At the end of September, all 193 member countries of the United Nations have agreed to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals towards eradicating poverty, protecting the planet and advancing prosperity by 2030. What do they hope to accomplish and why do they matter?
Millennium City and Millennium Village Students ‘Stand Up for Girls’ on International Day of the Girl
In sub-Saharan Africa, only 63 percent of girls complete their schooling, according to the World Bank. Yet our own research in the Millennium Cities indicates that girls who continue their education will have far greater opportunities, and they will be in a better position to care for themselves and their families. To celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl, by “Standing Up for Girls” and their right to a quality education, a number of the Millennium Cities and Millennium Villages Project sites held rallies, marched and participated in debates on girls’ issues.
“Thank you for coming on this gorgeous day, to sit in an airless, lightless room and discuss how to save the world,” said John Mutter, director of Columbia’s PhD in Sustainable Development and a member of the Earth Institute faculty, in welcoming the audience of the Sustainable Development Seminar, “The Population Bomb: Defused or Still Ticking?” The seminar brought together a panel of demography and population experts, who, Mutter calculated, shared a total of 121 years’ experience in the field. It became apparent, upon the beginning of the discussion, that the population bomb was not so much ticking, as exploding. The current world population, which is estimated to be 7 billion, is projected to reach 10.2 billion by 2100.
There is much to celebrate, this International Women’s Day. Three fabulously courageous women won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, and just a year earlier the United Nations established UN Women, a new agency dedicated to gender equality worldwide and headed by another strong woman leader and role model, former President of Brazil Michelle Bachelet. School enrollments of girls are unprecedentedly high, the world has finally begun to mobilize around safe childbirth and other women’s health issues, and the World Bank is reporting this week that we have achieved the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG), halving extreme poverty, well before the United Nations’ 2015 deadline, thereby easing the lives of hundreds of millions worldwide. Yet a tremendous amount of work waits to be done.
It has been well-documented that increasing women’s financial power is one of the most effective ways to develop a country (see: World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development). Mali is no exception, but due to laws that limit the amount of land women can hold, Malian women work mainly on small plots as horticulture… read more
For many in the developing world, education isn’t taken for granted. Around 35 million girls are out of school, the World Bank says, almost half of them in sub-Saharan Africa. In support of girls’ education, MCI joined the literacy organization LitWorld and other partners, including Connect To Learn, Asia Initiatives and the Children of Kibera Foundation, for a “Stand Up for Girls” rally to celebrate the International Day of the Girl on September 22.
The following is a guest blog, authored by Pam Allyn, Executive Director and Founder of LitWorld, a global organization advocating for children’s rights as readers, writers and learners, and an MCI partner. This account is based on Pam’s travels to the Millennium City of Kisumu, Kenya, to spend time with four Girls’ Clubs, which foster literacy while building self-esteem.
The following is a guest blog, authored by Sarah Jaffe, an MCI researcher who is carrying out a Gender Needs Assessment for Kisumu, Kenya. My mobile buzzed in my pocket, and I shifted the crate of Fanta my seatmate had rested on my lap to one side. It was my colleague, Ben: “Madame Grace is… read more
Just how pervasive is gender inequality across sub-Saharan Africa? This topic is particularly timely today, March 8, designated International Women’s Day by the United Nations. Despite the valiant efforts of many government officials, international and local non-governmental organizations and women’s advocates, in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa, women do not yet enjoy equal status with… read more