The origins of Meer-e-Karwan can be traced back to a rainy evening in 2017, over a cup of chai, in a small tea house of Oxford. Disillusioned and saddened by the lack of adequate awareness, meaningful discussions and often, the dismissal of the voices of marginalised groups – a group of friends decided to create a social platform to combat this and provide a platform to teach, learn and engage with individuals and communities. A pledge was made. No topic will remain taboo and no voice will be quietened.
The phrase meer-e-karwan in Urdu alludes to a leader of a procession, a tribe of likeminded individuals, who set about a journey with a common goal. No matter where you are in your journey and what your goal is, we invite you to join the karwan.
Women’s Day is a reminder for us to look at how the world is shaping around us in this day and age. Pakistan’s average CO2 emissions is 1.05 tonnes per capita compared to the global average of 4.82 tonnes per capita. Regardless of our contribution to global greenhouse (GHG) emissions, we have been declared the 5th country most vulnerable to the impacts of Climate change. Roughly half of the workforce in agriculture comprises of women and they have a major role to play in food security. Women therefore, have a significant role to play in adapting sustainably to the impacts of climate change.
The first World Women’s Congress (8-12 November 1991) for a Healthy Planet in Miami, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) brought together more than 1,500 women from 83 countries to work jointly on a strategy for UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). If the peasant women from India could stop cutting of trees and commercial activity under the Chipko Movement in the 1970s, the more informed and more educated women have even bigger responsibilities in saving the planet, especially in this age of information and technology. Despite all the efforts, the women’s agenda 21 was not very inclusive and the following year, UNCED’s agenda 21 did not include many points from the said agenda. However, this still was a very positive step towards making women a part of the process.
It is well established that women are severely affected by climate change and natural disasters and this impact is created by the prevailing inequality in the society, on top of poverty, discrimination and patriarchy i.e. the inequitable social and cultural norms. It is therefore that we need an ecological accounting system, capable of tracking and promoting climate just economic practices at every level, from local to global and is also inclusive of all intersections of society. This then brings the focus on the concept of globalisation and capitalism. By creating the concept that world is homogenous and economic globalisation is achievable, cultures and identities are being destroyed. The capability of small scale local businesses and their capability of being climate just is being undermined. This also indirectly affects women as most women run very local and small scale businesses. Due to their limited resources they either become prey to bigger business and get very little pay for the work they do or never really reach the consumers that would value their work. The corporate world has in fact jeopardised small and sustainable businesses in general and small and sustainable women businesses in particular.
The corporate world has colonised everything from TV, education and education systems, supporting women initiative, becoming green, universalising consumer and commercialising youth etc. They are involved in all sectors from food to water, food and energy to biotechnology and so on. The degree of injustice is remarkable as Michael Jordan was paid $20 million for promoting NIKE shoes, which is far greater than the total annual payroll of all the employees in the Indonesian factories that make the shoes (5 cents/hour). Women often stand at the centre of these injustices and their voice therefore matters.
The corporates need to understand that their mandatory corporate social money initiatives are not representative of the environmental damage they pose on the planet. As biggest polluters their responsibilities go way beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR). Women can raise their voice in endorsing the concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR) instead, where the producer is responsible for the extended life of their product.
More and more women need to come in businesses, and key decision making positions especially at a national and international level so that their sensitive approach can make the planet sustainable and also sensitise people around them.
This book is written by M. Nazif Shahrani, who is a professor at Indiana University, Bloomington and teaches in the Anthropology Department, Central Eurasian studies, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. He did his Ph.D. from University of Washington, Seattle, WA in 1976.
The book majorly focuses on the Kirghiz (a small nomadic community) and their cultural and ecological adaptations and compares it to that of their agriculturalist neighbours, the Wakhi – The Wakhi are a small distinctive linguistic and cultural group who are also adherent of an Ismaili sect of unorthodox Islam. As a minority subjected to continuous political pressure and persecution in western and central Asia by pre-dominantly Sunni majority. As a result, they are found to occupy the most remote lands of Hindu Kush Pamir mountain range-. These communities lived in one of the remotest corners of northeast Afghanistan- The Wakhan Corridor and the Afghan Pamir. The book talks about not how, but why they came to inhabit this extremely marginal environment. He goes on to discuss the dynamics of cultural ecological adaptations to the physical environment. He tries to recount the communities’ troubled social, economic and political relationships.
As a Wakhi from Northern Pakistan I was interested more in the information relevant to the Wakhis and I have therefore, summarised the key information that I received from the book for people who will not find enough time to read this book. It will also help me make a comparison between the similarities and differences among Wakhis from Just across the border. Like the Wakhis in Pakistan, the Wakhi in Pamir are also Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, known as Ismailis in many parts of the world because they followed (Imam) Ismail as their 6thspiritual leader compared to those of Shias who followed (Imam) Musa Kazim and are known as Shia asnasri (twelever Shia).
Basic organising principle of the network of social relations in Wakhi society is agnatic descent and kinship. The Wakhi do not claim to have a common ancestor for all the members their society. They acknowledge six different agnatic decent categories that recognise separate and distinct ancestral ties with minor exceptions. Each of them is assigned and referred to by a distinctive title commonly used throughout the society. These Wakhi groups are listed here;
The group claims direct descent from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and consists of only four families residing in four separate villages. They keep close contact with other families and groups claiming similar blood ties with the Prophet outside Wakhan. In the Wakhan the total membership in this group does not exceed seventy individuals.
Five families, all living in the same hamlet, acknowledge descent from Sayyed Surab Aowleya who is also claimed to be related to the Prophet. This claim is however rejected by the descent of Abu Bakri.
