Maverick Citizen

CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 18 — 22 APRIL

International Mother Earth Day coming and Plaas to hold webinar on worsening climate chaos 

South Africans take part in the Global Climate Strike outside parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, 25 March 2022. South Africans across the country joined the global call to action and climate strike calling on government to make radical change in tackling climate change as millions of people around the world are taking part in protests demanding action on climate issues. (Photo: EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA)

The Stellenbosch University Social Justice Café will be hosting a discussion about social justice and the water, energy and food nexus; War on Want will be exploring the situation facing Palestinian political prisoners; and Code for Africa will be holding a webinar on corruption and the anti-corruption strategies employed by Corruption Watch.

On Tuesday 19 April at 6pm, Iranti is hosting a panel discussion titled, Is healthcare a safe space for intersex people?” 

Many intersex people in Africa lack access to affirming medical healthcare services, both as infants and adults, according to the event description. Often, healthcare practitioners do not have knowledge of the existence of intersex persons, let alone what affirming healthcare services for these individuals should look like.

“These trends within the public health sector led to intersex persons and their guardians receiving pathologising information that promotes IGM (Intersex Genital Mutilation) instead of alternative affirming information,” according to the event description. “Poor health systems in Africa also lead to intersex people being unable to access their health records, a provision that is supported by law but is often not accessible in healthcare facilities.”

Speakers at the event include Crystal Hendricks of Iranti in South Africa; Obioma Chukwuike of Intersex Nigeria; James Karanja of the Intersex Persons Society of Kenya; Mphatso Satya of the Intersex Society of Namibia; and Ronie Zuze of the Intersex Community of Zimbabwe.

Register here.

On Tuesday at 6.30pm, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) will be launching a free depression and anxiety support group for adults 35 years and older. The group will meet at Hillcrest Presbyterian Church, 1A Old Main Road, in Hillcrest, Durban. To join the group, contact Anne at [email protected].

Wednesday 20 April is Chinese Language Day. Language days are intended to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity, according to the United Nations (UN) information page on the observance. They also promote the equal use of all six official languages throughout the UN.

Chinese first became an official language of the UN in 1946. The General Assembly included Chinese as a working language in 1973, followed by the Security Council in 1974. The language is increasingly used at UN offices and among staff members.

On Wednesday 20 April at 8am, Palliative Care in Humanitarian Aid Situations and Emergencies (PallChase) will be hosting a webinar on “Adapting Palliative Care Responses to Conflict Settings: Supporting palliative care in Ukraine”.

An identical session will take place on the same day at 4pm. 

Register for the event here.

Later on Wednesday, at 12.30pm, there will be a Stellenbosch University Social Justice Café on Social Justice and the Water Energy and Food (WEF) Nexus”. 

“The Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus is a framework that captures the inter-relations, synergies, and trade-offs between the demand on water, energy and food, in the context of the emerging constraints of sustainable development in particular regions or systems,” according to the event poster.

As South Africa is a water-scarce country, this trade-off may expose inequalities in our society, thus having social justice implications.

The facilitator of the discussion is Nolwandle Made, project coordinator of

Social Justice and Covid-19 Policy and Relief Monitoring Alliance, and Social Justice Impact Research and Innovation Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at the Faculty of Law, Stellenbosch University.

Those speaking at the event are Dr Michele Dalla Fontana, researcher at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development in the Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University; Bronwen Qumbu, PhD researcher at North West University; and Nishai Moodley, MA Candidate at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Stellenbosch University Water Institute.

Join the discussion here.

At 4pm on Wednesday, the ONE Campaign and the Carnegie Africa Program are hosting a discussion on the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the African continent, as well as initiatives taken by governments to provide economic relief during this time. The event is titled “Africa’s Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery, with Insights from Ghana and Nigeria”.

