Friday, 30 September 2011

Women need a voice to progress in the Middle East and North Africa region

Last Tuesday morning I attended the first session of the OECD-MENA Women’s Business Forum conference on “Policies and Services to Support Women’s Entrepreneurship Development in the MENA Region – Government and Private Sector Responses in Times of Change”. In a nutshell, the event was organised to discuss how to best promote women’s entrepreneurship in the region.

The Middle East and North Africa region is currently seeing an unprecedented period of change both at the political and social levels, and in particular women’s involvement in the Arab Spring was noticeable at all levels. Such a context clearly represents an opportunity to strengthen both existing private sector development efforts and to allow young women to shape public policies and actively contribute to the economy in the region.

This first session on “adapting policy advocacy tools to respond to a changing political and economic context” gathered a very rich panel of speakers representing a variety of countries, such as Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. What I heard reinforced what we have been reading a lot lately in the press: US Ambassador Kornbluh highlighted that there are “two dusts of wind” – first with the Arab Spring, which is giving hope to other neighbouring regions and second with the growing recognition that women’s prosperity is key to economic growth. And while the OECD focuses on access to finance, markets and business services in the region, legal obstacles to women’s access to those areas must also be tackled, as in the case of discriminatory inheritance rights. How can we adapt policy advocacy tools to each country’s political environment?

Yes, the panelists agreed that there are still big hurdles to women’s active involvement in entrepreneurial activities. In Iraq, the results of a survey pointed out that 54 % of women would like to work but are unable to find a job. Sometimes the negative interpretation of Islam constrains women to stay at home and excludes them from participation in the economy. In other cases, women themselves refuse to take a job if they are not segregated from men in the working environment…

However, throughout this morning session, many positive examples were also given, reflecting that there is a process of change happening in many countries: for example, someone mentioned the recent announcement by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah that women will have the right to vote in the 2015 elections for the first time; it was highlighted that in Iraq, women today represent 25% of the Parliament, and they are also involved in decision-making at city council level; The extremely positive advances in Tunisia with regards to the status of women were also brought to the fore. Maybe the key, then, is simply to give women a voice and let them participate at all levels of governance?

The session ended by broadening the discussion on the links between institutional changes and development outcomes: it was stressed that we need to learn from past achievements in this regard, especially where women played an active role. Success stories in Liberia – with a woman president elected following the war, Rwanda – with its high number of female parliamentarians, or Chile – with the election of President Bachelet were mentioned. Those examples show that sometimes regime changes can bring about positive outcomes for women. But this is not always the case, and gender equality should be looked at as a policy advocacy tool that encapsulates broader notions such as creating an inclusive growth and fostering social cohesion, especially with the younger populations that are the most affected by unemployment.

This brings me back to the current context in the region and the Arab Spring movement: nothing should be done without ensuring that civil society plays an active role in the process of change – and this cannot be realised without the participation of women. The importance of using social media to participate, make voices heard and create networks is also crucial for women as well as to help them start businesses and work together, as was mentioned throughout the session. We need to exchange experiences, discuss policy lessons and focus on issues that are relevant to MENA economies in the current context. To promote women’s entrepreneurship in the region, women need to first have equality of voice and participation. I would go further by saying that if women are more involved in this process of change we will get a more representative view of how well a society is doing as a whole and achieve greater gains.

Wikiprogress has included a section on “Progress and the Arab Spring” in the following countries: Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Syria. I invite you to edit the section in these countries to include a gender perspective, or to create your own article in Wikigender, and continue the discussion.

Estelle Loiseau

The week in review

Welcome to the Wikiprogress week in review, a round-up of media highlights from the busy and eventful week that was. Be sure to see the Wikiprogress Community Portal for all news items and blog posts from the progress community.

On human development
Kudos to the UNDP for Arab empowerment  (Al Jazerra 26.09.2011)
The UNDP has been praised for their role in sowing some of the intellectual seeds of the Arab Spring. The UNDP’s Arab Human Development Report will celebrate its 10 th anniversary in 2012. Al Jazeera has hailed the report as helping lay the foundations of democratic civic society across the Arab World.
See more on the Human Development Index

On the environment
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a database of outdoor air pollution figures from 1100 cities in 91 countries. When grouped, the figures for cities show an interesting insight into the data samples used by the WHO.
See more and contribute to the article on pollution

On gender equality
Saudi Arabia and Its Women  ( 26.09.2011)
While Saudi women now have the right to vote and run in municipal elections, the New York Times questions how much this will really empower women, as the right to vote will not be effective until 2015 (even though there is an election scheduled before then) and even then women will still need the approval of a male family member to exercise their right to vote.

On child well-being
Over 100 schools across England are taking part in a day without pens to support children with speech deficits. More than 50% of children in socially deprived areas start school without the ability to speak long sentences, which can lead to problems later in life.
See more and update news items on child well-being

Wikiprogress interviews: an interview with the Measures of Australia's Progress team at the Australian Bureau of Statstics.

That’s all from us this week, be sure to tune in the same time next week for another round of highlights from the week that was.

That's all from us this week. We hope you can tune in the same time next week for another round up of weekly highlights.

Yours in Progress,
Philippa Lysaght

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Time for GPS Enabled Post Codes

How many of us have ever had difficulty finding a location: houses in the
country; premises in industrial estates; a new restaurant! Even with GPS
navigation technology in vehicles and mobile phones, it is still a
challenge to tell someone where you live ... you see a park on your right,
go under a bridge, pass an old church don't take the next turn, keep going
up the hill until you see a large wall, if you see a yellow house you have
gone too far!

Imagine if every building had a unique short alphanumeric postcode that
could be used by GPS technology to arrive at the door first time, not just
even near it but right outside it!

Ireland is currently going through the process of introducing postcodes.
Being the last European country to do so gives us the chance to develop a
postcode that maximises the use of GPS technology. Because a postcode is
part of your address then everyone will readily know their postcode and be
able to provide it to service deliverers, couriers, emergency services etc.
No more struggling with streets with no names, houses with no numbers, and
lefts and rights.

Imagine the savings on time, fuel, and inefficient routing that will be
gained from the use of a technology-enabled humble postcode. Statisticians
can unlock administrative data. Transport planners can do commuter route
mapping. Deprivation can be more accurately mapped and service provision
more tuned. Innovation and competitive advantage at our fingertips. Is it
time for a European Regulation standardising the introduction of smart
postcodes across Europe?



By Gerry Brady, from Wikiprogress Correspondent, the Central Statistics Office Ireland.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Correspondent "Editor's Choice" September 2011

Welcome to the latest selection of progress and well-being related articles from Dafydd Thomas of our Correspondents, the Wellbeing Wales Network

We’ve all been there, impossible deadlines, absurd workloads and no end in sight. In such a situation, the support or otherwise from your line manager is crucial. In an article for HR Magazine , Professor Cooper of Lancaster University reports on the number of high level reports on work and wellbeing that identify line management as a “key aspect of employee health and wellbeing.”

As the economy falters, the Coalition Government is looking to make savings through cuts and other austerity measures. Ironically this inevitably means that fewer people are doing more work and some people are left doing no work at all. Unemployment has a huge impact on individuals and communities, but according to the UK Government Foresight project, stress and poor mental wellbeing at work costs the UK £25.9 billion per annum in sickness absence, presenteeism and labour turnover. Tackling this issue could put a sizeable dent in the UK’s deficit and reduce the needs for the cuts in the first place.

So what’s the answer? Professor Cooper feels that people management skills should be given more attention in the UK’s Business Schools, where currently very little is done to train the future captains of industry about “the increasing importance of man-management skills.” He feels that managers should be selected on their social and interpersonal skills rather than on technical knowledge. This would go some way to fixing the “manager problem” (we all have one of those) and reduce what is a substantial financial burden for the British economy.

Andrew Simms’ piece in the Guardian highlighted the dominance that conventional economics has in the UK Government’s policies. Where Professor Cooper feels that the economic system needs decision makers with better people skills to increase individual and collective wellbeing, Simms explains how our economy needs a fundamental shift in focus. He would like to see an economy of “better, not more,” by rethinking what is meant by productivity and efficiency. He suggests that people want financial security based on greater equality and fairness – not continual, destructive growth. This approach would also ensure that the environment on which we all depend remains intact.

