It’s International Women’s Day

This year’s Theme: #PledgeforParity. “The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133. So how do we want to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016? We say by Pledging For Parity! Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.” (IWD

MSF Opens New Refugee Camp…in France. “The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), has so far built around 200 of 375 planned cabins at the Grande-Synthe site to house 2,500 people – based there in the hope of reaching Britain. Most of these migrants – mainly Kurds from Iraq – have been living for months in atrocious conditions in the boggy, rat-infested camp of Grande-Synthe. Among them are 60 women and 74 children.” (Telegraph

Huge US Bombing in Somalia…The United States has carried out an airstrike in Somalia, killing more than 150 fighters with the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab, following U.S. intelligence on preparations for a large-scale militant attack, the Pentagon said on Monday.The weekend strike using both manned and unmanned drone aircraft targeted al Shabaab’s “Raso” training camp, a facility about 120 miles north of the capital Mogadishu.”  (Reuters

Infographic of the day…”Women’s Rights to Land” pulls together data from FAO, ILO, OECD, and from studies around the world to show the systematic barriers women face with regard to land and inheritance rights. (LAndesa

Ignoble Quote of the Day…Jacob Zuma demonstrates why we need #PledgeforParity when the South African President tells a group of female journalists: “But when men compliment you innocently, you say it’s harassment…You will miss out on good men and marriage.” (Telegraph


Millions of Ethiopians, hit by the country’s worst drought in 50 years, need seeds to plant food crops and animal fodder during the current spring rains, the Food and Agricultural Organization said on Monday. (Reuters

Human Rights Watch is calling for the African Union to establish a court to try the most serious cases of abuses in South Sudan where it says both the army and rebels have committed serious violations. (VOA

Nigeria’s former chief of defense staff pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of alleged fraud, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving around $15.1 million. (Reuters

Indonesia defended on Monday its decision to allow Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, a suspected war criminal, into the country for a summit of Muslim nations. (AP



Dozens of militants stormed through a town in eastern Tunisia early Monday morning, attacking police and military posts and starting a firefight with security forces that left at least 53 people dead. (NYT

Russia’s defence ministry on Monday said it would open up its military facilities in Syria to international aid deliveries in a bid to bolster humanitarian assistance in the war-torn country. (AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday criticised the European Union for a four-month delay in disbursing a promised 3 billion euro fund for refugees agreed under a November deal. (AFP

A member of the main Syrian opposition council indicated on Monday it will go to talks that the United Nations aims to convene in Geneva, though another opposition official said they had yet to make a decision. (Reuters


Sri Lanka will receive a loan of $1.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund to boost foreign exchange reserves and avert a balance of payments problem, a government minister said on Monday. (Reuters

Indonesia’s anti-graft commission on Monday said government agencies have agreed on a plan to combat corruption in the forestry industry that costs the state billions of dollars in lost revenue and is behind fires that pollute Southeast Asia. (AP

The Philippines has approved a new set of rules on genetically modified organisms after a top court demanded an overhaul of previous regulations, providing relief to farmers and importers worried that any delay would spark a food crisis. (Reuters

Twelve people were killed in a coal mine accident in China, state media reported Monday, the latest incident in the country’s notoriously dangerous industry. (AFP

The Americas

Oregon officials this week will release test results on soil from neighborhoods near two Portland glass factories accused of spewing toxic metals into the air for years, a revelation that has led to a class-action suit and demands for more oversight.(Reuters

…and the rest

Three Syrian boys suffered electric shocks on Monday, with one seriously hurt, whilst playing atop a railway car at the Greek border camp of Idomeni, local police said. (AFP

Hungary plans to cut subsidies for refugees and radically reduce the space available in migrant detention centers in a move that a human rights body says is aimed at forcing refugees to leave the country. (Reuters

Thousands of refugees stranded on the Greek side of the border with Macedonia were anxiously awaiting news Monday from a European Union summit with Turkey that will seal their fate, as the chokehold on their route into Western Europe tightened. (AP

Extreme downpours are increasingly hitting both the wettest and driest regions of the world and global warming will raise the risks of bigger cloudbursts for the rest of the century, a study showed on Monday. (Reuters


Meet a man who survived the Rwandan genocide to become Africa’s youngest billionaire. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Will Member States Finally Stop Peacekeeper Sex Abuse? (UN Dispatch

How Africa Could Leapfrog Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy Alternatives (The Conversation

Don’t dismiss, or panic over, N. Korea threats (AP

It’s Africa’s time to rise: let’s end our academic isolation (Guardian

What’s Driving Sub-Saharan Africa’s Malnutrition Problem? (The Conversation

Outflanking the War on Drugs? (IRIN

Development finance in 2016: eight steps forward (Guardian

Book Review: The Self-Help Myth (Aidnography

The politics of wages & violence in the FARDC (Rachel Strohm

These 9 crops are in climate change trouble (Devex