of FGM, coordinated and systematic efforts are needed, and they must engage whole communities and focus on human rights and gender equality. They must also address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls who suffer from its consequences.

UNFPA, jointly with UNICEF, leads the largest global programme to accelerate the abandonment of FGM. The programme currently focuses on 17 African countries and also supports regional and global initiatives.

FGM refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external  female genitalia or other injury the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is a deeply entrenched social and cultural norm in many places.

The practice can cause short- and long-term health complications, including chronic pain, infections, increased risk of HIV transmission, anxiety and depression, birth complications, infertility and, in the worst cases, death.  It is internationally recognized as an extreme violation of the rights of women and girls.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the first-ever resolution against female genital mutilation, calling for intensified global efforts to eliminate the practice. In 2015, FGM was included in the Sustainable Development Goals under Target 5.3, which calls for the elimination of all harmful practices.

Yet FGM remains widespread. In 2015, an estimated 3.9 million girls were cut. And because of population growth, this number is projected to rise to 4.6 million girls in the year 2030, unless efforts to end FGM are intensified. If FGM continues at the current rates, an estimated 68 million girls will be cut between 2015 and 2030 in 25 countries where FGM is routinely practiced and relevant data are available.

Why is FGM still practiced?

In every society where it is practiced, FGM is a manifestation of deeply entrenched gender inequality. It persists for many reasons. In some societies, for example, it is considered a rite of passage. In others, it is seen as a prerequisite for marriage. In some communities – whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim – the practice may even be attributed to religious beliefs.

Because FGM may be considered an important part of a culture or identity, it can be difficult for families to decide against having their daughters cut. People who reject the practice may face condemnation or ostracism, and their daughters are often considered ineligible for marriage. As a result, even parents who do not want their daughters to undergo FGM may feel compelled to participate in the practice.

Encouraging abandonment

Collective abandonment, in which a whole community chooses to no longer engage in FGM, is an effective way to end the practice. It ensures that no single girl or family will be disadvantaged by the decision. Many experts hold that FGM will only end through collective abandonment.

The decision to collectively abandon FGM requires a process in which communities are educated about FGM, and then discuss, reflect and reach consensus on the issue. The health and human rights aspects of FGM should feature prominently in these dialogues, and local and grassroots organizations should play an important role in raising awareness and educating communities.

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When communities choose to abandon the practice, they often participate in a collective public declaration to keep their girls uncut, such as signing and circulating a public statement or hosting festivities to celebrate the decision. Neighbouring communities are often invited to these events so they can see the successful process of abandonment, helping to build momentum for collective abandonment elsewhere.

Medicalization

About 1 in 5 girls who have been subjected to FGM had the procedure performed by a trained medical professional. In some countries, this number is as high as 3 in 4 girls.

FGM can never be “safe” and there is no medical justification for the practice. Even when the procedure is performed in a sterile environment and by a health care professional, there can be serious health consequences immediately and later in life. Medicalized FGM gives a false sense of security. Trained health professionals who perform female genital mutilation are violating girls’ and women’s right to life, right to physical integrity and right to health. They are also violating the fundamental medical mandate to “do no harm,” and it represents a threat to efforts to abandon the practice.

UNFPA is working to mobilize health workers, including midwives, to resist social pressure to perform FGM, and serve as advocates for prevention and protection in the communities they serve.

What UNFPA is doing?

In 2008, UNFPA and UNICEF established the Joint Programme on FGM, the largest global programme to accelerate abandonment of FGM and to provide care for its consequences. This programme works at the community, national, regional and global levels to raise awareness of the harms caused by FGM and to empower communities, women and girls to make the decision to abandon it.

Now in its third phase of implementation, the Joint Programme has helped more than 3.2 million girls and women receive protection against FGM and specialized care services. Some 31.6 million people in more than 21,700 communities in 15 countries with high FGM prevalence have made public declarations to abandon the harmful practice. And the Joint Programme helped 17 governments set up national FGM response mechanisms. Following intensive capacity development initiatives, there have been more than 900 cases of legal enforcement to date.

UNFPA also helps strengthen health services to prevent FGM and to treat the complications it can cause. UNFPA also works with civil society organizations that engage in community-led education and dialogue sessions on the health and human rights aspects of the practice. The Fund works with religious and traditional leaders to de-link FGM from religion and to generate support for abandonment. And UNFPA also works with media to foster dialogue about the practice and to change perceptions of girls who remain uncut.

With the support of UNFPA and other UN agencies, many countries have passed legislation banning FGM – including, in 2015, Nigeria and The Gambia – and developed national policies to achieve its abandonment.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality. including an end in discrimination and sexual violence against women.

Women & Girls: Angelina Jolie Gave a Powerful Speech About Sexual Violence to the UN

One of the strongest voices in Hollywood has finally spoken out on the topic that has gripped the industry over the past two months: sexual violence against women.

Angelina Jolie delivered an urgent call for an end to sexual violence in all industries around the world during a speech at a United Nations conference in Vancouver on Wednesday.

“Sexual violence is everywhere — in the industry where I work, in business, in universities, in politics, in the military, and across the world,” Jolie said .

“All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need,” Jolie, who also holds the title as special envoy for the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, said. “But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive.”

The Hollywood actress took the issue a step further, noting how sexual violence against women is often used as a form of warfare and how it prevents women from achieving full equality and human rights in many places around the world.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality.  campaigns to end gender violence and enact laws that ensure women and girls have the same protections as men everywhere in the world; Not only in Nigeria and the African Diaspora.

Jolie cited the sexual crimes against the Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar as an example of gender violence is “a critical obstacle to achieving women’s equality and our full human rights.”

“It is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective,” she explained.

Jolie didn’t reference Harvey Weinstein or the sexual abuse scandal in Hollywood by name but spoke about the insidious way crimes against women prevent women’s equality. She has previously spoken about Weinstein to the New York Times, saying she had a “bad experience” with the Hollywood mogul.

On Wednesday she called for an end to sexual violence to a conference of UN Peacekeepers, a group that has had members accused of sexual violence in the countries they are supposed to be protecting, according to The Guardian .

“This is rape and assault designed to torture, to terrorize, to force people to flee, and to humiliate them. It has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with the abuse of power. It is criminal behaviour,” the actress and humanitarian said.

Jolie urged the UN to work toward ending sexual violence once and for all.

“[It’s] hard, but it is not impossible,” she said. “We have the laws, the institutions, and the expertise in gathering evidence. We are able to identify perpetrators. What is missing is the political will.”