Latest WorldWatch: sustainable economies

Seven Principles for a Sustainable Global Economy

Ideas about how the world works that don’t accord with reality can be unhelpful … That’s especially true about mainstream economics. But in recent decades, economists and researchers have suggested a variety of reforms that would make economics truer, greener, and more sustainable. … seven of these from Chapter 1 of the Worldwatch Institute’s latest report, State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy:
1) Scale.
2) Stress development over growth.
3) Make prices tell the ecological truth.
4) Account for nature’s services.
5) The precautionary principle.
6) Commons management.
7) Value women.

Read: “Green Economics”: Turning Mainstream Thinking on Its Head

Maintaining Climate, Maintaining Peace

Climate stability, reduced poverty, and less inequality should be key goals of a far-sighted security policy … Even though peacekeeping budgets have been on a welcome incline in recent years, a comparison with world military spending indicates where most governments are really prepared to put their money.

Read: Peacekeeping, a Study in Contradictions.
Vital Signs Update: Peacekeeping Budgets and Personnel Soar to New Heights.

Living Sustainably

“More is better”—the modern economic mantra—is under attack as the environmental, economic, and personal downsides of consumerism become evident. Harried, overworked, and indebted consumers are increasingly open to a focus on quality of life rather than more stuff …

Read: State of the World 2008, Chapter 4: The Challenge of Sustainable Lifestyles (pdf).
Vote: What would you ask your community leaders to do to encourage sustainable lifestyles?

2008 – Anul european al dialogului intercultural

Anul 2008 a fost declarat Anul european al dialogului intercultural.

Acest an urmareste:

* promovarea dialogului intercultural ca instrument care sa-i ajute pe cetatenii europeni si pe toti cei care traiesc in Uniunea Europena sa obtina cunostinte si aptitudini de a actiona intr-un context mai deschis si mai complex
* constientizarea de catre cetatenii europeni si toti cei care traiesc in Uniunea Europeana a importantei dezvoltarii unei cetatenii europene active, care sa respecte diversitatea culturala si sa se bazeze pe valorile comune.

Nume de marca ale culturii mondiale, cum ar fi binecunoscutul scriitor brazilian Paulo Coelho sau regizorul de origine romana Radu Mihaileanu, artistul sloven Marko Peljhan, cantareata serba Marija Serifovic vor fi ambasadori ai manifestarilor organizate in acest an.

Programele vor fi coordonate de comisarul pentru cultura, educatie si tineret, Jan Figel, si de comisarul pentru multilingvism, Leonard Orban.

Leonard Orban a prezentat pentru Radio Romania principalul program pe care urmeaza sa il lanseze in 2008 in cadrul Anului dialogului intercultural:

“Am solicitat unui grup de intelectuali sa ne propuna formule prin care multilingvismul poate sa contribuie la dialogul intercultural. Grupul este precizat de celebrul scriitor franco-libanez Amin Maalouf. Undeva la inceputul lunii ianuarie acest document va fi finalizat, grupul va veni cu un fel de manifest, un fel de contributie intelectuala la modalitatea in care multilingvismul va contribui nu numai la succesul anului intercultural 2008, dar si dincolo de acest an.”

fwd c.

