More than 77 per cent of women in Mali live in rural areas, according to the 4th general population and housing census (RGPH 2009). Although they have very little control over resources, including land and credit, they represent 49 per cent of the active farming population and are behind 70 per cent of food production.
Owing to Mali's civil war, nearly 500,000 Malians were displaced from their homeland during the fighting, including most of the people appearing in the film 333. However, the Malians followed the ancient teachings set out in their historic manuscripts and applied Mali's centuries-old tradition of peacefully resolving conflict through dialogue to end the fighting.
Poverty is a pervasive concern in high fertility countries. The world has made progress in reducing severe poverty, but it's been exceedingly slow in countries where population growth rates remain high. While family planning can reduce demographic vulnerability, developing countries also require other forms of assistance.
Nick Turse's new book of investigative reporting reveals that the U.S. military has been involved in one way or another -- "construction, military exercises, advisory assignments, security cooperation, or training missions" -- with more than 90 percent of Africa's 54 nations, despite military spokespersons insistence that the U.S. maintains only one permanent "base."
The principal goal of these programs is to bolster allies and promote stability. But done poorly, it can fuel conflicts, enable human rights abuses, and draw the United States into unnecessary wars. Unfortunately, U.S. military aid programs perform poorly far too often, and they are growing rapidly without adequate congressional or public scrutiny.