Economic Impact of Terrorism

Economic impact of terrorism is decreasing. The cost of terrorism has reached 89.6 billion dollars in 2015, it decreased by 15 percent from 2014. It as well reflects the overall decline in the number of people killed by terrorism. Still, the 2015 economic impact of terrorism was still at the second highest level since 2000. The economic losses caused by terrorism approximately increased by 11 times in the last 15 years. World has seen two peaks in the economic impact of terrorism and now we are living with the third one. First significant impact of terrorism started in 2001 after 9/11 attacks, second peak took place in 2007 and main cause was the peak in the Iraq war. In 2001 the economic impact of terrorism costed globally 10 billion dollars as in 2007 it has reached 37 billion dollars. The present peak from 2014 to nowadays has the biggest impact on economics with the highest 106 billion dollars a year, so from 2001 to 2014 losses to terrorism risen by 96 billion dollars. The figures shows how economy can suffer from terrorism. In the years 2015/2016 transnational terrorism has widely touched peaceful countries, including OECD states.
How the economic impact of terrorism is calculated? It is calculated using Institute for Economics and Peace methodology. Which includes the direct and indirect cost of deaths and injuries as well as the property destruction from incidents of terrorism. The direct cost includes costs borne by the victims of the terrorist acts and associated government expenditure, such as medical spending. Indirect costs include lost productivity and earnings as well as the psychological trauma to the victims, their families and friends. Unit costs for deaths and injuries are sourced from McCollister et al (2010).
Ten most terrorism affected countries are all conflict-affected countries. Countries from Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The largest economic impact from terrorism was felt in Iraq, which loses 17.3 of GDP every year that is almost a quarter of entire Iraq’s economy, in second place is Afghanistan with 16.8 percent. The most interesting is that economic impact of terrorism is significantly small compared to the other forms of violence at the global level in 2015. The impact of violence costs 13.6 trillion dollars or 13.3 percent of GDP globally.

Rokas Barkauskas

References

Denise-Marie. Ordway. Martin Maximino Journalist’s Resource (2015). The Relationship between terrorism and economic growth: Research. Available at: https://journalistsresource.org/studies/international/conflicts/relationship-between-economic-growth-terrorism-new-research (Accessed: 13th April, 2017).

Joe Myers, World Economic Forum (2015). What is the economic impact of terrorism? Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/11/what-is-the-economic-impact-of-terrorism (Accessed: 13th April, 2017).

National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (No Date) Available at: http://www.start.umd.edu (Accessed: 13th April, 2017).

Institute for Economics and Peace (2016) Global Terrorism Index. Available at: http://economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Global-Terrorism-Index-2016.2.pdf#page=64&zoom=auto,-20,516 (Accessed: 13th April, 2017).

Sub-Saharan Africa Growth Challenges

Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa region is estimated to have slowed to 1.5 percent rate in 2016, it is the weakest pace in over two decades, as commodity market lowered the price and region struggled to adjust to it. Per capita basis, regions GDP shrunken by an estimated 1.1 percent. The greatest causers of the regions struggle is South Africa and oil exporters, which contributes two-thirds wealth to the region’s economy.
Growth is expected to pick up slightly to 2.9 percent in 2017, as Sub-Saharan region is still adjusting to lower commodity prices. In 2017 oil exporters will be weaker again, as countries that are not gaining resources from natural ways will remain in strong position. As a comparison large infrastructure investments will continue to support growth among countries with wide agricultural economy, as Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia growth is expected to be above 8 percent.
Sub-Saharan Africa is facing serious problems. Externally uncertain trade policies from US and Europe could lead commodity market to even more fragile position. It could lead to higher borrowing costs and cut off capital flows to the markets. Upcoming elections in France can become the most serious impact to the region’s growth. France’s Central Bank hold foreign exchange reserves of 14 African economies and is considered to be a key figure for political stability and counterterrorism in Sub-Saharan Region. Large part of French business groups has good relations in the region. Main economic activities is: mining iron and oil export. First round of French elections will take place on 23rd April, and it is almost certain that no candidate will win a majority, final election between two front runners will be held on 7th of May. There are two main opponents in upcoming elections Marine Le Pen of the National Party and Emanuel Macron, an independent candidate. As French government has very strong relations with their colonies for decades, the new French government’s foreign policy will have a significant impact on them. If Le Pen will come to power, the French National Party will change the relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa and lean towards francophone Africa. Other major factor in Sub-Saharan Africa is French security presence, which is huge, it plays a very significant role in managing civil disturbance and extremism. Current French government are fighting the Jihad’s from beginning of West Sahara desert towards to Sudan territory. Nevertheless, France have deployed troops for peacekeeping in various African Countries.
Other strong sections that France is involved is: aid and trade. Africa is the first on the list when the speech is leaning towards aid. France gives 55 percent of aid to Africa, which 41 of 5 percent goes to Sub-Saharan Africa. In this instance Le Pen’s argument is that aid which Sub-Saharan Africa receives, encourages migration flows to get larger. Le Pen is planning to divert the aid to more to the side towards francophone Africa’s development.
Although Sub-Saharan region should recover its economy in 2017/2018 by 2.8 percent GDP, the internal risks regarding the growth looks poor, security and humanitarian issues in some of the Sub-Saharan region, as well as failure to make better trade policies across the region could stop he growth. Also we cannot forget the external risk from upcoming France government elections that could disrupt free trade agreements and potential international trades.

Rokas Barkauskas

References

Ricardo, A.Aceves. (2017) Economic Snapshot of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Available at: http://www.focus-economics.com/regions/sub-saharan-africa (Accessed: 12th April, 2017).

The World Bank (2017) Global Economic Prospects: Sub-Saharan Africa.
Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/brief/global-economic-prospects-sub-saharan-africa (Accessed: 12th April, 2017).

World Bank Group (2017) Global Economic Prospects Weak Investment in Uncertain Times.
Available at: http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/712231481727549643/Global-Economic-Prospects-January-2017-Weak-investment-uncertain-times.pdf (Accessed: 12th April 2017).

Trade Facilitation Agreement – Global Economic Boost

Trade Facilitation Agreement was signed on 22nd February, 2017. This agreement is the most successful multilateral trade agreement since the establishment of WTO in 1995. Negotiations started in 2013 as part of the Doha Development Plan. WTO members acknowledged potential benefits because of the agreement for all of the members, but especially for developing countries. EU committed to aid financially to the countries which are in the largest need to meet the regulations of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. European Union has been one of the leaders in the efforts to sign the deal. EU hopes that this agreement will play a significant role in developing countries economy, for that reason EU committed to give 400 million euros that will assist to meet the requirements and the rules as set by the agreement. Here is few more examples of European Union’s commitments for developing countries: “Zambia Regional Integration Capacity Building Project” Grant amount: 2.66 million euros (part of COMESA Regional Integration Support Mechanism programme of 116 million euros). Starting date: May 2015. Key objective: To focus on key economic sectors, including important trade facilitation reforms, to improve border management in line with WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. “Uganda Northern Corridor Road (NCR) Improvement Project” Grant amount: 167 million euros (EC contribution 122 million euros). Duration (2009 – 2014). Objective: To reduce transport costs and travel time on the Northern Corridor Route in Uganda with the aim of promoting economic and social development and facilitating international and transit trade and thereby boosting regional integration. The Northern Corridor links Burundi, the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, as well as Southern Sudan to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.” (Source: European Commission Support for Trade Facilitation January 2017. Available at: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2017/february/tradoc_155332.pdf ).
Following the activation of the agreement by the Council and the European Parliament in 2015, EU actively encouraged other WTO members to approve the deal without postponing. As Chad, Oman and Rwanda validated the agreement the minimum requirement of WTO members required has been reached and the agreement was immediately was launched into force. So, how this ‘Trade Facilitation Agreement’ is going to contribute towards global economic rise?
The agreement aims to simplify and clarify the international import and export orders, customs formalities and transit requirements. It could reduce trade costs by an average of 14.3 percent and boost global trade by 1 trillion a year, with biggest contribution to the poorest countries. It will simplify commercial – related agreements and will lower the costs. This will help to boost to global economic growth quite significantly. European Union administration will have a leading role in the beginning of the agreement and will act as an example to follow towards further progress of this agreement within European Union and at global level. As Facilitation Agreement benefits globally are uncontested. Like: transparency, consistency and predictability, simplified border procedure there is costs of the agreement.
Agreement was signed when the minimum WTO member’s amount was reached, which is 110. Why others countries does not want to commit to the Facilitation Agreement? First reason is that poorest developing countries to improve the borders and customs systems may face multiple agreement demands on very limited sources. The governments have an idea that it will have to fund themselves some of the reforms, before the benefits will be seen in an increased revenue and trade despite EU financial aid and ability that reforms can bring the benefits to pursue further reforms. In general the main concern is that it is too early and difficult to say how much effective trade facilitation will cost and how much reform governments will have to undertake to start felling the benefits of the agreement. So this could be a cause why some countries are still not signing the agreement.
Even though the reforms are costly and complex, even the modest improvements will bring considerable relative gains. Costs that incurs in implementation of Trade Facilitation are mainly: new regulations, institutional changes, training, equipment and infrastructure.
Regulatory costs: Costs rise mainly because agreement requires new legislation or changes to the existing laws, which requires time and specialized people in regulatory work.
Institutional costs: Costs arise because some facilitation agreement measures requires deploying new units which requires additional staff. The costs rises if existing staff is relocated because of training requirements.
Training costs: This is considered as most expensive and most important subject in facilitation. It is most important trade facilitation principle as the agreements primary principle is to get more effective ways of doing trade between border agencies. Countries can choose to recruit new expert staff, train existing staff or ‘import’ trained staff through exchanges with other countries ministries and agencies. As recruiting or importing new experts are the most costly option, countries often decide to train old staff as it is less costly but as well more lengthy process, because staff still needs to perform their normal duties.
Equipment and infrastructure: Often these are most costly elements as well as staff training. Most of the equipment has to be carefully implemented and sequenced with regulatory, institutional or human resource changes. At the same time insufficient equipment and infrastructure make some facilitation measures too difficult to implement.
Generally the costs are significantly high, but those countries who undertake the reforms in trade facilitation have seen that benefits exceeds costs in very wide margin. Angola undertook a five year customs modernisation process, and even mid-way through the process Angola saw the increase of revenue by 150 percent and reduced customs procedures up to 24 hours.
Trade Facilitation Agreement is the helping hand for all of the world, but mostly for the developing countries which from first sight lookalike that will suffer from expensive costs of the reforms, but as we can see the benefits can exceed the expectations.

Rokas Barkauskas

References

World Trade Organization (No date) Trade Facilitation.
Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tradfa_e/tradfa_e.htm (Accessed: 9th April, 2017).

World Trade Organization (2017) WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement enters into force.
Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/fac_31jan17_e.htm (Accessed: 9th April, 2017).

WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (No date) The Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/trade-facilitation-agreement-facility (Accessed: 11th April, 2017).

European Commission Press Release Database (2017) EU welcomes entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-188_en.htm (Accessed: 11th April, 2017).

European Commission (2017) European Commission Support for Trade Facilitation.
Available at: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2017/february/tradoc_155332.pdf (Accessed: 11th April, 2017).