recent-ish news from all over

  • Peste 400 de tatici din Salaj au ales sa fie “mame” [5.2.2008]
  • Major feminist demonstration at Rafah border [2.2.2008]
  • Afghan Journalism Student Sentenced to Death for Reading About Women’s Rights [1.2.2008]
  • Indian Party Reserves Seats for Women [1.2.2008]
  • Birth Control Price Crisis Continues [31.1.2008]
  • Afghan Women Demonstrate Against Kidnapping of American Woman [31.1.2008]
  • Arizona Governor Rejects Federal Abstinence-Only Funds [30.1.2008]
  • Mexican Woman Challenges Voting Ban for Women [29.1.2008]
  • “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo” Wins at Sundance [29.1.2008]
  • Wyoming Gender Wage Gap Widens [28.1.2008]
  • Sexual Violence in Kenya Continues to Escalate [28.1.2008]
  • Indigenous rights activist ends hunger strike [28.1.2008]
  • Senate Holds Hearing on Fair Pay [25.1.2008]
  • ‘4 Months’ Raises the Iron Curtain on Abortion [24.1.2008]
  • Feu vert pour l’adoption homosexuelle en Europe [23.1.2008]
  • Jumatate dintre romance nu isi planifica sarcina – studiu [16.1.2008]
  • Cum sa profiti de discriminare [15.1.2007]
  • Black, Minority ethnic and Refugee Women and Domestic Violence [14.1.2008]
  • Evaluarea drepturilor rromilor [ro/en] [14.1.2007]
  • Abused immigrant spouses may face deportation [7.1.2008]
  • Primul ghid de interventie in cazurile de violenta in familie [5.12.2007]
  • Roundtable with Romani Women Networks [2-4.12.2007]
  • greenham common – the women’s peace camp

    “…In December it will be 25 years since the 30,000 joined hands around the perimeter fence of a US army base in Newbury in Berkshire in protest at the proposed siting of cruise missiles there. In the years that followed, a permanent protest was established with groups of women camping outside the base. To make their point they repeatedly blocked the gates, penetrated the base, successfully organised mass demonstrations and generally poured joyful scorn on the authorities’ inability to keep them out or shut them up…” (“All our roads led there”, about the documentary)

    more @ the f-word:

    In 1981 a small group of women and children marched from Cardiff to Greenham Common to protest against the siting of cruise missiles at the U.S military base in Newbury, Berkshire. They were called “Women For Life on Earth” and they triggered the birth of a new non-violent direct action movement and the biggest women-only peace protest the world has ever seen.

    Upon arrival at the base some women, in Suffragette style, chained themselves to the main gate. Legend has it that the base commander came out to greet the women and with a sneer informed them that as far as he was concerned, they could stay there as long as they liked. So stay they did, in their thousands, for approximately the next 12 years, long enough to see the last U.S soldier leave by the gates they had built.

    In December 1982 30,000 women joined hands around the nine and a half mile perimeter fence at the base and followed this up the year after with an even bigger “Embrace The Base” protest. Women took direct action against the military machine that they saw as a direct threat to themselves and to the poorest women and children of the world. While the military boy’s games went on behind the razer wire, and trillions were being spent on weapons of mass destruction, women protested that so many die without clean water or food or medicine, that hospitals and schools were underfunded, that women’s refuges had to run on charity and mourned the many killed in war. It was clear to this re-emerging new Women’s Peace Movement that peace was a feminist issue, and while men were making decisions at that base every day that affected the lives of women and children around the world, women decided to take some power back, and were making their own decisions and taking their own actions, to stop the warmongers in their tracks.

    Greenham Common has now been restored as a common. The local council is taking down the fence and reintroducing native trees, protecting and encouraging wildlife. The silos still stand, as an indication of what used to go on there, the huge bomb proof bunkers for soldiers on 24hr watch, practicing the launch of their nuclear weapons. Now nettles and birch trees are cracking the concrete and forcing their way up through the runway. As the common is reclaimed at last, new protests have been growing for many years at other military bases around Britain.

    Greenham touched so many women, not just those who went there, but so many around the world who heard about it on the news, read about it in papers and magazines. Women from Greenham carried that spirit with them, to their local towns and cities, to their local bases. Some of those women turned their attention to Menwith Hill, the largest American military spy base in the world, in the middle of the North Yorkshire dales, seven miles from Harrogate. A permanent women’s peace camp was established there in 1993, and remained there, through various evictions, for the next five years.

    and from protester rebecca johnson in a 1987 letter-to-the-editor:

    I lived at Greenham for five years, from August 1982. When I first arrived there was only one gate, the Main Gate, with about 15 women living in the shadow of imminent eviction. Sure enough, the caravans were taken away, boulders were dumped near the entrance to restrict access, and it rained for 40 days.

