Category Archives: Millennials

15 women leading action against climate change

https://time.com/5669038/women-climate-change-leaders/#greta-thunberg

 

By TIME Staff

September 12, 2019

From sinking islands to drought-ridden savannas, women bear an outsize burden of the global—warming crisis, largely because of gender inequalities. In many parts of the world, women hold traditional roles as the primary caregivers in families and communities, and, as the main providers of food and fuel, are more vulnerable when flooding and drought occur; the U.N. estimates 80% of those who have been displaced by climate change are women.

Given their position on the front line of the climate-change battle, women are uniquely situated to be agents of change—to help find ways to mitigate the causes of global warming and to adapt to its impacts on the ground. This reality was recognized by the Paris Agreement, which specifically included the global need to further empower women in climate decision-making. Today, across the world, from boardrooms and policy positions to local communities, from science to activism, women everywhere are using their voices to take leadership and call for action on climate change.

We’ve chosen 15 such women to highlight, in profiles spread throughout the rest of this issue of TIME.

Anti-sexual harassment movement in Egypt

https://www.academia.edu/19654617/Arab_Women_Red_Lines_The_Anti-Sex

Arab Women, Red Lines: The Anti-Sexual Harassment Movement in Egypt

Sophia Sepúlveda

 

Since the Egyptian revolution of 2011, national and international reports noting the prevalence of sexual street harassment in Egypt have proliferated, establishing sexual harassment as one of Egypt’s greatest societal ills. Although sexual harassment is a global phenomenon, its existence in Egypt is particularly notable due to the high percentage of Egyptian women who have experienced some form of this type of violence in their lifetime. In this thesis, I trace the development of the phenomenon in Egypt, and emphasize the importance of formulating a national response appropriate to the Egyptian context, rather than implanting the international human rights regime’s formula and approach to the issue. I argue that this contextual response exists in the form of an Anti-Sexual Harassment (A-SH) movement, composed of Egyptian civil society groups and latent networks of female victims and their allies. This thesis examines prominent social movement theories for their capacity to explain the rise of this movement, and critiques them for their dependence on Western social movements as models of analysis, and subsequent assumptions of non-authoritarian state contexts. I conclude that the contextual and local focus of the A-SH movement has allowed it to achieve societal impact and to shift public understanding of sexual harassment. In identifying the impending opportunities and challenges presented by Egypt’s authoritarian regime and increasing foreign involvement, I emphasize the need for the movement to remain autonomous and contextual in focus.

Hong Kong Democracy Activists have a new anthem “Raise the Umbrella”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/12/world/asia/glory-to-hong-kong-anthem.html?

Lo Hiu Pan, who composed “Raise the Umbrella,” said on Thursday that while his song benefited from the work with celebrity singers, a new song did not have to be a poppy ballad fit for the mainstream to become popular in Hong Kong. Just speaking to the political experience of the moment is enough to catch fire and connect people, he said, adding that he thought “Glory to Hong Kong” was “powerful.”

“Sometimes a photo, comic or a song can spread out the message even more usefully than a long article,” he said.

Vaping is Harmful

 
WASHINGTON — Sixteen states have now reported 153 cases of serious, vaping-related respiratory illnesses in the past two months, and many of the patients are teenagers or young adults.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that all of the cases occurred in people who acknowledged vaping either nicotine or tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, the high-inducing chemical in marijuana.
Federal and state officials say that they are mystified as to what is causing the illnesses, but that it does not appear that an infectious disease is responsible. No one product or device is common among the cases, the agency said. It also was unclear whether a contaminant in a used cartridge or a home-brewed concoction of vaping liquids contributed to some of the ailments.
The patients, most of whom were adolescents or young adults, were admitted to hospitals with difficulty breathing. Many also reported chest pain, vomiting and fatigue.

Women’s Democracy Movement in Sudan

“In December 2018, the Sudanese people took to the streets with one goal and one goal only; the removal of a dictator and his regime.

