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Showing posts for "Middle East and North Africa"

Underground Railroad to Save Yazidi Women from the Islamic State Could Offer Critical Intel

by Catherine Powell
Yazidi refugees stand behind fences as they wait for the arrival of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Midyat in Mardin province, June 20, 2015 (Umit Bektas/Reuters). Yazidi refugees stand behind fences as they wait for the arrival of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Midyat in Mardin province, June 20, 2015 (Umit Bektas/Reuters).

It has been nearly a year since the self-proclaimed Islamic State kidnapped an estimated three thousand Yazidi women and children during an attack on their villages in northern Iraq. The Islamic State views these attacks, kidnappings, and killings as justifiable because they consider the Yazidi people—a religious minority group—infidels and devil-worshipers.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: African Progress, EU Transparency, Term Limits, Foreign Aid, and War Crimes

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala greets upon his arrival to take part in the International Conference of Nepal Reconstruction in Kathmandu, June 25, 2015. According to the local media report the government expects big aid pledge from the donors taking part in the conference for rebuilding Nepal after the earthquake. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters) Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala greets upon his arrival to take part in the International Conference of Nepal Reconstruction in Kathmandu, June 25, 2015. According to the local media report the government expects big aid pledge from the donors taking part in the conference for rebuilding Nepal after the earthquake. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

This post is part of the series, “This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each Friday, CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program, will highlight the week’s noteworthy events and articles.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Corruption in China, Mediterranean Migrant Crisis, Child Labor, and Turkish Elections

by Shannon K. O'Neil
A group of 300 sub-Saharan Africans on board a boat are seen next to an Italian marine ship (top) during a rescue operation by the Italian Finance Police vessel Di Bartolo (not pictured) off the coast of Sicily, May 14, 2015. Around 1100 migrants were rescued off the coast of Sicily, about 130 miles from Lampedusa, according to the police. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters) A group of 300 sub-Saharan Africans on board a boat are seen next to an Italian marine ship (top) during a rescue operation by the Italian Finance Police vessel Di Bartolo (not pictured) off the coast of Sicily, May 14, 2015. Around 1100 migrants were rescued off the coast of Sicily, about 130 miles from Lampedusa, according to the police. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)

This is the third post of a new series on the Development Channel, “This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each Friday, CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program, will highlight the week’s noteworthy events and articles.

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Loan Guarantees and Financial Inclusion in the Developing World

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
An entrepreneur in Guatemala works on her loom. She received support from Friendship Bridge, a client of MCE Social Capital that provides impoverished Guatemalan women microfinance and education services, 2013. (Courtesy Friendship Bridge) An entrepreneur in Guatemala works on her loom. She received support from Friendship Bridge, a client of MCE Social Capital that provides impoverished Guatemalan women microfinance and education services, 2013. (Courtesy Friendship Bridge)

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is from Gary Ford, chief executive officer of MCE Social Capital, and Benjamin D. Stone, director of strategy and general counsel of MCE Social Capital and a CFR term member. Here they discuss how loan guarantees can help unlock economic opportunities for people in the developing world.

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White House Summit Embraces Women’s Rights to Counter Violent Extremism

by Catherine Powell
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in Washington, DC, February 2015 (Courtesy Joshua Roberts/Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in Washington, DC, February 2015 (Courtesy Joshua Roberts/Reuters).

Last week, the White House sponsored an international summit on strategies to counter violent extremism (CVE), focusing on groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda. Among the strategies suggested to mitigate radicalization, President Obama listed an increased emphasis on human rights and democracy: “That means free elections where people can choose their own future, and independent judiciaries that uphold the rule of law, and police and security forces that respect human rights, and free speech and freedom for civil society groups.”

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Five Ways to Engage the Private Sector in Countering Violent Extremism

by Guest Blogger for Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
A masked man speaking in what is believed to be a North American accent in a video released by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in September 2014 is pictured in this still frame from video obtained by Reuters (Courtesy Reuters/FBI/Handout via Reuters). A masked man speaking in what is believed to be a North American accent in a video released by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in September 2014 is pictured in this still frame from video obtained by Reuters (Courtesy Reuters/FBI/Handout via Reuters).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Dr. Khalid Koser, executive director of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) and a nonresident senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.

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UN Reports Rising Attacks on Girls’ Education

by Catherine Powell
A girl reads from the board in a home-based school in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 2001 (Courtsey Damir Sagolj/Reuters). A girl reads from the board in a home-based school in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 2001 (Courtsey Damir Sagolj/Reuters).

Attacks on girls’ schools and female students have appeared in the headlines regularly in recent years, from the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria, by Boko Haram to the assassination attempt on student and girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai.

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Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia After King Abdullah

by Catherine Powell
A woman drives a car in October 2013 in Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where women are barred from driving. Saudi female activists are campaigning to change this rule (Courtesy Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser). A woman drives a car in October 2013 in Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where women are barred from driving. Saudi female activists are campaigning to change this rule (Courtesy Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser).

The death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz raises important questions about the future of the kingdom, including issues that have ripple effects around the world such as regional relations, counterterrorism strategy, and international oil pricing. With the transition of power to King Salman, another question emerges: what does the future hold for Saudi women’s rights?

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Leveraging Tech Innovations in Development

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Flood victims show their ID cards to receive food rations at a distribution centre in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province August 25, 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Reinhard Krause). Flood victims show their ID cards to receive food rations at a distribution centre in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province August 25, 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Reinhard Krause).

Over the past decade, technology has begun to revolutionize industries ranging from education and healthcare to financial services and commerce. These transformations are not limited to the developed world – in emerging economies rapid mobile technology proliferation and internet penetration have had profound and unforeseen effects, including expanding financial inclusion through mobile banking services and facilitating employment through online and mobile job platforms.

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Economic Opportunity and Human Rights on International Migrants Day

by Hannah Chartoff
Members of the Swiss UNIA workers union protest the Qatar 2022 World Cup in front of the headquarters of soccer's international governing body FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, October 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann). Members of the Swiss UNIA workers union protest the Qatar 2022 World Cup in front of the headquarters of soccer's international governing body FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, October 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Hannah Chartoff, a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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