Things are getting better for half of us(women) in Saudi Arabia

I do hope this one comes true. I am persuaded that things are actually hopeful having read an article about opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi minister of planning and economy, in remarks published recently noted that the eighth five-year development plan (2005-9) aims to improve the situation of Saudi women by providing them with more job opportunities.

He expects the percentage of women in the Saudi work force to increase from a mere 5.4 per cent to 14.2 per cent by the end of the plan’s period.”

Sleeping on the Job

Metronap.jpgWe drink cup after cup of coffee or tea, take pills, and push ourselves to be “productive”.  But a practice that most companies frown upon, at least in North America, is the afternoon nap.  A municipal office in Bangkok is allowing employees the right to rest.

Of 200 employees at the municipal office, there are about 20 regular nappers who have reported feeling “fresher and brighter” after a midday snooze, says Surakiet Limcharoen, the top official who started the program.

In the meantime, what can employees do, who aren’t encouraged to nap?  Perhaps try healthy ways to wake up, or check for napping places in your city.

Gender Bender in NYC

New York City is moving ahead with a proposed change in the rules of birth certificates. After much campaigning from activists who argue that gender is not merely physical, NYC will soon start letting people change their gender on their birth certificates (NYT link, to bypass registration try bugmenot). Reader mkb also points out this article .

Once it’s approved people will no longer have to have sex-change surgery to proclaim what gender they are.

“If approved, the new rule would put New York at the forefront of efforts to redefine gender. A handful of states do not require surgery for such birth certificate changes, but in some of those cases patients are still not allowed to make the change without showing a physiological shift to the opposite gender.”

Thanks, mkb!

UN’s Declaration of Human Rights in 21 Languages

Oct. 24th is United Nations Day, and to celebrate LibriVox collected the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 21 Languages. You can download audio files of LibriVox volunteers reading the declaration at LibriVox.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. It defines the fundamental rights of individuals, and exhorts all governments to protect these rights. The UN has translated the document into over three hundred languages and dialects. This audiobook includes readings in 21 languages, by LibriVox volunteers.”

The United Nations wants people around the world to remember that we are all humans and that we should all get along. Today many schools will celebrate the diversity of human culture.

In Costa Rica, UN day is a holiday, awesome!

Hungarian Protesters Force Votes

After weeks of protesting following a leaked tape which contained a confession by Hungarian Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, Hungarian protesters will have the opportunity to express themselves at the ballots. Sunday’s local elections will give the Hungarians a chance to vote for the Prime Minsiter, who was elected in April, or the opposition leader, Viktor Orban.

Protests are expected to continue into their second week, but perhaps will less ferver than before. The opposition party, Fidesz, claims that more than 50 percent of the vote will mean the current government will be ousted. Fidesz has not identified with the protestors after violent clashes last week. The protestors themselves are not aligned with any political group, and there is much dissent among the group, leading to criticism and an uncertainty about the outcome of the ballot. With protests more peaceful, the people of Hungary are looking forward to Sunday’s vote as a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

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