Malaria eradication
Malaria is a common mosquito-borne disease that can be life-threatening due to its high fever and flu-like symptoms. The World Health Organization recently certified Argentina as malaria-free after nearly 40 years of eradication efforts. But one of Argentina’s bordering countries, Bolivia, is still dealing with the effects of malaria, though it’s making strides toward the disease’s elimination.

Here’s how Argentina managed to eradicate malaria.

Argentina’s malaria eradication successes

  1. Increased insecticide spraying. Argentina teamed up with its neighboring country Bolivia to spray more than 22,000 individual homes in northern Argentina. Within 10 years, the number of malaria cases dropped to zero in regions where malaria had been a regular occurrence.
  2. The Policy Spotlight Plan. Physician Carlos Alvarado began a program called the Policy Spotlight Plan to shrink the spread of malaria. This allowed specialists to track the flight range of malaria-carrying mosquitos and establish boundaries at the limits of the flight range to confine the potential disease transmission to a small area. Once this was complete, they introduced insecticide sprays into the area, and the malaria reduction process, initially estimated to take five years, ended up taking only two years.
  3. Trained health workers. Medical specialists were trained to instantly recognize the symptoms of malaria in patients and administer proper treatment depending on the type of malaria. Training also focused on immediate action: health workers were able to travel to small remote villages and address issues, analyzing blood samples and calling for insecticide sprays on the spot. This hastened the recovery process for patients and helped prevent further spreading of the disease.

Bolivia’s plans for malaria eradication

All areas in Bolivia lower than 2,500 feet above sea level are still at risk for malaria; this is more than half of the entire country. Yet there is still hope. The United Nations Development Program aims to eradicate malaria in the region by 2020.

These are Bolivia’s plans for malaria eradication thus far.

  1. The Malaria-Free Bolivia Project. This UNDP-sponsored program promotes prevention efforts and awareness for each individual region in the high-risk areas. The program has made it possible for physicians to travel on foot within communities, providing treatment and educating citizens about the common symptoms of malaria. At this point, the number of those infected with malaria has declined to two per 1,000 citizens because of these strategies to prevent the disease.
  2. Malaria Case Management and Vector Control. Two additional groups have been added to the Malaria-Free Bolivia Project. Malaria Case Management allows for quality and universal malaria care, including diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of the disease. Vector Control revamped the previous mosquito-prevention strategies to strengthen and enhance the quality and functionality of mosquito nets and sprays.

Malaria has decreased by 72 percent in the Americas since 2000, but a third of the world’s population is still at risk for the disease. In the next decade, global malaria eradication will continue, and eventually, the world can be malaria-free.

– Katherine Desrosiers
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Safe, Quality Drinking WaterOn May 24, 2019, thousands of residents from poor neighborhoods in Lima, Peru protested business litigation that has been obstructing their access to drinking water. The demand for safe drinking water, a necessity for any lifeform to thrive, is, unfortunately, a common obstacle in South America. Several countries struggle in providing this vital resource to its citizens, especially in rural areas with poorer communities. However, other countries are successfully paving a path to ensuring access to drinking water and sanitation facilities. Here are a few facts about safe drinking water throughout South America.

Access to Safe Drinking Water in South America

  • Peru: Thirty-one million people live in Peru, but 3 million don’t have access to safe drinking water, and 5 million people don’t have access to improved sanitation. While more than 90 percent of Peruvian residents have access to improved drinking water, in rural areas, access drops to below 70 percent. Likewise, urban areas offer sanitation facility access to 82.5 percent of the population, but barely over 50 percent of people in rural communities, highlighting the drastic disparity between socioeconomic and regional populations.
  • Brazil: Similarly, shortcomings in providing safe, quality drinking water exist in South America’s largest country, Brazil. With a population of 208 million, 5 million Brazilians lack access to safe drinking water, and 25 million people, more than 8 percent of the population, don’t have access to sanitation facilities. While 100 percent of the urban population has access to drinking water, in rural areas the percentage drops to 87. The numbers take another hit when it comes to access to sanitation facilities. Eighty-eight percent of the urban population has this access, but almost half of the people in rural populations lack proper sanitation facilities.
  • Argentina: A similar narrative occurs in Argentina, where urban populations might have decent access to safe, quality drinking water and sanitation facilities, but the numbers drop off concerning rural and lower socioeconomic communities which struggle in having their needs and demands addressed by the government. Typical causes for low-quality drinking water include pollution, urbanization and unsustainable forms of agriculture.
  • Uruguay: In stark contrast, Uruguay has available safe drinking water for 100 percent of urban populations, almost 94 percent in rural populations, over 96 percent for improved access to sanitation facilities for urban populations and almost 94 percent for rural populations. The World Bank participated in the success of transforming Uruguay’s access to drinking water, which suffered in the 1980s, by offering loans to the main utility provider. The World Bank and other developers financially assisted Obras Sanitarias del Estado (OSE), the public utility that now provides drinking water to more than 98 percent of Uruguayans, in addition to providing more than half of the sanitation utilities in Uruguay. In addition to finances, these partners aid in ensuring quality operation standards such as upholding accountability, preventing unnecessary water loss, implementing new wastewater treatment plants in rural areas and protecting natural water sources such as the Santa Lucia river basin.
  • Bolivia: Like Uruguay, Bolivia made recent strides in improving access to safe, quality drinking water. They began by meeting the Millenium Development goal of cutting in half the number of people without access to improved drinking water by 2015. President Evo Morales, “a champion of access to water and sanitation as a human right,” leads to a path for the next step which is to achieve universal access to drinking water by 2020 and sanitation by 2025. Bolivia also recently invested $2.9 billion for drinking water access, irrigation systems and sanitation. In 2013, Morales addressed the United Nations calling for access to water and sanitation as a human right. Dedicated to his cause, he leads Bolivia in surpassing most other countries on the continent in ensuring these essential amenities to his constituents.

Unfortunately, the progress of Bolivia and Uruguay doesn’t transcend all borders within South America, as millions still feel neglected by their governments due to not having regular, affordable, safe, quality access to clean drinking water.

– Keeley Griego
Photo: Flickr

Femicide in Argentina
Argentina is South America’s second-largest country and it was once one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Argentina has a vast variety of agricultural and mineral resources and a highly educated population, but it also has a long history of political and economic instability. With a population of 44.1 million people, Argentina legally has good human rights, but these rights are often disregarded or ignored, especially towards women. Women continue to face economic discrimination, gender-based wage gaps, extream violence and poor job security.

The world justice report says that women in Argentina are more likely to be employed through informal means, without any social security and find it difficult to access free services. Of all the issues that Argentina faces, the biggest and most well-known issue is the increasing amounts of femicide cases.

Definition of Femicide

Femicide is described as the gender-based killing of women because of their gender and it is the leading cause of premature death for women globally. Femicide in Argentina continues to grow each year. The Council on Hemispheric Affairs reports that in the last decade in Argentina, 2,638 women were killed or have died for the sole reason of being women. Out of this number, 75 percent of the deaths were committed by men close to the victims, either family members, romantic partners or ex-partners. “Every 29 hours a woman is killed in the country,” said Raquel Vivanco, president of the Observatorio Ahora Que Sí Nos Ven at a press conference.

Another chilling fact about femicide in Argentina is that 17 percent of the women murdered had filed a complaint against the assailant and 11 percent even had judicial protection. The Observatorio reported that this happened to all age ranges. Forty-one percent were between the ages of 21 and 40 years old, 25 percent between the ages of 41 and 60, 13 percent older than 60, and 10 percent between the ages of 16 and 20.

Ni Una Menos

There have been numerous mass protests in response to the unjust treatment of women and the governments’ failure to recognize the issue. The biggest movement to date is the Ni Una Menos which translates to “Not one (woman) less.” This movement started in 2015 after a continuous string of murders of women, all in different circumstances but similar murderers and reasoning. This movement against femicide in Argentina continues to run and will have their annual march in June later this year.

