Richmond Vale

The Situation of Children in Ecuador

Under the law System of Protection and Equity (art. 46), the Government of Ecuador guarantees special attention and protection to girls, boys and teens in situations of abuse, violence, sexual exploitation, drug, and alcoholism —as well as priority attention in cases of disaster and war. There is also a clear prohibition on labour exploitation for children under age 15, although exceptions are admitted on instances where said labour does not involve harmful practices or compromises the child's education. These provisions were made in theory —in reality, the opposite is happening.  In big villages, the figure of child labour is present at nearly all times , especially in communities that depend on farming as a mean of subsistence. Boys are called to help during the crop season, which means that they often do not attend school in a prolongued time. In the poor villages of Ecuador the people are very machista —the family is under control of the father, who is considered the sole breadwinner. The women are in charge of the house chores, most of the time they get married after they've graduated secondary school and birth three children in average. Farming is very common —if not the only way of living— in these villages, and the craft is passed along from the father to his eldest son, who must go with him and learn the skills in...
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Richmond Vale

Global Goal 13: Urgent Climate Actions

Mankind has the potential to make of Earth a virtually inhospitable place. 50 animals and plants have already disappeared thanks to climate change and 1274 were listed as critically endangered by it as of March, 2016. The trees in the Andean region are trying to reach higher places to find cooler areas where they can exist -and the millenary trees in Tasmania’s Gondwana Forest have been turned to ashes by bushfires –once again- caused by climate change ( Richmond Vale , 2016). China is buying clean air because of the perpetual polluted fog over its cities and flashfloods, such as those in Houston , are becoming increasingly common. In other parts of the world, however, lakes are drying up and water is scarce. It is safe to say that climate actions until now have not been very effective. [caption id="attachment_4270" align="aligncenter" width="500"] A reduction of 80% on the surface area of Urmia Lake has threatened the food production and water supply of people who live in the area - Photo Credit: Wikipedia According to this article on the UN’s Chronicle, it took the global community seven years to implement the Kyoto Protocol, which is often called the most influential of climate actions so far. By signing it, industrialized countries were pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5% between 2008 and 2012. However, global emissions...
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Life at RVA - Breaking Cultural Paradigms - by Jocelyn

At RVA we are part of something bigger than just one traditional school, we also have we join different programs as well, the two larger programs we have are “Fighting Poverty” and “Climate Compliance”, we have classes and presentations, the life in the school it's based on the community, that means we share in the same way different classes, where we need to learning different skills, not just theory, we are learning about gardening, cooking, environmentally friendly cleaning, and a lot of other different things we must to do together, and in this process we start to learn about our different cultures, history, and way of life. Here at RVA you will often meet people from different continents, so you can see how different just the way you clean something is. To start to understand each other and the world is not just you and your way in this world, it is so much more. Like how we learn about each other, we need to live together, share space together, we talk about life together, and sometimes it is not easy, you are with the same people all the time, and you may get upset and want to be alone, but in time we can understand and accept each other and the situation. In general we have this idea of a perfect world, but we are...
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Global Goal 12: Sustainable Consumption And Production Patterns

Not too long ago, The Lorax, a book by Dr. Seuss, warned the world about the dangers of unsustainable production and consumption patterns. The colorful children’s book tells the story about a boy who, living in a walled town where people pay for clean air, goes on a quest for answers on how his town’s demise came to be. What little Ted found is not too different from what is happening today: natural resources are being used at a higher pace than they can be restored and mankind is producing more things than it can possibly consume. Sustainable consumption and production patterns are in order to, if not fix, at least diminish the adverse effects mankind’s toxic practices have had on the environment. [embed]https://youtu.be/akG_50JwUJQ[/embed] The implementation of sustainable consumption and production promotes resource and energy efficiency, as well as the development of resilient, sustainable infrastructure, access to basic services and the creation of quality jobs that do not harm the environment. Sustainable consumption and production are also about battling the consumerism ingrained in current-day society. As put by this UN post, it’s about “doing more and better with less”. Global Goal 12, cited below, encompasses a series of targets that comprise a sustainable consumption and production plan for the world, set to be achieved by 2030. GLOBAL GOAL 12: ENSURE SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION PATTERNS Source:...
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Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Half the world’s population —or 3.5 billion people— currently lives in cities. These urban settlements bring people closer and open up a window for many opportunities, such as commerce, social interaction and development; and close contact with innovation, science and culture ( UN , 2015). But the cities people dwell in today are not sustainable cities, which are direly needed if the world wants to keep moving forward. Let’s see why. Currently, 828 million people live in slums —overcrowded urban areas inhabited by the chronically poor—. Taking into consideration that 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban settlements by 2030; on a business-as-usual mindset, the number of people living in slums is set to increase as well. The adverse effects on society of the expansion of slums are obvious, but the solution is even more so. [embed]
[/embed] Sustainable cities are needed to harbor rapidly-growing masses of people with minimum impact on the pre-existing society and the environment. Current cities occupy only 3% of the world’s surface, but they make up 60-80% of the global energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions. Moreover, their rapid growth is putting a strain on existing basic services and the resources available to them. The development of sustainable cities takes this into account and incorporates strategic planning so the needs of all citizens can be met while making...
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NEWS: Akwa Ibom State Will Host Climate Change Mega Summit in July

