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Cultural Change Taking Root with BAOBAB
BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights, a non-governmental organization based in Lagos, Nigeria, believes change begins slowly, one woman at a time. But when that one woman connects to another, and then another, the collective momentum can take on a life of it's own.
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Delta on Fire
Nigeria is one of the world's top ten oil producers, and the source of its wealth lies in the southern Niger Delta region. For decades, the clash between multinational oil companies and the Delta people has been a violent one. But in the early 21st century, the face, and means, of protest changed...
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Whose Universe? Women and Universal Human Rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed into effect by the UN in 1948, was supposed to take care of it all. But since then, the world has answered with one bill after the next filling in the gaps missed by the Declaration and contesting the alleged Euro-centricity of the 30 articles. Now there are the Cairo Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the newly UN-signed Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and many more from various regional and identity groups. I'm currently writing an academic paper on the intersections among women's rights, indigenous rights and environmental rights...
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The Curse of Nakedness
A woman's body is both revered and feared in cultural traditions from East to West. It is immortalized as "pin-up girl" and simultaneously mystified as mother. A community of women in Nigeria, however, proved that a woman's body is enough to bring one of the largest oil companies to the bargaining table...
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My Child Is Your Child
When mothers raise their voices, they cannot be ignored. Among the most riveting examples are Argentina's Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Starting as a handful of women, they grew to become a national force and an international inspiration, powered, against all odds, by love for their children.
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Why Women Go Green
In most political parties, except in the Green Party, men far outnumber women. Since their inception, Green Parties worldwide have boasted a disproportionately high number of women members. In Europe, however, Green women also hold the majority of high-level leadership positions. For example, 32 out of 55 German Green Party parliament members are women...
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Seeds of Resistance
"Seeds are our mother," declares physicist and activist Vandana Shiva, founder of the revolutionary Indian seed-saving organization Navdanya. The organization's name translates as "nine crops." Its mission: To support local farmers and rescue and conserve crops that are being pushed into extinction...
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Swept Away
The devastating headlines have appeared all too often in recent years: unimaginable death tolls and destruction from earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis. Natural disasters and their aftermath are catastrophic, but until recently, they've held another, hidden, tragedy. It is women who suffer, and die, the most...
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Roots of Peace
When Wangari Maathai became the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, she also became the first Nobel laureate to make the link between keeping peace and conserving the environment...
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Water Woes
Throughout history, women have played a central role as stewards of water. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), "Women are most often the collectors, users and managers of water in the household as well as farmers of crops. Women and children provide nearly all the water for the household in rural areas." In urban areas, women are often in charge of accessing clean water and ensuring sanitation for their families...
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