Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said this in her address at the UN General Assembly ‘Leaders’ Summit on Refugees’.
In her address at the summit hosted by US President Barack Obama, Hasina said she was ‘already in touch’ with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Press Secretary to the PM Ihsanul Karim was quoted as saying by bdnews.24.
The two countries have a dispute over Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
Hasina told the summit that Bangladesh, with its limited resources, has been hosting the 500,000 refugees for nearly three decades, which she said poses many social, economic and political challenges for the country.
She, however, said her government will keep investing in their security, health, education and skills.
Bangladesh plans to provide identity documents for refugees from the neighbouring country, Hasina said, adding it will help them to get services like health and education.
Urging the international community to remain engaged on the issue, Hasina said, “As part of our commitment to leave no one behind, we must promote orderly, safe, regular and responsible mobility of people.” (IANS)
Terming Jazz “the music of freedom, human rights and liberation”, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has given a call to turn to jazz now more than ever; to get closer to one another on this ninth International Jazz Day, marked on April 30.
Established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2011 and recognised by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every April 30, to celebrate jazz and highlight its role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination and promoting human dignity. International Jazz Day has become a global movement, reaching billions of people annually.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s annual International Jazz Day global celebration and the event’s flagship Global Concert, initially scheduled to take place in South Africa’s Cape Town will take place online. This will also be the case with the many other events planned around the world for the day.
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue Herbie Hancock, is the host of the Global Concert this year, which features artists from across the globe, and will be streamed live on the Organisation’s site. Artists scheduled to perform at the concert include John McLaughlin, Jane Monheit, Alune Wade, John Beasley, Ben Williams, Lizz Wright, John Scofield, Igor Butman, Evgeny Pobozhiy, Youn Sun Nah, A Bu, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and Joey DeFrancesco, among others.
Closer home, the popularity of jazz seems to be growing in India, as does its active listenership and practice.
NCR-based The Piano Man Jazz Club founder and Fulbright music scholar Arjun Sagar Gupta believes that Jazz, like another other form of art and culture, needs exposure to grow and gain popularity.
“The last five-six years has seen a renewed push towards the promotion of jazz in India, which is creating an ever increasing base of patrons and lovers of theart form. We hope that in the years to come this continues to grow, spurred on by more and more artists performing the music and more people supporting and listening to it,” Gupta told IANSlife.
During the lockdown, The Piano Man is also live streaming an online six-artiste concert to mark the occasion. Featured artistes are Bhavya Raj, Vatsal Bakhda, Manta Sidhu, Tatyana Shandrakova, Arjun Sagar Gupta and Elena Friedrich. “Jazz, for me, is at a point in India, where it is growing and we have people who want to explore this art form, both as musicians and as listeners,” Bakhda said.
Jazz as a genre has been in the spotlight, thanks to endorsements by music’s biggest stars like Kendrick Lamar, whose album “To Pimp a Butterfly” prominently featured contemporary names from the new-age jazz world.
In celebration of the International Jazz Day, social music streaming app Resso has added a station to their latest song tab channel eQuaranTunes’ called eJazz At Home’. In addition to that, they will launch 10 mood-based playlists for every hour curated as per the vibe and time of the day. The station covers the pioneers as well as new age artists in the genre that include Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery to Kamasi Washington, Snarky Puppy and Flying Lotus among others. (IANS)
The number of female parliamentarians in the world has more than doubled since the groundbreaking U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 25 years ago, the Inter-Parliamentary Union said Friday. Part of the reason may be quotas.
While female representation in national parliaments has increased, gender parity remains a distant dream. However, significant changes have occurred. In 1995, the top-ranked country in terms of female members of parliament was Sweden, followed by other Nordic and developed countries.
This year, Rwanda, with more than 60% female MPs, beat 171 other countries for the top spot, followed by Cuba, Bolivia and United Arab Emirates. Sweden has been bumped down to seventh position.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union finds countries in the Americas have made the most progress in terms of representation of women in parliament, followed by Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and Asia. The Pacific, which holds up the bottom of the rankings, is the only region where some parliaments have no women. IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said women fare best in countries that apply quota systems for their representation.
“Wherever quotas are being used during electoral processes, we see an increase in the women’s representation when compared with the countries where there are no quota systems. So, we continue to lay emphasis on the need for quotas to be legislated in order to achieve gender equality,” he said.
