Archive for October 5th, 2012


One in Four World Inhabitants Is a Rural Woman

Human Wrongs Watch

Rome, 5 October 2012 – Rural women and girls represent about a quarter of the world’s population. In developing countries, most of them are smallholder farmers, according to a new report.

Woman waters seedlings in the Lake Tana area of Ethiopia’s Amhara Region. ©IFAD/Petterik Wiggers

Each year the United Nations recognizes their achievements and challenges on 15 October, the International Day of Rural Women.

This year the day takes on added significance with the inception of an inter-agency UN programme on accelerating progress toward the economic empowerment of rural women, adds the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The joint programme is a five-year initiative of UN Women, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), IFAD and the World Food Programme (WFP). It will be implemented initially in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda.

“The initiative’s goals are to improve food and nutrition security, increase women’s incomes, strengthen their leadership position in rural institutions, and foster a more responsive policy environment for rural women’s empowerment at the national and international levels.”

read more »


Mauritania: Women Face Steep Competition from Heavily Subsidized European Milk Sector

Human Wrongs Watch

By IRIN* – Women are pioneering Mauritania’s fledgling dairy industry and trying to get Mauritanians to support local small producers, but they face steep competition from the heavily subsidized European milk sector.

**Photo: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN. Mauritania is home to Africa’s first camel milk dairy.

Ari Hara, a women’s cooperative in Ari Hara Village, turns milk into sweetened yoghurt, which is supplied to shops in the nearest town, Boghé, 350km southeast of Nouakchott.

Since the cooperative was established in 2009, it has helped its members – who practise farming and pastoralism – ensure their families have enough to eat in times of drought.

“I still remember the day I could buy 50kg of rice for the house with my own money,” Ramata, a cooperative member, recalled, beaming. They could increase sales if they had the capacity to market their yoghurt in towns farther away, for which they would need better roads and a refrigerated van.

read more »


‘Suppliers of Arms to Opposition Want to Destroy the Syrian People’ – Iraqi PM

Human Wrongs Watch

By RT*, 5 October – States that send arms to Syria face upheavals and unrest due to sectarian violence, their stability will be in jeopardy and the state of affairs will be no better than in Syria, warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki in an interview to RT.

Source: Russia Today

“He who starts a fire will be destroyed by fire in the end,” Al-Maliki stated, predicting that sponsorship of the Syrian opposition will backfire on supporting states.

RT: What do Iraq and Russia have in common in terms of their approach to the Syrian crisis; and do you think the two countries can come up with a joint proposal on how to settle it?

Nouri Al-Maliki: Of course, the crisis is a matter of serious concern both for the countries in the region and for the world’s major powers. And it’s not only countries – this issue has been on the agenda of many international organizations.

We have repeatedly said that we take the Syrian crisis as our own problem.

It is a very important country, with its own political position. We did warn everyone earlier – and keep reminding – that the fire that started in Syria will spill over the borders to engulf other countries of the region and, in the end, it will have a global impact. The Middle East is one of the major energy producers of the world.

read more »


Land Sold Off, Used for Biofuels ‘Could Have Fed One Billion People’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Oxfam*,  4 October, 2012 – Land eight times the size of the UK was sold off globally in the last decade, enough to grow food for a billion people says international development agency Oxfam.

Image: Oxfam

This is the equivalent to the number of people who go hungry in the world today. In its new report, Our Land, Our Lives, Oxfam warns that more than 60 per cent of investments in agricultural land by foreign investors between 2000 and 2010 were in developing countries with serious hunger problems.

However, two thirds of those investors plan to export everything they produce on the land.

Nearly 60 percent of global land deals in the past decade have been to grow crops that can be used for biofuels.

read more »


‘Mistrust Puts Pharmaceutical Industry in the Spotlight’

Special Report by EurActiv*, 5 October, 2012 – The European healthcare system is struggling to cope with low levels of transparency and trust in the pharmaceutical sector, according to 97% of doctors, industry professionals and policymakers attending a workshop at the Gastein Health Forum yesterday (4 October).

In good hands? | Source: Euractiv

“North Korea would be proud of you!” said workshop moderator John Bowis, a former MEP and president of stakeholder group Health First Europe, after conducting the straw poll in a session addressing transparency between the public, health professionals and industry in the Austrian resort.

Thomas Heynisch, an official with the EU executive’s enterprise department, told delegates that the Commission would publish new corporate social responsibility guidelines in early 2013 to tackle issues of trust and ethics in the pharmaceutical sector, and access to medicines in Europe.

This was prompted because the EU executive believed there was “a level of mistrust, particularly between public authorities and the pharma industry.”

“The Commission wants to move beyond codes of conduct, but not to introduce new legislation, rather we want guiding principles which can be a source of inspiration for those working within and beyond the pharma industry,” Heynisch said, explaining that enforcement of the new guidelines will be carried out at national level.

read more »


Teachers Under Severe Challenges – World Day

Human Wrongs Watch

‘Teachers face severe challenges in different parts of the world and are still under pressure to produce results. As the profession marks World Teachers Day on 5 October, 2012, two teachers working thousands of miles apart tell their stories.’

©Flickr/lynnefeatherstone | ILO

Geneva, ILO*– Amina* has been teaching for four years and she feels frustrated every day she goes into the government school where she works in Arusha, Northern Tanzania.
“We receive a small salary of between US$ 120 – 190 a month, and when we are in the classroom we have a lot of challenges,” she said.
“There are very few teaching materials; we have a big number of students in the class and there is no library. When you are posted to go to the interior, there is no water or electricity.”

She is one of only four science teachers in her 1,070-pupil school and teaches classes of between 70 and 80 students.

“I teach chemistry and biology but the students don’t like the subjects. They think it is very difficult. We don’t have a laboratory or equipment or teaching materials. It is difficult for a teacher to give encouragement in such big classes. They don’t manage to do the work and their performance is not good.

read more »


‘Where Will Yemen’s Aid Money Go?’

Human Wrongs Watch

By IRIN*, Dubai – With billions of aid dollars set to pour into Yemen, humanitarian agencies are calling for greater transparency in its allocation, warning that not enough of the funds appear designated for the country’s dire humanitarian situation.

Photo: Lindsay Mackenzie/IRIN. Donors have pledged funds for humanitarian and reconstruction work, but it’s not clear how the money will be channeled.

At a meeting of the so-called Friends of Yemen grouping of countries in New York yesterday, donors pledged $1.5 billion for Yemen, in addition to $6.4 billion raised at a conference in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

But despite all the money floating around, a UN appeal for funds to address urgent humanitarian needs in Yemen remains less than half met.

The shortfall – just under $300 million – amounts to less than 4 percent of the total funds allocated in the two meetings, but donors are more focused on the political, security and macro-developmental needs rather than humanitarian issues, aid workers say.

“There needs to be the right balance,” Peter Rice, coordinator of the INGO Forum, an advocacy group that represents more than 50 international NGOs in Yemen, told IRIN. “The humanitarian situation changed a lot during the course of 2011. If the considerable humanitarian needs are not addressed, Yemen’s development in the long term will be severely affected.”

read more »

%d bloggers like this: