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Fighting urban poverty by fighting inequality


August 2015 — Urban poverty and marginalization of communities often overlap with other forms of hardship, discrimination, and oppression. Ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, and religion are all closely correlated with systematic denial of rights, services, and opportunities, both ad hoc and institutional. One powerful approach to fighting urban poverty is therefore to remove or reduce economic disparities by guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities to every city resident.

This month, URB.im explores programs and campaigns in urban areas across the Global South that aim to bring about just and inclusive cities by intensifying the fight against social and economic inequality. Follow the conversation as it unfolds over the course of the month and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Crimen y desigualdad en Caracas

Caracas, 28 agosto 2015 — Reducir el crimen es necesario para reducir la desigualdad. Para reducir el crimen necesitamos innovar en la forma como usamos mecanismos de control formal e informal. Comunidades organizadas pueden reducir el crimen con acciones de interrupción de violencia y trabajo preventivo con jóvenes en situación de riesgo. El Estado puede mejorar sus políticas usando datos para entender mejor como utilizar sus limitados recursos. Leer más.

Answering xenophobia: The rise of a Johannesburg soccer team

Johannesburg, 27 August 2015 — In a context where poor South Africans struggle to find work and service delivery promises are often perceived as empty, it is often African foreigners with whom they live side by side who become the targets for anger and frustration. In May 2008 and April 2015, these frustrations exploded into countrywide xenophobic attacks. In 2008 a Johannesburg-based NPO, the Sultan Bahu Centre, went into areas where attacks took place to try to use soccer as a means around which to build bridges and to help to integrate foreign nationals back into society. A soccer team known as "Sultan Bahu FC" was formed, whose ethos was matched only by its stunning success. See more.

Lilongwe women leveling inequality in construction

Lilongwe, 26 August 2015 — Gender equality and women's empowerment in the Malawian construction sector has sought to bridge the gap between men and women's gender roles. There has been little involvement of women, let alone non-qualified women, in construction management. But groups of women from the slums of Lilongwe are challenging the male-dominated sector by taking construction positions. See more.

مهاجران افغانستانی و تبعیض آموزشی

Tehran, 25 August 2015 — کودکان مهاجران افغانستانی در ایران معمولا به سختی می توانند مانند کودکان ایرانی تحصیل کنند. به ویژه اگر والدینشان موفق به دریافت اجازه اقامت نشده باشند. یک سازمان غیردولتی در تهران در بیش از یک دهه فعالیت خود تلاش کرده این تبعیض را کاهش دهد.
ادامه مطلب.

No more amnesty for black money: Combating seaport smuggling

Chittagong, 24 August 2015 — Smuggling and corruption leads losses in revenue and taxes in Chittagong. A new initiative trains and mentors port officials in the hope of changing the system for the better and in turn making the economy more equitable for the urban poor. See more.

Pemenuhan hak-hak dasar kelompok LGBT

Jakarta, 21 Agustus 2015 — Kelompok LGBT di Indonesia kerap menghadapi diskriminasi, pelecehan dan kekerasan baik dari masyarakat maupun kelompok agama. Orientasi seksual mereka menjadikan mereka rentan terhadap kemiskinan akibat terabaikannya hak-hak dasar kehidupannya. Arus Pelangi mengajak masyarakat luas untuk menerima keberadaan mereka dan menuntut pemerintah memberi hak yang sama sebagai warga Negara. Baca lebih lanjut.

Giảm rào cản Hộ khẩu cho con em công nhân nhập cư

Ho Chi Minh City, 20 tháng tám 2015 — Cuốn sổ xanh mang tên “Hộ khẩu”, văn bản chứng nhận việc cấp phép thường trú, luôn luôn là rào cản vô cùng lớn cho lao động nhập cư tại TP.HCM để tiếp cận các chính sách và ưu đãi Nhà nước. Khó khăn thậm chí còn nhiều hơn gấp bội đối với trẻ em nhập cư. Không có hộ khẩu, con em của công nhân nhập cư trong một thời gian rất dài đã không được tiếp cận với dịch vụ bảo hiểm y tế (BHYT) tốt cũng như không thể kiếm một chỗ học tại các trường công lập trong thành phố, cho đến những năm gần đây. Xem thêm.

Fighting gender inequality in education

Abuja, 19 August 2015 — Gender inequality takes on different forms, including access to education. In Abuja, girls are often not formally educated, as domestic skills are considered more valuable. However, increasing awareness of the impact of educated women on the economy and in poverty-alleviation is leading to initiatives that work to further gender equality in education. See more.

