Delivering the Universality of the SDGs

Sustainable development goals officially known as transforming our world are one of the top priorities of the International segment; spearheaded by the United Nations. These goals were developed just after the Millennium Development Goals; therefore we could simply say that the SDG’s are a successor of the Millennium Development Goals.

These goals consist of 17 global goals which encompass gender, climate, education and many more other issues. However, though it may seem easy to talk about these goals, the actual fact is that there are several impediments to their implementation. This may explain why we still battle against gender disparity, poverty, violence, distortion and many more.

What political leaders or rather government entities need to realize is that this slow progress of implementing and universally delivering these goals will act as a stumbling block to successfully transforming our world and creating the future we want by the year 2030.  It is perfectly understood that delivering international goals and targets is not an easy task; however, there are various ways that can be tackled to make the road seem easy.

Moreover, it is very vital for stakeholders to form partnerships with synergies and young people in ensuring the success of these goals by 2030. Young people can play a bigger role in creating the future we desire. According to a research that was conducted, many young people had shown interest in being partakers of creating the future they wanted; but this seems like an endless dream as many more young people are marginalized and are seen to be incapable of being catalysts of change.

This is rather a stereotype perception that needs to be addressed so as to move forward and ensure a better a future for the people. One other challenge is implementation. Though countries are encouraged to implement these into their national constitutions and documents, this still remains the biggest challenge due to various reasons such as financing, unaccountability as well as interlinking the SDGs.

However, in order to deliver these SDGs and ensure that the livelihoods of all individuals are improved, it should start with us as stakeholders both in private and public sectors, government entities as well as the civil society in establishing partnerships with both international and national segments. This partnership should be targeted at ensuring that each and every goal is delivered universally; this can be done through financially assisting countries with low income to deliver these goals.

A responsible and effective monitoring agent should be established, one that will be responsible for facilitating the implementation and monitoring projects that are responsible for delivering one or two of the goals other than the OECD which is a monitoring mechanism working together with the United Nations. This will also help in identifying the challenges faced by each country, create room for improvement.

By so doing each state shall be accountable for every implementation of every goal and make tangible improvements. These improvements can be achieved only when more monitoring mechanisms are established regionally in order to facilitate and encourage countries within the region either in the upper, lower or high income to make improvements that will benefit every individual.

BIBLIOGRAPHY


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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LESEGO GAETWESEPE

Lesego Gaetwesepe is a law graduate and she is intrinsically passionate about human rights, community building and empowering young people. She is a participant at the YALI Regional Leadership Center in Southern Africa and was also part of the #ageofconsent project. She was also part of a project facilitated by NACA (NATIONAL AIDS COORDINATING AGENCY). Ms Lesego is currently a volunteer at Gogontlejang Phaladi Pillar of Hope Project and also represents the organisation at the UNESCO Pan African Youth Network for building a Culture of Peace, and she is also taking up training as an ASFL (African Students for Liberty) Local Coordinator.

 

Women in Politics: Overcoming the Gender Disparity

Gender disparity is described as the idea or perception that individual is unequally treated wholly or partly due to their gender.[1] It is rather influenced by gender stereotypes and perceptions which are usually passed from one individual to another which usually begins from an early age. This disparity has rather caused a hindrance to many women around the world especially those venturing in the male dominated positions: for instance, politics.

Politics have been dominated by male figures for over many years now and recently many more women have emerged and proved to be able to also dominate in this environment. However, it has never been an easy road for these women; as they are faced with both cultural and structural barriers.

These barriers have acted as a bar towards minimizing the gender gap in politics. Moreover, despite a great number of efforts made by leaders towards understanding and minimizing the gender gap and also increasing women’s political power in this field; women still remain the highest rated marginalized group. This explains why there is a scarcity of female candidates and elected officials.