The senior leading male members of both the Sayyed and Khuja groups are addressed by the same honorific title, shah (literally meaning Monarch/king).
The descendants of former Wakhi Mirs or chieftains and feudal lords (rulers of the territory). They claim descent from Alexander the great. There are between 20-30 people from this group.
These are the descendants of those male members of Mir agnatic, who broke the prescribed rule of endogamy and married women of kheek (commoner) group and lost the membership of the family. Upto 15 Sha’ana people were present in Wakhan.
About 70 individuals claim descent from the courtiers of the former Mirs. Their common ancestor is believed to have been a man from Khyber who had joined the service of one of the Mirs, and later married his daughter.
These are the remainder of Wakhi society, the largest but the lowest ranking group- the Wakhi commoners. They have unknown but common descent.
Kheek however, has two meaning one a reference to that of commoner Wakhi or for all Wakhis to distinguish themselves from the Kirghiz.
The social structural dichotomy in Wakhi society is explained by cultural notion of quality of blood. So, the first three (Sayyed, Khuja, Sha’ana) are considered to be pure while the rest are called ghareeb (poor).
Another division is as Peer (leader) and Mereed (follower). Sayyeds and Khujas are peer while Mir, Khyberi, Sha’ana, and Kheek are all Mereeds. The peer is also called Shah. Khalifa is a representative of peer. Mereed is expected to allocate a certain amount of personal labour to shah, the Khalifa collects it. This theocratic hierarchy is presented in Figure 3.
The room is rectangular with high clay platforms built around all sides. The highest platform is located opposite the entrance, and it contains the family hearth. The platform is used for cooking and as work area for women. Other platforms about 50cm high are partitioned by mud walls (used as sleeping areas) the rea close to main hearth is elevated and contains fire pit in addition to ash pit.
A skylight above the hearth furnishes the room with day light. The entrance to the main room is never directly exposed and has a maze-like passage instead as shown in Figure 5. Wood is very scarce, so they rely on cow dung as their fuel for the hearth. The major tasks of a household include agriculture, livestock, domestic chores, clothing etc. the soil is thin porous and sandy with very poor yield that makes survival even harder for these people. Marriages are costly and economic strain.
Major Livestock: gadek, turki, dwarf native breed, cattle, yaks, donkeys and horses
Favourite drink: Several gallons of Shur chai (salty tea) are consumed by most wakhi households every day.
The use of tea started in earlier times as a luxury but has now but has now reached the point of addiction for most people throughout the area
Staple: Bread made of a milled mixture of barley, lupin, lentil, and millet, ash-i-baqla (a gruel made of milled horsebeans) are commonly used
Wheat and barley and particularly wheat has become Wakhi cash crop
Territorial loss for Kirghiz:
Prior to the closure of the Chinese and Russian border (1949), the Kirghiz were familiar with Wakhi peasants of the corridor, and on occasion visited the area in the service of traders. They didn’t initiate socioeconomic relation because
Wakhi villages were about the same distance from Afghan Pamirs as the nearest settlements in Sinkiang (China).
The Wakhi were radically different linguistic, cultural and religious sectarian group from the kirghiz and the Turkic people of central Asia
After 1949 it was not possible for the Kirghiz to move more south to the northern top of British Indian empire (Hunza, Gilgit, Chitral) due to difficult passage over Hindu Kush.
The only alternate was to seek only pasturage in wakhan corridor with Afghanistan. Wakhi owned most of the pasturages. In recent years however, the Kirghiz are owning more of those because of more livestock.
Kirghiz borrowed grains from Wakhi
Being relatively poor Wakhi seek summer work or permanent herding jobs from kirghiz and have therefore settled in kirghiz regions and the entire household works for Kirghiz
Their poverty is reflected by the fact that some Wakhi (badakhshani) come to Pamir solely for seeking Alms and donation
Because of the closure of the post/ border, the wakhi have suffered more as compared to the kirghiz.
The wakhi people have been accused several times for their opium use and there need to come to kirghiz area for opium
Wakhi is an endangered language and very little Wakhi scripture is available. The significance of keeping the knowledge in writing has now been realised as the orally transferred language is losing its usage in everyday lives of Wakhi around the globe. As a student of science there is very little I can do for this, so I am trying to find the literature on Wakhi language and its speakers, to share it with the rest of us. This book was an interesting read. While the Wakhi in north Pakistan are very similar to the Wakhi in wakhan in their agricultural practices, they live in more settled and self-sufficient communities compared to that of Wakhi in Wakhan. The current boom in education has improved the socio-economic and political standing of Wakhi in the region in all walks of life. However, the same can not be said for the wakhi of Ishkoman (sh’qaman), settled in the Ghizer district of GB.
The author because of his Kirghiz roots describes the Kirghiz with much more respect than those of Wakhi. For example, he will call the Kirghiz livestock owners, pastorals while the Wakhi as ‘peasants’. That however might be the true reflection of exactly how they are treated by their Kirghiz neighbours.
The home style, consumption of salty tea and having a khalifa and arbob were all a common practice in the Wakhi of Pakistan but they are now evolving with time. Despite many commonalties the sayyed, shaana and khuja are names inexistent in the Wakhi of North Pakistan.
In 2012, Kohistan video scandal led to the murder of five women on the orders of a Jirga guided by 12 elders. The surfaced viral video displayed two men dancing on a local tune and five women clapping for them. The video of this private event from a wedding was leaked and the honour of the family of the women was attacked. Thus, they murdered all the participants of the video, including the two men. The suspects denied the allegation and the women that were presented before the commission (set by the supreme court for interrogation) were misidentified. This bitter story does not end here. Afzal Kohistani, brother to the two boys dancing in the video has recently been shot as well. Three of his brothers were already dead post the video leak due to condemnation by the Jirga for organising a mixed gathering of two different tribes as well as gender. This isn’t the first story of honour killing in the tribal areas of Pakistan and unfortunately it will not be the last. Afzal, wanted justice for the lives lost and in the quest lost his own life as well i.e. death for demanding justice.
As I was reading the story of how some imposters were presented before the court by the suspects, I wondered if the video had not gone viral, the court will have to accept the proof with testimonies. Just the thought of it sent chills down my spine. Such cases don’t get reported most of the times but if they did, they could have gotten away with it with either a fake evidence or also killing anyone demanding justice. Murder of a human being, a step clearly condemned by the religion is openly done in places like Kohistan. In fact, Afzal Kohistani was murdered in the Bazaar of a big city, Abbottabad of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Who will fight for justice now that Afzal is also dead. Very often there aren’t many set of rules, laws or guidelines for the law regulating agencies and many cases reach either the supreme court after failing to serve justice locally or are abandoned because no one follows up with case. I am not saying that we don’t have any regulations at all. The very constitution of Pakistan ensures equality and women participation in all spheres of life. National regulations have been developed on; dowry and bridal gifts (1976), acid control and acid crime prevention act (2011), prevention of anti-women practice act (2011), criminal law-rapes and honour- (2016), protection of women act (2004), electronic crimes and forced marriages act (2017), Pakistan Penal code –penalties to ensure safety in the streets, events and public places- (1860), protection against harassment of women at workplace act (2010). The 18th Amendment has also given provinces the responsibility for legislation regarding women’s rights which has led Punjab assembly to pass many bills such as protection of women against violence bill in 2015. The most relevant to the story quoted in the beginning of the essay is probably the Electronic crimes ordinance, ETO (2002), and prevention of electronic crimes act, PECA (2016). Both these laws have been used to address online harassment. Putting content related to an individual online without their consent has been addressed. One of the reasons behind the death of the young ladies in the video was its availability online without their knowledge or consent. There hasn’t been any update on the case after the death of Afzal. By highlighting this one event and segment of our society I wanted to highlight the overall issues in the system, It is not my intention to prove that this happens to all the women in Pakistan. Many societies are evolving as the women in the societies evolve and women have found their voices and spaces but it does not mean that we can forget the under privileged and marginalised women of this society.
Online content in Pakistan can be sensitive as women have and are facing issues of privacy breach and misuse of contents on their virtual profiles. But even if they were an online celebrity the content they put online can backfire against them. The discussion on this topic will be incomplete if we do not mention the late Qandeel Baloch. She was murdered by her own brother in 2016, all in the name of honour. She had put content online that most people in Pakistan hated but also loved to watch and share. What happened with Qandeel is a demonstration of hypocrisy faced by many women in Pakistan.
Thinking on the same lines, during my five years stay in the UK, except for a few insurance scams calls I never got any random phone call from a stranger, despite sharing my number at various platforms. Two days after I bought a sim card in Pakistan, I started receiving phone calls from strangers requesting on the text to talk to them. The frequency of the calls makes life very difficult and stressful. I blocked the number and Its now nine months past my return to homeland and blocking numbers has become a part of my regular telecom routine.
Receiving messages from strangers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is a norm but getting a “Hi, how are you, what are you doing these days, what is your number?” sort of messages on linkedIn as well, can only happen in Pakistan. I am yet to understand why men of all age, size and shape would do that to a woman on a network dedicated strictly for professional use. If this is how they reach women online, I can only imagine how they treat women in their work places. I also hope that the safety of women within their reach is not at stake.
In terms of cyber bullying there is also a whole lot of honour brigade online, who have taken it upon themselves to create accounts on social media, follow female actors and comment on their character and slut shame them all the time. I don’t know how the actors deal with that scale of toxicity, toxic masculinity and religious scare mongery on a virtual space that belongs to them. I hope that just because they receive so much love from their fans, they do not neglect the hatefulness on their timelines and encourage people to spread love and be less judgmental. I say this because once one of our actors was seen smoking abroad and faced massive backlash for her dress selection and smoking and thus threatening our culture and faith. The actor chose to remain silent on it and I had respected that decision of hers. All until she said in an interview ‘Hardtalk’ to be precise, that she gets a lot of love from her fans and she understands that why they were upset. Unfortunately, the amount of love received does not justify the level of hate displayed.
Right now we need men and women from all walks of life to stand up, speak up and carry smaller and bigger debates pertaining to the issues related to women at home and workplace.
Being bullied for my weight is the earliest memory I have of school. Being told that “you’re a fat tub of lard…” is my strongest memory of an interaction with a trusted relative from my formative years. Throughout my school years I hid in classrooms and libraries so I could avoid the verbal, sometimes physical hostility, from some of my peers. I was weak for I had not known what strength was. I was not empowered for I could not find my voice. I was lost for solutions because I hid what hurt me day in and day out.
So – when a little while ago I made a Meer Monday promise of writing something about body image, I had naturally considered the trajectory of childhood obesity, associated playground bullying and the challenges of social exclusion and discrimination manifesting into low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.
However, I am painfully reminded on a regular basis that the ridicule, bullying and victimisation has not ended on the concreted playgrounds of our educational institutions. It transgresses and follows us into our adult lives, work spaces, social spaces and worst of all, the havens that we call home and family.
So it stands to reason that we talk about all of that today. However, before we proceed, I would like to offer disclaimers. This extended monologue is NOT about the scientific reasons of obesity or indeed, any short-cut solutions. It is a narrative, which focuses on the effects of negative experiences pertaining to body image and societal reactions.