Causes of Femicide in Argentina

The advocates for human rights group says that the causes of this type of violence are linked to gender inequality, discrimination and economic disempowerment and are the result of a systematic disregard for women’s human rights. Femicide frequently occurs in an environment where everyday acts of violence are accepted and impunity is facilitated by the government’s refusal to deal with the problems.

Another theory is the social attitude often associated with Latin American and Hispanic cultures called “Machismo” and can have positive and negative connotations. The positive connotation is associated with protecting one’s family, community and country. The negative connotations are what is commonly associated with the causes of femicide. This being the use of violence as a way to demonstrate physical strength, masculinity and superior over women.

Actions Being Taken

In December 2018, Argentine Chamber of Deputies approved the Micaela Law to eradicate gender-based violence with 171 votes in favor and only one against. The bill, named after Micaela Garcia, a femicide victim who was murdered in 2017, calls for a mandatory gender training for all state officials and workers. This training is much needed because of the insensitivity of public servants while dealing with cases of gender-based violence.

There are six key points of the Micaela Law:

  1. Everyone in public service must go through training on “gender and violence against women.”
  2. The National Institute of Women (INAM) will enforce the law. It will also be responsible for directly training high officials.
  3. The training will be conducted in collaboration with gender offices. New materials and programs will be produced for training.
  4. The INAM will control the quality of the said materials and the training must be imparted within a year of the law coming into force.
  5. INAM will also publish information regarding the degree of compliance of each state agency and do follow-up reports on its impact.
  6. If any public employee refuses to attend the training “without just cause”, they would be subjected to a disciplinary sanction.

Activist groups are getting involved as well. The Latin American Group for Gender and Justice (ELA) has a 12-month program which addresses the two most urgent problems, violence against women and access to reproductive rights. The purpose of this program is to promote a network of individual lawyers, practitioners, organizations, and nongovernmental organizations with expertise on women’s rights to provide legal assistance to women facing rights violations and contribute to the cultural transformation needed to end the discrimination against women.

Femicide in Argentia is a big issue and continues to negatively affect the way of life in this beautiful country. However, many activists groups and the Ni Una Menos movement are trying to team up with the Argentinian government to solve this problem and put an end to femicide in Argentina once and for all.

– Madeline Oden

Photo: Unsplash

Top 10 Facts About Hunger in Argentina
Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world and the second largest country in South America with a current population of over 44 million people. While Argentina has seen some progress in reducing the rates of hunger and malnourishment, the country still struggles with food insecurity among many children and families.

What Are The Top 10 Facts About Hunger In Argentina?

  1. Over the years, Argentina has been decreasing its hunger rates and achieved a less than five Global Hunger Index or GHI score. However, in 2015, 3.6 percent of the population was undernourished and the figures do not look quite good even today.
  2. Food insecurity in Argentina has become a reason for concern because the country lacks effective food management strategies to prevent wastage. According to Mercedes Nimo, Undersecretary of Food and Beverages for the Ministry of Agriculture, Argentina wastes about a kilogram of food per person each day.
  3. According to the report published by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2018, 16 million loads of food are being wasted annually in Argentina. The Senate and ministries of Argentina are trying to devise strategies to reduce the wastage of food. Among the many efforts taken, September 29 has been declared as the ‘National Day for the Reduction of Food Losses and Waste in Argentina’. As of now, the law has issued a half-sanction approval on the date. The purpose of the day is to spread awareness about the tremendous loss of food, to promote effective strategies of food management and thereby lower the rates of hunger among the population.
  4. FAO also continues to strengthen food security in Argentina. Their priorities include evaluating the National Plan for Food Security and safeguarding the quality as well as the safety of food.
  5. Another organization fighting hunger in Argentina is The Huerta Nino foundation. It is a nonprofit organization located in Buenos Aires which works towards decreasing child malnutrition in the country. They do this by building organic gardens in rural schools. According to this foundation, over 43,000 children benefited from their work and currently they have about 500 active projects in Argentina.

  1. In 2015, the Huerta Nino project traveled to La Divina Pastora rural school in Mar Del Sur to initiate their project. The school has a population of 105 students of which 80 percent belong to poor families. According to the school Principal, Rita Darrechon, 10 percent of the students suffer from nutritional deficiencies from the moment they are born and in some cases even at the stage of prenatal growth. The Huerta Nino project aims to fight these nutritional deficiencies by teaching the students how to produce and grow their own food.
  2. Yet another organization that focuses on child nutrition in Argentina is Love Volunteers. It is a volunteer organization that has benefitted almost 3,500 unprivileged children.Volunteers at this organization provide children with technical and educational assistance while fulfilling their hunger and nutritional needs.
  3. According to Love Volunteers, their ‘Child Nutrition Volunteer Program’ provides nutritious food options to the underprivileged families, educate families and children on the importance of nutritious meal, and thereby improve the general health of the people. The project has the desire to provide food and promote healthy eating habits to children and families who are struggling.
  4. In 2015, the White Helmets Commission, the body of Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship that facilitates humanitarian assistance, joined the World Food Programme to fight against hunger in the country. These agencies developed an agreement that aims to improve the assistance provided in emergency situations by ensuring timely distribution of food in the areas affected by disasters.
  5. Last but not least, Barrios de Pie is another organization and movement that aims to decrease hunger in Argentina. According to Public Radio International, also known as PRI, in 2018, the soup kitchen created by them provided food for children in La Matanza, a province in Buenos Aires. Their aim, therefore, is to urge the congressional members to approve a food-emergency bill which would add $568 million in funds to support soup kitchens and food policy issues.
  1. These top 10 facts about hunger in Argentina represent the country’s consistent efforts in fighting and eliminating hunger. The many organizations operating in the country provide hope to find solutions and strategies to end the hunger epidemic in Argentina.
  2. – Charlene Frett
    Photo: Flickr

Private Sector Fighting Poverty
When it comes to global poverty, the solution should involve collective effort from different organizations and individuals as well. These involve various participants from volunteers and nonprofit organizations to the government or even celebrities who are contributing their time to raise public awareness and much more. In fact, even private sector fighting poverty via Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is crucial too.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Many large businesses and corporations are doing their bit for the world. Examples of private sector fighting poverty are not only motivational but also help to eliminate the sources of and causes leading to global poverty. Each year, different companies take action to do what is necessary for their community. The concept was introduced in the 1800s when the U.S. Supreme Court stated that corporations are people and they should be good citizens.

There are several ways for companies to practice Corporate Social Responsibility. Environmental efforts, volunteering, ethical labor practices and philanthropy are some of the examples. The private sector fighting poverty is reflected in many of the world’s biggest and most profitable businesses. CSR has become so critical that, for example, in the U.S., more than 60 percent of citizens hope that business will drive social and environmental changes in the absence of government actions and regulations.

Private Sector Fighting Poverty

Print giant, Xerox, has been focusing on different social areas with many projects, but it’s most recognizable one is the Xerox Community Involvement Program. Through this program, Xerox encourages its employees to work on social projects of their choice. They can also get a paid leave of absence to focus on their respective projects.

Another company that has been running several projects for the social good is the shoe company, Toms. Their well-known project One for One Campaign came into existence after the company’s founder, Blake Mycoskie, witnessed the difficult life of Argentinian children who grow up without wearing shoes. The idea of the project is really simple: Toms provides shoes to the children in need in 60 countries as it donates one pair of shoes for every pair of shoes sold.

Microsoft is another company taking responsibility for social issues. According to Forbes, the company holds the second highest rating on CSR score for all their educational and environmental contributions worldwide. It’s also known that the company’s co-founder and former CEO, Bill Gates, started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to combat infectious diseases, promote equality, empower the poor and much more.

