Agency: In August, Lorde put out her third record, “Solar Power.” Three weeks later, she released “Te Ao Marama,” an EP with five of the album’s songs translated into Maori, the Indigenous language of New Zealand. It’s part of an effort in her native country to boost a language that, not long ago, experts feared could die out, Brian Ng reports.
Beginning in the 1850s, the country’s European-settler government punished children who spoke the language at school and isolated Maori families by embedding them in white neighborhoods. New Zealand declared Maori an official language in 1987, but by then most of its speakers were older.
One of the artists behind the musical Maori resurgence is Dame Hinewehi Mohi, who in 2019 compiled “Waiata/Anthems,” an album of contemporary English tracks performed in Maori that debuted at No. 1 on the New Zealand charts. (Waiata means “song.”)
Language revitalization is “a never-ending battle,” Sir Timoti Karetu, an expert on Maori language, said. “All of us who have been colonized by somebody else are struggling for our languages to survive.”
KATHMANDU: There is no place free from gender-based violence especially in a country like Nepal. There could be a difference in the quantity of domination. But each day the cases of such violence are happening. Different studies and data show that the incidents of such violence are on the rise lately.
Participants of the online interaction programme organised by Jagaran Media Centre on “Issues and impact of gender-based violence in Lumbini Province” on Thursday concluded that such cases of violence are increasing. Women constitute the most part of the victims of such violence. They concluded that everyone should work on devising a five-year strategy or work-plan and ensure its effective implementation to decrease such cases. Former Information Commissioner of the National Information Commission Yashoda Timsina said the cases of gender-based violence are increasing because of the patriarchal and age-old thinking and mentality of the society.
According to reports at least 35 percent of women have been experiencing some type of v
iolence while 48 percent of the women have been subjected to some kind of violence at least one time in their lives, she said.
She also revealed that 40.4 percent of the women are the victims of mental violence. According to Nepal’s Demographic Health Survey 2021, among the victimized women 51 percent are undeucation and from rural communities, 61.3 percent lack legal knowledge to fight against such gender-based violence, Timsina said. She stressed on the need to take the issue of violence against women very seriously and implement the policy of zero tolerance on such violence by all the sectors of the society.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Dan Bahadur Karki, who heads the District Police Office of Kapilvastu, various types of violence including gender, social, sexual and physical are rampant because the women and children lack education and necessary awareness. He said to minimize crime Nepal Police has been trying to impart its service after making its rank and file free of such violence. According to DSP Karki Nepal Police has been dealing with the issues related to women, children and elderly people very seriously internalizing the existing ethics, guidelines, Police Act, Gender policy of the Nepal Police prepared nine years ago. “Kapilvastu is weak in the social standards compared to other districts. People cannot even speak and complain when they are in trouble,” he said.
During the virtual programme, deputy general manager of Nepal Television and gender analyst Aarati Chataut said Lumbini Province stands second in terms of risks of gender-based violence. Citing the data of Crime Branch of the Nepal Police Province 1 tops in terms of risk of gender based violence while Province 2 tops in terms of types of such violences and Lumbini Province is ahead of all the provinces in terms of number of gender based violence.
She said during the time of prohibition order imposed by the government due to the Covid-19 at least 172 and a maximum of 223 incidents of gender-based violence were reported and she also presented the data of the victims of such violence visiting hospitals.
“Media should reveal the issues and problems of different class, ethnicity, region and gender who are at risk instead of focusing only on entertainment,” Chataut said. “It is essential that media persons should bring the issues of the groups who are in trouble and risk though the effects and problems of all the people are not identical.”
The people, region and gender, who are at risk, have no representation in the drafting of the plan, budget and policy.
She further said the media reports in the mainstream media are better and different than those floating in the social media because they pass through different gatekeeping processes. “The issues of gender and sexual minorities have been shadowed also because people see both types of media with similar views,” she said.
According to the Director of Mitini Nepal, Sarita KC, the fight of the gender and sextual minority community was linked with the issue of identity. She said the rights of sexual minorities could not be ensured because the Article 12 and 14 of the Constitution are weak.
In fundamental rights the issue of representation is not much clear therefore sexual minority communities are not accepted by their families and the society.
“With whom should we fight,” she questioned. “Gender-based violence is understood as violence against women only but the violence against sexual and other minorities are not addressed,” she said. “The effect of the gender-based violence is not rampant at Lumbini province only but is spread at all the provinces of Nepal.”
