7 October 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

7 October 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.


In this week’s Top 10 we check out Saudi Arabia, International Peace Day, great Indigenous women, Anh Do and much more!


1. It’s good news from Saudi Arabia where women are finally allowed to drive a car! And as Amnesty International points out, it is a long overdue step forward and a testament to the women activists who have been campaigning for these changes for so long.


2. If you’re interested in the differences between legally married couples and de facto couples in Australia, as we continue this torturous debate about gay marriage, Amnesty International has the lowdown on what you need to know.


3. September 21 was International Peace Day and this interesting article from The Conversation looks at the ways in which music has been used as a force for peace (with a great Peace Day Playlist attached!) but also the ways in which music has been used to divide and fan conflict.


4. And while we’re on the music theme, check out these amazing ‘living room gigs’ – on one day in 200 cities around the world, over 300 gigs featuring over 1,000 musicians (including Ed Sheeran, Megan Washington, Rudimental, The Jezabels and many more) – all raising money for the Give a Home Movement through Amnesty International and World Refugee Day.


5. It’s great news for transgender people in Botswana with a recent ruling that a transgender man is allowed to hold official documents reflecting his gender identity.


6. A group of powerful Indigenous women is travelling to Western Australia to participate in the region’s first Straight Talk event where they will learn community activism skills. Watch out world!


7. It’s a sad time for human rights in Myanmar – not just because of the genocide of Rohingya Muslims but also because a once inspirational leader, Aung San Suu Kyi has failed to stand up against these human rights abuses. As a result, she is being stripped of her Freedom of the City honour from Oxford where she studied as an undergraduate.


8. It’s a heartening experience to read about the journey that Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest has been on and the way his life has changed after meeting a young girl who was sold into sexual slavery. This story shows again how our emotional connection to suffering can bring about changes in our behaviour – all of which can, and will, change the world.


9. Earlier this year the Secretary General of the United Nations released a report on Conflict Related Sexual Violence. “Sexual violence is a brutal form of physical and psychological warfare rooted the gender inequality extant not only in zones of conflict, but in our everyday personal lives. The persistence of such forms of violence undermines peace and security and shatters community and family ties. The prevention of sexual violence must remain one of our highest priorities”.


10. Congrats to Anh Do for winning the people’s choice award at the Archibald Prize for his amazing portrait of Indigenous activist Jack Charles. Anh is a well known comedian and author but only starting painting four years ago after doing a TAFE course in painting!


Great to have your company this week.