With a high immigrant population from countries where there are high rates of FGM, it is an issue that Canada and Canadians should no longer ignore. There is enough evidence to suggest that there are hundreds of women and girls in Canada who have undergone FGM and many younger girls who are still at risk.
Eliminating violence against women and girls requires the implementation of laws, services and access to justice for women and girls that experience violence, and raising awareness among influential actors and everyday people. Transforming what is "normal" in society -- expected, naturalized, unsaid -- is the critical piece of the puzzle, and one that we can all help put in place. We can challenge what we hear and see, check our own behaviour and beliefs, and defy expectations that promote gender inequality.
When I was ten years old, my babysitter offered to give my friend Jimmy a ride home. As I sat in the back beside my friend, he turned to me and said, "Michelle, can you close your eyes for a second? They're different! You don't have a crease in your eye. I've never noticed this before. They are so cool!" This was my first introduction to the concept of having double eyelids.
Being a female worker in Indonesia is not easy. Juggling life as a mother, wife, child, and worker, turns your days into endlessly tiring routines. Although Indonesian women have been living like this for so long, it is time that the suffering ends and new initiatives arise which both empower women while still giving them a chance to spend more time with their families. One solution would be to encourage more and more women to become entrepreneurs.
The Canadian dollar may not be in line with the U.S. dollar anymore, but that doesn't mean it's time to stop traveling. In fact, there are plenty of places around the globe where your Canadian dollars can make you a millionaire, literally. After all, $100 CAD is equivalent to roughly 1,004,817 Indonesian Rupiah and 168,842 Tanzanian Shillings.
Canggu is a visually stunning paradise where rice paddies meet ocean. Like most of Bali, it is full of kindness, and very relaxed. Out on the roads, cars, trucks, buses and scooters press up against each other, snaking through black exhaust in an unhurried manner, everyone just emanating this "we'll get there eventually" vibe.
On June 6, much of the world will be celebrating World Environment Day, the annual United Nations day to raise awareness and action for the environment. As the UN puts it, World Environment Day is an "opportunity for everyone to realize the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change."
The world needs the leaders to agree to a shared vision, matched by commitments, so that all of us -- the industry, governments, civil society and consumers -- can work together to halt and reverse the demise of the world's precious forests. We cannot stand by idly hoping to reverse recent devastation.
I know the Bantlemans, and I too have taught at international schools in Asia. I met my husband--a guy from Edmonton--in the Middle East, and we had twins in Bangkok. I know the lure and the realization of what Mrs. Bantleman describes as wanting "to learn more about the culture and the people" of a far off land. I also can imagine how powerless you would be if incarcerated in a foreign country.
To further underscore the risks: Indonesia's forests contain 10 per cent of the world's plants, 12 per cent of the world's mammals, 16 per cent of the world's reptile-amphibians, and 17 per cent of the world's bird species. Massive clearance of forests, particularly primary forests, leads to extinctions, floods, reduced river flows, as well as huge fires.