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Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in Blogs, General News

Women empowerment through journalism

Women empowerment through journalism

By Yusur Al-Bahrani  Away from Amman, 25 women journalists and reporters work on a publication in Zarqa reporting on several issues under tight deadlines. Compared to Amman, Zarqa is more conservative tied by cultural values that might hinder the work of women. However, the journalists of Hona Zarqa constitute a symphony with melodies breaking cultural barriers that stop women in Zarqa from working in a field like media. As I flip the pages of Hona Zarqa, I can’t recognize the gender of the writers from the topics. With my Arabic, I can guess from the names that they are women. Indeed, the stories reported are not expected to be works of women in a city like Zarqa. Going through history of journalism, the women’s angle would mean more domestic family or fashion related topics. Therefore, what I read is not what I expected. News and investigative reporting occupy most of Hona Zarqa despite the limited resources. “I work in a women-only media outlet,” says Kamla Abu Selha. “And we...

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Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Blogs, General News

Manara Awards: all the winners are Palestinians!

Manara Awards: all the winners are Palestinians!

By Yusur Al Bahrani It doesn’t take many hours to travel from Palestine to Jordan, but that’s not what Palestinians tell. It takes them more than eight hours despite the short distance. They have to pass through the Palestinian, Israeli, and then, Jordanian checkpoints. And that’s their only way to the outside world. However, they were enthusiastic and filled with energy during their participation in Manara Award for Gender Equality. Despite the challenges that Palestinian participants face, they all come together to break the barriers of discrimination against women and gender inequality.   Under the patronage of her Royal Highness Princess Basma Bint Talal, and with the presence of H.E. the Minister of Labor, Dr. Nidal Qatamin, as her representative, the Manara Regional Competition for Gender equality was held on May 15. Three projects won and all of them were from Palestine. They competed against 60 initiatives from Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon within three categories: political empowerment, economic participation and knowledge production. The aim objective of this competition was...

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Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Blogs, General News

Women Cross the DMZ

Women Cross the DMZ

by Janis Alton editor’s note:  Janis Alton travelled in May, 2015  I was part of a recent international women’s walk for peace – not so unusual in itself except this time the context was Korea. The plan was to walk across the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. For 70 years this has been a heavily mined and guarded no-man’s land (250 km long, approximately 4 km wide) intended to enforce the hasty decision made at the end of World War II to award the victors this obscure Korean peninsula occupied by Japan for 35 years. And so Washington slapped a line along the 38th parallel with the north portion’s administration, intended as a temporary trusteeship, handed over to the USSR and the southern portion to control by the USA. It was a decision which bore little relationship to Korean history or geography and before long provoked a violent push for unification, reputedly led by the North. For certain, the South was soon in tatters. The young United Nations...

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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Blogs, General News

Through a Passionate Eye

by Ainun Afroza A fairy tale… •Once upon a time, there was a world without “Conflicts”.The leaders of each nation recognized the need for co-operation and met regularly to solve any potential problems before they could grow. •They never disagreed on matters needing attention or on ways to handle these matters, and so, there were never any international tensions,and of course there was no “War”. Read more here editor’s note:  Ainun made this presentation at the reportback in Toronto (CSW60) of her trip in 2016 to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women...

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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Blogs, General News

CSW60: A Personal Experience

CSW60: A Personal Experience

by Marney Cuff Reporting on my experience at the UN CSW60 has proven to be a most daunting, yet enlightening, experience. This was my first experience of the both the UN and, though I have been a member of VOW for a few years, also the first time I had the privilege of meeting and working with so many passionate, gifted VOW women (I live in Nunavut). Strong, passionate women past and present, and from many corners of the country, have created and nurtured such an important, respected vehicle of social change we know as VOW. For this I am truly grateful. I come to VOW with the heart/soul/mind of a community development worker, with great passion for studying, understanding, analyzing, evaluating social movements and actions directed at positive, progressive social change. I cannot help but reflect on my experience at the UN CSW within such a mind and soul space. First, in a more pragmatic manner, I will list the key aspects of the UN CSW experience (VOW...

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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Blogs, General News

MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE: PROTECT THE CHILDREN

MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE: PROTECT THE CHILDREN

Last week Houston.  This week Fort McMurray.  Next week: where on earth? The climate crisis knows no bounds and its hallmark is unpredictability.  We know the general trends, as the carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere, but we don’t know exactly when the impacts of extreme weather on human communities and ecosystems will happen next. As a mother, I am distressed that we are handing on to our children a world descending into climate chaos.  As a mother, I am distressed by the impact armed conflict is having on communities in the middle east and beyond, and by the trillions of dollars going into the military and ‘defence’ while the real threats to future survival are not addressed. We are quick to judge a parent who does not provide the necessities of life to a child, even when their intentions are the best, as was the case for a couple devoted to natural healing when their child died of meningitis.  Yet we are the collective parent of the next generation, and generations to...

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