Akwa Ibom, a Nigerian State, will be the first sub-national government to sponsor and host a Post-COP21 National Dialogue. The event, with theme "Charting A Road Map For Sustainable Environment And Creation Of Green Jobs In Akwa Ibom State", wil be held between July 26th and July 28th, 2016 and will end with a golf tournament for climate change on July 30th. The summit is set to take place at Le’Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom. [caption id="attachment_4653" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Akwa Ibom State, in Nigeria, is the first sub-national state to host a climate change national dialogue post COP21 - Photo Credit: Wikipedia The summit, which will see "experts, intellectuals and major stakeholders in the environment" brainstorm to provide solutions for the climate change issue in the area, is of great importance for Akwa Ibom. Climate change and global warming have had serious impact in the nigerian state on social and bio-physical levels. Moreover, several coastal communities in Akwa Ibom are already relocating due to sea level rise and excessive flooding. Read the full article from Today Nigeria below: AKWA IBOM HOSTS FIRST CLIMATE CHANGE, CLEAN ENERGY MEGA SUMMIT The government of Akwa Ibom State, through the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, in collaboration with Water Safety Initiative Foundation, Africa Clean Energy Summit and the Environment Communications Limited, is set...
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NEWS: This GIF Shows How Global Warming Has Sped Up!

A new animated GIF by Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom, shows a spiral model of global warming. The animation, made with data from the UK Met Office, illustrates this pressing issue in way that is easier to understand for the public at large.  On the wake of COP 21 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , it's become increasingly important to engage the global community in reducing their carbon emissions in order to curb global warming before it reaches 2°C  and stop further climate change. [caption id="attachment_4637" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Monthly global temperatures from 1850-2016. Photograph: Ed Hawkins /Climate Central Read the full article from The Guardian below: SEE EARTH'S CLIMATE SPIRAL TOWARDS 2°C RISE -  GRAPHIC Climate Central : A new graphic shows Earth’s temperatures spiralling toward the 2C global warming limit The steady rise of Earth’s temperature as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere and trap more and more heat is sending the planet spiraling closer to the point where warming’s catastrophic consequences may be all but assured. That metaphoric spiral has become a literal one in a new graphic drawn up by Ed Hawkins , a climate scientist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. The animated graphic features a rainbow-colored record of global temperatures spinning outward from the late 19th century...
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NEWS: St. Vincent is also Marching Against Monsanto!

On Saturday May 21st. 2016, we will gather with all invited organizations, guests and interested parties; in front of the Court House in Kingstown, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The IRM goals are to make this an Edutaining day in which facts, information, are discussed and shared in order to raise national attention to the dangers of GMO's and their use in SVG. In collaboration with the Organizers of the March Against Monsanto , Richmond Vale Academy, Student leaders of the SVG Community College; the IRM 's ultimate goal is to have St. Vincent & the Grenadines be heard, not only on a local level but by others around the world, who are struggling to end Monsanto's domination of our planet's food supply in seeds. We hope you will join the IRM in this Global Event. We will be conducting general public meetings in the near future to ensure this event is inclusive of all stakeholders. All will be encouraged and invited to attend and participate. Stay tuned to local Radio Station, and the Facebook page “ March Against Monsanto - S t . Vincent & the Grenadines ”. For more information about the event contact: IRM Directors, Ras Andre Liverpool 784-593-4752 & Ras Yacob 784 454-7279
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March Against Monsanto

[caption id="attachment_4624" align="aligncenter" width="370"] Supporter drawing a banner for the March Against Monsanto - Photo Credit: Flickr The 2016 March Against Monsanto is set to take place on May 21, 2016. This event, held annually since 2013, was conceived by Tami Canal as a response to the fallout of California Proposition 37 , a regional legislation that would have required genetically modified foods to be labeled as such. The protest was also fueled by President Obama’s signing of the Farmers Assurance Provision in March 26, 2013, which authorizes the United States Department of Agriculture to allow the planting of genetically modified foods while environmental reviews are being completed, even if there is a legal ruling against their approval. Despite starting in the United States, the March Against Monsanto movement has had a tremendous success worldwide. The first march saw hundreds of thousands of people in over 400 cities show up to protest against the biotechnology giant Monsanto, which supplies 90% of genetically modified seeds worldwide. It is expected that a similar amount of people will show up this year. If you are interested in partaking or are curious about the March Against Monsanto movement, this article is an all-you-must-know on the topic. WHO IS MONSANTO ? Source: Modern Farmer [caption id="attachment_4617" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Monsanto is a biotechnology company, linked to the manufacturing of harmful chemicals in...
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Global Warming Facts

[caption id="attachment_4209" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Pixabay In previous articles, causes and effects of both climate change and global warming have been discussed. While this provides the reader with a good insight of the problem, perhaps it doesn't show how urgent it is. Read below to find a compilation of global warming facts: a series of things that are happening right now related to climate, sea extent, ecosystems and more. GLOBAL WARMING FACTS: TEMPERATURE [caption id="attachment_4198" align="aligncenter" width="500"] December 2015–February 2016 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius - Photo Credit: NOAA 2015 was the hottest year on record. According to a press release from the World Meteorological Organization, the global average surface temperature ranked at 0.76±0.1ºC above the 1961-1990 average, marking the first time global surface temperatures are above 1ºC from those of the pre-industrial era. Source: World Meteorological Organization The same press release states that the period between 2011 and 2015 is the warmest five-year period on record and that 15 of the 16 hottest years on records have happened this century. February 2016 broke the temperature monthly record by the widest ever margin, ranking at 1.23ºC above 20 th century average, according to NOAA. Source: NOAA [caption id="attachment_4197" align="aligncenter" width="500"] February 2016 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius - Photo Credit: NOAA The December 2015-February 2016...
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Global Goal 10: Reduce Inequalities Among Us All

While progress has been made towards lifting people out of poverty, things are far from perfect. In fact, average income inequality around the world increased by 11% in developing countries in the last 20 years. This means that 75% of the population of said countries are living today in a society that is more unequally distributed for them than it was two decades ago. [caption id="attachment_4604" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Rally against school integration in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1956 - Photo Credit: Wikipedia Unabridged income inequality is harmful for a country’s long-term productivity and social cohesion, which shows in damaged “public and political spheres and individiduals’ sense of fulfillment and performance” ( UN , 2015).  However, income inequality is only a consequence of a bigger issue: a deep inequality of opportunities. This issue has been addressed in previous posts, such as this one on the feminization of poverty and this one Global Goal 5 . The fact is that historically, different groups of people have been placed into a tiered system where some of them are considered worthy of acquiring certain benefits, tools and services others don’t have access to. This impedes the fulfillment of the individual’s potential, and has a marked influence on the surge of animosity between different groups of people. Systemic unequal treatment makes those who suffer it more vulnerable to adverse events, which...
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Global Goal 9: Sustainable Industry, Infrastructure and Innovation

Good infrastructure is a key factor in achieving sustainable development. It makes more resources readily available for use, it connects people and grants previously isolated towns, access to basic services, such as health-care, sanitation, electrical power and education. Furthermore, investments in transport, irrigation, and energy and communication technology pave the way for industrialization and technological development. [caption id="attachment_4582" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr Quality infrastructure is also key in the achievement of environmental, political and social objectives and the creation of well-paid, quality jobs ( Global Goal 8 ).  Whereas poor or non-existent infrastructure affects productivity, diminishing it by up to 40%. An example of this, found in this UN article, is the renewable energy industry. Roughly 2.3 million people work in this industry, in countries where data on the matter is available. This number is expected to reach 20 million by 2030 due to a current increase of interest in cleaner electricity sources. Moreover, industrialization in general is a massive job generator. Statistically, one job in manufacturing creates 2.2 jobs in other sectors, and this industry employed an estimate of half a billion people in 2013. It is safe to say that without good infrastructure there is no progress, as it allows connecting places that were seemingly remote in the past. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contemplates the building of resilient, quality infrastructure to...
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Global Goal 8: Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work