“The economic aftershocks of the pandemic have been severe for parts of the African continent, exacerbating existing fiscal and socio-economic challenges. Although African economies are slowly recovering, that recovery is constrained by low vaccination rates, tight fiscal space, unequal access to external finance, and increasing debt vulnerabilities,” stated the event description.

Speakers at the event include Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning in Nigeria; Kenneth Ofori-Atta, minister for finance and economic planning in Ghana; Dr Vera Songwe, under-secretary-general at the UN and executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa; and Gayle Smith, CEO of the ONE Campaign.

Register here.

At 7pm on Wednesday, War on Want is hosting a panel discussion titled “Palestinian prisoners of apartheid demand justice”. Israel currently holds thousands of Palestinians as political prisoners, according to the event description. The discussion will centre on the prisoners’ struggle for justice, as well as the wider movement for Palestinian self-determination.

“Israel currently holds 4,450 Palestinians as political prisoners — including 530 administrative detainees, held without charge or trial, for an indefinite period of time,” stated the event description.

Speakers at the event include Milena Ansari, international advocacy officer at the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability programme director at Defence for Children International Palestine; Chi-Chi Shi, senior campaigns officer at War on Want; and Ryvka Barnard, deputy director at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Register here.

Thursday 21 April is World Creativity and Innovation Day. The day is intended to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development, according to the UN information page on the event.

“On [World Creativity and Innovation Day] the world is invited to embrace the idea that innovation is essential for harnessing the economic potential of nations,” according to the UN. “Innovation, creativity and mass entrepreneurship can provide new momentum for economic growth and job creation.”

On Thursday at 1pm, the Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) will be hosting a webinar titled, “Worsening Climate Chaos and the Challenge of Climate Justice”. 

The planet is being shaped by an unstable climate, with intensifying climate extremes, according to the event description. South Africa is heating at twice the global average, making it one of ten hotspots.

“It is urgent we decarbonise, build new adaptative systems and mainstream climate justice emergency governance,” stated the event description. “South Africa needs a deep just transition now guided by the Climate Justice Charter, before it is too late. This webinar will explore these issues in greater depth.”

The chair of the discussion is Dr George Mudimu from Plaas at the University of the Western Cape. The speaker is Dr Vishwas Satgar, associate professor of international relations, editor of the Democratic Marxism series and principal investigator for Emancipatory Futures Studies in the Anthropocene at the University of the Witwatersrand. Satgar is co-founder of the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign and the Climate Justice Charter Movement.

Register here.

On Thursday at 4pm, Dr Debora Ley, lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, will be speaking at a webinar titled, “Climate Resilient Development Pathways from IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)”.

The report, published in February 2022, examines the impacts of climate change on environments and people around the world, calling for immediate action focused on promoting climate resilience, equity and social justice.

“Dr Debora Ley gives us an insight into the report and discusses how developing climate [resilience] in communities relates to climate social justice, equity, and some of the global commitments on climate change made at COP 26,” according to the event description.

Join the webinar here.

Friday 22 April is International Mother Earth Day. It will be the first Mother Earth Day celebrated within the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, according to the UN information page on the event.

As ecosystems support all life on earth, the healthier the ecosystems are, the healthier the planet and those inhabiting it are. Restoring damaged ecosystems can contribute to ending poverty, combatting climate change and preventing mass extinction.

“For this International Mother Earth Day, let’s remind ourselves — more than ever — that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. Let’s promote harmony with nature and the Earth,” stated the UN.

On Friday at 1pm, Code for Africa is hosting a WanaData webinar on “Corruption and anti-corruption strategies by Corruption Watch”. The discussion will be about corruption in South Africa, the rate of its threat and initiatives that Corruption Watch is taking to expose and tackle it.

The speaker at the event is Kavisha Pillay, head of stakeholder relations and campaigns at Corruption Watch.

Register here.

Also on Friday at 1pm, Sadag will be hosting a Facebook live question-and-answer session on support groups and their power. Sadag support group leaders will be discussing supporting a loved one with a mental illness.

Join the event here. DM/MC

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