I have deviated from my usual clinical style of writing, which is succinct, factual and usually drawing upon statistics. Instead, there shall be an outpour of personal experience with the intentions of giving an insider’s view of what is wrong with and what needs to be focused upon in order to nurture a society, which can move beyond its stereotypes and prejudices.
I was at a wedding over the weekend and was reprimanded on an individual’s inability for “not recognising you…you have gained so much weight, how did you let yourself go?”, as well as being the comedic interval for some “Oh, so fat you have gotten, max lol” (then said individual proceeded to do a King Kong expression). The best ones are of course the aunties with the life changing advice of “Eat salads and go to the gym”. I could applaud such astute and gifted advice.
Some of them are even quite concerned about your life moving forward, “You know, if you don’t lose weight then you shall only get married to someone like you”. What? To a progressive liberal who has been emancipated through the culmination of his life experiences leading him to accept and love humanity based on the credentials of their personality, moral values and NOT their dress size? Thank you Aunty, I shall have one of them to go right now.
Not having a friend until college years challenged my concepts of healthy friendships and relationships. The longest running cognitive defect I have carried has been the lack of self-worth and believing that I do not deserve friends, do not deserve kindness and do not deserve love because of how I look. It was not until I was in Oxford that I found the most fundamental aspect of an individual’s social growth and progress – the facilitation of accepting of oneself wholly; recognition for the value of one’s existence and most importantly NOT being apologetic about it.
How did that come to be for me? I was lucky to find a group of friends who looked beyond physical appearances. They recognised me for what I had to offer regarding my values, ideologies and most importantly, the quality of friendship. They have fiercely challenged my biases against myself and reprimanded me against the unkindness I have shown myself.
The outcome of this is a thirty-one-year-old unmarried overweight brown female who values and believes in herself and her contribution to the lives of those individuals who are linked to her (oh, and she now has a tendency of owning the dance floor once she gets the moves going – thank you, Abhilasha).
The perceptive ones amongst you will have noted the references made to certain parameters of age, race and marital status. All of these are further examples of artefacts that have no real significance except being arbitrary descriptors, which are utilised to judge and draw an irrelevant correlation to the worth of an individual’s existence. Unfortunately, these artefacts will continue to plague individuals and their self-worth unless a conscious effort is made to alter this.
So where do we begin? Firstly, challenge yourself. Do you hold discriminatory values? Do you make jest of an individual’s personal features be it weight, appearance, mannerisms etc? Do you laugh at the fat jokes, black jokes, gay jokes, sexist jokes? Stop doing it and where appropriate (hint: appropriate at ALWAYS) make an apology for your decorum.
Secondly, identify bullying behaviour. Is this happening in your child’s school or playground? Is this happening in your home? Who is it happening to? How is this affecting them? Challenge such behaviour – do it with kindness but with assertiveness.
Thirdly, educate. I firmly believe that a moral education begins long before a child enters school, in the confines of their home and personal environment. Teach them about acceptance, kindness and eradicate archaic social concepts of what a right and wrong body should look like. Show them how to empower those who are broken and vulnerable. Enable them to create spaces of fairness and justice, where bullies are challenged.
Fourthly, challenge institutions. Schools, colleges and universities are sacred intellectual spaces. Their responsibility does not stop once the examination papers have been handed in. They are a key component in shaping the environment where individuals grow, develop their sense of personality and find their social standing. Arguably it therefore becomes our duty to ensure our intellectual spaces facilitate anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies. Expect these institutions, which have a moral and legal obligation to safeguard our children, to gather information of the social practices within their grounds and inform us about the experiences of our youth. Only then we can collectively attempt to make individual experiences better and not lead people down paths of doubt, low self esteem and broken morale.
‘Say no to plastic because a plastic bag takes 200-1000 years to degrade’ each time I say this in my anti plastic campaign, I wonder what has the humble plastic got to do with all this? It has only been around to help us, completely misused by us. Plastic is not the monster. We are the monsters. There is a plastic monster in each and every one of us that needs to be exorcized. Thus, as a part of our campaign against single use plastic and in celebration of plastic free July, I decided to write a series of blogs for awareness and education on plastic so that it can be refused. This is a basic scientific article on plastic and what all of us should know about it. The blogs to follow will recommend future steps and ways to avoid them. So, here we go!
The first synthetic plastic called celluloid was plant based, made from cellulose. In 1869, John Wesley Hyatt used cellulose nitrate as a substitute for ivory. Celluloid found its use in photographic films, buttons, combs, eye frames etc. Other naturally occurring substance such as horns of animals, shellac, gutta-percha were also used as plastic material.
John Rex Whinfield invented a new polymer in 1941 when he condensed ethylene glycol with terephthalic acid. The condensate was polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE).
