Quaccheri e cristiani non evangelici senza chiesa

I risultati di oggi sono straordinari per il recente sitohttp://www.quaccheri.it. Si sfiorano le 1200 visualizzazioni alle ore 24.

Si è deciso di investire euro 96 annuali per monetizzare le visite e trarre autosostentamento dei 6 blog collegati

Se lo desideri puoi donare un euro al mese o una somma a tua discrezione per aiutare nella copertura di questi oneri imprevisti, dati dal successo di lettura.

Grazie amico degli Amici

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from Italy

Il Signore passò davanti a lui, e gridò:
“Il Signore! Il Signore!
Il Dio misericordioso e pietoso,
lento all’ira,
ricco di bontà e fedeltà,
che conserva la sua bontà fino alla millesima generazione,
che perdona l’iniquità, la trasgressione e il peccato,
ma non terrà il colpevole per innnocente;
che punisce l’iniquità dei padri sopra i figli e sopra i figli dei figli, fino alla terza e alla quarta generazione!”
(Es. 34, 6-7)

PS: Puoi donare per confermare i domini di 6 nostri siti e le due pec. Non abbiamo fondi 8 per mille come gli altri o contributi pubblici come i cattolici e valdesi (anche per le scelte indirette! Un vero scandalo dei protestanti e cattolici).

Aiutaci con un bonifico bancario dunque

Ecco IBAN di Maurizio Benazzi, animatore blogger CRISTIANO senza chiesa IN ITALIA e NORD AMERICA,:
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For Europa as Sepa system: MICSITM1 (XXX optional only if request)

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skype maurizio.benazzi email maurizio_benazzi@libero.it

09.03.2021 – US, United States – Common Dreams

The Choice for Democrats in Congress: Go Big or Go Home.

The precedent created by letting one or two moderates derail popular legislation supported by the rest of the caucus is truly dangerous.

By Joe Dinkin

The President’s party almost always loses ground in Congress in the midterms. But Democrats have the chance to defy the normal political gravity and gain ground in 2022—if they go big in 2021.

America is still reeling from the historic crises of COVID and the economic devastation that followed. With many millions of Americans still unemployed and tens of millions more struggling, a large bipartisan majority of Americans is looking to government to deliver solutions that meet the scale of the crisis.

Democrats are sometimes afraid of overreach. The much greater risk is of going too small.

Proposals for economic relief and recovery have strong, bipartisan support—from direct relief checks to a $15 minimum wage, from extended unemployment to student debt cancellation; from a wealth tax to major investment in job creation.

Imagine a world in 2022 where COVID is nothing more than a terrible memory; the economy has pulled back from the brink; unemployment is virtually non-existent; wages are rising, new jobs in clean energy and care are being created by the millions—and voters know it’s the Democrats who did it. It is this environment that would allow Democrats the chance to defy gravity and gain seats in both chambers.

Democrats are sometimes afraid of overreach. The much greater risk is of going too small. Consider the following polling from the last month:

  • CBS poll found that 39% of voters think the economic relief package is just right, while 40% think it’s too small, and just 20% think it’s too big.
  • Navigator poll found that 64% of voters say they’re more concerned the government won’t do enough to help people impacted by COVID, vs. only 36% who are more concerned the government will spend too much.
  • Data for Progress poll found that with a 55% majority, most voters say Democrats in Congress should pass a larger relief bill as soon as possible, vs. only 35% who prefer that Democrats pass a bill with Republican support.

The Biden administration and a few Congressional Democrats have held out hope for bipartisanship. This is unlikely to materialize. Republicans have every incentive to block economic recovery. If in two years, basic economic security is still in tatters for millions of people, Republicans will attack Democrats on that basis: “You put Democrats in charge and two years later, are you better off?” It won’t be fair—since when Republicans are in power, they do even less for anyone but billionaires—but it will work.

Instead of courting Republican votes, Democrats should relish the opportunity to force Republicans to cast roll call votes against popular measures like a $15 minimum wage. That approach will only work if the popular measures come up for votes, pass, and go into effect in time for voters to feel the difference in their lives.

The razor thin majorities in both chambers are an obvious challenge. This path isn’t easy—but it’s the only choice that meets the need, and the only path to continue to govern beyond two years.

The impasse over a $15 minimum wage is emblematic. Biden and the Democrats ran in 2020 promising to deliver on this popular measure and Biden wisely put it in the American Rescue Plan. But after the parliamentarian’s opinion, Democrats appear to have virtually given up. The White House has ruled out overruling or firing the parliamentarian (as Majority Leader Trent Lott did in 2001 in order to pass the Bush tax cuts), and Senate Democrats are expressing powerlessness in the face of procedures they could circumvent. Meanwhile enough Democrats express a religious reverence for the filibuster to consign any minimum wage increase to whatever 10 Republicans will agree to: nothing.

