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Global Press Institute

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Livestock Initiative Restores Land, Water in Zimbabwe

Communities in Zimbabwe report increased suffering thanks to water shortages and land degradation in recent years. Invoking alternative solutions, a local organization is training residents and other nonprofit organizations to use livestock to restore land and natural water sources.
VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE – Balbinah Nyoni, 37, grew up in Sianyanga village, a rural area that lies in the semiarid region of Matabeleland North province in western Zimbabwe.

Although the province is home to the world-famous Victoria Falls, the people here suffer from long dry spells and high temperatures, thanks to climate change and environmental degradation.

Nyoni is tall and slim. She has eyes that draw everyone’s attention. Her skin is very dark, testifying to her ceaseless expeditions in the scorching sun to provide food and water for her family from the dry land. But her robust walk and rapid talk reflect her fighting spirit as she resists the daily fatigue that seems to sap the energy out of many women, men and children in Sianyanga.

Nyoni stares vacantly at the lifeless, dry lands in front of her and takes a deep breath. She says the land used to be beautiful and that a small perennial river flowed across her village when she was a little girl. Nyoni adds that livestock had plenty of food and water.
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/zimbabwe/livestock-initiative-restores-land-water-zimbabwe#ixzz1V7BYjCNl

Livestock Initiative Restores Land, Water in Zimbabwe

Communities in Zimbabwe report increased suffering thanks to water shortages and land degradation in recent years. Invoking alternative solutions, a local organization is training residents and other nonprofit organizations to use livestock to restore land and natural water sources.

VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE – Balbinah Nyoni, 37, grew up in Sianyanga village, a rural area that lies in the semiarid region of Matabeleland North province in western Zimbabwe.

Although the province is home to the world-famous Victoria Falls, the people here suffer from long dry spells and high temperatures, thanks to climate change and environmental degradation.

Nyoni is tall and slim. She has eyes that draw everyone’s attention. Her skin is very dark, testifying to her ceaseless expeditions in the scorching sun to provide food and water for her family from the dry land. But her robust walk and rapid talk reflect her fighting spirit as she resists the daily fatigue that seems to sap the energy out of many women, men and children in Sianyanga.

Nyoni stares vacantly at the lifeless, dry lands in front of her and takes a deep breath. She says the land used to be beautiful and that a small perennial river flowed across her village when she was a little girl. Nyoni adds that livestock had plenty of food and water.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/zimbabwe/livestock-initiative-restores-land-water-zimbabwe#ixzz1V7BYjCNl

Filed under Environment Gender Justice

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Bangladeshis Call for End to Extrajudicial Killings, Torture by Anti-Terror Police Unit
Last year, government officials in Bangladesh assured the international community that extrajudicial killings had stopped. But a new human rights report reveals that Bangladesh’s anti-terror police unit killed one person extrajudicially every four days between January and July 2011. Unit authorities attribute deaths to crossfire, while residents say they are scared as activists, students, doctors, prisoners and accused criminals continue to die and disappear.
DHAKA, BANGLADESH – Limon Hossain, a college student with dark brown eyes, was returning home to Chhaturia, a village in Bangladesh, with his family’s cows when he was shot by members of a police unit. The injury caused him to lose his left leg.

Some alleged that the Rapid Action Battalion, RAB, the anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police department, shot him on purpose. But the RAB maintains that Hossain was caught in crossfire.

Before he was shot in March, Hossain was charged with obstructing the arms act and government duty by attempting to murder and injure RAB personnel. Soon after the shooting, Henu Ara Begum, Hossain’s mother, filed a case with the senior judicial magistrate’s court against several RAB personnel, suggesting her son was shot instead of proceeding with the formal charges against him in court.

Mokhlesur Rahman, RAB director general, maintains that Hossain was the accidental victim of a shootout between RAB and criminals.

“Limon is a young boy, not a notorious criminal, but an accused in a criminal case,” he said during a media briefing here. “He just became the victim of the incident.”

Begum says she is scared for her family’s well-being.

“We are scared by the RAB professionals and under pressure to withdraw the case,” Begum says. “Thanks to the National Human Rights Commission and other human rights organization who are actually safeguarding me and my family to seek justice.”

Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/bangladesh/bangladeshis-call-end-extrajudicial-killings-torture-anti-terror-police-#ixzz1UnBTq2PL

Bangladeshis Call for End to Extrajudicial Killings, Torture by Anti-Terror Police Unit

Last year, government officials in Bangladesh assured the international community that extrajudicial killings had stopped. But a new human rights report reveals that Bangladesh’s anti-terror police unit killed one person extrajudicially every four days between January and July 2011. Unit authorities attribute deaths to crossfire, while residents say they are scared as activists, students, doctors, prisoners and accused criminals continue to die and disappear.

DHAKA, BANGLADESH – Limon Hossain, a college student with dark brown eyes, was returning home to Chhaturia, a village in Bangladesh, with his family’s cows when he was shot by members of a police unit. The injury caused him to lose his left leg.

Some alleged that the Rapid Action Battalion, RAB, the anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police department, shot him on purpose. But the RAB maintains that Hossain was caught in crossfire.

Before he was shot in March, Hossain was charged with obstructing the arms act and government duty by attempting to murder and injure RAB personnel. Soon after the shooting, Henu Ara Begum, Hossain’s mother, filed a case with the senior judicial magistrate’s court against several RAB personnel, suggesting her son was shot instead of proceeding with the formal charges against him in court.

Mokhlesur Rahman, RAB director general, maintains that Hossain was the accidental victim of a shootout between RAB and criminals.

“Limon is a young boy, not a notorious criminal, but an accused in a criminal case,” he said during a media briefing here. “He just became the victim of the incident.”

Begum says she is scared for her family’s well-being.


“We are scared by the RAB professionals and under pressure to withdraw the case,” Begum says. “Thanks to the National Human Rights Commission and other human rights organization who are actually safeguarding me and my family to seek justice.”


Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/bangladesh/bangladeshis-call-end-extrajudicial-killings-torture-anti-terror-police-#ixzz1UnBTq2PL

Filed under Extrajudicial Killings Bangladesh Police Torture

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Cameroon Takes Strides to Empower Widows, Eliminate Traditional Rituals

Widows in Cameroon say that in addition to dealing with the grief of losing their partners, they must also endure inhumane treatment from in-laws in a series of rituals after the death of a husband. The government and nongovernmental organizations are expanding efforts to address widows’ rights in light of International Widows’ Day, commemorated for the first time this year.
DOUALA, CAMEROON – Margeret Tarla, a mother of four, says her father married her off to his friend before she turned 16. She became the second of the man’s five wives.

Tarla, who lives in Douala, Cameroon’s largest city and the capital of Littoral province, became a widow almost a year ago. She says that after her husband died, she and the other wives were forced to undergo inhumane traditional widowhood rites in the husband’s village.

The wives had to sit on dried plantain leaves for three days and could only eat food served on leaves by a virgin. After three days on the floor, they had to bathe with a concoction of water and other substances, which, according to their husband’s tribe, cleansed them from the bad luck accrued by their intimate relations with their husband. They also had to shave their heads, arms and private parts.

“We go to the stream with a basket,” Tarla says, describing another ritual. “And, after a bath, any widow who does not pass out urine is considered to have a hand in her husband’s death!”

On their way back from the stream, they had to cut down bamboo sticks to symbolize the food they were expected to bring home with them. They were not allowed to look behind them.

“The next day, we move round the market square in line, according to our position in the polygamous marriage,” she says.

Widows here also have to wear a black or white sackcloth for the traditional year of mourning, but Tarla says this is not considered as important as the other rites they went through.

Tarla says the rites were inhumane.

“The rites are so inhumane, such that one would not want her daughter to marry into a tribe with such customs,” she says.
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/cameroon/cameroon-takes-strides-empower-widows-eliminate-traditional-rituals#ixzz1UhWD7CDx

Cameroon Takes Strides to Empower Widows, Eliminate Traditional Rituals

Widows in Cameroon say that in addition to dealing with the grief of losing their partners, they must also endure inhumane treatment from in-laws in a series of rituals after the death of a husband. The government and nongovernmental organizations are expanding efforts to address widows’ rights in light of International Widows’ Day, commemorated for the first time this year.

DOUALA, CAMEROON – Margeret Tarla, a mother of four, says her father married her off to his friend before she turned 16. She became the second of the man’s five wives.


Tarla, who lives in Douala, Cameroon’s largest city and the capital of Littoral province, became a widow almost a year ago. She says that after her husband died, she and the other wives were forced to undergo inhumane traditional widowhood rites in the husband’s village.