It was in 1951, that two chemists at Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville discovered polypropylene and polyethylene and revolutionised the world of plastic as we know it today. This great discovery although inexpensive has cost a great deal to our environments as the environment has evolved to deal with this discovery. It has therefore resulted in a large amount of solid waste dominated by plastic that will take thousands of years to degrade. The road from petroleum to plastic is as follows:
Petroleum drilling –> Crude oil and natural gas refining to petrochemicals, fuel, ethane and propane etc –> Ethane and propane are cracked into ethylene and propylene at high temperature –> Catalysts are combined with them to form fluff (polymer) –> Fluff is combined with additives –> Polymer is melted in an extruder –> Melted plastic is turned into small pellets by a pelletizer –> Pellets are shipped and converted into desired products using various processes (see Annexe I for the processes)
Nearly all the plastic around us is now synthetic and made from polymers, as presented already. There are different types of plastics (Figure 2)
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE)
PET has good gas and moisture barrier, high heat resistance, is clear, hard, tough and solvent resistant, Items made from PET are mostly recycled.PET(E) plastic is used to make many common household items like mineral water, beverage bottles, medicine jars, rope, clothing and carpet fibre etc
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE has Excellent moisture barrier properties, excellent chemical resistance, hard to semi-flexible and strong Soft waxy surface, permeable to gas, HDPE films crinkle to the touch ,pigmented bottles and stress resistant. High-Density Polyethylene products are very safe and are not known to transmit any chemicals into foods or drinks. HDPE products are commonly recycled. Items made from this plastic include containers for milk, motor oil, shampoos and conditioners, soap bottles, detergents, toys, buckets, rigid pipes, plant pots, plastic furnitures and bleaches. It is NEVER safe to reuse an HDPE bottle as a food or drink container if it didn’t originally contain food or drink.
PVC has excellent transparency, is hard, rigid (flexible when plasticised), has good chemical resistance, long term stability, good weathering ability, stable electrical properties, low gas permeability. Polyvinyl Chloride is sometimes recycled. PVC is used for all kinds of pipes and tiles, but is most commonly found in plumbing pipes. Credit cards, carpet backing and other floor covering, window and door frame and synthetic leather products. This kind of plastic should not come in contact with food items as it can be harmful if ingested.
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE is tough hand flexible, waxy surface, soft – scratches easily, good transparency, low melting point, stable electrical properties, good moisture barrier properties. Low-Density Polyethylene is sometimes recycled. It tends to be both durable and flexible. Items such as cling-film, sandwich bags, squeezable bottles, irrigation pipes, thick shopping bags, wire and cable application, and plastic grocery bags are made from LDPE.
PP has excellent chemical resistance, high melting point, hard but flexible, waxy surface, translucent, strong. Polypropylene is occasionally recycled. PP is strong and can usually withstand higher temperatures. It is used to make lunch boxes, margarine containers, ketchup and syrup bottles, potato crisp bags, biscuit wrappers, drinking straws, hinged lunch boxes, yogurt pots, syrup bottles, prescription bottles. Plastic bottle caps are often made from PP.
PS has clear to opaque glassy surface rigid or foamed hard, brittle, high clarity, affected by fats and solvents. Polystyrene is commonly recycled, but is difficult to do. Items such as disposable coffee cups, plastic food boxes, plastic cutlery, egg boxes, coat hangers, fast food trays, and packing foam are made from PS.
There are other polymers that have a wide range of uses, particularly in engineering sectors. They are identified with the number 7 and OTHER (or a triangle with numbers from 7 to 19). e.g. Nylon (PA), Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), Polycarbonate (PC), Layered or multi-material mixed polymer.
Code 7 is used to designate miscellaneous types of plastic not defined by the other six codes. Polycarbonate and Polylactideare included in this category. These types of plastics are difficult to recycle. Polycarbonate (PC) is used in baby bottles, compact discs, and medical storage containers.
note: A number of additives are added to plastic and they include colorants, foaming agents, antioxidant, lubricants, flame retardants, anti microbials, plastisizers, etc to achieve the desired quality in the final products
The more you learn about plastic the more complicated it gets but perhaps to unlearn our plastic use habit we need to know all of this..
Talk to you soon
Meanwhile refuse all plastic you can
and don’t forget to spread love and not plastic pollution
Injection Molding: The plastic compound, heated to a semifluid state, is squirted into a mold under great pressure and hardens quickly. The mold then opens and the part is released. Suited for mass production such as bottle caps and toys etc
Extrusion Molding: Most widely used. A heated plastic compound is forced continuously through a forming die made in the desired shape (like squeezing toothpaste from a tube, it produces a long, usually narrow, continuous product). The formed plastic cools under blown air or in a water bath and hardens on a moving belt. Rods, tubes, pipes, and sheet and thin film (such as food wraps) are extruded then coiled or cut to desired lengths.
Blow Molding: pressure is used to form hollow objects, such as the soda pop bottle or two-gallon milk bottle, in a direct or indirect method. In the direct blow-molding method, a partially shaped, heated plastic form is inserted into a mold. Air is blown into the form, forcing it to expand to the shape of the mold. In the indirect method, a plastic sheet or special shape is heated then clamped between a die and a cover. Air is forced between the plastic and the cover and presses the material into the shape of the die.
Huma, our fellow Meer asked me one day how much into sustainable development goals was I and if, I will be able to write and introductory post on SDGs to which I instantly agreed. Partly because everyone should know it and partly because there is suddenly so much more activism in this world that lacks knowledge.
Here are a few things you need to know before I speak about SDGs.
Report of The World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future
In 1983, the United Nations Secretary-General invited Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland to chair this commission.
The Brundtland Commission delivered its report on Our Common Future in 1987.
The concept of ‘sustainable development’ was launched.
It led to the first Earth Summit – the UN Conference on Environment and Development – at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and to the formulation of Agenda 21.
Our common future was a report with a tagline ‘From one earth to one world’ had three parts
Part I- Common Concerns
Part II- Common Challenges
Part III- Common Endeavors
The report alerted the world to the urgency of making progress toward economic development that could be sustained without depleting natural resources or harming the environment.