Finally, the headline “Fifteen minutes of exercise can help” deserves a mention. It is, according to my colleague, pretty obvious. It’s based on a piece of research that found “some exercise is better than none.” My colleague remained unimpressed by this revelation, but conceded that people had to start somewhere. Maybe that’s the take home message here. Some change is better than none, in order to create that “economy of better,” managed in a way that does its best for the people and the communities its supposed to serve.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The week in review

Welcome to the Wikiprogress week in review, a round-up of media highlights from the busy and eventful week that was. Be sure to see the Wikiprogress Community Portal for all news items and blog posts from the progress community.

On progress
An index proposed by senior economist and government advisor Niu Wenyuan, commonly referred to as the ‘quality index’, measures the economy by size, sustainability, social equality and ecological impact. Eight years ago Nui tried but failed to introduce ‘Green GDP’; he has since returned with an index that is gaining an increasing amount of support.
See more and contribute to the article on progress in China

On development
Addressing the General Assembly on Wednesday, United Nations Secretary General listed five generational opportunities world leaders have today to shape the world for tomorrow. The first and greatest issue to address is sustainable development, as it spans over issues of climate change, water scarcity, global health, women’s empowerment and more; “solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.”
See more and contribute to the article on sustainable development

On data
A scoreboard released by the OECD shows how science, technology and industry trends compare by country. The report finds that US universities are leading in terms of research worldwide; of the top 50 institutions in the world for research (in all areas) 40 are located in the US.
See more and contribute to articles on OECD

One gender equality
Women Are Vital in the Participation Age (Huffington Post 16.09.2011)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an evidence-based case for the inclusion of women as a vital source of economic growth at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy. Women in developed economies over the past 10 years have added more to the global growth than China. A McKinsey study shows over the past 40 years women have gone from holding 37% of all jobs to 48%.
See more and contribute to the article on the Women’s Economic Opportunity Index

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. See you back here same time next week for another round-up of media highlights from the week that was.

Yours in progress,

Philippa Lysaght

Thursday, 22 September 2011

How much time do you have to understand progress?

I just returned from sunny and warm Portugal where I was attending a meeting on the accessibility of statistics. I know that might sound dry but there were some very interesting things that came up. The crowd was mainly made up of international organisations and bankers, but it is really interesting to see that, no matter how far along they are with the use of social media or other new communications tools, everyone is basically in the same boat. With the vast amounts of data an information alive today, how does an organisation ensure that their information will have the most impact?

The OECD is also looking into making their statistics more accessible via visualisation and there is a group of us who are looking into that. From what I gather from the group at the OECD so far, and several other meetings around the world, people are trying to communicate statistics in an easy, quick and reliable way. Sounds like it might be easy; you just put out a spreadsheet and let people know about it. However, the complexity lies in the fact that statistics need a context. You can’t just look at evidence without knowing the whowhatwherewhenandwhy it was created. But, is that even enough? Should we even be putting out Wikiprogress statistics in wiki.stat without the context or analysis? Yes, free and transparent data is a public good so we should do it. But, we put it out with good metadata.
Now, how and to whom do we communicate it?

Do we try to segment the market (i.e., a difference message for journalists, academics, interested public)? I’m not sure. I think I lean along the lines that we will never really be able to know what these segments really are or what they really want. That “general public” category has always eluded me as well. Also, I think that these groups are dynamic and change. Maybe we should look at these things in terms of time rather than occupation or role.

For example, when you come on the Wikiprogress site you would see:

Welcome to Wikiprogress! How much time do you have to look into/contribute to progress in societies?

1 minute? Click here
5 minutes? Click here
1 hour? Click here
1 day? Click here
A lifetime? Click here

I’m not sure I have ever seen that before in website design. I think it might take into account most of our people without trying to pigeonhole them. It is also a pretty neutral way of bringing people into the site meaning that we will hold no preconceived notions of who our visitors are. Of course, we have a very good idea in general but perhaps asking people to search by "time available for this" might give them a richer experience. I think we will try it and let you know how it goes.

More thoughts on this to come - such as what channels should statistics communicators use, and will any of this create more a trusting environment? Any ideas you have are also very welcome.


PS: If I was asked the question: How much time do you have to look into/contribute to Portugal, my answer would certainly be “a lifetime”! What a wonderful place. Thank you.

Friday, 16 September 2011

The week in review

Welcome to the Wikiprogress week in review, a round-up of media highlights from the busy and eventful week that was. Be sure to see the Wikiprogress Community Portal for all news items and blog posts from the progress community.

