GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

Giving a voice to the world's most fascinating untold global and social issues.

Young carers face family burden with few resources

Kendra* grew up too fast. At 12, she’d do her homework while caring for her twin with non-verbal autism as he watched the same Disney film over and over. She’d cook dinner while helping her older brother, living with a severe learning disability, make sense of his school work. At fourteen, her father died from cancer suddenly, and she assume...

May 27th, 2017 read more

Cradles in prison cells: Mothers behind bars

Amid the constant crackle of radios and chatter of inmates, surprising sounds linger in the prison halls. A baby’s coo. A mother’s gentle soothing. The creak of a rocking chair, rhymes recited from a children’s book, scratches of a crayon. Behind the barbed wire fence at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, 50 kilometers east of Vanc...

May 6th, 2017 read more

Science needs a rebrand: Closing the gap

The data was collected, the numbers crunched and the results are in: science needs a rebrand. A recent Pew Research Centre poll found that while the vast majority of people—79 per cent—believe in the value of science, huge minorities have serious doubts about the scientific consensus on everything from vaccines to nuclear power. The gap b...

April 15th, 2017 read more

The hottest trend in advertising: A social cause

Conventional wisdom in advertising says steer clear of politics. But at the Super Bowl, the Holy Grail of advertising, brands broke the rules. Shelling out $5 million for a 30-second spot, marketers made poignant statements about gender pay equity and immigration while hawking cars and beer. They used the biggest ad stage to take a stand for a c...

March 25th, 2017 read more

Inside a Canadian hate group

Sarah* knew her fiancé was a racist. But she was just 17 and madly in love, so she tried to ignore it. In the early 1990s, white supremacist groups like the Heritage Front and the Aryan Nation were active across Canada. Sarah watched, heartbroken as her boyfriend Nick was drawn deeper into the Ottawa branches of the alt-right. One day, a neo...

March 4th, 2017 read more

Empower a girl, educate a boy

Hundreds looked on as proud young men, decked out in crisp uniforms, led their parents onto the campus that will help unlock their future. This January, the Kisaruni group of girls’ schools in Kenya’s Maasai Mara unveiled its first all-boys high school. After the opening ceremony, village elders christened it with a name. They chose Ngulot, ...

February 25th, 2017 read more

Black History Month can make us all better Canadians

Standing in front of an auditorium of mostly white faces, the president of the Ontario Black History Society asked a group of elementary students what they knew of Black History Month. A precocious girl in the first grade raised her hand. “She said to me, ‘That’s the month we have to feel bad about black people because they were slaves,’...

February 18th, 2017 read more

Giving back is a family affair.

Most holidays come with ready-made traditions—some important, some frivolous. Canada Day is for barbequing and fireworks, and Thanksgiving is for expressing gratitude for our bountiful lives (while devouring a big bird). Seven Canadian provinces have established a holiday in February to break up the bleak winter months with another long weeken...

February 4th, 2017 read more

Why diverse toys could mean better leaders

There could be more at stake in the toy aisle than we realize. The 2016 holiday rush capped off a record year of approximately $26 billion in toy sales in the United States alone. (That’s a lot of Rogue One action figures). Meanwhile, toymakers have stepped up to meet demands for more diversity. Take Mattel’s Barbie line featuring seven skin...

January 14th, 2017 read more

A Resolution for All Canadians

Canada’s poet laureate Gord Downie inspired us to think about reconciliation and resolutions. And it’s the Indigenous leaders we’ve spoken to who have given us the tools and advice we need to advance this important project. As we enter 2017 and our country’s 150th year, sharing stories and rewriting the narrative surrounding Indigenous p...

January 7th, 2017 read more