Bidisha ShonarKoli Mamata's Blogs

  • Women for Women International Celebrates Grand Opening of Women’s Opportunity Centre in Rwanda

    This is a post on behalf of Women for Women International, based on their recent press announcement, backed by my endorsement and admiration of their work. I am not affiliated with them or with any of the organisations mentioned. Last Friday, Women for Women International (WfWI) opened its landmark Women's Opportunity Centre (WOC) in Kayonza district, Rwanda. The WOC will serve as a centre of excellence and innovation supporting women's economic and social development in the region through training, employment, and business opportunities. The founders write: The Women's Opportunity Centre is the result of a community-led approach that involved many partners to create this permanent resource for the people of Kayonza," said Afshan Khan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Women for Women International. "The WOC will promote future growth and prosperity in the region, and has the potential to reach over 28,000...

  • Persephone Speaks: The Forgotten Women of Bosnia

    I am urging everyone to back a major new documentary by the brilliant film-maker Ivana Ivkovic Kelley, whose project Persephone Speaks focuses on the use of rape as a war strategy. The film follows a survivor's quest to shed light on the international community's failure to acknowledge the effects this crime has on women's lives, long after the war has ended. There are only 10 days left before the fundraising campaign is over. The project is more timely than ever, given that global awareness of this issue is rising. It's also amazing to witness the power of film-making on global politics, with William Hague stating that his consciousness was raised by Angelina Jolie's hard-hitting 2012 film In The Land of Blood and Honey, which focuses on the issue. That feature was a sombre and extremely...

  • Symposium on Community-Based Maternal and Newborn Care at UCL

    Date: Tuesday 21st May, 5.15pm Venue: John Snow Lecture Theatre Keppel Street London WC1E Booking: Book Online Speakers: Prof Joy Lawn, Professor of Maternal Reproductive and Child Health Epidemiology, London School Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Prof David Osrin, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science, UCL Institute for Global Health With 1000 days remaining to the Millennium Development Goal targets, there is an increased focus on reducing maternal and newborn deaths through equitable coverage of life-saving interventions. Community-based strategies to improve maternal and newborn health are receiving policy attention, but there are a number of ways of thinking about them. They may be perceived as individual interventions, as a platform for many activities, or even as a distraction from health system building. An increasing number of studies and trials have been published which examine a range of approaches, yet sometimes the...

  • From Female Genital Mutilation to Media Sexism: A UK Gender and Activism Snapshot

    This just in from the End Violence Against Women coalition. 2013 – The Year We Make Schools Safe 4 Girls? With further arrests relating to the Savile investigation and disturbing cases in the news about sexual abuse of vulnerable girls by groups of older men, EVAW’s timely Schools Safe 4 Girls campaign is gaining momentum. Our work was mentioned in a recent Parliamentary debate on the long-awaited Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE) education review. Our call for all children to have access to proper Sex and Relationships (SRE) Education - which teaches young people about sexual consent, and respectful and non-abusive relationships - will be debated in a backbenchers’ debate on 14 February as part of the global #One Billion Rising day of dancing against violence against women (will there be dancing in...

  • Periyar River in Kerala Under Threat From Pollution

    The State Government of Kerala in India is being petitioned by international activists because a major regional waterway, the Periyar river, is under threat from pollution. Towards the mouth of the river, researchers have found high levels of DDT, lead, cyanide and mercury produced by local industry, agriculture and domestic waste. This poses a health risk to humans as well as destabilising the aquatic environment. Environmental campaigners claim that the Kerala Pollution Control Board has failed to take proper samples when serious pollution has been reported. They say, "Water pollution does more than make the river smell bad. It wrecks ecosystems and livelihoods and is not something to be ignored." To learn more about the Periyar river, there's a beautiful site called Periyar River Keeper, created by an environmental pressure group; and for images and a thoughtful summing-up of the situation by photographer...

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