This article offers a new twist on insight into the problem with rampant maternal/infant mortality rates in Kenya, Africa. While disease and lack of access to proper medical care contributes to these problems, the issue of access to clean water is often overlooked. The article cites that out of 160 hospitals in the country, around 120 do not have proper plumbing and safe water supplies for their patients. So while the few women who can even afford to enter a hospital to give birth under what they would assume are safer conditions may have doctors to care for her and her baby, she may be unintentionally exposing herself and her child to even more risk of disease from drinking unsafe water while in the hospital. Is access to clean water a basic human right? I say yes. Lenna Jones
Girls who leave their families are being promised a paying job as a domestic worker or as a babysitter, but they end up being used as cybersex chat girls in the Philippines. The Philippines is an established sex trade country, because of high levels of poverty and because the population can generally speak basic English. In the Philippines, internet sex is such as pornography is illegal, but the National Bureau of Investigation has a hard time enforcing the law. First, the places where girls are living in and talking on the cybersex chat rooms are hard to find. Second, informants are the best way to find where the girls are being kept, but usually the informants are girls who have escaped. The girls who work in the cybersex industry are underage, which in the Philippines is 18 years old. Law enforcement officials say that the population does not understand how much sex trade is hurting their country, and they say that the laws on enforcing illegal acts are out date so much that it makes it hard to fight against the industry.
Girls who desire to finish their schooling usually have to live far away from their villages and families in cheap huts called ghettos. The ghettos are buildings without electricity, water, and security for the girls living in them. This has made the girls a prime target for men who want to rape them. It is believed that the 20% drop out rates of girls between 13 and 17 years old is mainly caused by pregnancies from being raped. Usually the ghettos are too far from authorities to stop men from raping the girls, and when girls scream for help no one comes to help them. The girls in the ghettos live in fear that makes it hard for them to sleep and study for their classes. Aid Organizations are working to build dormitories, but there is an understanding that the culture needs to be changed in order to protect women from rape. In one case two men were caught for raping girls in the ghetto, but they were never convicted.
There are an estimated 2 million widows in Afghanistan because of war that ends up killing their husbands. Women are also widowed because of low life expectancy and early marriage that leave women widowed in their 20s and 30s. When women in Afghanistan who become widows do not come out into public spaces, so a unit of military women has formed in order to help widows start businesses and get jobs. The female military unit has formed because the Afghan widows cannot talk to the male military soldiers. Communities have been suspicions of the motives of the female military units, but there have been some success; for example, a woman named Saragama is being trained to become a police officer that will give her more money than working as a cleaner. The military is hoping that by empowering women that Afghanistan will become a more stable country.
This video was filmed last fall by a Lebanese group in Alexandria, in support of Egypt. Without even understanding a word of Arabic, you can see women demonstrating unity of communities, discussing problems.