Political power ‘firmly in men’s hands,’ global parliamentary official says

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, center, is joined by Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary-General Martin Chungong, right, and moderator Paddy Torsney, Permanent Observer to the UN, as she speaks to reporters during a news conference on March 15, 2017 at UN headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Updated 16 March 2017
0

Political power ‘firmly in men’s hands,’ global parliamentary official says

BOGOTA: Women made scarcely any progress increasing their presence in the top echelons of government last year, leaving gender equality in legislatures and ministries a distant goal, data showed on Wednesday.
A map ranking countries based on women in politics showed the number of women ministers and legislators barely rose, and the number of countries with a female head of state fell.
Progress getting women and men in equal numbers among the world’s political leaders is at a near standstill, said the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, which compiled the map.
“The overall stagnation and specific reversals are warning bells of erosion of equality that we must heed and act on rapidly,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women.
Specifically, the number of women ministers nudged up to 732 from 730 in 2015, and their representation in parliaments rose less than a full percentage point to 23 percent. The number of countries with a female head of state or government fell to 17 from 19.
“These developments show that progress in gender equality remains slow in all structures of power and types of decision-making,” IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong said in a statement.
“Power is still firmly in men’s hands,” he said. The Swiss-based IPU works to promote representative democracy.
Nordic countries suffered the largest setback globally, with a 6 percent drop in women ministers. Overall, however, women account for 44 percent of the top political executives.
In Africa, women hold one-fifth of the ministerial posts but, with the exception of the Congo and Zambia, saw a steady decline over the last two years.
Finland, which had the most women ministers in 2015, saw a sharp fall to 39 percent from 63 percent. Finland now ranks 14th, while Bulgaria, France, and Nicaragua share first place.

In those three top countries as well as in Sweden and Canada, the number of women in ministerial positions is slightly more than half.
Rwanda has the highest ratio of female legislators, at nearly two-thirds in its lower house, followed by Bolivia, Cuba and Iceland.
North, Central and South Americas made significant gains over the year, with women comprising a quarter of the legislatures.
In Arab states, the biggest improvement was in Tunisia, where the ratio of women in parliament rose to 23 percent from 11 percent.


Drones disrupt flights at Singapore airport for second time in a week

Updated 25 June 2019
0

Drones disrupt flights at Singapore airport for second time in a week

SINGAPORE: Unauthorized drone flying caused the second spate of delays and flight diversions in less than a week at Singapore’s Changi airport on Monday night, the city-state’s aviation authority said.
Around 18 departures and arrivals were delayed and seven flights were diverted from the global transit hub due to “bad weather and unauthorized drone activities,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said in a statement on Tuesday.
The disruption lasted about an hour, it said.
Last week Changi, one of Asia’s busiest hubs, closed one of its runways for short periods due to unauthorized drone flying, disrupting 38 flights.
It is against the law in Singapore to fly a drone within five kilometers (three miles) of an airport without a permit.
Authorities are investigating.
A surge in the availability of drones has become an increasing security concern for airports around the world.
In December, drone sightings caused three days of travel chaos at London’s Gatwick airport, resulting in the cancelation or diversion of about 1,000 flights at an estimated cost of more than 50 million pounds ($64 million).