This unique revolution began as a peaceful protest in the city of Atbara. People were demanding the basic everyday necessity of bread – it’s since been named by many “the revolution of bread”.  Economic hardships in Sudan, exacerbated by corruption and political oppression, further propelled the rage of people and led to a nation-wide uprising.

When we think of gender equality, Sudan surely does not come to mind. Sudanese women have been consistently and brutally discriminated against, belittled, violated and neglected under the long-lived dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir.

It is the women of Sudan, however, who have captured the world’s attention during this revolution, at the frontline of the resistance. The women of Sudan have stood defiant, determined and tenacious in their pursuit of democracy.

This is not new to Sudan. The ancient Nubian Kingdom – in what is now the North of Sudan – is known for its warrior queens. The Kandaka, or strongwomen, are known for their strong pivotal roles in the safeguarding of their kingdoms. It is not strange to see the Kandaka rise again. In fact, it is the harsh oppression that women have been subjected to for years that has reawakened the Kandaka.

Women have consistently made up the majority of the protesters in Sudan. At exactly one p.m. on the day of each planned protest, it was the ‘zagroota’ – the women’s cry – that initiated the protests. The rest followed.

It was because of this defiance that women were targeted throughout the uprising.

Women have been beaten, whipped and shot with brutal force in efforts to suppress and stifle their voices. Throughout the uprising, an all-too familiar weapon has been used by government forces and government-supported militias: sexual violence targeted primarily against the women of the revolution.

This is also not new to Sudan. Darfur has long been witness to the government militia’s use of sexual violence against their people. For years, brutal armed militias violated the women – and in many cases, the men – in their rampant crusades of terror in the region.

The Darfur genocide is only one crime of many that has been committed against the Sudanese people throughout history. Today, all of Sudan is Darfur. Once again, in an effort to repress the loud voices calling for change, women are being used as a tool for coercion into submission and defeat.

Follow the story of Sudan, the women of Sudan and Sudan’s road to democracy with these hashtags #BlueforSudan #KeepeyesonSudan”

Blue for Sudan: the road to democracy

China’s Strategy Against Hong Kong Democracy Movement

Adam Ni, 8-16-19

In order to achieve its immediate and long-term goals in Hong Kong, Beijing has put in place a multi-pronged strategy. A full picture of this strategy has emerged in recent weeks:

1) First, Beijing is firmly backing the embattled Hong Kong authorities. Chinese officials have repeatedly urged the Hong Kong police to adopt tougher tactics against protesters who they see as criminals.

And in the last week, we have seen an alarming escalation in police violence, with tear gas and rubber bullets being used with increasing frequency.

2) Beijing is also ramping up its influence operations in Hong Kong to solidify support among pro-establishment elites, businesses, and other “patriotic forces”.

Last week, the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong held a consultation forum with about 500 pro-establishment figures in Shenzhen, just across the border.

The key message was that the Chinese government was fully behind them and that their fate was tied to Beijing. This has had an immediate impact on the ground in Hong Kong, with the city’s billionaires “breaking their silence” this week and calling for the protesters to stand down.

 

Hong Kong’s billionaires, whose common interest with the government is to ignore the root problems of current protests (rampant inequality, housing woes, undemocratic regime), helped vote Lam into power and have once again thrown their weight behind her. https://twitter.com/alvinllum/status/1160511920371204098 …

 

Not with a small degree of irony, Beijing and its proxies in Hong Kong have a close relationship with the city’s organised crime groups. On several occasions in the last two months, these groups have assaulted protesters on Beijing’s behalf in an attempt to instill fear in the local population.

3) Beijing has stepped up its propaganda and misinformation efforts against the protesters in an attempt to cast them as villains in the unfolding drama. Criminal elements are also working with nefarious foreign agents to foment turmoil and undermine China, the official line goes.

Within mainland China, such blatant twists of truth are widely believed. And because Beijing has successfully mobilised public opinion there, that makes it harder for the government to back down and make compromises (not that we are seeing signs of that).

https://theconversation.com/beijing-is-moving-to-stamp-out-the-hong-kong-protests-but-it-may-have-already-lost-the-city-for-good-121815?