Voters need to hear from Democrats how they’re going to deliver a $15 minimum wage, not why they can’t. As Yoda put it, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

Without a serious course correction, here’s what failure means:

  • First of all, we lose the opportunity to pass a $15 minimum wage, benefiting millions of working class families.
  • Second, it leaves most voters with the distinct impression that even with Democrats in the White House and Congress, they can’t or won’t get it done, and nothing really changes despite the promises.
  • Third, Democrats lose the electoral benefits two years from now, created by a stronger economy and rising wages that follow passage of a minimum wage increase.

The problem goes beyond minimum wage. Every proposal that goes through the meat grinder of Congress tends to get smaller, weaker and delayed. That is true even if you only need 50 votes—nevermind winning over a Republican.

Democrats as a whole will pay the electoral price if they fail.

The precedent created by letting one or two moderates derail popular legislation supported by the rest of the caucus is truly dangerous. While we’re hoping for a massive jobs and recovery package later this year, no such thing is guaranteed—and Democrats who give up on a $15 minimum wage could easily end up with a jobs package that is too small and too late.

Meanwhile, protecting the filibuster means Democrats are sacrificing the opportunity to pass almost any other legislation. That means taking off the table many legislative priorities that also bolster Democrats’ longterm electoral prospects and strengthen the voice of working people, including democracy reform (HR1, HR4, DC statehood) immigration reform and the PRO Act.

There is an element of unfairness in assigning blame to the Democratic Party as a whole, when a majority of Democrats in the House and Senate support the agenda we need and seem willing to use all the power they have to deliver. However the problem is this: that Democrats as a whole will pay the electoral price if they fail. The costs will not be simply borne by a few moderates who buck the Democrats’ popular agenda items.

Instead, the failure to enact those agenda items will hurt Democrats up and down the ballot, in at least two ways. First, it would leave Democrats with a thin affirmative record of success to run on. And second, without serious governmental action, the economy as a whole will be much weaker, which favors the party out of power, who can run on ‘change.’

Therefore, the onus is on the Democratic Party as a whole and its leaders (especially Biden and Schumer) to use every carrot and every stick available to ensure Democrats stay together and pass a bold agenda.

Despite historic turnout in 2020, Democrats lost seats in the House. Even with financial advantages, Democrats didn’t win a single US Senate seat in a state Biden lost, and lost the Maine Senate seat that should have been winnable. Democrats’ popular majorities are heavily concentrated in a few metropolitan areas, which is exacerbated by GOP gerrymandering. If Biden and Democratic leadership don’t bring the entirety of their party along, these obstacles will overwhelm Democrats in 2022. It may be another decade or more before Democrats have another opportunity to govern on the federal level.

Meanwhile, Republicans don’t need to change Senate rules to accomplish their agenda. Republicans’ only real priorities are tax cuts, appointing federal judges, and deregulation. The first can be done through reconciliation, the second through majority vote, and the third through executive action.

Democrats’ only chance of reversing historical precedent in 2022 is through running on a set of accomplishments. Mass vaccination, true economic recovery, and concrete, highly visible, and permanent measures that materially improve the well-being of the tens of millions of working people whose lives have been getting steadily harder for decades. If they flinch, they will forfeit a window of opportunity that may not reopen for a decade or more.

The foundation of Republican politics is a cynicism that says to everyday people that government never can, and never will, deliver meaningful material gains for you and your family. In this moment, Democrats should be extremely loath to prove them right.


Joe Dinkin is the Campaigns Director for Working Families Party, a grassroots political organization that recruits, trains, and elects the next generation of progressive leaders to office. 

 The original article can be found on our partner’s website here

Quaccheri e cristiani non evangelici senza chiesa

08.03.2021-Deutsche Welle

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya: How she took on an authoritarian leader despite her fears
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya: How she took on an authoritarian leader despite her fears (Image by DW)

In just a few months the opposition figure went from unknown stay-at-home mom to the leader of democratic Belarus. She told DW she’s proud of both roles, and says that for millions of women, “the inner strength awoke.”

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskayawas a political unknown just one year ago. Today, she has become the leader of the biggest protest movement in Belarus since the country gained independence.The wave of actionshe led has beenawarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thoughtby the European Parliament, and she has now been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as well.

“I can do everything. I can do it. I already proved it to the whole world.I’m not afraid. You think I can’t take a leadership position? ” she said in a DW interview ahead ofInternational Womens’ Day, which is observed annually onMarch 8.

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In QRT #135, a group of scholars and ministers from George Fox University share about the connections to Quaker theology in their summer conference for high school students, Theologia. Roger Nam, Steve Sherwood, Leah Payne, Joel Mayward, Trisha Welstad, and Hannah Souter contributed their thoughts and wisdom. Order your copy here. [Image description: five contributors […]

QRT #135 – “Theologia: Quaker Youth Ministry and Theopraxis in a Multicultural Context” — Quaker Religious Thought and Quaker Theological Discussion Group

07.03.2021 – Buenos Aires, Argentina 

A collection of reflections
Image by Peter H from Pixabay 

Looks/Landscapes

by Thelma F. Reymundo-Juarez

Footnote:

Regarding this collection of reflections, the writer says: “ I do believe in showing bits and pieces from one’s ” conditions of origins/ landscapes and the dynamics at play in defining one’s ” being and placement”( think ” past, present and future in one’s head and outside of self).”

