Social Impact Bonds as an effective way to tackle the age-old problem of bonded labour in India.
By Dallin Van Leuven, 20th April, 2015
To pay off a family debt of only $50, 13-year-old Roghini was “mortgaged” to a family that made matchboxes in their home. Paid only 30 cents for every 1,500 boxes she made, Roghini worked alongside 20 other children for 11 hours a day just to try and earn enough to eat—though she often went hungry. The abusive treatment she received drove Roghini into such a deep depression that she tried to end her own life. Finally, three years after she was sold into slavery, a local group was able to pay off the debt and free her.
Millions of men, women, and children are working in India under similar conditions. India’s justice system has tried to free them for decades, to no avail. New strategies are needed where politicians and judges have failed. It is time for investors to step up. Continue reading →
This week marks the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark decision by the US Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. Claire Beckenstein, a political consultant in Washington DC, looks at the political culture surrounding the issue to discuss how far American women have come and how far they still have to go.
By Claire Beckenstein, 22nd January, 2013
Abortion is an issue that evokes visceral responses from people at both ends of the spectrum. This issue has the ability to divide a nation and separate a family. It is so powerful that people will even kill in the name of the cause. On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, one could exhaust themselves for days thinking of the questions and assumptions around what America would be like without legalised abortion. If we continue to fight the issues from our past we cannot move forward. Therefore, it is best to focus on the present and note how monumental this decision has been for women and their health, especially to those women who view abortion as a choice, a freedom and as a right to take control of their future.
Who won the Vietnam War? Who lost it? These questions are barely touched up in films about the conflict. Instead we see a very different picture: troops rallying together against adversity of poor leadership, difficult terrain and uncharacterised enemies. Does this tell the real story of Vietnam? Were class, race and gender equality the realities of 60s and 70s America? No.
Popular culture played a key part in reconstructing the narratives of the Vietnam War for the United States of America. It constitutes a unique form of memorial in which the reality is secondary to the story. Stories frequently circulate stating that x per cent of children don’t know who Winston Churchill or Neil Armstrong were but what of the rewriting of history? In these films South East Asia becomes a setting for a collection of films not so much about the history of the war as the re-assertion of American masculinity.
These manifestations carry greater cultural significance now as they reach mass audiences of younger generations who may have little prior knowledge of the war. For instance, at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial visitors frequently flock to take rubbings of one name in particular: John Rambo[i]. At the end of Rambo, the eponymous character asks his commander, ‘do we get to win this time?’ The commander responds, ‘this time, it’s up to you’.