are eight international developmentgoals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizationshave agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include eradicating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development
Libya’s GDP per capita income as of 2005 was estimated at US$ 10,335, well above the mean rates for medium human development countries. Government subsidies in health, agriculture, and food imports, alongside domestic income, education, and health indicators significantly support the achievement of this goal. As such, MDG Goal 1 is likely to be achieved within the 2015 timeframe.
Illiteracy rates in Libya have fallen from 61 per cent in 1971 to 14 per cent in 2001. As of 2005, the combined gross enrolment ratio for primary education stood at 95.9, thus ensuring that Libya is likely to achieve MDG Goal 2 within the 2015 timeframe. (Human Development Report 2007/2008
The Libyan legislature has strived to ensure that women in Libyan society are granted their full rights before the law, ensuring compatibility and consistency of Libyan legislative acts with those of the provisions of internationally recognized conventions. In addition, significant progress in gender equality has been most evident in education and health. While there is still much to be done in ensuring gender parity in political and economic representation, Libya is likely to achieve MDG Goal 3 within the 2015 timeframe. (Human Development Report 2007/2008)
In Libya, infant mortality rates have decreased from 105 per 1000 live births in 1970, to 18 in 2005. Mortality rates amongst children under five have seen a similar shift, with 24 per 1000 live births in 2005. Libya is therefore considered to be on track, and very likely to achieve MDG Goal 3 within the 2015 timeframe. (Human Development Report 2007/2008)
In 2005, maternal mortality in Libya was recorded at 97 per 100,000 live births. While this figure is above the average for high human development countries, Libya is working towards achieving MDG Goal 5, with 94% of births attended by skilled health personnel. With increased attention to public health delivery, Libya is likely to be achieve goal 5 within the 2015 timeframe.
While the human resources for health planning, production and management pose a considerable challenge in Libya, the gradual reintegration of the country into the international economy is leading to better availability of healthcare. The government provides free healthcare to all citizens and has achieved high coverage in most basic health areas. Furthermore, the government is substantially increasing the development budget for health services, and has already prepared clear-cut and comprehensive strategies for HIV/AIDS and TB. Consequently, Libya is likely to be achieve goal 6 within the 2015 timeframe.(Human Development Report 2007/2008)
Limited investment is being made in renewable energy sources, while NGO’s and CSO’s are pursuing eco-tourism ventures and nature conservation activities. However, there is still much to be done in terms of establishing recycling plans, promoting responsible power management and increasing education on the issue. Nevertheless, Libya is likely to be achieved within the 2015 timeframe.(Human Development Report 2007/2008).
Through the establishment of CENSAD (The Community of Sahel-Saharan States) and continued support to the african Union, Libya has made significant contribution towards partnership for development in Africa.
In recent years, Venezuela has made unprecedented progress in combating the historical legacy of racism and recognizing the importance of its African heritage through government initiatives such as the following:
• The Council for the Development of Afro-Descendent
• The Law Against Racial Discrimination (2011).
• The inclusion of Afro-descendents in the census (2011).
• The Education Law recognizing Afro-Descendents (2009).
• The creation of the Presidential Commission for the
Prevention and Elimination of all Forms of Racial
Discrimination in the Educational System (2005).
• The celebration of May as the Month of Afro-Descendents
and May 10 as Afro-Venezuelan Day (2005).
• The creation of the Ministry of Culture’s Liaison Office for
Afro-Descendent Communities (2005).
• The designation of a Vice Minister for African Affairs and
opening of new embassies in Africa (2005).
• The creation of social missions to reduce poverty among
historically marginalized groups (since 2003).
• A voter registration rate of 97% due to civic campaigns by
the National Electoral Council targeting disenfranchised
poor and rural populations (since 2001).
• The new Constitution which states that Venezuela is a
“multicultural and multiethnic society” guided by the
principle of equality among cultures (1999).