About the author:
Thelma F. Reymundo-Juarez. Long-time humanist, inspired by the teachings of Silo. Was a student leader and a graduate of Political Science. Has worked as a PR strategist, art docent, broker, managing editor among others, in the Philippines and abroad. Published poetry: “Anthology, 2008 Poetry Tour”, Ca. USA; ” A Sprinkling of Haiku” to commemorate World March for Peace 2010- limited edition, only 250 copies; Poets’ Espresso 2001-2008; and, Poets’ Espresso Review ( quarterly) 2017 to present.

07.03.2021 – Los Angeles, USA – Robert Hunziker

Approaching a Risky 1.5°C Global Overshoot
Roses wilted after a sudden heat wave with high temperatures for about a week. At Gamla Strandgatan 11, Gamlestan, Lysekil, Sweden.

A recent UN Assessment, as of February 26th, 2021, regarding progress or lack thereof by the 195 nations to the Paris 2015 climate agreement is starting to look like a big bust.

As described in the report, nations are not meeting their voluntary commitments to decrease carbon emissions, especially based upon the Paris ‘15 goals to decelerate CO2 emissions of cars, trains, planes, and collectively, the human-generated colossus. (Source: We Are Nowhere Near Keeping Warming below 1.5°C Despite Climate Plans, NewScientist, February 26, 2021)

According to data provided by the 74 nations that have reported to the much-heralded Paris climate accord, collectively, their plans are to reduce emissions by 2030 to only 0.5% of 2010 levels, which is totally inadequate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) clearly stated that global emissions be reduced by 45%, otherwise, there’s no chance of staying below 1.5°C. (Source: Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C, Summary for Policymakers, IPCC, 2018)

Whether by avoidance or ignorance, one-third of the nations to the Paris climate agreement are failing to meet goals. The plans of the remaining two-thirds are unknown at this time, but the trend doesn’t look very promising. Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to plan for a global temperature overshoot beyond +1.5°C (2.7F).

So then, what does +1.5°C above pre-industrial look like?

For starters, according to NASA, it’s important to note that +1.5°C has already been surpassed in many regions of the world, for example, Australia (massive fires) and the Arctic (open seas). The impact of climate change is not evenly spread around the planet. Nevertheless, according to the Global Warming Index, as of December 2020, global temperature has increased by 1.168°C over the past 170 years (www.globalwarmingindex.org). But, of course, it’s noteworthy that the rate of emissions has doubled since the turn of the 21st century, as the Great Acceleration, post-WWII, kicks into overdrive.

At 1.5°C above pre-industrial, NASA claims that roughly 15% of the world population will experience extreme heat waves that have the potential to threaten life. On the hottest days at mid-latitudes, temperatures will be up to 3°C (5.4°F) hotter. These extremes will hit central and eastern North America, central and southern Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and many Asian and African regions.

Kuwait is an ongoing example of the impact of extreme heat. An analysis of 15,000 deaths in Kuwait from 2010 to 2016, when extreme temperatures exceeded 109F, versus the daily average of 94.5F, found death rates by cardiovascular disease 3.5 times higher for men and 3.8 times higher for working-age people ages 15-64. According to that report: “The warming of our planet is not evenly distributed. Regions that are inherently hot, like Kuwait and the Arabian Peninsula, are witnessing soaring temperatures unlike ever before. We are sounding the alarm….” (Source: American Heart Association, Extreme, High Temperatures May Double or Triple Heart-related Deaths, ScienceDaily, March 30, 2020)

The unevenness of a 1.5°C world simply implies: “The hottest of the hot temperatures will increase throughout the planet as some regions turn dangerously hot,” Ibid.

Overshooting the 1.5°C threshold generates sufficient heat to push some ecosystems to the edge of tipping points, or even beyond. That’s when things get dicey with intermittent shortages of critical resources like food and water, already a huge problem in some regions of the planet. And it’s expected almost total wipeout of some critical ecosystems, coral reefs for example, especially considering the well-publicized excessive bleaching events, three times successively in only five years, clobbering the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) of 1,400 miles, already in an extremely critical condition, as it resides in ocean temps too warm for coral reef survival. As of February 2020, ocean waters surrounding GBR were at the warmest/hottest since record-keeping started in 1900.

The failure by countries to achieve results according to Paris ’15 is immoral at best, and at worse, a criminal activity against humanity. Seriously, it’s outlandish that 195 countries commit to hold down global emissions, yet flagrantly fail. The proof of failure is found in atmospheric chemistry: Monthly average CO2 levels measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii: March 1, 2020 @ 414.25 ppm versus March 1, 2021 @ 417.86 ppm. CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase by the year, every year, without fail. It’s the one event that does not fail. Curiously, the “400 ppm Crossover” occurred April 2012, the first monthly average >400 ppm in human history, and for even more history, count back in time to prior extinctions. There are five.

The rate of CO2 increase is the key determinate as to whether society should be concerned about global warming disrupting life, as we know it. Already, at all-time highs, historically, emissions are too rapid for comfort. The current rate is ~2.0 ppm/yr., whereas it was approximately one-half that rate throughout the 20th century. In academia that’s considered a significant CO2 rate of increase, especially in light of the telling fact that it is not only extraordinary by today’s standards, but it’s also a record-breaker on a millennial time scale. Throughout the Holocene Epoch, CO2 increased by ~0.003 ppm/year or +40 ppm over 12,000 years versus our current rate of ~2.0 ppm/year or +40 ppm in only 20 years. That illustrates the difference between nature’s CO2 influence of +0.003 ppm versus the human influence of +2.00 ppm, or 666 times more powerful than nature.

The Anthropocene Epoch, or the age of human climate disruption, is setting all-time records, by the year! For example, on a long-term scale, atmospheric CO2 of the past 400,000 years has been as high as 280 ppm and as low as 180 ppm in contrast to >400 ppm over the past eight years.

Meanwhile, as disruption hits floral, biota, and fauna, ecosystems start collapsing or actually do collapse smack-dab in the face of a largely disinterested public, for example, two-thirds (66%) of wild vertebrates dead within only 50 years, which is clear evidence that something is horribly wrong.

The protagonist is most likely a robust cocktail of human impact, like the destruction of rainforests, in concert with the consequences of global warming, for example, desertification. In fact, desertification crises have hit 168 countries, prompting a declaration of the UN Decade of Desertification for 2010-20.

Curiously, these disturbing, perplexing events as outlined heretofore are discussed in magazines, newspapers, scholarly articles, and throughout the Internet. So, society knows all about these challenges to life on Earth but nothing much gets done about it.

Unfortunately, there is a long list of international agreements or protocols designed to help the planet that fail, for example: (1) The Aichi Biodiversity Targets intended for 2020 set at the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010 have not been met, not even close (2) Most of the nature-related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs 6, 13–15 are on track for failure (3) The Paris ’15 carbon emission deceleration plans are a basket case. The list could go on.

Clearly, sustainability of the planet stands on its own without help from inhabitants. Still, Earth has demonstrated exceptional recovery skills, surviving five major extinctions, most recently the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event 65MYA when 75% of plant and animal species went extinct. Hmm, the current wild vertebrate 66% extinction rate is closing in on that 75% rate, proving that the planet is already “in the thick of it.”

What will stop it from getting a whole lot worse?

06.03.2021 – Kester Kenn Klomegah

China Delivers on its Vaccine Pledges in Africa
African countries engaging in ground-breaking COVID-19 vaccine initiative (Image by WHO)

By Kester Kenn Klomegah

China and Africa have long decades of interaction. The relationship has changed over the years and Chinese outreach to Africa has often been viewed with deep appreciation, especially helping to overcome development challenges.

As expectedly, China appears moving steadily to deliver on its pledge by offering manufactured vaccines aim at eradicating the coronavirus in Africa. Simultaneously, China is strengthening its health diplomacy with Africa, and experts describe it as an additional step towards deepening further its geopolitical and economic influence in the continent.

Undoubtedly, the Chinese Sinopharm vaccines are increasingly becoming popular among African countries. Deliveries have already been made in Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Chinese Foreign Ministry has indicated that China would help 19 African countries as part of its commitment to making vaccines global public goods. Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said on February 22 that China would also support enterprises to export Covid-19 vaccines to African nations that urgently need, recognize, and have authorized the emergency use of Chinese vaccines.

The aid is a clear manifestation of the China-Africa traditional friendship, Wang Wenbin said, adding assertively “China will continue to provide support and assistance within its capacity and in accordance with the needs of Africa.” Further to that, China welcomes and supports France and other European and American nations in providing vaccines to help Africa fight the pandemic.

In the Maghreb region for instance, Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country with more than 100 million, has prepared 40 vaccination points and plans to increase that number after the arrival of more vaccine batches, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said early March.

Egypt has received 350,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) in two batches since December, in addition to 50,000 doses of a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in February.

On Feb. 24, the Egyptian Drug Authority approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use. Egypt’s Prime Speed Medical Services said it had obtained the right to provide Sputnik V in Egypt in a statement to the stock exchange, without giving details.

In West African region, Sierra Leone became the latest African country to receive 200,000 coronavirus vaccine donation, and 201,600 pieces of disposable needles and syringes from the Chinese government. According to reports, the consignment arrived at the Lungi Airport on February 25, and was received by a high-powered government delegation.

