Society

Why these Australian women’s rights activists are continuing to fight for equality

A lot has changed since International Women’s Day began more than a century ago – but there’s more to be done. Here, a human rights advocate, an abuse survivor, and a sex worker share their stories. Maani Truu SBS The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, with more than a million people across Europe demanding women be given the right to vote and hold public office. Now, 108 years later, the world is a very different place. We ... Read More »

Lebanon asserts against using maritime borders for gas pipeline from Israel to EU

Lebanon on Thursday warned its Mediterranean neighbours that a planned EastMed gas pipeline from Israel to the European Union must not be allowed to violate its… Devdiscourse Beirut has an unresolved maritime border dispute with Israel – which it regards as an enemy country – over a sea area of about 860 sq km (330 square miles) extending along the… Israel is hoping to enlist several European countries in the construction of a 2,000 km (1,243 miles) pipeline linking vast ... Read More »

A chimpanzee cultural collapse is underway, and it’s driven by humans

Language, music, and art often vary between adjacent groups of people, and help us identify not only ourselves but also others. Authors: The Conversation And in recent years rich debates have emerged and spawned research into culture in non-human animals. Scientists first observed chimpanzees using tools more than half a century ago. As this complex behaviour appeared to differ across different populations, researchers concluded that tool use in apes was socially learned and therefore a cultural behaviour. This was the ... Read More »

Nobody wants a return to war in Northern Ireland but events can create their own momentum

The 310-mile-long border that divides the north from the Irish Republic is a trip wire which has the capacity to trigger a political explosion, writes Patrick Cockburn from Belfast. Independent At the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s I used to visit Crossmaglen, a village in South Armagh close to the border with the Irish Republic and notorious as an Irish Republican stronghold. I would go there with my friend Ben Caraher, a teacher in Belfast who came from the village ... Read More »

After years of vicious culture wars, hope may yet triumph over hate in Australian politics

For a generation, politics has been wearying for those of good heart and outright damaging to those targeted in the culture wars unleashed in the 1990s. How this happened, and whether it will continue, are… Chris Wallace The Conversation The traditional post-war political struggle pitted class and concerns about inequality, opportunity and redistribution against capital and concerns about profits, property rights and the shoring up of… Over the past two decades, the moorings of this “left” versus “right” paradigm of ... Read More »

Education for humans in an AI world

As technology increasingly shapes our world, education needs to incorporate global competence with a focus on human interactions and intercultural understanding. By Sophie Fenton, University of Melbourne Pursuit Today’s world is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – or VUCA. The VUCA acronym was first used in 1987 in a military context, but has recently started to filter into the wider lexicon, as exponential technological growth radically and rapidly changes our environment. This disrupted and disrupting environment presents challenges and ... Read More »

Michelle Bachelet has urged Australia to adopt “more humane policies” towards refugees.

The United Nations’ leading voice on human rights has criticised Australia’s refugee policies, specifically condemning plans to reopen Christmas Island detention centre. SBS UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet used an address on Wednesday to highlight rights abuses around the world, with Australia making the list. “The office has raised concern with Australia about the imminent transfer of migrants on Manus Island and Nauru to new detention centres,” the… “These people have been suffering for more than… Michelle ... Read More »

Brazil and Venezuela clash over migrants, humanitarian aid and closed borders

Venezuela’s borders are now dangerous flashpoints in a tense showdown between President Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela’s self-declared interim president, Juan Guaidó. Authors: The Conversation The United States, Colombia and Brazil – all supporters of Guaidó’s quest to unseat Maduro – have amassed hundreds of tons of medical and food supplies at Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and… Maduro, who condemns the humanitarian convoys as the pretext for a U.S.-led military invasion, refuses to allow the aid through. The aid standoff grew ... Read More »

France must probe police conduct in ‘yellow vest’ protests: UN

The U.N. human rights chief called on March 6 for a “full investigation” into the possible excessive use of force by French police during the “yellow vest” demonstrations. GENEVA- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “The ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (yellow vests) have been protesting what they see as exclusion from economic rights and participation in public affairs,” rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in her annual address to the… “We encourage the government to continue dialogue – including follow-up to the national discussions which are currently underway ... Read More »

Five books on work by French authors that you should read on your commute

An emerging genre of fiction in France is providing an unlikely brand of escapism. Growing numbers of French writers are choosing work as their subject matter – and it seems that readers can’t… Amy Wigelsworth The Conversation The prix du roman d’entreprise et du travail, the French prize for the best business or work-related novel, is testament to the sustained popularity of workplace fiction across the Channel. The prize has been awarded annually since 2009, and this year’s winner will ... Read More »

Vital conversations: older women have their say about the challenges of life in a city like Melbourne

Who decides what matters in the lives of voters? In the run-up to the 2018 Victorian state election, media focused on a few potential big issues of concern or interest. Harriet Radermacher The Conversation Newspapers featured pieces on the consequences of uncapped population growth in Victoria, particularly suburban housing sprawl and unaffordability. Public transport and the growing economic divide between communities also attracted media attention. Against this background, and in light of concerns raised by previous research, we wanted to engage with older women ... Read More »

Protecting Women’s Space in Politics

Women human rights defenders around the globe are facing heightened threats of violence and repression. Isabelle Arradon ICG Sometimes they are targeted for being activists, and sometimes just for being women. World leaders should do much more to secure space for women’s safe participation in public life. In early January 2019, unknown gunmen shot dead Maritza Isabel Quiroz Leiva, a 60-year-old Colombian land rights activist on a small farm near the Caribbean city of Santa Marta. Her killing was a stark ... Read More »

All about juries: why do we actually need them and can they get it ‘wrong’?

There has been some debate over the recent conviction of George Pell, whose first trial ended with a hung jury, and the second a unanimous guilty verdict. Jacqui Horan The Conversation People are questioning our justice system, the potential bias of the jury, and whether the initial hung verdict invalidates the second, unanimous one. So, why should Australians trust 12 inexperienced people to sit in judgment on our most serious criminal trials, and get the verdict right? The importance of ... Read More »

Socrates in love: how the ideas of this woman are at the root of Western philosophy

Where did Socrates, the foundational figure of Western philosophy, get the inspiration for his original ideas about truth, love, justice, courage and knowledge? Armand D’Angour The Conversation New research I’ve conducted reveals that as a young man in 5th-century BC Athens, he came into contact with a fiercely intelligent woman, Aspasia of Miletus. I argue that her ideas about love and transcendence inspired him to formulate key aspects of his thought (as transmitted by Plato). If the evidence for this ... Read More »

Is Turkey exploiting the international community in order to suppress dissent?

According to Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut, Erdogan throws around charges of being a Gulenist or associated with Jews or a member of a terror group in the framework of spreading “conspiracy theories”… by Rachel Avraham Foreign Policy According to Turkish journalist Rafael Sadi, “Erdogan’s government is very scared and is looking everywhere for Gulenists. They are suspicious of everyone.  No one feels free to talk or write.” In fact, according to recent reports, Erdogan has even gone to the level ... Read More »

Rumours grow of rift between Saudi king and crown prince

There are growing signs of a potentially destabilising rift between the king of Saudi Arabia and his heir, the Guardian has been told. Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington and Nick Hopkins in London The Guardian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are understood to have disagreed over a number of important policy issues in recent weeks, including the war in Yemen. The unease is said to have been building since the murder in Turkey of ... Read More »