Monthly Archives: April 2016

Youth in UN Women

The 2016 meeting of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) finally acknowledged that the missing link in the fight for gender equality is the youth voice by organizing the Youth Forum CSW. It published A Declaration on Gender Equality that features these youth issues: decision-making, climate change, sexual and reproductive health, violence, economic empowerment, migration, access to media, religion, sports, and engaging young men.[i]

[i] http://www2.unwomen.org/~/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/news/stories/2016/youthcsw-2016-declaration.pdf?v=1&d=20160321T155235

 

Ending Child Marriage

Theresa Kachindamoto is a female chief making strides in her community in central Malawi having annulled reportedly more than 300 child marriages in June alone, and close to 850 child marriages over the past three years.

http://www.makers.com/blog/female-chief-child-marriages-malawi

Makers is a useful site with videos about women

Another article about child marriage:http://www.makers.com/blog/girls-not-brides-stories-asia-international-day-of-girl

Strategies for Changemaking

Successful Strategies for Changemaking

What would you add???

 

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.  Dalai Lama XIV

It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela

 

Identify widespread outrage about injustice that violates deeply held values, such as it’s not fair that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer or that school food is unhealthy. Define the problem: The unfair economic system is the focus of recent activism. People also need to have hope, Obama’s campaign slogan along with “Yes We Can.” Many student groups work on environmental issues. Email me for a list of them.

 

Reach out to potential activists on social media and with face-to-face meetings. Include incentives such as food, live music and raffle.

 

Decide on your top priority and action to achieve it. Think of planning a non-violent battle strategy including gaining allies, coalitions, and mentors. Create a power chart of who has control around your issue, such as a principal, school board, or city council. Who are the pillars of support for the power holders and celebrities that you can influence? Soccer fans helped out in uprisings in Egypt and Turkey and Leonardo Decaprio speaks for the environmental movement. Pope Francis told a Brazilian crowd of young people, “The young people in the street are the ones who want to be actors of change. Please don’t let others be actors of change.”

 

Form a local organization based on an issue: Models are Quebec and Chilean student groups working for affordable education. Study successful campaigns such as the Civil Rights Movement or the campaign for GLBT acceptance. Read Gandhi’s autobiography, and Bill Moyer and Gene Sharp analysis about how to create a sustained movement.

For example, the women’s movement in the US greatly changed attitudes. Betty Friedan named the problem that had no name in The Feminine Mystique. Women and male allies held huge marches and lobbied politicians to change laws. They organized influential groups like NOW and the Moral Majority. They publicized concepts with skilled speakers like Gloria Steinem who advised doing an outrageous act daily. High schools and colleges formed feminist groups.

 

In organizing, involve people by giving them specific tasks that they report on to the group. Teach skills like how to facilitate a meeting, rotate leadership positions and conflict resolution. Successful groups like immigrant Dreamers provide direct action training. Large meetings can use hand signals such as a twinkle with fingers for approval or thumbs down. People are more likely to get involved if their friends are participating and they think success will result. Celebrate small successes and give praise for good work. Why Civil Resistance Works review of resistance movements indicates they succeed if 3.5% of the population participates and non-violent tactics are the most effective because they invite more participation.

 

Brand your campaign as if were Nike shoes. What do you want your audience to learn? Educate them. Pick a logo, symbol, color, and slogan. A popular symbol is a flag or a black fist, created by Serbian Otpor to overthrow their corrupt president. Otpor said “We’re trying to make politics sexy.” Quebec students used a red felt square pinned on your shirt to symbolize being in the red. Popular slogans during the recent youth-led uprisings were “Enough” and “We’re the 99%.” Create a “frame” or identity such as it’s cool to be an activist.

Create stickers, posters, flyers and YouTube videos that educate about the facts, graffiti, and T-shirts with your slogan and logo. See the Arab Spring slogans and art at http://en.qantara.de/content/symbols-and-slogans-arab-spring?page=4

Create polls and petitions where people give input into decisions and feel they have power.

Get attention from many people and media with marches, demonstrations, boycotts or “buycotts,” strikes, sit-ins, and occupations of public spaces—the main tactic of recent uprisings. Think in terms of photo opps for media with banners, costumes, symbolic actions such as presenting a petition to a city mayor. Environmentalist Bill McKibben advised keep up the pressure, be a pain in the neck, and never give up as 350.org did with their campaign against the XL oil pipeline. Organize fun fundraisers such as a race. German high school students raised money with solar panels on their school.

 

Make activities fun and attractive to media, such as Chilean student demonstrators dressed as superheroes. They also held a kiss-a-thon and danced to Michael Jackson songs.

 

Resources

Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan. Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. Columbia University Press, 2011.