Down in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe will buy an additional 1.2 million vaccine doses from China at a preferential price, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman said, after Beijing agreed to give more free doses to the southern African country. Zimbabwe has already begun vaccinations after receiving a donation of 200,000 doses from the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

Chinese Ambassador Guo Shaochun said in a statement that his country had decided to double its donation of vaccines to 400,000 as part of its “solidarity and action” with Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba said the government, which had already bought 600,000 doses from Sinopharm and would increase its purchases from China. “Zimbabwe is also procuring more vaccines from China at a preferential price. Zimbabwe is set to purchase another 1.2 million doses from China,” Charamba wrote on Twitter.

It targets 10 million vaccinations as the country has been hit with increasing infections. More than two thirds of Zimbabwe’s 35,910 coronavirus infections and 1,448 deaths have been recorded this year, according to a Reuters tally.

Separately, on February 24, neighboring Mozambique also received 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine donated by China. The delivery of the first consignment, ferried to Mozambique by an aircraft of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, was witnessed by Prime Minister, Carlos Agostinho do Rosário, Minister of Health, Armindo Tiago, Chinese Ambassador Wang Hejun and other senior government officials.

Speaking at the delivery ceremony, held at the Maputo Air Base, Agostinho do Rosario thanked the government and the people of China for the donation of the first batch consists of 200,000 doses and the same number of syringes. “The swift delivery of the vaccine mirrors the determination and commitment of the leaders of both countries to ensure the well-being of the Mozambican people,” the Prime Minister said, stressing that the government has adopted a vaccination strategy that attaches priority to high risk groups particularly health professionals on the front-line of the fight against Covid-19.

Chinese Ambassador Wang Hejun, however pledged to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in the health field and reaffirmed his country’s openness to assist Mozambique in acquiring more vaccines.

He said the Mozambican health system is currently under increasing pressure, but believed the first batch of the vaccine will certainly make an enormous difference. The vaccines are currently available from two Chinese companies, Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech. The vaccine that arrived in Maputo was from Sinopharm. A major advantage of the Sinopharm vaccine is that it does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures. It can be kept at normal refrigeration temperatures of two to eight degrees Celsius.

Indeed, Indians are also speeding with donations to the African continent. The Indian government has promised to send Mozambique 100,000 doses of the vaccine developed by the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Still in the southern Africa, Namibian officials said Beijing would donate 100,000 doses vaccine while India promised a donation of 30,000 shots to Windhoek.

In order to sustain relations and as part of a “bilateral cooperation” efforts, Portugal plans to donate 5% its excess to a group of Portuguese-speaking African countries. With a population of just over 10 million people, Portugal is entitled to 35 million vaccine doses this year under an EU-coordinated purchasing scheme, mostly for double-dose inoculation, leaving it with millions of extra shots.

The 5% share would make up 1.75 million doses. The group of countries is comprised of Portugal’s former African colonies of Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, and Sao Tome and Principe.

Besides getting vaccines through the African Union, a number of African countries by bilateral agreements will purchase vaccines directly from China, Russia and India. For example, five (5) African countries (Algeria, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea and Tunisia) have registered the Sputnik V, which was developed by Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.

The African Union and Africa CDC have joined efforts for the ongoing vaccine readiness work through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team. The AU has secured vaccines through the COVAX facility for Africa. WHO has listed three (3) vaccines for emergency use, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out through COVAX. The Group of Seven (7) leaders have committed US$4.3 billion to fund the equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments. European Union has also contributed an additional 500 million euros to COVAX.

The COVAX vaccine facility – which pools financial resources and spreads its bets across vaccine candidates – has handed over the first of 337 million doses it has allocated to around 130 countriesfor the first half of the year. COVAX receives around 90 percent of its funds from G-7 countries and the EU, but none from China, India or Russia.

By March 2, as reported by the GhanaWeb, the number of African countries to have received vaccine doses are the following:

  • South Africa – Johnson and Johnson (J&J)
  • Rwanda – Pfizer and Moderna (reportedly)
  • Egypt – Sinopharm
  • Morocco – AstraZeneca/Sinopharm
  • Seychelles – AstraZeneca/Sinopharm
  • Mauritius – AstraZeneca
  • Algeria – Sputnik V
  • Zimbabwe – Sinopharm
  • Sierra Leone – Sinopharm
  • Equatorial Guinea – Sinopharm
  • Senegal – Sinopharm
  • Ghana – AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India (COVAX)
  • Ivory Coast – AstraZeneca (COVAX)
  • Nigeria – AstraZeneca (COVAX)
  • Guinea – Sputnik V (Experimental basis)
  • Mozambique – Sinopharm.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization has acknowledged that the pandemic has struck at a time of rapid transformation for Africa. “We cannot and must not see health as a cost to be contained. Quite the opposite: health is an investment to be nurtured – an investment in productive population, and in sustainable and inclusive development,” he explained.

