In this, April 4, 2014, photo, homeless youths hang out at the entrance of a sewer pipe along a trash-strewn canal where they live beneath a busy road in Kingston, Jamaica. They are part of a small group of young, gay and transgender Jamaicans who mostly sell sex to make money. In much of the world, giving out condoms and guidance to gay, bisexual and transgender sex workers is routine. But reaching out to men who have sex with men is practically revolutionary in parts of the English-speaking Caribbean, where homophobia and laws criminalizing gay sex have long driven people underground.

Good Health And Well-Being: HIV Disproportionately Affects Transgender Women — But They’re Fighting Back #LGBTQ #Trans #TransGender

Community centers and other organizations are tapping into strong social networks.

Peru can be a demeaning and dangerous place for transgender women. Systematic discrimination, alienation, and physical attacks — often unpunished by local authorities — make it hard for transgender women to feel safe expressing their gender identity.

These social barriers prevent transgender women from accessing medical care and getting jobs and they contribute to a high rate of HIV within the transgender community in Peru and around the world.

But some groups are fighting these hardships —  including Féminas.

Féminas is a community center for transgender women in the capital Lima that enables access to HIV treatment, prevention, and community education.

HIV treatment is just one aspect of Féminas’ holistic approach.

 lavern

Since opening in 2015, Féminas has served as a gathering place and a support system for the city’s transgender community, said Leyla Huerta, a transgender woman and the center’s co-founder.

“Féminas is a space for transwomen that arose as a community initiative,” Huerta told Global Citizen. “It’s a physical space in which we can feel confident, grow together, share problems, support one another, and feel protected.

The center also enables individuals to seek community services, such as counseling, education, and employment training, and to organize and advocate for the rights of transgender women, Huerta said.

Peru can be inhospitable to transgender individuals and others with diverse gender identities. For example, individuals who want to change their gender on identifying documents must appear before a judge and their requests are often rejected. Government agencies, the police, and the health care system often fail to protect the rights of transgender women, Huerta said.

Such discrimination affects employment, housing rights, and access to medical care, phenomena that contribute to rates of HIV among transgender women that far exceed the rate among the general population. Worldwide, 19% of transgender women have HIV, the Human Rights Campaign reports, compared to a much lower rate for the general population.

Féminas’ holistic approach serves as a public health model, according to the Fenway Institute, a healthcare organization in Boston, Massachusetts that helped develop Féminas.

For women who cannot make it to the center, Féminas shares information, promotes activism events, and fosters community through its public Facebook page.

“The organization’s work is fundamental for welcoming diverse transwomen, for increasing visibility, and for fighting for basic rights like health, education, and employment,” wrote one member. “But above all, we are family and a tribe full of love.”

Pandemic of the Poor

Globally, HIV disproportionately affects low-income individuals and other marginalized people with limited access to prevention and treatment. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even labeled it a “pandemic of the poor”

“HIV is fundamentally a social disease,” said Amaya Perez-Brumer, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University studying HIV among transgender women in Peru and the Southern US. “Marginalization and systemic oppression links directly to HIV vulnerability and there’s no better example than burden of HIV faced by people of diverse gender identities and sexualities.”

Therefore, addressing HIV means ending poverty and ensuring all people have equal access to medical care.

The disproportionate rate of HIV among transgender women occurs around the world, including in wealthy countries like the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 22% of transgender women in the US have HIV.

That high incidence of HIV corresponds to a high rate of poverty and discrimination.

The most recent annual US Transgender Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 29% of 28,000 respondents experienced poverty compared to 14% of the overall US population and 15% of respondents were unemployed compared to just 5% of the broader population.

Meanwhile, about half of participants reported being verbally harassed and 9% said they had been attacked because of their gender identity in the year leading up to the survey.

Since discrimination and violence can prevent transgender women from entering the mainstream workforce, many turn to sex work as a way to survive. Around the world, sex workers are ten times more likely to contract HIV due to their multiple sex partners, susceptibility to sexual violence, and limited ability to use condoms.

