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Monday, 16 October 2017

Sustainable Farming Systems for Food and Nutrition Security

By Alan Dangour

Female agricultural workers picking vegetables in Mirpurkhas
Photo credit: Collective team


The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition call on all countries to end hunger and prevent malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. This is quite a challenge, and it is a challenge with sustainable agriculture and food systems at its very heart.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Pakistani politics: Where are the women?

By Ayesha Khan

Panel discussion.
Left to Right: Dr Saba Gul Khattak, Ms Khawar Mumtaz, Ms Munizae Jahangir (moderator), Ms Bushra Gohar, Dr Nafisa Shah
Photo credit: Collective team

The Collective for Social Science Research (CSSR) and the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) held a launch event for their research studies on women’s political voice in Islamabad on September 27th 2017. These studies are designed to explore pathways to increasing women’s political participation. The launch is part of a multi-country study on Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and coordinated by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Fake plastic trees

by Marium Ibrahim

Is the world turning into plastic?
Photo credit: torange.biz

At this point there is so much plastic in our oceans that even our sea salt has plastic mixed into it. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Jihadi Vogue

by Sana Naqvi

The TTP is now targeting women to join its militant group and take up jihad
Photo credit: Wikipedia/Commons

In recent years extremist groups have gone to creative lengths to gather a cadre of supporters to propagate their agenda and ideology by undermining state institutions and rallying the religious right to their cause to carry out recruitment and radicalize the public and private spheres, giving a new face to modern terrorism.

In the past we have seen religious groups such as Al Shabaab live tweet their attack in a shopping mall in Nairobi, or the Islamic State publish its infamous magazines Dabiq and Rumiyah. Research shows that these publications reach out to a large audience, and successfully cajole people to join these radical groups, forcing social media companies to shut down 125,000 accounts linked to ISIS, a testament to the potency of these strategies.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The issue with English

by Marium Ibrahim

The majority of the world's population does not speak English, but it is still seen as the global language.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, 2009

Education systems that focus on one language as the medium of instruction bring up questions of educational equity. Most countries use English as the primary medium of education, raising questions of who has access to this “global” education and who does not.

Many people, especially in developing countries, view learning English as the path to success, and a way to compete in the global economy. People also tend to equate language with intelligence, implying that people who do not have the opportunity to learn English are not as “intelligent” as people who can speak the language fluently. This is why many people advocate for English as the primary language of instruction.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Pakistan’s jirgas: buying peace at the expense of women’s rights?

by Ayesha Khan

A jirga in Afghanistan. Such systems are a commonplace dispute resolution mechanism in Pakistan as well.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

It has taken nine military operations since 2002 to clear Pakistan’s frontier and tribal areas from Taliban, and millions of people have been displaced from their homes, some more than once. Pakistanis have paid a high price for allowing religious extremism to grow on their soil. Between 2003-17 over 21,000 civilians, and even more militants, have been killed.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Connecting research to ongoing debates

by Saba Aslam

Women picking vegetables in Mirpurkhas
Photo credit: Collective team

Agricultural work in Pakistan is becoming feminised and accounts for more than 70 per cent in the work force. How well is women’s agricultural work is recognised amongst the policy makers of the country is still unclear, but it is a key area of interest for researchers in understanding the linkages between women’s agricultural work and their health outcomes.