Furthermore, it also challenges the rights of women, their liberty, and freedom; also imposes a stumbling block in nurturing and empowering women into taking leadership roles. Though there may be challenges, more and more women are rising; taking a bold step in becoming political leaders, government officials and this tendency is still persistent. Rwanda is one of the countries with the highest women officials who are political leaders, government officials around the world leading to the increase of gender equality within the country. This is a clear indicator to other states that women can also contribute to the political field of the state and also a transparent way of empowering women.

The notion of women empowerment is a crucial and rooted concept which all head of states should take with urgency. This can be done in various ways such as implementing International human rights standard within their constitutional boundaries, encouraging more women in the political fields etc. That is why the United Nations came up with avenues that would increase and strengthen the women’s participation in politics. These include: equalization of educational opportunities, quotas for female participation in governing bodies legislative reforms to increase focus on issues concerning women and children, financing gender-responsive budgets to equally take into account the needs of women and men.

The above avenues can only strengthen and increase female participation if only countries equally implement these avenues transparently. However, heads of states should not only dwell on the mentioned avenues, another strategy could be holding summits; which are primarily focused on discussing ways in which women can be strengthened in the political era. Holding such can help women already in the political fields share ideas, experiences with other women so as to break free from all the barriers or chains holding women back from continuing in the political field. Just as Nelson Mandela said; ‘freedom can be achieved if women are emancipated from all forms of discrimination’, this also includes gender disparity. Gender equality is a strategic way to freedom. Women should not be tolerated but rather accepted.

Bibliography

[1] Gender equality. Wikipedia.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Picture1

LESEGO GAETWESEPE

Lesego Gaetwesepe is a law graduate and she is intrinsically passionate about human rights, community building and empowering young people. She is a participant at the YALI Regional Leadership Center in Southern Africa and was also part of the #ageofconsent project. She was also part of a project facilitated by NACA (NATIONAL AIDS COORDINATING AGENCY). Ms Lesego is currently a volunteer at Gogontlejang Phaladi Pillar of Hope Project and also represents the organisation at the UNESCO Pan African Youth Network for building a Culture of Peace, and she is also taking up training as an ASFL (African Students for Liberty) Local Coordinator.

 

Immigration – An alternative choice or a solution?

Me, you, our complex society, faces dilemmas, fears, and multiple questions, which most of the time don’t have a specific answer. One of these multiple questions is immigration, for the reason why there are plenty of issues hidden inside this word. Inside all of this perfection of complexity, we start collecting parts of imperfection. Most of the times when we think about this, we remind the word “immigration”.

Migration and immigration in Albania is a phenomenon since the early 1990s. Although the level of migration has fluctuated over the last two decades, overall statistics tends to increase over time.

This phenomenon of the democratic regime was almost unnoticed before the 90s, when Albanian society was a closed society. After the 1990s, the main phenomenon that defines the democratic regime is emigration.

In most cases, people migrate when they face a lack of resources and opportunities to meet their needs and aspirations. This is the situation of Albanian emigrants who have left their country for a better life together with their families, especially after a transition which resulted in poverty and high levels of unemployment.

From a total ban on free movement, where everything was controlled by the state, was passed on to a massive migration. That situation cost a big deal to the Albanian society and was accompanied by problems, conflicts and events that were negative for the development of Albania.

Migration has now become a global phenomenon that affects various countries around the world. Its dimensions and impact are considerable both in social, economic and individual terms. As a result of the effect of migration, it has developed a better regulation and management of migration, both at the international, regional and national levels.

Why we discuss whether it is an alternative choice which comes as a result of various factors or it is a solution to problems as poverty, critical political problems or even if centralization of some countries? The answer depends on how you treat the issues; migration brings benefits to a cost-benefit balance only if it is properly managed for the benefit of the individual, the family, but also of the country of origin and the recipient country. When the migration is properly linked to development, it can have a positive effect on the national interest. However, this process also has an other side of the coin.

That is why it evokes not only heated debates but also divides countries. Migration can deprive countries of origin of their best skills and talents and excellent minds, and it may effect family breakdowns. Nonetheless, migration is used for smuggling and trafficking in human beings to use migration flows from criminal and terrorist organizations.

