HOORAY 4 WOMEN!

They used to give us a day –it was called International Women’s Day.

In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman.
Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman.

I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn’t behave and here we are. Bella Abzug (1920-1998)

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. (International Women’s Day online)

In an article entitled ‘International Women’s Day protests highlight violence, inequality’ there is among other things this:

”Calls to end forced marriage, domestic abuse and job discrimination marked International Women’s Day on Saturday as demonstrators took to the streets worldwide.”

And this the advice in North Korea to their ladies:

’Communist North Korea marked International Women’s Day in its own way by urging its women to reject Western fashions and to “set good examples” in their clothes and hairstyles. “Women must set good examples in all fields of culture and custom, including clothes, hairdos and language,” Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the North’s ruling Korean Workers’ Party, said in an editorial.’

Even this was in the above article: “French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for an end to pay inequality between men and women, and pledged to institute financial sanctions to address the problem.” — That’ll be the day, I say, when the pay will be!

If you want something said,
ask a man;
if you want something done,
ask a woman. (Margaret Thatcher)

This is what is urged in one of the sites where I got articles for this entry:

”So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.”

This said as even today — and every single day — thousands of Baby Girls are terminated in the womb of their mothers, just because they are Girls, when the parents wanted boys… So many females have been ‘finished’ that the imbalance ratio on males-females is in millions in certain countries and is increasing alarmingly each day.

Take good care. Rii 🙂

© The portrait of The Girl in Cameo is by Riihele. All rights reserved.

Further read in the International Museum of Women online.

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PICTURE PERFECT: INFINITE

Definitions on INFINITE:
“Unlimited or boundless, in time or space;
as, infinite duration or distance.”

Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant is over there in the distance. It was there where it was discovered that the Chernobyl accident had happened in 1986, for the Swedes thought that they had a ‘leak’ or whatever at first. I took this photo in the summer of 2002 during very hot weather.

Archipelago around Stockholm

On April 27, 1986, unusually high levels of radiation were detected in workers’ clothing at this plant, prompting concerns of a radiation leak. No leak was found, however, and the radiation was determined to have originated from Chernobyl, where a reactor had exploded the previous day. Chernobyl is approximately 1,100 km from this power plant.

Because of the sensitive instruments located in the nuclear power plant for the purpose of detecting local leaks, Forsmark was, on April 27, 1986, the first place outside the Soviet Union where the signs of the Chernobyl accident became apparent. When workers at the plant were found to carry radioactive particles, the origin of the leak was investigated and it eventually became clear that the contamination came from the atmosphere rather than from the Forsmark plant itself. (Wikipedia)

Archipelago around Stockholm
© All photos Riihele. All rights reserved

Nuclear accidents affect infinitely into the lives of all the people on the globe; even though, the usual presumption is that the effects are only local… Chernobyl still has its mark on the water we drink and bathe in, our soil where everything grows, and the air we breathe in, and will for a very long time yet to come!

This is my contribution on the Picture Perfect theme INFINITE.

Don’t use words too big for the subject.
Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”;
otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
(C. S. Lewis)

Do have a grand weekend and do keep so well. Rii xx

The nuclear meltdown provoked a radioactive cloud that floated not over just Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova,
but
the European part of the
Turkey,
Republic of Macedonia,
Croatia,
Bulgaria,
Greece,
Romania,
Lithuania,
Estonia,
Latvia,
Finland,
Denmark,
Norway,
Sweden,
Austria,
Hungary,
the Czech Republic
and the Slovak Republic,
The Netherlands,
Belgium,
Slovenia,
Poland,
Switzerland,
Germany,
Italy,
Ireland,
France (including Corsica)
and the United Kingdom as well. (Wikipedia)

DUSTIN The Turkey …

Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest so many times that it got too much for the tiny nation to cough up the dosh to make a posh do aka to arrange the competition year in, year out, so that the representatives selected on the same from the Emerald Isle have not done well at all for years and years.

But this year there is a very amusing entry, for the Irish voters picked the children’s hand puppet as the best of six finalists in a decision that is likely to ruffle some feathers – LOL!! — at the event in May. The entertainer’s song Irelande Douze Points emerged as a clear favourite in the weeks leading up to the country’s vote.

Dustin has been one of Ireland’s leading stars since he joined The Den with fellow puppets Zig and Zag in the 1990. He is no stranger to being in the limelight, having recorded six albums and performed a host of comical duets with artists such as Bob Geldof, Chris De Burgh, Ronnie Drew, Dervla Kirwan and the late Joe Dolan.

Dustin was plucked – HaHa!! very apt word as we are talking about a turkey — from six finalists to win a televised poll programme in the Republic of Ireland on Saturday night. And such is the contest’s reputation for successful novelty acts that bookmakers have made him 10-1 favourite to win in Belgrade in May. His song is entitled Irelande Douze Pointe, a reference to the maximum of 12 points which each country can award to a song.  Dustin’s song, sung in a North Dublin accent, urges the contest judges to “give douze points to Ireland, for its lowlands and its highlands, for Wogan’s wig and Bono’s leather pants. We brought you Guinness and Westlife, 800-years of war and strife, but we all apologise for Riverdance.”

The Eurovision Song Contest, now in its 53rd year, is known for its glitzy but tacky costumes, bizarre songs and outrageous performances. An estimated 100 million people from 42 countries watched last year’s gala, which took place in Helsinki.

The background of this turkey vulture loved by many is according to the Wikipedia that “Dustin was introduced as a character when one of the puppets, Zag, who was trying to join the upper classes, entered a golf tournament with Tony Fenton the 2fm DJ and came last. The prize was a Christmas Turkey, and a chance to meet movie star Dustin Hoffman.

It transpired however, that the turkey shared the name of the movie star and was not only still alive, but had a Dublin accent and his own building company. Zig and Zag intended to eat Dustin for Christmas dinner, and only changed their minds when a frequent visitor to the show, artist and children’s novelist Don Conroy, provided his taxonomical opinion that Dustin was, in fact a cross between a turkey and a vulture, and therefore unsuitable for human or Zogling consumption (Zig and Zag are aliens from the planet Zog). He makes appearances outside of The Den, including an annual appearance on The Late Late Show Toy Show special at Christmas each year.”

See for yourselves his remarkable talent in this video:.


Tis for now, Rii xx

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/24/neurovision124.xml

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=518091&in_page_id=1811

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dustin_the_Turkey

 

HUMOUR: Pickled Onions

Some while back Noizy had a photo of an Irish pub in Maine in his blog on 360 and the name of the establishment was:

The Pickled Onion!

My comment was this:

HEEEH!! lol

I think that the onion is not the only one that is getting pickled in that establishment!!

Tis for now, Rii

European Commission announced that the list of products and services to which Regional Indications apply will be updated on January 1st 2008. New items on the list will be Irish pubs (Ireland), saltibarsciai (Lithuania), Koksksu (Malta), Kiselo mljak (Bulgaria)

“Also the protection of the Geographical Indication of Irish pubs is an important step towards including cultural expressions in the GI Regime. Geographical Indications have proven themselves to be very effective in protecting products ranging from Cheese to Wine and Sausages. We hope to be equally effective in protection authentic European cultural expressions. Next year we hope to include such diverse cultural phenomena as the Sirtaki dances from Greece, Latvian folk stories known as Dainas and Finnish smoke saunas, known as Savusaunas.” (Jean-Claude Hulot, Chairman of the Committee for Regional Indications)

A geographical indication (such as “Roquefort”) testifies to the link between a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of a product, a service or a cultural expression and its geographical origin. There are approximately 700 GIs registered under the Regulation today.

http://www.eucgi.eu/?page=press&article=13467

LITERACY or Love of Reading

“What I can think about, I can talk about. What I can say, I can write. What I can write, I can read.
I can read what I can write and what other people can write for me to read.”

Professor Roach Van Allen

The picture, – do click at it to make it clearer, please – that I used as the lead photo, is the list of countries by literacy rate as included in the United Nations Development Programme Report 2005. Four countries lead the chart of literacy world wide with 100 per cent literacy rates Georgia, Finland, Luxembourg and Norway. Both The USA and UK are on # 21 with 99 per cent; as are Australia, France, Ireland and Germany. India is # 145 with 61 per cent. China is # 67 with 93,5 per cent.

The UNESCO literacy estimates provide basic information on the number and percentage of adults (aged 15 years and older) and youth (aged 15 to 24 years old) who are literate and illiterate. They indicate the dimensions and patterns of illiteracy within each country according to gender and age-groups, so as to aid in policy- and decision-making with regard to measures to be taken to raise the literacy level of the population. These estimates in a way reflect the performance of the national education system, as well as the quality of the human resources within a country in relation to their potential for growth, contribution to development, and quality of life.