Os refúgios de migrantes em Curitiba

Curitiba, 18 agosto 2015 — Nos últimos anos, o mundo testemunhou um aumento dramático de deslocamentos por causa de guerras, perseguições, desastres naturais e semelhantes. Muitos desses migrantes acabam pedindo refúgio em Curitiba, cidade brasileira que ainda esboça uma estrutura de acolhimento. Neste artigo, conheça três iniciativas que apoiam os novos residentes, para que se tornem autossuficientes e encontrem oportunidades para seguir o caminho de uma nova vida, justa e igualitária. Leia mais.

Mejoras en la educación como forma de combatir la desigualdad

Bogotá, 17 agosto 2015 — La desigualdad en la educación es al mismo tiempo causa y consecuencia de la desigualdad social. Mejorar el acceso a la educación de calidad es una de las formas más efectivas de combatir la desigualdad. La administración actual de Bogotá ha aumentado el gasto público en educación y ha lanzado programas innovadores. Estos esfuerzos deberán ser mantenidos en el tiempo para ser efectivos. Leer más.

The social enterprising women leading the fight to reduce recidivism and poverty in Nairobi

Nairobi, 14 August 2015 — With a maximum occupancy rate of 26,757 for its 108 institutions, the Kenyan Prisons Service is currently operating at 202 percent of its capacity. A number of social ventures and advocacy groups are targeting transformative programming to reduce these numbers and the high rates of recidivism in Nairobi. See more.

Brightening the future for Bangalore's shelter children

Bangalore, 13 August 2015 — Institutionalized children often have few opportunities on the road ahead. An NGO called Make a Difference challenges that unequal road. The organization focuses on leveling the playing field for shelter youth by setting them up with youth mentors who are trained to carry out a program focused on a future outside the shackles of poverty. Their movement has not only worked in Bangalore, but has spread to cities all over India. See more.

Restablecimiento de los derechos de las mujeres víctimas de violencia

Mexico D.F., 12 agosto 2015 — En la Ciudad de México cinco de cada 10 mujeres sufren violencia. Ante esta situación, la Secretaría de Desarrollo Social del Distrito Federal diseñó el Programa de Reinserción Social para Mujeres Víctimas de Violencia Familiar de la Ciudad de México, con la finalidad de reestablecer los derechos de las víctimas de violencia. Leer más.

Como São Paulo está ajudando pessoas transgênero a deixar prostituição

São Paulo, 11 agosto 2015 — Com bolsa e outros benefícios da prefeitura, participantes do projeto TransCidadania são estimuladas a voltar para a escola. O projeto pioneiro na América Latina oferece ajuda no país que mais mata trans no mundo. Leia mais.

Lembaga keuangan mikro syariah dan perempuan pengusaha

Surabaya, 10 Agustus 2015 — Diskriminasi karena perbedaan gender masih terjadi pada sektor keuangan dimana perempuan pengusaha cenderung kesulitan mendapat suntikan dana. Namun begitu kini telah banyak lembaga keuangan mikro BMT (Baitul Maal Tamwil) yang menerapkan ekonomi syariah memberikan kemudahan memperoleh modal bagi perempuan pemilik usaha kecil di kota. Baca lebih lanjut.

Mitigando los problemas de vivienda en Cali

Cali, 7 agosto 2015 — Los problemas de vivienda y de asentamientos informales son a menudo las señales mas visibles de la desigualdad social que prevalece en Cali. Para mitigar estos problemas, la alcaldía ha lanzado programas centrados en la titulación, la asignación de viviendas a los más necesitados, y la asistencia en la mejora o la reparación de unidades ya existentes. Leer más.

Creating an inclusive environment for people with disabilities

Lagos, 6 August 2015 — Visions for an inclusive Lagos, where opportunities are available to all, require supporting People With Disabilities (PWDs). This realization has given rise to a city institution that works to champion the cause of PWDs and to implement policies and programs that guarantee equal rights and opportunities for PWDs. See more.

Holistic help for Mumbai's homeless

Mumbai, 5 August 2015 — Mumbai's homeless issue, as in many major metropolises, is daunting. But in India's financial capital, the situation is unique. Street sleepers are not single individuals; they are often families — mothers, grandmothers, children, who have been there in the same spot for generations. An NGO called Pehchan has been working to address the complex and challenging circumstances of this population to improve their future opportunities. See more.

Solidariedade e respeito aos jovens da periferia e aos menores infratores como arma contra a desigualdade

Rio de Janeiro, 4 agosto 2015 — Enquanto o Congresso brasileiro vota a redução da maioridade penal, algumas instituições trabalham para proteger os jovens da periferia, principais vítimas da manobra, que só alimenta o círculo da desigualdade que impera no país. Nesse artigo, conheça três delas, instaladas no Rio de Janeiro, que apostam na arte e na qualificação profissional como ferramentas para a construção de um projeto digno de vida. Leia mais.

برنامج خدمات سانت أندرو للاجئين يساعدهم على عيش حياة أفضل في القاهرة

Cairo, 3 August 2015 — إن مؤسسة خدمات سانت أندرو للاجئين هو مشروع يستهدف اللاجئين في القاهرة بغية تحقيق العدالة والرخاء الاجتماعي لتلك المجموعة المحرومة من خلال عدة خدمات ووحدات مساعدة بهدف معاونة هؤلاء المنتفعين من الوصول للخدمات المطلوبة مثلهم مثل المواطنين المصريين وتحقيق العدالة الاجتماعية. اقرأ المزيد عن ذلك

 

Join the discussion on fighting urban poverty by fighting inequality in the comments below.

 
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Comments

Andréa Azambuja's picture

Hi Hilary,

This month, I also wrote about organizations that target transformative programming in prisons, but focusing on underage kids, as the Brazilian Congress is voting to reduce the legal age of criminal responsibility.

When researching, I got in contact again with the work of psychiatrist James Gilligan, who has a very interesting thesis that describes violence as an attempt to replace shame with self-esteem. In my opinion, that's one of the strongest motives that justify the saying that "there’s nothing like going to prison to turn you into a criminal": poor people in conflict with the law are always seen as eternal agents of violence, as if it was in their nature or something – and they are treated like animals because of that –, but they are never seen as violence victims.

I strongly admire people who put their efforts to protect individuals with criminal justice records, raising awareness of the unique challenges that they face and working so they can have a clean start. I was moved by the courage and the strength of these women! <3

Shaima Abulhajj's picture

Dear Olatawura,
Great piece, since PWD is very important topic right now and caring of this category is a real indicator shows the level of civilization and humanitarian attitude in any country. The project you tackled is interesting since it enhances the PWDs capacities, however, I cannot see any sign that it also removes the "social" and cultural stigma against PWDs. They can have jobs and have some good life standard, but in many communities they are still treated as second-grade citizens. I wish if the program also addresses this issue through awareness campaign to the community eliminates the social stigma.

Olatawura Ladipo-Ajayi's picture

Thank Shaima. I completely agree that awareness campaign will go a long way in eliminating social stigma and the programs does not overtly focus on this, but there is a subtle awareness impact to the program. My understanding of the initiatives is that it is focusing on awareness through integration into the society and solves multiple problems at the same time. I think most of the stigma from disabilities comes from the assumption of ineptitude and inability to contribute to society, also in countries such as Nigeria most street beggars are people with disabilities . By showcasing their abilities and opening them to employment opportunities with enforcing laws guiding this, the program includes awareness and change of perception in a subtle manner. Regardless, I do agree with you- a combination of subtle and more active awareness campaign could have made a more wholesome program.

Chilungamo Hunga's picture

I think the Nigerian case offers some interesting lessons in terms of civil society involvement in education.

María Fernanda Carvallo's picture

Hi Carlin, it is very interesting how MAD includes youth in better education opportunities, I totally agree that a leader could guide them in order to search for opportunities. I was wondering if this model has measured its impact, in array of proving if it helps youth to break the cycle of poverty and bring them the capitals necessary to recover from it.

jorgebela's picture

Hi Widya, as incredible advcances in the recognition of LGBT rights have taken place in Latin America, USA and Europe, it is important to remember that the situation is very different in many places in the world. I am convinced that amazing developments, as the recognition of same sex marriages as a constitutional right in the USA will have a massive impact in the world. Still, in many countries in Asia and Africa thge issue os still almost tabu and LGBT people are subjected to discrimination, violence and ever persecutio. Arus Pelangi is qithout question a very brave collective. I hope that progress does come, and comes fast.

jorgebela's picture

Hola María Fernanda. Sin duda muchas mujeres se sienten indefensas ante los ataques de violencia machista porque no disponen de los recursos económicos suficientes para abandonar sus hogares. Por eso programas integrales, que además facilitan el acceso a una vivienda a las mujeres que lo necesitan, tienen un impacto muchísimo mayor. En este sentido, ¿sabes cuantas mujeres se han beneficiado del programa de Reinserción Social para las Mujeres Víctimas de Violencia Familiar de la Ciudad de México?
El problema de la violencia machista es uno de los mas complejos de resolver.

Olatawura Ladipo-Ajayi's picture

Hi Hilary, Interesting article on effects of imprisonment and mitigating recidivism. It has always been a mystery to me how people most times come out of jail worse off than they were before, with very little "correction". It is good to see programs like this focusing on ensuring correction and integrating former offenders back into the society in a productive way. I wonder if any of the programs have a system like that of the Parole Officer, but in this case I guess it would be more of a mentorship aspect.

Also I was wondering what the support level/response rate to these programs are? I ask because for some people it is hard to reconcile efforts expended on prisoners and ex-inmates when compared with the populations of people needing assistance outside of the prison system. For more developed countries like the US with little human development challenges, there is constant debate on how much is spent on the prison system, and wondered what the dialogue around it is in a developing country.

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