Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘globe’

Eve Ensler – Personal Is Global

A brief review of another intimate and vital work by Eve Ensler.

In the Body of the World
by Eve Ensler. Metropolitan.
Reviewed on 3/11/2013 Publisher’s Weekly

In this extraordinarily riveting, graphic story of survival, Ensler, an accomplished playwright (The Vagina Monologues) and activist in international groups such as V-Day, which works to end violence against women, depicts her shattering battle with uterine cancer. Having felt estranged from her body for a lifetime, and 9780805095180been molested as a girl by her father and enthralled by alcohol and promiscuity early on, Ensler as a playwright was seized with a political awareness of the dire violence committed against women across the globe. At the age of 57, she was blindsided when she discovered that her own health emergency mimicked the ones that women were enduring in the developing countries she had visited: “the cancer of cruelty, the cancer of greed… the cancer of buried trauma.” Her narrative, she writes, is like a CAT scan, “a roving examination—capturing images,” recording in minute, raw detail the ordeals she underwent over seven months. These include her crazed, “hysterical” response to the diagnosis and her treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., as well as extensive surgery, chemo, radiation, and caring by a “posse” of companions in misery, like her estranged sister, Lu, and far-flung friends such as Mama C, the head of the City of Joy women’s center in the Congo.

Read entire review and others at Publisher’s Weekly.

Eve Ensler’s other books include:

Necessary Targets: A Story of Women and War
Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security-Obsessed World
Vagina Warriors
The Vagina Monologues
I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World

Energy Sources & Polar Bears

Dear Gabriel,

The rise of carbon pollution doesn’t just wreck havoc on the air we breathe, which is certainly bad enough. It wrecks havoc around the globe. So pollution from a power plant in California can have a lasting impact on life as far as Hudson Bay in the North Atlantic, where polar bears rely on the ice in summer months for hunting.

But the EPA is working on a common-sense rule that will limit how much carbon pollution new power plants can emit. Join me in supporting the EPA’s work to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.»

For the past century, coal-fired power plants have been the dominant source of American electricity. It has powered our homes, our communities… and our politics. Big Coal has a vested interest in not changing the way it does business, but it’s time that American power shift.

This rule won’t change emissions overnight, but it will move us in the right direction to tackle global warming and stimulate innovation in clean energy technologies.

The future of our environment, wildlife, our children’s health and our clean energy economy depend on forward-thinking changes like this EPA rule. Sign the petition now to stand up to the dirty air lobby and support clean air standards!»

Natasha
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Planned Families Save Lives

From Nation of Change
by Julio Godoy
19 July 2012

Family Planning Essential for Development

Improving family planning to avoid unwanted pregnancies in developing countries, as well as assuring girls’ access to education, and women’s participation in the economy, are essential components of a sound development policy, according to Western experts and African activists.

During a summit on family planning in London last week numerous economic development experts, government delegates from industrialised and developing countries, and private donors agreed to raise some 4.3 billion dollars by 2020 to allow 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries, particularly in the continent of Africa, to access contraceptives and other family planning materials.

The summit underscored the importance of girls’ and women’s access to contraceptives as both a right and a transformational health and development priority.

Simultaneously, gender activists attending the second African Women’s Economic Summit, which concluded on Jul. 14 in Lagos, Nigeria, urged policy makers, corporate organizations and political leaders to step up measures to promote women’s empowerment and remove barriers impeding their economic development.

“I don’t want my daughters … in the coming years discussing these same issues (of women’s education and economic empowerment),” Cecilia Akintomide, vice president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), co-organiser of the African summit, told the audience in Lagos. “I want to see a change in my lifetime.”

During the meeting in Lagos, Nigeria’s finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, emphasized that women’s economic empowerment is no longer simply an option “because investing in women, who constitute half of the continent’s population, is the only way to sustain the growth” recently recorded across the African continent.

“Women are the third largest emerging market in the globe. Women are the third largest source of growth. One of the fastest ways to sustain current growth is to invest in women,” Okonjo-Iweala said.

Participants at the London summit echoed these views, with an emphasis on the health risks associated with unwanted pregnancies.

“Enabling an additional 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries to access and use contraception, something women in the developed world take for granted, will save millions of lives and enable girls and women to determine their own futures,” said Andrew Mitchell, British secretary of state for international development.

Mitchell called the commitments of the summit a “breakthrough for the world’s poorest girls and women, which will transform lives now and for generations to come.”

By 2020, the collective efforts announced in London will allegedly result in 200,000 fewer women dying during pregnancy and childbirth, more than 110 million fewer unintended pregnancies, over 50 million fewer abortions, and nearly three million fewer babies dying in their first year of life.