Chapters distribution is as follows
Chapter 1: A Threatened Future Chapter 2: Towards Sustainable Development Chapter 3: The Role of the International Economy Chapter 4: Population and Human Resources Chapter 5: Food Security: Sustaining the Potential Chapter 6: Species and Ecosystems: Resources for Development Chapter 7: Energy: Choices for Environment and Development Chapter 8: Industry: Producing More with Less Chapter 9: The Urban Challenge Chapter 10: Managing the Commons Chapter 11: Peace, Security, Development, and the Environment
The report also Defined sustainable development as
“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
It Led to the production of Agenda 21- An action plan of the UN with regard to sustainable development, actions to be taken globally, nationally and locally, in order to make life on earth sustainbale-.
It aimed to discuss the environment and development as a single issue.
It highlighted three fundamental components of sustainable development
The Brundtland Report was primarily concerned with securing a global equity, redistributing resources towards poorer nations whilst encouraging their economic growth. The report also suggested that equity, growth and environmental maintenance are simultaneously possible and that each country is capable of achieving its full economic potential whilst at the same time enhancing its resource base. The report also recognized that achieving this equity and sustainable growth would require technological and social change.
The report highlighted three fundamental components to sustainable development: environmental protection, economic growth and social equity. The environment should be conserved and our resource base enhanced, by gradually changing the ways in which we develop and use technologies. Developing nations must be allowed to meet their basic needs of employment, food, energy, water and sanitation. If this is to be done in a sustainable manner, then there is a definite need for a sustainable level of population. Economic growth should be revived and developing nations should be allowed a growth of equal quality to the developed nations.
Figure 1: fundamental components of Sustainable development
Figure 1 can be elaborated using figure 2.
Figure 2: Fundamental components of SD-detailed
The agenda 21 was basically superseded by agenda 2030. A set of goals to be met by 2030.
In 2015, countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2016, the Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force, addressing the need to limit the rise of global temperatures.
The new agenda
17 goals and 169 associated targets that came into effect on 1st January 2016 to guide the decisions in the next 15 years.
Means of Implementation
The world will be a better place in 2030 if we succeed in our objectives.
This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.
The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet:
Figure 3: The 5P’s of Sustainable development
The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet:
We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.
We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.
We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.
We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focussed in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.
The interlinkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realised. If we realize our ambitions across the full extent of the Agenda, the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better.
(we: the people of this planet)
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions 1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters 1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions 1.b Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round 2.2 By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons 2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment 2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality 2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed 2.a Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries 2.b Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round 2.c Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births 3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births 3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases 3.4 By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being 3.5 Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol 3.6 By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents 3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes 3.8 Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all 3.9 By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination 3.a Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate 3.b Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all 3.c Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States 3.d Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes 4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education 4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university 4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship 4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations 4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy 4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development 4.a Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all 4.b By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries 4.c By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere 5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation 5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life 5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences 5.a Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws 5.b Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women 5.c Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all 6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations 6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity 6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate 6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes 6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies 6.b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services 7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix 7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency 7.a By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology 7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries 8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors 8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services 8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value 8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training 8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms 8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment 8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products 8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all 8.a Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries 8.b By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all 9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries 9.3 Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities 9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending 9.a Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 9.b Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities 9.c Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
10.1 By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status 10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard 10.4 Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality 10.5 Improve the regulation and monitoring of global financial markets and institutions and strengthen the implementation of such regulations 10.6 Ensure enhanced representation and voice for developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions 10.7 Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies 10.a Implement the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements 10.b Encourage official development assistance and financial flows, including foreign direct investment, to States where the need is greatest, in particular least developed countries, African countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their national plans and programmes 10.c By 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries 11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage 11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations 11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management 11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities 11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning 11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels 11.c Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
12.1 Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources 12.3 By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment 12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse 12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle 12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities 12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature 12.a Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production 12.b Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products 12.c Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning 13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning 13.a Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible 13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities
* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution 14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans 14.3 Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels 14.4 By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics 14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information 14.6 By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation 14.7 By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism 14.a Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries 14.b Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets 14.c Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally 15.3 By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world 15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development 15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species 15.6 Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed 15.7 Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products 15.8 By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species 15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts 15.a Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems 15.b Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation 15.c Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere 16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all 16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime 16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels 16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance 16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements 16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime 16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development.
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
17.1 Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection 17.2 Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries; ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries 17.3 Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources 17.4 Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress 17.5 Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries
17.6 Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism 17.7 Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed 17.8 Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology
17.9 Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation
17.10 Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda 17.11 Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020 17.12 Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access
Policy and institutional coherence
17.13 Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence 17.14 Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development 17.15 Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development
17.16 Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries 17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships
Data, monitoring and accountability
17.18 By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts 17.19 By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries
Note: Nearly all the content has been taken from the UN website
There is generally a random plot to every ad you see in Pakistan, but if they don’t have a plot; get a wedding set and let the bride and groom or their friends dance to it. Sometimes the ad takes you in a whole new direction while the product is left behind somewhere in the background. My cousin and I, often watch ads only to see what product will be displayed in the end and laugh it off.
Our nation as a whole needs education and awareness on many things and having a big fat desi wedding is not one of them. We have news channels constantly discussing the same political issues and dramas showing the same wedding and divorce problems which has become so unnecessary that even the screens shout “give me something with more substance #iamsick”.
One would think that our media might have better things to show but unfortunately they don’t bother much on awareness and focus on views, rating and budget. Now, who must we blame for that? The writers, directors, actors, producers, production houses, audience or the brands themselves who are keen on endorsing their products with celebrities who will never use it themselves. It’s amazing how many ads you see famous actors appear in. Take Mahira khan for example; Here are some of the ads she has done
You have probably understood already, that I am blaming it on the actors: who are very often educated, have exposure and may have long bills to pay but should be sensible enough to at times say no to a product for one reason or another.