OECD Policy Brief (2005) The Costs and Benefits of Trade Facilitation.
Available at: http://www.oecd.org/trade/facilitation/35459690.pdf (Accessed: 11th April, 2017).

Can Brazil Recover?

Brazil’s economy is still resisting to come back out of recession. Countries economy is trying to get out from serious, long and tiring economic stagnation. The main reasons of the decadence in Brazil’s economy were distrustful citizens, because of corruption in almost, actually not in almost in every political institution, very low consumer and business confidence, and low investment from the region. According to “Datafolha” poll data released on 2016, 63 percent of respondents throughout the country believed that Brazil’s government was “bad or terrible”, and only 13 percent (in other poll data agencies website’s it is even 6) were thinking that governmental institutions are doing a “good or excellent” work. It looks like that people’s patience have drained out, as in 2011 Brazil’s citizens showed 80 percent of trust in all governmental bodies. Only 4 other South America’s countries have less confidence in their government bodies: Columbia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile.
So what has gone wrong in Brazil? First thing corruption. The impeachment trial against Dilma Rousseff. The opposition indicted that ex Brazil president used the government’s accounts in 2014 when she was in the competition of her re-election. The trust figures that we have is explainable by the corruption scandals in the last decade, which has touched the highest groups of business and politics in the country. The biggest two were: Mensalao and Operation Car Wash.
“Mensalao” corruption scandal is a typical inequality and protectionism example. The wealthy business groups who controls the bigger part of the capital, were trying to pay the members of Congress to vote in crucial meeting, where policies were accepted. The scandal started in 2012, and in 2012 Brazil’s Supreme Courted concluded the Mensalao trial were 25 politicians, bankers and businessmen had been convicted. Some of whom were holding high positions in Worker’s Party. Yes, the same one as Ms. Ex-President Dilma Rousseff.

Second biggest scandal called “Operation Car Wash”. Indictments was released in 2014. It had involved biggest state oil company Petrobras. Allegations were leaned on that Petrobras were highly overcharged for building contracts. The overcharged peace of money had been passed to Petrobras executives and politicians who were taking part in the deal. This operation is worth highlighting that last two Brazil’s presidents are involved with this scandal. Ms. Dilma Rousseff was impeached having strong information that she was involved in this scandal.
Corruption scandals in the country had not only triggered big protests in entire country, but as well caused big economic stagnation. In 2015, economy shrank to its worst since 1981, by 3.8 percent. Inflation reached 10.7 percent, highest in 12 years and unemployment increased by 9 percent. The forecasts were disappointing, but it looks like that Brazils is showing recovery signs, as political uncertainty diminishes.
International Monetary Fund and Brazil Central Bank has released data which shows that the larger economic recovery started in the third quarter of 2016. GDP growth from -2.90 percent to 0.50 percent GDP growth. Central Brazil Bank has lowered its interest rates, to support nation’s recovery, but before continuing to Brazil’s economic recovery it would be worth to look into other reason than domestic political issues.
• Countries investments were continuously unstable, which led to decreased competitiveness and difficult financial conditions.
• Consumption lowered due to crisis in labour market and difficulties in credit agencies.
• Economic policies were not functioning properly, which led to economic deficit.
Consumers finally are finding some trust in their government as political uncertainty with the new president’s appointment. Brazil posted the largest rise in consumer confidence in 2016. Consumer trust and confidence could be the first aid to pull out Brazil’s economy out of stagnation with more spending and lending. That would enable to overall economic growth. As country citizens are purchasing and consuming more the prices become more stable. Within 12 months inflation rate decined to 5.4 percent in January 2017, compared to 6.3 percent as in the previous month, and 10.7 percent a year ago. The 5.4 inflation rate was lowest since September 2012. Consumers are finding courage to consume and this could boost up countries economic activity in various ways. Rising consumer confidence has a fast reaction on the companies involved in consumer and retail businesses.
Export contains 13 percent of GDP in Brazil. Brazil is expected to attain an incline in its economic growth in 2017, because of rising commodity market are policy amendments in export. Commodity market forms 50 percent of Brazil’s export. Countries commodity indexes steadily rises in agriculture, metal and energy. Brazil is a major iron ore exporter. As in 2015 iron prices fell 50 percent because of decreased demand in China. In 2008 China’s construction boom boosted Brazil’s economy greatly, but as years passed the demand lowered, putting largest Brazil’s iron export companies under pressure, but in 2017 it is likely that iron prices will increase due to rise of Chinas infrastructure plans, it should be a helpful boost for Brazil’s economy as well.
The biggest aid is awaited from services sector as it contributed 66 percent to GDP in 2015. For comparison the industrial sector contributes 28.5 percent and agricultural 5.5 percent towards GDP.
However, the country still struggles with major development challenges in the 21st century. Especially in agriculture. However improved commodity market, decreased inflation, GDP growth and restrained corrupted politician and business groups is bighting Brazil’s future in 2017.

Rokas Barkauskas

References

Mary Sadler, (2017) Is Brazil Showing Improvement in Its Economic Growth?
Available at: http://marketrealist.com/2017/02/brazil-showing-improvement-economic-growth/ (Accessed: 15th March, 2017).

OECD, (2016) Brazil – Economic forecast summary.
Available at: http://www.oecd.org/eco/outlook/brazil-economic-forecast-summary.htm (Accessed: 15th March, 2017).

Trading Economics, (No date) Brazil GDP Growth Rate.
Available at: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/brazil/gdp-growth (Accessed: 10th March, 2017).

BBC News, (2016) What has gone wrong in Brazil?
Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-35810578 (Accessed: 10th March, 2017).

Esteban Ortiz-Ospina, Man Roser, (2016) Trust.
Available at: https://ourworldindata.org/trust (Accessed: 28th March, 2017).

