17 February 2018 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

17 February 2018


WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.


In this week’s Top 10 we look at Australia’s report card on human rights and mammalian extinction, as well as some good news for Saudi women and shorter working weeks – and much more too of course!


1. Did you know that Australia has the highest rate of mammalian extinct in the world and that we have lost 50 animal and 60 plant species in the past 200 years? In this article from The Guardian, Lisa Cox tells the story of a little rodent, Melomys, who is the first mammalian extinction in the world due to climate change. But, she argues, this little critter could have been saved from extinction if we’d acted earlier. And what’s more, there are more than 1,800 plant and animal species and ecological communities at risk of extinction in Australia.


2. The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights released their 2017 Human Rights Report Card in January this year. If you haven’t had a chance to have a look yet, there are some interesting and concerning issues that are discussed here. While acknowledging the progress made in legalising same sex marriage and in ratifying OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture), Australia remains in a dismal position in regard to the human rights of all citizens. The Federal Government received an overall score of F!


3. It’s a small step but progress nonetheless – a senior Saudi cleric has said that he believes women no longer need to wear the abaya robe in public! Commentators believe that this is part of the overall liberalisation drive that is being progressed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


4. Get a glimpse into life for mothers in Nigeria with this moving report from Medecins Sans Frontieres.


5. Too busy to take action to change the world? Pretty understandable in our fast paced lives. So Amnesty International has shared the busy person’s guide to taking action for human rights! Some pretty good ideas that won’t take much time.


6. Fiction has an important role in shaping our attitudes and the new book from Clare Atkins (author of  Nona and Me) fits that bill perfectly. Between Us is a story of love between two young people from different cultures, one in detention in Australia.  It’s a great read for young adults – and the rest of us too!


7. And while you’re enjoying a bit of reading this weekend you might also want to check out some reviews of the amazing new film about Gurrumul’s life. It opens in Australia in April.


8. Now here’s a super idea. Shorter working weeks. In this article from ideas.ted.com Rutger Bregman explores the pros and cons (there’s not really any cons actually!).


9. Here is some inspiration from young people across the Arab world. While it’s common to hear stories of war and suffering coming from this part of the world, it’s also important to acknowledge the young people who are using creativity and technology to create a better world. This article tells the story of twelve of these young people and their projects which took them to New York to share in the 2018 Youth Forum!


10. Some more amazing, and at times disturbing, images to leave you with this week. Here are the nominees for the World Press Photo Contest – the most prestigious photojournalist prize in the world. We can expect an announcement on 12 April.


Thanks for your company again this week. See you next time.