Girls are cool. Girls can save the world. Girls can – according to the colourful stickers produced by the Nike Foundation – pull off miracles: “lifting” economies, ending the spread of HIV, leading the revolution. Investing in girls, the UK’s Department for International Development tells us, is a surefire way to “stop poverty before it […]Read more "So much for Girl Power, let’s tackle those gender stereotypes that are creating the basis for a dystopian future"
“If you look back over history, most progress has come about when popular movements have emerged led by determined men and women,” said veteran British politician Tony Benn. Cleaning the kitchen and putting on the washing before leaving for work this morning, I thought of one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met, Creuza Oliveira, […]Read more "Educate, Agitate, Organise!"
Call me romantic, but there’s something that moves me about ordinary people feeling as if they have a right to have a say about what their government does. Picture these scenes. A bus, a mode of transport used only by the poor, rolls through the countryside in northeast Brazil, the road surrounded by sugar cane […]Read more "Power to the People"
Have you ever played the game where someone picks a person and you have to try to guess who it is, by asking them: “If x were a kind of weather, what kind of weather would they be? And if they were a pair of shoes, what kind of shoes would they be?” I was […]Read more "Fixing the System"
“Ah, development!” the lads I lived with in Zimbabwe used to crow when someone appeared with a new purchase – a pair of shoes, a cap, a bicycle. Development meant improvement, but it also meant acquisition, something tangible, something new. Life in our little hamlet in the hinterland of a small mining town in southern Zimbabwe […]Read more "What is “Development” – and why does history matter?"