The negative impact of immigration is that many emigrants are forced to stay for many years until naturalized (receive documents) in foreign countries where they live without seeing their families.

By accepting and understanding the situation we can move forward. After all, who said that things cannot change? What we can do instead is accept, learn, and continue. Because if we can develop we can change.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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ANXHELA BRUCI

Anxhela Bruçi is a young writer, she has published two books related to social issues. She has finished her Bachelor studies for Administration and Social Policies. She aims to follow a Master of Science for Social Services in Criminal Justice. She aspires to advocate for human rights and to motivate young people to contribute for a better and a safer society.

 

Why Can’t We?: A talk on ‘reform’

Every time I fail to understand the whole logic behind everyone’s statement that “In our Country, the law is not strict.” Why should we need a strict law, when the current law is way more than enough to accommodate all the issues in our society?

After all, why should we change the law, when you can’t even follow ‘your liberal laws’ (that’s something which you claim)? Is that law which is to be changed according to the wish of each and every individual?

Why can’t we, the social animals think of a change ourselves? Why can’t we change our mindset? Why can’t we respect each other’s gender, freedom, equality, feelings, priorities, more importantly, life!!

Is law something necessary for you to regulate yourself? Even if we change the law, won’t the same you come up with another argument of ‘human rights violation’?? Won’t the same you tell everyone that the law is not for the welfare of the people, but for the destruction of the people!! When your development dream is the USA and it stands in the third place for Rape Rate, which law you are referring to follow the change? If you are referring to the law of those nations, which has “eye for an eye” law, and fails to understand the feelings of people and restrict women from their fundamental freedom even in this 21st century, again which law you are referring to!!

When you can’t respect the existing law, what more you are longing to? Why can’t you change your mind rather than compelling a Nation to change its law into the law of evil! Why can’t we start the change from our family? If the reason for the crimes against women is the lack of sex education, why can’t the parents provide their children with the same than waiting for someone else to give them the necessary knowledge about these aspects! If the crimes against the state are due to the lack of education, then why can’t the parents provide them basic education, when you are in a Country, which has a government providing free education for the children below the age of 14!!

Still, you are blaming the law! Then I swear it’s not the law to be changed. It’s you, whom should be changed.If you are willing to follow all the laws, when you are in a foreign country, then why can’t you follow the laws of your own Nation?  Or is that you can follow the rules only if you are a secondary citizen! Think and rethink. It’s not the law which can bring a change which you are dreaming of. It’s you and only you who can bring that change.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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AISHWARYA HIMANSHU SINGH

Aishwarya Himanshu Singh is a final year law student. An aspiring researcher who has a deep love for writing. With her first publication at the age of 13, she believes a pen is mightier than the sword. Having authored more than 50 papers she is all set for the ‘writing for a change’ programme.

 

“Ragging is a part of academics not an offence”

Introduction:

Initially, ragging started in the British era in English colleges and universities but it slowly spread to Indian educational institutions. The excuse was to teach the social hierarchy in early career, and also learn other important values in life as if they were mature enough to know anything about values and hierarchy.[1]

What is ragging? What does it mean?

Ragging is present participle of the word, rag (to scold).[2]One synonym of the word ragging is ‘hard-time’[3]. It is similar to but not the same as hazing in the United States, it is not an initiation.The word is mainly used in India, Pakistan, Sri-lanka and Bangladesh.[4]

Bullying= Ragging, similar to ragging.[5]

What all can be possibly included?

It involves insults (simple or suggestive sexual, sarcastic and even physical), running errands for seniors, and many other complex activities.

The cause of indulging in ragging is deriving a sadistic pleasure or showing off power, authority or superiority by the seniors over their juniors or freshers.[6]

Is it a part of academics or an offence?