“We have to scrounge for housing, and it puts us in the street at night to cover what we need to cover during the day,” Miss Major, the director emeritus at the Transgender, Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) in San Francisco told HIV Plus Mag. “It’s kind of like a merry-go-round that we’re on, and it’s difficult to stay [HIV] negative.”

The disproportionate impact of HIV is even starker when accounting for race. One study conducted by the National Institutes of Health at a clinic in New York City found nearly half of Latino and black participants had HIV, while just 3.5% of white participants had the virus.

Many groups are trying to change this grim pattern.

In San Francisco, the TGIJP provides emotional support, education, and social services to transgender individuals — especially black transgender women — who are incarcerated or who have been incarcerated.

“We have to scrounge for housing, and it puts us in the street at night to cover what we need to cover during the day,” Miss Major, the director emeritus at the Transgender, Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) in San Francisco told HIV Plus Mag. “It’s kind of like a merry-go-round that we’re on, and it’s difficult to stay [HIV] negative.”

The disproportionate impact of HIV is even starker when accounting for race. One study conducted by the National Institutes of Health at a clinic in New York City found nearly half of Latino and black participants had HIV, while just 3.5% of white participants had the virus.

Many groups are trying to change this grim pattern.

In San Francisco, the TGIJP provides emotional support, education, and social services to transgender individuals — especially black transgender women — who are incarcerated or who have been incarcerated.

“We write to them like they’re family, visit them like they’re family, and we support them with jobs,” said TGIJP Policy Director Woods Ervin, adding that where society fails, “we will be that wrap-around support system.”

Like Féminas, TGIJP uses existing bonds among transgender women to organize for more opportunities and fairer treatment.

As societies meaningfully consider the rights of transgender women, attitudes are beginning to change. Governments are even enacting laws that explicitly recognize and protect the rights of transgender and nonbinary individuals.

This recognition, however, can lead some people to treat transgender women as helpless victims, Perez-Brumer said, when, in fact, they have developed strategies to uplift themselves and each other.

Community organizations and health centers need to remember those skills and empower transwomen, she said.

“We need to not only acknowledge community-level expertise but integrate the existing strategies employed by transgender communities into the interventions we propose,” she said.

Perez-Brumer said HIV treatment is “just one aspect” of healthcare and encouraged all providers to adopt “gender-affirming processes.”

“It’s a key first step to creating an environment that respectful, welcoming, and safe,” she said.

For more than two years, that sort of environment has helped foster confidence and self-esteem among the women at Féminas.

“By rebuilding [the] sense of ‘you are important, you are part of this, you too can get to where we are,’ we’ve begun to enable each of them to move forward,” Huerta told the Fenway Institute. “I think that’s fundamental—being able to rely on our experience and creating solutions that move us forward.”

In this, April 4, 2014, photo, homeless youths hang out at the entrance of a sewer pipe along a trash-strewn canal where they live beneath a busy road in Kingston, Jamaica. They are part of a small group of young, gay and transgender Jamaicans who mostly sell sex to make money. In much of the world, giving out condoms and guidance to gay, bisexual and transgender sex workers is routine. But reaching out to men who have sex with men is practically revolutionary in parts of the English-speaking Caribbean, where homophobia and laws criminalizing gay sex have long driven people underground.

In this, April 4, 2014, photo, homeless youths hang out at the entrance of a sewer pipe along a trash-strewn canal where they live beneath a busy road in Kingston, Jamaica. They are part of a small group of young, gay and transgender Jamaicans who mostly sell sex to make money. In much of the world, giving out condoms and guidance to gay, bisexual and transgender sex workers is routine. But reaching out to men who have sex with men is practically revolutionary in parts of the English-speaking Caribbean, where homophobia and laws criminalizing gay sex have long driven people underground.

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.

fgm1

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.

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

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.

Climate Action: NASA Time-Lapse Video Shows Stunning Effects of Climate Change

Climate change can be hard to recognize up-close, on a human scale — the storms, floods, and heat waves it causes can seem, on a year-to-year basis, like slightly more intense versions of past events

If you zoom out, however, the effects of climate change become more apparent.