    Yet that small band of muddy women managed to organise one of the largest women’s demonstrations this century. Embrace The Base/Close The Base took place on a December weekend in 1982 with 35,000 women encircling the Greenham airfield.

    In the five years since then, thousands of women have taken non-violent direct action – trespassing, blockading, painting, and cutting the perimeter fence. They have clogged the courts and prisons. There has been a High Court injunction and daily evictions. It has been an extraordinary saga. By 1983, eight camps had been established around the base (and one inside), and even today there are four surviving camps.

    When I first went to Greenham, it was the ‘first use’ war-fighting strategy for the cruise missiles that had shocked me into action. But the women at the camp also raised challenges and discussisons on the many other faces of violence.

    From the experience of Greenham, women’s networks arose to campaign against the military exploitation and destruction of the Pacific islands, and against the obscene waste of the food ‘mountains’ Greenham women painted porn shops and the offices of Barclays Bank and Shell, to draw attention to commercial collaboration in the violence of rape and apartheid.

    Women from Greenham went out to Zimbabwe and Nicaragua, to the US and the Soviet Union, and linked up with other women struggling for peace and justice around the world and challenging militarism and violence wherever it manifests itself. Greenham women have been part of peace camps in Ireland and took part in Mines Not Missiles marches during the 1984 strike against pit closures.

    We tried to establish ways of working that were feminist and non-hierarchical, non-violent, anti-racist and community-oriented. We sought to involve women who could not necessarily live fulltime at the camp, but whose experiece and participation was necessary and valuable to the struggle…

    campanii pentru cele 16 zile

    2358.jpg In fiecare an, intre 25 noiembrie (Ziua Internationala de Lupta impotriva Violentei asupra Femeii) si 10 decembrie (Ziua Internationala a Drepturilor Omului) se desfasoara Campania internationala a celor 16 Zile de Activism impotriva Violentei asupra Femeii. [despre campania din 2006]

    Pe 2007, tema aleasa este
    “Eliminand violenta impotriva femeilor prin cererea de implementari si abordarea obstacolelor”.

    Activitati oficiale organizate in Romania: Continue reading

    read & take action re: sexual violence crisis

    … As you likely have read, perhaps in Ms. two years ago or more recently in the New York Times, civil conflict in eastern Congo has spawned an epidemic of rape and sexual violence that the U.N. has called “almost unimaginable.” As of the Times report, the systematic attacks on women (and girls; don’t ask) by militias — and Congolese government troops themselves — had, despite the hope that last year’s elections might bring an end to widespread anarchy, reached “a scale never before seen.” According to the United Nations (which revealed in 2004 that some of its own workers there had taken part in sexual abuse), 27,000 sexual assaults were reported last year in South Kivu province, ground zero for the epidemic. As U.N. under secretary general for humanitarian affairs John Holmes told the Times,”The sexual violence in Congo is the worst in the world.” One doctor in South Kivu, who sees 10 new victims every day — some so “sadistically attacked…that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair” — said, “We don’t know why these rapes are happening, but one thing is clear: They are done to destroy women.”

    Is there anything we can do to help these women — who are entering Panzi Hospital in South Kivu. at the rate of 200 a month? Writer Susannah Breslin of the Reverse Cowgirl blog found out. At the suggestion of the Times reporter, she e-mailed Erika Beckman, manager of the hospital’s Female Victims of Sexual Violence project. Breslin posted Beckman’s response in its entirety; it is harrowing, inspiring, and strongly recommended reading. The upshot is that you can make donations directly to this project, which provides not only provides the best possible gynecological care, but also psychological and legal counseling, transitional housing, literacy classes and training in craft-making with the goal of self-sustenance. …

    more @ “‘They are done to destroy women’ – How to help victims of sexual violence in Congo”

