16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence 2018

The annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence runs from November 25th (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until December 10th (Human Rights Day).

The 16 Days Campaign has been running every year since 1991 and you can read more about its history here.

This year’s theme is “End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work”.  An action and advocacy kit can be downloaded here.  It has been produced by the Prevent GBV Network, a network of over 500 organisations across the African continent.

During the 16 Days period, there are a wide range of events taking place globally.  A few examples can be found by clicking on the relevant country – Liberia, Singapore, Malta.

Please spend some time reviewing this excellent and comprehensive infographic on Violence Against Women from UN Women that is also available in French and Spanish, as well as English.


Why Diversity & Inclusion Matter

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Diversity and Inclusion is often perceived as a “nice extra” but not necessarily essential to the success of an organisation or company.  A growing body of research is, however, also developing a strong business case for Workplace Inclusion in addition to the moral and ethical imperative.

Catalyst (Workplaces that Work for Women) has compiled a detailed summary of this business case and this can be viewed here.   Evidence is presented here that workplace Inclusion has positive impacts on Teamwork, Leadership, Financial Performance and Innovation, among others.

Specific evidence from India on the business case for Inclusion is also detailed in a 2010 report entitled “How Companies in India are leveraging the Business Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion.”

MARC (Men Advocating for Real Change) is a learning community created by Catalyst for professionals committed to achieving equality in the workplace. MARC empowers community members, both men and women, to engage in candid conversations about gender and inequality, its impact in the workplace, and how to lead change through member-generated advice, insights, and best practices.  Please also check the Catalyst page on Men and Equality.

Finally, we would like to encourage everyone to take ACTION to promote Inclusion in their workplace (and other aspects of their lives).  You can get many practical ideas from this lovely piece called 50+ Ideas for Cultivating Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace.


International Week of The Deaf

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International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf)

is an initiative of the WFD and was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. It is celebrated annually by the global Deaf Community on the last full week of September to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the WFD was held. IWDeaf is celebrated through various activities by respective Deaf Communities worldwide. These activities call for participation and involvement of various stakeholders including families, peers, governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters, and DPOs.

International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL)

has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and is celebrated annually on 23 September beginning in 2018. The objective of the IDSL is to raise awareness on sign languages and strengthen the status about sign languages. This event also will take place as part of the International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf), which is celebrated on the last full week of September.

The World Federation of the Deaf is a global organisation working to ensure equal rights for 70 million deaf people around the globe.  To read about their work, please click here.

One of the many organisations working to support the rights of Deaf Children and Young Adults is Deaf Child Worldwide and you can also read about their work here.

An interesting account of the history of special education in the Philippines, starting with the establishment of a school for the Deaf and Blind can also be read here.

We would like to celebrate the life and achievement of Prof. Michael Ndurumo, a Professor of Psychology in Kenya, who is deaf.  Please read his inspiring story here.

Did you know that Ludwig van Beethoven, the famous German composer, was deaf? His last words were reported to be, “I shall hear in heaven”.  A long list of other notable Deaf people can be found here.

Finally, we would like to quote again from the World Federation of the Deaf:

70 million deaf people.

300+ sign languages.

Unlimited potential.

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Gay Sex is not a Crime

Article 377 verdicts,LGBT rights,Gay rights in India

An historic ruling by the Indian Supreme Court on September 6th 2018 has ruled that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code outlawing consensual sex between two adults of the same sex is unconstitutional.  The law dates back to colonial times and was deemed to be outdated and against individual rights to privacy.  More can be read about the ruling in this Times of India article.

This has been a long legal battle and one of the key organisations involved has been the Naz Foundation, which has been doing ground-breaking work with LGBTI communities in India since 1994.

Elsewhere the struggle for equal rights continue and one such example can be found in this article about Shams Rad, a radio station in Tunisia.  The article is called Inside the Arab world’s only gay radio station

For more on the legal situation for LGBTI communities globally, please refer to the Human Rights Watch website and the International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Inter-sex Association, which represents more than 1,000 organisations globally.


A Tribute to Two Great Souls

In the last few days, the world has lost two great and visionary leaders, who both contributed enormously to world peace, equal rights and social inclusion in their different ways.  Embrace Everyone pays tribute to Aretha Franklin and Kofi Annan, and encourages everyone to be inspired by their great legacies.

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Aretha Franklin’s obituary in the Guardian can be read here and another one from BBC featuring some beautiful photos can be read here as well as a great piece describing the political and cultural impact of Respect, one of her greatest songs.  She was a strong feminist and played a big part in the Civil Rights movement.

Aretha’s songs are to be found everywhere and many of them are featured in another article by the Guardian, “from the church to the dancefloor.”  Many more can be found on you tube.  Aretha Franklin passed on August 16th 2018 at the age of 76.

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Ghana has declared a Week of National Mourning for one of its’ greatest sons, Kofi Annan.  He was the first Black African UN Secretary-General from 1997-2006 and a Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2001.  Please read his obituary in the Daily Graphic here and the Guardian here

Kofi’s legacy will continue in many ways; through the great work of the Kofi Annan Foundation, through the work of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), where he was the founding chair, and through the work of The Elders, where he was Chair and an active member until his final days.  Kofi Annan passed on August 18th 2018 at the age of 80.

May their souls rest in perfect peace and may their powerful legacies continue to inspire us for many years to come.


Tackling Spit and Hatred

The title of this post is borrowed from a BBC news article marking the 25th Anniversary of the campaign (and, later, organisation) called ‘Kick it Out’ aimed at tackling racism and other forms of discrimination in football.  You can read the story here

The key driver of Kick it Out has been Lord Herman Ouseley who, at the time, headed Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).  The CRE merged with two other commissions in 2007 to form the Equality and Human Rights Commission that is aimed at tackling all forms of Discrimination and promoting the 2010 Equality Act in UK.  You can read about the work of the Commission and watch a short video about their work here

To find out more about Kick it Out, please check their website here and please check out another innovative British organisation using football called Show Racism the Red Card

In Kenya, football has been a powerful catalyst in several areas for promoting Gender Equality and Peace amongst young people in their communities.  In Kilifi County, in the Coastal region, Moving the Goalposts (MTG) has been doing innovative work with young women and their communities for over 15 years.   Please read about one young woman’s moving experiences in life and with MTG in an article called “Who are Your Role Models?”

In Marsabit County, the largest county in Kenya in the North of the country, the Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI) has been using football and sport to promote cohesion, girls & women’s rights and build peace since 2003.  You can see a series of their reports and short videos here and some of their inspiring Stories of Change are also here

Social Inclusion has at its heart the belief that, in order to create equitable societies then all forms of discrimination and oppression need to be tackled.  So, we applaud the efforts of MTG, HODI, Kick It Out and many others in their efforts to ensure that sport acts as a vehicle for positive social change and social inclusion.