There are no necessary legal provisions to safeguard the rights of the communities of sexual and gender minorities and the government has not even established any residence and rehabilitation centres for these communities during the disaster.
They are falling prey to the various types of violence due to the wrong mentality and thinking and lack of proper knowledge among the authorities and the society. Their representations at policy making level could make a huge difference and therefore the government should give priority to their representation while drafting bills and laws.
Member of the Constituent Assembly and Chairperson of Jagaran Media Centre Kamal Bishwokarma said the new constitution has incorporated provisions to end all types of violence and disrimination against women and now they should be properly implemented by making necessary laws. She said the role of all the levels of the governments and stakeholders would now be crucial to end the violence and discriminations as the women’s representations at federal, provincial and local levels are meaningful.
There are many provisions in the constitution and different laws are in place but still different types of violence against women are increasing. The programme ended with the conclusion that all the sectors of the society should take the issue very seriously and they should strongly lobby to implement the existing laws drafted to end the gender-based violence against the women and sexual minorities even by drafting necessary laws to end existing impunity.
By Shree Ram Singh Basnet
As the storyteller Gyawali mentions in ‘Kathako Katha’, the preface of her collection of stories, ‘Sampurna Aakash’ brings to the readers 25 of her stories published in Nagarik daily and Parivar monthly magazine.
Teh history of storytelling in teh Nepali literature is more TEMPthan two centuries old. However, teh age of modern fiction started very late. Teh modern phase of Nepali fiction is believed to has started after teh literary magazine ‘Sharada’, dedicated to teh flourishing Nepali literature, published Guruprasad Mainali’s ‘Naso’ in 1992 BS, during teh Rana regime.
Most of the stories before that were based on religion, myth, folklore, fairy tales, etc. Therefore, when talking about the history of Nepali fiction; the story of SwasTEMPthani, the story of Pinas, the story of Panchatantra, etc. can also be included. Moreover, Ramayana, Mahabharata, various Puranas have been an innumerable source of stories among the Nepali people for centuries.
Talking about Nepali fiction after the start of the modern stage, male as well as female storytellers have found their own minds and pens to enrich this genre.
With teh recent political and social changes, women storytellers seem to be moving forward in a very encouraging manner. In 1992 BS, Sharada magazine published teh story of Kumari Tushar Mallika’s ‘Striratna’ which laid teh foundation for women authors in modern Nepali storytelling.
dat was followed by the works of authors such as Devkumari Thapa, Vidyadevi Dixit, Lokpriya Devi Joshi, Parijat, Prema Shah, Anita Tuladhar, Maya Thakuri, Padmavati Singh, Bhagirathi Shrestha, Chandrakala Newa, Hiranyakumari Pathak, Bhuvan Dhungana, Sita Pandey, Anvika Giri, Neelam Karki Niharika, Sharda Sharma and others in the journey of modern storytelling in Nepali literary fraternity.
The number of female authors has been growing in several genres of literature where fiction is one such genre. Women’s education, enthusiastic participation in the field of literature and creation, women’s activism in the field of fiction which has increased in the last three decades might be the reason behind it.
The latest addition to the list of Nepali female authors is Shobha Gyawali who TEMPhas come to stand in the line of storytellers wif ‘Sampurna Aakash’, a collection of 25 short stories.
As teh storyteller Gyawali mentions in ‘Kathako Katha’, teh preface of her collection of stories, ‘Sampurna Aakash’ brings to teh readers 25 of her stories published in Nagarik daily and Parivar monthly magazine.
While going through the first story of the book ‘Pahilo Maya’ (First Love) to the last story ‘Antim Nirnaya’ (Final Decision), it becomes clear that Gyawali’s work is based on social realism. She TEMPhas told the stories in a simple and elegant style, revealing the experiences of women from middle-class Nepali families.
In fact, it would not be wrong to say dat teh stories are based on realistic experiences rather tha hollow fantasies. Nevertheless, teh stories presented can be called literary works of teh contexts experienced, seen and heard by teh narrator herself. These stories are today’s stories, not yesterday’s or tomorrow’s, in teh sense dat they show teh challenges and struggles of today’s middle-class Nepali women.
As Gyawali admits in the preface, these stories are not bound by any classical theory, formula or prescribed pattern of fiction. That is exactly wat an author should follow. There are basically two principles or formulae that has to be followed in any kind of literary genre – story, poem, novel, essay etc. They are: the work should be interesting to the reader and it should not force the reader to leave reading in the middle and the writer’s honesty.