According to Adhanom Ghebreyesus, it takes a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, and added that “many African countries have low levels of coverage of health services, and when health is at risk, everything is at risk.”

Since April last year, World Health Organization and its partners have been working through the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator for the equitable distribution of vaccines as global public goods. As already known, so far around 200 million doses of vaccine have been administered, but unfortunately most of them in the world’s richest countries.

WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic in March 2020. Since then, more than 110 million cases have now been reported to this organization, and almost 2.5 million people have lost their lives. The overall number of Covid-19 cases in Africa currently stands more than 3.8 million late February, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa.

06.03.2021 – RT

France calls up 4,400 officers to enforce 6pm curfew in Paris amid rising Covid-19 infections and compliance concerns
Champs Elysees from the Arch (Image by ASaber91/Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0))

The French authorities have vowed to increase their presence on the streets this weekend as France struggles to enforce a 6pm-6am curfew amid soaring Covid-19 infections across the country and in the capital.

“If the police find groups of people in which respect for social distancing cannot be guaranteed, in particular on the banks of the Seine and in public parks and gardens, they are instructed to proceed with their evacuation,” the Paris police department confirmed on Friday, as it announced the mobilization of 4,400 officers this weekend.

The police also urged people to ensure they reduce their social contacts to a maximum of six people and avoid any travel outside the Paris metropolitan area in order to prevent spreading the virus to other regions.

“If, during gathering in public places, it is found that the sanitary measures in force are not respected, people will be dispersed immediately,” the statement adds.

Since mid-January, the country has been under a nighttime curfew running from 6pm until 6am. However, its effectiveness has been called into question in recent weeks with 23 regions of France placed under “reinforced surveillance” over a rise in Covid-19 infection rates. Stricter measures have been brought in at weekends for Nice and Dunkirk already and will be imposed in the northern area of Pas-de-Calais as of Saturday.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex backtracked on proposed plans for a weekend shutdown of the capital and other major towns, while the Paris deputy mayor has requested a three-week circuit-breaker lockdown to stem the spread of the virus, followed by a rapid reopening of businesses.

Despite calls for tough new measures in the capital, Paris will only see relatively minor additional restrictions, including the closure of non-food stores and shopping centers greater than 10,000m².

On Thursday, a group of protesters took over Paris’ Odeon Theater as part of a series national demonstrations against the continued closure of cultural venues. As many as 80 people made their way into the 18th century building.

In recent weeks, media reports have shown crowds of people enjoying good weather in the capital, many maskless and flouting bans on social distancing.

 The original article can be found on our partner’s website here

05.03.2021 – Still I Rise

This post is also available in: ItalianGreek

Women’s day: equality starts at the school desk
Dance lesson in Kenya (Image by Still I Rise)

Worldwide, only 27% of refugee girls receive secondary education, but it is through the education of women that all of society can improve. Learn about Still I Rise’s strategy for women’s inclusion and empowerment.

Every 8th of March we talk about women’s rights, yet in 2021 education is still a dream for some 132 million girls around the world. The situation is even more serious when we focus on the refugee population: the Covid-19 crisis has worsened an already dramatic picture. It is estimated that 48% of refugee children in the world – even in the pre-pandemic era – had no access to education. There is a significant gap between primary and secondary education. While primary education is attended by 77% of refugee children, secondary education is attended by only 36% of boys and 27% of girls. And now, as soon as the various lockdowns are over, half of these adolescent girls may never return to school (UNHCR data, 2020).

ENSURING EQUALITY STARTING IN SCHOOL

«We don’t need anything more than what should already be ‘average’ or normal,  in order to build a better world today», says Michele Senici, Education Director at Still I Rise. «In the classrooms of all our schools around the world, we bring high quality education regardless of gender. By ensuring that 50% of our students are girls, and through targeted activities, we fight discrimination. Our aim is a world where every girl child is treated with justice and respect».

This non-profit organization has provided education and protection of refugee children since 2018, through active operations in Greece, Turkey, Syria and Kenya. Special attention is given to girls and young women’s needs and requests. In order to do that, Still I Rise creates spaces for listening and interaction where they can feel free and welcomed. «Every week we dedicate an exclusive club to girls, where they can seek answers to their questions and doubts, without feeling judged or hurt. There are countless books that we offer to acknowledge the women who have built and changed the world».

Girl student in north-west Syria

Girl student in Samos, Greece

Students in Kenya

Teacher and student in Kenya

An important part of the lessons covers hygiene and sex education, as well as women’s rights and the importance of consent. In this way, each girl becomes aware of her fundamental rights, and is encouraged to seek help if her voice is not heard. In each class, two representatives, one male and one female, are elected. They are responsible for communicating to the staff any doubts, problems or proposals to improve the school and its activities, together.

