In the news: The situation for women and girls in Afghanistan

Study the two news stories below to find out more about the situation for women and girls in Afghanistan now that the Taliban is back in power.

Discuss: what do the two stories tell you about the situation for females in Afghanistan, past and present? What do girls and women have to face should they want to study? Do these stories make you more pessimistic or more optimistic on the behalf of Afghanistan’s future? Why?

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/07/asia/afghan-university-male-female-segregation-curtain-intl/index.html

Students attend class at Avicenna University in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 6, 2021, in this picture obtained by Reuters from social media.
Students attend class at Avicenna University in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 6, 2021, in this picture obtained by Reuters from social media.

In the news: What’s going on in Afghanistan?

The Taliban is in power again in Afghanistan, 20 years after 9-11 and the following invasion of Afghanistan. The USA have decided to pull out all their remaining troops by August this year, leading to total chaos and heart-breaking scenes at the airport in Kabul, with local Afghans trying to board planes to get out of a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. US President Joe Biden has stated that the withdrawal will be completed and that the main concern for him is getting American troops home safely.

So what is the problem? Should we care about the development in Afghanistan? Is it an international responsibility to “clean up” after the mess we have left and to ensure a democratic development in Afghanistan? Or should we just leave them alone and hope that human rights will be respected and democracy thrive? (not very likely….)

Using the sources below, discuss these questions in your groups. Choose a secretary who writes down the main points of your answers and discussion. Also, discuss the reliability of these sources and how they differ in language and style.

Who are the Taliban:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-11451718

Timeline of the history of Afghanistan:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/asia-jan-june11-timeline-afghanistan

(excerpts in class)

Western Sahara

Western Sahara is often called Africa’s last colony and also a forgotten conflict. On March 3, you were so lucky to have a visitor via Zoom – Asria Mohamed. She works for The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara, and talked  about the Morroccan occupation, life in Algerian refugee camps, and the part of the UN in this conflict.

Write a blog post about what you learned about this conflict and activism to support the Sahrawi people in their struggle for independence. Comment on the lack of media attention for this conflict and find out why the media wrote about in again in November/December 2020.

Asria said in the meeting that she feels she has no choice when it comes to her activism for the Sahrawi people – what do you think she meant by that?

Hope you enjoyed the visit – Asria is an excellent speaker and a brilliant woman.

På flukt: Asria Mohamed er født i et telt i en flyktningleir i ørkenen. Nå ønsker hun å gi informasjon til norske studenter om konflikten.

Picture from: https://universitas.no/sak/60458/politiet-kaster-murstein-pa-barn/

Deadline: March 10

– Ingunn

Operation Day’s Work: South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda

This year’s OD Project support young refugees from South Sudan. Visit this site:  https://www.od.no/pushgrensene to learn more about the project. What do you learn about the country South Sudan and the challenges people are faced with there? Why have many people fled to the neighbour country, Uganda? What are some of the problems they are faced with there? What is the OD Project going to help with?

Write a blog post where you argue why Norwegian students should take part in this year’s OD Project. 

Ingunn

In the news: Protests in Nigeria

During the last few weeks, protests against police violence and the treatment of certain groups have developed in Nigeria. Find out more here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54666368

Social media has played a big role in the protests and spreading information. However, there have also been fake or false news stories circulating: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54628292

What do you think about social media’s role in spreading awareness about such issues and protests, and in what ways can it be damaging when false accounts of such protests are spread in the media?

What does this cartoon tell you about the government’s response to the protests?

World Food Programme awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Read this article:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-54476569

Also follow the link https://www.bbc.com/news/world-54477214 to learn more about the work of the UN World Food Programme.

Find out more about the Zero Hunger Goal here: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/hunger/

Then write a blog post about the goal and what you think about the Nobel Committee’s decision to award this year’s Peace Prize to the World Food Programme. Give examples of the work they do. How is the goal of no hunger related to peace?

Goal 2: Zero Hunger – United Nations Sustainable Development

The Refugee Crisis

Today’s refugees

According to UNHCR, there are 70,8 million refugees in the world today. The biggest refugee camp is in Bangladesh and houses the approximately 630,000 Rohingyas who are considered one of the most persecuted people. A people with no future, little hope and a life in limbo.

In the “Ultimate Safari”, Nadine Gordimer tells a story of a group of people that has to flee because of war and conflict.

We have also heard about the people of West Sahara and their sufferings, being forced from their homes to live in refugee camps since the invasion of West Sahara by Morocco in 1975.

Write a blogpost in which you summarize the impressions you are left with after working with both fact and fiction.  What do you think the UN can do to solve/improve the situation for the refugees/the refugee challenge? What can the world do?

 

Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax5f9KsGfv8&feature=emb_title

“The Ultimate Safari” by Nadine Gordimer

https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/refugees/index.html

https://www.nrc.no/perspectives/2019/trapped-in-the-worlds-largest-refugee-camp/

https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9wb2RjYXN0LnBvc3R0di5jb20vaXR1bmVzL3Bvc3QtcmVwb3J0cy54bWw&episode=NWRiMzJkMjVjOWU3N2MwMDA4NTMzYTc2&hl=no&ved=2ahUKEwjq29bE4IfnAhVklYsKHf74BJQQjrkEegQIBxAE&ep=6

 

 

Climate changes affect indigenous cultures

Watch this 15-minute video produced by the Guardian and read this article from the same news source detailing how some indigenous peoples experience changes to their culture due to effects of climate changes.

What challenges and benefits do the people on Greenland experience because of climate changes? And while Aboriginal Australians may have the same core problem, given their vastly different physiography the effects are even more devastating. Add governmental obstructions, for instance when it comes to infrastructure, into the equation, and it is hard to see any benefits from climate changes like the Greenlanders do. So what challenges do the people of Australia’s Northern Territory face because of climate changes?

Hilde

Sources:

In the news:  New species, some under threat even before they were discovered

Kew scientists have officially given 110 new species scientific names in the course of 2019, this Guardian article reveals. Among these 102 plants and eight fungi are species that can change medicine. One has the ability to trick our taste buds. Another has been used for centuries to treat arthritis. It has only this year been given a formal scientific name, and seems also to have abilities to combat cancer.

According to the article, “[t]here are almost 400,000 known species of plant, and about 2,000 new species are named every year”. Yet with their habitats being under threat due to a variety of dangers, the world is at risk of losing them before the species are even discovered, registered, named, or measures being taken to protect them.

Reflecting on all the undiscovered species still out there and all the potential they hold, particularly within medicine, should we not do more to protect them from becoming extinct? Should we not rage against the forest fires raging in several parts of the world, whether or not the destruction is deliberate? Should we not protest dam projects that could potentially wipe out an entire species? Should we not reflect around our own and our governments’ values and actions (or inaction), in the hopes of preserving nature?

In the news – Ebola: Attackers kill DR Congo journalist shining light on virus

Last week you worked to help enable youth in DR Congo choose education over working in mines. But did you know that that is only one issue the country is facing? Another is Ebola, and an epidemic has plagued the country since August 2018. Sadly, people working towards spreading information and trying to prevent the disease from spreading further are becoming targets… Read this short update from BBC for the current situation and yesterday’s violent attack on a journalist and his wife.