Sarah Sands, (2016) Is Brazil Still Outperforming Global Indexes?
Available at: http://marketrealist.com/2016/07/brazil-still-outperforming-global-indexes/ (Accessed: 28th March, 2017).

The World Bank, (No date) Brazil Overview.
Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/brazil/overview (Accessed: 28th March, 2017).

Self-righteousness​ should not replace our Humanity!

There are many gaps in international human rights laws; especially on subjects that were unmentionable in the epoch of 1948, when the international human rights laws were being initially adopted.The topic Of Sexual rights for both genders while is seemingly mundane for contemporary society would have been considered unethical and too scandalous for politicians to explore.By lacking space to discuss sexuality, unsafe abortion, denial of HIV treatment, and a range of acts of “culturally-justified violence against women”(McVeigh, 2016) have normalised its presence in the world.However, in modern society, while no such barriers exist for raising the discussions as it did back then, the same issues and preexisting violations of sexual rights still have yet to be adequately overcome by the international community.Being approached most recently in today’s society are policies in which prevent and protect which such infringements and violations on the rights of the individuals concerned but strong opposition has the advantageous position.

Recognising and the direct relation between religious fundamentalist communities with overbearing patriarchy and the engaging of violations against sexual rights typically set the unofficial lines in which states are not willing to call out upon for reform and criminalising regressive behaviours. Most religions across the world in fundamentalist contexts see women’s bodies as carriers of cultural integrity and often become the territory ground for disputes in religious and political control(Shameeem, 2016).In the case of women specifically around the world, the foundation for their perceived value to a  traditionalist community primarily lies in their reproductive capacity but only legitimised under the regulation of families, religious institutions, and governmental authorities and not through the will of the individual(Shameeem, 2016).

Most religions across the world in fundamentalist contexts see women’s bodies as vessels of cultural integrity and often become the territory ground for disputes in religious and political control(Shameeem, 2016).In the case of women specifically around the world, the foundation for their perceived value to a  traditionalist community primarily lies in their reproductive capacity but only is legitimised under the regulation of families, religious institutions, and governmental authorities and not through the will of the individual(Anon,2016).

Religious fundamentalist belief or domination in politics is also one of the dangerously more degrading sides of the patriarchy for women around the world. Women of an unmarried or single status can be denied access to sexual and reproductive health services and can suffer verbal classifications by religious authorities as well as marginalisation from society. Where contraception and Abortion are restricted and criminalised in the world it unwilling forces women to resort to unsafe and illegal methods of abortion, posing a significant risk to their lives and health. Anna Rocca, a 32-year-old woman from Tennessee, reverted to such a method when she was denied the help of any health services or contraception attempted to abort the 24-week pregnancy with a coat hanger, subsequently leading to her incarceration for First-degree murder(Huaser,2016).

 

State legislative authorities failing to address sexual violations not recognised by Religous fundamental and conservative communities on women allow the systematic and continuous abuse of the justice system. The horrifying truths like the cases of marital rape in the United States, female genital mutilation and circumcision in the tribes of East Africa, honour killings amongst the cities of Pakistan and living in the terror of mass rapes in Congo ,provides the crystal clear picture that policy makers and states have failed vulnerable women across the world.

Even world organisations such as the UN (United Nations) have similar histories in ignoring pleas for intervention and prevention of sexual assault due to external pressure(Hilsum,2010).In the Democratic Republic of Congo 6 years ago, the UN civil affairs bureau in Walikale was investigated for directly ignoring appeals from the village for protection just days before an upsetting number of 240 villagers were raped by rebel forces.A sickening age range from a month-old baby boy to an 110-year-old woman was raped in that particular attack(Smith,2010).

congo-rebels-accused-of-m-007fig.Recovering victim of mass rapings by rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Now the after the initial shock, the hangover reality of Donald Trump’s win has finally set in;   just contemplating the ramifications of his presidency for women and the LGBT community is enough to cause any liberal Democrat to develop real hangover symptoms.” Whatever his personal opinion may be, his appointees and their actions could put reproductive health care out of reach for millions of women, especially those living in poverty”.(New York Times,2016)The Board of the New York times commented as such to reference the president elects lack of experience and opinion in reproductive and sexual rights but his taking his position on the matter from the newly appointed guiding figures surrounding him. Mike Pence’s record, however, can be described as destructively favourable to the borderline of even saying its successful extremism for the anti-choice movement. In fact, His “achievements” in this fields are listed as followed: deny abortion coverage in health insurance exchanges,  attempt to defund embryonic stem cell research and successfully defund Planned Parenthood in his state which consequently leads to clinic closures and an HIV outbreak(Cader,2016 ). Remarkable, simply, utterly and despicably remarkable.

The confirmed future attorney general, Jeff Sessions reaffirms the suspicions that the action plan from the Trump administration will be the abandoning of abortion providers with little to no protection from anti-abortion extremists threats to both doctor and patients. Predictably with the closure of clinics the prohibition to access treatment and services since they are so-called ‘sinners’ and possess low moral standards, many living with HIV and AIDS will suffer dramatically(Flory,2016).Moreover, sexuality could be considered as taboo and scandalous once again, taking away the opportunity for positive dialogues on sexual and reproductive health and rights issues to make its way back into policy.

  Policy makers, enforcers, observers; Human rights laws should define the borders that distinguish instances in which human dignity is threatened or violated, circumstances of depriving a person or people of their dignity are no longer acceptable regardless of religious affiliation and gender.

Let this toxic version of patriarchy wither away along with sexual and reproductive intolerance.Following the example of his holiness the Pope Francis who redefined the boundaries of what can be forgiven, with the simple grant of extending priests throughout the world the right to grant absolution for abortion. He has magnificently disowned the whole process institutional injustice against sexual rights(Stack,2016)

“promote a culture of mercy based on the rediscovery of an encounter with others, a culture in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sisters.”(Pope Francis,2015)

The correct implementation against disparities and gaps exists when the rights are wholly translated into national law and practice not well-meaning intentions.