«The girls also have a Child Protection Officer with whom they can have sessions and be supported emotionally and otherwise», adds Racheal Wanjiru, principal at Still I Rise International School in Kenya. «In each of our school programmes, we aim to empower girls so that they gain more confidence in themselves and their abilities. Female teachers make up 80 percent of the staff at our school in Nairobi, and we take them as a role model. The message we try to convey is that, through study, every girl can have her own job and be empowered to become whatever she dreams of».

THE CAUSES OF THE PHENOMENON IN THE WORLD

Povertychild marriage and gender-based violence – such as female genital mutilation- are among the most common causes of girls dropping out or not entering school worldwide. Other causes include the tendency to favour boys in accessing education and school facilities seemingly incapable of responding effectively to the specific hygiene and protection needs of girls.

Yet investing in girls’ education is more urgent and crucial than ever. According to a World Bank study (2018), women with a secondary education are more likely to earn more and also to have a better quality of life for themselves and for their communities. In this way, there are improvements in social capital, independence, general health and well-being, as well as a decrease in early marriage and pregnancy.

In addition, other research shows that every additional year of education received by a woman can reduce the chance of infant mortality by 5-10%. Education saves lives and is the first fundamental step towards truly equal human rights.

Watch the video:

The struggle of Nahid, 14-year-old girl, for the right to education of girls and young women 

Further information:

Vanessa Cappella

Press Office & PR Manager

media@stillirisengo.org

05.03.2021 – Paris – Inter Press Service

International Women’s Day, 2021 #MarchWithUs: 5 Activists on Dismantling “Gender Lies”
Protest for women’s rights in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Image by Sanjog Manandhar)

Today, despite centuries of activism and mobilisations, women and non-binary people continue to remain disadvantaged in almost every sphere – from “public life” to the “shadow pandemic” of gender-based violence.

In light of COVID-19, some struggles have been considered in theory, but most continue to be ignored in practice. How can we dismantle the “gender lies” perpetuating in the 21st century? How do we start taking into account the diverse experiences of women, without excluding black and indigenous voices on the basis of power and privilege?

Afghanistan, Nepal, Bolivia, Mexico and Uganda: five activists tell us how they transform the ways their communities think and act around gender.

Afghanistan: rap music to save child brides

Sonita Alizadeh, is a survivor of two attempts at forced marriage, and now a rapper and activist fighting for the liberation of women against forced marriage. Born in Herat, Afghanistan, under the Taliban regime, she grew up in Iran, as a refugee with her family. At 10 years old, she narrowly escaped a forced marriage. Her family again tried to sell her when she was sixteen, she escaped. Afghanistan has the 20th highest number of women married before the age of 18 in the world, with 28% of Afghan girls married off as minors, according to Girls Not Brides.

My mother was a child bride, and she did not meet her husband until their wedding day. By marrying me off at a young age, she was simply repeating the cycle. This tradition makes me want to raise awareness of this harmful issue with the help of millions of others around the world through my music,” says Sonita in an interview with Forus.

Witnessing her friends swiftly disappearing as they were forced to marry, Sonita wrote the song “Daughters for Sale”, which kick-started her work as a human rights activists and rapper.

Music touches people in a way words cannot – it is deeper and more emotional. People listen to music and young people pay attention to the lyrics. Music can be a powerful way to hear important messages. That is why I always rap about things that need to change in the world, or ideas that young people need to hear, to dream big.”

Today, Sonita uses her tracks and success to give young girls self-confidence. She sings to tell: “Hold this hope in your heads and your hearts. Hold this hope for the future. Never give up.”

Nepal: Fighting “period poverty”.

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets and to social media, calling on their governments to end the perpetuating cycle of widespread sexual violence against women and children.

In Nepal, hundreds of activists returned to the streets after a 17-year-old girl was raped and strangled to death. Some protesters wore black over their eyes to symbolize public authorities closing their eyes to sexual violence. Activists say that although the country’s constitution guarantees equal rights to women, there is a clear disjunction between theory and practice.

“How do we make sure that there is no gap between law and social progress?” asks Jesselina Rana, a human rights lawyer, co-founder with engineer Shubhangi Rana of Pad2Go, a social enterprise focusing on menstrual health and the taboos surrounding it.

It is estimated that around 83 percent of menstruating individuals face some form of restriction or exclusion during their menstrual cycle in Nepal.

“From a very young age, menstruating individuals are made to believe that their menstrual cycle makes them impure, and it can only be talked about behind closed doors,” Jesselina explains.

With Pad2Go, Jesselina distributed over 80 sanitary napkin vending machines across Nepal. She collaborates with pad manufacturers, to provide pads at less than market rate in order to ensure affordability. She also organises discussions with both men and women to normalise conversations around menstruations.

“Nepal being a patriarchal society, men engagement is crucial to overcome social issues faced by women. Socially we need to get men into those spaces of conversation, at a young age, to make sure that everyone is part of the discussion to end the toxic cycle of gender discrimination.”

