ROSEN, GLOBAL INVESTOR COUNSEL, Encourages Lightning eMotors, Inc. f/k/a GigCapital3, Inc. Investors with Losses Exceeding $100K to Secure Counsel Before Important Deadline in Securities Class Action – ZEV, ZEV.WS

NEW YORK, Nov. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Lightning eMotors, Inc. f/k/a GigCapital3, Inc. (NYSE: ZEV, ZEV.WS) between May 7, 2021 and August 16, 2021, inclusive (the "Class Period") of the important December 14, 2021 lead plaintiff deadline.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Lightning eMotors securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Lightning eMotors class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2155.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than December 14, 2021. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources, or any meaningful peer recognition. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) the Company would record a substantially greater net loss per share in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the second quarter of 2020 and would pull its full year guidance for the remainder of 2021; (2) accordingly, the Company materially overstated its financial position and/or prospects; and (3) as a result, the Company's public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the Lightning eMotors class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2155.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
cases@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com


ROSEN, GLOBAL INVESTOR COUNSEL, Encourages Eargo, Inc. Investors with Losses Over $100K to Secure Counsel Before Important December 6 Deadline in Securities Class Action – EAR

NEW YORK, Nov. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Eargo, Inc. (NASDAQ: EAR) between February 25, 2021 and September 22, 2021, inclusive (the "Class Period"), of the important December 6, 2021 lead plaintiff deadline.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Eargo securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Eargo class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2162.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than December 6, 2021. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources, or any meaningful peer recognition. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Eargo had improperly sought reimbursements from certain third–party payors; (2) the foregoing was reasonably likely to lead to regulatory scrutiny; (3) as a result and because the reimbursements at issue involved the Company's largest third–party payor, Eargo's financial results would be adversely impacted; and (4) as a result of the foregoing, defendants' positive statements about the Company's business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the Eargo class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2162.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

———————————————–

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
cases@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com


ACAMS Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Conference Offers Roadmap for Meeting Emerging Anti-Financial Crime Compliance Risks in MENA

Abu Dhabi, UAE, Nov. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As part of its ongoing effort to foster greater dialogue between regulators and anti–financial crime (AFC) professionals operating in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), ACAMS will host a unique, two–day event for its 12th Annual AML & Anti–Financial Crime Conference "" MENA. Beginning on November 7, attendees of this fully virtual conference will learn compliance strategies and industry best practices from high–level governmental officials and subject–matter experts, including representatives from the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority, the United Arab Emirate's Ministry of Economy, the Central Bank of Bahrain, Banque du Liban, and many of the region's largest banks and FinTech firms, among others.

Speakers at the conference will offer practical guidance on AFC compliance topics as the growing money–laundering risks for designated non–financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs), the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to detect emerging fraud typologies, risk mitigation policies and procedures for the virtual assets sector, the impact of China sanctions on trade finance and supply chains, and compliance strategies to minimize exposure to criminal activity in free trade zones and the maritime industry.

"Amid international calls for financial institutions to strengthen their AFC effectiveness and make new efforts to identify payments tied to cybercrime and other illicit activity, the challenges facing compliance professionals and regulatory agencies today have never been greater," said ACAMS President and Managing Director, Scott Liles. "That's why we've designed ACAMS MENA around the concept that fostering strong communication lines between financial institutions and governmental agencies is a crucial step in the fight against illicit finance."

"Attendees of this event will not only have the opportunity to glean insights on such developments as the rising role of FinTech firms in the compliance space and the recent launch of the UAE's new anti–money laundering office, but they'll also walk away with practical compliance advice on how to best safeguard their own institutions from new and long–standing financial–crime risks," said Liles.

###

About ACAMS

ACAMS is a member of Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE), a leading workforce solutions provider headquartered in the United States. ACAMS is the largest international membership organization dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and skills of anti–money laundering (AML) and financial crime prevention professionals from a wide range of industries. Its CAMS certification is the most widely recognized AML certification among compliance professionals worldwide. Its new Certified Global Sanctions Specialist (CGSS) certification commenced in January 2020. Visit acams.org for more information.

