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October 26, 2016

Women's empowerment as strategic rebellion

Author: Ranjani K. Murthy, October 27 2016 - Sardenberg (2010) sees women’s empowerment as a process of ‘gender rebellion’ leading to break with traditional gender roles and norms. [See...

October 20, 2016

We need more media coverage of disaster prevention

Author: Marcus Oxley, October 20 2016 - Marking International Day for Disaster Reduction, Marcus Oxley argues that we need more media coverage of disasters before – rather than after – they happen....

October 20, 2016

"In my next life I want to be a boy"

Author: Ragini Pasrichan, October 20 2016 - Why we chose “real people” instead of actors to feature in our Public Service Announcements (PSAs), TV adverts sharing simple solutions to prepare for...

October 20, 2016

Announcements (PSAs), TV adverts sharing simple solutions to prepare for cyclones, flooding and drought.

Author: Myoset Nyeinchan, October 20 2016 - Why we chose “"real people" instead of actors to feature in our Public Service Announcements (PSAs), TV adverts sharing simple solutions to prepare for...

October 11, 2016

Traditional Leaders: Leading from the front in protecting Children

Author: Lilian Kiefer, October 19 2016 - Nelson Mandela once said if we fail to take care of our children, then we cannot claim to be a nation at all. He said children are a nation’s greatest...

October 10, 2016

Health through Measurement: Countries Learn How by Listening to Each Other

Author: James Thomas, October 10 2016 - In a world that is working to ensure health for all, what does progress look like? It might look like people from different nations sitting in tight circles,...

October 10, 2016

An independent Nepali media has never been more needed

Author: Kiran Bhandari, Dipak Bhattarai and James Deane, October 10 2016 - Nepal’s media has played a pivotal role in the country’s democratic transition but how successful has it been at fighting...

October 10, 2016

"I will be there even if my bodyguards refuse to accompany me."

Author: Shirazuddin Siddiqi, October 10 2016 - Scores of people were killed or injured early last month when twin bomb blasts hit Kabul and armed assailants attacked the buildings housing an...

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Bringing an End to FGM in Burkina Faso

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Landlocked Burkina Faso is home to one of the highest national poverty rates per capita in the world. In 2015, Burkina Faso was ranked 183rd out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index. This extreme poverty has somewhat acted as a catalyst for the development of strong gender inequality, and has resulted in high rates of violence against women and girls. This violence materialises in various ways, including rape, forced and early marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), and denial of access to monetary income or land. These acts are ingrained within the traditions, customs and cultural practices of Burkinabé society, making it extremely challenging to bring an end to such violence. Despite this, Burkina Faso is a shining example of a country that is effectively tackling the practice of FGM, with the prevalence among girls aged 15-19 dropping 31% over the past 30 years.

Background to FGM

FGM refers to “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” (WHO). It is internationally recognised as one of the most brutal human rights violations in contemporary society. According to Unicef, this form of gender-based violence currently affects around 200 million women and girls worldwide, with the procedure being predominantly carried out on young girls up to the age of 15. 

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Focus on Disability: 'Zika babies' need support now

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From Hannah Kuper: About 4,000 babies have now been born with microcephaly - abnormally small heads, often with underdeveloped brains  in Brazil alone. Evidence is mounting that this is because of infection during pregnancy by the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Media attention on the epidemic has mainly focused on how to stop babies being born with microcephaly, whether by killing mosquitoes, finding a vaccine or easing abortion laws. Similarly, the WHO strategic response to Zika focuses on preventing outbreaks and controlling them when they occur. [1]
But what are the implications for the thousands of babies born with microcephaly? This is barely considered within the WHO response: disability is mentioned just twice.

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Why Branding Matters for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)

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From Charles Kojo Vandyck: The last couple of years, my colleagues and I at WACSI [West Africa Civil Society Institute] have initiated passionate discussions about branding and its value added to strengthening the institute’s relevance, identity, cohesion and capacity. We have shared a lot of ideas about this intriguing subject; hitherto, a lot of us associated it with only for-profit businesses.

From our discussions, it is apparent that many of the successful CSOs we are associated with continue to use their brands primarily as a fundraising tool. However, we also recognise that it is important for CSOs to develop a broader and more strategic approach, managing their brands to create greater social impact and resilient organisational cohesion.

We have become truly passionate about branding because we strongly believe that CSOs especially community based organisations (CBOs) can benefit from having strong brands which can help them to tell their stories so that development partners support their organisations in a sustainable manner. An investment in branding can also stimulate a sense of trust from the general public and the civil society sector and that is beneficial to all of us.

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Crowd-pleasing radio

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Author: Amensisa Tefasilasie, DATE 2014 - The Jember team pulled in the crowds when they set out to meet listeners face to face in Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

Mother-of-two Addisie Beryihun visits her local market occasionally but today she’s in for a surprise. At the upper end of the crowded square, above the rows of colourful stalls that sell virtually everything - from clothes and animals to dried red pepper – is an improvised stage full of dancers. The Jember radio roadshow has arrived in Chagni, a town in Ethiopia’s north-western Amhara region.

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"Please, ask my husband"

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Author: Aniqa Hossain, March 23 2016 - Women in Bangladesh tend to see political debate as "men’s business" but the female viewers of BBC Sanglap are an exception.

Discussing politics over a cup of tea at a roadside stall is common practice for men - but not, it seems, for women - in Bangladesh.

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Towards SDG 5: Why rights and justice based process and outcome indicators are important

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The Goal 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls" has ambitious targets - listed at the end of this post. 

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Weaving to the rhythm of The Tea Cup Diaries

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Author: Lay Min Pyae Mon - Slender fingers rhythmically work at the brilliantly-coloured threads; legs undulate like a dancer’s as foot pedals are pushed down - the cloth on the loom growing a little larger each time. The faces of the weavers, covered in pale thanaka paste, scrutinise the next set of motifs in the pattern. Weaving is the craft where colour beats the rhythm. And this is the weaving shed of The Manaw Star Weaving Company.

Persistent Optimism

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Author: Ellyn Ogden, March 1 2016 [cross-posted from The Ethiopian Herald, linked below] - The work of a community vaccinator is vitally important, but rarely easy. Once, while working with an immunization team in Angola, my WHO [World Health Organization] counterpart turned to me and said, "Walk exactly in my footsteps to the village.

Mother tongue: boosting maternal health through mobile phones

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Author: Bindi Thakka - Our producer looks at the importance of tribal language - and how it can be used to help provide life-saving advice to mothers in India.

In India an incredible 1,652 different languages are spoken. Jharkhand, a state in the country’s east is a classic example of this, with a bouquet of 19 “mother tongues” spoken there.

We’re just about to launch our life-saving mobile health (mHealth) services in this multilingual state.

The darker side of Valentine's Day in Cambodia

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Author: Vy Yaro - The presenter of Love9 looks at why Valentine’s Day in Cambodia is the perfect time to talk about sexual and reproductive rights.

Valentine’s Day is extremely popular in Cambodia. But the celebration isn’t always a happy one. Here’s why.

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