The wives had to sit on dried plantain leaves for three days and could only eat food served on leaves by a virgin. After three days on the floor, they had to bathe with a concoction of water and other substances, which, according to their husband’s tribe, cleansed them from the bad luck accrued by their intimate relations with their husband. They also had to shave their heads, arms and private parts.


“We go to the stream with a basket,” Tarla says, describing another ritual. “And, after a bath, any widow who does not pass out urine is considered to have a hand in her husband’s death!”


On their way back from the stream, they had to cut down bamboo sticks to symbolize the food they were expected to bring home with them. They were not allowed to look behind them.


“The next day, we move round the market square in line, according to our position in the polygamous marriage,” she says.


Widows here also have to wear a black or white sackcloth for the traditional year of mourning, but Tarla says this is not considered as important as the other rites they went through.


Tarla says the rites were inhumane.


“The rites are so inhumane, such that one would not want her daughter to marry into a tribe with such customs,” she says.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/cameroon/cameroon-takes-strides-empower-widows-eliminate-traditional-rituals#ixzz1UhWD7CDx

Filed under Camaroon Gender Justice Culture Tradition Widows Ritual

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Kashmiris Strive to Revive Local Polo Tradition in Secluded Mountain Region
Polo is the traditional sport of Drass, a town in Jammu and Kashmir. But locals say that the lack of basic facilities, equipment, coaches and tournaments are major impediments to the growth of the game. They urge the government to revive the sport, citing high local interest and tourism potential.

DRASS, KASHMIR, INDIA – Horses raced around the playing grounds at a polo match last month in Drass, a town in Jammu and Kashmir state. Wielding long mallets, the players battled for the ball in front of thousands of jubilant fans.

Excited fans – young and old, male and female – quickly became lost in the final game of the annual Lalit Polo Tournament at Viswanathan Stadium in Drass, also know as Dras. Part of the polo tradition here, music from the surna, a wind instrument, and daman, a percussion instrument, mingled with the fans’ cheers as they rooted on their favorite teams.

A group of local youth watched the match enthusiastically.

“Polo is our traditional sport,” Abdul Rehman, one of the youths, says. “We’ve come over all the way to watch its proceedings.”

The young fans say they flocked to the stadium from the surrounding areas to watch the match. Polo has been declining here in recent years, making the annual tournament a sacred event.

“Though the game is dying its death here, we want it to be revived,” Rehman says.

The group says that the government makes big promises when it comes to reviving polo but so far has not kept them.
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/india/kashmiris-strive-revive-local-polo-tradition-secluded-mountain-region#ixzz1Ue18YaAj

Kashmiris Strive to Revive Local Polo Tradition in Secluded Mountain Region

Polo is the traditional sport of Drass, a town in Jammu and Kashmir. But locals say that the lack of basic facilities, equipment, coaches and tournaments are major impediments to the growth of the game. They urge the government to revive the sport, citing high local interest and tourism potential.

DRASS, KASHMIR, INDIA – Horses raced around the playing grounds at a polo match last month in Drass, a town in Jammu and Kashmir state. Wielding long mallets, the players battled for the ball in front of thousands of jubilant fans.

Excited fans – young and old, male and female – quickly became lost in the final game of the annual Lalit Polo Tournament at Viswanathan Stadium in Drass, also know as Dras. Part of the polo tradition here, music from the surna, a wind instrument, and daman, a percussion instrument, mingled with the fans’ cheers as they rooted on their favorite teams.

A group of local youth watched the match enthusiastically.

“Polo is our traditional sport,” Abdul Rehman, one of the youths, says. “We’ve come over all the way to watch its proceedings.”

The young fans say they flocked to the stadium from the surrounding areas to watch the match. Polo has been declining here in recent years, making the annual tournament a sacred event.

“Though the game is dying its death here, we want it to be revived,” Rehman says.

The group says that the government makes big promises when it comes to reviving polo but so far has not kept them.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/india/kashmiris-strive-revive-local-polo-tradition-secluded-mountain-region#ixzz1Ue18YaAj

Filed under Kashmir Polo Sports Tourism Tradition

9 notes

Women Find Jobs in Guide and Trekking Industry in Nepal
The government has deemed this year Nepal Tourism Year 2011, a national promotion that is creating job opportunities for women. Tour and trekking guides say the professions offer women financial security and exposure to the world outside their villages. Public and private organizations offer training programs to help women break into the tourism industry and to urge society to erase gender barriers in the workplace. 
KATHMANDU, NEPAL – Tourist vehicles marked by green registration plates stop at Basantapur, one of the major tourist attractions in central Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, and deposit hordes of tourists from around the world. As the tourists stroll around the area, their guides inform them about the century-old palace that once used to be the seat of the ancient monarchy.