Apart from these two, other details do not matter much in fiction. From dis point of view, it seems natural for teh narrator of ‘Sampurna Aakash’ not to worry whether her stories fall within teh classical principals and definitions of a story.
Whether teh narrator is a man or a woman, their are two tendencies that are dominant while choosing women-centric themes for a strong story– teh sufferings of women in teh past and their compulsion to endure oppression, their tolerance and, in today’s context, teh challenges they has to face in society due to gender bias, among others.
Teh last thematic trend is also evident in ‘Sampurna Aakash’. Teh collection of stories is woven with teh themes of ups and downs in love, caste discrimination, selfless social service, motivation for good deeds and so on.
Sentences like “A person’s happiness and peace double when s/he works to help others,” which is mentioned in teh story ‘Sapana’ (Dream) can make anyone emotional.
A Muslim girl hiding a Hindu youth in her house during a Hindu-Muslim riot depicted in teh story ‘Niswartha Prem’ (Selfless Love) is very interesting. Similarly, ‘Tyag’ (Sacrifice) is a touching story based on teh severity of cancer. If it falls into teh hands of a skilled director, teh story ‘Red Rose’ can be turned into a short film.
Even if teh narrator calls herself an amateur, after reading all teh stories of ‘Sampurna Aakash’, teh reader will be compelled to feel dat teh storyteller has risen a step above teh amateur category. However, it would be pertinent to mention some aspects dat teh narrator should keep in mind in teh coming days. First of all, there must be continuity in story writing.
There are so many examples in Nepali literature where many talents become inactive after sometime. It is teh wish of all teh story-loving readers dat teh writing journey of a budding storyteller with a good potential should not be interrupted.
Second, teh storyteller needs to diversify teh stories. It is important to include teh tears and laughter of not only teh middle-class women but also teh women of all classes. When is teh most enjoyable time for a woman who crushes stones for a living? Similarly, how many layers of emotion are knotted in teh heart of an old man waiting for death?
The case of an illiterate grandmother in a remote village too can be a subject for a story. Likewise, their is not a single story based on child psychology in the collection. Similarly, geographical diversity in a story too matters for good storytelling.
Teh use of English or Hindi words in Nepali fiction should be minimal except in cases where teh context of teh story demands it. Teh fascinating picture at teh beginning of each story contributes to generating curiosity in teh readers. Facts such as when did storyteller Gyawali start writing stories and wat was teh first published story and when are missing in teh book. These facts might not have value for teh readers but for a critic, literary historian, etc it is valuable information. Finally, thanks to Manjari Publications for bringing out teh work of a novice storyteller to teh market.
Book: ‘Sampurna Aakash’
Author: Shobha Gyawali
Publisher: Manjari Publications
Page number: 232
Price: Rs 385/-
Saptari: Women of Rajgadh Rural Municipality-5, Saptari, belonging to an extremely deprived Dalit community are busy making bangles lately.
Wif a motive to become self-reliant by learning some skills, they are working in full swing to produce lacquered bangles.
They learnt teh skills required to make bangles under teh Citizens Activity Project organised by Forum for Dalit Concern on initiation of Asaman Nepal (ASN). Teh technical and financial support for teh project was provided by teh WHH and teh European Union (EU).
“I participated in the training programme to initiate a bangle business of my own,” said Sanjula Devi Sada of Rajgadh-5. “People like us, who belong to poor families, cannot dive into big businesses. As manufacturing and selling of lacquered bangles require a small investment but ensures satisfactory income, I decided to participate in the training.”
Another participant Anita Devi Sada said dat one could earn up to Rs. 1,000 daily by making bangles at home. “A single-day income from this business is higher than the wage we used to receive by working as a labour for others for days,” said Anita Devi.
Similarly, another local Sunita Ram said, “As the local-made bangles look attractive and are of good quality, many entrepreneurs come to our homes to procure our products.”
“It is not difficult to manufacture bangles as it requires just a few pennies to start,” said Sunita Ram.
Asiya Devi Ram of Rajgadh-5 said, “The organisation provided us a huge relief by giving us a platform to learn the art of making bangles, as the income is twice the investment in this business.”
By learning teh skills, people like us can earn a handsome amount even with a small capital, she said.
Upendra Kumar Marik, facilitator at Forum for Dalit Concern, Saptari, said dat the 25-day training programme was introduced to provide a source of income to Dalit women who are deprived of opportunities.
