"Or would you? "
"Or would you? "
"Or would you? "
"Or would you? "
The report, entitled “Rain of Fire: Israel’s Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza” and published by Human Rights Watch, presents eye-witness testimony, ballistics evidence, photographs and other data, documenting how Israel illegally used phosphorus around residential neighborhoods, a school, market and hospital.
“In Gaza, the Israeli military didn’t just use white phosphorus in open areas as a screen for its troops,” said Fred Abrahams, co-author of the report. “It fired white phosphorus repeatedly over densely populated areas, even when its troops weren’t in the area and safer smoke shells were available. As a result, civilians needlessly suffered and died.”
This post comes from guest writer, Diane Sadler who works in the Communications Department at Outreach International:
Wednesday night on Charlie Rose (KCPT), he interviewed 2 amazing women who have written books about development & poverty, and also Peter Singer and his new book.
Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa
by Dambisa Moyo
The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World
by Jacqueline Novogratz
The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty
by Peter Singer
You can watch the segments from these links:
Peter Singer, Dambisa Moyo, Jacqueline Novogratz
Dambisa Moyo has a brilliant insight into aid. Jacqueline Novogratz has a story you must hear – The Blue Sweater.
Sue McLaughlin guest blogs about her experience as the founder of her own Dining for Women chapter. What a wonderful way to gather people together in community, learn about the devestaing effects of poverty, and pitch in to make a difference. Thanks Sue!
As a woman of privilege by world standards related to income, education, and race, how can I make a difference for other women around the world who through no fault of their own live in extreme poverty? This is something that I've asked myself. There's so much need that it feels like filling an ocean with one drop of water at a time to try to do something about it. Then I heard about Dining for Women.
Dining for Women is an international giving circle dedicated to empowering women in the two-thirds world by funding programs that foster the physical, emotional, and economic self-sufficiency of women living in extreme poverty. Through the collective, focused giving of Dining for Women chapters all over the world, women can join with other women to make a difference in the world.
I started a chapter of Dining for Women in Independence, Missouri this month. We had our first meeting last night. Eleven like-minded women met to learn of the situation of women and children in Uganda and the work of Bead for Life in promoting economic self-sufficiency for women in that war torn country.
At our meeting we shared food and friendship, concern for our sisters in Uganda, listened to Ugandan music, and experienced the beauty of beads and jewelry handmade by the Ugandan women of Bead for Life. We learned of the devastation of AIDS that has left many of these women widows and HIV positive and raising their own and orphaned children. Through our donations (of what we would have spent on a nice dinner out) and our purchases of Bead for Life jewelry, we raised over $700 in our chapter alone. The money we raised will be combined with the other chapters of Dining for Women to provide a significant collective contribution to the developing self-sufficiency of the women of Uganda. Women linking with other women is what it’s all about!!
Continuing to honor Women's History Month, here's a post from Lulu Marin, a brilliant anthropologist friend of mine:
Women face a much greater risk of poverty for a number of inter-related reasons, including:
Women are paid less than men, even when they have the same qualifications and work the same hours. Women who work full time earn only 77 percent of what men make—a 22 percent gap in average annual wages. Discrimination, not lack of training or education, is largely the cause of the wage gap. Even with the same qualifications, women earn less than men. In 2007, full time, year round female workers aged 25 to 32 with a bachelor's degree were paid 14 percent less than men.
A woman works as a waitress at a diner. Women are often tracked into “pink-collar” jobs that typically pay less than jobs in industries that are male-dominated.
Cluster munitions campaigners in the US are urging Americans to call their senators on 30 March 2009 and ask them to support the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, S. 416.
This legislation would prohibit the US from using cluster munitions that have more than a 1% failure rate or in civilian areas. This would help prevent the deadly contamination of conflict zones with dangerous unexploded ‘dud’ bomblets that act like de facto landmines.
Tags: cluster munitions, Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, Cluster Munitions Coalition, Cluster Munitions Convention, FCNL, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Guardian, National Call-in Day, Obama, S. 416, USA
I'm taking full advantage of "Women's History Month" to raise awareness of the all-too-close link between women and poverty. Many of you probably know that women are 70% of the world's poor -- a horrible statistic that should be remedied.
This is what Diane Pearce meant when she termed the phrase "feminization of poverty." An unproportionate number of women suffer from poverty because of their gender.
Studies have shown that even in the U.S., women (despite having better credit than men,) are steered toward sub prime loans more often. This is just one example of how in the end -- women become victims of ignorance and bias.
There is still a lot of work to do in getting the attention of our world leaders (as well as our spouses and partners) and making this a priority for ALL people. We need to keep bringing up how certain policies affect health care for women and families, domestic and sexual violence, economic security for women, work/family balance, and equal pay.
If women are empowered -- all become empowered.
I have been thinking a lot recently about my relationship with the world. What is my ecological footprint? How does my life affect the poor? What does my spending have to do with those who have less? How am I making the world better? I started this questioning in a previous post, but was recently faced head-on with a conflict that brought my struggles into greater focus.
I was at an acquaintance's party just relaxing on her patio talking and meeting new people. I was having a good time enjoying the night. But a couple of the other guests, a brother and sister, were having a heated discussion about an issue that summarizes one my current dilemmas: gentrification. The brother and sister were African American and had lived on Capitol Hill in DC all their lives. They were complaining that they were sick of people being surprised when the siblings said they were from DC.