I independently do not support the notion of ragging being a part of academics.  Ragging might not always be offensive (to the one who suffers), but only because it is offensive it is called ‘ragging’. if it was just a means to cover the communication gap between the senior and the junior batches it could have been called something else, like an introduction, orientation or something like that but because it is offensive in its nature the name ‘ragging’ has been given to it. The word ragging or to rag someone itself indicates, mocking or mockery, to make someone feel ashamed or embarrassed, or strongly criticize.[7] No prudent man would call such acts or instances a part of academics.

The practice of familiarising beginners with their seniors has now turned into a potent tool for ill-treating and punishing poor students if they fail to obey their seniors.

“Ragging is deplorable, and must be banned. Be it physical, mental, minor or major, ragging is a very perverted show of power, control and humiliation, and not way of getting anyone to join a community and blend into it. There are more interesting ways of doing that.”[8]

Under the pretext of fun, a poor student is often assaulted, sometimes even stripped and intimidated by his seniors and this ritualised torture leaves an indelible impression on his mind. The chilling incident continues to haunt him throughout his life, and he unknowingly develops various psychological disorders.

Ragging is equal to a full-fledged crime.[9]

Though due to a ban it has been limited but its existence in colleges has become ever-persistent. Often defended by excuses like it is

  • a means to teach social hierarchy,
  • helps in building better bonds with the senior
  • inculcates respect towards the senior batch amongst the junior batch
  • introduces and prepares one to the hardships of the world
  • Builds confidence to act in the most embarrassing situations too, etc.

Many colleges such as AIIMS, Christian Medical College and National college of engineering, Tirunelveli have an unpleasant history of ragging, with many of the alumni regarding the ragging period as unbearable and traumatic.[10]

Effects of ragging:

  1. It can damage one’s esteem for life.
  2. Shatters the confidence with which one enters into a new institution or college.
  3. In extreme cases on might even withdraw from college, severely disturbing one’s career.
  4. Brutal sexual ragging can distort the minds of the young.
  5. Embarrassment
  6. Feeling of being humiliated can adversely affect one’s mental order.
  7. One fears social exposure
  8. Unnecessary tension leading to various psychological disorders.

After experiencing the evil of ragging, a student develops a feeling of revenge for his ‘unjustified harassment’ and derives pleasure in ragging his juniors on his turn. So the trend goes on and students continue to suffer.

those who surrender before their seniors are set free from the torment after going through a series of inhuman acts, but those who refuse to follow their diktats are subjected to barbaric and brutal treatment and are forced to urinate on high voltage heaters, take part in naked parades, shave off their moustaches and beards, and stand upside down on their heads etc.

The situation sometimes turns so bad that it compels the ragging victim to commit suicide. A section of students feel that light ragging should be allowed in educational institutions, while some are totally opposed to the idea and demand stricter punishment for those involved in it.

Had it not been for his elder brother Dinesh, Suresh Raina would have returned to his home in Muradnagar and a promising cricketing career would have been nipped in the bud, due to ragging.[11]

The bitter truth is that ragging, whether liked or not, even after being banned, ragging has now become a culture. It has become more like a customary practice in colleges. Almost, every college has it noticed or unnoticed.

The world is harsh anyways, but one has to stay strong.

Even the Supreme Court has delivered guidelines for anti-ragging measures, (including an anti-ragging committee), on 8th may’09.

[1]History of ragging, retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragging_in_India last visited on 31st aug’16, 12:27pm

[2] Retrieved from http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/234101/usage-and-meaning-of-the-word-ragging-in-india last visited on 31st aug’16, 3:55pm

[3] Synonym of the word ragging, retrieved from http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/ragging?s=t last visited on 31st aug’16, 3:45pm

[4]http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/234101/usage-and-meaning-of-the-word-ragging-in-india last visited on 31st aug’16, 5:12pm

[5] Emmanuel Angelo.R, retrieved from http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/234101/usage-and-meaning-of-the-word-ragging-in-india last visited on 31st aug’16, 12:22pm