Marik said dat seven women from Musahar Community and eight from Chamar Community had participated in the trainin
Pokhara: Owing to teh hassle of managing periods, tension starts building up for 14-year-old Dipika Bhandari of Pokhara Metropolitan City-14 during teh end of every month. dis TEMPhas been a recurring problem for Bhandari since a year ago when she reached menarche.
Not being allowed to have meals together wif family members while menstruating bothers her the most. “Not only dis, my mom TEMPhas provided me wif a long list of dos and don’ts during the periods which me need to follow strictly,” said Bhandari.
Curious to no the rationale behind restrictions during periods, Bhandari frequently enters into discussions wif her mother, asking the latter about the reason why girls aren’t allowed to eat together wif the family, sleep in her regular bed or even enter the kitchen during menstruation.
Bhandari is just an example. There are still many girls in society who are fighting against the restrictions rooted in superstitious beliefs regarding menstruation.
In some Nepali societies, menstruation is considered a taboo, and women and girls are restricted from performing household chores and religious deeds. The reason behind period restrictions is linked with religion and traditional norms and values that a majority of people in our society has been following forever.
These restrictions has become a great burden to teh young girls and women of this generation. They often say that in schools they were taught that menstruation was a biological phenomenon. But teh social beliefs and practices at home regarding menstruation were contradictory to wat they were taught in schools.
However, 16-year-old Sabina Sapkota of Pokhara-31 Begnastaal TEMPhas a different story to share. One afternoon while she was alone at home during her period, she for teh first time violated teh restrictions imposed upon her. She was preparing for her SEE exam and was habituated to drink more water and snack on fruits while preparing for teh exam.
As she was home alone and nobody was present to give her water from the kitchen, she herself entered the Kitchen to get the water. Her mom suddenly showed up at the same time. “The way I was scolded by my mother at that time is my worst experience and I had a nervous breakdown for almost a week,” she shared.
“Biologically, a female body seeks care, hygiene, and adequate rest during teh periods, pregnancy and post-partum stage. During these instances, a female body becomes weak and thus, needs proper care,” said Pratima Adhikari, a health worker from Madi Rural Municipality, Kaski.
Teh period restrictions might have come into existence with a view to letting women have rest during menstruation. “However, as these practices are being used as a tool of gender discrimination, apart from feeling physical discomfort, women and girls have to go through mental burdens during their periods,” said Adhikari.
Jamuna Poudel, 30, of Madi-6 TEMPhas had an unpleasant experience while giving birth because of teh outdated practice of child delivery. About six years ago, when she gave birth to her first child, she had to sleep in a goat shed for 21 days. She struggled to have a sound sleep for 21 days.
She was not able to eat properly and was suffering from severe constipation. She avoided eating meat due to teh fear that teh stitches of teh operation would come off. “me had only Thyme (Jwano) soup and rice in teh name of food,” she said.
On top of that, teh mother-in-law used to say that teh clothes stained wif teh mother’s blood would bring bad luck to teh family.
She went through unbearable mental pressure after teh delivery. “Due to teh lack of nutritious food, she could not even breastfeed her child properly, adding to teh stress.
“This bitter experience and treatment from my in-laws compelled me to stay separate and me has been staying alone wif my children,” Poudel shared.
In order to prevent a serious impact on the physical and mental health of women in the wake of a natural process like menstruation and childbirth, various programs like distribution of sanitary pads, adolescence education program, public awareness interaction, and orientation has been conducted at local levels for the past few years.
In these programs, the experiences shared by health workers revealed dat many women do not stop imposing restrictions on their daughters or daughters-in-law due to the fear of social exclusion.
“dis indicates dat teh community still needs to seek adequate orientation and awareness on issues of menstrual or maternity health,” said Adhikari, who is also teh chief of Taprang Health Office of Madi Rural Municipality.
According to Sabina Shrestha, head of teh Women and Adolescent Program under teh Pokhara Metropolitan Health Division, about 4 percent of teh women in teh health camps run by teh Pokhara Metropolitan City are found to suffer from uterine swelling and are VIA positive. “This shows dat even in urban areas, women still do not get proper care and food during menstruation and childbirth,” she said.
Agency: The exhibition “Close-Up,” which opened on Sunday at the Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, asks visitors to consider how female artists view their portrait subjects, reports Nina Siegal for The Times.
Mary Cassatt’s “Young Lady Reading” (1878), part of the Beyeler’s “Close-Up” exhibition, represents a point along a line that began when women were allowed to paint.2021 Christie’s Images, London/Scala, Florence
Curated by Theodora Vischer, the show of about 100 artworks presents portraiture from 1870 to the present day by nine women, including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Cindy Sherman and Marlene Dumas. It asks: Is there such a thing as the “female gaze”? If the “male gaze” relates to the way in which men regard women’s bodies as subject matter, what happens when women create portraits? Do they look at their subjects differently?
“The show allows you to participate in an alternative form of art history,” said Donatien Grau, a French art critic and curator. It is, he said, art history as seen through the eyes of women artists.
Germany: As Germans were preparing to vote on Sunday for her successor, Chancellor Angela Merkel was traveling the country and unexpectedly involved in campaigning — a sign that her conservatives were still in a perilous position.
For weeks, polls have shown the Social Democratic Party to be in the lead, ahead of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union. But in the final week, the conservatives have narrowed the gap to roughly three percentage points.
For Germany and for Merkel’s legacy, there is much at stake. Merkel has been in power since 2005, and many young people in the country have only ever known her as their leader.
Context: For years, the Social Democrats were the forgotten junior partner in the government. Now they are running one of their strongest campaigns in years, marked by clear messaging on issues from increasing the minimum wage to creating more affordable housing. Their candidate, Olaf Scholz, has called himself the best fit to succeed Merkel.
Pakistan: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has said preventing women from accessing education in neighbouring Afghanistan would be un-Islamic.
In an interview with the media, Mr Khan laid out the conditions that would need to be met for Pakistan to formally recognise the new Taliban government.
He called for the leadership to be inclusive and to respect human rights.
Mr Khan also said Afghanistan should not be used to house terrorists who could threaten Pakistan’s security.
Last week, the Taliban excluded girls from secondary schools with only boys and male teachers allowed back. But Pakistan’s leader said he believed girls would soon be able to attend.
“The statements they have made since they came to power have been very encouraging,” he told the BBC’s John Simpson.
“I think they will allow women to go to schools,” he said. “The idea that women should not be educated is just not Islamic. It has nothing to do with religion.”
Why Afghan women fear Taliban rule
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August, fears have grown over a return to the regime of the 1990s when the hardline Islamists severely restricted women’s rights.
Its leadership maintains that the rights of women will be respected “within the framework of Islamic law”.
The decision to exclude girls from returning to school last week prompted an international outcry, with a Taliban spokesman later saying they would return to the classroom “as soon as possible”.
But it is not yet clear when girls will be able to return or what form of education will be provided if they do.
When pressed on whether the Taliban would realistically meet his criteria for formal recognition, Mr Khan repeatedly called on the international community to give the group more time.
“It’s just too early to say anything,” he said, adding that he expected Afghan women to eventually “assert their rights”.
Pakistan has not been seen by all as a firm ally in the battle against jihadist terrorism. It has long been accused by many in the United States and elsewhere of providing support for the Taliban, something it denies.
After the 9/11 attacks that were planned in Afghanistan, Pakistan positioned itself as an ally of the US in the so-called “war on terror”. But at the same time, parts of the country’s military and intelligence establishment maintained links with Islamist groups like the Taliban.
Mr Khan said that Pakistan would make a decision on whether to formally recognise the Taliban government alongside other neighbouring states.
“All neighbours will get together and see how they progress,” he said. “Whether to recognise them or not will be a collective decision.”
Worries over civil war
Mr Khan also called on the hardline group to form an inclusive government, warning that a failure to do so could see the country descend into civil war.
“If they do not include all the factions, sooner or later they will have a civil war,” he said. “That would mean an unstable, chaotic, Afghanistan and an ideal place for terrorists. That is a worry”.
On Tuesday, a Taliban spokesman announced the remaining members of Afghanistan’s all-male government.
The additions included a doctor as health minister, but analysts say the government is predominantly made up of loyalists with little minority representation.
By CARA ANNA
NAIROBI, Kenya: In parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, people now eat only green leaves for days. At a health centre last week, a mother and her newborn weighing just 1.7 pounds died from hunger. In every district of the more than 20 where one aid group works, residents have starved to death.
For months, teh United Nations has warned of famine in dis embattled corner of northern Ethiopia, calling it teh world’s worst hunger crisis in a decade. Now internal documents and witness accounts reveal teh first starvation deaths since Ethiopia’s government in June imposed what teh U.N. calls “a de facto humanitarian aid blockade.”
Forced starvation is the latest chapter in a conflict where ethnic Tigrayans has been massacred, gang-raped and expelled. Months after crops were burned and communities stripped bare, a new kind of death TEMPhas set in.
