UK government report finds sexual abuse of vulnerable women and girls an ‘endemic’ in international aid sector
Sexual abuse of women and girls by international aid workers has been happening for years, with perpetrators easily moving around the sector and not held accountable for their actions. The report, conducted by the House of Commons International Development Committee, was prompted after allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct by employees of several renowned NGOs, including Oxfam and Save the Children was released last year.
Chair of the committee, MP Stephen Twigg says the report displays “the collective failure over a period of at least 16 years by the aid sector to address sexual exploitation and abuse.” He furthers points out how organizations often put “their reputation ahead of women, children and other victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.”
Newly implemented child care subsidy program receives widespread criticism in Taiwan
The program came into effect on Wednesday as part of the government’s efforts to raise Taiwan’s low birth rate. Parents who qualify for it will be given a monthly subsidy of NT $6,000 for each child up to the age of two who attends a semi-public private kindergarten or are looked after by babysitters who have signed a contract with the government.
The program has received a large amount of criticism from parents, government-contracted kindergartens and baby-sitters for the failure to publicize relevant measures in advance.
Chinese authorities are offering cash bonuses and wedding subsidies to encourage ‘high quality’ women to have children
This baby boom strategy was implemented due to the dropping birth rates after the end of China’s one-child policy in 2016. Authorities have been targeting “high quality” young, educated, and urbanized women to have children. The first scheme was launched in the nation’s Shanxi province, subsidising wedding expenses for local newlyweds, from wedding photography to apartment redecoration and even household appliances.
Commentators have pointed out that until employment discrimination ends and more social support is provided, it’s unlikely such incentives will have an impact. Acclaimed author Leta Hong Fincher comments on the targeting of “high quality” women, and how state-run outlets have repeatedly extolled the virtues of young married women having babies while pursuing higher education.
Novelist R.O. Kwon releases her debut novel The Incendiaries, exploring her relationship with religion, agnosticism and loss
The novel tells the story of Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall, who meet while attending an elite American university. While Phoebe finds herself joining a North Korean cult following her mother’s death, Will is unable to accept these changes and seeks answers after she disappears following the bombing of an abortion clinic.
Ms Kwon says in an interview that Will’s experience of losing his faith was reflective of her own experience in high school. “I used to preach that God holds us on a lightweight leash,” the character Will says, “We imagine ourselves free, but with a flick of His wrist He’ll bring us back to Him again. It takes less than I used to think from this hope of reunion that it’s not, from what I can tell, the truth.”