Global Goal 1 seeks to end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030. This is a multifaceted and very ambitious task that will demand a joint effort from the global community. A determining factor in the success of this quest is setting the conditions for sustainable economic growth. [caption id="attachment_4577" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Currently, being employed does not guarantee an individual will be able to stay above the poverty like - Photo Credit: Wikipedia Currently, 2.2 billion people live on less than $2 a day, and roughly half the world’s population lives on precisely that amount. Moreover, about 202 million were unemployed in 2012, with 75 million being young men and women. It is also expected that the global community will need to create 470 million jobs in order to meet the needs of new entrants to the job market between 2016 and 2030. The numbers are big, even without taking into account the number of people who are employed but do not make enough to stay above the poverty line ( UN , 2015) Lifting all people out of poverty is a herculean mission, however, its solution is quite obvious. To end poverty, the global community must give those living below the poverty line the tools to fend for themselves. Sustainable economic growth encompasses creating quality jobs and opportunities, as well as decent working conditions,...
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Baking our own Bread - by Jocelyn Flores

In RVA we have time to take care of our own house. Twice a week we meet to cook, clean, farm or anything else that is necessary. One of our favorite things to do in common action is to make the Bread, and not just because it’s so delicious, it’s because we can use our imagination and love to make everybody happy in the school. We try to inspire and give more and more energy for our projects in the school ! We want you to enjoy like us the classic, but not for far less relevant, recipe. Then you can use with you family, friends or at any event. Or you can make your own bread for the whole week (just keep it in the refrigerator). So, let’s go ... Ingredients: • 250g strong white flour • 250g wholemeal • 2 tsp salt • 7g sachet fast-action yeast • 3 tbsp olive oil • 300ml water • 1/2 cup of oat • Herbs, like rosemary, cinnamon or oregano • Seeds, like flax seed, chia or sesame   Method: Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, then add the oil , water and YOUR LOVE!, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water, mix well then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and...
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NEWS: Indonesian Genocide Is a Factor in Global Warming

A new article by Joshua Oppenheimer blames 1965's genocide in Indonesia for the ongoing corruption that enables current-day rainforest fires. Indonesia's blooming palm-oil industry exterminates acres upon acres of virgin rainforest on a daily basis. The easiest, quickest way to do so is through forced fires that release amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere comparable to Japan's yearly emissions. [caption id="attachment_4538" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Deforestation in Indonesia, product of the palm-oil industry - Photo Credit: Wikipedia Indonesia has laws against these practices, however, they are enabled by the country's corrupt military force. Back in 1965, the military murdered between 500,000 and 1 million indonesians following orders from the dictatorship. The perpetrators of these crimes were given power and authority which they still hold and use as leverage to protect the palm-oil industry and numerous human rights violations. Read the full article, as posted in The Guardian , below: WHY TODAY'S GLOBAL WARMING HAS ROOTS IN INDONESIA'S GENOCIDAL PAST There has been tremendous concern over the ways climate change will affect human rights, but little attention to how human rights abuse affects our global climate. Fifty years ago, Indonesia went through a genocide. The massacres may be relatively unknown, but in a terrible way the destruction continues, and threatens us all. In 1965, the Indonesian army organised paramilitary death squads and  exterminated between 500,000 and 1 million people...
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NEWS: Primates Stressed By Ancient Climate Change

[caption id="attachment_4533" align="alignleft" width="193"] Photo Credit: Science Daily New research to be published in the journal Science  links climate change during the Eocene-Oligocene period to mass migration of anthropoid primates. An article on the topic posted by Science Daily quotes K. Christopher Beard, a co-author of the report, as saying: "At some point, the geographic focal point of anthropoid evolution -- monkeys, apes and humans -- shifted from Asia to Africa. But we never understood when and why. Now, we know. The Eocene-Oligocene climate crisis virtually wiped out Asian anthropoids, so the only place they could evolve to become later monkeys, apes and humans was Africa".  Beard also states that although anthropoid primates, the precursos to modern-day monkeys, apes and humans originated in Asian, it was in Africa where their diversification truly bloomed. The primates were forced to migrate after a drastic drop in temperatures product of shifting tectonic plates made the Asian continent, as well as North America, inhospitable to them. The paper is the result of a 10-year research in southern China, which lead to the discovery of six new fossil species. Read the full article from Science Daily below: SIX NEW FOSSIL SPECIES FORM "SNAPSHOT" OF PRIMATES STRESSED BY ANCIENT CLIMATE CHANGE In a study to be published this week in the journal Science , researchers describe unearthing a "mother lode" of a...
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Global Goal 7: Affordable, Reliable And Clean Energy For All