On governance
Thursday marked the International Day of Democracy, a UNDP initiative promoting inclusive and responsive governance, from elections to participation of women and the poor. Democracy is instrumental to empowering communities and nations around the world toward freedom and inclusion.
See more and contribute to the article on civic engagement

On happiness
Can we increase Gross National Happiness? (Project Syndicate Ethics of Life column 13.09.2011)
Peter Singer writes about highlights from the “Economic Development and Happiness” conference held in Bhutan’s capital last month. He raises an interesting issue about Gross National Happiness: saying that happiness is universally recognised as good, however problems arise when we try to agree on a definition and how to measure it.
See more and contribute to the article on happiness

On growth
The world’s population is forecast to top 7 billion next month; a global initiative ‘7 Billion Actions’ launched on Wednesday by the United Nations aims to bring together governments, businesses, the media and citizens to collectively address the challenges presented by population growth.
See more and contribute to the article on population

On gender
Candidate for Guatemalan vice president, Laura Reyes, speaks about the progress made for equal opportunities and the challenges that lie ahead. Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the Americas for women; from 2000 to 2010 police records show more than 5200 gender-related murders of women.
See more on and contribute to the article on gender equality in Guatemala

In the Spotlight: Education 2011 – Statistics compared by country a round up of media coverage on the release of the OECD publication Education at a Glance 2011

That’s all from us this week. Be sure to tune in again same time next week for another round up of highlights from the week that was.

Yours in progress,

Philippa Lysaght

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Progress Pie - beta

This post first appeared on Measures of Australia's Progress Blog 

As part of the MAP 2.0 Consultation, we have been collecting the goals and aspirations that other initiatives have developed. These projects may not have statistical measures associated with them, but they aim to set out the important aspects of life and important goals.

We hope this tool will give you an idea of the different types of goals other projects are articulating. It's our first attempt and information may have changed since we accessed the links. Please let us know of any issues, if there are initiatives we could add, or if you have any thoughts on the way we have mapped these initiatives to the MAP 2010 framework.

Click here  for the interactive version of the Progress Pie.

We hope this tool will give you an idea of the different types of goals other projects are articulating. It's our first attempt and information may have changed since we accessed the links. Please let us know of any issues, if there are initiatives we could add, or if you have any thoughts on the way we have mapped these initiatives to the MAP 2010 framework.

For a list of the projects in the Progress Pie, click here

by Serhat Turut from MAP 2.0

The Arab Spring: a Booster for Women’s Emancipation!?

Many Arab countries are on their way to reduce gender inequalities. The Arab Spring reinforced this movement in several regions. Yet, the battle for an expansion of women’s rights has just begun and continuous progress cannot be taken for granted.
In the 1950s, Tunisia undertook as first country in the Arab world steps to eliminate early marriage by setting a minimum age and was among the first Arab countries to assign women the right to vote. Since then, Tunisia has long had the most progressive and liberal stance towards women in the Arab region. In recent years successive steps have been taken to further improve women’s rights. Domestic violence has been criminalised, contraceptives have been made available, and regulated abortion has become legal. Recently, Tunisia ruled that parties are required to have equal numbers of men and women in electoral lists.
Image source:
Since the 2000s, many other countries have followed Tunisia on some points. Egypt, Libya and Morocco have introduced reforms to give women greater rights to pass on citizenship to children. In Algeria, Iraq and Morocco, sexual harassment in the workplace is banned legally.
There is justified hope that the Arab spring will further boost the emancipation process in the Arab world, as women’s participation in the Arab Spring has been significant. Many women have been participating in sit-ins and marches and have become politically engaged.
However, the expansion of women’s rights in Arab countries cannot be taken for granted, as gender norms are very rigid and change, if at all, very slowly. In some regions, one can even observe a rising conservatism going hand in hand with the Arab spring. Women have been criticized by some male protestors for their public involvement in the Arab Spring, as women being active in the public sphere are considered as acting against religious norms. Moreover, in times of high unemployment and uncertain economic conditions, some voices are advocating that women should be banned from the workplace as a way to solve male unemployment.
This call is done in disregard of the fact that the female share of the labour force is relatively small. On average, female employment rates account only for one third of male employment rates in the Arab region. Restrictions from working the same hours and from taking up the same jobs as men significantly limit women’s job opportunities and therewith their income and career perspectives. Moreover, due to a strong adherence to traditional gender roles, there is little concept of sharing household or childcare responsibilities among spouses, which urges many women to renounce their chances of a career.
However, in most Arab countries, women do not only face discrimination when it comes to labour market activities.  One of the most discriminatory aspects for women concerns their physical integrity. In Libya, gender-based violence continues to escalate as a weapon of war. In Egypt, female genital mutilation is still widespread even though illegal since 2008.
Another problem concerns women’s personal law status, which governs things such as marriage, divorce and child custody. Sometimes, Muslim women are not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man, although a Muslim man can be married to a non-Muslim woman. It is also common that divorce proceedings initiated by women are cumbersome and difficult. Indeed, in most Arab countries there is progress concerning women’s legal situation.  However, women often lack the economic resources to petition courts and cultural norms dissuade them from filing complaints in court. Hence, there is a strong need to ensure that laws, once created, are applied regardless of people’s sex, their geographical location or their socio-economic condition.
To further increase women’s participation in the economy, in the public sphere and in society, it is necessary that women continue to make their voices heard in the Arab world. Therefore, women need moral and financial support, provided not only by national governments but also by the international community. The progress of the feminist movement in the Arab world is actually highly dependent on a successful democratisation. To date, the overall representation of women in parliaments is still very low in the Arab region, ranging around 10% on average. However, in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, considerable efforts have been made over the last 10 years to increase women’s share in parliaments. This raises hope that the emancipation progress, which has just been starting in many Arab countries, will step up over the next years.
By Angela Luci from Gender Debate
Sources: blog author’s own contribution, Gulfnews, Masterpeace, USIP

