The Gender Gap

For those of you out there who might think that the the gender gap is a myth, here are some statistics from Oxfam’s websites to make you think again…


Oxfam’s latest infographics also highlight the division of labour in households in 6 countries when you factorunpaid care work into the equation.

The fact is, women work longer hours than men, and get paid less, and that needs to stop.

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Ebola postscript…

So, after my last rather angry tirade against the media reporting of Ebola, a few things happened that have brightened my world view a bit.

Firstly, a good friend of mine sent me this rather brilliant video which made me laugh and cheered me up no end.

Secondly, I was chatting to C, a Liberian friend of mine over here, who works for FAO, and I mentioned the plight of this unfortunate Liberian woman in America. You could have knocked me down with a feather when C laughed heartily and said “You mean Rose? You know that she’s my half sister?”. Seriously, sometimes the world is just so tiny it boggles my mind.

Then he told me a slightly depressing story about another friend of his, also Liberian, who has been working in Iraq for several months in an emergency response there. This guy flew to Kenya for a holiday (which is understandable after several months working in tough conditions in Iraq). However he was held in the airport for 3 days, before being sent back to Iraq on the grounds that he is Liberian (despite having not been anywhere near Liberia, or any contaminated people, for many months).

Thirdly, I saw this fantastic photostory profiling the brave men and women fighting ebola, and the survivors, which reminds us all where the real story is and should be. The photographs are beautiful and uplifting.

Ebola Rights and Ebola Wrongs…

As the news cycles move on and things change very quickly in this context, I initially starting adding postscripts to my original post on the Ebola crisis. However I decided to add a part 2 to this post, as I’m feeling self-righteous and angry about some of the news coverage, and it’s my blog, so I’ll just keep on shouting my opinions out into the ether….

I can’t help noticing that, having been consciously looking for news and updates every day, the Ebola crisis slipped out of the news for several days, and off the front pages and websites, only to be brought back into focus when once again, a case appeared in the US (this time in New York).

Subsequently, the quarantine measures being imposed on returning staff and health workers is now at the front of the news cycle, rather than the crisis itself. News that the number of new cases in Liberia is dropping steadily, or signs that the massive public health and education campaigns on Ebola prevention might be working seem to be secondary to the question of whether or not one American citizen has had her rights violated.

I’m not saying her quarantine was warranted or fair, and I am all about human rights for all, but it seems a teeny bit of an over-reaction and a distraction from the real story – whether or not the fight to control Ebola in West Africa is succeeding. Don’t get me wrong, this type of unnecessary reaction can damage the responses that NGOs are working on in the region and should not be tolerated, but does it have to be the story that dominates the media? Continue reading

Ebola, Ebola

In a short break away from the Philippines, I feel compelled to throw my two cent’s into the ring on the Ebola outbreak. This is mainly because it’s dominating the news, and also because I’m nearing the end of my contract here in the Philippines and wondering where I might end up next. South Sudan, Iraq and Liberia/Sierra Leone are all possibilities on the table right now, so I’ve been doing a bit of reading trying to keep up with my international affairs….

On the subject of Ebola, there are many many articles floating about, and I have pulled out the bits that interested me most to ponder and reflect on (I can do that, cos it’s my blog, so there). 😛


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