That’s what NASA has been doing for decades now. Through its satellites, particularly the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS), the US space agency is able to track planetary-scale events over long periods of time.

And then through the collapsing magic of time-lapse videos, all that information becomes startlingly comprehensible to the untrained eye.

For the 20th anniversary of the SeaWiFS satellite, NASA recently released a time-lapse compilation of the global footage it gathered.

“These are incredibly evocative visualizations of our living planet,” said Gene Carl Feldman, an oceanographer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in a press release. “That’s the Earth, that is it breathing every single day, changing with the seasons, responding to the Sun, to the changing winds, ocean currents and temperatures.”

The short video shows continental and ocean-wide changes occurring, visible as shifting concentrations of colour. Some of the changes are of the seasonal variety, such as plants coming back to life in the spring. Others are stoked by accumulating carbon in the atmosphere.

As the ocean warms and absorbs more carbon, for example, the bedrock of the marine food chain is being threatened — microscopic phytoplankton.

“As the surface waters warm, it creates a stronger boundary between the deep, cold, nutrient-rich waters and the sunlit, generally nutrient-poor surface waters,” Feldman said in the press release.

As a result, phytoplankton are often unable to receive nutrients and “biological deserts” form.

“It’s not just the amount of food, it’s the location and timing that are just as critical,” Feldman added. “Spring bloom is coming earlier, and that’s going to impact the ecosystem in ways we don’t yet understand.”

These changes are expected to cause reactions across marine ecosystems, according to NASA.

On land, one of the most visually striking sequence of images took place in Alaska. Some of the state’s biggest forest fires in history occurred in 2004 and 2015, NASA notes.

“These fires were amazing in the amount of forest area they burned and how hot they burned, ”said Chris Potter, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in the press release. “When the air temperature hits 90 degrees Fahrenheit in late May up there, and all these lightning strikes occurred, the forest burned very extensively — close to rivers, close to villages — and nothing could stop it.”

Ultimately, the 20 years worth of images distill the slow-moving, sometimes irrevocable, changes that are happening to the planet and they could serve as a wake-up call, especially in the US, where climate action remains a stubbornly partisan issue.

Earlier in the year, the US was battered by three powerful hurricanes that gave a glimpse of the future of climate change — more extreme storms — and prompted enormous relief efforts.

Real-time disasters can serve as catalysts for policy change. But taking the long-view, as NASA does, provides more solid footing for action.

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.13 for Climate Action

Reduced Inequalities: Poverty, Disease, Uncertainty Await 59,000 Haitians Who Could Be Deported by 2019

The Trump administration announced Monday it will revoke temporary protection status for an estimated 59,000 Haitians living in the United States who fled the 2010 earthquake, the New York Times reports.

These individuals left Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, which killed as many as 316,000 people — and were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by the US government.

They will now have until July 2019 to return to Haiti, according to reports. If they don’t return, or seek other forms of legal protection, they could be deported.

“Based on all available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, Acting Secretary Duke determined that those extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist,” the State Department wrote in a statement. “Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.”

“Significant steps have been taken to improve the stability and quality of life for Haitian citizens, and Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens,” the statement added.

This decision comes just weeks after the Trump administration removed similar protections for 5,000 Nicaraguans living in the US under the same program. 

In all, more than 300,000 immigrants from 10 countries benefit from TPS, which President George H.W. Bush signed into law in 1990. These countries are Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria, Nepal, Honduras, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan. More than half of all TPS recipients come from El Salvador — one of the most violent countries in the world.

In order to benefit from the status, immigrants must maintain a mostly clean criminal record and live in the US continuously after their resettlement, according to Pew Research Center.

The Trump administration’s decision ignored a request from the Haitian government to extend the status while Haiti continues to recover from damages incurred after Hurricane Matthew in the Fall of 2016, according to the New York Times report. According to the BBC, some parts of the country were 90% destroyed by the storm.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle were critical of the administration’s decision.

For the roughly 60,000 Haitians who benefit from temporary protection the thought of returning to Haiti is daunting. 

