Celebration in front of the White House on
Friday, June 26.
This past Friday, June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court issued an historic decision in favor of equality – recognizing the rights of same-sex couples to get married across the entire United States. This is a moment of personal joy for thousands of families but also a momentous declaration of what equal protection of the law means. As a global development institution, the World Bank has an international workforce that reflects the diversity of its member countries. We welcome this decision of the US Supreme Court - not only for the justice it brings to LGBT staff, but also because it exemplifies principles that are fundamental to inclusive and sustainable development.
Along with the recent referendum in Ireland, same-sex marriages are now performed or recognized in 24 countries across every region of the globe, except for most countries in Asia – from South Africa to Mexico; Argentina to New Zealand.
Why is marriage important? In the words of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy who wrote for the majority in the historic decision of the US Supreme Court, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. ” And through the institution of marriage, LGBT families become visible to the state, and thus entitled to receive the benefits and protections that come with such recognition.
However, the decision on Friday is bittersweet.
Progress in the US and elsewhere comes against a backdrop of continuing – and in some cases worsening – discrimination in many parts of the world. 81 countries criminalize some aspect of being LGBT. ‘Anti-gay propaganda’ laws have rekindled ignorance, fear and prejudice in too many countries, and in 10 countries you can legally be killed simply for being who you are.
Deep inside the sprawling HEAL Africa Hospital complex in the Eastern Congolese city of Goma is a small ward where women recover from injuries they suffered during complicated births and violent sexual attacks. When I entered, I first saw Muwakeso, a fragile-looking elderly woman sitting on a chair next to a bed. It took me a moment to realize that she wasn’t the patient, but rather her 3-year-old granddaughter Sakina, who was curled up into a tiny mound under a hospital sheet on the bed.
Sakina was heavily sedated to numb the pain after the second of three major surgeries she underwent to reconstruct parts of her lower body following a horrific attack about a year ago. Muwakeso recalls five men in civilian clothes approaching her house and beating her. Before she lost consciousness she heard Sakina screaming. The young girl was raped, but Muwaseko doesn’t know by how many men, and Sakina is unable to say.
Өнөөдөр зургадугаар сарын 1. Дэлхийн олон оронд Хүүхдийн эрхийг хамгаалах өдрийг тэмдэглэж байна. Бид хүүхдүүддээ ямар дэлхийг өвлүүлэн үлдээж байна вэ гэдгийг эргэцүүлэн бодох боломж олгож байна. Хүүхдүүдээ өсч том болохоос өмнө ядуурлаас ангижирсан дэлхийг тэдэндээ үлдээхийн төлөө хамтдаа нэгдэцгээе. Өнөөгийн бүх хүүхдийн сайн сайхан ирээдүйн төлөө бид хамтдаа 2030 он гэхэд ядуурлыг ялж чадна. Энэ блогт бичигдсэн зүйлийг өөрийн орчин тойронд амьдарч байгаа хүүхдүүдтэй хуваалцаарай. Мөн тэдний урлагийн бүтээлийг ирүүлээрэй, тэдгээр бүтээлийг бид Дэлхийн банкны нийгмийн сүлжээгээр түгээх юм.
Маяа гэдэг охин байна гээд төсөөл дөө. Маяа охин ядуу оронд амьдардаг, аав ээж өдөржин ажилладаг, тэр сургуульд явж чадахгүй, яагаад гэвэл дүүгээ асрах хэрэгтэй. Аав ээж нь хичнээн хичээж махруу ажиллаад ч гэр бүлээ тэжээхэд хүрэлцэх, мөн Маяагийн сургуульд сурахад шаардлагатай мөнгийг олж чадахгүй. Маяа болон Маяагийн гэр бүл маш зайдуу амьдардаг, хэн нэг нь Маяагийн дүүг асарч Маяа сургуульд явах боломжтой боллоо гэхэд сургууль хүртэл явах автобусны зам ч тэнд байхгүй. Боловсрол гэдэг бол уншиж, бичиж, нэмж, хасаж сурна гэсэн үг. Өсч том болсоныхоо дараа ажил олж хийхийн тулд хүүхдүүд эдгээр зүйлсийг сурсан байх шаардлагатай. Боловсролгүй байна гэдэг бол ажиллаж, хөдөлмөрлөх боломж бараг байхгүй гэсэн үг. Ядуу учраас Маяа чам шиг сургуульд сурч чадахгүй байна гэдэг шударга гэж үү. Бүх хүүхэд сургуульд сурч, өвдсөн үедээ эмчид үзүүлж, идэх хоолтой, эцэг эхтэйгээ хамт амьдардаг гэр оронтой, тэндээ унтдаг байх учиртай. Харамсалтай нь Маяатай ижил олон хүүхэд бий. Бид тэдэнд хэрхэн тусалж чадах вэ? Түүнд туслахын тулд чи юу хийж чадах вэ??
Abebech, a single mother of three, in Arsi Negelle district in Ethiopia heads out for another shift at the construction site for gully embankments, part of a public works program offered by the Government of Ethiopia to address food insecurity.
Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) reaches an estimated 9 million people across the regions of Amhara, Oromiya, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region, Tigray, Afar, Somali, Dire Dawa, and Harar. Food or cash payments are provided to very poor households. Payments are made in return for community work known as ‘public works’ – with participants working on soil and water conservation, construction of schools, health posts, childcare centers and road building. The work is scheduled usually after harvest season to ensure food security and enough money to carry through seasonal food shortages.
Poor households in Ethiopia face a series of economic, social and environmental risks and vulnerabilities with risks often higher for women. While women help with farming and related work, they also receive unequal access to resources, financing, training, and are also more vulnerable to household-related shocks -- illness, death of household member, drought, flood, price shocks, job loss, loss or death of livestock. Women in rural areas typically received poor education and are paid lower for the same type of work as their male counterparts.
Today, June 1, many countries around the world mark Children’s Day, offering an opportunity to reflect on the kind of world our kids will inherit. Let’s join together to make a better world — one free from extreme poverty — before they grow up. Together we can end poverty by 2030 and ensure a better world for today’s kids and all children in the future. Share this blog post with your kids, or children from your community, and submit their artwork to be considered for World Bank social media channels.
Imagine a girl named Maya. Maya lives in a poor country where her parents work all day, and she can’t go to school because she has to care for her baby brother. Even though her parents work very hard, they barely make enough to feed the family, much less buy school supplies for Maya. She and her family live out in the country, and there are no roads for buses to take Maya to school, even if there was someone to care for her brother while her parents work. Education means learning to read, write, add, and subtract. Kids need to learn all these things to find jobs when they grow up. No education means very little access to jobs. Is it fair that just because Maya is poor that she can’t go to school, just like you?
We had great difficulty finding any married female business owners—and learned that under national laws, a married woman couldn’t register a company, open a bank account, operate a business, or own property without the prior written consent of her husband.
Most of these new jobs will come from the private sector, so private entrepreneurship solves part of the problem. But unleashing the untapped productivity of female entrepreneurs will be essential.
When my colleague and friend Pabsy Pabalan informed me that she was going to cover the 2015 World Bank Group-International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, I thought she meant producing blogs or writing articles. But her plan was a little more unusual and fresh. Pabsy was on a mission to explore the other side of the meetings, interview participants, and educate a younger audience by producing short daily videos. As someone who is toward the younger side (or would like to think so), I was looking forward to watching videos with a different approach on World Bank Group events. I soon became a huge fan of #PabsyLive.