By Patrick Pierson.
Negotiations in Havana between FARC and Colombian government officials made an important step forward this week when specific guarantees for women were included in the peace agreement. This article argues that a significant, and detrimental, gender gap still exists in international development assistance. In Argentina, President Mauricio Macri announced a plan specifically targeted to combat violence against women. A chief in Malawi is actively taking steps to prevent child marriages throughout her district. A group of “maid detectives” in Indonesia is working to prevent the trafficking of women throughout the Middle East and Asia. In Sierra Leone, there is a need for more interventions in the face of a rise in cases of sexual and gender-based violence.
On Tuesday, South Africans go to the polls for record-setting local elections. The vote is expected to present the most serious challenge yet to the post-apartheid prominence of the African National Congress. This article profiles rising stars in the country’s main opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters. The results will provide a preview of voter preferences before the run-up to national elections in 2019.
In neighboring Zimbabwe, calls for peaceful civil resistance in opposition to President Mugabe continue. The war veterans, one of Mugabe’s key support bases, have now renounced their support. In response, the government arrested the veteran association’s spokesman on Thursday. A group of Zimbabweans is now calling for a “Transitional Authority” to lead the country towards fair elections. The question remains as to whether or not Mugabe will resort to widespread violence to protect his increasingly precarious hold on power.
The United States, in partnership with Costa Rica, is taking steps to address the plight of refugees in Central America. Authorities in El Salvador arrested 120 members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, while a high-ranking police officer was assassinated in Nicaragua for the first time in over a decade. Peru’s new president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, promised this week that his country will become a member of the OECD by the end of his mandate in 2021.