I needed an adventurous hat – khaki-colored with a broad brim, evocative of Indiana Jones. Such were my thoughts as I prepared for a visit to Kenya during a summer break from college nine years ago. The hat made me look incredibly silly and eventually I came to my senses, giving it away. But for a few weeks it made me feel like a bona fide swashbuckler. A couple years later, as I shopped for clothes before going on an aid work assignment in Zambia, I went for the whole look – buying khaki trousers and shirts with hundreds of pockets. I looked like a bad caricature of the European explorer in Africa (see the photo of me by the taxi) but I felt dashing and exciting nonetheless. As I have spent more time on the African continent I have begun to reflect on the absurdity of this behavior which is so common among North Americans and Europeans that come here.
I needed an adventurous hat – khaki-colored with a broad brim, evocative of Indiana Jones. Such were my thoughts as I prepared for a visit to Kenya during a summer break from college nine years ago. The hat made me look incredibly silly and eventually I came to my senses, giving it away. But for a few weeks it made me feel like a bona fide swashbuckler.
A couple years later, as I shopped for clothes before going on an aid work assignment in Zambia, I went for the whole look – buying khaki trousers and shirts with hundreds of pockets. I looked like a bad caricature of the European explorer in Africa (see the photo of me by the taxi) but I felt dashing and exciting nonetheless.
As I have spent more time on the African continent I have begun to reflect on the absurdity of this behavior which is so common among North Americans and Europeans that come here.
Diane Sadler, Communications Specialist for Outreach International, went to see "A Powerful Noise" last Thursday. She wrote some great thoughts about the movie.
On March 5th, ten employees and friends of Outreach International attended the special showing of “A Powerful Noise,” a film on women’s challenges and victories, and the kind of empowerment that Outreach International has been fortunate enough to participate in. The stories seemed so much like the ones we hear first-hand every day: Madame Urbain in Africa who, because her father had the foresight and love to send his daughter to school, traveled Mali to talk to girls and their fathers about protecting them from the dangers of illiteracy. Hanh, the young woman in VietNam who contracted HIV and wasn’t about to take the shame and exclusion, but began teaching others the simple science of how to prevent it. Nada, a mother whose family and community were ravaged by wars in Bosnia, and yet organized a group of women to create agricultural cooperatives and fair trade markets to restore their lives.
All of these women, in addition to caring for themselves and their families, also energized themselves to care for others – strangers – those in mutual exclusion and pain. And in doing so, lives, and communities, and countries are being changed.
I am inspired to know that more people keep realizing the value of the development process that Outreach International uses. This is Chelsea Carter's reflection after she returned from a site visit to Nicaragua with Outreach International:
Just over one year ago, I began to think about taking the Nicaragua Winter Term. The first time I heard about the trip was in a Sunday night service at Graceland University. The speaker shared her testimony about the trip, and described how the experience radically changed her life in profound ways. This is the sort of story that seemed to come from everyone who talked about his or her visit to Nicaragua. The stories stayed consistent from student to student in terms of how the trip so greatly impacted their lives. It almost became a sort of joke between my circle of friends and I. Every semester when we heard that someone had just got back from Nicaragua, our first question to them was always, “Well did it change your life!?”
After hearing this same testimony over and over from a broad spectrum of personalities across campus, I began to consider the possibility that maybe I should check out this potentially life changing experience too.
In retaliation for the International Criminal Court's indictment of the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur, the Sudanese government has revoked the registration of over a dozen humanitarian agencies operating in the country. Some of the groups affected include Oxfam GB, CARE, Save the Children UK, the Norwegian Refugee Council, MSF-Netherlands, the International Rescue Committee, Action Against Hunger, CHF International, Mercy Corps and Solidarites.
Millions of Sudanese, especially in the Darfur region, rely on humanitarian assistance, such as food and medical care, from such groups. Many have been displaced by the fighting in Darfur which the US government has called a genocide. The decision will also affect over 6000 humanitarian workers.
It is still unclear what consequences the indictment will have on the people of Sudan. The International Crisis Group called it a "a welcome and crucial step towards challenging the impunity that has worsened conflict in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan." However, they also acknowledge that the Sudanese government could use this as an opportunity to "direct, or encourage, violence against the millions of displaced Darfuris living in camps in the war-torn region."
For background on the history of the conflicts in Sudan, see the AlertNet briefing or read the in-depth reports from International Crisis Group. To read an interesting blog about the current crisis, click here.
Tags: Action Against Hunger, Aid, CARE, CHF International, Darfur, humanitarian, International Criminal Court, International Crisis Group, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, MSF, Norwegian Refugee Council, Omar Al Basher, Oxfam, Save the Children, Soloidarites , Sudan
I realized something tragic the other day. I am a typical American in a lot of ways. What made me realize that was that I had totally forgotten about Darfur. Because I hadn't heard about the war there for a while, I just figured everything was better. Then I saw the headline "Refugees Flood Into Darfur Camp After Fighting" and I was appalled to learn that the war that has displaced 2.7 million people and killed over 300,000 is still going on. Actually recent news is that 26,000 people were displaced in the last few weeks, one of the largest flights of people in the last year.
This Thursday (March 5) is International Women's Day and there's a great community event called "A Powerful Noise Live" happening in cities and towns all over the country. Go to a theater that is showing the acclaimed documentary, "A Powerful Noise," followed by a live broadcast of a panel held in New York City.