My life's story has led me on this path to wanting to make access to decent, empowering work available to women through the acquisition of tradeable skills. Decent employment for women is the main escape route out of poverty in Africa, and it strengthens the link between economic growth and aggregate poverty reduction.
As of 2014, 143 out of 195 countries legally guarantee equality between men and women. I wish I could say that gender equality, or any equality, enforced by the law translates into equality in the minds of people. Deeply rooted problems preventing true parity have been promoted by patriarchy for years, passed on from one generation to another disguised as 'tradition.'
The heart of #meninism might be valid, but it doesn't remotely reflect the kind of struggle that women throughout the ages have gone through. Let's work a little less on spitting on the real issues and work more on making sure that we're making the changes necessary to ensure that we never have the meninist/feminist conversation again.
It is a black and white matter. Killing journalists because they write, draw or publish something you deem offensive is wrong, and yes, it is wrong even if the thing you deemed offensive is, objectively speaking, offensive. There are no shades of grey here, no colours, no nuances. None of that is relevant. It matters not if the cartoons were vulgar or sexist, or, as many think, not funny.
It is time we all joined the UN chief's plea, and once again rallied to #bringbackourgirls from a terrorist organization that knows no bounds to its brutality. Join me as I call on Canada to work with the international community in addressing the ongoing violence threatening innocent women and children in Nigeria.
What kind of year was 2014? It was a tough year to be female. Most of the time I consider myself lucky to be a woman living today rather than one born generations earlier. I marvel at how much easier I have it than my mother and all the women before her. And I am lucky; I have the ability to make choices -- about my education, life partner, reproductive rights and career -- that none of them ever had. Looking back at the year we had, though, wasn't it still way too tough -- too dangerous, even -- to be a woman or a girl in 2014?
Slowly, but surely, I see my ancestral city die a slow death at the hands of religious fanatics. From Boko Haram in Nigeria, who kidnapped 276 young girls from a school in April 2014, to the TTP, who has repeatedly attacked schoolchildren in Pakistan, the Islamic fundamentalists are systematically attacking schools and students. Their goal is to deprive the future generation of Muslims of education and return them back to the dark ages. It is time for the West to right the wrongs and help save Peshawar from the apocalyptic mercenaries.
This week, Canadians observed the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. For Sikh Canadians and Jewish Canadians alike, the Day of Remembrance has particular resonance. That our two communities have shared experience in facing terrorism was pointedly on display during the 2008 Mumbai attack.
Freedom of religion and freedom of conscience are rights that are so fundamental to the maintenance of democratic principles of state that it calls for a fervent protection of the rights of atheists and religious persons, alike. The rights of atheists and the rights of religious persons ought not to entail persecution of said persons.
In the United States gruesome murders are common and merit only passing attention. In a shooting spree, also in April, three people were killed at a Jewish community centre near Kansas City. The media did not mention the religion of the accused. Had they been Muslim their religion, and perhaps Muslims in general, would have been maligned.
With every day that passes, the Nigerian schoolgirls could be moving further into dangerous territory of all kinds. Exploitation like the kinds they may be facing can have intensely disturbing effects on a child's social, emotional cognitive and spiritual well-being -- as well as their long-term development.
As I write this, the swell of a Western grassroots outcry against the Nigerian outfit, Boko Haram, appears to be forming across social media. There's a specific aspect of war crimes which it is necessary to emphasize, and that's the use of sexualized violence against women as a tool of war. Can we all agree to stop using the phrase "the forcible sale of women into marriage"? Church bells and nuptials this is not. It's profiteering from rape in a triple currency which is simultaneously economic, military and psychological in nature.