Then there is the issue of objectification. Women who work in the fields and are taking care of their cows don’t wear full makeup, wear designer clothes and pose that happily with their cows as does Armeena Khan a British Pakistani actor for a dairy product, nor do we follow men for the fragrances they wear, as does Meera Sethi a foreign educated actor, equally those of us who cook for big families don’t dance in the kitchen for how amazing our cooking oil is as does Hania Amir another young Pakistani actor who is very vocal and bold. In reality we fight with one another for how much work one has done and why the other one should go to kitchen next.
The problem with feminism and many other movements in Pakistan is that our words and our actions are in conflict with each other, take the example of the three actors mentioned already and they are few of the many examples that I can quote.
Indian ads do come to the rescue at times and you can differentiate an Indian ad from a Pakistani one. By the way, I am not saying that all Pakistani ads are bad and there is no content at all but we are speaking about the mainstream channels and brands right now. Neither me or you will have the patience to look at local ads that often appear on cable operated channels…
I probably should have put more research into this but I didn’t think it was worth putting it in an area that lacks any research at all!!!!
One of my close friends who is a primary school teacher often shares innocent stories of her students as a part of our ‘how was the day?’ routine. A couple of weeks ago, she mentioned that one of the most intelligent students in her class has been missing school for a week and that he is suffering from anxiety and panic attacks! Yes, you read it right…. When parents looked for a reason, it did not take long and it was alarming. The 8 year old boy reluctantly revealed his fear of not stand first in the class this term and the poor soul was stressed over that he would not be able to fulfill his parents’ dream of becoming a doctor.
This is one of those overlooked incidences that are affecting the mental health of school going children. The pressure to be the best student in the class and to meet the expectations of parents is particularly seen in the smarter ones. We can see schools of every bread including government school, public schools, elite schools, and then deeni-dunyawi taleem hybrid schools. Keeping the financial toll aside, it is still quite a challenge for parents to choose which type of school they should send their kids to. And thanks to the craze of becoming doctor/engineer, young minds are being stuffed with the idea that success in life is associated with taking up a certain profession. In today’s blog, I want to probe what are the factors behind choosing a profession for your child;
Influential Standing in the Society:
So almost every Pakistani parent dreams that his child becomes a doctor. In fact, doctor here does not represent a profession but rather a symbolic professional who is intellectually superior, influential, and highly regarded by the society. So taking the above definition a little further we can include engineers, lawyers, financial analysts, and so on. The thing to which most of the parent are acting blind is that every child has his own talents and mind capacity. All they care about is getting appraisals from their social circle by presenting a ‘trophy child’.
Forcing them to study a subject against their free-will in which they are not interested may make them unsatisfied with their lives. I can recollect from childhood memories that many of my friends in school were eager to become a doctor but later could not get into the medical college and ended up becoming a house wives. I do not oppose here becoming a house wife if it is a choice but what I mean is that they lost their motivation so badly that they totally gave up their aspirations for a career.
This factor is considered more important for boys as they are supposed to take up major financial responsibilities. Having earned a degree in engineering, information technology, or accountancy degree implies getting handsome salaries in homeland as well as landing a job in a developed foreign country. This opens up the ventures for making more money and securing a lavish life style. This is the point where most of the personal aspirations and dreams lose the battle.
Finding the perfect match:
Doctor marrying another doctor is no wonder and it is almost true in all of the professions in question. This factor is more important for girls. According to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) record, 70% of the medical students are females whereas only 23% of registered doctors are females. It adds a considerable financial loss on the part of government funds spent on the subsidized medical education on each student and you can well imagine the number if more 50% of the current medical students choose to sit at home for the rest of their lives. It paints a disappointing picture that a medical degree for many girls is no more than winning a ‘hot ticket’ in match-making market. The dream of ‘doctor daughter-in-law’ has become an obsession among mothers looking for a decent wife for their sons. I will touch this topic in detail in a separate blog.
matters of fact, it all comes down to our fragile society with its roots
knitted in an unhealthy competition in every walk of life. The very similar
pressure is trickling down to shape up such a mind-set in young parents where
they essentially want their kids to be the best. It not only puts a delicate
mind into stress but the child is also more likely to feel isolated and lonely
as he feels the competition all the time with other children in the school and
even within the family. He might end up having no friends! This discussion
brings me to some questions which I would like to put out there for the
Why every child is expected to be the best in studies, sports, and extra-curricular. It is absolutely perfect to inspire and let them thrive to achieve the better and better in life but why standing first in exam or getting into a certain profession is a matter of life and death? We must realize that experiencing failures offer more lessons than successes. It is normal to fail sometimes; coping up with a failure is a learning too.
What could be the consequences if you as a parent just let your child choose who he wants to be? Let’s say if he wants to be an artist or a historian or a football player or any unconventional profession, what is wrong with it? In my sanity, career must be chosen, if not fully at least partially, out of personal interests and not from what everyone else expects of your child.
would leave the stage open with a plea to young parents who have school going
kids that please do not burden your children with unrealistic expectations. Schools
are not factories to produce future professionals only and you, as a parent,
are not here to turn your child into ‘trophy’. Let your child be a happy,
healthy, and free soul who could be a valuable addition to the society and
We really need to evaluate our own values!
(P.S: The content is meant to provoke a positive discussion. Apologies in advance if anyone finds it offensive. I personally do have many doctor friends, both male and female, and they are amazing people one could have in life. )
Sending a marriage proposal in Pakistan is like playing darts at home elsewhere.