“Pope Francis delineates the path of the future life of the church so that it can always be an instrument of mercy toward everyone, without ever excluding anyone,”( Archbishop Fisichella,2016)

Lack of political will to start or maintain the necessary procedures is now the responsibility of social society; excuses such as conscious or unconscious prioritisation of the fragment issues; or a lack of technical understanding in how to implement procedures to fulfil obligations are completely accountable in the hands of everyone equally.Redefine the definition of the issue together, the significance of sexual rights and injustices, stigmas of women and sexual minorities.let us redefine them all together .politcal activism is the answer.

Georgia Rebecca mae massey (Dubai Campus)

Bibliography

Anon, (2016). Protection Gaps in Sexual Rights: Taking an Intersectional Approach and Perspective. [online] Available at: https://www.awid.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/protection_gaps_in_sexual_rights_-_awid_presentation_at_hrc30.pdf [Accessed 16 Dec. 2016].

Board, T. (2016). Protecting Reproductive Rights Under Donald Trump. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/07/opinion/protecting-reproductive-rights-under-donald-trump.html [Accessed 15 Dec. 2016].

Flory, T. (2016). What does a Trump presidency mean for reproductive rights?. [online] Theweek.com. Available at: http://theweek.com/articles/661152/what-does-trump-presidency-mean-reproductive-rights [Accessed 15 Dec. 2016].

hilsum, l. (2016). Congo women relive terror of mass rape: ‘This is our cry for help’. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/12/congo-unitednations [Accessed 15 Dec. 2016].

May28.org. (2016). Linkages between Religious Fundamentalism and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Global South | May 28. [online] Available at: http://www.may28.org/linkages-between-religious-fundamentalism-and-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-in-the-global-south/ [Accessed 15 Dec. 2016].

McVeigh, K. (2016). US aid for women’s sexual health worldwide under threat. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/nov/12/us-aid-women-sexual-health-worldwide-could-be-cut-drastically-under-trump [Accessed 16 Dec. 2016].

I am lost in you Globalization

The main reason for globalization is to spread national goods internationally, where both national and international parties then benefit. But what happens when agreements are not upheld and national identities suffer?

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The easiest way to know if a place is globalized is to look around you; if you have a McDonald’s near by, then you are definitely in the globalized market. I mean who wouldn’t want to be, especially when it concerns food? With the various arrays of foods and delicious nothings from all over the world. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to have access to such exquisite cuisines sometimes mixed with just a pinch of fusion from others. Lets not forget the aspiring chefs and entrepreneurs who bring their own culture’s delicacies. Or perhaps just the influx of migrants and the only way to truly make it feel like home is through their own comfort foods of course!

But what about us? What about me? What about my people?

You see, just recently I was exposed to a shock that I still am trying to recover from; a shock that you may even laugh at, but a shock nonetheless.

In efforts of trying to represent my country (the United Arab Emirates) during the wondrous event of ‘International Day’ at university, the best way to do so is by sharing our traditional Emirati cuisine. I had wanted to share the flavors of my upbringing and childhood. I wanted to share #MyDubai. But in the quest of doing so, I had begun to realize that it was almost pointless. Because initially taking on the task of wanting to make things traditionally at home from scratch, it seemed as though all the ingredients managed to disappear from the shelves at the stores. I had gone during the celebration of the UAE National Day (2nd December), knowing that there should definitely be a lot of flags around to purchase, and so why not the ingredients too?

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I was wrong on both accounts. Yes there were flags (due to the celebrations), but not for sale and no traditional ingredients. After going to countless stores and asking different people, I continuously got the same answer. “We only get those during Ramadan”, I asked them “why?” to which they replied, “Because no one buys them any other day.” Essentially telling me that these traditional ingredients were seasonal and not the nature kind. These included: Dibs al-Tammar, Khubz Raqaq, Luqaimat, and many others.

I sought out an alternative; surely there must be restaurants that I can order from right? Yes, there were a few and not more than a few, by that I mean only three. Two of which were completely capitalist (unreasonably overpriced) and one seemingly unreliable. This made me question, how could this have happened? Within the famous city of Dubai, there are only three Emirati restaurants? I could find hundreds of Italian, Chinese, or Indian places to order from, but for my own traditional cuisine, it doesn’t even complete the number on a single hand?

Dubai is a multicultural city, and with that come diverse tastes, traditions, and identities. But has it become so diverse that the efforts of trying to sustain it’s own national identity are trivial? I definitely do not believe in the ‘low demand’ aspect of it all. When individuals visit a place, they want to view its culture, heritage and traditions. But it seems as though Dubai has invested so much time in making others feel at home, it lost its own.

Dear Globalization,

I am lost in you.

We were meant to be a team in this. You were interested in me, and I was very intrigued with what you had to offer. You told me that people would love what I had, only for you to come in and cover all that I had, with your large labeled brands. You said you’d take me abroad, but instead concealed me as though I was flawed.

We had a deal Globalization. I kept my end of the bargain why are you shying away from yours? You make your big brands cheaper and more demanded for. You grabbed that niche. But now I am suffering.

There was a point where you needed me, in fact were obsessed with me. But for you to continue to grow just know your market needs us both.

Sincerely,

National Identity

Fadhila Al Asmawi | Dubai Campus

Bibliography

Continue reading “I am lost in you Globalization”

‘High Time for Change’ on Refugees “THE UNANSWERED PLEAS AND HIDDEN SCARS ALL REFUGEES CARRY”

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The world right now is facing one of its largest humanitarian crisis. With the 65th anniversary of the United Nations refugee convention being put into place, there are now approximately 65 million refugees who are displaced globally, the most since the end of World War 2 (The Irish Times, 2016). Out of the 65 million refugees close to one-third are children being caught in the crossfire and what have they done to deserve all this?

