Why I listen to TED

For a few years now, I have listened in on great speakers at the TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment and Design). These talks are about ideas worth spreading and have been going on since 1984. I like the way it gets my mind ticking and picks me up, in the moments that doubts start to creep into my mind.

Here is a talk I listened to today:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD1512_XJEw]

Keep on going and motivate others around you to do the same. Positive change is possible, yet it can take time to get there. So, I listen to TED, to remind myself that the change I want is possible.

Oxfam Pramble 2011

Last weekend I was down at the Millennium Bridge in London to welcome the Oxfam Pramble team. So what is it all about?

Let some of the volunteers tell you themselves:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT2ljpWDL-4]

Have a look at  their route, all the way from London to Manchester showing their interactive journey!

[googlemaps http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=206783798818312886673.00049811380386eebf0da&source=embed&ll=52.526926,-1.941093&spn=1.902806,1.901128&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

Another cool part of the finish line was a huge pregnant giant, made by the Chester Giants, listen to what they had to say :

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8PhBPzxLiI]

Highlighting the importance of maternal health is important for us all, as a good start in life impacts ones future prospects. Have a look at more photos on the Oxfam Pramble here. Well done everyone!

Gender Equality: an activists view

Last month, Gender was a hot topic within International Development and the fight against poverty worldwide. In March it was International Women’s Day, UN Women gained some momentum and it also played host the publication of The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty edited by Sylvia Chant.  It has been great to highlight the progress and change around gender issues world-wide and the issues were even highlighted by the likes of James Bond.

March is now over, yet the issues around gender equality still have a long way to go.  Here are some key facts:

  • In 2009 women on average accounted for less than 18.4 % of members of parliament. At all levels and in all sectors fewer women than men are part of decision-making processes. (IPU)
  • Over two-thirds of the world’s 776 million illiterates are women and despite improvements, more than 55 percent of the 75 million out of school primary age children are girls. (UNESCO)
  • Worldwide, women earn on average only 84 per cent of what men earn in formal waged work. However, large numbers of women are concentrated in informal and precarious work, associated with low and unstable earnings. (ITUC)
  • Every year over 536,000 women die of pregnancy-related complications, and between 8 million and 20 million a year suffer serious injury or disability from the same causes. (WHO)
  • Women are half the 31 million people living with HIV worldwide. More than three in four (77%) of adult women (15 years and older) with HIV globally live in Sub-Saharan Africa – that’s an estimated 12 million out of the 15.5 million women infected with HIV worldwide. (UN)
  • Between 10 and 69 per cent of women report abuse by their intimate partner in every country where reliable data exist. Systematic rape has left millions of women and adolescent girls traumatized, pregnant, or infected with HIV. (UN)

(Source: Oxfam Issues In DepthGender Equality)

So as a new month starts, please try not to forget about gender equality, as its’ issues are so far-reaching and affect us all economically, socially and financially. I will be showing my support to the Oxfam Pramble which will see a pram being pushed from Manchester to all the way to London, to highlight issues of maternal health. I will be back here to share my views on the final push which ends on Londons’ Millennium Bridge on the 2nd of April!