This year’s Nordic Council annual session, held between 24-30 October, is more important than ever before. Of course, this year it will look a little different, with meetings taking place online and the number of debates limited. However, it remains an important time in the region’s political calendar. This year UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join the conversation about COVID-19’s impact on the Nordic region, as well as the world. The Nordic Council facilitates greater cooperation between Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway,...
ONE youth activists Vittoria Anelli and Andrea Mosca share why prioritising quality education is necessary during the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disruptive effect on public education all around the world. According to the UN, 1.6 billion children across more than 190 countries have suffered from school lockdowns, affecting approximately up to 98% of learners worldwide. Unfortunately, even before the pandemic, millions of children did not have access to a good quality education due to conflicts and violence, cultural...
Last week, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors decided to extend the debt service suspension initiative (DSSI) until the end of June 2021, accepting that more must be done to help the world’s most vulnerable countries. They also agreed to a new initiative that would go further on debt relief – including by bringing private-sector creditors into the fold. The World Bank also announced that it will consider providing more emergency COVID-19 relief, although, unfortunately, it would not suspend...
Six years ago, 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped by armed men from their school in Northern Nigeria. For such a horrific event, the identity of the girls was missing from the narrative. In the days and weeks following the tragedy, even as the story of their kidnapping found its way into the global consciousness via the “Bring back our girls” campaign, when it comes to the girls — who they were, what they liked, how they lived — they became a...
COVID-19 has presented many new social and economic challenges, and is exacerbating already existing ones. One such challenge is global poverty. Right now over 700 million people live in extreme poverty worldwide, which is defined as living on less than US$1.90 per person per day. Right now, the pandemic is threatening to push up to 115 million people into poverty in 2020 alone. That would raise global totals significantly. That’s why understanding the severe impacts of COVID-19 on global poverty...
Megan Gieske is a storyteller and photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. On Steve Biko Street, taxi horns blare and horse carts trot down Gugulethu’s busy main road. But over a high wall, a woman has grown an oasis of green in the highly-developed, urban landscape of Gugulethu, where almost 100,000 share just 6.42km² (or 2.5 miles²) of land. It’s here in Gugulethu where Nomonde Kweza, or “Mama Nomonde,” is reclaiming her agricultural heritage, and teaching her community to support...
Megan Gieske is a storyteller and photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Ingrid and Enersh, two teenage girls in white button-downs, maroon jumpers, grey skirts, ankle-length socks, and matching black shoes, chat by the roadside on their way home from school. They hold backpacks that hang heavy on their shoulders with books and homework. The brilliance of their smiles stand out vividly against the afternoon light — young, hopeful, and full of promise. Ingrid and Enersh are two of the...
Even before COVID-19 hit, the world was experiencing a global learning crisis: 90% of children in low-income countries could not read and understand a simple story by their 10th birthday. In Nigeria, three-quarters of primary teachers could not pass a fourth grade test. The onset of COVID-19 is exacerbating this: at its peak, the pandemic pushed 1.6 billion children out of school. 8 out of 10 children surveyed in 46 countries reported that they have learnt very little or not...
Olaoluwa Abagun is an activist and founder of the Girl Pride Circle. Here’s her story about how COVID-19 has impacted girls in Nigeria, and her hope for the future. For many young girls across Nigeria, their classrooms and schools have served as safe spaces – where they can interact with their peers, learn critical skills, and express their hopes and dreams without fear. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the closure of these safe spaces with very limited alternatives for learning...
Falling on 11 October, International Day of the Girl Child is a United Nations day that brings attention to “girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.” Empowering young girls early in life can give them the “potential to change the world — both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.” However, as we’ve seen with previous health crises, COVID-19’s lingering economic and social impacts on...