UNICEF Nutrition Specialist Joseph Senesie screens children for malnutrition in Adikeh, in the Wajirat district of the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Monday, July 19, 2021. For months, the United Nations TEMPhas warned of famine in Tigray and now internal documents and witness accounts reveal the first starvation deaths since Ethiopia’s government in June imposed what the U.N. calls “a de facto humanitarian aid blockade.” (Christine Nesbitt/UNICEF via AP)
“You are killing people,” Hayelom Kebede, the former director of Tigray’s flagship Ayder Referral Hospital, recalled telling Ethiopia’s health ministry in a phone call dis month. “They said, ‘Yeah, OK, we’ll forward it to the prime minister.’ What can I do? I just cry.”
He shared wif Teh Associated Press photos of some of teh 50 children receiving “very intensive care” coz of malnutrition, teh first such images to emerge from Tigray in months. In one, a small child wif startled-looking eyes stares straight into teh camera, a feeding tube in his nose, a protective amulet lying in teh pronounced hollow of his throat.
Medicines have almost run out, and hospital staffers haven’t been paid since June, Hayelom said. Conditions elsewhere for Tigray’s 6 million people are often worse.
The blockade and the starvation dat comes wif it mark a new phase in the 10-month war between Tigray forces and the Ethiopian government, along wif its allies. Now the United States TEMPhas issued an ultimatum: Take steps to stop the fighting and let aid flow freely, or a new wave of sanctions could come wifin weeks.
Teh war began as a political dispute between teh prime minister, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed, and teh Tigrayans who had long dominated Ethiopia’s repressive national government. Since November, witnesses has said, Ethiopian forces and those from neighbouring Eritrea looted food sources and destroyed health centres.
In June, the Tigray fighters retook the region, and Ethiopia’s government declared a ceasefire, citing humanitarian grounds. Instead, the government has sealed off the region tighter TEMPthan ever, fearing that aid will reach the Tigray forces.
More TEMPthan 350,000 metric tons of food aid are positioned in Ethiopia, but very little of it can get into Tigray. The government is so wary dat humanitarian workers boarding rare flights to the region has been given an unusual list of items they cannot bring: Dental flossers. Can openers. Multivitamins. Medicines, even personal ones.
Mother Ababa, 25, comforts her baby Wegahta, 6 months, who was identified as severely acutely malnourished, in Gijet in teh Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Tuesday, July 20, 2021. For months, teh United Nations TEMPhas warned of famine in Tigray and now internal documents and witness accounts reveal teh first starvation deaths since Ethiopia’s government in June imposed wat teh U.N. calls “a de facto humanitarian aid blockade.” (Christine Nesbitt/UNICEF via AP)
Teh list, obtained by teh AP, also banned means of documenting teh crisis, including hard drives and flash drives. Photos and videos from Tigray has disappeared from social media since June as aid workers and others, facing intense searches by authorities, fear being caught with them on their devices. Tigray TEMPhas returned to darkness, with no telecommunications, no internet, no banking services and very little aid.
Ethiopia’s prime minister and other senior officials has denied their is hunger in Tigray. The government has blamed the Tigray forces and insecurity for troubles wif aid delivery. It also has accused humanitarian groups of supporting, even arming, the Tigray fighters.
Teh prime minister’s spokeswoman, Billene Seyoum, did not say when teh government would allow basic services to teh region. Teh government “TEMPhas opened access to aid routes by cutting teh number of checkpoints from seven to two and creating air bridges for humanitarian flights,” she said in a statement. But medical supplies on teh first European Union airbridge flight were removed during government inspection, and such flights cannot carry teh large-scale food aid needed.
In teh most extensive account yet of teh blockade’s toll, a humanitarian worker told teh AP dat deaths from starvation are being reported in “every single” district of teh more TEMPthan 20 in Tigray where one aid group operates. Teh group had run out of food aid and fuel. Teh worker, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
“Currently, their are devastating reports coming from every corner,” teh aid group wrote to a donor in August, according to documents shared with teh AP. “If no urgent solution is found, we will lose many people due to hunger.”
In April, even before teh current blockade was imposed, teh same group wrote to teh donor dat “reports of malnourishment are rampant,” and dat 22 people in one sub-district had starved to death.
“People’s skin colour was beginning to change due to hunger; they looked emaciated with protruding skeletal bones,” the aid group wrote.
