Have we glimpsed real signs of economic recovery?
When recession hits the developing world, it is often women who bear the brunt of falling incomes and joblessness. But how do women in differing contexts across the South respond to these challenges? More, what about other diversity issues - such as age, or sexual orientation - within the context of financial crisis?
With French President Nicolas Sarkozy threatening to pull out of the single currency altogether last Friday, the eurozone’s bailout of Greece seems to be tinged with panic.
But this is an extreme moment, as a member of the European Union faces up to a grim reality for many developing countries.
Much has been made of Latin America´s ‘leftist tide’ in the last decade. After disappointment with Washington Consensus Policies such as privatization, trade liberalization and deregulation, the last decade saw the assent of nine nominally ‘leftist’ governments in Latin America, promising to sweep away neo-liberal orthodoxies and redistribute wealth to the poor. Not only that, they promised to break with economic ‘dependency’ on the developed world and chart their own paths. But did the new leaders insulate their countries from the worst of the recession, or make them more vulnerable to it?
The spotlight was on transparency and sustainability at yesterday’s Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) meeting in Amsterdam. The organisation, which works on sustainability reporting frameworks, was holding its annual conference with a focus on this dual issue, and speakers included media representatives from the UK-based Guardian and others from the United Nations and International Finance Corporation (IFC)
The thrust of the GRI’s message is that ‘transparent communication changes perceptions, builds trust, and motivates action towards greater sustainability.’ And sustainability is key as we emerge bleary-eyed from years of ‘bubble’ thinking and the global economic meltdown that triggered.