“In the area of foreign policy, Venezuela’s relations with Africa and the Caribbean have increased enormously in the last decade. A Vice Minister for African Affairs was named in 2005, and embassies have been opened up in 18 different African nations including Angola, Congo, Mali, and Morocco.Assistance to Africa has expanded, as well; in May of 2012, it was announced that Venezuela would donate $20 million to help eliminate malaria in West Africa as part of a 2009 agreement with the Economic Community of West African States.In the Caribbean, Venezuela is helping ease the energy through PetroCaribe, an agreement to supply countries with oil at market prices made affordable through beneficial financing terms. This aid provides member countries with energy security and stimulates economic and social development. Currently, 18 countries belong to PetroCaribe. Haiti has been the recipient of increased assistance after the devastating earthquake that struck the country in January 2010. That year alone, Venezuela sent 8,139 tons of food, medicines and other forms of humanitarian assistance. With these initiatives, the Venezuelan government is advancing a broad policy of solidarity both at home and abroad, and helping to elevate the status and humanity of Afro-Descendents.”
It’s hard to believe, but in Israel, in 2012, Ethiopian women are forced to receive injections of the Depo-Provera contraceptive. This injection is not a commonly prescribed means of contraception. It is considered a last resort and is usually given to women who are institutionalized or developmentally disabled. Yet according to an investigation recently aired on the “Vacuum” documentary series hosted by Gal Gabay and shown on Israeli Educational Television, it is also given to many new immigrants from Ethiopia.
This is not the first or only case where the state has interfered in the lives of people who have limited means of resistance. And as in other cases, the system that carried out this policy is extremely sophisticated, so it is hard to find a specific person who is responsible or a signed and written order. But the televised investigation, conducted with researcher Sava Reuven, found that more than 40 women have received the shot.
Depo-Provera has a shameful history. According to a report by the Isha L’Isha organization, the injections were given to women between 1967 and 1978 as part of an experiment that took place in the U.S. state of Georgia on 13,000 impoverished women, half of whom were black. Many of them were unaware that the injections were part of an experiment being conducted on their bodies. Some of the women became sick and a few even died during the experiment.
There are many examples across the world of efforts to reduce birthrates among disadvantaged populations that lack the resources and the capability to resist. During the 1960s, the U.S. was concerned by the increase of the population in Puerto Rico. In 1965, it was reported that 34 percent of Puerto Rican mothers aged 20 to 49 had been sterilized.
The injections given to Ethiopian women are part and parcel of the overall Israeli attitude toward this group of immigrants. During the 1980s and 1990s, thousands of Ethiopian Jews spent months or years in transit camps in Ethiopia and Sudan. Hundreds died en route to Israel simply because a country that is supposed to be a safe haven for Jews decided the time wasn’t right, they couldn’t all be absorbed together or they weren’t Jewish enough – who had heard of black Jews?
In transit camps today, future immigrants enter a horrifying bureaucratic entanglement, which gives them the burden of proving they are worthy of arriving in Israel. As in the past, those who arrive here are not quickly released from the grasp of state institutions. They continue to receive “treatment” in absorption centers, where the children are sent to religious boarding schools and included in special education frameworks, while the parents stay in ghettos and the women continue to receive injections. We are told there is no choice. The repressive, racist and paternalistic policies continue unhindered – policies that are supposedly in the best interests of the immigrants, who don’t know what is best for them.
This policy of total control over their lives, which starts while they are still in Ethiopia, is unique to immigrants from that country and does not allow them to adjust to Israel. Using the excuse that they need to be prepared for a modern country, they are brainwashed and made to remain dependent on the state absorption institutions.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee said the claims the women made in the investigation were nonsense. This reminded me of some other women who spoke nonsense, such as the mothers of the kidnapped Yemenite children or the Moroccan women who underwent “treatment” for ringworm. To this day, their words are dismissed as nonsense. If they tried to sterilize me or take my children away, I think I would be talking nonsense too.
The writer is a group instructor for women of Ethiopian origin on behalf of the Achoti – Women in Israel organization and served as a spokeswoman for the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews.