Cate Mackenzie

Posts, podcasts and pictures

By Any Other Name: The Words We Use

The words we use have an impact on the world around us. For people who have been trafficked and exploited for sexual purposes, such an apparently minor thing as language … Continue reading

March 2, 2015

The Countdown Has Begun (if it ever stopped)

In around 350 days’ time, the year 2015 will begin. But, erm, shouldn’t we rather still be remarking that we’ve just celebrated the start of 2014? The Millennium Development Goals … Continue reading

January 22, 2014

Dollars for Dishes, Chores for Change

Should those (mostly women) who do not participate in the labor market, instead remaining at home to look after the house and raise children, receive compensation for their work?

December 12, 2013

Invisible or Forgotten? Women & Girls in Emergencies

Aid, donations and relief supplies are making their way to the parts of the Philippines most affected by the recent disaster. A conference held earlier this week in London and … Continue reading

November 15, 2013

Research, rights and responsiveness

You may have heard of the UN, but have you ever heard of UNRISD? Perhaps not – as a research institute they aren’t going to grab as many headlines as … Continue reading

November 4, 2013

(You gotta) fight for your right

Crystal balls, horse-drawn carts, headscarves and tarot cards. If we were playing a word-association game, what group of people would spring to mind? If your brain is leaning toward ‘gypsy’ … Continue reading

September 23, 2013

Uniform: restriction and liberation

Depending on how you are dressed, you can signal your status, identity, job and a myriad other markers which help locate you in a sociopolitical context.

September 5, 2013

Ciao, Bella: Death in Italian

When the moon hits your eye like’a big pizza pie…that’s amore. Substitute “moon” for “man” and that’s amore for a significant proportion of Italian women. Exact figures on domestic violence … Continue reading

August 15, 2013

Pride and Prejudice and Banknotes

Back in May I wrote about the derisively named ‘storm in a teacup’ over the decision of the Bank of England to remove reformer Elizabeth Fry from the £5 note.

August 1, 2013

The shadows of the informal economy

In which sector of the economy are women disproportionately (over)represented? And even though they are in the majority, still get paid less than their male counterparts? There may of course … Continue reading

July 15, 2013

Til Death Us Do Part

When you’re married to someone you (hopefully) love, they become the center of your universe. But what happens when they die?

July 1, 2013

The dark side of “paradise”

The South Pacific: a region of inviting sandy beaches, turquoise waters – and unacceptable levels of violence against women.

June 14, 2013

(Don’t) keep the change

How often have you opened your wallet or purse, taken out any banknotes and then instead of spending them or paying them into your account, actually studied them?

May 30, 2013

Call Me, Maybe

When asked what items they never leave the house without, many people (in the West at least) would likely answer, “my mobile (cell) phone.” It would be pretty difficult for … Continue reading

May 16, 2013

My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

Here’s a little quiz to start you off with: In which profession do women make up less than 2% of the global workforce? I’ll give you a clue and exclude … Continue reading

May 3, 2013

Growing hope in India

News reporting on India, more specifically news regarding women in India, has recently been somewhat unsettling. Horrific cases of sexual abuse (some fatal) have made their way from the Indian … Continue reading

April 18, 2013

Violence, Peacekeeping and Negotiations: Being Part of the Solution

This past month has seen some well-written policy briefs being published on NOREF’s (the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre’s) website. As the name might suggest, a major theme running through the … Continue reading

March 28, 2013

Acronyms and Acrobatics

Tomorrow, March 15th, will mark the final day of the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57). As mentioned in my previous post, the theme running … Continue reading

March 14, 2013

99 Red Balloons

Next week, starting March 4, the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at U.N. HQ in New York. The main focus of CSW57 … Continue reading

March 1, 2013

Rooftop view

Keeping watch over Prague, perched high on the roof of St Vitus’ Cathedral.

February 17, 2013

Hijab Awareness Day

It may be a small cause – the World Hijab Day Facebook page has around 8,000 likes – but there’s no denying the reasoning behind the campaign: “Better Awareness. Greater … Continue reading

February 1, 2013

Unsurprises and Imbalances

“Long-standing economic trends, combined with entrenched gender inequality and austerity budgets, have left girls and their families with fewer resources, lower incomes and less access to basic services, including social … Continue reading

January 21, 2013

Wishing on a star…or a sleigh

Dear Santa, it seems some progress for women’s rights has been made in 2012 and awareness of issues disproportionately affecting women is increasing. So thanks to the little elves who’ve … Continue reading

December 24, 2012

That’s Plain Sinister, Sister

Perhaps appropriately (as it contains ‘Black Friday’) this has been somewhat of a dark week. The Church of England decided against allowing women to become bishops, and Saudi Arabia (according … Continue reading

November 24, 2012

Acting Their Age, Generating Change

Last month saw the first ever Day of the Girl – now it’s time to turn round and gaze in the other direction, to an older generation: grandmothers.

