Archive for September 13, 2011

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT GROWS IN SOUTH SUDAN

September 13, 2011

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT GROWS IN SOUTH SUDAN
Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The new sovereign nation-state of South Sudan seems to be starting right early enough in jump-starting gender empowerment as an important pillar of human development.
Proof of the stimulating engagements in women empowerment is the launching of the South Sudan Women Lawyers Association (SSWLA) just days after the declaration of independence. Starting with a core of about 60 lawyers, the group is already making its impact in various sectors of the new nation.
Luckily for South Sudan, international groups such as the UNDP have lent their hands in the jack-rabbit start of their empowering engagements. Remember that under the Islamic state of Sudan, women and other sectors were largely muffled and subordinated, so it took South Sudanese a secession from the north-based Islamic state to breath life to their empowering goals.
Below is an update report from the United Nations Development Program about women rights’ advocacy in the new nation.
[Philippines, 13 September 2011]
Source: http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/presscenter/articles/2011/08/17/women-stand-up-for-their-rights-in-the-new-republic.html
Women stand up for their rights in the new Republic of South Sudan
17 August 2011

Just a few days after independence was declared, the South Sudan Women Lawyers Association (SSWLA) issued a rallying call to supporters of women’s rights, demanding greater equality and human rights for the women of South Sudan. The association congratulated President Salva Kiir Mayardit and all the South Sudanese people on attaining independence, however they also called on the government to step up their efforts in promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls.
The association was formed in 2010 to represent women legal practitioners and to advocate for women and children’s rights. UNDP was instrumental in helping to set up the association, and provided training in areas such as psycho-social support for survivors of violence and English language skills. Following this, UNDP worked closely with the association to provide input on gender issues into the new South Sudan constitution, following a broad, state-wide consultation process.
Currently there are over 60 members, many of whom work in government roles. Some members also work in private practice and in the judiciary. “We envision a society free of all forms of discrimination against women and girls. We are using the law to help achieve this,”said Deputy Chairwoman Akur Ajuoi Magot.
The association acknowledges some of the big achievements made by the Government in the six years since the war ended. Ms Magot highlighted the Land Act, which recognizes women’s equal rights to property; the Child Act, giving rights to children; and especially the new Constitution. “It enshrines affirmative action provisions for women,” said Ms. Magot, “which opens up spaces for women’s participation.”
However, there is a long way to go for women in South Sudan. The new Republic suffers from some of the worst human development indicators in the world. Girls are often subjected to early and forced marriages and are usually unable to receive a proper education. Women experience shocking rates of maternal mortality and have an estimated 90 percent rate of illiteracy.
Looking ahead, the SSWLA suggest the government should ratify and implement some of the major international covenants on women’s rights, such as the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the African Women’s Protocol, both of which reinforce legal protections for women and girls.
The association also stresses the need for reform of the justice and rule of law sectors, to ensure effective prosecution of those who commit violence against women, and the need for an accountable police service and an independent judiciary. “Women have suffered enough in South Sudan,” said George Conway, UNDP’s Deputy Head of Office. “We are supporting organizations like the SSWLA at the same time as we work closely with the police and prisons services and the judiciary to build a more accountable, robust justice system that can deliver greater stability and accountability for women in the new nation.”
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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!

Social Blogs:
IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com
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COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

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ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com
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Website:
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com

CAMBODIA TV PROGRAM STIMULATES YOUTH CIVICS

September 13, 2011

CAMBODIA TV PROGRAM STIMULATES YOUTH CIVICS

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good Day to fellow global citizens!

Cambodia’s civic life has all but been stifled during the time of the Khmer Rogue. While that dark past is way behind the nation now, the culture of silence remains and is taking a hard time to break.

The creation of a vibrant, dynamic, robust civil society in Cambodia, parallel to the Philippines’ which is among the world’s strongest civil societies, seems to be years ahead yet before full galvanization. However, the seed of that civic culture is now being planted, or should be germinated at this time.

It is most appropriate a strategy to waken up the youth from lethargy, for the youth produces leaders for all other sectors of society. The preparations in Cambodia includes a tv program that hopefully can catalyze youth mobilization for the debates and participation in the forthcoming election.

Below is an update report coming from the United Nations Development Programme about the said tv program.

