Why on earth is climate change a gender issue?

Women experience climate change differently than men. Why? Two reasons. First, in general, women have less agency, fewer economic resources within their control, more responsibility for the care of young children and the elderly, and much greater vulnerability to dislocation. Men are significantly more likely to be the short-term financial beneficiaries of the status quo. Throughout the global south, women are more responsible for water, fuel (especially firewood), and food production. All three of these are exceedingly, and immediately,  affected by climate change.¹ Second, in general, climate change is understood and interpreted differently by men and women. This is dramatically…

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Go Togo RPCVs!

Togo - a tiny country in West Africa - doesn't make it into Western news very often, but it's getting some good press today thanks to fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Jenny Schechter and Kevin Fiori. They are the recipients of the 2016 Sargeant Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service in recognition of their work founding Hope Through Health (HTH) a non-profit dedicated to improving health care in underserved northern Togo. Since 2004 Hope Through Health has focused on expanding health care for the community living with HIV/AIDS. Recently, much needed Maternal and Child Health services have been added to their work. The work of HTH is…

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The Last Taboo? Take the Health Quiz

What's this condition? 10 questions to test your health knowledge Every day approximately 300 million people worldwide are affected by this physical condition. It is estimated that approximately half the global population will be struck at some point in their lives. In much of the world, sufferers experience significant stigma and are often humiliated and shunned. It is not communicable. It is genetic, though there is no routine testing. Unlike leprosy (Hansen’s Disease), another disease leading to cruel social stigma, there is no cure for this condition. With guidance, symptoms can be managed to significantly lessen the pain. Many of those…

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Ebola and My Dog’s Toenails

There's a connection. I have been interested in Ebola for years - first in 2007 when an outbreak hit the Congo (DRC); shortly thereafter when there were cases in Uganda; then again when it re-appeared in DRC. The stories were undoubtedly fear-inspiring: a virus of unknown origin, with no known treatment or cure, which appeared to almost dissolve the cells leaving those infected bleeding from every orifice, vomiting, overtaken by diarrhea. Virtually everyone was dead within days.  This is not a pretty picture, even by the standards of those used to malaria, schistosomiasis, untreated HIV/AIDS, and chronic civil war. It's…

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