As tourists are busy taking photographs in the scorching midday sun, they listen to the history of Basantapur from Indira Joshi, one of the first woman tour guides in Nepal.

“I tell them everything I know about this place,” says Joshi, dressed in a blue blouse and wrapped in a blue traditional saree along with matching accessories.

At 57, Joshi says she tries to conceal the wrinkles on her face with makeup, but that her age hasn’t decreased her energy or enthusiasm as she teaches the visitors about her country.

“We, who are in the tourism business, should save the image of our country,” says Joshi, who leads tours in English and Japanese.

Even during the height of Maoist insurgency from 2001 to 2004, when many people were killed in a day, she says she focused on creating a positive image of Nepal for her tourists.
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/nepal/women-find-jobs-guide-and-trekking-industries-during-nepals-tourism-year#ixzz1UVm4Gt00

Women Find Jobs in Guide and Trekking Industry in Nepal

The government has deemed this year Nepal Tourism Year 2011, a national promotion that is creating job opportunities for women. Tour and trekking guides say the professions offer women financial security and exposure to the world outside their villages. Public and private organizations offer training programs to help women break into the tourism industry and to urge society to erase gender barriers in the workplace.

 

KATHMANDU, NEPAL – Tourist vehicles marked by green registration plates stop at Basantapur, one of the major tourist attractions in central Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, and deposit hordes of tourists from around the world. As the tourists stroll around the area, their guides inform them about the century-old palace that once used to be the seat of the ancient monarchy.


As tourists are busy taking photographs in the scorching midday sun, they listen to the history of Basantapur from Indira Joshi, one of the first woman tour guides in Nepal.


“I tell them everything I know about this place,” says Joshi, dressed in a blue blouse and wrapped in a blue traditional saree along with matching accessories.


At 57, Joshi says she tries to conceal the wrinkles on her face with makeup, but that her age hasn’t decreased her energy or enthusiasm as she teaches the visitors about her country.


“We, who are in the tourism business, should save the image of our country,” says Joshi, who leads tours in English and Japanese.


Even during the height of Maoist insurgency from 2001 to 2004, when many people were killed in a day, she says she focused on creating a positive image of Nepal for her tourists.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/nepal/women-find-jobs-guide-and-trekking-industries-during-nepals-tourism-year#ixzz1UVm4Gt00

Filed under Business Equality Industry Tourism Women Nepal

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Brazil Works to Reduce Unsafe Abortions
Women in Brazil procure more than 1 million unsafe abortions each year, making the procedure one of the top three causes of avoidable death among women in Brazil. Doctors, government health officials and civil society organizations are working to reduce unsafe abortions in Brazil. While some attribute unsafe abortions to socio-economics, others debate abortion law.
 
RECIFE, BRAZIL – Luisa, 20, was 18 when she had an abortion in a clandestine clinic. She says she didn’t want to but felt as if she didn’t have any other choice.
Luisa, who declined to give her full name for privacy reasons, is the eldest of three daughters in a lower-middle-class family in Recife, a port city in northeastern Brazil. Her father worked in a factory and earned a decent wage, which was enough to provide the whole family with everything they needed.
Luisa worked during the day at a clothing store in a shopping mall. She quit her studies a year before to earn some money and become more independent from her parents. When the store hired her, though, she went back to school in the evenings with the support of her employer.
At this store, Luisa met Carlos, whose last name she declined to give for privacy reasons. He was looking for Christmas gifts that day, but came back many times after that to talk to her and eventually invited her on a date.
Carlos was 21 and the only son of a wealthy couple. With time, they fell in love. When they started to have sexual relations, Luisa says she realized she had to protect herself from a possible pregnancy so she began taking birth control pills.
But she soon started having strong headaches, so she went to see a doctor at the town’s family planning clinic. The doctor suggested that she change her contraceptive method to the diaphragm. She learned how to use it properly, and the headaches disappeared.
Three months later, however, she noticed her period was late. Luisa waited for another two weeks, then returned to the clinic. After some testing, they gave her the news: She was pregnant.
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/americas/brazil/brazil-works-reduce-unsafe-abortions#ixzz1UQ42XvXg

Brazil Works to Reduce Unsafe Abortions

Women in Brazil procure more than 1 million unsafe abortions each year, making the procedure one of the top three causes of avoidable death among women in Brazil. Doctors, government health officials and civil society organizations are working to reduce unsafe abortions in Brazil. While some attribute unsafe abortions to socio-economics, others debate abortion law.


