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Boitumelo Mofokeng, South Africa

1 November 2005

Reflections

 My days were beginning to be empty without dialogue with the Blog Sisters. Rosemary assured me that we are continuing for another two weeks and this gives me an opportunity to reflect on my personal experience of this collective.

Everyday should be a Blog Day!

We had space to share and express our thoughts, ideas and profound desire to have peace in our lifetime. When I first posted my input, I listed issues I would like to have addressed as follows: 

Creating and strengthening global solidarity with women to realise the UN Resolution
- Creating conducive environment for increased participation of and by women
- Socialization of girl-child to ensure that today’s gains are not lost in the future
- The need for women’s voice in the media and media ownership
- Demystifying gender and cultural myths used to block women’s participation

I'm not disappointed, I got more than I could ask for. This forum created an opportunity for us to be in solidarity with otehr fellow sisters. This very forum is a media platform that needs to be encouraged and I wish we had a hit count to see hom many reads or visits we got so that we can measure the scope of exposure.

We have always maintained that women's issues are a challenge all over the world. From what i learned in this forum, I realised even more closer how women's actions in various countries can influence policies of own countries. If we add our voices to what our governments should do and not do, we are managing the agenda of a world with peace and brokering opportunities for sustainable peace.

I heard one blogger, Elizabeth L Powley, say that she'll be attending a conference sponsored by UNIFEM and Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town, South Africa. I've been searching our news wires to see what is being said about it. I haven't picked up any reports or announcement. It would eb interesting to see how much of our thoughts are the shared agenda at this conference.

 I look forward to more sharing during this window of opportunity to continue with the blog and now move towards developing strategies to sustain this dialogue and strengthen our collective voices to effect change in our countries and the whole world.

 I share with you my poetic lines to sustain our sisterhood:

"Women of the world
let us weave a blanket of peace
let us sew together a quilt with all the colours in harmony
let us create melodies as we sing in one voice
let us together roll the stone away
to make way for new life
 
Together we are strong"

Extract form poem titled "Covenant with Women of the World"

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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