Chungong told VOA statistics show strong female participation in parliaments leads to better-designed and -implemented gender equality laws.
“It is more often possible to address some of those issues that may be specific to women; such as, maternal and newborn and child health to be on the agenda, women’s political participation, violence against women, sexism. Those things tend to come to the fore when you have strong women’s participation in parliament,” he said.
Chungong said he believes the MeToo movement could help boost women’s political representation. He said the movement directly confronts sexism, sexual harassment and gender-based violence, which help keep women from seeking and winning electoral office. (VOA)
Calling himself “a proud feminist and supporter of women,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lashed out at men who abuse power and declared before Sunday’s observances of International Women’s Day that the fight for gender equality is “the biggest human rights challenge we face.”
Twenty-five years after 189 countries adopted a 150-page road map for achieving equality for women, a new report by UN Women says the reality is that millions of women still face poverty, discrimination and violence. It notes more than 70% of lawmakers and parliamentarians and managers are men and nearly 500,000 women and girls older than age 15 are illiterate.
Bias against women
The U.N. Development Program’s new Gender Social Norms Index also had some bad news for women. It found that close to 90% of both men and women hold some sort of bias against women.
According to the index, about half the world’s men and women believe men make better political leaders and more than 40% think men make better business executives and have greater rights to a job. Further, 28% feel it is justified for a husband to beat his wife.
Guterres told the U.N.’s International Women’s Day observance Friday that “gender inequality is the overwhelming injustice of our day.”
“Deep-rooted patriarchy and misogyny have created a yawning gender power gap in our economies, our political systems, our corporations, our societies and our culture,” he said. “Women are still very frequently denied a voice; their opinions are ignored and their experience discounted.”
The secretary-general cited examples in recent months, including high-profile peace agreements being signed with no women at the table and emergency health care meetings on the new coronavirus held with few or no women participating.
International Women’s Day is taking place a day before the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women holds a drastically scaled down one-day event so delegations in New York can adopt a draft political declaration commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1995 U.N. conference in Beijing that adopted the wide-ranging plan to achieve gender equality.
The commission had been expecting up to 12,000 people from its 193 member nations to be at its annual meeting. But it decided to postpone the major event until a later date because of the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Bold platform, slow progress
The Beijing platform called for bold action in 12 areas for women and girls, including combating poverty and violence, ensuring all girls get an education, and having women at the top levels of business and government as well as at the table in peace negotiations.
It also said for the first time in a U.N. document that women’s human rights include the right to control and decide “on matters relating to their sexuality, including their sexual and reproductive health, free of discrimination, coercion and violence.”
The draft declaration expected to be adopted Monday reaffirms the Beijing platform for action and expresses concern “that overall, progress has not been fast or deep enough.” It pledges to take “concrete action to ensure the full, effective and accelerated implementation” of the road map.
Olof Skoog, the European Union’s top diplomat at the U.N., said the EU wasn’t happy with the initial draft but “we played hardball, I think it’s fair to say,” to produce “the most detailed and action-oriented political declaration ever adopted” by the commission.
He said there are advances in some areas and the declaration avoids “backtracking on some of the issues where there was huge push back.”
Among those issues was the definition of the family, with traditionalists insisting on a mother, father and children and progressive countries wanting to include LGBT families as well, he said. Another was on how to mention sexual and reproductive health and rights for females.
In the end, Skoog said, direct references to both issues were dropped in the declaration. But since the declaration affirms the Beijing platform, what that document says about the family and women’s rights and health will stand.
Francoise Girard, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition, said it was critical that governments recommit fully to the Beijing platform and called it heartening that they did so. She said governments also recommitted to achieving U.N. goals for 2030 that include sexual and reproductive rights for females, “so we feel that that is an extremely positive sign.”
What could really change the trajectory to achieve gender equality, Girard said, is ensuring that young girls can control their bodies, and there is still a long way to go.
“Controlling your body — sexual and reproduction and free of violence — is critical to everything else,” she told The Associated Press. “It’s critical to education, to employment, to political participation, to sitting on boards of companies. All these things won’t happen unless you control your body.”
On Friday, Guterres urged young women to keep up activism, and “please hold the world to account.”
“Twenty-five years after the Beijing conference, progress on women’s rights has stalled and even reversed,” he said. “We must push back against the push back. … It is more important than ever for men to stand up for women’s rights and gender equality.” (VOA)