Give it a go, if it works very well, after all it was meant to be…
If it doesn’t work, God forbid!! how could she ever say NO!!! (that characterless *************** -put as many stars as you can imagine-)
As one of my cousins had once asked me, “what is wrong with our boy?”. Now, why must I look for a fault in your boy to say no. I want to say no and it is my right to say no (FULL STOP). Who gives so many people the licence to ask me why I said no? especially when our beloved religion gives women the right to marry as well as other marital rights (see previous articles in the blog about marriage, dowry and divorce). But very often in such cases culture card is played to endorse oppression of baby girls.
Funnily enough, when a women wants to say yes to a proposal, no further discussion is allowed on the topic. On the other hand when she wants to say no, the whole family sits her down and schools her on how amazing the boy and the family is and what benefits the matrimony could bring for Indo-Pak relationship (quite literally!).
I wish I could write more about the art, science and philosophy of marriage proposals in Pakistan but this post is not meant for that. It is actually based on a true story, where a boy, who had harassed a little girl at a very young age, decades later sent her a proposal and was very cross at getting ‘NO’ for an answer. I hope that this can shake people to be mindful about staying away from silly and irresponsible behaviour at a younger age and being mature enough when they ask for a girls hand later in their lives.
I am not saying that men don’t have problems when it comes to relationships and proposals, but the scale at which young girls and women suffer in this regard is incomparable to those of our fellow brethren, so I am really sorry that I will completely ignore your problems in this case.
The story is as under
‘Once upon a time there was a young girl in a place that allowed her to be wild and free. Despite many a lectures from her mother on why she should not go to her friends place and why she must be accompanied with an elder when leaving home, she did what she liked, which was to play outside with the kids from her street and come back home hours later. One day she was walking in the street alone and she encountered her cousin who was only a year or two older than hers. He took advantage of the opportunity and touched her every now and then while walking with her. Her mouth dried up. No one had told her what to do, if she ever encountered a situation like this. She wanted to shout but couldn’t so she ended up dodging him, running away until she got to her door. The touching did not stop in the mean time. She went in, without making any noise and raised no further discussion on the topic. That boy and his face meant nothing to her. He deserved no emotion from her. Hate seemed too honourable for a little boy of his sort. That young cousin was dead, right there and right then for her.
Decades later, her mother called her to tell her that she has a proposal. when she took his name, her ears deafened for a while. Seconds later, she asked her mother to say no as soon as possible without any further explanation. Fortunately, her parents weren’t too keen on the boy either so she got away with this one. The boy and his mother were cross about this (ofcourse). She has forgotten her place and how dare she say no to one of the finest boys in the family.
She hadn’t forgotten her place. In reality He had forgotten his. How dare he send that proposal? did his mouth not burn with wildest of fire when he took her holy name with his filthy mouth? does he even remember what he had done to this girl or has he become holy and pious himself?
The biggest question,
Are women too emotional and worry too much about molestation and harassment while the accused man forgets it soon after committing it?
and, why must women forget such monsters? is there room for forgiveness in this case?
This doesn’t end here. This is a never ending problem of our society and we don’t really discuss it in organisations or at homes. Changing mindsets has become a must for our society and we have observed that education alone is not enough to change mindsets as the region that this lady is from claims to have highest literacy rate and an open mindset and so on…
P.s. I cried while writing this and I hope that it touches your hearts the way it has touched mine.
P.P.s. Momma dears..Please Raise careful daughters and respectful sons!
(This letter is a continuation of the previous one with a different addressee)
I hope that something, if not everything, is definitely going great in your life. Have you ever imagined someone for whom, at this very moment, nothing is going great in life? They are breathing the same air as you are. They may appear alright but may be going through low self-esteem and anxiety. They are around you; your college-mate 5 years back, the girl next doors, or your housemaid. Sometimes they cannot answer all of your questions about their life choices for some strange reasons. Who are they? The women for whom marital relationships have not worked out the way it have worked for the most of you. What are they afraid of? Your rejection! How could you possibly help? By NOT judging!
Let us assume that you were walking on a busy road. You met someone seeming reasonable on the road and soon you became kind of friends with them. After a while you started getting along quite well and you both decided to keep walking together for the rest of journey. On the way, you had to stop by for a moment on a shop and you decided to leave some of your stuff with your new friend. You returned quickly from the shop. Lo and Behold! Your friend ran away with your stuff. You have been deceived and robbed. What would you call it? An accident! Was it your fault? Not really! Or may be ‘Yes’ because you probably trusted the wrong person.
Dear Society, the person who has been robbed is ‘the divorced woman’, the robber is their ‘faulty life partner’, and the stuff robbed is ‘trust’. You are probably lucky enough not be robbed yet. I want to ask you what could possibly be the fault of the person who has been robbed. And come on! Have you never ever made a mistake in making friends?? What I’m trying to point out here is that you are no one to point a finger towards such a woman for whom you have no idea what she has been through. She is ‘a victim’ NOT ‘a suspected criminal’. She has been robbed of her self-worth. She needs acceptance, support, and respect.
I know you show respect to her suffering but do you treat them as you treat your own daughter or sister? You hunt ‘Mr. Perfect Right’ for them but a divorcee is pushed to settle with ‘Mr. Second-Hand’. Let’s go back to ‘why did the divorce happen?’ in the first place. To live with self-respect! People, you need to realize that if a divorcee had to ‘choose to suffer’, she would have not certainly won herself this title. If she has been brave enough to embrace this title, she does deserve ‘Mr. Perfect Right’ like your own girls.
I am ending this letter with a quote I read somewhere; it says
‘When you judge someone, it does not show who they are but it shows who you are’.