About Adtalem Global Education

Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE), a leading workforce solutions provider, partners with organizations in the healthcare and financial services industries to solve critical workforce talent needs by expanding access to education, certifications and upskilling programs at scale. With a dedicated focus on driving strong outcomes that increase workforce preparedness, Adtalem empowers a diverse learner population to achieve their goals and make inspiring contributions to the global community. Adtalem is the parent organization of ACAMS, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Becker Professional Education, Chamberlain University, EduPristine, OnCourse Learning, Ross University School of Medicine, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and Walden University. Adtalem has more than 10,000 employees, a network of nearly 275,000 alumni and serves over 82,000 members across 200 countries and territories. Adtalem was named one of America's Most Responsible Companies 2021 by Newsweek and one of America's Best Employers for Diversity 2021 by Forbes. Follow Adtalem on Twitter (@adtalemglobal), LinkedIn or visit adtalem.com for more information.


Melissa Hammerle Appointed President of Intelex Technologies

Toronto, Canada, Nov. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Intelex Technologies, ULC, a leading global provider of cloud–based Environmental, Health, Safety and Quality (EHSQ) management software, today announced the appointment of Melissa Hammerle to the role of president of the organization.

"I'm excited to bring Melissa's deep continuous improvement experience and leadership to the Intelex team. Melissa will be a key driver as we work to help customers drive EHS and ESG performance to levels previously unimaginable," said Justin McElhattan, Group President of EHS businesses for Intelex parent company Fortive.

Hammerle brings experience driving growth, customer retention and innovation through leadership roles in general management, product, marketing, sales, customer success and the Fortive Business System (FBS). She has led teams to co–create cultures with high engagement, ownership and customer centricity across a range of businesses, from startups to large scale enterprises.

"I'm thrilled to join the Intelex team," said Hammerle. "We have a profoundly impactful mission and a once–in–a–lifetime growth opportunity as investors, business leaders and customers raise the bar on the practices of EHSQ and help our customers achieve their Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) goals."

Hammerle joins Intelex from Accruent, where, as the Commercial President, she and her team built new sales and marketing growth engines to sustainably deliver software bookings. Previously, she led the team that created Fluke's first Internet of Things business to serve customer maintenance workflows, accelerated strategic initiatives across Fortive as the FBS Director of Growth, and delivered strong revenue and employee engagement as the VP & GM of Fluke Calibration.

Prior to joining Fortive, Hammerle served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, where she led a company in Iraq.

She earned an MBA from Harvard University and an BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.

###
About Intelex Technologies, ULC
Intelex Technologies, ULC is a global leader in environmental, health, safety and quality (EHSQ) management software. Since 1992, Intelex employees across the globe have been committed to innovating and enabling organizations to send their employees home safely every day, leaving behind a more sustainable world to the generations that follow, and manage quality so that only the safest and highest quality products make it to market. Intelex's scalable, web–based platform and applications have helped clients across all industries improve business performance, mitigate organization–wide risk, and ensure sustained compliance with internationally accepted standards (e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, and OSHAS 18001) and regulatory requirements. Almost 1,400 customers in 195 countries trust Intelex to power their EHSQ initiatives. Headquartered in Toronto with regional offices and employees around the world, Intelex became an Industrial Scientific company in 2019. In 2020, Intelex acquired ehsAI, provider of a SaaS–based next–wave compliance automation solution that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. For more information about Intelex, visit www.intelex.com.

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Finance Nature-based Solutions to Quiet Nature’s Wrath – Experts

Accelerate climate finance for nature-based solutions in step with the pace of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, experts. Credit: Joyce Chimbi/IPS

By Joyce Chimbi
Glasgow, Nov 5 2021 – Climate change experts and leaders from the Commonwealth member states rallied behind calls to accelerate climate finance for nature-based solutions to arrest the pace of climate change, land degradation, and biodiversity loss.

Featuring prominently at the global COP26 climate talks during a high-level event hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in conjunction with the government of Zambia and Namibia, speakers emphasised at the heart of the nature-based solutions approach is human survival and well-being.

Titled ‘Accelerating Climate Finance for Nature-based Solutions-Climate, Land and Biodiversity Targets’, participants heard that nature-based solutions play an essential role in stopping and reversing the unprecedented loss of ecosystems while building resilience against climate change.

Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, lauded nature-based solutions as an effective and immediate remedy to pressing societal and development challenges.

“Many societal changes and challenges are now presenting to us, and we are currently facing them boldly and bravely. They touch on human health, climate change, biodiversity loss, food and water security, and environmental degradation not just on our land but in our ocean,” Scotland said.

“They are all tied to state and functioning of the natural environment. So multi-impact scenarios, like those that the world has experienced over the last two years, have unfortunately shown us what happens when this in-extricable link is broken.”

The high-level panel included representatives from the Governments of Zambia, Namibia, Seychelles and Australia. It was followed by a second-panel discussion with partner organisations, including the Green Climate Fund, World Wide Fund for Nature, the Development Bank of Rwanda and the Department of Climate Change of Mauritius.

Nature-based solutions, panellists said, involve actions that protect, sustainably manage, and restore all ecosystems, including oceans and forests. In this regard, sustainable land management, for instance, is prioritised to tackle land degradation and promote climate-resilient land use.

Within this context, discussions centred on identifying gaps, challenges, and solutions for advancing sustainable financing mechanisms around nature-based solutions for climate action.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland in The Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. Scotland expressed concerns about the impact of climate change on exacerbating superstorms, like this 2019 event which took a massive human toll. Credit: Commonwealth

Australia was the first country to contribute to the Commonwealth’s Climate Finance Access Hub. In a statement, Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, reiterated the country’s unwavering commitment to advancing nature-based solutions.

Morrison said that Australians understood the need to act against climate change and get to net-zero by 2050, and the country had a plan to do it, and nature-based solutions were an essential part of this plan.

He stressed the significant benefits of adopting nature-based solutions such as reaching net-zero within a set timeline, boosting agricultural productivity, protecting biodiversity, and supporting communities and job opportunities.

Pohamba Penomwenyo Shifeta, Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, said Namibia was not far behind because the Southern Africa nation was implementing an interconnected approach to land management, climate change and biodiversity conservation.

“Namibia has so far accumulated significant knowledge and experience from ongoing projects and initiatives that can be scaled up to build resilience at the community level and ecosystems,” he said.

Scotland said the time to act was now – especially in light of the recent Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1 contribution to the sixth assessment report, which “provides further irrefutable evidence of the immense threat confronting us all.”

She also spoke of the 2021 Emissions Gap report “released just last week and is yet another thundering reminder of the need to act urgently to curb emissions.”

In this regard, the high-level panel emphasised the urgent need to deploy an array of sustainable solutions to benefit people and the planet.

One approach, Scotland said, is through nature-based solutions, which offer a cost-effective way to simultaneously tackle the interlinked climate, biodiversity, and land degradation crisis.

Scotland said that is especially critical in the COVID-19 pandemic as the world strives to adopt blue and green recovery strategies.

Speakers called for coordinated and urgent action to boost biodiversity conservation, reduce land degradation, and enhance land-based climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts through sustainable development.

Participants heard that climate change amplifies biodiversity loss and land degradation. Despite nature-based solutions gaining visibility and traction across Commonwealth countries, there is still not enough up-take and, specifically, not enough financing to quiet nature’s wrath.

According to experts in a recent UN report titled ‘State of Finance for Nature’, $133 billion per year is directed towards nature-based solutions, representing 86 percent public financing and 14 per cent private sector finance.

This falls significantly short of the annual investment required to meet cross-cutting targets under the three Rio Conventions targets on biodiversity, climate change, and desertification.

To meet these targets, estimates show that up to $8.1 trillion worth of investment in nature-based solutions was required, representing $536 billion worth of funding every year.

The UN experts say reaching an annual funding target of $536 billion translates to tripling investments by 2030 and quadrupling by 2050.

Climate financing experts this is possible and that these estimates are cost-effective. Benefits include nations being able to meet human needs such as food and water security and accelerate long-term social and economic development.

For instance, nature-based solutions can positively contribute 37 per cent of the mitigation effort required up to 2030 to limit temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius. This is mainly within the agriculture, forestry, and land-use sectors as per 2019 estimates by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Nevertheless, there are critical steps in the right direction. In addition to Australia, the UK and current Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Chair-in-Office has committed to spending at least £3 billion worth of its international climate finance on nature-based solutions.

Under the Commonwealth Finance Access Hub, the Commonwealth Secretariat has already supported its member states to mobilise more than $44 million of climate financing, including for nature-based financing. More than $762 million worth of projects are in the pipeline.

Scotland said that there would be significant progress if every single member state who would wish to have a climate finance advisor were able to.

When curtains fall on COP26 Summit, experts say that protecting communities and natural habitats through concerted efforts towards the protection and restoration of ecosystems will be one of the critical goals.

 


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At COP26, EBRD Launches Plan to Mobilise Private Capital for Climate Finance

In Serbia, EBRD supported privately financed wind farms at Cibuk – the biggest in the Western Balkans region – and Kovačica, helping Serbia reduce its dependence on ageing coal-fired plants running on polluting lignite. Credit: EBRD

By Vanora Bennett
LONDON, Nov 5 2021 – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced its intention to double the mobilisation of private sector climate financing by 2025.

The way to achieve this target was set out in an Action Plan on Mobilising Private Capital for Climate Finance, unveiled at COP26, the global climate summit. With this plan the EBRD will support the transition to a low carbon economy in its countries of operations.

The EBRD’s plan spans the full range of activities to stimulate investment from green and sustainability-linked bonds through innovative financing mechanisms for industrial decarbonisation to targeted loans to support for the circular economy.

At the heart is a focus on policy activities to develop a regulatory environment that makes low-carbon investments commercially viable.

These activities, from the implementation of renewable energy auctions to the design of low-carbon sector pathways, are intended to trigger sustainable demand for climate-friendly investment and in turn for private capital.

“Globally, there is a significant increase in private capital committed to green finance. The EBRD will help direct that money to its countries of operations. Its ability to do so rests not on a single approach or instrument, but on a broad range of bespoke interventions. Some seek to increase the supply of private capital to EBRD countries of operations,” said EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso.

“However, the key focus of the Bank’s work is to increase the demand for this capital: the supply of bankable investment projects that attract financial flows seeking a return. This requires approaches that respond to the specific situations of markets and clients.”

Together with other multilateral development banks (MDBs), the Bank plays a leading role in helping to decarbonise economies and enable the transition to a more sustainable future, with a focus on involving the private sector in tackling climate change.

A major challenge in emerging economies and developing countries is a shortage of bankable climate projects. Several factors limit the supply of such projects. The most fundamental is the lack of either an implicit or an explicit carbon price. Without a carbon price, many green investments are not commercially viable.

The 2021 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference is key to delivering climate action, with countries making more ambitious climate pledges to move closer to the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C, with the aim of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

Financiers, including MBDs like the EBRD, are preparing to deliver more support to realise those plans.

The EBRD is supporting these goals not only with investments in green energy, energy efficiency and energy savings. The Bank is also supporting especially exposed countries like Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan to develop roadmaps to low or zero carbon economies and it is addressing the need for a ‘just transition’ with recent investments, for instance in North Macedonia.

The EBRD brings two recent commitments of its own on enhancing its climate action. One is to increase the proportion of its green investments to more than 50 per cent of the total by 2025. The second is by 2023 to align all its operations with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The EBRD supports the green transition in the 38 economies in Europe, Asia and Africa where it currently invests.

Vanora Bennett is EBRD green spokeswoman

 


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Daughters of a Lesser God (II) 200 Million Girls Mutilated

Female Genital Mutilation is a ‘violent act’ that, among other dramatic consequences, causes infection, disease, childbirth complications and death. Credit: Travis Lupick/IPS

Female Genital Mutilation is a ‘violent act’ that, among other dramatic consequences, causes infection, disease, childbirth complications and death. Credit: Travis Lupick/IPS

By Baher Kamal
MADRID, Nov 5 2021 – While male circumcision is spread mainly among Muslim and other religious communities, and it is apparently accepted by some medical spheres, more than 200 million girls have already fallen prey to a dangerous, abhorrent practice, which is carried out in the name of social and religious traditions: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Such a human rights violation is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15, is one stark evidence of gender inequality. Nevertheless it is not legally typified as a “crime” nor is it a relevant focus of wealthy societies’ feminist movements.

Although primarily concentrated in some 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, FGM is a universal problem and is also practiced in some States in Asia and Latin America. Moreover, FGM continues to persist amongst immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand

Furthermore, it is far from being stopped—in fact some 70 million more girls are right now at risk of being mutilated by the year 2030.

