The concept of child marriage is a completely foreign idea in the United States. Yet in many parts of the world, including South Asia and Africa, it’s as common as the idea of marriage itself. In countries such as, Niger, Chad and the Central African Republic, for example, more than two-thirds of girls were married off before their 18th birthday in 2007. That’s according to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).
One place that girls in Africa are finding an education is at Islamic religious schools known as madrassas. Typically these schools teach only boys, but in sub-Saharan Africa, more madrassas are being opened for girls and are usually funded by wealthy Arab donors. It’s a way to compensate for, what some say, is the extremely poor quality of state-funded schools.
India has been in the news recently for the way it treats its women and girls — and mostly not in a good way. But some women and girls are taking matter into their own hands, making sure they get the education to which they are entitled. Even when it means challenging the country's traditional way of doing things.
The Keystone XL pipeline has been a controversial project in both the United States and Canada. On this edition of America Abroad, audiences in Lincoln, Nebraska and Calgary, Canada engaged in a cross border discussion about how the oil sands industry and the building of the Keystone XL pipeline directly affects their lives. Participants debated the environmental safety of the pipeline, the economic costs and benefits, the legal suits brought by Nebraskan landowners and complaints against it brought by Canada’s First Nation’s tribes and the ways in which it might alter the US global energy position.
This program is a joint production of America Abroad and CBC Alberta and is co-moderated by America Abroad's Hari Sreenivasan in Lincoln, Nebraska and the CBC's Donna McElligot in Calgary, Alberta.
As the country decides whether or not to move forward with the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, America Abroad hosts a special binational Town Hall on the topic to hear perspectives from all sides of the issue.
AK-47s, grenades, water? Earth's most precious resource doesn't fire bullets or explode but it is guarded, hoarded, and stolen in a way that ignites political tensions on a local level and an international scale. This month, we travel to Sub Saharan and Pakistan to bring you the stories of those caught up in the struggle to secure clean water. We’ll hear from unapologetic water thieves, reporters turned refugees, and rural residents whose way of life may be completed decimated because of the wording in a decades old international treaty. Also the voices of American officials, NGO’s, and entrepreneurs on what the West can and should do to help those in need.
In the slums of Nairobi, Kenya is a project to get clean water to the poor run by a cooperative of women. These women address a more subtle type of conflict,that between the “haves and the have-nots,” a sort of ”urban water wars.”
On the border with South Sudan, is a Turkana village called Loblono, in Northern Kenya. These Turkana people have survived for centuries in one of the harshest landscapes on earth, the dry-as-a-bone desert that also stretches across South Sudan and Somalia. They live a nomadic lifestyle based on herding cattle, chasing the rain and the grasslands that sprout from the desert when it’s wet.
The Turkana have always been in conflict with neighboring tribes, like the Poquot and the Taposas. But, in recent years, dwindling water supplies have exacerbated the conflict on this smallest of scales.
In 2013, the Asian Development Bank declared Pakistan as one of the most “water-stressed” countries in the world. One of the hardest hit areas is the Sindh province, in the northernmost region of Pakistan. It shares a border with India. This land is mostly desert so migration in search of water is a way of life. Those who live here say that India is making their life harder and could be a source of conflict between the two countries.