These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Is Life Better Now Than 50 Years Ago? The Answer May Depend On The Economy
National Public Radio, USA
The way people perceive their country's economic conditions plays a big role in whether they view their lives more positively now compared with the past, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. Of the nearly 43,000 people surveyed in 38 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North and South America, Vietnam had the most positive self-assessment: Eighty-eight percent of respondents said life is better today in their country than it was a half-century ago.
Improved human well-being is one of the modern era’s greatest triumphs. The age of plenty has also led to an unexpected global health crisis: two billion people are either overweight or obese. Developed countries have been especially susceptible to unhealthy weight gain, a trend that could be considered the price of abundance. However, developing countries are now facing a similar crisis.
Across Africa, girls and young women are disproportionately affected by HIV and Aids. Treatment remains out of reach for many pregnant women and mothers who have the virus, with stigma and discrimination common. Photographer Karin Schermbrucker spent a decade travelling with Unicef, documenting the courage of such women
The rallying cry of the Sustainable Development Goals is to ‘leave no one behind’ by 2030 – and to reach those who are furthest behind first. Around the world, amid widespread progress, many people remain marginalised and extremely poor. This may be due to where they live, or aspects of who they are – such as whether they have a disability, what their migratory status is, or their age, race, ethnicity or gender. These inequalities can be overlooked when progress is measured in averages across the whole population, as was the case with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Entire countries can also be left behind, particularly those facing obstacles such as land-locked status, climate stress or a history of conflict and fragility. Understanding where there are gaps, and taking early and sustained action to address them is critical if we are to translate this ambitious ‘leave no one behind’ commitment into action. Here are 10 things to know about realising the ‘leave no one behind’ vision by 2030.