“The situation is not good in my country,” Gerald Michaud, a Haitian living in Brooklyn, told the New York Times. “I don’t know where I am able to go.”

According to the Miami New Times, roughly half of the 59,000 Haitians benefiting from TPS settled in Miami, and have given birth to over 10,000 children since coming to the states. These children, born US citizens, may be forced to leave the only country they’ve ever known — or grow up without their parents.

“Thousands of Haitian TPS recipients have been living in the U.S. for an average of seven to 25 years,” Marleine Bastien, who works at an immigration rights group in Miami, told the New Times. “To deport them and force them to leave behind their U.S.-born children will be a catastrophe of great magnitude.”

Haiti is currently facing a cholera outbreak — and many lack access to clean water and sanitation services.

Roughly one in four Haitians live in extreme poverty, making Haiti the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the Guardian reports.

Many Haitians rely on remittances, or money sent back home from abroad, which make up about one-fourth of the country’s national income, according to the report in the Times.

“It is in the best interest, national interest of the U.S., for the 50,000-plus Haitians to remain here,” Bastien said in an interview with Democracy Now! in May.

If these Haitians stay in the US, she said, they will “continue to contribute, socially, financially and otherwise, and then keep these remittances flowing, so that people will not risk their lives to come here as a result of these…waves of deportation.”

Affordable and Clean Energy: Biofuel Made From Coffee Grounds Is Going To Power London’s Buses

It can be difficult to get out of bed in the morning without the promise of a hot cup of coffee to help stimulate the day’s activities.

But starting next Monday, it could be same way for a public buses in London, which are set to begin running on a mix of diesel and oil extracted from coffee grounds.

Clean technology company bio-bean created this blend of biofuel after years of research and development into the potential uses of spent coffee grounds. Since its founding in 2013 the organization has been finding innovative ways to turn this coffee waste into viable sources of energy.

So far, their website offers Coffee Logs and Coffee Pellets — two household products made from entirely recycled coffee grounds that were collected by bio-bean in partnership with local businesses. Part of the aim of the company is not just to create new fuels, but also to reduce the amount of coffee product that ends up wasted.

Coffee, it turns out, is a generally wasteful product. Besides the massive amount of packaging and holiday cups associated with the consumption of the black stuff, in the UK alone it’s reported that over 500,000 tons of coffee grounds are disposed of in landfills each year.

Moreover, as coffee grounds decompose they produce a huge amount of methane, a chemical that is known to contribute to global warming.

bio-bean wants to use this excess as an opportunity, using the latent energy of the grounds for a productive purpose that keeps them out of landfills — and instead powering our cars and stoves.

“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource,” said bio-bean’s founder Arthur Kay in a statement.

To achieve the visions outlined in the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development,

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.7 Affordable and Clean Energy.

So far, bio-bean has reported that they have collected and refined enough grounds to create about 6,000 liters of biofuel, which is just about enough to power one city bus for about a year. Plans to scale their operation are currently underway.

In the meantime, Londoners are preparing themselves for a cleaner source of fuel, and, potentially, passive aggressive comments from buses on mornings when they miss out on their morning joe.

Partnerships For the Goals: Women, Transgender, Queer, Indigenous, and All Oppressed People Need to Come Together to FIGHT HATE, Say Activists

The feminist movement needs to forge relationships with all oppressed people — including transgender, queer, and indigenous populations — to form intersectional alliances.

Activists and campaigners have on Thursday come together to call for collaboration between all movements that demand social change.

“There’s a rise of the right-wing, hate is the new common sense,” Indian lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Grover, told the audience during a panel discussion on re-assessing women’s rights at the Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust conference in London.

“There is nothing like a common enemy to strengthen the relationships between those who are oppressed,” asserted another panel member, Colombian reproductive rights consultant Monica Roa. “This is the time to come together to connect the dots.”

Bahrain human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja agreed, saying: “We need to have intersectionality in our struggles.”

The diverse panel included people fighting for women’s rights from the US, Bahrain, India, and Latin America, and spanned a vast range of issues — including child marriage, family planning, and domestic violence — and how we can come together to move forward in these areas.