[6] Retrieved from, http://www.rpgmc.ac.in/rpgmce%20tanda%20Ant5%20Ragg5ng%20book.pdf last visited on 31st aug’16, 2:56pm

[7] Retrieved from, http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/rag_2 last visited on 31st aug’16, 4”16pm

[8]SonamMohapatra

[9] Arjun Rampal

[10]History of ragging, retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragging_in_India last visited on 31st aug’16, 12:27pm

[11]Retrieved from http://www.hindustantimes.com/news-feed/chunk-ht-ui-cricket-topstories/kid-off-the-blocks/article1-657403.aspx last visited on 31st aug’16,12:57pm


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

IMG_20170512_192132_748

AISHWARYA HIMANSHU SINGH

Aishwarya Himanshu Singh is a final year law student. An aspiring researcher who has a deep love for writing. With her first publication at the age of 13, she believes a pen is mightier than the sword. Having authored more than 50 papers she is all set for the ‘writing for a change’ programme.

 

I too want a Jaguar

When asked about what she wanted to be one day?

Smiling she replied, an IAS officer.

Amazed and proud of a six year Old’s ambition, her mother wanted to know what inspired her.

All the pride and smile faded away when she said, “Because I too want a jaguar from my spouse’s family while getting married, just like Ramesh bhaiya (brother) got one.

Poor girl, did not even know that jaguars and other fascinating expensive gifts are no doubt given to an IAS officer, but only to a male IAS officer and that such gifts are given only from the bride’s family and veiled in the name of gifts (which are given happily by one’s choice) they are actually dowry (an obligatory requirement that has to be fulfilled by the bride’s family).

Dowry, a practice which is prohibited and punishable under The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is an offence according to the legislation but when it comes to reality it means much more than that.

It is not just a malpractice but a series, a set of emotions and varied expressions. It is a means for the bride’s family to show their gratitude to the groom’s family for sharing the burden of their daughter. It is a bribe to let in their daughter who no matter how qualified, always remains a burden. It is a custom, we are never going to let hold of. It is an opportunity for the rich to flaunt their wealth in almost all possible ways. It is a reason for the poor to suicide or marry his daughter to an incompatible groom.It is a source of revenue for all those who have a male child and a non-profitable, mandatory investment for all the houses cursed with a girl child.

It is so deep rooted in the Hindu marriage practice that even if a socially-spirited and aware family refuses to give dowry, the groom’s family is all set to rip their daughter apart. Sooner or later he who dares resent the dowry giving practice has to be ready to see his daughter suffer.

“Dowry greed leads, to heinous deeds.”

It isn’t that there are no laws. Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code, provides that he who is found guilty if committing a dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, not less than seven years and that may extend to life imprisonment. Section 498A of the same code too prevents any woman from being subjected to cruelty by either her husband or a relative of her husband or both. Section 304 and 302 are also implicitly protective legislations in this respect.

“Take dowry, invite worry.”

There are much more both implicit and explicit laws for the post-marriage protection of a girl but how far people are aware of them? How far their awareness, gives them the courage to fight against the practice? How far justice is being served to them?

“Condemn dowry deaths, by not demanding dowry.”

I too am a girl, born Hindu, equally religious, equally respectful to our customs but also equally aware of my rights, equally conscious of my honour, equally demanding for my dignity. I too dream of getting married and being settled in life but I see no dowry in my dreams, I see no sacrifice for my parents and I see that I am still equally happy in my life.

“Several lives sacrificed for dowry, stop this sacrilege. Accept her with love. An educated bride is better than a billion currency. The bride herself is a dowry (if you are so greedy). Refuse dowry, diffuse dowry deaths. Be a man say no to dowry.”

Jai Hind!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

IMG_20170512_192132_748

AISHWARYA HIMANSHU SINGH

Aishwarya Himanshu Singh is a final year law student. An aspiring researcher who has a deep love for writing. With her first publication at the age of 13, she believes a pen is mightier than the sword. Having authored more than 50 papers she is all set for the ‘writing for a change’ programme.