Last year, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set in place a few proposals for a game-changing global deal that would mean all world states had the shared responsibility to protect the refugees. The initial plan was to coordinate a global response to the ever so increasing movement of the refugees, including that of developing countries where they host more than 86% of the world’s refugees while the richer nations may recognize refugee rights but often tend to back away when accepting these refugees into their lands. A better, rational solution, in which the rich countries would share the responsibility of taking refugees was on the cards. But now this plan, a Global compact on Responsibility-sharing for refugees- hangs in the balance. Before the end of July, the member states of the UN in New York have the final opportunity to formulate the proposals before the UN adopts them in September.

Last year, there was an agreement by the UN to put forward 17 goals to transform the world we live in. This was a sustainable development criterion that promised that “all human beings can fulfill their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment” (http://www.hindustantimes.com/, 2016). These SDG’s promised all the people the much-needed chance to a prosperous and a fulfilling life. This could be a historic breakthrough if it turns out to be a success.

However, instead of being a historic breakthrough, we could now face it to turn into a historic failure. The thousands of refugees that are languishing – at times for years – in countries that aren’t equipped to host such numbers of refugees must not wait a moment there suffering for a chance at freedom. A co-operated agreement between countries that doesn’t deliver action would perpetuate unwanted suffering resulting in the loss of innocent lives. It would also symbolize a senseless waste of the tremendous human potential of vast numbers of women, men and children.

Amnesty international has begun a proposal for a five-point plan for the member states of the UN to share equal responsibility for assisting and hosting the refugees. In my personal opinion, I think this would be beneficial as the responsibilities are divided amongst the countries based on their GDP, unemployment rates and other criteria’s. I like to think that such actions of sharing responsibilities would and will go on to saving millions of lives from death and suffering or by drowning or disease. This would offer refugees with a real, legal and safe escape routes from war-torn zones across the world and wouldn’t have to worry about their families or themselves.

Tackling the current crisis of refugees is completely possible. The international community has started to show vital signs it can conquer complex challenges such as SDG’s and also the climate change criteria’s which were approved in Paris last December. I tend to think that the current global crisis is more of a crisis of leadership rather than a failure of resources. A good example would be the Indochina refugee crisis in the 1970’s where the global community came together via the UN and showed how to combat the root cause of the problem. It went to show how richer countries can collaborate and accommodate thousands of people and show how working together and sharing responsibilities can go a long way. There isn’t much time left for the UN states to act. Do we want to go down as the generation that squandered this historic opportunity to protect thousands of refugees or does we go down as the leaders who seized the chance?

Some people tend to say, I’ve heard too myself that, ‘Hey, let’s not support those refugees from Syria because there are high chances that those people are highly radicalized Muslims’! Thus categorizing them before even thinking that they’re human just like the rest of us who are trying to flee from war-torn zones! How could we all forget the Golden Rule? (Nguyen, 2016) What if we hop onto to their shoes even for an hour? What if you and your family were a refugee? If by any chance the U.S. banned refugees from Europe back in the 17th and 18th century, then North America would be only occupied by the first nations. This obviously wouldn’t have been bad but this would’ve stopped the immigration to North America and our way of life would’ve been completely different to that of now. What I understand from this situation is that the wealthier countries through this mandate that has been passed should come forward and give a lending hand to the people who need it the most right now. Let’s all gather every bit of humanity we have within us and help these helpless souls without categorizing them into which religion, gender or ethnicity. History has proven that it doesn’t long for even the greatest of civilizations to fall. So let us all keep that in my and help the refugees with every chance we get.

Charith

Dubai Campus

References

  1. Sayigh, Y. (2016). Facing the Refugee Challenge: Time for a Paradigm Change. [online] Carnegie Middle East Center. Available at: http://carnegie-mec.org/2016/02/01/facing-refugee-challenge-time-for-paradigm-change-pub-62570 [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].
  2. Nguyen, V. (2016). The Hidden Scars All Refugees Carry. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/03/opinion/the-hidden-scars-all-refugees-carry.html?_r=0 [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].
  3. Anderson, J. (2016). States are ducking their responsibilities to refugees. This U.N. declaration might just start to change that.. [online] Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/09/23/states-are-ducking-their-responsibilities-to-refugees-this-u-n-declaration-might-just-start-to-change-that/ [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].
  4. BBC News. (2016). UN focuses on refugees – will it be enough? – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37389648 [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].
  5. The Irish Times. (2016). UN summit on refugees fails to offer solutions. [online] Available at: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/un-summit-on-refugees-fails-to-offer-solutions-1.2797049 [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].
  6. org. (2016). Refugees, Displaced People Surpass 60 Million For First Time, UNHCR Says. [online] Available at: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/20/482762237/refugees-displaced-people-surpass-60-million-for-first-time-unhcr-says [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].

If I had a quarter for every time I got paid less than a man…

The gender-pay gap is still prevalent across the world and there is an urgent need to address it. Perception of development is skewed if we do not account for the progression of women’s participation in the global economy. 

Historically, a woman’s place has always been secured in the private sphere. During the course of World-War I, we see the first large movement of women into the public sphere. Women had entered the workforce to compensate for the men who had to vacate their jobs to head out to war. However, women were getting paid lower than that of the men they were taking place of. The first ever equal pay strike took place in 1918 when women who worked on the London buses and trams demanded equal pay as men. Women had won the strike. Fast forward almost a 100 years later and women are still fighting for parity

Women face a range of issues within the workplace in today’s world. In the recruitment stage, women need to over-achieve and be close to revolutionary to even be considered for the same role a man with lower qualifications could easily secure (Forbes.com, 2016). In fact, women tend to hold a lot more jobs that tend to be under-paid and under-valued; more than half of those who work in minimum-wage jobs are women. Understanding the gendered nature of poverty can also help emphasize the necessity for gender parity; women are more prone to be pushed into poverty due to the precariat state that they live in.