Friday, 9 September 2011

The week in review

Welcome to the Wikiprogress week in review- a round-up of media highlights from the busy and eventful week that was. Be sure to see the Wikiprogress Community Portal for all new articles and blog posts from the progress community.

On progress
Economic growth isn’t ‘development’ (Inquirer 03.09.2011)
The inadequacies of economic growth representing development are highlighted in this article by looking at the decline in GDP growth in the second quarter compared to the rise in well-being and development in the Philippines. The article is broken down into 5 key points used to examine the argument.

On development
Development without freedom? (Guardian Poverty Matters Blog 06.09.2011)
This Guardian blog looks at the dangers of prioritising development over freedom and rights cautioning that it will postpone inevitable conflict. The post examines the development of both Uganda and Rwanda in analysing this conundrum.
See more on civic engagement

On employment
Across the world the rise in unemployment and the lack of access to affordable education has become an increasing concern. This article looks at the widespread uprising around the world and the role that unemployment plays in causing them.
See more on access to education and work

On gender equality
Tunisia is the first country in the region to withdraw reservations towards the CEDAW treaty- marking a significant step toward gender equality. Human Rights Watch has encouraged the government to ensure domestic laws conform to international standards in an attempt to end all forms of discrimination against women.
See more on CEDAW

On child well-being
Findings of a study conducted by Save the Children show the increasing cost of childcare is pushing the poorest out of work. The UK based survey revealed that a quarter of parents in Wales are in debt because of childcare costs.
See more on child well-being 

On data
Ghana to Upgrade Delivery of Statistical Services (Ghana Web 02.09.2011)
The Government of Ghana has received US$40 million from the World Bank in order to support the implementation of a new statistical service for the country. The Ghana Statistics Development Plan (GSDP) aims to strengthen the National Statistical System in producing and disseminating robust statistics to better evidence based policy.
See more on Ghana and please help us update this article  

That’s all from us this week. We hope to see you tune in the same time next week for another round up of highlights.

Yours in Progress,

Philippa Lysaght

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The "era of opening up", a new word for "users" and a "good talking to"

Greetings from rainy and cold Brussels where I am attending an international conference on “Internet and Societies, new innovation paths” at the European Commission.

It is organised by the PARADISO initiative which aims at exploring how societies might evolve or co-evolve in the future and makes recommendations on how ICT and the Future Internet contributes to a better future.