 

RECIFE, BRAZIL – Luisa, 20, was 18 when she had an abortion in a clandestine clinic. She says she didn’t want to but felt as if she didn’t have any other choice.

Luisa, who declined to give her full name for privacy reasons, is the eldest of three daughters in a lower-middle-class family in Recife, a port city in northeastern Brazil. Her father worked in a factory and earned a decent wage, which was enough to provide the whole family with everything they needed.

Luisa worked during the day at a clothing store in a shopping mall. She quit her studies a year before to earn some money and become more independent from her parents. When the store hired her, though, she went back to school in the evenings with the support of her employer.

At this store, Luisa met Carlos, whose last name she declined to give for privacy reasons. He was looking for Christmas gifts that day, but came back many times after that to talk to her and eventually invited her on a date.

Carlos was 21 and the only son of a wealthy couple. With time, they fell in love. When they started to have sexual relations, Luisa says she realized she had to protect herself from a possible pregnancy so she began taking birth control pills.

But she soon started having strong headaches, so she went to see a doctor at the town’s family planning clinic. The doctor suggested that she change her contraceptive method to the diaphragm. She learned how to use it properly, and the headaches disappeared.

Three months later, however, she noticed her period was late. Luisa waited for another two weeks, then returned to the clinic. After some testing, they gave her the news: She was pregnant.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/americas/brazil/brazil-works-reduce-unsafe-abortions#ixzz1UQ42XvXg

Filed under Gender Justice Reproductive Health Law and Society Brazil

4 notes

Women in Nepal Warn of Foreign Employment Exploitation
While the Nepali government lifted a decade-long ban on women working abroad in the Gulf only last year, tens of thousands of Nepali women have illegally pursued these foreign jobs in recent years. But without the proper documentation that ensures them government protection, many say they were exploited physically and sexually.
KATHMANDU, NEPAL – Sapana Bishwokarma, 26, has a young face. She looks too young to be the mother of the 2-year-old boy who plays beside her. But she is.

The young mother is answerless when asked about the baby’s father. She says her body trembles with fear each time she recalls her son’s father. Then tears engulf her eyes and trickle down her cheeks.

“I didn’t know that man very well,” says Bishwokarma, who requested her name be changed. “He used to rape me as many times as he wanted, any given time of the day.”

Bishwokarma, of Jhapa, a district in eastern Nepal, says she moved to Saudi Arabia four years ago to work as a nanny. Her eyes moist, she says that an employment agent enticed her with the prospect of a good income.

She says she paid the agent 50,000 rupees, $700 USD, to secure the job for her. Because of a Nepali government ban on working in the Gulf, lifted just last year, she says she traveled first to India then to Saudi Arabia, where two men received her at the airport and took her to the house where she would work.

But instead of working as a nanny as promised, Bishwokarma says she was forced to work as a maid. The situation continued to deteriorate. One month into the job, she says her employer’s unmarried son raped her, with the help of three other men.

Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/nepal/women-nepal-warn-foreign-employment-exploitation#ixzz1UAjapasz

Women in Nepal Warn of Foreign Employment Exploitation

While the Nepali government lifted a decade-long ban on women working abroad in the Gulf only last year, tens of thousands of Nepali women have illegally pursued these foreign jobs in recent years. But without the proper documentation that ensures them government protection, many say they were exploited physically and sexually.

KATHMANDU, NEPAL – Sapana Bishwokarma, 26, has a young face. She looks too young to be the mother of the 2-year-old boy who plays beside her. But she is.

The young mother is answerless when asked about the baby’s father. She says her body trembles with fear each time she recalls her son’s father. Then tears engulf her eyes and trickle down her cheeks.

“I didn’t know that man very well,” says Bishwokarma, who requested her name be changed. “He used to rape me as many times as he wanted, any given time of the day.”

