Other News

Catholic Church to highlight large-scale poverty on first ‘World Day of the Poor’

A day for for the less fortunate, the vulnerable and the marginalized will be observed by the Catholic Church in the Philippines on Sunday, as globally initiated by Pope Francis. Caritas Philippines, the social arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), on Saturday called on …

by · Saturday, 18 November 2017 · Philippines

Church to recognize marginalized sector in ‘World Day of the Poor’

The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, the social arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said on Saturday that “with over 1/2 of the world’s population (over 3 billion people) living in extreme poverty, the Pope’s initiative to honor the poor is both …

by · Saturday, 18 November 2017 · Philippines

Pope Francis to feed Vatican’s poor, homeless at special Sunday lunch, Mass

In a letter announcing the day celebrating the poor, Pope Francis called his namesake “an outstanding example” of how deeds, and not just empty words, are needed to address the challenges posed by poverty. St. Francis was the 12th-century founder of th…

by · Saturday, 18 November 2017 · Philippines

Mexico drug cartels force-recruiting indigenous children – UN

Around 6.5% of Mexico’s 125 million people are indigenous. Most – 61.9% – live in poverty or extreme poverty, according to Tauli-Corpuz. – Rappler.

by · Saturday, 18 November 2017 · Philippines

Mexico drug cartels force-recruiting indigenous children: UN

Mexican drug cartels are forcing indigenous children and teens to join their ranks, torturing or killing those who refuse, the United Nations warned Friday. The UN’s special rapporteur on indigenous rights, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, said she is “particularly worried” about violence against minors after …

by · Saturday, 18 November 2017 · Thailand

Backpedalling in a parallel Thai universe

The sad fact of the world is that poverty can’t be eradicated — minimised, yes, through the fairer distribution of income — and even Sweden has around 6-7% of people living in poverty. To wipe out poverty in a year is something worthy of the Nobel Economics, Peace, Chemistry and Physics prizes rolled …

by · Friday, 17 November 2017 · Thailand
To improve female labour force participation in Sri Lanka, first change attitudes

To improve female labour force participation in Sri Lanka, first change attitudes

Read the feature story here 

Earlier this year in Hatton, I met a group of talented, young adults who had just participated in a social innovation pilot program. They were enthusiastic and dynamic, brimming with potential. But the potential to realize that potential was going to be influenced along gender lines; the expectations and obligations to the families were the most important determinants.   
I heard about some of these challenges. One girl had an ailing mother at home and was responsible for her care; another struggled to study on weekends while working on weekdays, with both activities requiring long commutes. One young lady, T. Priya, who had just graduated from university with a BA, told me she was currently unemployed because she was determined to wait for the right job—which to her, meant joining the public sector. You’d be amazed at how often I have heard this from young Sri Lankans. Unfortunately, as we all know too well, there are only a limited number of these positions available. 

Getting Sri Lanka’s Women to Work

This week, the World Bank published Getting to Work: Unlocking Women’s Potential in Sri Lanka’s Labor Force. The report notes that the number of women participating in Sri Lanka’s workforce is low, that women under 30 are facing high rates of unemployment and that wage disparities still exist between the sexes.  
Among its findings is that women like Priya, despite having high educational attainments (university level or higher), still queue for a limited number of public sector jobs which raises their rates of unemployment. Government jobs are seen as offering more flexible hours and financial security than private sector jobs.
Another issue is that the burden of household responsibilities and chores fall disproportionately on women. When women got married, it made it harder, not easier, for them to go to work, and this was only exacerbated when women had children.
For men, the situation is somewhat different. As of 2015, marriage lowered the odds of Female Labour Force Participation by 4.4 percentage points, while boosting men’s odds by 11 percentage points.  
But I think the roots of this problem go deeper, and start early. Young girls learn that it’s not important to be good at maths or sciences and many more pursue degrees in humanities and the arts, widely considered gender appropriate, rather than in the technical skills that are in demand in the private sector and growing industries.
This is only one way in which we limit our daughters.

by · Friday, 17 November 2017 · Sri Lanka

EDITORIAL – Challenges amid growth

Extreme poverty in Southeast Asia has fallen from 17 percent of the population in 2005 to seven percent in 2013, according to the report, but these …

by · Friday, 17 November 2017 · Philippines

Close to 2200 households removed from 4Ps list in Region 12

4Ps is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to “poorest of the poor” …

by · Friday, 17 November 2017 · Philippines

APEC 2017: Jakarta Post praises Vietnam’s role

… globalization, and economic reform. The paper said Vietnam is undergoing a transformation from an agricultural country to an export-oriented economy, and a country of industrialisation and modernisation. The nation’s progress in poverty alleviation has been shown in the poverty rate reduction from …

by · Friday, 17 November 2017 · Vietnam