Tag Archives: Gender & Human Rights

Preaching to the Unconverted? What will Pope Francis say on the refugee crisis and immigration reform?


The jovial happy-chap demeanor of Pope Francis barely hides the skilled orator who packs a hard-hitting intellectual and social punch.Having steered away from head-on ‘culture-clash’ statements on issues such as abortion and contraception, Pope Francis is focusing on pushing out the Vatican’s informed position on a range of current, social challenges. Some of these, however, are no less controversial in today’s America: climate change and immigration, for example. But he is still likely to tackle these issues in his usual truth-to-power style.

We look at what Pope Francis is likely to say about the refugee crisis and immigration reform during his US visit.




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Special Series: What else we need to know about the refugee and immigration crisis

We’re back after a long summer break!

And to kick off the year, this week we’ll be featuring a Special Series on Refugees and Immigration, including a look at some of the issues not covered in the mainstream media, concerning what UNHCR has called a ‘Refugee Emergency’, and the global debate on immigration.

Today’s post looks at what Pope Francis  is likely to say about the refugee crisis and immigration reform during his visit to the United States this week. We look at his existing positions and proposals on these issues and ask whether he is likely to have an impact.


Later in the week we’ll look closely at ‘external processing’ of refugees, an option  that both the USA and European countries have been considering given the increasing numbers of asylum-seekers. We have an exclusive first-hand account and photos of the situation of child refugees held indefinitely in the Nauru and Manus Island detention centers while their asylum claims are being processed.

In the third post in the series, in collaboration with the Oxford Human Rights Law Hub we explore the human rights ramifications of the external processing of refugees based on the Australian experience.

In our final post of the series we’ll explore how the current refugee crisis has changed the widespread discrimminatory attitudes towards immigrants and ask whether this is likely to last, and how its impacting policy.

Look out for the original artwork, including sketches from our resident artists Max B and Jason Crislip, as well as pictures from DC artist Maryanne Pollock‘s intergenerational project on Refugees and Shelter with the University of Maryland and Barrie School, DC.

Feminist Alphabet Series

To continue our series in honor of  International Women’s Day, we are sharing select designs from the Feminist Alphabet Series from Grow Wild Studio that celebrate inspirational and important women in the world.

E is for Emma Goldman from the Feminist Alphabet Series
E is for Emma Goldman from the Feminist Alphabet Series

Emma Goldman (June 27, 1869 – May 14, 1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century.

A is for Audre Lorde from the Feminist Alphabet Series
A is for Audre Lorde from the Feminist Alphabet Series

Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was a Carribean-American writer, radical feminist, womanist, lesbian, and civil rights activist. Her emphasis on revolution and change continues to be inspirational to women worldwide.

S is for Simone de Beauvoir from the Feminist Alphabet Series
S is for Simone de Beauvoir from the Feminist Alphabet Series

Simone de Beauvoir (January 9, 1908 – April 14 1986), was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, and social theorist. Best known for her 1949 work, The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism; she also wrote novels, essays, biographies, autobiography and monographs on philosophy, politics and social issues.

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Women: Healthier, Better Educated, but Not Safe from Violence

 Co-Authored with guest blogger Alys Willman.


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women: Healthier, Better Educated, but Not Safe from Violence


On International Women’s Day, as we reflect on progress toward gender equality, there is cause for some celebration. In several important ways, women’s lives are changing for the better. There have no doubt been gains in women’s empowerment - such as increasing life expectancy, declining fertility rates and a growing number of girls enrolled in primary school.

But in many other ways women around the world remain vulnerable in a fundamental way- to the risk of violence and abuse.

  • Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime, according to country data available.
  • More than 1 in 3 women around the world have been subject to violence- including non-partner sexual violence and violence and committed in their own homes, by people they know.
  • Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria .

Despite all our gains, women worldwide are still vulnerable to being attacked, raped, brutalized, abused, trafficked and killed. The subjugation and humiliation of women goes on.

Continue reading Women: Healthier, Better Educated, but Not Safe from Violence


To mark International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to Liberia, which just five days ago announced itself free of all new cases of Ebola. Notwithstanding, in order for the Ebola crisis to be declared over, World Health Organization protocol requires no new Ebola cases in the country for 42 days.  Despite 37 more days of waiting before Liberia can declare itself Ebola free, it’s remarkable to reflect on the impact that Ebola has had on the country, not only from a mortality perspective, but the impact the disease has had on the economy, social structures, and individual family units.

Notably, statistics illustrate the effects that the disease has had on women. Since its outbreak, the World Health Organization reports there have been a total of 2828 women with confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in Liberia. The statistic is shocking in the aggregate and even more disturbing when you look at individual cases such as the village of Joeblow, where the lives of all young mothers in the village were claimed by the disease.


In the spirit of Martin Luther King Day, Two Views is highlighting 5 activists working to secure equal rights and social justice around the world.  Here is our list of 5 tireless advocates who have dared to speak up in the hope of making our lives better:

  1. Fatima Jibrell

 0702jibrellIn a country that lacked a central government for nearly two decades, the fate of Somalia’s environment  would seem nearly futile.  Fatima Jibrell, however, persevered  as an environmental activist working to empower local communities to conserve and  manage their natural resources.  In the wake of Somalia’s 1991 civil war, she co-founded the non-profit organization Adeso (previously called the Horn of Africa Relief and Develop Organization). In recognition of her advocacy of community-driven environmental consciousness, Jibrell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2002 and the National Geographic/Buffet Award for Leadership in African Conservation in 2007.  Most recently in November 2014, she became Somalia’s first Champion of the Earth, the United Nations top environment award.

  1. Emily Stanger

In 2012, emilyForbes Magazine named Emily Stanger to its Top 30 Under 30 list.  Since then, Stanger has been working in Liberia and Sierra Leone to enhance economic opportunities for women in West Africa.  In early 2014, when many were fleeing Sierra Leone during the peak of the Ebola outbreak, Emily redirected her efforts and became an advisor in the Office of the President in Sierra Leone to combat the rapid spread of the ebola virus. One of Stanger’s many contributions to organizing Sierra Leone’s ebola response was spearheading the transformation of a local hotline into a high capacity call center that answered and responded to more than 2,000 ebola-related calls daily. Stanger continues to work tirelessly with the hope that Sierra Leone will be ebola-free in the very near future.


The Torture Report: can we come out of the dark?

The investigative report of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Central Intelligence Agency’s rendition, interrogation and detention practices, also known as the ‘Torture Report’ has been released today. The controversial and much awaited report will likely fuel a heated public debate globally and will undoubtedly have policy implications both domestically and internationally.

We interviewed Major Jason Wright*, who served for 3 years as military defense counsel for Guantanamo Bay detainee and alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

In this exclusive interview, we look at the U.S. interrogation program post 9/11, the methods used, and whether the CIA’s use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ elicited “life- saving intelligence” for the United States. We explore the implications for military commissions and upholding the rule of law, the U.S.’ image overseas and our continued efforts in fighting terror.

Click here to watch a video of the  interview or read a summary  below.

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