Gene Sharp’s books. http://www.aeinstein.org/free-resources/free-publications/english/

Bill Moyer, “The Movement Action Plan,” Spring 1987.

http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/moyermap.html

Mark Engler and Paul Engler. This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the 21st Century by brothers (2016).

* https://globalyouthbook.wordpress.com/

*Photos of global youth and their homes: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.348956001796264.91437.160382763986923&type=1

*Video interviews with global youth: www.youtube.com/user/TheGlobalyouth?feature=mhee#p/u

*Literacy project in NW Pakistan: http://opendoorsliteracyproject.weebly.com.

Popular topics on popular feminist book club started by Emma Watson

The most viewed feminist topics in the popular feminist book club Our Shared Shelf started by Emma Watson as of April 2016:
Most views with over 1,000
What is Feminism? (most popular)
Why Are People Turned Off When They Hear “Feminism”?
The Problem with Feminism—a Man’s Outlook
Harassment for being a Feminist
What is “Fake Feminism?”
Conservative Feminism
Sexist Popular Politicians
Equal Right to go Topless?
Dear Men
Eco-feminism
#International Women’s Day
HeForShe Movement Critique

My Global Youth Websites

 

*Supplemental information and sites to add your add comments https://globalyouthbook.wordpress.com/

 

*Photos of global youth and their homes: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.348956001796264.91437.160382763986923&type=1

 

*Video interviews with global youth: www.youtube.com/user/TheGlobalyouth?feature=mhee#p/u

 

*Literacy project in NW Pakistan: http://opendoorsliteracyproject.weebly.com.

 

*Twitter @gaylehkimball

95,000 unaccompanied minors to Europe in 2015

Maeve McClenaghan, “95,000 Unaccompanied Children Claim Asylum in Europe in 2015, MintPress news, April 11, 2016.

95,000 Unaccompanied Children Claim Asylum In Europe In 2015

Anne Garrels reports on Russian Youth Issues

Anne Garrels. Putin Country: A Journey Into Real Russia. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.

 

Putin preaches “family values” and the government and the Orthodox Church tell women to have more babies. Increasing numbers of middle-class business owners are leaving Russia, along with a brain drain in a country with about half the population of the US (142 million). To encourage a higher birth rate, maternity leave is among the longest in the world at 140 days of full pay, then 40% of pay for three years. The mother’s job is guaranteed for two years. Many employers don’t hire women who might have a baby or they hire young women to work off the books. It’s legal for employers to advertise age and gender restrictions. However, women’s pay lags behind men’s salaries, there’s no paternity leave, and housing costs are high and apartments cramped in cities. In addition, education and health care that is supposedly free requires bribes and state child-care centers were closed, so young women look for a wealthy husband and wait longer to get married than their mothers did. They’re hard to find because Russia has more women than men and male alcoholism is common and women worry that the good men leave the country. Garrels said alcoholism is the major reason that Russia has the highest divorce rate in the world and 25% of men died before age 55. 6260.(59) Although Russian women tend to be critical of men for being crass, they don’t like feminism. Women’s magazines do discuss changing sex roles, with women wanting romance without abuse.

 

Anne Garrels reported in Putin Country (2016) that teens aren’t activists for familiar reasons globally: their priority is doing well on their collage entrance exams, chatting with their friends on VKontaite and blogs, playing online games like “Defense of the Ancients” and listening to Western and Russian music.[i] For example, they get their news from the Internet, scorning state TV as propaganda, but don’t protest if their favorite news sites are closed down. When asked about their heroes none listed an opposition leader, many didn’t have one, and others listed Joseph Stalin, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Gandhi—the only political reformer. When a foreign teacher asked them to discuss issues in TED Talks, they said, “The government, which is wiser than us, will decide.” Students told her that although elections are rigged and the government controls mainstream media, Putin provides stability for their country. One issue young men do care about is avoiding the military draft, bribing doctors or draft board members.

 

Education is problematic now because students are expected to pay fees and give “donations.” Anne Garrels said in Putin Country, “Money is now the key to everything.” Schools only provide basics for free and don’t offer sports programs, after-school programs are fee based. With the ruble dropping in value, teacher pay averaged about $250 a month, requiring a second job such as many hours of tutoring. Good teachers are especially hard to find in villages where parents can’t pay for school fees. Universities used to be free but now departments have various quota systems for paid and scholarship students. Administrators may take bribes and pressure faculty to tolerate students who pay even if they fail or cheat. Faculty salaries are even lower than in secondary schools and even students graduating in fields like business aren’t getting jobs.

[i] Anne Garrels. Putin Country: A Journey Into Real Russia. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016, Chapter 10.