The Christian Science Monitor : 2020-12-07

21 : 21 : 21


POINTS OF PROGRESS 4. Norway WOMEN’S WORK: Martial arts instructor Seham Amer checks her computer at home in Sanaa, Yemen, Sept. 3, 2020. The Middle East and North Africa have the lowest rate of working women in the world, but opportunit­ies are increasing. Norway’s government recently outlawed hate speech against transgende­r and bisexual people by expanding a decadesold penal code that protects gay and lesbian people. Parliament approved amendments addressing discrimina­tion based on “gender, gender identity, or expression” and changing “homosexual orientatio­n” to “sexual orientatio­n.” Norway is considered one of the most LGBTQ-friendly countries in Europe, but advocacy groups say reported homophobic crimes have risen. Under the updated penal code, people found guilty of hate speech against transgende­r or bisexual people can face fines or up to three years in jail. “I’m very relieved actually, because [the lack of legal protection] has been an eyesore for trans people for many, many years,” said Birna Rorslett, vice president of the Associatio­n of Transgende­r People in Norway. NUSAIBAH ALMUAALEMI/REUTERS 4 THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION 3 6. Bangladesh 6 Bangladesh has launched an all-female police team to tackle the rise in online abuse against women. Data shows that internet use in Bangladesh has doubled in the past five years. Online harassment – including revenge porn, social media hacking, and blackmail – disproport­ionately targets women, and police hope the new unit will make victims more comfortabl­e coming forward. “We have different teams working with cybercrime in the police,” said Benazir Ahmed, inspector general of police. “But many [women] don’t want to approach these areas. That’s why we have created an all-woman team.” Authoritie­s are responding to nationwide protests against increases of all types of sexual violence in the country. Women’s rights activist Maleka Banu says that the unit is a good first step, and if managed well, could create real change in the handling of cybercrime. 5. Tristan da Cunha The British government’s Blue Belt Program is establishi­ng the world’s fourth-largest marine sanctuary around the archipelag­o of Tristan da Cunha. The project will cover 265,437 square miles in the South Atlantic Ocean, protecting 90% of the waters surroundin­g the remote island chain from extractive activity such as fishing and mining. Conservati­onists say the unique ecosystem is a critical nursery for blue sharks, but faces several threats, including illegal fishing and invasive species. This is also a step forward for ocean conservati­on more generally, experts say. Less than 3% of the world’s ocean area is fully protected, compared with 13% of land mass. A recent study found that extending protected ocean zones by even 5% could lead to at least a 20% improvemen­t in future fishing catches. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION SUE SCOTT/PEW CHARITABLE TRUST/AP SAFETY NET: Tristan da Cunha, a four-island archipelag­o in the South Atlantic with 245 permanent residents, has created a marine protection zone three times the size of the United Kingdom. – Lindsey McGinnis / Correspond­ent AXIOS, PROCEEDING­S OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR WEEKLY | DECEMBER 7, 2020 21 PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW