Global Report Calls for End to ‘Media Sexism’

By Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepthNews Report

BERLIN | BRUSSELS (IDN) – A new report finds that progress towards equality of women and men in the news media has virtually ground to a halt over the past five years. In fact, “progress towards news representation that acknowledges women’s participation in economic life remains elusive”. The report calls for “an end to media sexism by 2020”.

According to the findings of the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), released on November 23, worldwide, women make up only 24% of the people heard, read about or seen in newspaper, television and radio news, exactly the same level found in 2010.

Global Population Shift Set to Reshape Economic Development

By International Press Syndicate | IDN-InDepthNews Report*

TORONTO (IDN) – As migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East continue to arrive in Europe in unprecedented numbers, a new World Bank/IMF report says that large-scale migration from poor countries to richer regions of the world will be a permanent feature of the global economy for decades to come as a result of major population shifts in countries.

UN’s Human Rights Judgements Tend to be Selective

By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

SINGAPORE (IDN) – Making a statement during its latest session in Geneva, UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein lamented that many of their member states do not tolerate criticism and scrutiny and there is an increasing trend of governments moving to restrict and persecute voices of civil society.

“I, together with many of my colleagues at the office, feel exhausted and angry,” Zeid said. “Exhausted, because the system is barely able to cope, given the resources available to it, while human misery accelerates . . . And angry, because it seems that little that we say will change this. Unless we change dramatically in how we think and behave as international actors.”

Close the Eritrean Embassies Not The Borders

By Mirjam van Reisen* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BRUSSELS (IDN) – Even though the military regime has closed the border and practices a shoot-to-kill policy to stop people fleeing, nearly every tenth Eritrean has fled the country for political reasons or belongs to the Eritrean diaspora. With over 200,000 having sought refuge abroad or chosen to live overseas recently, more than ten per cent of the population seems to prefer to live abroad.

In fact, according to Dutch Minister Fred Teeven, there has been a rapid increase of refugees during the last months. In 2013 the Netherlands received one thousand Eritrean refugees in total. Meanwhile, the number of asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands from Syria and Eritrea has gone up from 1,000 a month in February and March to around 1,000 a week.

Disposable Consumer Goods At High Human Costs

By Julio Godoy* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – Hundreds of thousands around the world demonstrate for better working conditions and fair wages on the International Labour Day. However, when May 1 is over, many of these demonstrators go back to their daily reckless consumption patterns, which consider practically all consumer goods as disposable, and therefore support international corporations, which exploit workers and poison the environment.

The garment industry is a most illustrative example of the follies of modern-times consumerism: Take Bella, a German girl living near the city of Bremen: Several times each year, Bella makes a shopping spree to a local fashion store and comes back loaded with clothes.

The store Bella regularly visits belongs to Primark, the Ireland-based clothing retailer, which due to its aggressive price policies has become a European leader in the sector. As Primark announces itself, it is “Adored by fashion fans and value seekers alike (and) is widely established as the destination store for keeping up with the latest looks without breaking the bank.”

‘Lampedusa’ Forces EU Asylum Policy Overhaul

By Mirjam van Reisen* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BRUSSELS (IDN) – The Italian government has published the names of the occupants of the boat that drowned near Lampedusa on October 3. All those on the list appear to be Eritreans. At the weekend hundreds of bodies were recovered, washed ashore on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The European Union is soul-searching and identifying the problems of its increasingly repressive refugee and asylum policy.

A meeting of Ministers of Home Affairs has been called in Luxemburg to consider a package of measures, in a first response to the Lampedusa tragedy. Observers are pointing out that the effect of the European policy to effectively control the ‘safe routes’, forces the most desperate refugees to take ever bigger risks in their attempt to reach safety.

Indigenous Peoples Find A New Dialogue Forum

By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

ROME (IDN) – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, has opened a new chapter in its longstanding engagement with indigenous peoples, majority of whom live in rural areas and face the dual challenges of poverty and marginalization. They were offered an important platform of dialogue at the first meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD.

Upsurge in Support for Death Penalty Abolition

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN) – There are miles and miles to go before capital punishment is at last accepted as a remnant of the gory past and abolished. But indications are that it is slowly on its way out. Amnesty International has welcomed an upsurge in global support for abolition of the death penalty, after the UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted overwhelmingly in favour of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

In the vote on December 20, the fourth such vote by the plenary session of the UNGA since 2007, 111 states voted for the resolution – an increase of two from the last vote in 2010. There were 41 votes against, with 34 abstentions.

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