'Here's your family dental plan.'
(Image Credits: CartoonStock)

Often times, women are seen to be linked with conventionally “feminine” traits; emotional, irrational and soft. Whereas men are seen to be linked with conventionally “masculine” traits; cool-tempered, rational and firm. These associations are one of many factors that go into the large gender gap in senior-managerial positions, such as in Fortune 500 CEOs, where in 2014, women only made up 5.2% of the list. Employees often deem women as inadequate for certain positions under the impression that they would be too emotional and would be unable to fulfill the job requirements in the same measure as a man would.

When women are blessed and lucky enough to score a job, they still face discrimination in the workplace. If we look at the figures, more than half of women claim that they feel discriminated against in the workplace. This doesn’t just lie with a lack of opportunities being given to them in contrast to their male colleagues, but also in terms of harassment. One instance can be seen with the case of Harvard-trained lawyer Ellen Pao, who filed a lawsuit against her company, Kleiner Perkins (Who, conveniently fired her 6 months later, but claimed the lawsuit was not a factor into her being dismissed) for their unfair treatment of both her, and other women at the company. Pao’s case claimed gender discrimination, where men (All her peers, practically) were promoted over women, men were paid more than women and there was little support for women who faced sexual harassment (The Economist, 2016). Unfortunately, Pao’s case is not an isolated incident.

tel_1060915                                           (Image Credits: CartoonsGroup)

COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg has consistently been pushing for gender equality and equity in the workplace, by urging people to Lean In. Sandberg claims that “equality is not a zero-sum game”. In fact, she points out that companies that have gender equity tend to fair better, by generating more market-value and better net-income growth, in addition to being more stable and prosperous. Painfully, instead we have seen that in 2015, the World Economic Forum announced that at the rate we are currently moving in, women would only achieve parity in 2133. As if this wasn’t sobering enough, this year’s report clams that a dramatic slowdown in progress predicts that it could only actually be achieved in 2186. In fact, the report even noted that on average, women work approximately 59 minutes more in a working day than a man does- to put this into perspective, that adds up to 39 more working days per year. Combine this with the fact that on average, a white woman makes 77 cents to a man’s dollar. A women of color makes even less than that.

A common misconception is that these gaps and inequalities are only prevalent in developing nations. However, when we look at it from a country to country break down, the United States stands at 45th on the list, the UK at 20th and Australia at 46th, respectively. What’s interesting to note is that all the aforementioned countries are considered “developed”. What are the factors that we consider when we look into development? This paints an ugly picture; we don’t even account for how a country treats their women when we look at their progression. In fact, to the surprise of most, Rwanda places amongst the Scandinavian countries in the Top 5 on the list.

In 2003, Rwanda included a quota system that would secure women up to 30% of seats in decision-making bodies to their constitution. While their democracy may not be perfect; it is pluralistic. Which is a lot more than can be said for other more “developed” countries, such as the United States- whom with which the last time I checked, have a record score of 0 women in all the 43 Presidents who have served term so far. Globally, we require a movement. A movement that insists on progression, a movement that pushes for the complete abolition of the gender pay gap, and a movement that condemns every nation that does not treat their women equally.

Bibliography

Striking-women.org. (2016). World War I: 1914-1918 | Striking Women. [online] Available at: http://www.striking-women.org/module/women- and-work/world- war-i- 1914-1918 Forbes.com. (2016). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomwatson/2015/01/30/the-social- sectors-glass- ceiling-why-women-in- leadership-jobs- matter/#1c0c41076897

Forbes.com. (2016). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/amyjadesimi/2016/08/08/female-leadership- the-glass- ceiling-is-cracked-not- broken/#699c7be01c2c

Identity, G. (2016). Gender Identity | Stereotypical Masculine & Feminine Traits. [online] Plannedparenthood.org. Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/sexual-orientation-gender/gender- gender-identity

Dugan, E. (2016). ‘More than half of women are discriminated against at work’. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/more- than-half-of- women-are- discriminated-against- at-work- 9029535.html

Americanprogress.org. (2016). The Straight Facts on Women in Poverty – Center for American Progress. [online] Available at: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2008/10/08/5103/the-straight- facts-on-women- in-poverty/

The Economist. (2016). Lean in, push out. [online] Available at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2015/03/sexual-discrimination

The Huffington Post. (2016). [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrea-friedman/looking-to- rwanda-for- les_b_147833.html

Global Gender Gap Report 2016. (2016). Rankings. [online] Available at: http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender- gap-report- 2016/rankings/

Sumaya Nair
Dubai Campus 

Only 60 years of farming left…

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Some believe in it, and some do not, as Trump—what am I talking about? The answer is climate change.

Climate change is when the usual weather in a place becomes changes. As for instance, a change in how much snow or rain a place usually gets in a year. Or if a place’s usual temperature becomes changed during a season, that is counted as climate change too. The weather changes in a couple of hours, but changes in climate are supposed to take hundreds or million years. Unfortunately, that is not the case of today’s world.

The evidence of a rapid climate change are many. One of them are the global sea level that is arising—it arose 17-centimetre last decade and in this decade, it has doubled. Another evidence is the rise of global temperature. Most of the change in the global temperature has occurred in the last 35 years, including the 15 of the 16 hottest years happening since 2001. However, the list of evidence is long with warm oceans becoming one of them. The oceans have absorbed the heat and become 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit warmer since 1969, which is much in this short period. Another evidence is the shrinking ice-sheets in the Antarctic, glacial retreats, extreme events as heavy rainfall, and ocean acidification (NASA, 2016).