November 14, 2012

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants”

Today is the first ever International Day of the Girl. So, get out a pen and mark it in your calendar for next year already!

October 11, 2012

Girls on Board

With August coming to a close here’s something short and inspiring to remind us that unconventional approaches make a difference.

August 31, 2012

The Summer Floodgates

Summer 2012 will be most likely be remembered for the London Olympics, the Republicans’ awkward, gaffe-prone run-up to the US presidential election and the situation in Syria.

August 28, 2012

Inside US Climate Security Policy

How will climate change impact upon US security and how far has the debate been securitized? Dr Geoffrey Dabelko, Director of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow … Continue reading

August 10, 2012

An Olympic Achievement?

The opening of the 2012 Olympics in London on Friday were definitely a spectacle to behold. Perhaps the show was enough to divert attention from the gaffes and muddles reported … Continue reading

July 29, 2012

ASEAN: Pathways and Regional Prosperity

Dr Alistair Cook discusses the achievements of ASEAN, outlining recent developments in security and human rights instruments, and suggests ways in which other regional organizations may learn from ASEAN.

July 3, 2012

The Quiet Election

After some spectacular financial fireworks and a volcano that caused havoc throughout western Europe, Iceland is back to its usual position in the international system: mostly overlooked.

June 25, 2012

Religions, Politics and Culture in South Asia

Dr Ali Riaz discusses how globalization and the perceived failure of the secular state are just two of the factors influencing the complex interplay of religion, democracy and government in … Continue reading

June 18, 2012

Nursery Rhymes and Fashion Icons

It’s an oft-repeated saying that, in the fashion world, “what goes around, comes around”. On a much grander scale, this is what has happened in the South Pacific in a … Continue reading

June 10, 2012

Sex and World Peace

It’s a pretty provocative title, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, “The very best predictor of how insecure and unstable a nation is not its level of democracy, but the level … Continue reading

May 31, 2012

Rainbow Nations or Shades of Grey?

Despite the end of Apartheid, South Africa continues to experience xenophobia and ethnic violence.

May 29, 2012

Security Dynamics in West Africa

If foreign involvement and conditions on the ground make development in West Africa fragile and uncertain, what about the security situation?

May 23, 2012

Russia on the World Stage

As the global order gradually changes, how is Russia adapting its geopolitical strategies? Is Moscow looking towards the West or Asia-Pacific for future strategic partnerships?

May 14, 2012

The Age of Democracy (Part II)

In Part I of this blog I set the scene for the challenges ahead as societies continue to travel along the demographic highway. In this second installment I look at … Continue reading

May 4, 2012

Security, Climate and Money

Week 2 of the Center for Security Studies’ Master of Advanced Studies in Security Policy and Crisis Management (MAS SPCM) lecture series moved from its focus on terrorism to consider … Continue reading

May 2, 2012

Bolivarianism and the Latin American Left

Michael Shifter, President of the Inter-American Dialogue, discusses whether the Bolivarian movement in South America offers a solution to the region’s troubles or whether it has already run its course.

May 2, 2012

The Age of Democracy (Part I)

Whilst ‘growing up’ is admirable and desirable, ‘getting old’ is often framed in a more negative light. What words come to mind when you think about the elderly?

April 30, 2012

The Experts Come to Zürich

ETH Zurich recently hosted Block III of the Center for Security Studies’ (CSS) Master of Advanced Studies program in Security Policy and Crisis Management (SPCM).

April 30, 2012

The Middle East: Hate and Courage

If you have not read Mona Eltahawy’s article, “Why Do They Hate Us?” published in the new edition of Foreign Policy – go do it now.

April 24, 2012

Missing in the Holy See

When it comes to the Vatican, all eyes recently have been on Pope Benedict XVI’s tour to Mexico and Cuba, and the adulation that followed.

April 15, 2012

The IAEA: Balancing Influence and Enforcement?

Dr Trevor Findlay of CIGI discusses the capabilities and shortcomings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

April 13, 2012

Keeping the Peace in the 21st Century

While norms and soft power are becoming more important to UN peacekeeping, enforcement remains the only way to protect those whose lives are in danger, explains Kieran Dwyer.

April 12, 2012

Women Do Deliver

The month of March is one of ups and downs – we should beware the Ides but then cut loose on St Patrick’s Day; remember victims of slavery and detained/missing … Continue reading

March 27, 2012

Boosting India’s Defense Economy

In today’s podcast, the Observer Research Foundation’s Deba Mohanty discusses economic development and its importance to India’s defense sector.

February 16, 2012

Development for the Future

Ian Johnson, Secretary General of the Club of Rome, discusses the unwanted side-effects of development and highlights possibilities for change.

February 7, 2012

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