Topic: human rights

Justice for Women: great new report from UN Women

UN Women, the new body headed by former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, has an excellent report out today. It’s the latest in the roughly biannual ‘Progress of the World’s Women’ series kicked off by UNIFEM, one of UN Women’s predecessors, in 2000. This edition explores the justice system. It’s crisply written, full of striking killer […]

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New international rules on domestic workers – will they make a difference?

It’s probably just because I’m getting more right wing in my old age, but The Economist seems to be getting better. This week’s issue covers a new ILO Convention on domestic workers. A quick skim of Google News suggests it was the only magazine from the mainstream UK media to do so. “Without them many […]

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The first ever World Disability Report – what took them so long?

North-South convergence is undeniable (and a bit of a development cliche), but it’s not just about economies or political power. There’s also a growing recognition that social issues look increasingly similar across the North-South divide. Similar, but not identical – obesity may be on the rise in countries like Mexico and South Africa, but there, […]

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India's missing girls: gendercide and a few glimmers of optimism

The new Indian census, which put the population at 1.2 billion, has revealed an alarming trend. Rising incomes only seem to accelerate gendercide – the evocative term for the selective abortion of girl foetuses. This from this week’s Economist: “Early data from February’s national census, published on March 31st, show India’s already skewed infant sex […]

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The World Bank gender team responds; lessons from successful women's rights coalitions; male attitudes to violence against women: some reading for International Women's Day

Some International Women’s Day reading at the wonky end of the spectrum. Firstly, an excellent response from its co-directors (Ana Ravenga and Sudhir Shetty) to my earlier post on this year’s World Development Report on Gender Equality, whose website goes live today. Secondly check out a couple of papers on the Developmental Leadership Program website. The DLP describes […]

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Gender Equality and Development: What will (and won’t) be in the 2012 World Development Report?

Just got round to reading the 65 page outline (dread to think how long the final version will be) of the 2012 World Development Report on ‘Gender Equality and Development’. Kudos to the Bank, as ever, for putting such documents online as part of the report writing process – how many NGOs ever consider doing […]

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Are Grey Panthers the next big thing in campaigning?

It’s probably a sign of my advancing years, but I’ve been wondering whether NGOs are missing a trick by endlessly targeting young people to become their activists. Sure, they’re the leaders of tomorrow, but what about us wrinklies? This all came to a head when I went out for a beer with a friend of […]

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UN Women: the United Nations gets its act together on gender

One of the things undermining the effectiveness of the UN’s work on gender issues has been the lack of a single agency with responsibility for the subject. Now, after years of difficult negotiations, the U.N. General Assembly has voted to set up a body that will seek to improve the situation of women and girls around […]

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Gendercide, International Women's Day and The Economist

The Economist magazine combines liberal economic orthodoxy (pro liberalization, anti state etc) with a politically liberal commitment to individual human rights. The latter presumably prompted this week’s cover story, Gendercide: What happened to 100 million baby girls?’ Even if it does come with the rest of the ideological baggage, (more on that later) it’s hard […]

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Want to help write this year's Human Development Report?

2010 marks two decades years since the first Human Development Report was published by the UN Development Program in 1990. Besides subsequently spawning huge numbers of useful national and thematic reports, the global HDRs have become some of the most influential of annual development analyses, for many years providing an invaluable intellectual counterweight to some […]

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What can be done to improve the lives of migrant construction workers?

What can be done to improve the wages and conditions of the millions of migrant workers who flock to the Gulf States from South Asia? I recently had a fascinating discussion with a UK construction entrepreneur working in the Gulf States on this.   According to the construction guy, there are now nearly $2 trillion […]

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Population: why it's a dangerous distraction on climate change (and makes us feel uncomfortable)

Trust the military to give it to me straight. Population comes up at virtually every talk I give – on climate change, development or just about anything else. But usually my questioners are a bit more circumspect than the man from the armed forces who recently asked what could be done about ‘women popping them […]

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