    … and these appeal to women, HOW?

    gallery of sexist ads, parts 10^20 and 10^20+1:

    “Alicia Silverstone Strips for Animals?” (yeah, of course PETA is involved)

    “Pornography of War (Literally)”
    as “bonus,” some more depictions of women being demeaned/abused that are making the rounds… because it’s all part of the same continuum:
    Video of domestic violence
    Blonda batuta de concubinul ei [Blonde beaten up by her live-in boyfriend]
    (make sure to check out the “average joe” responses to these: “so what,” “she deserved it,” “why didn’t she just leave?” are among the mildest reactions to the video on youtube, and most of them, especially on the romanian site, are truly vile, misogynistic and violent… while the video is being sent around as a “joke”)

    CAREFUL, links 3-5 contain images that could be seriously triggering!

    from the global feminist newswire

    Egypt Moves to Ban Female Genital Mutilation (6/29/2007)
    Egypt’s health ministry announced yesterday that it would close a legal loophole allowing female genital mutilation (FGM), days after a 12-year-old girl died from the procedure…

    UNFPA Briefing on New Report Focuses on Urbanization (6/28/2007)
    The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released its annual report on the State of World Population at a briefing this week at the National Press Club…

    Setback for Saudi Business Women (6/28/2007)
    Under new segregation rules, female bankers in Saudi Arabia are being separated from their male counterparts and supervisors…

    New Anti-Rape Law in Thailand (6/25/2007)
    The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand approved a new law last week that criminalizes marital rape…

    Colombia to Pass Law Giving Rights to Same-Sex Couples (6/18/2007)
    With backing from President Alvaro Uribe, a Colombian bill giving same-sex couples rights to health insurance, inheritance, and social security that recently passed by a 62-43 vote in Congress is likely to become law…

    Fatal Shooting Outside Afghan Girls’ School (6/14/2007)
    Two gunmen killed two girls and wounded six others, including a teacher, outside a girls’ school in Logar Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday…

    Over 100 Women Activists Arrested in Zimbabwe (6/13/2007)
    More than 100 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were arrested June 11 in Filabusi, Zimbabwe during a peaceful demonstration to launch the Peoples’ Charter, which includes demands for social rights and liberties…

    Kuwaiti Women Barred from Working at Night (6/13/2007)
    The Kuwaiti Parliament unanimously passed a law earlier this week to restrict women’s rights by restricting the hours that women are allowed to work…

    Ministers in UK Government Draft New Anti-Discrimination Legislation (6/12/2007)
    The United Kingdom government published today a consultation document that included proposals for a Single Equality Bill that will cover England, Wales, and Scotland…

    Mozambique Considers Lifting Abortion Ban to Protect Women’s Lives (6/11/2007)
    In order to improve the health and safety of women, policymakers in Mozambique have announced that they will consider lifting the country’s ban on abortion…

    Afghan Radio Owner and Reporter Killed (6/6/2007)
    Zakia Zaki, the owner and manager of Peace Radio and a headmaster of a girls’ school in Parwan province, was shot dead inside her home early this morning…

    Report Links Discrimination Against Women and HIV Infection Rates (5/31/2007)
    Physicians for Human Rights released a report on Friday demonstrating that discriminatory views against women contribute to the spread of HIV…

    Mexican Supreme Court Will Consider New Abortion Law (5/31/2007)
    The Mexican Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that it will hear a case filed by the National Human Right’s Commission (NHRC) and the Attorney General’s Office to determine whether Mexico City’s law allowing abortion in the first three months of pregnancy is constitutional…

    Women’s Rights Activist Suspended from Afghan Parliament (5/22/2007)
    Women’s rights activist and lawmaker Malalai Joya, a 29-year-old from the Farah province, was suspended from the Afghan Parliament yesterday after she described the Parliament as a barn full of animals…

    and more…