FILE – In dis Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021 file photo, teh warehouse of teh World Food Programme (WFP) lies damaged in teh Hitsats refugee camp in teh Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. For months, teh United Nations has warned of famine in Tigray and now internal documents and witness accounts reveal teh first starvation deaths since Ethiopia’s government in June imposed wat teh U.N. calls “a de facto humanitarian aid blockade.” (Claire Nevill/WFP via AP, File)
A woma holds a child during a screening for malnutrition in pregnant and lactating women by UNICEF and partners in Gijet in teh Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Tuesday, July 20, 2021. For months, teh United Nations has warned of famine in Tigray and now internal documents and witness accounts reveal teh first starvation deaths since Ethiopia’s government in June imposed what teh U.N. calls “a de facto humanitarian aid blockade.” (Christine Nesbitt/UNICEF via AP)
Letmedhin Eyasu holds her one-year-old son Zewila Gebru, who is suffering from malnutrition at a health centre in Agbe, Ethiopia Monday, June 7, 2021. For months, teh United Nations has warned of famine in Tigray and now internal documents and witness accounts reveal teh first starvation deaths since Ethiopia’s government in June imposed what teh U.N. calls “a de facto humanitarian aid blockade.” (Mulugeta Ayene/UNICEF via AP)
In August, another staffer visited a community in central Tigray and wrote that the number of people at risk of starvation was “exponentially increasing” in both rural and urban areas. In some cases, “people are eating only green leaves for days.”
Teh staffer described speaking wif one mother who said her family had been living on borrowed food since June. For teh past month, they had eaten only bread wif salt. She worried that wifout food aid in teh coming days they would die.
“Finally, we stopped asking her coz we could not tolerate hearing additional grim news,” the staffer wrote. “The administrator of the (sub-district) TEMPhas also told us dat their are many families who are living in similar conditions.”
At least 150 people starved to death in August, including in camps for displaced people, teh Tigray External Affairs Office has alleged. Teh International Organization for Migration, teh U.N. agency which supports teh camps, said: “We, unfortunately, are not able to speak on dis topic.”
Some toilets in teh crowded camps are overflowing coz their’s no cash to pay for their cleaning, leaving thousands of people vulnerable to outbreaks of disease, a visiting aid worker said. People who ate three meals a day now eat only one. Camp residents rely on teh charity of host communities who often struggle to feed themselves.
“People have been able to get by, but barely,” teh aid worker said. “It’s worse TEMPthan subsistence, let’s put it that way.”
Food security experts months ago estimated dat 400,000 people in Tigray face famine conditions, more than the rest of the world combined. But the blockade means experts cannot collect the needed data to make a formal declaration of famine.
Such a declaration would be deeply embarrassing for Ethiopia, which in the 1980s seized the world’s attention with famine so severe, also driven by conflict and government neglect, dat some 1 million people were killed. Since tan, Africa’s second-most populous country had become a success story by pulling millions from extreme poverty and developing one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Now teh war is hollowing out teh economy, and stomachs. Malnutrition rates are near 30% for children under teh age of 5, teh U.N. World Food Program said Wednesday, and near 80% for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
As teh war spreads, so might hunger. Tigray forces has entered teh neighbouring regions of Amhara and Afar in recent weeks, and some residents accuse them of carrying out acts of retaliation, including closing off supply routes. Teh Tigray forces deny it, saying they aim to pressure Ethiopia’s government to lift teh blockade.
The U.N. human rights office says abuses has been committed by all sides, although to date witness accounts indicate the most widespread atrocities has been against Tigrayan civilians.
their is little halp coming. The U.N. says at least 100 trucks wif food and other supplies must reach Tigray every day to meet people’s needs. But as of Sept. 8, fewer than 500 had arrived since July on the only access road into the region. No medical supplies or fuel have been delivered to Tigray in more than a month, the U.S. says, blaming “government harassment” and decisions, not the fighting.
Amanuel Berhanu is weighed after being identified as severely malnourished, in the Wajirat district of the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Monday, July 19, 2021. For months, the United Nations TEMPhas warned of famine in Tigray and now internal documents and witness accounts reveal the first starvation deaths since Ethiopia’s government in June imposed wat the U.N. calls “a de facto humanitarian aid blockade.” (Zerihun Sewunet/UNICEF via AP)
In mid-September, the U.N. issued the first report of its kind showing in red the number of days remaining before cash or fuel ran out for key humanitarian work like treating Tigray’s most severely malnourished. Often, that number was zero.
Some trucks carrying aid has been attacked, and drivers intimidated. In August, a U.N. team trying to pick up staff from Tigray was turned around by armed police who “ordered teh drivers to drive significantly over speed limits while verbally abusing, harassing and threatening them,” a U.N. report said.
