This week marked the beginning of the final push toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals before their 2015 due date; on August 18th, organizations around the world working toward ending open defecation, increasing access to education, lowering maternal death rates, and more, came together across social media to push for keeping the momentum going in MDGs' final 500 days.
Among those organizations was the Women's Democracy Network (WDN), which used the moment to highlight MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women. "While we’ve seen great progress over the past 20 years with MDG #3," wrote Johanna Hellrigl, Senior Assistant Program Officer at WDN, "when it comes to closing the gender gap between women and men, the world’s population has nearly closed the gap in in health outcomes, economic empowerment, and educational attainment, but only 21 percent of the political outcomes gap has been closed."
August 18, 2014, marked 500 days until the Millennium Development Goals come due. To date, three of the goals focusing on extreme poverty reduction, access to clean water, and improvement of living conditions have been achieved, but this does not mean the world's work is finished.
Mobile technology has come a long way from its early days of hosting voice calls on bulky phones with dodgy reception. Today, mobile technology brings the entire internet to the palms of people’s hands, and the number of people connected to the global mobile network is rapidly growing around the world. As mobile technology advances and demand for mobile coverage and capabilities increases, the June 2014 Ericsson Mobility Report explores the future of the mobile market in coming years.
In the coming century and beyond, the world will see many dramatic shifts in technologic development. As a nation, the United States need to ensure policy fosters the development and prompt integration of these emerging technologies to dramatically strengthen our national defense and maximize our defense potential.
On May 27, the National Democratic Institute hosted the 2014 HOPE Fellows for a presentation titled, “When Legislation is Not Enough: Addressing Gaps in Implementation of Kosovo’s Laws on Gender Equality.” Speaking directly to the topic of realizing gender equality in Kosovo, the Fellows shed light on four main issue areas: 1) implementing written law: 2) strengthening the rule of law; 3) combating social norms; and 4) producing realistic action plans. Their presentation made it clear that the underlying theme throughout all issue areas is the failure of the top-down approach.
On Thursday, May 29, the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC hosted a panel discussion formally titled, “Digital Diplomacy: Foreign Policy and the Future of Engagement,” featuring panel members from the digital outreach teams of the U.S. Department of State and the White House, as well as the media auteurs behind the viral “Texts from Hillary” blog and Trippi and Associates, a media firm that handles political outreach online.
China's censorship of the internet is widely known, but perhaps no day is more sensitive to the "Great Firewall" than June 4th. On this day 25 years ago, a nascent pro-democracy and government reform movement came to a swift and bloody halt in Tiananmen Square, and the Communist Party of China took steps to deeply entrench its place in Chinese government and society. Looking back, the images of the protests are not unfamiliar to us—beyond being some of the most iconic images of from the collapse of the Cold War, the images of hopeful and determined faces gathering in public squares have been repeated from Tunisia to Madrid, Cairo to Brasília. But looking ahead, while China faces much of the same problems of political corruption and economic inequality, the opportunities to recreate the mass protests of 1989 seem to grow more distant with each new term censored from internet search and each new effort toward the depoliticization of Chinese youth.
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