Bishwokarma, of Jhapa, a district in eastern Nepal, says she moved to Saudi Arabia four years ago to work as a nanny. Her eyes moist, she says that an employment agent enticed her with the prospect of a good income.

She says she paid the agent 50,000 rupees, $700 USD, to secure the job for her. Because of a Nepali government ban on working in the Gulf, lifted just last year, she says she traveled first to India then to Saudi Arabia, where two men received her at the airport and took her to the house where she would work.

But instead of working as a nanny as promised, Bishwokarma says she was forced to work as a maid. The situation continued to deteriorate. One month into the job, she says her employer’s unmarried son raped her, with the help of three other men.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/nepal/women-nepal-warn-foreign-employment-exploitation#ixzz1UAjapasz

Filed under Economy Gender Justice Migrant Labor Labor

7 notes

As Unemployment Soars in Kosovo, Women Fond Work in Food and Craft Inustries
Kosovo is among the newest and poorest of countries in the Balkan region. Some estimates rank unemployment as high as 70 percent, a rate that disproportionately affects women and youth. Women are finding work in two growing industries.PRISHTINA, KOSOVO – One of the fastest-growing sectors in Kosovo – the food processing industry – is directly benefiting women. Women here who possess the traditional skills of harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables are now getting paid jobs in the growing food processing sector. Employment in the handicraft industry is also increasing for women as the younger generation has not learned traditional arts and crafts skills but demand is high for the products in urban stores. A photo essay.Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/eastern-europe/kosovo/unemployment-soars-kosovo-women-find-work-food-and-craft-industrie#ixzz1U2b1tkRM

As Unemployment Soars in Kosovo, Women Fond Work in Food and Craft Inustries

Kosovo is among the newest and poorest of countries in the Balkan region. Some estimates rank unemployment as high as 70 percent, a rate that disproportionately affects women and youth. Women are finding work in two growing industries.

PRISHTINA, KOSOVO – One of the fastest-growing sectors in Kosovo – the food processing industry – is directly benefiting women. Women here who possess the traditional skills of harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables are now getting paid jobs in the growing food processing sector. Employment in the handicraft industry is also increasing for women as the younger generation has not learned traditional arts and crafts skills but demand is high for the products in urban stores. A photo essay.

Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/eastern-europe/kosovo/unemployment-soars-kosovo-women-find-work-food-and-craft-industrie#ixzz1U2b1tkRM

Filed under Economy Employment Women Kosovo

19 notes

Nigerians Debate Pros and Cons of New Cashless PolicyThe Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced a new cashless banking policy, which will be implemented in June 2012. Bank officials say it will enhance convenience, savings and the economy. Others doubt the reliability of new banking technologies and the ability of the general population to use them in Nigeria, where the majority are “unbanked.”
LAGOS, NIGERIA – Ibukun Emuwawon, 29, a professional songwriter and music producer, says he stopped using an ATM card after a recent experience at an ATM in Lagos, a state in southwestern Nigeria. He says the machine deducted money from his account without dispensing any money.

“I walked over to an ATM belonging to a bank different from mine, put the card in the machine, pushed the keys for the amount I needed and bingo – debited, but no money came out,” he says.

He says his card was stuck in the machine longer than usual but came out eventually. He says he reported the incident to his bank and filed a reclaim form. He says that everything was rectified after three days, but that his distrust of ATMs has endured.

“Since then, I stopped using ATM cards and all,” he says.

Emuwawon says this experience makes him wary of the new move by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to implement a cashless banking policy.

The CBN plans to implement the cashless banking policy in June 2012. Bank representatives say the policy will enhance convenience and savings for Nigerians and the government, as well as elevate the economy to be more competitive internationally. But many Nigerians who have had negative experiences with ATMs say the country isn’t ready to go cashless, especially as the majority of the population doesn’t yet use banks. Bank employees welcome the policy but say certain changes have to precede it.
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/nigeria/nigerians-debate-pros-and-cons-new-cashless-policy#ixzz1TwmJKkYn

Nigerians Debate Pros and Cons of New Cashless Policy

The Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced a new cashless banking policy, which will be implemented in June 2012. Bank officials say it will enhance convenience, savings and the economy. Others doubt the reliability of new banking technologies and the ability of the general population to use them in Nigeria, where the majority are “unbanked.”