What constitutes literacy aka literacy as defined by UNESCO:

1. A literate person is one who can with understanding both read and write a short simple statement relevant to his everyday life.
2. Literacy is not the simple reading of a word or a set of associated symbols and sounds, but an act of critical understanding of men’s situation in the world.
3. Literacy is not an end in itself but a means of personal liberation and development and extending individuals educational efforts involving overall inter-disciplinary responses to concrete problems
4. A literate person is one who has acquired all the essential knowledge and skills which enable him to engage in all those activities in which literacy is required for effective functioning in his group and community and whose attaining in reading, writing and numeracy make it possible to use these skills towards his own and his community’s development.

The United Nations defines illiteracy as the inability to read and write a simple sentence in any language. So, these literacy rates refer only to basic, not advanced, literacy. UNESCO Portal for the International Literacy Day. September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. It was first celebrated on 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies with celebrations taking place around the world.

An estimated 781 million adults live without basic literacy skills, of whom two-thirds are women. In addition, approximately 103 million children have no access to school and are therefore not learning to read, write or count. All these figures mentioned in the previous sentence total more or less one billion so to put in a way that it is easier to fathom: 1 in 6 in the world cannot read, write nor count! How very tragic that the wonderful pleasure of literacy is ’denied’ these folks, methinks.

This is an extract of an old article called ’Gestures not enough to teach the world’ on Guardian online site dated September 8, 2000, but still it is very relevant:

“We have been here before. The high-level conferences, the firm commitments, the hand-wringing, the international agreements that promise the earth and deliver next to nothing – all have been part of the backdrop to the campaign for debt relief. Now there is a threat that the campaign for universal primary education could go the same way.

One third of the world’s population — that is 2 billion people — live in countries which have fewer telephone lines in total than Italy — with a population of less than 60 million! Around 90% of telecommunications traffic takes place between rich countries, while 50% of the world’s population have never made a phone call. As the knowledge economy takes root in the coming years, this lack of access will take a heavy toll and widen the divide still further.

A computer is not much use to a child who cannot read. Out of a global population of 6 billion, 880m adults are illiterate, two thirds of them women, most of them in south Asia. All these figures underestimate the full extent of the literacy problem, perhaps by as much as half. They are based on school attendance figures, and ignore the problem of the numbers of children who leave school functionally illiterate. In Africa, where increasing numbers of children will be out of school unless there is emergency action by western institutions, a new generation of adult illiterates is set to create a dangerously marginalised section of society.

Even in the industrialised world illiteracy is a problem, with almost a quarter of young adults in the US having difficulty reading all but the simplest of texts. In the developed as in the undeveloped world low literacy invariably means poverty and the spiralling problems of drugs, violence and insecurity which go with it.”

Debunking myths about the “Third World” (This video has most fabulous graphics)

“If we talk about literacy, we have to talk about how to enhance our children’s mastery over the tools needed to live intelligent, creative, and involved lives.” (Danny Glover)

Tis for now from Rii – who loves to read & write. xx

These are some of the great links that I used in this article and for further reading:

http://www.literaturepage.com/
http://www.uis.unesco.org/en/stats/statistics/literacy2000.htm
http://dir.yahoo.com/Education/Literacy/
http://www.literacyconnections.com/InTheirOwnWords.php
http://www.literacyconnections.com/
http://www.vocabvitamins.com/

Literacy Exchange: World Resources on Literacy
Nation Master site that has all kinds statistics on all kinds of things!

RAZOR SHARP: FISH


I read in a newspaper here in Finland the other week and found a good few very interesting articles, one of them being this:

School children in Sweden were asked to name the most common fish they knew.


Guess what the answer was for the most of the children?!

FISH FINGERS !!

Yes, that is right, ’em ones in this link.

Oh vey, the edumacation in Sweden has a loooong way to go.

This is not a joke, but absolutely true. Tried to find the links but no luck online for ye to see it with yer own eyes like. lol

Which ones could you name off-hand?

Tis for now, Rii :))

I had great fun here in the MY FREE COLOURING PAGES where I found the picture of the fish to colour-it-in aka of a real thing to refresh the memory of how they look like!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

NOTE:

I did find this very amusing, for Sweden is a vast country with huge rivers, large lakes and the sea shore lining it nearly entirely and to children to say this is just too hilarious, methinks. Very particular and so proud they were of the wonderful fish they have/had. I am puzzled as to reasons for these answers, you see.

They are or at least were big into eating fish of all kinds when i lived there for six years!

Or it could be that the mums have stopped cooking the real thing and are only doing fish fingers as a fish dish that is supposedly good for one…

NOTHING beats the real fish like Salmon, Trout and the like in me mind. In Ireland the most common fish one eats is Cod, Plaice, Hake, Haddock et al. Finland’s huge rivers have most fabulous fish.