“People don’t know what a big problem child marriage is in America,” said panellist Fraidy Reiss, the founder of Unchained at Last, the only non-profit in the US dedicated to helping women escape or resist arranged and forced marriages.

Read more: Child Marriage in America NOT AS RARE AS YOU THINK!

“In just the 38 states that actually track marriage ages, more than 160,000 children, some as young as 10, were married, and almost all were married to adult men,” Reiss continued. “I thought legislators just didn’t know. But that’s not the case unfortunately. They do know. What’s preventing these laws from passing is very simple. It’s misogyny.”

“If you can solve misogyny, you can figure out how to end child marriage in America,” she said. “The entire world needs to end child marriage.” 

Reiss also highlighted the “hypocrisy” of the US “telling the rest of the world to end child marriage,” through reports such as a Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls — a report launched in March 2016.

“The report defined marriage before 18 as a human rights abuse, and shook its finger at the rest of the world saying they were forcing girls into adulthood before they were ready,” said Reiss. “And at the same time, it’s legal in all 50 states in the US. Twenty-five states don’t even set a minimum age for marriage. And that puts the US in line with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.”

While most US states have set 18 as the legal marriage age, every state has loopholes that still allow for children under 18 to get married — for example, in the case of pregnancy, or with parental approval.

The panel also discussed the recent law change in Saudi Arabia that will all women to legally drive in the country as of next year.

“A lot of people are applauding Saudi Arabia for giving women the right to drive in 2018,” said Al-Khawaja. “But driving is not the biggest issue. It’s only the very tip of the iceberg.”

She added: “They’ve done it the way they do everything else. There was no awareness campaign. There was no attempt the change the social construct that they’re created. [There was nothing to ensure] that women in Saudi Arabia are not going to be attacked by their spouses, by their family, by their community, for driving.”

Al-Khawaja said the biggest problem for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia is the guardianship system — which dictates that women must be accompanied by a male guardian such as their husband, father, brother, or even son, in order to apply for a passport, travel outside the country, get married, exit prison, or access healthcare.

Read more: Proposed Iraq Law Would Allow Girls as Young as 9 to Marry

As well as calling for greater intersectionality between movements, the panellists said that a greater presence of women is needed in the human rights arena.

“We need more female legislators,” said Reiss, “more people like [murdered British MP] Jo Cox. And we need to not let the small things go, but to keep pushing and keep pointing out misogyny and patriarchy wherever we see it and never give up.” 

Al-Khawaja reiterated the point, saying: “We need to change our discourse around women. We say, women took part in the revolution, they joined the protest, as though they’re not naturally meant to be there on the frontline.”

“Women human rights defenders are some of the strongest, most inspirational women I have ever met,” she continued. “They do not need saving. They need support, they need to be heard, and recognised for the heroes that they are.”

The Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference is a two-day conference on human rights, particularly addressing the issues of modern slavery and re-assessing the rights of women and girls.

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality.

 

 

Women & Girls: Manchester Bombing Was An Attack on Women and Girls, Says Leading UK Prosecutor

One of the UK’s leading prosecutors has spoken out about the “50 shades of violence” faced by women and girls both in Britain and around the world.

Nazir Afzal, the former chief executive of the association of police and crime commissioner (APCC) for England and Wales, campaigns “openly and tirelessly” for women’s rights — prosecuting honour killings, acid attacks, and human trafficking to name a few.

And on Thursday, he said that only by eliminating violence against women can we eliminate violence from our societies.

“We have to recognise that if we eliminate attacks on women and girls, we can keep ourselves safe from terrorism and other criminality,” Afzal told the audience at the Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference in London, citing the attack on the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert in May.

“That was a concert by a female artist, that young women attended,” he said. “That was an attack on women and girls.” 

Following the attack, Afzal said that he wanted to speak out publicly, as a Muslim man he felt that it was his duty to address the issue.

But when the board of the APCC advised him against appearing on the BBC topical debate show “Question Time”, he stepped down from his position as chief executive in protest in order to appear on the programme.