LAGOS, NIGERIA – Ibukun Emuwawon, 29, a professional songwriter and music producer, says he stopped using an ATM card after a recent experience at an ATM in Lagos, a state in southwestern Nigeria. He says the machine deducted money from his account without dispensing any money.

“I walked over to an ATM belonging to a bank different from mine, put the card in the machine, pushed the keys for the amount I needed and bingo – debited, but no money came out,” he says.

He says his card was stuck in the machine longer than usual but came out eventually. He says he reported the incident to his bank and filed a reclaim form. He says that everything was rectified after three days, but that his distrust of ATMs has endured.

“Since then, I stopped using ATM cards and all,” he says.

Emuwawon says this experience makes him wary of the new move by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to implement a cashless banking policy.

The CBN plans to implement the cashless banking policy in June 2012. Bank representatives say the policy will enhance convenience and savings for Nigerians and the government, as well as elevate the economy to be more competitive internationally. But many Nigerians who have had negative experiences with ATMs say the country isn’t ready to go cashless, especially as the majority of the population doesn’t yet use banks. Bank employees welcome the policy but say certain changes have to precede it.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/nigeria/nigerians-debate-pros-and-cons-new-cashless-policy#ixzz1TwmJKkYn

Filed under ATM, Banking Cashless Central Bank of Nigeria Economy

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Buddhist Temple Workers Can’t Afford Worship in Sri Lanka
Temple workers spend up to 12 hours a day selling flowers, oils and other items used for worship at a popular Buddhist temple here. But temple workers say they are excluded from the worshipping themselves because they can’t afford to take time off work, thanks to low wages and hefty rent paid to the temple.

KELANIYA, SRI LANKA – Nilantha Dias and his father operate a flower boutique in Kelaniya, a small town near Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. The shop, which specializes in flowers and other items used for worship, is one of 11 boutiques that belong to the much revered Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temple here.

Said to have been made holy by a visit from Lord Buddha, the temple is one of the most ancient and sacred worshipping places for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It is situated along the Kelani River, six miles from Colombo. According to the Mahavamsa, a historical poem detailing Sri Lanka’s founding, Lord Buddha visited this ancient temple during his visit to Sri Lanka in 523 B.C.

While Buddhists used to worship at the temple every day of the year, today worshippers and pilgrims crowd the temple mostly on Saturdays, Sundays and Poya Days – Buddhist public holidays that occur during the full moon.

The 11 small boutiques that belong to the temple sell items used for worship – including flowers, coconut oil, oil lamps and sandalwood sticks – to worshippers and pilgrims. Ten boutiques are situated close to the temple parking lot, while one boutique stands near the temple’s front entrance. Eleven different businessmen run the boutiques, with each paying weekly rent to the temple.
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/sri-lanka/buddhist-temple-workers-can’t-afford-worship-sri-lanka#ixzz1TqfmnPpP

Buddhist Temple Workers Can’t Afford Worship in Sri Lanka

Temple workers spend up to 12 hours a day selling flowers, oils and other items used for worship at a popular Buddhist temple here. But temple workers say they are excluded from the worshipping themselves because they can’t afford to take time off work, thanks to low wages and hefty rent paid to the temple.

KELANIYA, SRI LANKA – Nilantha Dias and his father operate a flower boutique in Kelaniya, a small town near Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. The shop, which specializes in flowers and other items used for worship, is one of 11 boutiques that belong to the much revered Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temple here.


Said to have been made holy by a visit from Lord Buddha, the temple is one of the most ancient and sacred worshipping places for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It is situated along the Kelani River, six miles from Colombo. According to the Mahavamsa, a historical poem detailing Sri Lanka’s founding, Lord Buddha visited this ancient temple during his visit to Sri Lanka in 523 B.C.


While Buddhists used to worship at the temple every day of the year, today worshippers and pilgrims crowd the temple mostly on Saturdays, Sundays and Poya Days – Buddhist public holidays that occur during the full moon.


The 11 small boutiques that belong to the temple sell items used for worship – including flowers, coconut oil, oil lamps and sandalwood sticks – to worshippers and pilgrims. Ten boutiques are situated close to the temple parking lot, while one boutique stands near the temple’s front entrance. Eleven different businessmen run the boutiques, with each paying weekly rent to the temple.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/sri-lanka/buddhist-temple-workers-can’t-afford-worship-sri-lanka#ixzz1TqfmnPpP

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