How CSR Benefits the Private Sector

Numerous big giants such as the BMW Group, Google, Samsung, LEGO Group, The Walt Disney Company, etc., have been taking action. Many of these companies benefit from their CSR as well. For example, Google Green is a social effort geared toward using resources effectively and increasing the use of renewable power. Ever since this cultural change occurred, Google’s data centers’ power requirements have reduced by about 50 percent. This means that what is saved by a social project can now be used for other operations.

Fighting global poverty and its causes needs to be a collective effort and the involvement of the private sector is highly crucial.

– Orçun Doğmazer

Photo: Flickr

How the Media Misrepresents Argentina
Most of the media coverage surrounding Argentina has dealt with the country’s economic struggles, its crime rate, and, following the recent World Cup, its soccer team. The misrepresentation of Argentina by the media is evident due to the fact that negative coverage far outweighs the positive, giving the public a one-dimensional perception of this South American country.

More than a Soccer Nation

Beyond the financial crisis, much of the recent media coverage regarding Argentina has centered around the country’s World Cup run. Soccer is an immense source of national pride and a beacon of hope for many Argentinian fans, particularly during hard economic times. But soccer, while deeply engrained within the national fabric and heavily covered by the media, represents just one aspect of the diverse nation.

Portraying Economic Crisis in the Country

Argentina’s economy has far from met the expectations associated with market-friendly President Mauricio Macri. The value of the Argentine peso plummeted in April, resulting in a $50 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. This, coupled with high inflation, has brought persistent economic hardship to the country and poses a serious threat to Macri’s “zero poverty” campaign promise.

Much of the media coverage surrounding Argentina has focused heavily on the economic crisis and the crime associated with it. While the crisis is prevalent and a resolution is much needed, the rampant and disproportionate coverage of the crisis goes to show just how the media misrepresents Argentina. In doing so, the media taint the perception of the country and fails to portray the true image of Argentina, one of an improving economic and social condition.

Economic and Social Progress

In 2017, poverty in Argentina decreased by 4.6 percent and is currently at 25.7 percent, according to official estimates. Prior to the Macri presidency, transparency about Argentina’s poverty was scarce. The publishing of official statistics only began in 2016, after being halted by the former populist government in 2013. Macri has not only strived for zero poverty, but he has established the proper balances to hold his administration accountable, something that was not the case for Argentina’s recent past.

Macri has faced the delicate task of reducing Argentina’s poverty rate while also working to alleviate a large budget deficit incurred by prior administrations. Macri’s administration has focused on reducing this deficit with the help of the International Monetary Fund and the implementation of public-private partnerships. With private companies financing long-term infrastructure contracts, Argentina expects to attract $26.5 billion in investment by 2022, reducing pressure on the budget but also contributing to the fall in poverty through the creation of thousands of steady jobs.

The citizens of Argentina have also exhibited a strong commitment to social progress, pushing landmark legislation to the floor of Congress, the Senate and the offices of President Macri. However, media coverage of these events is brief if existing at all, failing to show a highly positive dimension of Argentina.

Justina’s Law

News that the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of National Congress) passed a grassroots piece of legislation that makes 44 million citizens organ donors was seldom reported. The official increase in donors will depend on how many citizens choose to opt out, but this legislation will undoubtedly ensure the survival of thousands of patients that are in need of organ transplantation. With the approval of this law, also called the Justina’s Law, Argentina would join the ranks of France and Netherlands in this landmark legislation.

While it is typical to hear for the negative aspects of Argentina’s economy and crime, the work being done to solve these issues or the positive impacts that the Argentine people themselves are having on their country is rarely discussed.

Though it may seem that the misrepresentation of Argentina in the media has little effect on the country’s economic and social outlook, this is far from the truth. Macri’s plan for foreign investment depends heavily on the perception of Argentina as a viable place for growth. The current administration’s commitment to accountability and poverty reduction, as well as social progress, show the world that the country is trending in the right direction.

– Julius Long

Photo: Flickr

Combatting the Currency Crisis in ArgentinaArgentina has experienced quite a few economic struggles in the past decade. The country now faces its fifth recession in the past ten years and its currency, the Argentine peso, has lost a third of its value. Now the lowest performing currency in the world, the currency crisis in Argentina imposes the new challenge to revamp its peso and bypass the friction of its economy.

Who Is Affected?

Virtually everyone in Argentina is affected by this crisis. Business owners who expected to succeed in their business endeavors, due to the nature of Argentine markets and demand, are evidently experiencing a consumer drought.

Moreover, current negotiation details between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Argentina’s government have consequences for the public. Infrastructure projects will be postponed, subsidies cut, transfers to the provinces reduced and the federal payroll shrunk. Social unrest has followed already as the General Confederation of Labour, the greatest trade-union group in Argentina, protested against the government’s economic policies on June of 2018.

How Did the Crisis Commence?

Wolf Richter, a writer who featured on Business Insider, described the origin of the currency crisis in a simple yet concise fashion. Lending money to Argentina’s government is a tricky venture since lending to the government in its own currency devastates their peso and lending in a foreign currency leads to defaulting of the loan.

The currency crisis in Argentina started from reasons outside of the country’s control as well as the institutional reactions to them. Argentina underwent the greatest drought in 50 years at the beginning of this year, specifically affecting the harvesting of two export crops: maize and soybeans. A stronger U.S. dollar and Treasury yields led to the risk aversion of international investors, leaving riskier assets. Thereafter, Argentina’s peso, alongside Mexico’s peso, Brazil’s real, Turkey’s lira and Russia’s ruble, struggled.

Following these uncontrollable forces, the Central Bank of Argentina raised interest rates to a staggering 40 percent in the hope of helping the Argentine peso. The endeavor did not work as planned. Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri and his administration took a $50 billion loan from the IMF. President Macri collaborated with senators, governors and other leaders in order to get the country on board with the plan. Nevertheless, the public is skeptical because of Argentina’s past experiences with the IMF, such as the 1990s Convertibility Plan that fell through and spiraled into one of the greatest economic crises for Argentina.

Possible Solutions

Solutions to this problem that directly involves Argentina and international organizations, proposed by different institutions, are as follows:

  1. Make the IMF more sensitive to political realities
  2. Selectively slash government spending
  3. Avoid overvaluation of the currency
  4. Address fiscal problems in a timely manner
  5. Devaluate the Argentine peso
  6. Revise fiscal and economic policies that tend to disrupt the peso

The currency crisis in Argentina is undergoing a tug and pull from differing sides. The public keeps a retrospective mindset as they remember the past events of the 1990s and early 2000s. On the other hand, President Macri holds onto a prospective plan, trying to help Argentina climb out on top and even willing to take a $50 billion loan from the IMF. There are a number of solutions that have been drawn out. Although Argentina struggles to find a national consensus, the gears are in motion to eradicate this crisis and past mistakes are increasingly considered as citizens politically mobilize.

Roberto Carlos Ventura
Photo: Flickr

Facts About Girls' Education in Argentina
To educate a woman is to give her the tools to create a brighter future for herself and her family. Argentina is a nation known to be improving its gender equality; in fact, women currently fight for equal education and job opportunities to men. However, girls education in Argentina is an ongoing process, and women are still placed second to men in many situations. Here are the top 10 facts about girls’ education in Argentina.

Top 10 Facts About Girls Education in Argentina

  1. Early marriage and household tasks are seen as common female roles in South America. Many girls stay at home and attend to the “domestic” jobs — around 10 percent of girls between the age of 15-24 are in charge of the home. However, it’s usually these young girls in the poorest sectors of Argentina who need education the most, but struggle to get it.
  2.  Young girls who live at home often receive little cash assistance and don’t have educational deficits. According to a report by the Observatory of Social Debt in Argentina, “19.1 percent have limitations to receiving education and 16.8 percent don’t even go to school.” These young girls who don’t go to school find themselves stuck in the cycle of poverty. As they get older, they frequently can’t find a job because of their lack of an educational background or previous job experience.
  3. Early childbearing is an issue that causes young girls not to attend school. This is somewhat ironic, as girls who attend school are taught about sexual education and methods of prevention; as a result, early pregnancies are less likely to occur. Most often, those in ongoing poverty find themselves in these situations of early motherhood due to the lack of knowledge about pregnancy.
  4. The prehistoric idea that men are more dominant than women prevails in the Argentine culture. There have been cases where a woman is discriminated against or even abused if she tries to defend her education. The Argentinian workforce still does not equally value men and women workers.
  5. Women are seen often in the informal sphere — an area of the economy that is untaxed, unregulated and usually provides low-paying work. Although women might find jobs, they usually find themselves in these kinds of precarious workplaces.
  6. Argentina had their first female president, Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner, from 2007 to 2015. She was seen as a female role model who empowered young girls and women to strive for higher-up positions and value getting an education.
  7. One of the Millennial Goals in Argentina is to promote gender equality and empower women. When looking at this with regard to jobs, the goal strives to remove the “glass ceilings” that prevent women from being promoted to higher and better-paid positions, especially if women have the same education level as the men applying for the same job.
  8. In March 2015, Michelle Obama created the Let Girls Learn initiative. This program brings together the Department of State, USAID, the Peace Corps, the U.S. Department of Labor, MCC and the U.S. president’s emergency fund for AIDS, and is a government-wide effort to help adolescent girls complete their education. A key part of the effort is to encourage and support community-led solutions and reduce any potential barriers that would prevent a young girl from getting an education. Since then, the group has worked with organizations like the World Bank, a global organization that in 2016 agreed to invest $2.5 billion over the next five years in education programs that directly benefit young girls.
  9. Another event in 2015 was the movement “Ni Una Menos” or “Not One Less.” Social media made headlines when thousands of cities around the countries protested against the unfair treatment of women. The Not One Less group protested against the violence of women in Argentina in the workplace.
  10. Women are now often getting equal or more education than men. When viewing the national statistics and census of Argentina, the INDEC mentions that the “society must have an equal distribution of educational opportunities among both genders on all levels.” In fact, according to statistics from UNICEF, women are seen attending school 2-3 percent more than men for all types of education. As a result, women should be given the same job opportunities if they’re working as hard or even harder than their male counterparts.

Acquiring a Female Future, One Woman At a Time

A lack of education is one of the core factors related to poverty — girls who are educated find themselves in better living situations. Although these were the top 10 facts about girls’ education in Argentina, there are plenty of other points of note where the women are restricted and want to strive for a better future. As Argentinian women continue to fight for a change, the future will hopefully become better for the younger generation.

– Negin Nia

Photo: Flickr

capital flows support economic growthEconomic growth is one of the most powerful tools for reducing poverty, and a key driver of economic growth is investment. Argentina and Saudi Arabia, two countries that have committed to political and economic reforms in recent years, are hoping to spur investment from abroad. The announcement by MSCI, an equity index provider, to classify them as emerging markets has attracted sizable foreign investments to the two countries. But whether the capital flows support economic growth is still up for debate.

MSCI

MSCI created its Emerging Markets Index in 1998 and since then it has become a benchmark for investment in emerging markets. Many investment funds track the index by buying a similar composition of stocks. Therefore, when stocks are added to the index it inevitably prompts investment flows to increase in certain countries.

In late June, MSCI decided to add Argentina and Saudi Arabia to its emerging markets index. The decision is a result of the reform efforts in both countries. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, is trying to shift the country from its oil dependency and increase social liberalization, including allowing women to drive while President Mauricio Macri of Argentina has sought to end disputes with international investors and remove barriers to capital entering and leaving the country.

The effects of their addition to the index may be profound. Some estimates predict approximately $3.5 billion and $40 billion of capital inflows into Argentina and Saudi Arabia respectively in the coming year. The inflows could lead to businesses in these two countries giving them cheaper access to credit that will further lead to more investments; thus boosting economic growth and productivity.