Keep so well and keep eating fish — tis good for ye. Fish is my preferred meal while eating out or doing a meal at home as well, more so than meat of any kind.

CHILD MATTERS or Slavery in Modern Times


“Twice a year in Carrickmacross and surrounding towns a fair was held where men and girls rented their labour to well-to-do farmers for six months. It was Ireland’s version of the slave market.”
(Patrick Kavanagh ‘The Hired Boy’)


As you know by my blogs, that I do have varied interests in life and the living all the way from fashion, humour, blondes & photos, even frogs et funerals to anything in-between to the more serious matters of current affairs, politics and policies, so here is a more serious one on this Children’s Day in Finland. This is an updated entry of autumn 2006.

A Few Facts on the Child Labour/Slavery
:

  • Child labour is a pervasive problem throughout the world, especially in developing countries. Africa and Asia together account for over 90 percent of total child employment. (World Bank Org.)
  • Children work the longest hours and are the worst paid of all labourers (The International Labour Office ILO in the World Bank Study Bequele and Boyden 1988).
  • Just 5 per cent of child labour worldwide is for the export industry. The rest is for local agriculture and domestic work in people’s homes. (The International Labour Organisation estimate)
  • One in eight children (179 million) around the world are involved in the worst forms of child labour – work which is hazardous to their physical, mental or moral well being. (The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimate. BBC article(old) estimate 246 million (from years ago).
  • In Africa one in three children have jobs.
  • There are an estimated 500,000 child soldiers worldwide.

CHILD LABOR: ISSUES, CAUSES AND INTERVENTION (World Bank Org.)

I did some research into the matter, so I decided to compile a few thoughts and facts on the same. First of all, it is not a new phenomenon but has been since time immemorial in almost every country in the world. We in the Western Europe do not have it blatantly into our face presently, but nevertheless it is there, as more and more of these children are smuggled into our towns and even into our neighbourhoods.

Secondly, as we see from the Facts above that I listed: only 5 per cent of the child labour is involved with the export business in the countries, the rest being in the domestic trades in their respective nations. This piece of news is most certainly ‘news’ to me for I have thought that the children would have been the main slave labour for producing export goods.

Anybody who has read/seen the films about the Dickens’ books like ‘Oliver Twist’ is acutely aware that the west has had their share of the children being treated as ‘nothing, nobody’ until the compulsory education, the child allowance and the general benevolence towards children became more of the norm. I am using that expression because as we know the child abuse is still rather widespread – but just in another way. The opening quote on this entry by Patrick Kavanagh was true to many other nations’ children in the times past, including Finland.
Even more facts:

  1. The International Labour Organization in 2005 estimated at least 2.4 million people have been trafficked.
  2. The United Nations estimates that 1.5 million children under 16 are trafficked worldwide each year. (Daily Telegraph article online 4.6.2006)


UNICEF CHILD LABOUR QUIZZ in this link.

Fired Up Blonde, Riihele xx


The solution to this problem lies in my mind:

1.)

With the LEADERS of these nations who have the power to change the circumstances of these children through the legislation via education to empower them. Also, the children’s allowance et cetera to make it worthwhile, so that the parents need not ‘sell’ or be forced to ‘hand over’ their children to this slavery. (It is the relatives in many cases who are forced to hand in the children as pawns for life because of debts accumulated.)
There is no excuse to say that there are no funds; I will not buy into that as other nations have done it with the means that they had at the time e.g. Finland from 1948 started to pay children’s allowance even though it was only three years after the wars while at the same time still paying both to Russia (reparation) and USA (loan) huge amounts of money and after losing tens of thousands of men in their best working age at the WWII.
2.)

The International Community at large through e.g. organizations* to implement pressure on the leadership in these nations to stop treating their young worse than cattle and give them life as a human beings fully participating in their own life and living.
( aka *ILO, World Bank, UNICEF et cetera)

I have already quoted articles by The World Bank, ILO – The International Labor Organisation et cetera – meaning: they know the problem and it is the high time to do something about it all instead just compiling more figures of the same!!

There are other things as the international business and manufacturing industry that many mentioned in the comments previously: yes shame and name them.

This will solve the other 5 per cent of the actual problem.

NOTICE:
Only 5 per cent of the children are made to work in the export trade. That means that the 95 per cent are not. (These figures by ILO = The International Labour Organisation).

Child Matters pun in the name is this that a CHILD DOES MATTER; and also ‘matters’ as in subjects, issues, items, topics, questions and things concerning children.