Then the question is, what causes climate change? Let me tell you. The answer is that human and natural causes are the reason for it. Natural causes as volcanic eruption, ocean current, earth orbital changes and solar variations. But let’s remember that the natural causes have always been a part of the world’s history but because of the human’s activities, climate change has speeded up. The United Nations, and important scientists are saying that we have to take actions against it. One of the major factors contributing to climate change is the man-made greenhouse gases. The emissions of it are responsible for more than 75% of the carbon dioxide (CO2). Clearing of land for industry, agriculture, deforestation, energy production, fuel for vehicles and home heating are some of the contributing factors for the greenhouse effect that is among other causing climate change (Climatechangechallenge.org, 2016).

earth_climate_change__osama_hajjaj

Here comes the terrifying fact: Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues! A senior UN official said that to generate three centimetres of top soil takes 1000 years, and if the present rate of degradation continues, there would be no more top soil within 60 years, which means no more farming. Topsoil provides nutrients to growing plants. The reason why soil is becoming destructed is because of chemical farming techniques, deforestation, and global warming, which as I mentioned above, are the contributors of climate change. And the worst part is to know that it is caused by the human being! However, 95 % of our food is from the soil —so that shows how dependent we are on it (Scientific American, 2016). Our food-security is threatened!

The United Nation’s SDG 13, (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), highlights the climate change issue and wants the world to combat it (United Nations Sustainable Development, 2015). Considering that there are people as Trump who does not believe in that climate change exists, it is good to know that an international body as the United Nations are addressing the issue and even have it as one of their goals in the Sustainable Development Goals. SO WAKE UP PEOPLE, LET’S COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND SAVE THE WORLD!

By Marjam Chahrour

Middlesex University Dubai

References
Climatechangechallenge.org. (2016). Causes of Climate Change. [online] Available at: http://www.climatechangechallenge.org/Resource%20Centre/Climate-Change/3-what_causes_climate_change.htm [Accessed 11 Dec. 2016].
NASA, (2016). Climate change evidence: How do we know?. [online] Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. Available at: http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ [Accessed 10 Dec. 2016].
Scientific American. (2016). Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues. [online] Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/ [Accessed 12 Dec. 2016].
United Nations Sustainable Development. (2015). Climate Change – United Nations Sustainable Development. [online] Available at: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/ [Accessed 12 Dec. 2016].
Image references
1st  image Available at: http://climate.nasa.gov/system/internal_resources/details/original/103_shutterstock_88550854-740px.jpg [Accessed 13 Dec. 2016].
2nd  image Available at: http://www.cartoonmovement.com/cartoon/26036 [Accessed 14 Dec. 2016].

Is Feminism Anti-Motherhood?

There are a lot opinions out there about women who choose to not bare children. There are also women out there who have children but later feel regret. They may feel that they might have been living better, more meaningful, and possibly more exciting lives if they did not have children. There is an interesting article on this topic titled, “When Did Feminism Become So Anti-Motherhood?” published on the Huffington Post. The article argues that “It’s not the kids who are at fault for ‘ruining’ their mother’s lives. You can instead thank a feminist movement that has failed women” (Hyatt, 2016) feminism_vs_motherhood2

The term ‘feminist’ was first brought to the English language during the 1880s to seek support for equal, legal, and political rights for both women and men (Bryson and Campling, 1999). Feminism is centrally focused on eliminating the oppression of women through social, political, and economic institutions. It is a group of social theories, moral philosophies, and political movements that advocate for social, political, and economic equality between the sexes (Grimsley, 2003).

Feminism is a movement where the aim is to accelerate the social role of women and it puts women’s concerns, perspectives, and efforts on the forefront so that it is more exposed and so women can be recognized as integral members of their societies (Grimsley, 2003). Female reproductive rights were brought to light during the second wave of feminism. This movement began in the 1960s and continued through the early 1980s (Grimsley, 2003).

Betty Friedan, an American writer, activist, and feminist, wrote her first piece that helped to spark the feminism movement titled, “The Feminist Mystique” (Hyatt, 2016). Other feminists may have interpreted that her words hinted that feminism was defined as freedom from men, marriage and/or children. Many feminist have the idea that getting married and losing your single status or getting pregnant could be the ultimate death of your career and sense of freedom. Two of the heroes of the current feminist wave, Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL, and Cecil Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, have received praise for proudly sharing their choices to abort their children because it just wasn’t the “right time” (Hyatt, 2016).

This article argues that feminism may be leading women to believe that in order to be independent and equal to men, they are better off not having children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, in 2014, 47.6 percent of women between age 15 and 44 had never had children. This number was up from 46.5 percent in 2012. These statistics represent the highest percentage of childless women since the bureau started tracking that data in 1976 (Gray, 2015). It is not known exactly why these numbers are so high and we don’t know each woman’s individual reason. However, the article by Huffington Post makes an interesting claim that feminism may be one of the culprits. One can easily understand how the pressures of the modern world and the pressure to be an independent, working woman may affect these numbers.

“As Mic Senior Editor Elizabeth Plank argued, for many women, not having kids may simply be the most rational choice. Given the economic fallout of the 2008 recession, the gender wage gap that just won’t quit, the sheer cost of raising a child, and the double duty demands put on women both professionally and domestically, are we really surprised that greater numbers of women are simply opting out of childrearing?” (Gray, 2015).

In the modern world, women may be faced with the pressures of feminism and this may be the reason why less children are being brought into the world.

By Tanisha Lazarre

 

Bibliography Continue reading “Is Feminism Anti-Motherhood?”