 

What is all about

“Female Genital Mutilation is a ‘violent act’ that, among other dramatic consequences, causes infection, disease, childbirth complications and death,” said on this silenced practice the executive directors of the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA and UN Children’s Fund UNICEF in a joint statement.

In order to denounce this violation, it should be more than enough to report some of the key facts and conclusions that world health and human rights experts have compiled for the United Nations Organisation.

 

Frightening facts

These following ones are just some of the key facts presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the occasion of this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

— Female genital mutilation involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

— The practice has no health benefits for girls and women. And it is a violation of their human rights.

— FGM can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.

— More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated.

 

Deep-rooted inequality

According to the UN: “This violent, harmful practice reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls… The practice also violates their rights to sexual and reproductive health, security and physical integrity, their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their right to life when the procedure results in death”.

 

No health benefits, only harm

According to thw World Health Organisation, FGM has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies.

Generally speaking, risks of FGM increase with increasing severity (which here corresponds to the amount of tissue damaged), although all forms of FGM are associated with increased health risk.

Immediate complications can include: severe pain; excessive bleeding (haemorrhage); genital tissue swelling; fever; infections e.g., tetanus; urinary problems; wound healing problems; injury to surrounding genital tissue; shock and… death.

Long-term complications can include: painful urination, urinary tract infections); vaginal problems (discharge, itching, bacterial vaginosis and other infections); menstrual problems (painful menstruations, difficulty in passing menstrual blood, etc.).

And scar tissue and keloid; sexual problems (pain during intercourse, decreased satisfaction, etc.); increased risk of childbirth complications (difficult delivery, excessive bleeding, caesarean section, need to resuscitate the baby, etc.) and newborn deaths; need for later surgeries, and psychological problems (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, low self-esteem, etc.).

In addition to the fact that most of the girls and women who have been subject to FMG live in numerous African countries, and some in Asia, they are also increasingly found in Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States; primarily immigrants from Africa and Southwestern Asia, according to the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, UN Population Fund UNFPA and UN Women.

 

Also among migrants and refugees

The world bodies’ experts also report that, although primarily concentrated in some 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, FGM is a universal problem and is also practiced in some States in Asia and Latin America. Moreover, FGM continues to persist amongst immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

But what is behind the practice of girls genital mutilation?

According to WHO, the reasons why female genital mutilations are performed vary from one region to another as well as over time, and include a mix of sociocultural factors within families and communities.

The most commonly cited reasons are: where FGM is a social convention (social norm), the social pressure to conform to what others do and have been doing, as well as the need to be accepted socially and the fear of being rejected by the community, are strong motivations to perpetuate the practice.

As well, FGM is often considered a necessary part of raising a girl, and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage. And it is often motivated by beliefs about what is considered acceptable sexual behaviour.

As importantly: female genital mutilation aims to ensure premarital virginity and marital fidelity. In many communities it is believed to reduce a woman’s libido and therefore believed to help her resist extramarital sexual acts. Where it is believed that being cut increases marriageability, FGM is more likely to be carried out.

What else to say about such an act of cruelty…? Maybe to reiterate that it is in many cases committed in the name of social tradition and religious beliefs whose self-proclaimed male representatives use to justify by saying that mutilating girls is the way to “purify” them… by reducing their sexual appetite and keeping it all for their own!

 

As a Humanitarian Crisis Engulfs Afghanistan, Education Cannot Wait Makes Urgent Appeal for Access to Quality Learning for All Children

Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, is welcomed by teachers and students at a girls’ primary school in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Credit: Omid Fazel/ECW

By Alison Kentish
New York, Nov 5 2021 – After leading a landmark, first-ever all-women mission to Afghanistan last week, Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, says that schools must reopen for all children and that girls, in particular, must be able to return to secondary school classrooms.

Sherif visited a girls’ school in Kabul and spoke to students, female teachers, and administrators as part of her Afghan mission. She also met with the de facto education authorities at the Ministry of Education to advocate the right of all children to quality education. The ECW mission comes less than a month after ECW launched a US$4 million First Emergency Response grant to provide ‘quality, flexible learning and psychosocial support for children and adolescents caught in the escalating crisis.

“We need to act fast. When you are in the midst of a humanitarian emergency like Afghanistan, where there is no money in circulation, starvation is a very real fact and poverty is extreme,” Sherif told IPS. “Schools need to continue to reopen and education must be sustained. Not only at primary school levels but through secondary schools – and girls have to go back to secondary schools.”

Sherif, a human rights lawyer, worked in Afghanistan in the early 1990s. She was part of a mission to the country after the first Taliban takeover in 1999 and has visited the country periodically over the last 20 years. She spoke to IPS about her observations from this ground-breaking mission to Kabul a few days ago – the first of its kind since the Taliban take-over in August.

Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, meets with de facto education authorities in Afghanistan.
Credit: Omid Fazel/ECW

“There are more women on the streets of Kabul today. I even saw women demonstrating for health care. I visited a girls’ primary school whose teachers and administration were all women,” Sherif said.

“The school’s headmaster is a woman, the school’s doctor is a woman, administrators and teachers are women. There are educated, strong women who are working, but they do not get salaries, because there are no salaries for basic services as a result of the funding freeze to Afghanistan.”

The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Union are just a few of the international bodies that have cut off Afghanistan’s access to financing. According to the World Bank, the country relies on grant funding for more than 75 percent of public spending, with expenditure of US$411 billion and government revenue of US$2.5 billion.

With that grant funding frozen, the country is on the brink of economic collapse.

Sherif is appealing for direct funding through UN agencies like ECW and UNICEF, which has the proven mechanisms in place to ensure that funds are used to support teachers and students.

“Teachers are not being paid. UNICEF has a very strong process on the ground. If money were to be given today or tomorrow to pay all teacher salaries, UNICEF has capacities in place to deliver on that funding, even if this would typically have been done through the World Bank or other development actors, but now we are in humanitarian crisis so you cannot use regular development aid approaches,” Sherif told IPS.

“The same goes for all UN agencies like the World Food Programme and UNHCR, the UN Refugees agency. Funding can be channeled through them directly to implement aid programmes. Nothing needs to, nor will go through, the de facto authorities.”

The ECW Director is cautiously optimistic following her meeting with the de facto education authorities, to whom she appealed for a return to secondary school for girls.

UNICEF Deputy Representative Alice Akunha and Chief of Education Jeannette Vogelaar greet the Education Cannot Wait all-women delegation to Afghanistan, led by Director Yasmine Sherif and her colleagues, Michelle May and Anouk Desgroseilliers.
Credit: Omid Fazel/ECW

“Primary schools have opened for girls’ education and for girls’ secondary education, the de facto authorities told us that they are developing a plan. I stressed that the girls have no time to lose and that the benefits of educating girls are crucial to the future of the country,” she said.

The ECW Director has commended international and national civil society organizations that now work with religious scholars as they negotiate the resumption of secondary school education at the grassroots level. “By bringing an Islamic scholar with them, these NGOs have actually managed to build trust. So secondary schools have opened in some provinces, a few in the north and a few in the south. It is important to stand firm on human rights and girls’ rights, but you must also have the ability to build trust as well,” she said.

ECW is already prepared to swiftly scale up its support and adapt its programming in Afghanistan. New challenges and more children in need of help demand pivoting and quick response. Sherif says ECW was created for crises like these.

“As the UN’s global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, we are agile, quick, and flexible. We use decades of lessons learned across the UN system to respond to crises. Traditional development aid modalities that are not crisis-sensitive are not going to work; not in this situation,” she said.

Sherif says that an estimated $1 billion is urgently required for United Nations agencies and international and local NGOs to meet the pressing education needs across the country.

“It’s about how can we save the Afghan population from a humanitarian catastrophe. How can we ensure that every Afghan girl and boy in the country can go to primary and secondary school? It’s about how we can ensure that teachers receive their salaries, so they are able to continue to teach. It is about providing teaching and learning materials and safe learning environments. It is about ensuring that the rights of adolescent girls to access education are fulfilled. That is why it was important for us to do an all-women mission to Afghanistan and to make clear where we stand on girls’ education.”

Sherif is hoping that the visit can give the world an open window view into life in Afghanistan and provide concrete recommendations for international aid to be immediately scaled up and invested to support quality education for both girls and boys.

“Afghanistan cannot wait. The girls of Afghanistan cannot wait. Education cannot wait.”

 


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