How an uproar over aid and sexual exploitation ignored women’s actual experiences

(Conversation) – The recent “Oxfam sex scandal” – during which some aid workers were accused of paying for sex with young women in vulnerable conditions – has focused almost exclusively on the aid workers and aid organisations involved. But the perspectives and motivations of the young women who were paid for sex with money or material goods have hardly been discussed at all, and the contexts in which they live have been misrepresented and misunderstood. The problem of transactional sex in areas hit by disaster, war, or extreme poverty is…

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What’s the Reality of Debt for Today’s Veterans?

It is a sad fact that many former military members fall into debt. It could be so bad to the point that veterans are left both penniless and homeless. Debt actually begins to accumulate while members are still in service. The amount of money owed usually increases at a faster rate than civilians. A couple of causes of this debt includes the gap between pay and payments, and the ease of acceptance of credit. These bills can follow military members into their veteran years. Pay is Steady, but Debt Grows…

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Tajikistan: Chinese company gets gold mine in return for power plant

(EAN) – A company from China has reportedly been granted a license to operate a gold mine in Tajikistan in exchange for building a power plant free of charge in the country’s capital. Asia-Plus newspaper reported on April 11, citing an unnamed official with the State Geology Department, that Xinjiang-based TBEA has received the concession to develop the Upper Kumarg mine in the Sughd region in northern Tajikistan. The company was previously given the concession for the Eastern Duoba mine. The newspaper’s source said that the mining license was granted…

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When is Sex Work ‘Decent Work’?

Thailand (OpenDemocracy) – My name’s is Liz Hilton. I’m from Empower Foundation, which is a sex worker organisation. I’ve been part of the Empower family since 1992. The reason why there’s only me here (at the conference ‘Human trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery: understanding popular narratives and planning strategic action’, held by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women in August 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand), and not the rest of Empower, is that the sex workers in Thailand are sick of talking about trafficking so they sent me. Sam Okyere (oD):…

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Threat of Western Strike on Syria: What is Known So Far

Trump’s ‘Get Ready’ Tweet On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump threatened a direct strike on the Syrian government forces following an alleged chemical attack in Douma, in a tweet that was followed by another one, in which Trump claimed that relations with Moscow were worse than during the Cold War. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quick to respond to Trump’s remarks by saying that “smart missiles must strike terrorists, not the legitimate government that has been fighting international terrorism on its territory for several years.” Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be…

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‘We Won’t Give Up’: 25 Years of Feminist Resistance to the War on Women’s Bodies in Poland

Poland (OpenDemocracy) – Before 1993, we could terminate our pregnancies legally and safely. Today, Poland is home to one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. In theory, abortion is legal when the mother’s health is at risk, in cases of fetal abnormality, or when pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. But, in practice it is almost impossible to access abortion services legally. According to official statistics, only 1,098 legal abortions were performed in the whole country in 2016. Many more women terminate their pregnancies illegally, in conditions that may…

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ICC Prosecutor’s Unprecedented Bid to Bring Justice to Rohingya

(HRW) – On Monday, International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court’s judges to rule on whether the ICC “can exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.” Bangladesh is a member of the ICC, but Myanmar isn’t. This distinction is critical because, since the ICC lacks jurisdiction over Myanmar, the most obvious path to justice for victims of crimes committed against ethnic Rohingya is through a United Nations Security Council referral to the court. The prosecutor’s legal argument – the first…

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6 Logical Fallacies to Look out for in the Gun Debate

In 2017, the data website FiveThirtyEight declared that the U.S. had become more polarized on the issue of guns that at any time in the nation’s history. Because of the emotional nature of the debate, both gun control advocates and Second Amendment proponents increasingly resorted to violent rhetoric (“burn her!”), conspiracy theories, and especially irrational thinking. Here are six of the most common logical fallacies you’ll find in the current debate on guns in America. 1. Non Sequitur Non sequitur translates as “it does not follow.” They are more common…

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How Women Rice Weeders in Italy Took on Fascism and Became Heroines of the Left

Italy (Conversation) – In an era before the dawn of pesticides and mechanisation, an all-female workforce was employed to “disinfect” and harvest Italy’s rice crops. These Italian rice weeders may be a thing of the past, but they have a remarkable political legacy. Italy was, and remains, Europe’s largest rice producer. The rice weeders, known in Italian as “mondine”, could be found knee-deep in flooded fields from May until July, across Italy’s “rice belt” which spans the northern regions of Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and the Veneto. In my ongoing…

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The Garden Pests Megalist and What to Do about Them

(SurvivalSullivan) – We toil away for hours and hours in our gardens and on over our container crops so WE can enjoy the fruit of our labors. Preventing garden pests from sneaking in and munching on our fruits and vegetables, destroying the plants in the process, is a vital part of the process…at least if you want to have anything left to harvest! Ants They might be tiny, but these little garden pests are sure mighty! When ants come across a barrier that means them harm, a brick-and-mortar physical one…

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