[Philippines, 13 September 2011]

Source: http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/presscenter/articles/2011/08/11/cambodia-tv-production-to-boost-youth-civic-participation.html
Cambodia: TV production to boost youth civic participation
12 August 2011

Phnom Penh – As the world celebrates International Youth Day on 12 August, Cambodians are producing a mass media campaign to empower young adults aged 15-24 and encourage them to get involved in community-level volunteerism and decision-making.
The campaign – to include a TV drama and discussion show, radio call-in programmes, public service announcements, and online and mobile phone messaging – will start in January 2012 and target five million youth, including three million of voting age, ahead of local elections next year and a national election in 2013.
“This campaign will feature young people making a difference in their communities and will help other youngsters realize their own potential,” said Gregory Lavender, Youth Advocacy Officer at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Cambodia.
“Youth are the key to strengthening democracy in Cambodia because two out of every three people in the country are under 25 years old.”
A small team of writers and researchers are scripting 32 TV drama episodes intended to increase basic civic awareness, promote participation in political and local decision-making processes and hold their elected leaders accountable.
Broadcasts, including by radio, will give young people information to take part in planning meetings at local commune councils and to become positive examples of citizens taking actions for wider public benefit.
In partnership with the BBC World Service Trust, UNDP is providing funding and coordinating the three-year campaign with government and non-governmental organizations that will also take part in outreach activities.
“Young people are gifted with open minds and a keen awareness of emerging trends, and are bringing their energy, ideas and courage to some of the most complex and important challenges facing the human family,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message for International Youth Day.
International Youth Day was created by the UN in 1999 as an opportunity to draw attention to the needs of young men and women worldwide.
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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!

Social Blogs:
IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com
UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:
COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:
ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com
ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:
@MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com
@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website:
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com

ASIA BETTER BOOST QUALITY JOBS FOR GROWTH

September 13, 2011

ASIA BETTER BOOST QUALITY JOBS FOR GROWTH
Erle Frayne D. Argonza

From the ASEAN city-state of Singapore comes the challenge to Asia to boost quality jobs for growth.
Asia is indeed fortunate to have within it the most dynamic regions and emerging markets of the day, the same economies that are the growth drivers of the global economy. Yet paradoxically, Asia is also home to many countries where 40% of populations eke a living below the $2 poverty line yardstick for daily survival.
My country the Philippines, for instance, has seen rapid growth in the last decade that saw it graduate to middle income status. Its big investors have begun to scour for huge projects overseas, thus reinforcing overseas remittances that traditionally was fueled by overseas workers’ wages. Yet PH is manifesting a jobless growth, at the same time that its poverty incidence remains at a nauseatingly high rate of 33%.
Below is the update report from the Asian Development Bank about the need for quality jobs in Asia.
[Philippines, 12 September 2011]
Source: http://beta.adb.org/news/quality-jobs-essential-asias-growth-stability-report
Quality Jobs Essential to Asia’s Growth, Stability – Report
23 Aug 2011
SINGAPORE – Asia’s policymakers must take decisive steps to generate high quality, productive jobs if the region is to sustain and broaden the benefits of its economic expansion of the past two decades, says an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report published today.
In a special chapter of Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2011, its flagship annual statistical publication, ADB says Asia has outstripped other regions in growth and employment creation since 1990. This has led to substantial improvements in living standards, but progress has been uneven in this heterogeneous region. Asia still remains home to most of the world’s poor with more than 40% of most countries’ populations living below the $2-a-day poverty line.
Lower-income countries are having difficulty meeting some of the Millennium Development Goal targets and where progress has lagged, social tensions may arise. Despite recent turmoil in financial markets, policymakers must keep focused on structural improvements.
As Asia grapples with globalization and changing demographics, including an expanding middle class and aging societies, it will face even more pressure to generate quality jobs that can satisfy public aspirations and support inclusive growth. Many of the new jobs that have been created in Asia are low-cost, low-wage manufacturing positions.
“The percentage of workers in informal employment in Asia remains sharply higher than in most other regions. Quality jobs are important for reducing poverty and income inequality, and for promoting social cohesion and political stability,” said ADB’s Chief Economist Changyong Rhee.
The special chapter, titled “Toward Higher Quality Employment in Asia,” says the pattern and rate of job creation across the region have been sharply mixed, and growth is not enough on its own to guarantee quality jobs with decent wages and conditions. The report says creating higher value-added jobs and increasing labor productivity are key to quality employment, and higher quality employment is the critical link between growth and poverty reduction. But there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the region, with economies at different stages of development.
Middle-income countries will need to promote trade and foreign direct investment, and develop human capital in order to move up the value chain of production, while diversifying the types of social protection measures. Low-income countries can benefit from increasing trade and facilitating smoother rural-urban migration. Productivity in rural areas needs to be improved, and technical and vocational training broadened. For these countries, informal workers need to be provided with a basic level of social protection.
“With appropriate demand and supply side policies and some levels of social protection, countries can make substantial progress towards developing higher quality employment in Asia that will enable it to continue its achievements in poverty reduction and inclusive growth,” Mr. Rhee said.
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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!

