Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Mali: The Disintegration of a "Model African Democracy" | Thurston | Stability: International Journal of Security and Development

Mali: The Disintegration of a "Model African Democracy" | Thurston | Stability: International Journal of Security and Development

Mali: The Disintegration of a “Model African Democracy”
Alex Thurston, Department of Religious Studies, Northwestern University, USA
 
This commentary examines how Mali entered its current crisis, tracing the fall of the regime of President Amadou Toumani Touré and the rise of armed Islamist groups in northern Mali, as well as the events that led to an armed intervention by France. The piece then discusses some of the conceptual frameworks that could impede effective policy formation in post-conflict Mali. The piece argues that Somalia does not offer a compelling model for Mali. The commentary closes by recommending that the Malian government and its partners should prioritize addressing humanitarian and security concerns in northern Mali over staging elections.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Girl soldiers face tougher battle on return to civilian life

Girl soldiers face tougher battle on return to civilian life

An estimated 40% of all child soldiers are girls, but reintegration programmes are not designed to address their needs...

Girl soldiers are often thought of only as "sex slaves", a term that glosses over the complex roles many play within armed groups and in some national armies. This thinking contributes to their subsequent invisibility in the demobilisation processes. In fact, girls are frequently the most challenging child soldiers to rehabilitate.

The broad categorisation of girl soldiers as victims of sexual abuse obscures that they are often highly valued militarily. While sexual abuse is believed to be widespread, girls' vulnerability may vary, as attitudes towards women differ extensively across militias. In Colombia, the Marxist-leaning groups the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) and National Liberation Army (ELN) treated female soldiers as equal to males, while rightwing paramilitary groups were known to embrace gender stereotypes.  Some have argued that disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programmes are ill-equipped to address the needs of girls. DDR was designed for adult male combatants, and over the years has incorporated female combatants, followed by boy soldiers and then girls...

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Taoiseach makes historic apology to Magdalenes

Taoiseach makes historic apology to Magdalenes

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has apologised to the women who spent time in the Magdalene laundries.
In an emotional speech, which was greeted by loud applause, Mr Kenny said: "This is a national shame for which I say again I am deeply sorry and offer my full and heartfelt apologies."
Opening the Dáil debate tonight on the McAleese report, Mr Kenny said the Magdalene laundries were reserved for what was offensively and judgementally called fallen women.
The women, he added, were wholly blameless.
He added: "I, as Taoiseach, on behalf of this State, the Government and our citizens, deeply regret and apologise unreservedly to all those women for the hurt that was done to them, for any stigma they suffered as a result of the time they spent in the Magdalene laundry."...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Woman’s 10-litre a day Coke habit factor in death | Irish Examiner

Woman’s 10-litre a day Coke habit factor in death | Irish Examiner

A New Zealand woman’s 10-litre a day Coca Cola habit was a major factor in her death, a coroner found. And now the coroner is urging the soft drink giant to put health warnings on its caffeinated products...

UN Human trafficking Report

Human trafficking 'in 118 nations'

A new United Nations report has painted a grim picture of the millions of people being trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labour. They represent at least 136 different nationalities, have been detected in 118 countries and the majority of victims are women though the number of children is increasing....

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Can the AU Deliver Pax Africana? | Think Africa Press

Can the AU Deliver Pax Africana? | Think Africa Press

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

Last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African Union (AU) leaders celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – the AU’s predecessor. They spoke of the OAU’s leadership in past liberation struggles and offered lofty visions for the future.
But, in his final speech as AU assembly chairperson, Benin’s President Yayi Boni took a more critical look at the present.
Referring to France’s recent military intervention in northern Mali, he asked: “How can we understand that when danger threatened its very basis, Africa, which has the means to organise its own defence, continued to wait?”
Boni’s frustration speaks more broadly of the AU’s continued difficulty in achieving Pax Africana: a peace kept in Africa, by Africa...

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

In cyberspace no one can hear you scream

In cyberspace no one can hear you scream

The perpetrator and the victim are familiar roles in any bullying scenario but a lot less attention is paid to the bystander.
Yet, statistically, your teenage son or daughter is much more likely to have the “walk on” part of bystander, particularly when the bullying is carried out in cyberspace. They may think they are doing nothing when they glance at hurtful comments aimed at somebody else tumbling in on a news feed on a social media page, but they are involved.
There are grades of bystanders, says clinical psychologist Sarah O’Doherty, which range from being actively involved and encouraging the bullying – “you may not be the person who instigated it but as soon as it starts up you jump in and start adding at the same volume” – right down the scale to somebody who is just watching and doing nothing.
“You are never neutral if you are a witness to bullying,” she explains. “You have a choice to either do something or not do something – either way you are making a decision about it.”...

Monday, 4 February 2013

Girl shot by Taliban stable after surgery

Girl shot by Taliban stable after surgery

A Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education has undergone successful surgery at a British hospital to reconstruct her skull and help restore lost hearing.
A team of doctors carried out a five-hour operation on Saturday on 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in October and brought to Britain for treatment.
The procedures carried out were cranial reconstruction, aimed at mending parts of her skull with a titanium plate, and a cochlear implant designed to restore hearing on her left side, which was damaged in the attack.
“Both operations were a success and Malala is now recovering in hospital,” said a statement yesterday from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she is being treated. The girl’s condition was described as stable and the statement said her medical team was very pleased with the progress she has made. “She is awake and talking to staff and members of her family,” it added...