WITADA’s Weekly Top 10 – 4 April 2015

4 April 20154 April 2015
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 


In our Top 10 this week we cover a range of issues including some great new music, a new look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women as superheroes and much more. We hope you enjoy the read!


1. Gina Williams is an Australian singer-songwriter who has recently released her new album Kalyakoorl with her musical partner Guy Ghouse. The album features some beautiful songs all sung in Noongar (the language of the Indigenous people of south-western Australia). For an absolute delight on this Easter Saturday check out her songs –  BoordahWarangka, Wanjoo.


2. Amnesty International has just published a new report, Death Sentences and Executions 2014. The news is alarming with a 28% increase in those sentenced to death in 2014 compared to 2013. They also point out that actual figures are much higher given that many countries do not release this information due to restrictive state practices and / or political instability. For a summary of the report check out the AI page here.


3. If you haven’t had a chance to hear / read Tim Winton’s Palm Sunday speech, it is well worth a read. The Sydney Morning Herald has reproduced the speech in full here. It is a moving and poignant statement about our future and the direction that we might take – if we choose.


4. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been depicted in an easy to read / accessible comic for a new poster by Zen Pencils. You can order it (and some other pretty cool posters) on the Zen Pencil site.


5. Radio National Australia has reported that Sweden has introduced a gender neutral pronoun  into their vocabulary and it has now been included in the new Swedish dictionary. The term ‘hen’ will now join ‘han’ (he) and ‘hon’ (she) to describe someone who is either transgender or does not know their gender identity. It reminds me of the wonderful book by Marge Piercy, ‘Woman on the Edge of Time’ where in a slightly futuristic society, the term ‘per’ was used to replace ‘his’ ‘her’ ‘he’ ‘she’ etc. I suspect the Swedish commentator interviewed for this story is correct when she says that these developments reflect the progressive nature of Swedish society and a similar development is unlikely to be seen in Australia any time soon!


6. Earlier this week the Human Rights Commission launched the Supporting Young Children’s Rights – Statement of Intent (2015-2018). At the same time The Guardian published an interesting article on the link between brain development in children and levels of poverty.


7. There have been a few interesting articles this week about women’s issues and feminism.
Sweden’s feminist foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, has denounced the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia resulting in a considerable backlash.
The Guardian has a story about feminist superheroes and the increase in strong female characters in the ‘superhero’ genre!
And relatedly, children’s books are now featuring empowered women as their central characters – for example, Rad American Women A-Z teaches children the alphabet while also educating them about women in history.


8. We return again to eastern Ukraine where unexploded land mines have killed at least 109 children according to UNICEF. A mine risk education campaign has been launched in the worst affected areas and it is hoped that community awareness of the risks will prevent further injuries and deaths.


9. The Guardian has highlighted a story this week about the issues of overpopulation and overconsumption. The Global Population Speak Out has released a book, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot and some of the photos are highlighted in this story.


10. This week we leave you with a moving and inspirational TED talk by Boniface Mwangi, a Kenyan photographer and activist who stood up against corruption in his country – at first alone but not for long. He talks about the two most important days in our lives – the day we are born and the day we discover why. As he stood up to protest he realised that he was born to no longer be silent in the face of injustice. And he asks us all the question – do you know why you are born?


And a reminder for Australian readers, that the documentary that we featured a few weeks ago, India’s Daughter will be shown on Four Corners this Monday 6th April at 8.30pm on the ABC.


Thanks again for coming along to have a look at our Top 10 news, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. We would love to hear from you if you have some ideas or thoughts about the stories that we post each week. Check out our Facebook page and let us know what you think.
Hope to see you again next week.