Read more: Proposed Iraq Law Would Allow Girls as Young as 9 to Marry

“It’s important to recognise that nobody should stop you from speaking up, no one should tell you that you can’t say something,” he told the audience. 

Afzal pointed out the possible irony of a man speaking at a conference on re-addressing the rights of women and girls. But, he said, that’s how it should be, that men need to be a part of the conversation.

“We [men] are the bloody problem. We need to understand what it is that we are doing, and what we can do to make women throughout the world safer,” he said. 

“There is no community in the world where women and girls are safe. This is all about control and power. Men don’t want to share power,” he added.

Read more: These 2 Issues Are the Main Obstacles in the Fight to End Modern Slavery, Campaigners Say

Afzal listed just a few of the dozens of types of violence that women and girls around the world face on a daily basis: infanticide, FGM, child and early marriage.

“You name it, we will do it you,” he continued. “We have more than one acid attack a day in this country, and invariably they are women being attacked. That is not third-world, developing country stuff, that is the UK. And that’s because men think they can do it, that they can get away with it.” 

Afzal has supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of more honour killings than anyone else in the world, and said that he was “honoured” that victims felt able to tell him what their attackers had done to them.

“Ultimately this is about misogyny. Men deliberately confuse masculinity with misogyny. They think that being violent makes us masculine.

He said that finding a solution is “about tackling the root causes of this behaviour, and that is patriarchy and misogyny.” 

But he said that these issues aren’t only the underlying causes of the initial violence, but are also the underlying causes in a lack of justice for female victims.

“When a woman makes an allegation, she’s asked what were you wearing, why were you in that room, why didn’t you report it sooner,” he said, referring to the escalating reports of sexual assault everywhere from Hollywood to the House of Commons. “That is misogyny. That is patriarchy. And that is the obstacle that we have to overcome.” 

 

Read more: This Heroic BBC Presenter Rescued a 13-Year-Old Schoolgirl From FGM in Kenya

“I believe in human rights,” Afzal continued, “the rule of law, that each and every one of us has the same rights as the person next to us, and we should not tolerate anything that diminishes that.” 

“Too many men think they can get away with this, and too many men do get away with this,” he said. “But [finding a solution] starts with believing and acting upon your belief. Not simply going away and thinking, somebody else will deal with it.” 

The Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference is a two-day conference on human rights, particularly addressing the issues of modern slavery and re-assessing the rights of women and girls

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality. which campaigns to achieve equal rights for women and girls worldwide.

 

Good Health & Well-Being: #Tuberculosis Will Cost the World $1 Trillion by 2030 — Unless Countries “TAKE ACTION”

Tuberculosis, a preventable disease, killed more than 30 million people between 2000 and 2015.

Global health experts have warned that the highly contagious respiratory disease tuberculosis will kill millions — and cost the global economy $1 trillion — by 2030 if countries don’t act to eradicate it.

The Price of a Pandemic report, compiled by the 130-state Global Tuberculosis Caucus, coincides with a landmark gathering of global public health experts, world leaders and funders this week for the first World Health Organization (WHO) Global Ministerial Conference on tuberculosis in Moscow, Russia.

Tuberculosis, commonly referred to as TB, is an airborne illness that typically affects the respiratory system and kills 5,000 people every day, according to WHO. It causes a prolonged, at times bloody, cough in addition to chest pain and weakness.

“There are a lot of intractable problems in the world but TB should not be one of them — we can treat and cure it,” Global Tuberculosis Caucus co-chair Nick Herbert said in a statement. “Governments around the world want to boost economic growth, and investments in TB care and prevention will not only dramatically improve the health of their populations, but also yield a major economic dividend.”

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal 3, Good Health & Well-Being. which partly campaigns on reducing the spread of infectious disease around the world. 

In 2016, TB killed more than 1.7 million people In 2014, more than a quarter of those individuals who died from TB also had HIV/AIDS, which compromises people’s immune systems and makes them more susceptible to TB and other infectious diseases.