Avoiding unwanted pregnancies also allows girls and women pursue their own education and improve their professional opportunities.

Numerous studies show that the investment of a single dollar in family planning leads to savings of up to six dollars in health, housing, water, and other public services.

Contraceptive use also leads to more education and greater opportunities for girls, helping to end the cycles of poverty that millions of women and their families are trapped in. Up to a quarter of girls in sub-Saharan Africa drop out of school due to unintended pregnancies.

Based on such evidence, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) call for gender equality, universal education, and improving maternal and child health, setting specific objectives to be met by 2015.

According to the U.N. 2012 MDG report, released Jul. 2, meeting these goals by 2015, while challenging, is possible, “but only if governments do not waiver from their commitments made over a decade ago.”

In the foreword of the report, U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, warned that the current economic crises battering much of the developed world “must not be allowed to decelerate or reverse the progress that has been made.”

“Let us build on the successes we have achieved so far, and let us not relent until all the MDGs have been attained,” he urged.

The U.N. report points out that the world has achieved parity in primary education between girls and boys. Driven by national and international efforts, many more of the world’s children are enrolled in school at the primary level, especially since 2000.

Read entire story at Nation of Change.

Cheapest Trip Ever!

It was on a gorgeous afternoon that I sat at an outside table of a local downtown coffee house and took an unexpected voyage around the world.

I had just put my derriere on a metal chair (made in Italy) and was waiting for my friend Betty (originally from Chicago) to join me with pictures of her recent trip, when the woman at the next table asked about the emblem on my shirt. I told her it was an Iranian National Soccer Team patch. She asked if I knew someone there and I said our family had an Iranian exchange student live with us for a year when I was growing up. She explained that she and her husband, who had just joined her, were fans of Majid Majidi and other Iranian filmmakers. She introduced herself, her husband and their child (Sylvie, Richard and Marcel), just as Betty sat down with her Guatemalan coffee.

Turns out that Sylvie and Richard (Oxman) put on a political/international and cultural event (including documentary films) which is called OneDance and includes filmmakers, educators and activists from around the world. They are also the proprietors of French Paintbox. Several times a year they organize retreats in the Southwest of France and meet participants from around the world. It doesn’t sound like your ordinary tour, as those on the trip have the opportunity to study and paint daily with master teachers’ such as Isabelle Maureau from l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux Arts De Paris. Sylvie said they also take daily excursions to botanical gardens, vineyards, museums, grottoes, country fairs, musical events, cafes, etc. She said it’s always a mixed group and you don’t have to be a painter to attend (thank goodness).

As their son Marcel, who looks like a miniature French movie star, came up to tell me that we both had on the same colored shirts (white), I thought about my wife’s French connections. I mentioned that my father-in-law spoke five languages and that he had lived in France for many years and that he and his wife (my mother-in-law) are originally from Germany. My friend Betty and her son both speak French, as does her husband (whose family goes back to Nova Scotia). Betty, obviously not thinking, asked if any of my children speak French. She should have known that that could send me on a long torrential downpour about my kids.

I looked down at my tennis shoes (made in China) and told them about my daughter, who traveled to Eastern Europe with her husband and how much they liked Italy, The Czech Republic and Turkey. Our other daughter was in Tahiti for three months, as part of her college studies. Two of our sons have been to and loved, Ireland and England and some of our best friends live in Sweden, I concluded, realizing I had never answered the question about speaking French. Sadly, I finally admitted, I don’t speak French or any other language, besides English, but both our daughters can speak Spanish, my wife German and youngest son took French for a year and a half in school. I’ve been trying to learn Kinyarwanda, which is spoken in much of East Africa (especially Rwanda), but still only know a few words.

After Sylvie, Richard and Marcel naturally tired from my monolingual linguistics, having heard all about my wife’s three-month trip to China, the Cameroon and French soccer teams and world politics, they politely said their au revoirs’. Betty was finally able to get a word in edgewise and told me about her trips to the East Coast, Nova Scotia and Nigeria.

About an hour later I walked past a World Bazaar retail store, paid my parking garage ticket (with American dollars), got in my Japanese car, turned on some Brazilian music and drove past Mexican, Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian and Afghani restaurants to my friend’s home on an Italian named street.

I’d only been at the restaurant for a couple of hours, but it seemed like I had traveled the globe. It was a pleasure meeting the Oxmans, hearing about French Paintbox and talking with Betty; but quite ironic that I, a stay-at-home American native, had felt like such a world citizen. For the price of an espresso (coffee from Nicaragua) it was definitely the cheapest trip I’ve ever taken!

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