Poverty in Saudi Arabia and Argentina

The two countries are seeking to boost economic growth and stability by any means possible. Saudi Arabia’s economy contracted 0.7 percent in 2017, driven by lower oil prices. Argentina also had to turn to the International Monetary Fund for a $50 million line of credit after capital flight weakened its currency.

Given these countries’ extensive poverty, economic growth is needed for their governments to maintain its credibility. Argentina’s poverty rate is over 25 percent, and while there are no exact figures for poverty in Saudi Arabia, it is believed that almost four million people or approximately 12 percent of the population, live on less than $17 a day.

Do Capital Flows Support Economic Growth?

Do capital flows support economic growth in emerging markets? The answer to that is vague. Take Africa for instance. An economic study concerning private capital inflows found that capital flows had a detrimental effect on Africa’s economic growth in the absence of well-developed financial markets. Conversely, a research paper by the World Bank in 2015 found that capital inflows into Sub-Saharan Africa would have a positive effect on its economic growth. This study found, however, that the most effective type of capital inflow in boosting growth wasn’t private capital flows but aid.

The economic literature debating whether capital flows support economic growth is expansive and divisive. Therefore, increasing private capital flows to Argentina and Saudi Arabia may or may not be the answer to the economic instability plaguing the two countries. But both aid and private capital will continue to play an important role in the economic growth and futures of emerging markets.

– Mark Fitzpatrick
Photo: Pixabay

Girls' Education in Argentina
Argentina is a nation known for its efforts towards gender equality. As a nation that has made progressive strides towards equal opportunity with the election of its first female president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in 2007, the nation stands as a model for the rest of the world for allowing more women to obtain positions of power.

The journey for any woman to obtain a position in the field of their choice starts when they’re a child. However, girls’ education in Argentina, and the process for women to have successful careers presents a complicated path.

Even though Argentina has a high literacy rate among its citizens and has many highly-educated women, cultural norms still subject women and girls to second-class status, and threaten their opportunity to obtain jobs in the field of their choice.

Education Equality: A Class Matter

Access to a quality primary education for girls in Argentina isn’t as much subjected to gender as much as it’s subjected to class. According to the Women News Network, Argentinian girls who come from the two poorest sectors of Argentinian society are more vulnerable to dropping out of school at an earlier age (due to limited resources).

The National Institute of Statistics and Census of Argentina, also known as INDEC, states that “society must have an equal distribution of educational opportunities among both genders on all levels.” As far as secondary education, women have been shown consecutively to be more highly educated.

The World Bank, as of the year 2016, posited that more women from middle- and higher-income households achieved a secondary education, compared to their male counterparts. However, more men from lower-income households had a secondary education compared to women.

Education Doesn’t Guarantee Equal Opportunity for Women

A cultural conflict that threatens the effectiveness of girls’ education in Argentina is Machisimo — a societal ideal that favors the dominance of men in Argentinean society. Due to the country’s traditional values, women are largely subjected to discrimination and even abuse when it comes to defending their educational rights.

The workforce is a sector of Argentinian society that still awaits progression to grant women as equal an opportunity for the job of their choice. According to the World Bank, as of the year 2016, men over the age of 15 had a 73 percent participation rate in the labor force, compared to 47 percent of women.

The Inter Press Service (IPS) states that even when Argentinian women do gain employment, often times it is in “informal and low productivity sectors.”

Voices of Change: Girls’ Education in Argentina

The plights women have endured in Argentinian society has created resistance from women and men ready to make their voices heard. The non-profit organization, Ni Una Menos (Not One Less), developed after citizens started collaborating to protest against Machisimo. The organization has since taken its message to the forefront of Argentinian society to advocate for women’s rights and protection against violence.

As Argentinian women continue to advocate for change in their societies, it remains a possibility that as more laws are implemented to protect women’s rights, a more promising future for the younger generations can be ensured. This future would guarantee that girls education in Argentina isn’t futile.

– Lois Charm
Photo: Flickr