Protest in Mexico. Credit: Melanie Isahmar Torres Melo

Bolivia, Mexico: “Ni Una Menos”

Cradled in the “machismo culture”, Bolivia has one of the highest domestic violence rates against women in South America. The annual average of 110 femicides in the past 7 years persists, despite a 2013 law establishing measures to prevent and prosecute gender-based violence.

During the lockdown the slogan “Stay at Home” was widely promoted across Bolivia, yet for many women and girls victims of violence, that actually meant a very dangerous “Cállate en casa” (shut up at home), explains Iris Baptista from Red Unitas, a platform funded in 1976 that reunites 22 NGOs in Bolivia.

“Red Unitas created the campaign “SIN VIOLENCIA ES MEJOR” (Better Without Violence), to raise awareness of the fact that women are doing most of the work during the pandemic, to fulfil their role as mothers, wives and workers, yet they continue to face violence at home,” Iris explains.

But, violence against women and femicides are not just common in Bolivia—they are prevalent throughout the region. Global data is difficult to gather due to differences in reporting standards, however, the 2016 report, “A Gendered Analysis of Violent Deaths” founds that fourteen of the twenty-five countries with the highest femicide rates are Latin American.

Defined as “a pandemic within the pandemic”, gender-based violence has spiked since COVID-19 broke out. Writer Lynn Marie Stephen believes that laws and initiatives to protect women, “fail to indict the broader systems that perpetuate these problems, like social, racial, and economic inequalities, family relationships and social mores”.

“It’s not that there was less violence against women in the past, it’s just that it wasn’t made as visible as it is today,” says Melanie Isahmar Torres Melo, a photojournalist covering women issues in Puebla, Mexico.

Every day, 10 women are killed in Mexico. The number of femicides has increased by 137% in the past five years and reached its highest monthly rates in 2020. Despite this number, only 5% of all crimes committed in Mexico are punished. This dichotomy between numbers is often the result of a “single crime” vision, rather than a sociological phenomenon, linked to the idea of patriarchy and sexism.

“Most perpetuators are never caught; this has triggered ‘social anger’ around the issue of feminicides in Mexico. There is no respect for victims, they are blamed for being killed. New movements are rising led by different collectives and civil society organisations. People are taking to the streets and shouting “Ni Una Menos” no woman should be killed,” says Mela.

Uganda – creating an enabling environment for civil society

I was arrested and shamed for leaked nudes”, model and activist Judith Heard explains. When nude pictures of her were published without her consent in 2018, she was widely criticized and was arrested under the Anti-Pornography Act. Her situation is far from unique, a survey conducted in 2016 found that 50% of Ugandan women aged between 15 and 49 has experienced violence by an intimate partner. As a result, in February 2019, Heard launched Day One Global, an advocacy organisation that seeks to curb sexual harassment and rape.

From Marion Kirabo who led a women’s protest against rising tuition fees, to Rosebell Kagumire, editor of the African Feminism digital platform opening “discussion and dialogue on feminist issues throughout the continent”, activists and “gender advocates” in Uganda, are creating innovative forms of “transnational feminism” both online and offline.

Yet, a recent report by Forus International, shows that only 1% of gender equality funding is going to women’s organizations worldwide, and that promoters of gender equality need increased protection. Even more worryingly, attacks on women organisations and civil society more generally, have been reinforced by the current COVID-19 crisis.

Overall, organizations that engage in monitoring the state’s conduct and advocate for human rights, anti-corruption, accountability, and democratic governance are experiencing growing obstacles. One of the most recent examples is the Uganda Communications Commission Guidelines for everyone posting content online, including bloggers and online news platforms, which aims to control people’s freedom of speech.

“While the Ugandan government welcomes the social services many civil society organizations provide, at the same time it feels threatened by the possibility of political mobilization and empowerment of the population that come with self-organized practices; needless to say, such threats to the government’s grip on power yield conflicts between the state and civil society actors,” according to the Uganda National NGO Forum, an umbrella organization with more than 650 member NGOs across the country.

#MarchWithUs

Despite the considerable progress, more than half of the world’s girls and women—as many as 2.1 billion people—live in countries that are not on track to reach key gender equality-related targets by 2030.

However, a new survey from Focus 2030 and Women Deliver, covering 17 countries on six continents—reveals that citizens are eager for sustained and strengthened political and financial investments to accelerate progress towards gender equality. In particular, the global public supports the need for women to play a role in all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic response, with 82% of survey respondents on average saying they believe women should be involved in the response at all levels.

To build a recovery plan and a roadmap for the future, a gender lens must be applied. With the digital campaign #MarchWithUs, Forus is taking a full month to reflect on the voices of women and non-binary activists who are on the frontline of social change. It is time to act to turn “gender lies” into gender promises.

By Bibbi Abruzzini, Pénélope Hubert and Yohan Cambet – The authors are members of Forus Communication team.

 The original article can be found on our partner’s website here

See you to 6 March

Venezuela strengthens gender violence law

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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