Social Blogs:
IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com
UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:
COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:
ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com
ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

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@MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com
@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website:
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com

UZBEKISTAN JETTISONS TRADE VIA HIGHWAYS

September 13, 2011

UZBEKISTAN JETTISONS TRADE VIA HIGHWAYS
Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan is finally re-awakening its economy that has been in the doldrums since the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
To recall, the Soviet Union was at one time the world’s 2nd largest economy up until the days of General Secretary Andropov. The former Soviet republics had their taste of economic booms brought about by the integration and national economic planning. All of those gains collapsed upon the dis-integration of the Soviet Union, a dis-integration that included the destruction of the economic union.
Uzbekistan has a great potential to be a harbinger of high growth in Central Asia. It has to start from near-scratch though, such as to re-boot its almost dead highway systems that were the products yet of the Soviet days. It has to link itself quickly with East Asia thru the CAREC, which will make it one of the arterial areas of the emerging New Silk Road.
Below is an undate report from Manila, home of the Asian Development Bank.
[Philippines, 12 September 2011]
Source: http://beta.adb.org/news/adb-500-million-investment-program-aids-uzbekistans-push-increased-trade-growth
ADB $500 Million Investment Program Aids Uzbekistan’s Push for Increased Trade, Growth
23 Aug 2011
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a multitranche financing facility of up to $500 million to help Uzbekistan reconstruct around 230 kilometers of poor quality roads, which will improve road connectivity and safety, and boost trade along a key regional transport corridor linking Asia to Europe.
The ADB Board of Directors today approved the multitranche financing facility for the Second Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 2 Road Investment Program. The first tranche of $130 million will be used to rehabilitate a 74-km section of A373 highway running through the Fergana Valley, where a third of all Uzbeks live and a large proportion of the country’s agricultural goods are produced. Assistance will also be given for road safety and asset management improvements.
“The road reconstruction work with up-to-date safety features will result in safer and faster travel, and greater access to social services and lower transport costs,” said Shakeel Khan, Principal Portfolio Management Specialist at the Central and West Asia Department. “It will also open up new trade, business and investment opportunities for people both domestically and in neighboring countries.”
CAREC Corridor 2, which connects the Caucasus and Mediterranean to East Asia, is one of a number being built under the cooperation program. This initiative aims to help Central Asian countries take economic advantage of the region’s strategic location at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. Rehabilitating roads in Uzbekistan will allow the country to take a central role in CAREC’s development plans.
“There is an unprecedented opportunity for Uzbekistan to emerge as a center for trade and commerce in Central Asia and to achieve rapid and sustainable economic growth,” said Hong Wang, Director at the Central and West Asia Department.
Road passenger and freight traffic are booming in Uzbekistan, with vehicle fleets projected to double every five years. The Government of Uzbekistan spends 1% of annual gross domestic product on roads but is gradually increasing the amount. ADB’s assistance will help the government raise the capacity of oversight agencies to manage and maintain roads and implement a national road safety strategy and action plan.
The financing facility will release loans for three separate projects under the investment program. A total of $320 million will come from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and up to $180 million from its concessional Asian Development Fund. The first tranche loan will have a 24-year term, with a 4-year grace period and annual interest determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility.
The Government of Uzbekistan will extend counterpart funds of $100 million for a total program cost of $600 million. The Ministry of Finance-controlled Republican Road Fund will be the executing agency for the program which is due for completion in March 2017.
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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!

Social Blogs:
IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com
UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:
COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:
ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com
ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:
@MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com
@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website:
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com