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

3 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 some of the latest news about human rights, poverty and hunger, as well as microplastics, refugees and much more!


1. In late January Oxfam released its report into wealth discrepancies around the world – Reward Work Not Wealth. The report found that the wealth of billionaires has grown 6 times faster than workers since 2010. In the previous year the richest 1% made 82% of the new wealth created and the bottom 50% of the world (which is 3.7 billion people) got none of the new wealth created last year.  There is also an interesting fact sheet about wealth issues in Australia that you can have a quick look at.


2. Of particular focus in the Oxfam report on inequality is the situation for women workers who are often paid less and are employed in less secure jobs. Oxfam have a campaign to address the inequity in the clothing industry, WhatSheMakes. You can sign the pledge here! And you can use their company tracker to see how your favourite clothing company is doing in supporting a living wage for their workers.


3. And while we’re on the topic, UNWomen has a great visual timeline tracing the progress of women in history – Women’s Footprint in History. It features amazing women from all around the world including Agnodice form Greece (400BC) who is recognised as the first gynaecologist, Rigoberta Menchu from Guatemala who was the first Indigenous person to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960, former child brides from Zimbabwe Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi who took their case to court and changed the law on marriage so no one can enter marriage before the age of 18.


4. Foodbank also released a major report in late January about the ongoing issue of hunger and food insecurity in Australia. The report, Fighting Hunger in Australia, found that over 15% of people in Australia experience food insecurity and yet over 40% of edible food is regularly discarded because it is not cosmetically perfect! In an article in The Conversation Carol Richards from QUT discusses the issue of food insecurity as a feature of our neoliberalist society where food is seen as a commodity rather than a right.


5. Thankfully we are learning more about microplastics and their impact on the environment. In this article from The Conversation in the UK there is a list of 10 microplastics to avoid if we want to save the oceans including tyres, synthetic clothing, cigarette butts, tennis balls, and lots more!


6. Continuing the ocean theme, you might want to check out 4Ocean.com – they began with two surfy guys who were concerned about the amount of waste in the ocean and the beaches. Their idea is to employ ‘sea captains’ to ‘fish’ the rubbish out of the ocean. It seems to be working! So far they have removed 270,414 pounds of trash from the ocean! And you can buy a cool bracelet for $20AUD and it will help them do their ocean clean ups.


7. The World Justice Project releases the Rule of Law Index each year. It measures how well 113 countries adhere to the rule of law across 8 separate areas including absence of corruption, fundamental rights, order and security, civil justice, etc. The 2018 Rule of Law Index reports that fundamental human rights have diminished in nearly two-thirds of the 113 countries surveyed. Venezuela comes in at 113th out of 113 and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway and Finland take out the first three places. Australia sits in 10th place. If you’re interested in a summary of the trends you can check out this overview in The Guardian.


8. If you’re looking for some entertaining cinema this weekend you might want to check out ‘Sweet Country’ – considered to be both an Australian classic and a milestone for Indigenous cinema.


9. Rural Australians for Refugees was established in 2001 in rural New South Wales. They are a “grassroots movement striving to return compassion and humanity to Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers”. They have a very cool 10 point plan that includes attention to the national, regional and global actions. They also have a section on their web page about what others in rural communities can do to change the treatment of refugees in Australia. And check out the latest from the Bendigo RAR group and their plans to make a real difference in their community.


10. This week we leave you with the Australian Photographer of the Year award winners’ photos. There are some spectacular and very moving photos in this collection.


Thanks for your company. See you next week.