There are several clean energy options available for implementation on small and large scales. There are countries now that give incentives –in the shape of loans and discounts—to citizens who decide to go solar. Recent biomimicry research on humpback whales has allowed to increase efficiency of wind turbines and hydroelectric power has been widely implemented around the globe. Clean energy is a fact, it is happening and science is moving towards more efficient, cheaper ways of producing and consuming it. However, traditional, polluting ways of producing electricity are still a major obstacle. [caption id="attachment_4557" align="aligncenter" width="500"] China is one of the largest producers and consumers of coal. This has lead to the thick smog that blackens the sky of some Chinese cities - Photo Credit: Wikipedia In 2014, the coal industry met 40% of the global energy demand. It also produced 39% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Put into perspective, the 572 operative coal power plants in the United States release as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as trains, planes and cars. Combined. Furthermore, the production of coal energy causes contamination and depletion of water sources --many of the power plants use a once-through cooling system, which causes massive water withdrawals. Moreover the productive process counts toxic heavy metals --such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead—among its byproducts, which unequivocally end in water sources and...
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Global Goal 6: Access To Clean Water and Sanitation

Widespread pollution of rivers and oceans is killing us all. Albeit violent, this affirmation holds an unquestionable truth. As many as 1,000 children die daily from preventable water sanitation-related diarrheal diseases and the global death toll for the same causes is counted by millions. Floods and water-related disasters account for 70% of all deaths related to natural disasters. Moreover, the UN estimates that by 2050, 1 in 4 people will live in a country where droughts and restricted access to clean water will cause severe freshwater shortages. Mankind is entirely reliant on water for agriculture and hydration, as well as farming and virtually every activity. As an example, hydro power makes up 16% of total electricity generated worldwide back in 2011, and 70% of all the water abstracted from water sources is used for irrigation. [caption id="attachment_4544" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The Oshiwara River in Mumbai is heavily contaminated with solid and liquid waste coming from the city - Photo Credit: Wikipedia Taking this into account, it is nonsensical that 80% of all wastewaters end up in the water sources the human race depends on. This means that mankind uses as dumpsters the same water sources it relies on to exist. This has proven to be catastrophic at multiple levels, but focusing on water, it has resulted on as many as 1,000 children dying daily due to preventable...
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NEWS: Climate Change Skeptics, Worried About Economy?

A new study conducted by the American Association of Psychology found a link between American climate change skeptics and the situation of the national economy. The paper, posted on Science Daily , states that American skeptics may be more open to accepting the evidence of human-induced climate change and its effects if they believe the economy is "strong and stable" . [caption id="attachment_4523" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr The findings of the study may be useful in explaining why only half of Americans believe that human-induced climate change is a fact. Only 10% of conservative Republicans and 78% of liberal Democrats acknowledge climate change, despite it being acknowledged by the vast majority of the scientifi To full length of the article can be found below: SKEPTICISM ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE MAY BE LINKED TO CONCERNS ABOUT ECONOMY Americans may be more likely to accept the scientific evidence of human-caused climate change and its potentially devastating effects if they believe the economy is strong and stable, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. The findings may help explain why many Americans haven't been swayed by public education and advocacy efforts indicating that climate change is being caused by humans. People who are concerned about the economy and who are strong supporters of the free market system may be more skeptical about climate change and downplay its potential...
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Global Goal 5: Gender Equality

Progress has been made in the fight for gender equality —namely on the education front, as girls and boys now have equal access to primary education ( UN , 2015). However, discrimination and violence against women and girls still exist both in the developing and developed world. A few examples are the kidnapping of over 200 girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram in 2014 , the global prostitution and human trafficking networks and that harmful —even potentially fatal— traditions such as female genital mutilation and marrying small girls to adult men are still in place. Moreover, women in developed and developing countries systematically face discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace and other environments. [caption id="attachment_4509" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Female Farmers in Lodwar, Kenya - Photo Credit: Wikipedia The impact of gender inequality and discrimination on women is long-lasting and does not always encompass physical or sexual violence. There is an ongoing social phenomenon in which women and female-lead families represent a larger part of the poor population than men . This is a consequence of multiple factors, namely that, still today, women lack some of the opportunities and resources awarded to men, and are oftentimes ill-equipped to face life in the wake of an adverse event. Gender inequality is extremely harmful to the sustainability agenda and must be overcome in order to ensure lasting results...
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