This is a little different crowd than I usually see at these kinds of international conferences and the discussions are definitely lively. Here are a few of the highlights:

Today, in the afternoon session, there was Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO of The Internet Society who made a plea for all companies and governments to move over the IPv6 so that more IP addresses can be created.  She asked us all to check with our IT departments as this is a key issue that is limiting equal access to the internet globally. She also asked (and many of the researchers in the room agreed) that we seek a better term for the word “users” for those who interact with the Internet. I agree. That word doesn’t really encompass how people interact anymore. I’m trying to think of one word with one syllable….anyone? She also doesn’t see the security issue as all encompassing as some (even in the room) do. She thinks there is an element of risk in innovation and if we lock down the internet or its information because it might not be safe, we may miss out on the possibility that others can build on that.

Speaking of openness, Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Member of Prime Minister's Scientific Advisory Committee, India gave an impassioned speech on the power of the Internet in India. He said, “We are in an era of opening up”. I like that. He went on to say that the Internet provides cohesion, education, doctors and diversity. However, he warned that people can get lost on the internet and lose sight of reality. Among the problems with bringing the majority of the Indian population online is due to languages. He did say that using voice over the internet in local languages is proving to be successful. He reflected on whether governance can ever be fair and decentralised and whether Asia will define the Internet differently than the West. He is thinking on issues of “private lives” and with constant connectivity, it seems to be disappearing. Then he made a funny reference to Americans who send emails and expect a reply in 10 minutes even when its 2am in Delhi. He also agreed that the term “users” doesn’t suit and we must find ways to increase engagement on the Internet.

Another lively speech was given by Ruben Nelson, Executive Director, Foresight Canada. He says that internet and societies are co-evolving like a marriage. One cannot exist without the other both are responsible for what happens in the future. In his talk he gave us a "good talking to" by saying that the modern/industrial imagination is:
• Too fragmented

• Too short term

• Too shallow (in terms of thinking through difficult concepts)

• Too arrogant

In this context, he questions the concept of sustainability. Instead, he suggests that we should change and fix this nonsense rather than holding on to it in hopes that maybe we will get away with it. Applause.

So today, a lot of big thinking on the future of the internet and the relationship with societies. Tomorrow at this conference, I will talk about the Wikiprogress and Wikigender road and where they fit into all this as platforms for citizen engagement.

I think we can look forward to the recommendations that this crowd will put out soon. Stay tuned to Wikiprogress for updates.


PS: Trevor, are we on IPv6?

Friday, 2 September 2011

The week in review

Welcome to the Wikiprogress week in review, a round-up of media highlights from the busy and eventful week that was. Be sure to visit the Wikiprogress Community Portal for all news articles and blog posts from the international progress movement.

On progress
As Hurricane Irene and the subsequent media storm swept through the US last week, analysts have predicted the clean-up will boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) significantly in the latter half of 2011. This article highlights the dangers of GDP being used as a measure of economic progress.
See more on measuring progress

On data
By mapping the relationship between hunger and conflict – food emerges as a key security risk around the world. Sub-Saharan Africa is the place where people most fear for their next meal, while India and Spain are vulnerable from different kinds of food problems.
See more on access to food

On the MDGs
Learning the lessons of the MDGs: second time round, let's get it right (The Guardian Poverty Matters Blog 30.08.2011)
As the 2015 deadline approaches for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), discussions have begun as to what is needed to replace them. By responding to criticisms of the MDGs, a replacement programme should incorporate targets tailored to the individual needs of countries.

On child well-being
A study released by the World Health Organisation and Save the Children has revealed that 99% of newborn deaths occur in the developing world. The study looks at data over 20 years and covers 193 countries; Afghan babies face the greatest risk with 1 in 19 dying in theirfirst month of life.
See more on the World Health Organisation

On gender equality
The daughter also rises (The Economist 27.08.2011)
Young middle-class women are overtaking male peers in education, while women in the emerging world are increasingly taking over boardrooms. This article argues that firms in emerging markets do a better job of promoting their female employees than their Western rivals, which is having a dramatic impact on the gender balance of boardrooms.

On happiness
America and the Pursuit of Happiness (Jeffrey Sachs for the Huffington Post 30.08.2011)
In this blog post, Jeffrey Sachs warns Americans about the quest for profit drowning out other values, such as social trust, honesty and compassion. He continues to say Americans are at risk of losing their values and their right to pursue happiness if economic progress remains the predominant measure of success.
See more on happiness

That's all from us this week- be sure to tune in the same time next week for another round of weekly highlights.

Yours in Progress,

Philippa Lysaght