The Great Debate UK
- Sam Cook is the director of the PeaceWomen Project – a project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – the world’s oldest women’s peace organization founded in 1915 in the Hague. WILPF is an international non-governmental organization with national sections in 35 countries, covering all continents. Its international secretariat is based in Geneva with a New York United Nations office. The opinions expressed are her own. -
With the global financial crisis seemingly in every headline and a looming economic meltdown foremost on everyone’s minds, the observance of International Women’s Day on March 8 may not seem of immediate relevance. But it is.
Clara Zetkin, who is credited with first putting forward the idea of an international women’s day in 1910, would likely have a lot to say about where we are today. She and other committed socialists of the women’s and the peace movements in the U.S. and Europe whose work inspired this Women’s Day would probably not be entirely surprised at what the dominant economic and political power ideologies of the last century have delivered.
Of course International Women’s Day has grown beyond its working class roots in the early 1900′s. Alongside the women’s movement, we see now that global corporations and governments actively claim support of the day and its celebrations. The official website of International Women’s Day claims this fact as a positive achievement. But, as someone who considers herself part of the peace and women’s movements, this causes me no small measure of discomfort and adds to my mixed emotions about the day.
– Ray Chambers is a philanthropist and humanitarian who has directed most of his efforts towards children. In 2008, the U.N. Secretary-General appointed him as his first Special Envoy for Malaria. The views expressed are his own. –
Malaria infects one quarter of a billion people each year. Nearly one million of those afflicted die, taxing overburdened health infrastructures and decreasing productivity in Africa, where 90 percent of cases occur.
from Africa News blog:
Earlier this month, Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo argued that Africa needs Western countries to cut long term aid that has brought dependency, distorted economies and fuelled bureaucracy and corruption. The comments on the blog posting suggested that many readers agreed. In a response, Savio Carvalho, Uganda country director for aid agency Oxfam GB, says that aid can help the continent escape poverty - if done in the right way:
In early January, I travelled to war-ravaged northern Uganda to a dusty village in Pobura and Kal parish in Kitgum District. We were there to see the completion of a 16km dirt road constructed by the community with support from Oxfam under an EU-funded programme.