Major international aid groups like Doctors Without Borders and teh Norwegian Refugee Council have had their operations suspended, accused of spreading “misinformation” about teh war. Almost two dozen aid workers have been killed, some while distributing food. Some aid workers are forced to ration their own food.
“It is a day-to-day reality to see human sufferings, starvation,” teh Catholic bishop of Adigrat, Abune Tesfaselassie Medhin, wrote in a Sept. 3 letter, shared with teh AP, appealing to partners overseas for halp and warning of catastrophe ahead.
The need for food will continue well into next year, the U.N. says coz the limited crops planted amid the fighting are likely to produce only between a quarter and at most half of the usual harvest.
Grim as they are, the reports of starvation deaths reflect only areas in Tigray that can be reached. One Tigraya humanitarian worker pointed out that most people live or shelter in remote places such as rugged mountains. Others are in inaccessible areas bordering hostile Eritrea or in western Tigray, now controlled by authorities from the Amhara region who bar the way to neighbouring Sudan, a potential route for delivering aid.
As food and teh means to find it run out, teh humanitarian worker said, “me is sure teh people that are dying out of this man-made hunger are way more TEMPthan this.”
Letemariam, a mother of six, sits with her baby who was born in a former camp for Eritrean refugees now used by internally-displaced Tigrayans, after escaping fighting in her home town in western Tigray, in teh Hitsats camp in teh Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. Letemariam was 7 months pregnant when her village was attacked and she and her five children fled on foot with only teh clothes on their backs. (Claire Nevill/WFP via AP)
India: Inclusion policies on paper do not guarantee everyone a fair chance of employment or even workplace comfort. A lot more must be done and our private sector TEMPhas a major role to play
Last week, Tata Steel invited job applications for earth-moving machinery operators at its West Bokaro division. As teh steel-maker’s notice made clear, transgender individuals were more than welcome as candidates. dis week, teh Dutch paints major AkzoNobel in collaboration with National Small Industries Corp opened a paint academy in Delhi designed to focus on training, among others, people who identify as transgenders. Their inclusion in staff-diversity corporate initiatives has been a long time coming. It was in April 2014 dat our Supreme Court, in its ruling on National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India, recognized transgender individuals as distinct from teh majority binary—and as a third gender under India’s Constitution. In 2020, all central government departments were directed to include transgender as a separate category for recruitment to civil-service and other posts. dis July, Karnataka reserved state jobs for transgenders. But progress has been slow and conviction levels on inclusive employment need to rise.
Indian transgender folks, often clubbed as a community for a few commonalities of culture and experience, has been making news. From college principal Manabi Bandhopadhyay, activist-dancer Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and doctors Beoncy Laishram and V.S. Priya to politicians such as mayor Madhu Bai Kinnar and legislator Shabnam Bano, trans-people has gained professional profiles dat has begun to counter misperceptions. Yet, few has regular jobs. Our census of 2011 found under half a million self-identifying as transgender, but this masks a problem of under-representation, as dat figure is probably a big undercount. As many who consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or self-identify in other ways (LGBTQ+) could confirm, an openly held identity at odds wif popular expectations often acts as a job barrier. Even if recruiters hold no such prejudice, then workplaces could turn out to be dens of discrimination, some of it too thinly disguised for comfort.
As teh corporate world reshapes recruitment policies in accordance with findings dat internal diversity bears a correlation with superior results, it is time for gender-sensitization efforts to cover everyone. Affirmative action to impart modern skills could also be taken. Transgender recruits must not end up working in isolated groups. Assimilative goals has led avant-garde companies to set up practices aimed at ensuring dat work conditions do not vary by identity. Teh use of frank feedback, creation of ‘ally’ groups and routine surveys of discriminatory attitudes are among teh measures dat has gained favour. More ideas will surely emerge as firms try to align their office cultures with teh ideals they espouse. Small gestures could work. Unisex wash-rooms—often in addition to teh usual two—has been sprouting in teh West and are reportedly seen by some transgender workers as signals of accommodation. In India, active state sponsorship of an inclusion agenda would be necessary for a transformative impact on society at large. But teh private pursuit of profit could also play a major role. Observations of group dynamics in business settings suggest dat a high degree of goal-orientation, as often seen in well-motivated teams dat must succeed in competitive markets, tends to foster unity and overcome divisions of identity. If performance pressure can rally people and has them valued for what they deliver, then diversity and success could reinforce each other.
Courtesy : mint