Topic: human rights

In Conversation on How Change Happens, Activism and Politics

On Wednesday I was subjected to a gruelling cross-examination on Life, the Universe and Everything (actually ‘How Change Happens’) for the entertainment of some Cambridge Accountancy students. Here’s some of the less embarrassing bits. Q: How do you stop yourself feeling overwhelmed by complexity? A: It’s only overwhelming if you think you’re ever going to […]

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Gender, Power and Progress: How Norms Change

A very good paper on a fascinating and important topic, by Caroline Harper, Rachel Marcus, Rachel George, Sophia M. D’Angelo, Emma Samman, published by ODI and ALIGN. The research questions are ambitious: how gender norms have changed over the past quarter-century, what has supported and blocked changes to gender norms in a number of sectors, and how to ensure […]

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Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights. Book Review

How many friends and relatives can you buy the same book for as a Christmas present, without getting into trouble for your lack of imagination? Difficult Women has everything – a great and funny writer in Helen Lewis, and a fascinating and page-turning introduction to the history of northern, mainly UK, feminism. Here’s the pitch: […]

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Malawi is the only place where democracy has improved under Covid. 80 countries have got worse.

Blimey. You never know when a tweet is going to hit the spot and get a lot of retweets and likes. That’s what happened this week with a map I tweeted from The Economist, taken from an article entitled ‘The pandemic has eroded democracy and respect for human rights’ (gated). Quite a lot of questions […]

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Why are Illegal Drugs still a Cinderella Issue in Development? (Looking at you CGD!)

Why don’t more mainstream aid organizations work on the issue of illegal drugs like cannabis, coca or opium poppy? We’ve known for decades that the prevalent approach to these – prohibition – harms small-scale farmers that grow them, fuels violence, undermines the rule of law and contaminates politics (the UN estimates the illegal drugs trade […]

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What do 13,000 children in 46 countries have to tell us about living with COVID-19?

Guest post by Save the Children International’s Melissa Burgess and Michael O’Donnell The world is certainly not lacking in research on COVID-19. But there have been gaps in empirical data showing the lived experience of people around the world. Today, Save the Children is filling some of those gaps with the release of the findings […]

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3 advocacy case studies I would love to read (on long term norm shifts). Anyone fancy writing them?

On the off chance that someone is looking for an interesting research topic, here are 3 case studies related to norm change that I would love to read about, but don’t currently have time to research myself. If you are interested in picking up any of them, I’d love to discuss (and read the result). […]

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Does development have a problem with racism?

Given recent events in the United States that have sparked mass protests around the banner of #BlackLivesMatter not only there, but across the world, we ought to talk about this right here. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us to rethink solidarity, and these protests calling for racial justice force us to ask questions also of […]

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Why Abortion is becoming more available and safer around the world

If you were to buy just one issue of The Economist a year, the edition just before International Women’s Day is usually a good bet. Even though it seldom mentions IWD directly, the issue usually sneaks in some fascinating gender-based pieces (eg this 2017 article on gender budgeting). This year it ran pieces on femicide […]

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What values should guide Britain’s role in the world, post-Brexit?

Oxfam today publishes (with UK think tank, the Foreign Policy Centre) a collection of essays from parliamentarians and policy experts called ‘Finding Britain’s role in a changing world: building a values based foreign policy’. Here are a few highlights from the conclusion, snappily written by Adam Hug, Abigael Baldoumas, Katy Chakrabortty and Danny Sriskandarajah: ‘The […]

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Could Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum help us have a more grown-up conversation about aid?

This post got a lot of help from Severine Deneulin – thanks! I get a bit frustrated with the conversation on aid – too often, we seem to be expected to pick one of two equally unappealing camps: ‘all aid is bad’ v ‘all aid is good’. People tend to land on a single issue […]

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Against fascism in India: in solidarity, through care

Enda Verde and Chandan Kumar write about how women are leading the resistance against the unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment Act in India. Enda Verde is a Ph.D. candidate working in both Europe and India. Chandan Kumar is a labor rights activist based in Pune, India, and part of a citizen’s movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act […]

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