Read More: This Was the Deadliest Infectious Disease of 2016, According to WHO

According to the report, more than 171 million people contracted TB and 33 million people died from the illness between 2000 and 2015. Over half of these deaths occurred in G20 countries, including nearly 10 million in India, more than 1.5 million in South Africa and more than 1.1 million in China

TB exacts a devastating human toll and poses a significant burden to the global economy.

The total cost to G20 countries will reach $675 billion, but less developed nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa like Lesotho and Mozambique will lose roughly 1% of their GDP to TB.

The report urges countries to increase funding for TB treatment and prevention, part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“It is primarily a matter of political will, because the overall sum of money that has to be found between the world’s nations is perfectly within reach if we all act together,” Herbert said.

 

Climate Action: Britain & Germany Just Gave £117 Million To Fight Deforestation & #ClimateChange in the #Amazon

The UK and Germany are joining forces to help save the Amazon rainforest from deforestation.

Brazil’s government announced on Tuesday, at the UN climate change summit in Bonn, that the two countries are giving a cash injection of £117 million to conservation projects. 

The money will go to expand programmes that are fighting climate change and deforestation in the Amazon — the world’s largest rainforest.

Around £67 million will go to support an existing programme that pays indigenous people and farmers to maintain forest cover in two Brazilian states, according to Reuters news agency .

Read more: The UN Has Called This the Second Biggest Environmental Problem Facing Our World

The programme also provides funding to help develop sustainable economies in communities.

The additional funding also means the project can expand to include the state of Mato Grosso for the first time — Brazil’s top producer of soybeans.

Mato Grosso has seen rapid deforestation in recent years, with the growing demand for soy particularly, as well as beef.

The programme is already underway in the far western state of Acre, and the additional money will go to continuing it.

Germany has also agreed to increase its existing investments in the Amazon Fund by £30 million, while Britain will put the remaining £19 million towards a regional forest preservation project that spans Brazil, Colombia, and Peru.

Read more: These Are 6 of the Most Exploited Resources on Earth

While deforestation is falling in Brazil — by 16% between August 2016 and July 2017 — the deforested areas are still too large for Brazil to reach its climate targets.

According to National Geographic, up to 20% of the Amazon has been deforested in the last 40 years alone — with logging and cattle ranching operations being largely to blame.

It has far-reaching consequences. It can cause severe droughts in the region — and has in 2005 and 2010 — that threaten fishermen and farmers

Preserving the Amazon — where 40-100 different varieties of tree can be found in a single acre — is also an essential step in decreasing carbon dioxide levels around the world, and is therefore vital in the fight against climate change.

Progress so far can be attributed to environmental enforcement in the country, but Brazil’s Environment Minister Jose Sarney Filho said last month that the country can’t only rely on enforcement to stop deforestation.

He said that financial incentives to preserve the forest must also be launched, and that he plans to raise the issue of how to finance that potential solution at the Bonn summit.

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.13, Climate Action.

 

Quality Education: This May Be the World’s Most Inspiring Library (See Photos)

The Tianjin Binhai Library is not your average public library. It’s five stories tall and more than 30,000 square meters, and houses 1.2 million books.

As part of an emergent cultural district in the port city of Tianjin, China, the library could serve as a valuable resource for those living in poverty in a part of China that experiences high levels of income inequality.

Meet Our Founder: Www.JoelMordi.Com

The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.4, Quality Education.

Designed by the Dutch architecture firm MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, the library features rows upon rows of wavelike bookshelves that spiral upward surrounding a spherical auditorium in the center called “the eye.”

“The angles and curves are meant to stimulate different uses of the space, such as reading, walking, meeting and discussing,” Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV, told the Telegraph .

According to the firm’s website , the space features specific “zones” for watching, thinking, and interacting, as well as an “extensive programme of educational facilities” that includes reading spaces for children, audio rooms, and computer rooms.

It’s not the first time MVRDV has taken creativity to the next level in its designs. The firm is also responsible for designing a Jenga-themed building in Vienna and a “skygarden” in Seoul , which resembles New York City’s High Line.

When it comes to the Tianjin Binhai Library, the only question that remains is: what book to read next?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.